Gerald Almy

Gerald Almy

Few activities lend themselves to social distancing better than hunting — one person alone in the woods or with companions who are spread more than 6 feet apart from each other. As we think ahead toward fall seasons, here’s a look at some new gear that companies have unveiled for 2020’s hunting seasons.

Weatherby Mark V Backcountry Ti Bolt Action Rifle: This light, new bolt-action rifle weighs just under 5 pounds. A variety of innovative manufacturing techniques were used to keep the weight down, including machining the action from titanium and using a carbon stock. To tame potential kick, the rifle includes a unique butt pad 3-D printed from a shock-absorbing composite material.

Unlike many ultralight rifles, Weatherby’s Backcountry Ti has a full 24-inch fluted barrel to avoid sacrificing accuracy. It comes equipped with a muzzle brake as well as a thread protector. With a sub-MOA guarantee, the Backcountry Ti is available in the new 6.5 WBY RPM, 6.5 Creedmoor, and many other calibers. A new stainless-steel action Backcountry rifle is also available at a slightly higher weight (5.3 pounds), but for a lower price than the titanium model. Weatherby.com

Benelli Lupo Bolt Action Rifle: Its shotguns have long been a favorite of waterfowlers, upland hunters and clay shooters. Now, Benelli has entered the rifle market with its first bolt-action. This firearm features innovative design concepts that include no less than seven patents. Called the “Lupo,” Italian for wolf, this is a sleek, modern-looking bolt-action that offers adjustments with shims and spacers so the black composite stock fits your physical size and build precisely and can be adjusted if you’re wearing heavier or lighter clothing. This also makes it perfect for a youth hunter who could adjust the length of pull, drop, cast and cheek weld as he or she grows.

The 22-inch matte blued barrel (24-inch for magnum) is free-floated and CRIO-treated. A sculptured bolt ensures reliable feeding and a recoil reduction system is built into the stock. The Lupo comes in .30-06, .300 Win Mag, and .270 Win. It weighs about 7 pounds. Benelliusa.com

Leupold Performance Eyewear: Building on their 112 years of optics manufacturing expertise, Leupold has created a complete line of Performance Eyewear for hunters. The company spent two years developing the five styles of eyewear for range shooting, hunting, and everyday wear. Made from lightweight ballistic-rated materials, the eyewear features scratch-resistance polarized lenses that are rugged and stylish.

Polarized lenses reduce eye strain and Guard-ion hydrophobic coatings shed water, dirt and fingerprints for a sharp clear image. Diamondcoat-hardened lenses reduce surface scratches. Daylight Max technology offers UV protection and each style of Performance Eyewear is compatible with prescription lens requirements. Leupold.com/Performance-Eyewear

Trijicon Tenmile HX Riflescopes: For 2020, Trijicon is offering a new series of riflescopes called Tenmile, designed for super-accurate, long-range shooting and maximum light transmission, available in 30 or 34-mm tubes. The Tenmile HX line will be specifically aimed at hunters with models, including 3-18x44mm, 3-18x50, 5-25x50, and 6-24x50. Thanks to fully multicoated, anti-reflective glass, these scopes offer clear, true-color images and a bright picture even in low-light situations. Illuminated reticles are available in the first or second focal plane. Scopes are Solid Zero Tested to ensure no reticle shift, while Drop Testing guarantees that minor bumps during the hunt will not damage the scopes. All Tenmile riflescopes are also Vibration Tested, immersion tested, and dry-nitrogen filled to eliminate fogging and water penetration. Trijicon.com

Tenzing Cinch Fanny Pack: If you are just going out for a few hours, sometimes you don’t need a lot of gear when you head out for a stalk or stand hunt. That’s when this new pack from Tenzing will come in handy. It features an ergonomic, adjustable padded waist belt for comfort, channeled air-cooled back pad, plus soft, quiet and durable tricot fabric.

Gear can be organized in two main compartments with yellow-coded zippers, as well as two side pockets, five smaller pockets, and a cell phone sleeve on top of the pack. For moments when you are watching on stand or taking a break from stalking, the pack converts into a hand muff to keep your fingers toasty and ready for action. Tenzingoutdoors.com

Buck Pursuit Knife Series: Buck created this series of six knives as “a multipurpose alternative to traditional hunting knives.” Sleek and lightweight, yet extremely rugged, there should be two or three in this series that every big game hunter will want to stash in their pack. The knives feature a comfortable, easy-grip profile, strong blades, and on folders, a dependable lock-back system for safety.

Blades undergo the Paul Bos heat treatment process and are then tempered to the appropriate Rockwell Hardness through a heating, freezing, and re-heating system, creating a long-lasting edge. The blades use 420HC steel, hardened to a hardness of Rc 58. Models include the Large Knife, Large Guthook Knife, Small Knife, Folding Large Knife, Folding Large Guthook, and Folding Small Knife. Non-folders feature full tang construction for durability and strength. All Pursuit knives have a nylon handle and come with a sheath. Buckknives.com

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