For several years I have been reporting to you the products I’ve used on my hunts. Here are some the products I used this year and what a year it was; I was fortunate to harvest four Pope & Young Club record book animals – coues deer, antelope, Canada moose and Rocky Mountain elk. But that’s enough about me, I’ll write the stories about these hunts later. Now for the products.
RAZOR TRICK BROADHEADS
The Razor Tricks are made by the company that brought us the Slick Tricks. It has all steel construction and is available in 100 and 125 grains. The cutting surface is 1 1/8″. The blades are .040″ thick and razor sharp, I mean really sharp. I like the cut on contact feature since I don’t use a lot of poundage in my bow, only 55 pounds to be exact. They fly like darts and cut massive holes making blood trailing a little easier. Razor Tricks held up well on the moose and elk I shot. They are a great head and worthy of a look when you shop for broadheads. Price – $29.00 for three. www.slicktrick.net
NAP BLOOD RUNNERS
New Archery Products is always coming out with something new and this year was no exception. The Blood Runner is a unique 100 grain broadhead in that it is a fixed blade with expandable features. In the closed position, the .035″ blades cut a 1″ hole. That’s assuming the blades don’t open properly. When deployed they cut a 1 ½’ hole. So if you’re skeptical about mechanicals you don’t have to worry about something going wrong; either way you are going to have a functioning broadhead. The factory sharpening is excellent; they are ready to use out of the package. NAP will send you practice heads, if you ask, so you can see how they fly before you hunt. I didn’t have any flight problems with them and was pleased with their performance in the field. I liked them and I’ll bet you will too. Price – $39.99 for a package of three. www.newarchery.com/
GOLD TIP ARROWS
In 1990 Gold Tip pioneered the first carbon graphite arrow shafts and have steadily improved them ever since. They proudly claim they make the toughest arrows on the market. I can’t attest to that but I will vouch for them being tough. They performed well even on elk and moose.
I used the Pro Hunter 55-75 shafts which has straightness tolerances of +/-.001″ and weight tolerances of +/-.05 grains; that’s pretty tight. The bottom line is that you don’t have a few “bad” arrows in your quiver; they’re all good. The weight of the 55/75 is 8.2 grains per inch. It’s an excellent arrow that should be in your quiver. Cost – MSRP $135 a dozen for the Pro Hunter shafts. www.goldtip.com
VANE TEC HP VANES
Another change I made this year involved the vanes on my arrows. I used the Vane Tec HP (high profile) 2″ vanes for target shooting and hunting. No problems were encountered. They adhered well to my shafts and stabilized my arrows with broadheads and field points. The vanes are tough and yet flexible. For about $9-10 per 100 pack they are a good buy. www.vmaxvanes.com
CARTER RX-2 RELEASE
For years I’ve used caliper releases and stayed away from the hook types for fear they would somehow slip off the string. I heard about the Carter RX-2 and decided I had to give it a try; I’m glad I did.
The RX-2 features a magnetic hook return that automatically closes with a simple squeeze of the finger. This unique self closing, open hook design allows you to quickly reset the release by squeezing the trigger and you’re ready for a quick second shot. If you’re like me, you may have trouble putting a caliper release on your loop during low light conditions. I found it easier to attach the release to the loop with the RX-2. Perhaps you don’t like the feel of the trigger using just the magnet which comes with the release; then you can use one of three springs provided to get the trigger tension to you desire. The trigger travel can also be adjusted.
The RX-2 comes with a fully adjustable leather buckle strap made by Scott. Suggested retail is $147.99. www.carterenterprises.com
NEW DAWN OUTDOORS
New Dawn Outdoors is located in South Carolina. They have quietly been making archery products for many years. They don’t spend a lot of money for TV ads; they just make quality products for reasonable prices. This year I tried several of their products.
The Vortxx quivers initially caught my eye. I had to try both the Vortxx 4 STX and the Vortxx 6 STX. These quivers have machined aluminum mounts and the center shaft is spiral wrapped with plastic for silence and sound dampening. The quiver hood is covered with a cushioned cloth material making it quiet if you accidentally strike it with an arrow or brush.
The Vortxx 6 STX has a unique rotating locking mechanism that keeps arrows securely in place and turns to release one arrow at a time. There’s not much chance of knocking an arrow loose with this quiver. The quiver can be moved up or down on the shaft to get the balance you want with it’s weight. The Vortxx 4 is smaller, lighter weight, lower profile and doesn’t have the locking mechanism.
These quivers are tough and can take whatever you put them through. I’m sold on them. Cost – about $40-50 depending on the model. They are available at most of the mail order stores.
New Dawn also makes some tough quiver and bow holders. I’ve had trouble with bow holders in the past not holding up but that wasn’t the case with their products. They worked as advertised.
EAGLE SEED COMPANY
I’m like a lot of you; I’m into planting food plots. It’s nearly as much fun as hunting. I only do about 10 acres of plots broken down into three areas. I try to have a different crop in each field so I can offer a buffet to the deer and turkeys that visit my farm. There are thousands of acres of corn near my farm and I wanted to offer something different that stayed green in the fall after the corn had been cut. On one plot I have clover and another alfalfa and I needed something different for the third field. I had heard and read about Eagle Seed Company and decided to check it out.
Eagle has developed soybeans especially designed for wildlife. Their goal was to offer a product with good nutrition with Roundup Ready features and resilience to heavy browsing by deer. Well, they did it. The plants grow to enormous size, much bigger than normal soybeans. I’m talking about plants that are at least as high as your waist. The beans grow so tall that deer like to bed down in them. The best part is that they continue to grow even as the deer try to eat them down to the ground. They bounce back and regrow. The leaf size is huge compared to regular soybeans. And the feature I liked the best, they stayed green longer than regular beans. The bottom line is I was able to feed the deer a nutritious product that lasted through the archery season.
I used a mixture of the Large Lad and Wildlife Manager’s Mix and both did exceptionally well. If your local seed dealer doesn’t offer them, you can contact them via their website. Prices vary depending on the seed you order.
ARCTIC CAT PROWLER
After some sweet talking to my wife about how important and useful it would be to have a UTV for our farm, I ordered an Arctic Cat Prowler. I’m glad I did.
This Minnesota company has been manufacturing ATVs, UTVs and snowmobiles for quite some time, nearly 50 years. The quality of their products has improved with each passing year. They are always striving to offer bigger and better products and the XTX 700 is proof they are getting the job done.
I’ll try to summarize some of the things I like about my machine. The 695cc liquid cooled EFI engine has plenty of power to do anything you want in farming or getting to your hunting site. You can use it to work your food plots, haul equipment or your game in the spacious cargo bed. And it’s great to drive and just have fun.
You can switch from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive on the fly with a push of a button. If the going is tough, you can activate the front differential lock for more traction. I put a winch on the front of my Prowler but haven’t had to use it.
A tilt steering wheel allows easy adjustment for driver preference. The 600 pound cargo bed will handle anything you might want to put in it. The bed easily releases and tilts to unload your cargo. The tilt up hood has plenty of storage space for ropes, chains or other gear I want to keep with me at all times. The 14″ tires provide 10″ of ground clearance. The undercarriage is completely covered by skid plates. If needed I can tow a 1500 pound trailer.
The bottom line is the Prowler is a tough, reliable machine you will enjoy whether it’s for work or play. A little pricey but well worth it. Cost about $11,500 depending on the accessories you might want to add.
In 2008 I obtained some chunks of Trophy Rock (“TR”) for my hunting property. I promised TR I wouldn’t comment on it until I had used it for two years. The time is up and I want to give you the good news.
Trophy Rock in case you haven’t heard of it is literally an all natural mineral rock. The product is intended to add natural mineral to a deer’s diet and, in turn, serve as an attractant during hunting season. What’s in it? Naturally formed mineral beneficial to deer.
Some of the components include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and sulfur which are macro nutrients and are needed in large amounts in a deer’s diet. The other micro mineral nutrients in TR are also very important in order for deer to function properly. Interestingly, deer can only process these micro minerals in small amounts. In bigger volumes these minerals become toxic to the deer.
Trophy Rock contains over 50 minerals (some are in trace amounts) including all those listed above that will provide balance to an animal’s diet. Trophy Rock is highly palatable to wildlife and particularly to whitetail deer. As indicated, these minerals are not just beneficial, they are crucial to deer health. Additionally, Trophy Rock is an all-natural product.
The Rock comes in chunks weighing about 12 and 20 pounds. You simply find a spot you would like deer to visit, perhaps near a favorite tree stand, place a trail camera nearby and see what happens. You’ll be able to see the deer that visit your hunting spot. I put it out for the spring, summer and fall. I didn’t use it during the winter due to my absence from the farm.
Does it attract deer? You bet. As a test, I placed some TR about 10′ from a commercial cow salt block. One day two does came by, stopping briefly at the cow salt and then at the TR. They started to walk away and then came back to the TR and stayed a while. It’s fair to say they liked the taste and didn’t want to leave.
I like the idea of being able to provide natural mineral nutrients to the deer while drawing them to my hunting area. I read a lot of websites and have not heard one bad word about this product; just praise. That should tell you something.
I promise you’ll like the results if you try it. Available in most sporting goods stores – cost about $15 for the 12 lb. rock and $20 for the 20 lb. rock.
SEE YOU NEXT YEAR
Well that’s it for this year. It was a great year and a crazy year. The whitetails were especially tough to hunt. The rain kept farmers from cutting their corn and hunting was different for sure. We’ll get the big one next year or at least keep trying. I hope this review helps you in selecting gear for future hunts. See you in the woods.