Cool Gear for the Western Hunter
By Darren Choate, Gear Editor
Making your way through a maze of over 2,000 booths and 60,000 people to come up with a top 10 list is probably impossible. If you narrow your scope to include just hunting products, you can cut the booth numbers by half, and half again, if you set your focus to Western hunting, specifically. However, the field size remains the same, and the trail to get there is quite complex. That said, Western Hunter staff did just that to come up with this list of 10 gear items that we feel are interesting, intriguing or just cool! Here they are, in no particular order…
Rouge Ridge Electric Mountain Bike
Cool Factor: It’s a bike…with a motor!
“Rogue Ridge was founded after many years of packing game out of the backcountry. The concept of a small electric bike emerged due to the realization that there was limited gas-powered trail access to the backcountry. Spending countless hours in research and development has led to this amazing line of bikes to fit every person’s needs.”
Sitka Gear Core Lightweight Hoody
Cool Factor: It has a built-in facemask!
“With long sleeves and a form-fitting hood, the CORE Lightweight Hoody wicks away moisture and keeps you concealed when you’re closing in. Featuring a deep, center chest zipper for superior ventilation and a built-in face mask for those quick set ups, this piece is perfect for stalking, tree stands or ground blinds. A micro-grid backer assists with moisture transfer and is brushed for comfort next to skin, and permanent Polygiene® technology neutralizes odor causing bacteria, making this the one piece you won’t take off all season.”
Gerber Center-Drive Black Multi-tool
Cool Factor: Full-sized tools!
“Gerber’s new multi-tool offers uncompromising performance through revolutionary design. The innovative center-axis driver opens to align like a real screw driver, yielding maximum torque and rotation. No productivity is sacrificed with the addition of a 30% longer outboard blade and one-thumb opening sliding jaws. Full size, real tools – the multi-tool just got a reality check. It’s not an act. It’s not a fashion statement. The Center-Drive™ is made for real challenges – and works like the real thing – built right here in the USA. Let those other guys pretend to have all the answers. You’ll be truly prepared.”
Gatorz Magnum Z
Cool Factor: Frames are aluminum, adjustable, and made in the USA!
“Perfect for those who prefer a medium to large frame, their unparalleled comfort and optimized build not only has the ability to protect the wearer’s eyes, but also serves to turn a couple of heads at the same time. Made in the USA from 7075 Billet Aircraft Aluminum.”
Zeiss Victory RF
Cool Factor: Bluetooth connectivity…that’s “ballistic!”
“The rangefinder determines the precise target distance up to a maximum range of 2,300 meters. Storage capability for up to nine personalized ballistic profiles, that can be set up within the ZEISS Hunting App. Thanks to the Bluetooth function it is possible to import personal ballistic data from the ZEISS Hunting App to the Victory RF.”
Klymit KSB 35° Down Sleeping Bag
Cool Factor: White Duck Down and only 1.9 lbs.!
“When nighttime temperatures set in, enjoy the warmth of 650 fill-power down in the KSB 35. Right at home in the backcountry or the backyard, this bag features Length Locks™ that can shorten the bag, and a two-way zipper that allows you to open the foot box for ventilation or stand up in the bag. Unzip the bag all the way to convert it into a generous blanket.”
Browning X-Bolt Pro
Cool Factor: A true carbon fiber stock!
“Browning is delving into semi-custom rifle production with the new X-Bolt Pro. What classifies the X-Bolt Pro as a “semi-custom rifle” is the level of specialized finishing touches and higher end construction above the already top-tier X-Bolt family of hunting rifles. First, the X-Bolt Pro features a true carbon fiber stock, making it extremely lightweight and rigid. The stock is filled with a noise-dampening foam.”
Benchmade Grizzly Ridge
Cool Factor: All-around utility and made in the USA!
“Based on the highly regarded Grizzly Creek, the Grizzly Ridge brings the comfort and sure grip of a dual durometer handle, a blade designed for all-around hunting utility, and unique orange accents. Made in USA.”
Leupold Mark 5 HD
Cool Factor: Three full revolutions of adjustment in a 35mm tube!
“With three revolutions of elevation adjustment, the Mark 5HD was built to max out the performance of the latest long range rifles and ammo. Ergonomically designed with more tactile, audible click adjustments, larger numbers, and a high-speed throw lever so you can put accurate fire downrange faster.”
MagnetoSpeed T1000 Target Hit Indicator
Cool Factor: See your HITS at any distance!
The T1000 is a rugged target hit indicator with a weatherproof enclosure and long battery life. It was designed to be mounted to the back side of AR500 steel targets 10 inches in width or greater. The flexible rubber reflector is designed to withstand many impacts before needing to be replaced. The T1000 has multiple operating modes to best suit your shooting situation and is easily seen through any optic that is capable of seeing the target at that shooting distance.