You may have missed the crowded aisles, the hype of press conferences and, of course, the feeling of being a few dollars light from hungry slot machines, but the hunting industry is rolling out new products in major advertising campaigns as you read this. Between my usual SHOT Show meetings, I roamed the aisles, picking up literature and finding new products that could definitely improve your hunting in 2012.
Thompson/Center: Versatile Rifle
This year's SHOT Show was the first time I saw the new Thompson/Center Dimension rifle. NOT! I cheated on this product and had one in my hands back in November to field test, starting with a Montana whitetail hunt and then moving on to Texas. The Dimension is a bolt-action rifle with the versatility to interchange barrels without losing accuracy or zero. Ten different barrels offer calibers ranging from .204 Ruger to my favorite the hard-hitting .300 Win. Mag. Pack for coyotes or moose with the new Dimension rifle. Watch a Dimension highlight video interview right here.
This photo helps summarize my review of the T/C Dimension rifle.
Nikon: Long-Distance Rangefinder And Hot Optics
I was really intrigued with the new Prostaff 5 Laser Rangefinder for precision and speed in ranging distances out to 600 yards. What really drew my eye, though, was the Prostaff 5 Fieldscope. I generally pack a spotting scope to evaluate game at long ranges, and although I was happy with my Spotter XL, the new Prostaff 5 offers a larger eyepiece, crisp imaging and a lightweight design. Mover over XL for the Prostaff 5!
Nikon also rolled out the red carpet for their new line of AR riflescopes, including the M-308 and M-223 (for the obvious calibers).
Hornady: Awesome Varmint And Turkey Ammo
I had to swing by and compliment the good folks at Hornady for their Superformance Ammunition and the big bucks it helped me bag this year. But if you love stinging varmints you have to try the new 17 Hornet centerfire ammo. It has an advertised speed of 3,650 fps from the muzzle, with retention of more than 2,000 fps at 300 yards. It's a zinger!
If you're gearing up for turkey season, consider the new Heavy Magnum Turkey load with Hornady's Versatite wad. You don't even need a special turkey choke. Use what's in your shotgun and rely on the wad to do the rest—even out to 50 yards!
Hunter's Specialties: Game Call Innovations
Hunter's Specialties has reintroduced their classic True Talker grunt tube. Over the years it's been redesigned and updated, but the original was always my favorite. You can now disassemble it for cleaning, but the sound is as true as ever for grunts and bleats.
Be on the lookout for new digital callers also rolling off the assembly line this summer with features to rock the predator world.
SHOT Show may be over, but fortunately what happens in Vegas won't. The new products will change your hunting world this year. Watch the North American Hunter videos from SHOT Show to discover more new gear.
P.S. It seems as if I can't get enough of Las Vegas. If you're going to be at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Elk Camp Feb. 2-4, stop by one of my seminars and let's swap some hunting tales.