Georgia Hunting Land For Sale South Carolina Hunting Land For Sale North Carolina Hunting Land For Sale Hunting Land and Recreational Property For Sale

ATA Roundup


Last week I attended the Archery Trade Association (ATA) trade show in Nashville, Tennessee. This annual show highlights the new offerings in the world of archery. Hunting and target archery is represented by everything one can imagine in the sport. It is quite the challenge to highlight a few of the products available for the bowhunter.

While many of the manufacturers did bring some interesting items to the show, I cannot say that there was any one item that really stood out as revolutionary and a real game changer. But there were several items that I can say are items that the bowhunter needs to take notice of and really look at and investigate more closely.

Here are some items that I can say are some to consider:

All of the top manufacturers brought new models to the show, and I am sure I saw most if not all of the new products. Like test driving a truck, it gets harder and harder to find differences between the top brands. What I do when testing equipment, I try and think of the practical hunter, what are they looking for almost universally.  I keep this in mind for bows, arrows, sights, rests, clothing etc. that are excellent quality at reasonable prices. Here are the items that I saw that are worth a closer look.

Bows: After shooting the new models two stood out as exceptional. Every brand had good bows and all shot well, but without question the two that stood out were the Hoyt Carbon Spider, and the Prime Alloy. Both of these bows are in the same price point, both come in at around the same weight with the Hoyt being a tad lighter and more evenly balanced. However the Prime did seem to shoot more smooth and quieter. I don’t think you could go wrong with either. If I had to choose between the two, I would opt for the Prime. I am convinced their parallel cam technology is game changer and in a few years this technology will be found on virtually all models. The parallel cams completely eliminate and cam lean and the need for tuning the cams.

Stabilizers: Many hunters relegate the stabilizer to the target archer. However, more and more we are seeing the top archers who also hunt, using the longer stabilizers in the field. Bee Stinger has answered the question for hunters with their revolutionary “Xtreme hunter kit”. This kit utilizes the stabilizer with a back bar to achieve almost perfect balance. Target archers have known for a long time that there is a need to offset the weight of the sights on the bow. This is achieved with the back bar. Now Bee Stinger has a system to accomplish this for hunters. This system features two different models with an 8-6, and a 10-8 configuration representing the respective lengths of the bars. (i.e. the 8-6 is an 8” front bar with a 6” back bar). Both feature a quick release attachment system and an adjustable weight system to achieve the desired balance needed and wanted. Hunters will start using this more and more to achieve the best shots possible when it matters most.

Broadheads: I am continually amazed at the technology and engineering that goes into a broadhead. My non-engineering mind cannot comprehend what all goes into these designs. It makes me really marvel at the flint knappers of the ancient civilizations who fashioned razor sharp true flying arrow heads from stone. Today’s brands have elevated the game. It really comes down to preference between the mechanical and fixed blades. All seem to achieve great arrow flight when set up properly, all cut large holes through the target. For me it is really a matter of economics. Personally I do not like a one use broadhead. If I cannot replace the blades, or re-sharpen the blades, it is not even in consideration. These things cost far too much to be disposable, and some of the top brands are not set up for either. So my consideration is on replaceable blades or the ability to re-sharpen.  One brand stands out in this category and that is the broadheads from G5 Outdoors. Their fixed blade Striker and Montec are in my opinion the best fixed blades on the market, couple this with their excellent flying T3 mechanical and now with their new 2 blade Havoc mechanical with a 2” cutting area. I am convinced that these are the finest broadheads out there. I realize this is like me telling a Ford guy to drive a Chevrolet, but for the person looking to change or to try something new. I would highly recommend starting here.

Supplements: If ever there was a flooded area, it’s in the scent control and supplement industry. However Primos has done it again with its new “Donkey Butter”. These new small packaged products allow for easier transport to your stand, ease of application and price point make it something to consider. The molasses based attractants are a paste that can be applied to the side of trees, on the ground, stumps etc.

Premium Coolers: As someone said to me at the ATA, did you ever think you would see the day when a cooler was a status symbol? I chuckled and agreed. However the market is seeing more and more competition. Yeti has dominated the market for a long time and their products are excellent. However with the increased competition many are hopeful the price point will begin to drop some for the average consumer.

There is not a lot of difference between the different brands I saw, Orca, Canyon, Grizzly, K2, and Icy-Tek all make excellent coolers. Some offer more colors, different latching systems and accessories but all are in the same price point. However, there was one brand that offered a cooler at a significantly lower price. “Frostbite” by HP coolers offers a variety of sizes for a significantly lower price. As a comparison, the other brands 45 qt (or closely related) priced in the $400 range. With the Frostbite costing almost half that amount. Roto molded, high dense foam insulation, good carry handles. I believe that for the money, the Frostbite is the best bargain in the premium cooler space.

Accessories: There were a plethora of accessories for the archer. Including tree stands, blinds, rests, sights, etc, you name it, and someone has developed it.

As I have grown as a hunter, one of the items that I have learned I cannot do without is a good pack. While there are many good brands out there, for the money it seems that Alps Outdoorz had the best options for the price. While their brand isn’t a well-known, they have been in the pack business for some time, and their Traverse seems to be a great hybrid for the whitetail hunter and the western hunter. Capable of carrying a heavy load it can also be minimized for the treestand.

There were many more items that could fill up a of space, and while some would disagree, these were the highlights of the show that stood out to me in the areas mentioned. I am confident that if you try any of these items you will not be disappointed.