PRODUCT EVALUATION REPORTS

PRODUCT EVALUATION REPORTS is an ongoing column written by bowhunters on specific new products. This column will give you the low down on that new product from a bowhunter's point of view. Do these products perform like they say? Are they easy to use? Do they hold up? Are they really worth what they cost?


| Elimbinator SawFine-Line Pick-A-Peep | CarboMasK | Fine-Line Ultra-Glo Fiber Optic Pin Sight | Pro Release Pro Roller | Pro Ears  | Rope Ratchet | Loc-On High Style Treestand | Rocky Mountain Ti 100 Titanium Broadhead | Deer Herd In A Bottle | Golden Key Deadhead 100 | Fine-Line "Hunter" Quiver |



Subject: E'LIMB'INATOR SAW From BRACKLYNN Products

Elimbinator Trail Saw from BRACKLYNN ProductsBy David C. Conrad Field Evaluator

Have you ever heard the term "Like a hot knife through butter". That phrase comes to mind when using the E'limb'inator saw from Bracklynn Products. This Tuscaloosa, Alabama company has produced a very effective folding saw that can handle a multitude of jobs around the house or on your next hunting trip. I took it out back, picked out a nice limb and went to work. This thing cut so clean and so fast I couldn't believe my own eyes. So I trimmed every branch I could find that needed trimming. This saw is nothing short of incredible.

Bracklynn starts with a very unique blade design that is tapered from top to bottom. As every man knows, normal saws must have off-set teeth to eliminate binding as the saw cuts. Because of the off-set teeth these saws cuts a larger path, removing more material making it a slower operation. By tapering the blade the E'limb'inator features razor sharp teeth that are honed on both sides and are positioned in a straight, narrow line. These features allow for a faster cut while also allowing you to cut in both directions while maintaining a smooth non-binding cut. On other saws I have used in the past it is sometimes hard to start a cut because you have to pull the saw in one direction. If you try sawing back and forth too soon the blade sometimes binds causing it to jump out of the cut. On the
E'limb'inator, since the blades are sharpened on both sides, you can start cutting in both directions immediately. The saw is also lightweight and very maneuverable. Combine this with the fast cutting action and the fatigue factor is reduced on larger cuts.

Safety is also a major design feature built into the saw. When ready for use a handle lock must be opened before the blade can be extended. Once the blade is fully extended the lock engages eliminating the blade from accidentally closing while in use. The handle itself is made from a rugged and very durable plastic. It can take the punishment of being dropped or taking very hard tumbles onto rocks or other surfaces. When closed the handle protects and secures the blade properly in place.

My brother-in-law borrowed the E'limb'inator for a couple of days and immediately wanted one for his own. His spring pruning went a lot easier this year. He especially liked the fact that the saw was compact and could be carried around in his back pocket. He praised it's performance. He could pull the saw out, make the cuts cleanly, replace it and have his hands free for clean-up in no time. Actually I had a hard time getting it away from him so I could finish
this evaluation.

PO-poor, AVG-average, EX-excellent

Sharpness ­ EX

The blades were razor sharp. I felt like a tree surgeon with a very sharp scalpel. Due to the design this saw will easily knock about ½ the time of a usual saw.

Quality ­ EX

This is a quality piece of equipment that should be a necessity in every outdoorsman's backpack.

Durability ­ EX

The handle is made of a very durable hard plastic. The blade was put to the test on many different types of wood and even bone and kept it's razor sharp edge.

Handle/Comfort ­ EX

The handle could have used more defined grooves for your fingers. If sawing in a wet environment a more defined grip could have helped.

Enhancements
If I could add one thing to the E'limb'inator it would be an attachment for an extension. When bowhunting, limbs just out of your reach need to be trimmed. Having the ability of attaching a sturdy stick and extending your reach would be a very welcomed feature.

Recommendations
I would run, not walk, down to your local Pro Shop or Hardware, Garden, Home Depot etc. If they don't have this product in stock tell them to order it. You may also want to order it through Bowhunting.Net. This is one product that really delivers.

| BRACKLYNN Products Web Site | Email Bracklynn |


Subject: FINE-LINE "PICK-A-PEEP"
by Roy Charbonnet

FINE-LINE Pick-A-PeepBeing a hard-core bowhunter for the last 15 years, I was very familiar with the FINE-LINE Products. I used the original 'ZERO' Peep and the FINE-LINE sights for many years. With the Original 'ZERO' Peep it was fine for target shooting, but didn't let enough light in for hunting conditions, so I would drill out the center and make the hole bigger. FINE-LINE solved the problem with the 'Pick-A-Peep'. The new 'Pick-A-Peep' comes with a large, 1/8" Aperture and two insert Slides. The Hunter Slide has three apertures to choose from, the .050, .065 and .080. The Target Slide also has three apertures only these are smaller diameters of .030, .045 and .060 for target applications.

The idea here is that the shooter can customize the Peep for the particular shooting that is being done. When hunting, and when greater light gathering through the peep is necessary, one has really four choices. The Hunter Slide has the three larger apertures and also by leaving the Slide out and using just the 1/8" aperture in the Peep body. If the light increases or our shooter decides to do some tack driving, target practise there is no need to change Peeps, just replace the Hunter Slide with smaller aperture Target Slide.

Each Slide is designed to easily slide in to a special groove in the Peep body where it snaps in place. The Slides are simple to remove but will not shoot out.

The 'Pick-A-Peep', like all the FINE-LINE Peep Sights are Self-Aligning so you never have to worry about a misaligned peep messing up your shot. The 'Pick-A-Peep' features a large anchor post, some super tough tubing and a Cable Key which connects the tubing to the cable. FINE-LINE is the only Self-Aligning Peep system which has gone to the expense to offer a Cable Key. The other companies expect you to just tie the free end of the tubing to the cable. It's a minor detail but shows why FINE-LINE has been the leader since they invented the Self-Aligning Peep. Other nice features of the 'Pick-A-Peep' that helps make it so good are the deeper string grooves which easily hold 16 strand strings and the hood which gives just the right amount of shading to keep the aperture dark.

Rating 1 - 5 (1 being very poor, 5 being very good)

Construction .............................. 4
The item is injection molded from a tough plastic that will probably outlast your bow. Each part fits together as one would expect. The interior of the aperture appears to be a matte finish which adds to the Peep's ability to pick up light. The rubber tubing is of the surgical quality with an elasticity of 700% making it strong and long lasting. Replacing the tubing would be a simple 1 minute procedure but I would estimate two or three years use before replacement would be necessary. The Cable Key or Clip is a nice touch and the fit is tight.

Adjustability ............................... 5
Installing the Peep requires a strand splitter and you're in business. I use dental floss to serve the Peep in. Everything goes together without much fuss. The Slides are simple to install as they merely slide into a trough in the Peep body where they lock in place. To remove you just use your fingernail to lift the edge and pull out.

Peep Aliment ............................... 5
The main point to any and all FINE-LINE Peep Sights is the fact that they rotate at draw for perfect Peep/eye alignment. The 'Pick-A-Peep' does just what it is supposed to do. When you draw the bow the surgical tubing tightens and holds the Peep in line. You never have to worry if your Peep is going to rotate properly, it always does.

Conclusion; FINE-LINE invented the Self-Aligning Peep Sight. The 'Pick-A-Peep' takes that feature and adds to it 7 differant size apertures so you can choose the right one for what ever shooting situation you may find yourself in. I like having that ability and I like having it in such an easy to use package. I think the peep is an extremly important part of my equipment. The FINE-LINE 'Pick-A-Peep' just made it more valuable. . . . . Roy Charbonnet

| FINE-LINE Web Site | Email FINE-LINE |


Subject: CarboMasKtm
Camouflage Face Paint from Hutton Labratories
by Lou Milanesi, PhD

One of the first products sent to me for evaluation by Rich Walton was CarboMasK camo face paint from Hutton Labs Inc. Each package of CarboMasK contains two one ounce tubes of the product. My sample included one tube of green camo and one tube of black camo, however, the product also is offered in a combination of black and gray colors. Suggested retail price for these two tube packages is $7.99 (plus 3% sales tax for Colorado orders). CarboMasK may be ordered direct from HUTTON LABS, Inc. 10700 E. Dartmouth Ave. #E304, Denver, CO, 80014. Email: carbomask@bowhunting.net.

I have not been a big fan of camo face paint so I wasn’t immediately impressed by Hutton Labs contribution to bowhunting equipment. I began using face camouflage in the military with the Viet Nam era camo sticks. Next came the creams in tubes and make-up kits, these were followed by powders applied with sponges. Most of these first generation products were difficult to apply, and they all were difficult to remove at the end of the day. Furthermore, they all tended to be uncomfortable when used. The creams and sticks blocked my skin pores and the powders often made me sneeze. Returning to camp exhausted at the end of a day, one was faced with the difficult chore of scrubbing off these camo materials to feel somewhat clean. I soon reverted to camo face masks to avoid this chronic discomfort, and was forced to tolerate fogged eye glasses instead.

Knowing I was going to be working around the house all day, I applied Carbomask to one half of my face. Application of the product was simple and quick. The water-based gel goes on smoothly and can be applied in thin "washes" or with heavier coverage if desired. The applied camo quickly dries to a flat, non-reflective skin cover. Once dry, Carbomask allows the skin to breathe and the activated charcoal in the gel absorbs excess skin oils.

I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable my skin felt with Carbomask applied to it. I did not notice an appreciable difference between the side of my face that was covered with the camouflage and the side of my face that was uncovered. In fact, I quickly forgot I was wearing Carbomask as I got involved with my other chores around the house. Fortunately, I paid a quick visit to the bathroom before I headed off to the store later that afternoon, where I was quickly reminded of my experiment by the face I saw in the mirror.

The next pleasant revelation about Carbomask came when I tried to remove the camo from my face. I decided to use only a paper towel and cold water to simulate conditions in camp. Clean up was a snap. Carbomask’s water-based formula was easily removed by wetting with the dampened towel and rubbing clean. The product required soaking to remove so it should hold up adequately when the wearer perspires, however, heavy rain might cause the camo to wash off exposed areas.

Based on my test of Carbomask, I give it the following scores on a scale of 1 (= "very poor") to 5 (= "very good").

The advertising folks at Hutton labs tend to talk about the contributions Carbomask makes to healthy skin and scent control. I can’t comment on the skin care advantages of the product because I’m not a dermatologist, however it sure felt good on my skin. Regarding scent control, Carbomask’s activated charcoal may reduce, or even eliminate, scent from the covered areas of the body. While the face, neck and hands represent a small percent of the body surface it is important and as such is a good selling point. I like the idea of being scent free but I feel the most practical advantages the product has to offer is the quick and simple application, comfort, and remarkably easy clean up. I’d also suggest that Hutton labs consider offering Carbomask in a package that includes all three colors, thus, allowing the hunter more choices to fit varying conditions in the field. However, this is more for the hunter as deer don’t actually see the color differences anyway.

To sum up, I was pleasantly surprised when I tried Carbomask. It is both efficient and comfortable and offers something no other camo offers, scent control. It costs a little more than other camouflage products, but, to me, it is definitely worth the small additional cost for the practical advantages I described above.

| CarboMasK web site | email CarboMasK |


SUBJECT: Fine-Line Ultra-Glo Fiber Optic Pin Sight
by Rich Pedersen

FINE-LINE Ultra Glo Riber Opeic Pin SightThis is the second product from Fine-Line that I have evaluated. It is also the second time that this company has impressed me with the quality of its products, products which keep the promises made for them.

The 'Ultra-Glo' sight is one of a line of fiber-optic sights produced for the archery market and one of two manufactured by FINE-LINE. This particular model is a Sight Pin model, differing from their original Crosshair Fiber Optic model. This model, simply called the 'ULTRA-GLO' Fiber Optic Bow Sight seems targeted directly at the 3D and hunting market since it is extremely tough and features the smallest dia. pins available. Unlike most of the fiber optic sights I have seen that feature larger tips that would cover too much of the target, this sight encases the small, .019 dia fiber optic wires in a stainless steel sight pin that itself is only .030 dia. This is a small, bright tip that will not cover the target you are aiming at.

The fiber optics are channeled into a plastic bundle that protects each fiber in special groove that runs along the Sight Bar. this not only protects the wires but provides ample area for light gathering. this is important since both FINE-LINE Fiber Optic Sights work on ambient or available light. There are no lights or batteries to mess with.

FINE-LINE Ultra Glow Fiber Optic Pin SightEach pin is housed in an aluminum Pin Guard which protects the pins. Each pin is adjustable for independent elevation and sit in one of two slots for close stacking.

The sight is easily adjusted for windage by moving the two lock nuts that attach the sight to the Sight Bracket. A dove tail mount connects everything to the bow. This sight is easy to mount and a breeze to set-up. The Fiber Optic pins make for quick sighting and provide a nice, clean aiming dot.

It is the only fiber-optic sight I have ever used, so I cannot compare it against other manufacturers' similar sights, but I will say the 'Ultra-Glo' did what it was supposed to do so well that I am sold on the fiber-optic concept and am convinced that anything from Fine-Line is worth a serious look by any hunter looking for quality gear. I will also say that it has measurably improved my shooting consistency, which ought to be testimony enough for any sight. FINE-LINE Web Site

POINT RATINGS (1= poor, 5 = excellent)

NOTES & COMMENTS:
  1. Assembling the Ultra-Glo was a process of only minutes. Everything fit together as it was supposed to. The only thing to watch for is when removing the unit from the package. The Sight Block and Guard is shipped attached to the Sight Bracket/Rod by only the bundle of optical fibers in a plastic sleeve. Remove the whole sight carefully from the package so as to avoid having to re-thread the cable into the sleeve.
  2. AMO standard is what they claim and deliver. The Ultra-Glo attached to my two-year old Hoyt USA bow with not even a millimeter's force required or play in the hole alignments.
  3. When adjusting the pins on the sight, you first loosen them with a hex wrench, move them as needed, then reverse the process by hand tightening, then firm up with the wrench. The only problem is that the way the pins are arranged in the Sight Block makes the finger adjustment a bit tricky for someone with thick fingers. It would be next to impossible in gloves, so don't plan on sighting-in on a cold day at the outdoor range.
  4. Once the side lock nut is in place the Brass Nut is tightened to keep everything from moving. Once you have it tight you may give it one more tweak by inserting a hex wrench into the drilled holes in each Brass Nut.
  5. The improvement in my ability to spot and remain on target with the point of light as opposed to a simple brass bead on my old sight was absolutely incredible. I was amazed at how crisp and bright the aiming point was. Whether in bright light or dim, the red, green, or yellow spot was clear and sharp, allowing me to pay more attention to my target, and thus hit it more consistently.
  6. The black aluminum guard appears more than up to the task of protecting the delicate pins from brush, limbs, even an accidental dropping.
BEST FEATURE OF THE PRODUCT: Without doubt, the tiny points of light you place over your target are what sell this sight. Especially if you hunt a lot in low-light conditions, (and who doesn't?) . This is one fantastic bow sight and I highly recommend it.

SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS: By necessity the optic wires must leave the bundle sleeve to go into each Sight Pin. You have to be careful not to snag them at this point or they may be broken or pulled out of the pin or sleeve. The good point is, all optic wires are replaceable. FINE-LINE Web Site


Subject: the Pro Roller from Pro Release

Pro Release by PRO ROLLERBeing a target shooter using a rope style release, I was very skeptical about a caliper release having the response and shootability of a rope, and doing so without damaging the string serving. The Pro Roller lives up to its claims of fast and smooth. The adjustable trigger travel and the adjustable wrist strap make it an excellent hunting and target release. The craftsmanship of the Pro Roller is first class, ensuring a long dependable life. The quality machining of the rollers is second to none also ensuring incredible smoothness while making it easy on servings.

The Pro Roller is the only Release Aid manufactured using Roller Bearings in the tips of the Release Jaws. What occurs during the shot is, as the trigger is squeezed, the jaws open, as in all other release aids. The bearings however rotate as the shot happens so the string rolls out rather than slips off the holding mechanism. The result is a smoother, faster release of string with less serving wear. The Pro Roller is the smoothest Release I have ever shot. The Pro Roller will be a favorite for 3D shooters and bowhunters alike due to it's easy adjustment features, it smooth operation, speed and tender touch on string serving.

POINT RATINGS (1= poor, 5 = excellent)

Note A
The stap system was very easy to adjust to fit my hand and finger, however I did have to re-adjust the wrist strap a few times during break in as it stretched out during shooting. A minor problem.
Note B
The roller system was very gentle on the serving, and with the Allen screw adjustment for trigger travel it was no problem to set for my shooting preferences and sensitivity. You do need to be aware when adjusting trigger travel as it doesn't require much of a turn to adjust and it is possible to turn the screw too far so the jaws do not hold. (this is good way to hit yourself in the mouth when you draw the bow back). If you like to shoot with a minimum of trigger pressure just be sure to adjust carefully, testing the trigger before you actually draw the bow. Improvements I would like to see a snap or stop of some sort on the length adjusting strap to keep it from stretching out during shooting sessions. Set a limit on the trigger travel adjustment screw to keep from being able to go too far so that the jaws will not hold.
Summary
This is an excellent Release that does live up to the claims of the manufacturer. It will make a great all- around release that you can use for hunting,on the target line or in the woods for 3D. It does this without damaging the string serving like most of the other caliper type Releases that are on the market today. If you like caliper type releases, or are in the market for a new one, this is the one to buy. PRO RELEASE Co. has been in business for a long time, is well respected and stands behind their products. This is the same company that introduced the first Ball Bearing Release Aid, the popular TROPHY HUNTER. I like the Pro Roller.

Subject: PRO EARS ‘PRO SLIM’ HUNTER ‘LE’

From: Dave Conrad

Pro EarsI will admit I was a little skeptical when I was advised by Rich Walton that my first Evaluation job would be for Electronic Hearing Protectors/Enhancers. My first thoughts were, ‘why would someone who only bowhunts need such a device’? Sure I thought, if you shoot firearms or work around loud, heavy machinery I could see getting these items but bowhunting is QUIET!

Well when the package containing the new PRO EARS ‘LE’ arrived I immediately skimmed the directions, slipped them on and headed for the woods. Upon settling in I first had to adjust the volume controls. Each individual headphone has its own on/off and volume control so each earpiece can be adjusted as needed. This also aids in ascertaining sound direction, an important function while hunting to determine where the sounds (game) are coming from.

When I turned the volume controls to the highest setting it would cause a static like noise which I immediately recognized as the background noise described in the manual. PRO EARS would pick up the slightest sound on this high setting but it was overkill, unnecessary and annoying after a while with the constant hiss. After adjusting the volume to a normal setting I sat back and listened. The first sound I discovered was a car far off in the distance approaching on a country road. I took off the PRO EARS but could no longer hear the car. Eventually I was able to detect the sound of the approaching car. I performed this sequence several times within the next half hour and was amazed at how well PRO EARS picked up far away sounds. On average it took between five and seven seconds after taking the PRO EARS off to recognize an approaching car. All sounds were enhanced but not too much to make them unrecognizable. With PRO EARS it would be possible to actually hear game approaching long before they actually were in sight. Also the wind did not seem to cause a problem at all when a sudden gust would blow.

The other main feature for PRO EARS was hearing protection. The system works to keep all hearing damaging sound vibrations from reaching the fragile hearing components of the ear. While all sounds are amplified, the system automatically controls the decibel level that is transferred to the ear. While other brands actually shut off or ‘clip’ loud noise, this new model, the ‘LE’ contains an advanced electronics that actually rounds off the high volume sounds to a safe 82 decibel level. So with the new ‘LE’ models you still hear these sounds, they are just kept at a safe level.

To find out how they worked with firearms I took to the shooting range. After several rounds of shooting clays I was equally impressed with their comfort and how they performed flawlessly as hearing protection. Each shot was heard, clearly but safely. I could easily hear people talking down range but when a loud report went off the PRO EARS instantly controlled the volume to my ears. It’s easy to see why PRO EARS have taken over the Pro Shooting market. They are incredibly comfortable, work as advertised and are tough made.

For most of us PRO EARS can work to save our hearing. For the bowhunter I would recommend PRO EARS if for nothing more than providing advanced warning of moving game. If I can get even a few seconds advanced notice that the deer are moving, then PRO EARS have given me a chance to prepare for the shot.

And when returning to the house, upon walking through the door, I immediately picked up the ticking of the wall clock.

Nice product.

Adjustments of the PRO EARS was fairly simple to guarantee a snug fit over the ears. Each earpiece has an adjustable extension band. The bands can either be pushed in or pulled out of the head brace, even while being worn. They are kept snug by soft and very comfortable, replaceable Sealing Rings that surrounds each earpiece. Not only are these units comfortable but they also serve to control sound vibrations that can cause damage to the hearing through the bones surrounding the ear canal. Another nice thing is they can also be worn with eye glasses. The only cumbersome adjustment on each earpiece is the volume controls. One side was firm while turning, which I preferred, while the other was loose. The controls are free floating whereas I believe a step adjustment would be preferable. This way the PRO EARS could not be mistakenly adjusted if bumped or brushed. A minor complaint at best. The battery life, noted as 400 hours minimum, seems to be excellent and far above the competition. The set I received came with the batteries installed and were working fine after several hours of use. PRO EARS take four "N" size batteries, which I was unfamiliar with. However most electronic stores seem to carry this type and you should have no problem finding them. The batteries, which install neatly behind a foam flap in the earpiece, were somewhat cumbersome to install at first because of their size but after practicing I had the procedure down in no time.

PRO EARS are manufactured mostly of a high impact plastic and seem to be able to take quite a jar. I sense them to be able to withstand being dropped to the ground without much problem. The only part that may come into question is a direct impact on the volume controls however, they are made of a hard plastic and secured with a brass screw so should not break easily.

One other feature I enjoyed while wearing the PRO EARS were they kept my ears warm and comfortable in the cold. I do not know if this is one of PRO EARS intended features but I am sure they will have no problem adding this to their long and impressive list of reasons to buy. I would recommend the PRO EARS MODEL ‘LE’ to anyone in the market looking for hearing enhancement and protection combined in a compact, well designed unit.

PRO EARS are manufactured by; RidgeLine, Inc, PO Box 30410, Phoenix, AZ 85046-0410 email at; proears@neta.com visit their internet site at www.neta.com/~proears.


Subject: THE ROPE RATCHET
From: Ric Anderson

 When  I opened  the package from Carolina North Manufacturing, which contained  several sizes of  Rope Ratchets,  my initial  thought was, what was going to be the best way for me to honestly test this  tie-down product. Since this opportunity was due to Bowhunting.Net,  I wanted to put the Rope Ratchets through their paces in a way associated with bowhunting, or at least in an outdoor-related manner.

The initial visual inspection showed American ingenuity at its best, in conjunction with high quality production.  All of the samples that I had been sent worked smooth and easily, not only in applying tension to the load, but also when it came time to releasing the pressure.

Since the Rope Ratchet is not something that every bowhunter is familiar with yet, I will take a moment and describe them.  Basically they are a unit that consists of a locking pulley with an attached hook and a smooth operating release button.  Running around ithe pulley unit is a length of strong rope with a hook attached to one end.  The size of  rope depends on the size of the pulley assembly, which in turn dictates the load strength of the unit.  The Rope Ratchet comes in various sizes, 1/8" rope, 1/4" rope and 3/8" rope.  They are very easy to use.  You just hook the rope to one object, the pulley to another object and pull on the loose end of the rope until the desired tension is achieved. The locking pulley holds that pressure until you easily release it simply by pushing the thumb operated release button.  There is no slipping,  no stretch and no knots to tie, very simple but very efficient.

I soon found several ways to use The Rope Ratchets around the house, doing everything from securing garbage cans for their trip to the landfill,  to holding down my snowblower in the back of  my pickup.  Still, I didn't have the opportunity to use them in a hunting situation, until November 22 ...........at 4:28PM to be exact.

Darkness was rapidly approaching. The 3 does were still 30 yards off to my left pawing through the snow feeding, and it was enjoyable standing in my treestand watching their antics. Still my eyes kept moving, hoping for some motion that would give away a bucks location as it came in to check out the scrape and the does. Suddenly he was there at 20 yards!  He had snuck in from behind me and to the right, moving cautiously, sampling  the wind. I am a right handed shooter and realized that I had to wait until he circled around me, before I could draw and release. Since the carpet on my stand was covered with a skiff of frozen snow, moving my feet was an impossiblity due to noise, so when the big 4x4 circled around and stepped into a shooting lane behind and to the left, I drew and released my Marriah longbow with my body in a twisted position.When the arrow struck home, slightly farther back than I wanted, the buck disappeared in a cloud of kicked up snow. Due to the fact that arrow placement was less than perfect, I decided to wait at least an hour before I started the tracking job. After forcing myself to calm down for 15 minutes, I climbed down and began the trek home to get my oldest son, Cory, to accompany me on the bucks trail. This decision also kept me busy so that the long wait before the tracking was to begin would be easier to deal with.

Due to the 2 feet of snow, it wasn't a long, hard tracking job.   We discovered the dead buck within 80 yards, laying on a steep hillside. Well, this was to be the first hunting test for the Ratchet system. Since the buck was laying on a slick, snowcovered hillside, it was an impossible chore to turn him with his hindquarters down hill and still keep him from sliding, so that the gutting process could be started. Simply by attaching  one end of  a  Rope Ratchet to his antlers and the other end to a small tree located above the buck, and pulling the rope tight, this problem was rectified. When the buck was on his back, another ratchet was hooked to a hindleg and stretched off to the side, thus making a difficult, challenging chore much easier.

When we got the animal home, hanging it was easily accomplished by attaching a 3/8" Rope Ratchet to the 200lb. bucks antlers and hoisting the whitetail to the ceiling of my shop.

I was honestly impressed with  Carolina North Manufacturing's product.  Even when we were finished on that snow covered hillside, the Rope Ratchets, although lying frozen in cold snow, released easily.  The quality is excellent.  Due to their light weight, I plan on carrying several in my hunting pack from now on. Rope Ratchet web site


Subject: Loc-On High Style Treestand
From: Rich Pedersen

SUMMARY

The Loc-On High Style is advertised as "so comfortable you'll never want to come down", so we know right from the start what the selling point of this treestand is. As a novice bowhunter, I can't claim vast experience in all the different models of stand out there, but I've hunted in several, with plywood seats, canvas seats, folding and fixed seats. The High Style is like your favorite armchair at home by comparison. Loc-On set out to redefine comfort for the tree climbing hunter, and succeeded beyond my expectations. I simply did not know it was possible to be so comfortable umpteen feet up a tree at dawn.

High Style by LOC-ONWith the comfort come stability and security. When you add in the High Style's ease of set-up and take-down, you have a stand you can rely on as well as relax in.

POINT RATINGS (1= poor, 5 = excellent)

NOTES AND COMMENTS:
  1. At 16.5 pounds, and with its large platform, the High Style is not exactly an insignificant load to carry, especially over any real distance. It does, however, fold flat for backpacking, so despite all you get with this stand, getting it where you want is not a problem.
  2. The High Style attaches to the tree in two steps. First, a seat-belt-like strap circles the tree and cinches tight. Folding down the platform levers the stand to a slight angle from the trunk, putting tension on the strap which ensures it stays tight. That's all there is to it. Once you get it to the desired height and position in the tree, you can be sitting in it in 2 minutes or less.
  3. Even in the wind, your seat and platform are secure. And at 300 pounds capacity, there is a large safety margin for any hunter and all of his or her gear.
  4. The seat folds up so completely you'd never know it was there, and every square inch of platform is available for your shooting stance.
  5. Check your boots for good grip on the platform. The simple painted grillwork was slippery with one set of footwear I wore for a test hunt on a day that was only slightly damp.
  6. The comfort of the High Style is terrific, as I mentioned above. The only drawback of the armrests is that in some shooting situations you have to be careful of snagging your bow string on the end of the rest. If it were possible to make them able to be individually raised, that would eliminate the problem. As it is, you just have to be aware of the position of your bow relative to the armrest prior to drawing for a shot.
ADDITIONAL COMMENT

I want to mention one other point not addressed at all in promoting the High Style. Because it is so well made, it is a good first stand for beginning hunters, and is ideal for introducing tree stand hunting to your children. The platform size, and the overall stability and comfort all work to calm the nerves that children are likely to feel even when they are only 4 feet off the ground.

SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS:

  1. Roughen the surface of the platform for more secure footing.
  2. Enable the armrests to be raised individually, independent of the seat.
LOC-ON web site
Subject: Rocky Mountain Ti 100 Titanium Broadhead
From: Rich Pedersen
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 10:50:26 EST

Titanium 100 BroadheadThe new Rocky Mountain Titanium 100TM broadheads from Barrie Archery are being promoted as the new standard in toughness for broadheads. They are very strong, indeed, but there is more to quality in a broadhead than just toughness.

For example, how difficult are they to tune to your particular setup? How do they fly? Are they quiet? Do the parts all stay together on impact?

Well, the Ti-100 measures up in all of these areas, too. The Ti-100 promises to be one of your more expensive broadheads, after all, it is machined from a solid block of titanium a metal that is 10 times stronger than the aircraft aluminum used in other broadheads, but with its smooth flight, superior sharpness, and incredible strength, it will be worth every penny.

POINT RATINGS (1= poor, 5 = good)

Notes & Comments:
1. The collar which holds the bottom end of the blades is not self locking. It took 3 tries to figure out how to hold the whole assembly to get it screwed onto my arrow shafts without something coming loose. Once I got it figured out, things proceeded smoothly.
2. The head was incredibly easy to tune to my setup (Hoyt USA compound pulling 55# @ 28", Easton XX75 2018's). Even though the test sample was a 100 gr. and I usually shoot 125's, the work involved in tuning for the lighter head was minimal. The consistency in flight of the Ti-100 was truly impressive. Tight groupings were easy to achieve with little fuss.
3. The blades and the point were so sharp I was afraid of them. 'Nuff said.
4. Durability is the issue on which the Ti-100 will either succeed or fail. I'm betting on success. One day I shot the Ti-100 broadhead and one of my other heads into rocky soil from 15 feet up a tree and 15 yards downrange. (OK, I tried to shoot them through deer before they reached the rocky soil, but that's another, sadder story.) The comparison in damage done to the two heads was incredible. My old one was almost totally mangled. Not only were the blades chipped in several places, but the point was bent, and had no sharpness left to it. The Ti-100, however, came out clean. There was one tiny chip on one part of the ferrule tip and that was all. The blades looked almost new, though they were not, of course, as sharp as they had been.. The whole thing cleaned up easily, and with a new set of blades was ready to go again. You could resharpen the blades to save money.

BEST FEATURE OF THE PRODUCT: Hard to say, actually. Toughness and durability are the Ti-100's top selling points but it is a fine broadhead in many other important ways. The head is incredibly tough but I was also impressed with how well it flew and how quiet it was for a head with 3 vented blades. The Ti-100 is one broadhead that may just outlast your bow. It's that tough. Barrie Archery web site.

SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS:
1. Once the head is secured to the shaft everything is locked in place but I would opt for a locking collar to make it easier to install the head so you don't have to concentrate on keeping the blades in place as you screw the head onto a shaft. 


Subject: Deer Herd In A Bottle (Snake Creek Wilderness)
From: Don Beckwith

Deer Herd In A Bottle from Snake Creek WildernessThe first time out with "Deer Herd in a Bottle", (early October) the wind was out of the South at 5-10 MPH with a temperature of 75 degrees. I was in Corryell County, Texas. I sprinkled the product on some weeds 10 yards south of my treestand, in the feeding area (acorns) and close to a trail. "Deer Herd in A Bottle" had no adverse effect on Does or Bucks. They both milled all around the product while feeding. One thing I did notice on several different occasions, which was interesting was that the deer seemed to have the urge to go to the bathroom while close to the product.
After seeing the Doe, Buck activity with the scent, I decided to try some "Ruttin Does in a Bottle". Because of my success with "Deer Herd in A Bottle" I put both scents out in different places nearby my stand location. This was a mistake. The Does were spooked by the "Ruttin Does in a Bottle". It is my feeling that early October was too early in the season to use the Ruttin’ product.
I continued to use "Deer Herd in a Bottle" at this location and two others stand sites numerous times with similar results. I believe it gives the mature deer a feeling of security while in the area.
On October 25th of this year I hunted in Montgomery County, Indiana, which is a totally different type of hunting than Texas. We hunt trails rather than feeding areas. I used "Deer Herd in a Bottle" in the same manner as I did in Texas and had the exact same results. The deer stopped their travel and milled in the area. While I sat in my stand in Indiana, I observed 63 deer in the area of the product.
The 26th I used "Ruttin Does in a Bottle" under a licking branch. I also dropped some on the tips of my boots when I walked to the stand. The wind was out of the south, so I approached the area from the north. I went by the stand 14 yards to the licking tree and put my scent down and then left my bottle of "Ruttin Does in a Bottle" at the base of my tree. I rattled shortly after daylight and immediately saw movement to the south. A big 7-point Buck circled me and whan he came to my back trail he came in smelling my trail right to the base of my tree. Then he went to the licking tree and smelled the ground at the exact place I put the scent. He was a nice buck but I wanted one with more points. This buck stayed closeby for 20 minutes or so and then went back to where I first saw him. I had excellent results from "Deer Herd In A Bottle." It preformed above my expectations. I recommend it to any whitetail hunter. It attracts deer and puts them at ease.  Snake Creek Wilderness home page


Subject: Golden Key Deadhead 100
From: Arlan Beckman

Golden Key Deadhead BroadheadJust got back from Mich today and here is the report on the deadhead 100. I didn't have any problem with tuning them they hit same spot as my field points. I did notice that if I would have had to change slots it may have been somewhat hard as the slot was filled with target material ( I have a Mckenzie 3D HD and a 21/2 D) They are somewhat tempermental putting together and do have to watch as not to cut yourself. I did have play on one of the three blades on 2 of the broadheads. The blades are extremly sharp and the point was great. I shot a 120 plus dressed doe and arrow went thru a rib bone on the near side and passed thru and buried itself in a log. The blades did not break it did bend one of them (the log did that) the section of the blades that did not go into wood were still quite sharp. The deer was down in 20 yards as the broadhead did its job on both lungs. The point held up great even after the log. I may have a concern in regards to the cutting diameter as there was not a big exit wound and most of the blood was from the mouth on a mraginal hit like if hit towards the back it may be alittle while before good blood trail starts as it would be on the fur on not alot to saturate and drip down at frist. (shot placement is as always the key) For the record I am shooting a Darton Wrangler at 60 lbs with 281/2 inch draw. I was shooting a 2213 xx78 Easton and getting 259fps. I will be changing over to a Carbon Impact arrow for the rest of the season. Did you want a report on the Deadhead with carbon? These broadheads are alot like the carbon spinner that Golden Key had. Overall I felt that it was a very good broadhead well made and durable and would recommend it to anyone. Golden Key Futura home page.
Thank you, Arlan Beckman 


Subject: Fine-Line "Hunter" Quiver
From: rich.pedersen@juno.com (Rich Pedersen)

Rine LineHunter Bow QuiverHere is my evaluation of the Fine-Line "Hunter" quiver. I include a summary abstract, a 1-5 rating on two areas: some set criteria, and the claims made for the product in its advertising and packaging/point-of-sale promotion, and suggestions of ways in which the product could be improved. The ratings and comments are the first thing I did, closest to the actual testing and observing. The abstract and suggestions are the fruit of reflecting on the detailed data and my overall impression of the product, the kind of thing you would do internally if a friend asks you, "Well, is it any good?"

FINE-LINE "HUNTER" QUIVER EVALUATION Summary/Abstract
The Fine-Line "Hunter" bow quiver is a good product, based on a great idea, which does everything it claims to do. It is well-built; all the parts fit together perfectly. This not only makes for ease of installation, but ensures that the quiver holds arrows firmly and quietly in the field. The real genius of this quiver lies in the "nock bar" which captures the arrows at their bottom end for a secure and rattle-free hold. Not only are they held, the arrows are all lined up in proper nocking position. To take out an arrow, all you need to do is grasp the nock end, push up gently, then pull down. Knowing the nock position, you really can place arrow on string without looking down from your target. A quiver should hold your arrows securely, quietly, and readily available. The Fine-Line "Hunter" does all that, and does it well.

POINT RATINGS (1= poor, 5 = excellent)

Notes & comments:
  1. The ability to adjust the length is good, with only one reservation. Depending on the length of the broadhead tip, it may prove impossible to carry field points (for small game) in the quiver at the same time. I was unable to keep field points in while carrying arrows with 125 gr. Red Fury broadheads, which have a long, needle-like point ahead of the four cutting blades. Also, the need for a tool (Allen wrench, supplied) to change lengths should be rethought. See "Suggestions", below.
  2. If the user is not careful, removing an arrow from the Nock-Bar can make about the same noise as nocking one too quickly to the string. it is easy to avoid this mistake, but you have to be aware of it.
  3. The Nock-Bar is the best feature of this quiver. One day I took it out hunting, the weather was terrible and the deer were all hiding. We spent much of the day bouncing around the lease in a truck. My arrows were completely protected the whole day. Also, being gripped at the end means your arrows can't get caught on a tree limb or branch on the way up into or down from your stand.
  4. As claimed, you really _can_ take out an arrow and get it nocked and ready to draw, all without taking your eyes off your target.
  5. Mounting the quiver required re-mounting my sight, but I think now that that is a flaw in the design of the sight, not the quiver.
BEST FEATURE OF THE PRODUCT: see comment #3, above.

SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS:

  1. Replace the hex-hole screws used to adjust the length of the quiver with knurled-knob screws. This would reduce the number of tools you need to carry to camp by one, and would make the adjustment quicker, as well.
  2. Why the cloth camo sleeve? Would it not be easier (and longer-lasting) to simply give the aluminum bars a camo print, like the one on my arrows?
FINE-LINE home page
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