There was a chill in the air in the bluegrass state of Kentucky on the morning of January 7 2013. We were all standing in our gates as the snappy looking man in his red jacket and riding boots sounded the bugle. The doors were opened and we were off to see the new products, old friends and sponsors at the ATA show.
Jim and I had not been to the ATA show in several years due to one or the other of us having knee surgery but this year we were both mobile and ready to see the new and exciting products at the show.
Our first find was Maverick Blinds; we talked with owner Chad Stoll about them and were impressed with the 20 year warranty, the 75” height and the 5” or 6” diameter. They are extremely light and easy to transport and carry. They are also very affordable. www.maverickblinds.com
We talked with David Langston at Hunter Safety Systems, they have several new harnesses this year and I really like the elite series. Jim and I never hunt without them and think that every hunter should use some type of harness for safety. These new light weight systems leave no excuses for not wearing one when you hunt. www.huntersafetysystem.com
Excalibur Crossbows have a few new models in their arsenal as well. Bill and Kath Throubridge have been with us for many years sponsoring our women’s and children’s programs. This year they have introduced the new Matrix 380 and the Matrix 355. The Matrix 380 has 260 lbs of draw weight and a speed of 380 fps. It comes in Real Tree X-tra Camo. The Matrix 355 has a draw weight of 240lbs with a speed of 355. It also comes in Real Tree X-tra. We can not say enough about their quality craftsmanship and their dedication to the sport. www.excaliburcrossbow.com
It’s always a pleasure to talk with Dan Summers owner of Quality Archery Design and their entire crew. The Ultra Rest is the greatest arrow rest that we have ever shot. Jim and I have been using their products for years and have never had any problems or failures with their products. We would not think of putting anything else on our bows. This year they have added new mounting block to their rest so it can be custom fit to your brand of bow. www.qadinc.com
Carbon Express has a few new arrows in their corner this year. The Maxima Red, Mutiny, the Extreme and the Piledriver. Carbon Express always takes arrows to the next level of performance and accuracy and I know their new additions will be no different. www.carbonexpress.com
Filed Logic has a great line up of products this year as well. Sure-Loc Sights, Glen-Del Buck targets, the Block Target and many other products to complete every hunter and tournament shooters wish list. www.fieldlogic.com
We stopped by the Heartland Wildlife Institute booth and meet Chris Hartman. This past year Jim and I used their seed and feed on our hunting leases and the results were great! Jim harvested a nice 11 point whitetail buck and we know it was due to the Heartland Wildlife Institute products. www.heartlandwildlifeinstitue.com
Gorilla also has come out with two new restraint systems. The G-Tac Ghost and the G-Tac Air. These are light weight and easy to put on and easy to adjust. Again there is no reason that every hunter should not wear a system to keep them safe while in a tree stand. www.gorillatreestands.com
We talked with David Bloch, president of Outdoor Edge Knives and he showed us the new line up for the year. The quality of their knives is second to none. We have knives that we have used religiously for years and they never lose their edge and still look brand new. www.outdooredge.com
ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellant and Heated Insoles are two items we will not hunt without. This past hunting season is the first year we have used the heated insoles and they work as well as the mosquito repellant. I would leave my weapon at home before I would leave my ThermaCell products. www.thermacell.com
Danner Boot has too many new boots in their 2013 line up to name and Lacrosse Footwear has a great new addition the Areohead boot. Danner and Lacrosse boots have been our footwear choice for years. They offer all day comfort, gore-tex linings and they are waterproof boots. There is a style for every outdoor activity you can think of. From early season to harsh winter, their boots will not let you down in the field. www.danner.com www.lacrossefootwear.com
Leupold Sport Optics is the brand we have used for 3 years and their innovations never cease to amaze us. The quality and clarity of their products is impressive as well as price point. We talked with John Snodgrass and he showed us several of the new products for the year. www.leupold.com
2013 bring two new releases to the Tru-Ball line up. They have the new Fang and the Vlock Combo. Team Frady has been working and promoting Ben Summers and their team for many years and can say that they are the best release on the market as far as we are concerned. I have been shooting a Tru-Ball Copperhead for years and it is still shooting like it did when it was new. www.truball.com
Big and J offers a line of whitetail attractants and supplements. We would like to thank Aaron Keller, vice president of sales for his time and his information on this great line of products. www.bigandj.com
Gloves are a huge part of a hunter’s life and we would like to thank Brent Hollock of Manzella gloves for working with us over the years. They make the BowRanger gloves specifically for bowhunters. They also make a full line of gloves for women that really fit, feel great and come in all combinations for both men and women for all seasons. www.manzella.com
Game Plan Gear has a complete line of back packs for all your outdoor and hunting needs. They offer everything from full packs to fanny packs, bow and crossbow cases and accessories. No matter if your hunting deep timber for a week or a day trip to the field they offer what is right for you hunt. www.gameplangear.com
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Deer and dinosaurs and even zombies, these are just a few of the targets that we found at the Rinehart booth. Rinehart’s targets are our target of choice for all of our archery programs and for our personal use as well. Their targets not only last but make arrow removal easy. Check out their full line at www.rinehart3d.com
Protecting your archery and gun investment is a high priority on every hunters list. SKB’s line of cases is the premier cases on the market. Jim and I used our SKB cases on our Canada trip as well as our Alaska adventures this year. Our weapons were spot on upon arrival and the cases were unscathed through the airport. If you are looking for the last cases you will ever need to purchase go to www.skbcases.com
We stopped by to say hello to Wendy Clark at Last Chance Archery. Jim and I have been working with them for almost 2 years now and can’t say enough about the E-Z press bow press. Jim is a machinist and has never been more impressed. It is easy to use on bows and crossbows. We have the bench model and the great thing about it is we ordered an extra set of feet which we mounted in our enclosed hauler that we take to all of our archery events. In a matter of minutes it goes from our bench in the shop to being mounted in our hauler. This year they also have developed a new arrow fletcher, can’t wait to get this in the shop as well. Thank You Last Chance Archery for an awesome bow press. www.lastchancearchery.com
Game cameras have been on the market for years and have become a hunter’s best scouting device. This year we talked to Beth Lax at Cudde Back camera’s www.cuddeback.com to see their new line.
Stacey Smallwood, owner of Camo FX was at the booth and we had a chance to stop and talk with him. Jim doesn’t go to the woods without his camo FX. This year they have introduced the new Duck Blind Fade and they also have Mathews Lost Camo, Real Tree, Ground Blind Black, Sage Brush and Real Tree Tree AP to mention a few. They also have colors for all your football needs as well. www.camofx.com
The crew was all there at the Wildlife Research Center booth. As most of you know that read my articles I am a firm believer in Scent Killer products, we use their full line as well as their scent lures, drip bags and other products. Jim and I have been with them since the 90’s and can not say enough about Brian and John Burgess and Mike Griffith. They have sponsored our women’s and children archery programs since we began. These folks not only produce great products they are great people that truly care about the future of hunting and shooting sports. Jim and I are very proud to be a part of this team. www.wildlife.com
We also stopped and talked with Antonie Lotter from Dries Visser Safaris. Jim and I have Africa on our bucket list and we know that Dries Visser is one of the best outfitters in Africa that cater to bowhunters. www.dvisser-safaris.co.za Hopefully we will be going on an African safari in the next few years. We are trying to plan it while we are still young enough to run, lol.
At the Muzzy booth we stopped by to see Mark Land and Yvonne Sills. We have worked with them since the mid 90’s and it’s always great to see them and the new innovations they have created. www.muzzy.com
Jim and I always enjoy the ATA Show; it’s more a reunion for us than a show. Where else can you see your sponsors, celebrity hunters, new archery products and old friends?