Gerald Almy: Newest hunting gear unveiled
Manufacturers unveil a wealth of new hunting gear each year around this time so it will arrive in stores well before the fall seasons open. Here’s a look at some new products sportsmen might be interested in either for a local outing in the Shenandoah Valley or long-distance trip to Canada, the West, or even Africa!
PROOF Research Summit Rifle: This company’s custom rifles offer strength and accuracy combined with low weight through the use of carbon fiber barrels that are 50-65 percent lighter than comparable steel barrels. The Summit rifle weighs just 5 pounds, 11 ounces, making it perfect for mountain hunts.
Harmonic barrel vibration is also reduced compared to steel, and heat dissipation is quicker for improved accuracy and durability. Summit rifles come with a ½-MOA accuracy guarantee and are built on hand-laid carbon fiber/Kevlar stocks with Hunter actions, Jewell or Timney triggers, and a Pachmayr recoil pad. PROOF Research, 406-756-9290; proofresearch.com
Hornady Full Boar Ammunition: Wild boar hunting is gaining adherents daily, and now there’s another new ammo offering aimed specifically at the requirements of hog hunters. Hornady’s Full Boar cartridges use their GMX bullets to deliver deep penetration through tough hide and dense bones.
The copper-alloy bullets offer uniform, controlled expansion and 95 percent weight retention. GMX bullets do not separate, providing strong performance in the thick cover these animals sometimes inhabit. Available in calibers from .223 Rem to .300 Win. Mag., with bullet weights from 50 to 165 grains. Hornady, 800-338-3220; hornady.com
Maven Custom-Built Binoculars: You order rifles custom-built to fit your specific needs. Now Maven, a new Wyoming company, is offering custom-built binoculars. Choose your preferred magnification (including an 11X option), frame size, body armor, focus wheels, strap connector, labeling and color option to craft optics that fit your needs and personality.
“We focus on fundamentals and high-end performance using the best modern materials and technologies with clean, simple designs,” says Brendon Weaver, Maven’s chief designer. Materials include lightweight magnesium for frames, non-PVC rubber armor, and ED (extra-low dispersion) glass, for crisp images and superb low light performance. Maven Outdoor Equipment Company, 800-307-1109; mavenbuilt.com
Filson Parka Cruiser-Tweed: This new down parka from Filson has one flaw. It’s so sharp-looking and functional you won’t want to use it just for hunting. But it certainly did shine through several bitter-cold hunts I tested it on. The parka comes with either hand-woven Harris tweed or wool overlays on shoulders and arms for extra warmth, abrasion resistance, and water repellency.
The 100 percent European goose down is breathable and packs easily for travel. A tab offers adjustable fit in the waist and knit interior cuffs keep cold air out. The collar is moleskin-lined with a cross-throat leather tab. Seven pockets offer ample storage while a nylon lining allows easy on-and-off. Warm, breathable and lightweight, this parka is perfect for any cold weather hunting expedition. Filson, 866-860-8906; filson.com
Olympia Headlamps: On a big game hunt, the day doesn’t always end at sunset. Countless times you’ll need a strong light to find your way back to camp, locate an animal shot at dusk, field dress it or set up a tent if you arrive late.
Olympia’s new series of four headlamps will solve those needs while allowing you to keep both hands free to complete the job. I tested the most powerful EX550 and found its five lighting modes handy for a variety of chores. Peak output is 550 lumens with a range of 135 meters. Made of aircraft grade aluminum, the headlamp is light (5.4 ozs.), yet rugged and both corrosion and waterproof, with a lock-out feature to prevent battery drain while not in use. Olympiaproducts.com
Gerber Myth Hatchet: Most hunters turn to knives for field dressing, but sometimes a hatchet is more practical for many tasks. The new Gerber Myth will easily quarter and skin a moose, deer or elk, along with performing countless camp chores. It fits comfortably in the hand and the rubber handle allows a firm, safe grip for chopping.
Full-tang construction offers superior strength and balance, while a finger hole at the base of the 3.5 inch blade lets you choke up tight for delicate work. The 8.5-inch, 14.6 ounce hatchet comes with a molded hard-plastic sheath for safe carrying. Gerber, 855-544-0150; gerbergear.com
Award-winning outdoors writer Gerald Almy is a Maurertown resident.