Almy: New gear for hunting season

With hunting seasons fast approaching, here’s a look at some new gear items that might be of interest as you pursue the Shenandoah Valley’s healthy populations of deer, turkeys, black bear and small game. Included are some of the most recent offerings in knives, optics, survival tools and muzzleloader ammunition.

Zeiss Victory HT 54 mm Binoculars: Zeiss’ HT line of optics sets new levels for light transmission, making images pop like it was mid-day even at dawn and dusk. Using SCHOTT HT-glass, multi-layer coatings and Abbe-Konig prism systems ensures crisp images regardless of available light.

That’s particularly true with the newest 8×54 and 10×54 models, which pack the performance of a 56 mm lens into a lighter, more compact 54 mm objective. The binoculars feature a comfort-focus system that uses an oversized, deeply-textured knob forward on the bridge that’s easy to use even with gloves on. All HT binoculars include advanced T coatings, fluoride lenses for color correction, and a LotuTec coating to repel water. zeiss.com/sports

Hornady Binocular Harness: The heaviest optics typically offer the sharpest images of game. But carrying such high-quality binoculars can put a strain on the neck. Hornady has come out with a perfect solution for that “pain in the neck” with their new binocular harness.

Designed for comfort with soft straps and breathable synthetic materials, this harness distributes the weight of your optics across shoulder straps and a form-fitting panel that ridges on the upper back, keeping the burden off your neck. It’s also easy and quick to slip on or off. hornady.com

Federal Premium Trophy Copper Muzzleloader Bullet: This unique new muzzleloader bullet from Federal provides consistent 200-yard accuracy in a non-sabot design that’s quick and easy to load and actually scrubs fouling from the breech. It does that through a fiber-reinforced polymer ring that scours the breech as the bullet is loaded, decreasing the need for cleaning between shots and insuring consistent seating.

The bullet is built around a polymer cup that is permanently attached to the bullet’s base. Ignition pushes the cup forward, expanding its diameter, engaging the rifling and sealing the bore. Loading force required is only half that of most sabot bullets. federalpremium.com

Wolverine Jason Hunting Boot: Can the right boot improve your energy level for particularly challenging hunts? Wolverine thinks so, and after field testing the new Jason boot, I have to agree.

Wolverine EPX Energy Potential Extreme helps return energy to the foot and fight fatigue, starting with a dual layer of foam and dense base that distributes weight evenly across a sturdy foundation. A honeycomb heel expands to absorb impact on hard terrain and a ribbed spine in the forefoot flexes during each step to maintain cushioning. A compression molded EVA top layer and dual density polyurethane EPX anti-fatigue footbed also cushion the foot from heel to toe.

This boot is extremely rugged, with an exterior fabric and leather wrapped in a TPU shell. Wolverine PC Dry Silver lining kept my feet dry, and 400 gram Thinsulate Ultra insulation provided warmth. The rubber outsole provided aggressive traction in rocky terrain and a nylon shank offered sturdy arch support. wolverine.com

Farson Survival Tool:
Have you ever been in a “survival situation?” If you have, you know that gadgets, gimmicks and cheap tools aren’t what you need. You won’t find any of those in the unique Farson Blade Survival Tool and Farson Hatchet, from Wyoming’s Fremont Knives. No corkscrews or bottle openers here. Instead you get a rugged, creatively-designed blade for cutting and chopping and 8 feet of useful 550 lb. Para Cord.

Based on a stone tool found in the Great Red Desert near Farson, Wyoming, this tool will cut tree branches for firewood and shelter, and field dress and skin game. On the other hand, it will be equally comfortable dicing vegetables for camp dinner. It’s just 6 inches long but the unique curved design gives it a 7.75 inch cutting blade, made either of 1095 carbon steel treated with titanium nitride or 4CR15 stainless steel.

At 9.5 inches, the newer 9.6 ounce hatchet features an extended handle for serious wood cutting and additional leverage. Don’t save them for survival situations, though. These are great tools for everyday camping, hunting and game-cleaning chores. fremontknives.com

Spartan Accuracy Oil: This oil reduces barrel friction, increasing muzzle velocity and improving accuracy. Most gun oils create a simple slippery wedge between two metal objects, lasting only briefly before high temperatures nullify the lubricant. Spartan Accuracy Oil attacks the source of the friction by filling in tiny pores and gaps in the metal substrate, restoring surface metal and smoothing the barrel. The smoother, harder surface reduces friction by up to 85-90 percent and lowers barrel temperatures up to 30 percent while also providing corrosion protection. modernspartansystems.com.

Buck Alpha Crosslock Knife: This knife has undergone a redesign that makes it not only stronger, but also easier and safer to use in wet weather. A new handle ensures a firm grip in slippery conditions, while a sturdier lock mechanism adds to safety and durability. The knife includes a spear point blade and separate saw blade with integrated gut hook, covering a multitude of field-dressing, skinning and camp needs. It’s constructed with 420 HC steel and comes with an orange or shadow green handle. buckknives.com.

Award-winning outdoors writer Gerald Almy is a Maurertown resident.