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The High-Tech, High-Profit Business Of Hunting

The High-Tech, High-Profit Business Of Hunting
Showcase The Latest Gadgets And Gear.

The introduction of new hunting and outdoor products shows no signs of slowing. The more cool gadgets and gear hunters and outdoor enthusiasts see and use, the more they seem to want. That’s great news for firearms and outdoor retailers.

According to a recent HunterSurvey.com poll, nearly 52 percent of those surveyed reported they plan to spend at least the same amount on hunting-related products as they did last year. About 20 percent anticipate spending slightly more and almost 10 percent expect to spend “significantly more” in 2014. Hunting apparel and miscellaneous gear accounted for around 30 percent of last year’s hunting sales.

Many new products fall into two basic categories: high-tech offerings and creative or crossover items that have a functional or fashion appeal. From optics and cell phone upgrades to Mossy Oak-patterned furniture covers for the man (or woman) cave, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts have lots to choose from — and purchase.

Here’s a snapshot of a few of the latest accessories dealers should consider offering their hunting customers.

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The Superday Pack from Badlands has been redesigned to include a rear
batwing compression system, a new hip and belt-pocket design and a MOLLE
system addition, making this an ideal bag for active hunters.

Eyes On The Prize

In the optics category, Carl Zeiss Sports Optics has added the CONQUEST HD5 3-15x50mm riflescope to its already successful CONQUEST HD5 line. The new 15×50 scope is fashioned for hunters and shooters working in lower light conditions that require a scope with a larger objective diameter. Optical performance is maximized by HD glass with ZEISS T* multi-coating and LotuTec protective coating for tough field conditions.

Bushnell has developed the Trophy Cam Essential trail camera for hunters who demand performance and reliability along with value. The Trophy Cam features 32 low-glow LEDs, a 6-megapixel camera, video mode and Field Scan technology. During the day, the camera captures high-resolution color images before switching to black and white for nighttime images. Alternatively, video mode records visual and audio footage in 60-second clips.

Stealth Cam has introduced the G30 8-megapixel, a three-resolution (8-, 4-, 2-megapixel) scouting camera, featuring 30 IR emitters with an 80-foot range. Stealth Cam’s Retina technology is low-light sensitive, allowing the user to capture crisp photos during pre-dawn or late evening. The G30’s TRIAD allows three options for recording a shot: still mode (hi-res single photos), time-lapse mode (captures an image when motion is detected) and HD Video recording mode (programmed to record 5-180 seconds with audio).

Reliable lighting is essential for the outdoorsman when camping. Bushnell now offers the Rubicon line of lanterns. Equipped with Cree LEDs to provide maximum brightness and longer, more efficient battery life, the Rubicon lantern also features a regulated circuit, which translates into consistent brightness and less dimming throughout the battery lifecycle. The Rubicon comes in two models, the A200L compact and the A350L.

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Mathews Chill X

Outfitting Today’s Bowhunters

Mathews has added two models to its McPherson Series family of bows: the Chill X and Chill SDX. The Chill X offers versatility for the archer who wants one bow for both 3D target archery and hunting. The Chill SDX is designed specifically for women.

Also new from Mathews are Rock Mods, which come standard on the Chill X bows and are also available for any Perimeter Weighted DYAD Cam System. Rock Mods are built with an integrated draw stop and allow shooters to customize the bow’s performance by choosing either 75 percent or 85 percent let-off.

Timber Hawk’s new Sidewinder pack in Highlander camo is ergonomically designed with the bowhunter in mind. Sidewinder’s single-strap sling design allows the pack to be easily and silently removed or adjusted at critical moments with minimal movement or noise. The pack holds up to 772 cubic inches of gear. The integrated mounting loops on the waist belt can be custom configured according to the hunter’s quiver design.

The popular “Bone Collector” TV series has collaborated with Plano on a full line of cool, co-branded hard and soft bow and gun cases, sportsman’s trunks, shooter’s cases and field boxes. Constructed of ballistic nylon webbing, the Bone Collector Neoprene Bow Sling sports a wide, non-slip neoprene shoulder strap, high-density, impact-resistant poly hardware and a quick-release attachment system. The adjustable bow sling is available in Realtree Xtra, and includes Bone Collector graphics.

For bowhunters, Bushnell has introduced a new archery laser rangefinder that allows hunters to understand the trajectory of the arrow before it leaves the bow. The Truth with ClearShot Laser Rangefinder uses technology to instantly tell the hunter if he has the clearance necessary to take an unobstructed shot. Using a simple three-step process, hunters can calibrate the rangefinder to correspond with the speed of the bow via a sight system.

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The CONQUEST HD5 3-15x55mm riflescope from Carl Zeiss Optics is designed for
hunters and shooters working in low-light, tough-field conditions.

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Dealers have a multitude of high-tech optics options to stock and offer customers,
like the ClearShot Laser Rangefinder from Bushnell, which offers Angle Range
Compensation technology.

Getting There

The well-equipped hunter needs high-tech clothing and packs to transport all those game-enhancement gadgets to the field and stay comfortable, calm and collected.

The Browning Hell’s Canyon hunting apparel line has been designed for 2014. It now includes a Soft-Shell jacket and pant, Ultra-Lite jacket and pant, 4-in-1 PrimaLoft parka and bib, Packable rain jacket and pant and PrimaLoft Outdry glove. The clothing features a three-layer shell design to provide comfort in any climate and Advanced Scent Control technology. All items come in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity and Realtree Xtra camo patterns, in S-3XL sizes.

Dealers, you likely have heard women customers complain about the challenge of finding hunting apparel that fits properly. Próis has the clothing to help you outfit your women hunters. For women quail and pheasant hunters, the line is made for women hunters, by women hunters. The upland game hunting pants are designed for the female form. Tough, yet lightweight and breathable, the pants feature heavy-duty Cordura overlay facings, elastic bands, ladder-lock adjustable straps, articulated knees and 9-inch boot zippers. The pants are machine washable and are available in khaki and olive in sizes XS-XL.

Badlands has redesigned its popular Superday Pack in response to consumer feedback. The pack now includes a rear batwing compression system for secure gear attachment, a new hip and belt-pocket design, a Molle system addition to the waist belt, a new internal pocket layout, a redesigned sternum strap and a vertical rear pocket for a small spotting scope. The packs are available in Realtree Xtra and Realtree Max-1 designs.

Easton Outfitters has introduced its all-purpose, hydration bladder-compatible Gamegetter backpack. Designed for “run and gun” turkey hunting, as well as treestand or ground-blind hunting, the Gamegetter is lightweight with a capacity of 1,700 cubic inches, and can handle a decent amount of weight. The pack is equipped with six internal and six external pockets, a rollaway rain cover and a removable tab light.

For the hunter who has lower back problems, Duluth Pack now has a supportive, all-day lumbar pack constructed with Mossy Oak Break-Up canvas. At 14 inches wide, 10 inches high and 6 inches deep, the pack has a capacity of 714 cubic inches, not including the pockets. It includes two top compression straps and dual water-bottle holders.

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Customers can now take their favorite outdoor patterns on the go
with Mossy Oak-patterned iPhone and iPad skins.

Game-Gathering Gadgetry

Few modern day hunters go to the field without a cell phone, or even a smart tablet. Hunting Skins has designed some attractive, high-definition hunting-themed cell phone and tablet covers featuring Mossy Oak patterns. The cases fit the iPhone 5/5s, iPhone 4/4s, Samsung Galaxy S4, iPad 2/3 and iPad Mini.

Another useful high-tech product for hunters is the wind meter, and Caldwell Shooting Supplies has introduced its CrossWind Professional Wind Meter. It allows hunters to more accurately judge shot placement in varying wind conditions. The Crosswind features a 90-degree rotating anemometer head, eliminating the need for angle calculations. The meter reads current wind speed, average wind speed, max wind gust, temperature and even density altitude, altitude or barometric pressure. It operates on one CR2032 battery and includes a holster.

Sometimes the most innovative hunting product is not so much high-tech as it is highly creative. Such is the case with Hard Core’s new full-body snow geese decoys. Hard Core boasts that its decoy is the most realistic on the market. The company’s Tru-Motion base creates movement in the slightest breeze, and Armor-Coated paint provides for a long-lasting, realistic-looking decoy.

Hunter Must-Have

Finally, the well-heeled hunter or huntress can bring the outdoors right inside their favorite room with Mossy Oak-patterned furniture protectors from Jeffrey Fabrics. Your customers can recount their far-fetched hunting tales, plan their next hunt or snack on their own jerky while seated in an outdoor-themed easy chair at the end of a long day in the field.
By Greg Staunton

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