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 productfrom 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?

BOW REPORTS | Groves Bows Magnum 2 Recurve Bow | DARTON Cyclone 3-D |
PRODUCT EVALUATIONS: | Golden Key-FuturA Master Hunter | Scent Killer Scent Control System | FINE-LINE Ultra-Glo Peep Sight | Wildlife Research - Breeze Detector | SightMaster  X/Celerator™ Bowsite |
| Thunderhead Pro Series | NAP QuikTune 1000 Pro Series Arrow Rest | ROLLAID from Pro Release | | Bracklynn GOBBLER | Golden Key ToughMan Arrow Rest |
PREVIOUS EVALUATIONS:
| Predator IV | Elimbinator Saw | Fine-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 |

GOLDEN KEY-FUTURA Master Hunter - by Dana R. Rogers

When I received the Master Hunter Arrow Rest from Golden Key Futura, I immediately liked the looks of it. I am familiar with the TM Hunter style that has made GKF such an industry leader the past decade.  Having shot a few of these types of Rests in the past I thought I knew exactly how to adjust and align its intricate components. The Master Hunter, for some reason came with no instructions so I was left to my own experience. Unfortunately I was unaware that the new Collar Stop System was NOT to be touched. I broke the Rest within 15 minutes!

Of course this was no fault of Golden Key. I called the manufacturer and they sent a brand new model complete with Instructions to me immediately. This time, armed with the proper know how I was ready and able to set this great Rest up.

After completely reading the instructions I had the Master Hunter properly aligned and shooting quite well in a matter of minutes.  I really like its adjustability and rugged design.  This Rest will accommodate any type of arrow and can slide back a considerable distance for those wanting to increase speed by decreasing arrow length.  It was very simple to adjust the forks for my extra fat 2512’s for my first run through the target range.  With a few more adjustments I was also running my Gold-Tip Graphite shafts through them as well.  The spring tension arm works great and can be set to many different levels of pressure.  The Master Hunter was very easy to adjust in every direction and can be fine-tuned with the use of the Allen wrenches included.

The Golden Key-Futura Master Hunter is the perfect Rest for the shooter who wants tunability along with durability and simplicity. The Master Hunter features the new 'Quick Adjust' Spring Tension System, new Collar Stop System, and new heavy duty, 'No Drill' Mounting Bar.   What more could you want?  The Master Hunter is available in black and camo.  Also an extra long version for bows with extra deep sight window cutouts is available from GKF. For the price it’s about as accurate as you can get.  I shot the second Robin Hood of my life while field testing this model!

Rating Scale: 1=Unsatisfactory, 2=Marginal, 3=Satisfactory, 4=Excellent, 5=Outstanding

Ease of Tuning……………5
Instructions………………..4
Design…………………….4
Durability…………………4
Value……………………..5
I admit that since switching to a Release a few years ago that I am partial to the Golden Key, TM Hunter style of  Rest.  However, that said, this is just one of the many fine styles of quality Arrow Rests that Golden Key manufacturers.  For the value minded archer who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money on a Rest but still wants to be able to consistently hit what he is aiming at, I think this is a pretty darn good choice.  I only have one suggestion to improve this particular model.  If there were a way to inexpensively enclose the Collar Stop system, it would add greatly to its design and durability. Golden Key Futura 
Scent Killer Scent Control System - by Lou Milanesi, Phd.

After the Canadian courts opted not to reinstate the Ontario spring bear season for 1999, I was forced to look elsewhere.  Fortunately, neighboring Manitoba is as friendly as its license plates claim.  I booked a hunt with Jim Wilson’s Johnson Road Outfitters out of Thompson in the northern part of the huge province.  Jim’s small operation openly caters to bowhunters in an area that has seen very little hunting pressure.  The bears in this area run large because they are older than the average bear one encounters in Ontario.  These bears aren’t shy and they are definitely not stupid.  I personally respect all of a bear’s senses including sight, hearing and especially smell.  Clearly, scent control was a top priority for this hunt.

Rich Walton arrainged for Wildlife Research Center; makers of scent attractants and Scent Killer scent control products to send me an ample supply of Sent Killer resources before I left for the far north.  This was an easy sell for me because I’ve used their products for several years and have been pleased with their performance.

I followed my usual plan for the trip. First I washed all my clothes in Scent Killer Clothing Wash to eliminate odors they had picked up around the house.  Once washed, all the hunting clothes were stored in two-gallon zip seal plastic bags to prevent recontamination in route to or in camp.  I brought along an ample supply of both Scent Killer Liquid Soap/Shampoo and Scent Killer Stick Underarm Deodorant.  Being that we were primarily hunting the late afternoons and evenings, I had ample time to scrub the many odors of breakfast, lunch and walleye fishing from my hair and body.  Jim’s investment in a small water pump and propane heater was much appreciated during these ritual cleanings.  A large, 24-ounce spray bottle of Scent Killer served as the last line of defense.  This spray was used on my rubber boots and clothing just before going into the stand to eliminate foreign smells picked up in transit to the site.

Normally when I evaluate products, I select several important (in my humble opinion) aspects of the product and rate them on a 1 to 5 scale.  This procedure won’t work for scent control evaluations, so I’ll just describe how the bears responded.  They are clearly the experts.

I was deliberately hunting a stand that had been occupied the previous week by a fellow that reported seeing two large bears and one monster.  Being a taxidermist, his reports were given some credibility by Jim and I.  The bears had scented him and he claimed they never afforded him a shot opportunity.  I wanted a crack at the monster and took up the vigil in the small black spruce.  No bears appeared for me the first two nights, however on the second night a gun hunter took a monster (22 inch green score) from a stand that was about five kilometers from mine, and my partner took his first bear with a bow.  I figured that that huge bear was the one the taxidermist reported and adjusted my expectations downward.  The following night the bears showed up at my stand to test the Scent Killer products.

The first bear to appear was about 200 pounds and too small for even my lowered expectations.  It showed due caution as it approached, grabbed a snack and took it 30 yards away to eat.  It returned quickly and remained at the bait for over 90 minutes.  During that time it showed no indication of smelling my presence even though it was laying directly on the path I used to get to the stand only 15 yards from me.  It would periodically patrol around the bait checking for trouble and came as close as seven yards to my stand during a couple of these forays.  On its last scout it came up on point as far as its legs would telescope, became very nervous and left by my entrance trail.  Bears two and three were approaching, and my predecessor had apparently educated these two bruins the week before.  The second bear was wider than the barrel and was a shooter in my book.  It came directly to the bait and while the first bear had never looked at me in the stand, this one knew exactly where it was.  It saw me and ran off for a short distance, then it turned to begin returning slowly, all the while popping its teeth as it advanced.  The third bear also came in directly and knew where to look and simply walked off a bit to wait and watch the second bear try to drive me off the bait.  Both bears knew something was up that tree, but both acted like they thought it was another bear.  The second bear had closed the range to 20 yards and made the mistake of pausing in a shooting lane as it heard Jim approaching to retrieve me.  The Rocky Mountain Titanium 100 afforded a short tracking job for Jim to a bear that fell just shy of the P&Y minimum.

Do I think Scent Killer products helped me get this bear?  I certainly do!  The ever so slight air movement was fickle and these bears showed no sign they had scent-identified a human, even though they each had crossed my trail (the first bear laid on the trail and licked oats from it).  I also was using Scent Killer the day I shot my first P&Y bear at a range of eight feet.  I told you it was an easy sell to get me to do this evaluation; I’ve been a believer ever since that day.  Plus they offer a money back guarantee.  Unfortunately, a four-once bottle of Ultimate Bear Lure arrived after I departed for camp so I was unable to test it on this trip.  I’ll be hunting bear again this fall and will test it then.

Wildlife Research Center products are available at sporting goods stores everywhere.  Their wares can be viewed on-line at www.wildlife.com.  For a look at where this evaluation took place, check out the Johnson Road Outfitters’ page at www.mts.net/~wilson1/ and maybe I’ll see you up there next year.  You see, the bait the monster was taken from was hit the very next night.  The fresh tracks were at least as big as that big boar, so I’m headed back there and I’m taking more Scent Killer.


Fine-Line Inc. ULTRA-GLO PEEP SIGHT By Dana R. Rogers
Fine-Line Incorporated has for years been synonymous with quality products for the hunting archer as well as the target shooter.  I’ve used plenty of products from Fine-Line over the years and was pleased to field-test the Ultra-Glo Peep sight.  This peep sight is designed to work in low light as well as bright sun light conditions.  The Ultra-Glo peep sight works on bows with 30 to 60 degree string angles, great for all you shooters with bows that have the extremely short limbs so popular today.  The peep is ambient lit at 4 points around the 3/16” aperture hole.  These points are adjustable in 4 different settings from bright sun light to low light for those peak-hunting times.  When installed, the revolutionary design prevents the peep from being knocked out of alignment, thus maintaining accuracy in those hunting situations.

Let me state from the start that this is the very first peep sight that I have ever had on one of my bows. I’ve always thought that by adding a peep I would be cutting down on the length of time I could effectively see my pins for a shot on game. I’ve often told friends to get rid of their peeps for that very purpose. How many times have you heard someone say “I had a deer right under my stand, but I couldn’t shoot because my peep wouldn’t let enough light in”?  I can honestly say I’ve heard it several times.

This peep is totally different than any other peep sight that I’ve ever seen offered before. It has a huge, by comparison, 3/16” hole to see through. Yet it still allows you to effectively frame your sight to get those tight groups we all crave. And another added feature is the light gathering ability of the fluorescent green plastic that backs the peep. The points that shine through the peep allow you to frame your pin into a perfect crosshair effect on your intended target. By using these 4 points as a reference you can determine if you are holding exactly the same time after time.

When I received the Fine-Line Peep to test I looked it over very carefully and read the instructions.  After using a friend’s portable bow press to install the peep we set about trying to align it properly before shooting.  The Ultra-Glo is a larger than average peep which we’ve already established earlier.  It also has something that many other peeps don’t.  It has 4 grooves for the string to hold it in place instead of the much more popular two.  This made the installation a little more difficult than normal.  However, once we got the strings divided properly it went in fairly easily.

I tested the Ultra-Glo peep on by XI-Legend 44.  This bow is set to 80# with my draw length of 30 inches.  This bow is much longer than most being shot today, so the angle I had on my string won’t be as severe as many of your bows would be.  I first sighted in the bow at 10 yards and moved back in 10-yard increments.  I’m the first to admit that I’m certainly not an expert marksman no matter what I’m shooting with.  I do however know my limitations and practice quite diligently.

With just a little fine-tuning of equipment, that had nothing to do with the peep, my groups were just as good or better than I ever have had with that particular bow.  I shot the peep in very extreme sunlight and in what would have been light that was legally too dark to shoot.  Every time I shot the bow, I could see through the peep with clarity that was just as good as if it hadn’t been there at all.  I was truly impressed with that aspect. Fine-Line Incorporated

Rating:  1 = unsatisfactory, 2 = marginal, 3 = average, 4 = excellent, 5 = outstanding

Adjustability……….5
Assembly…………..4
Manufacturing……..4
Durability………….3
Sight Picture………5


WILDLIFE  RESEARCH  BREEZE  DETECTOR  by Art Champoux
This product is designed to help the hunter determine the air currents from the ground or while in a tree stand. Since bowhunters are always concerned with the direction of the wind and realize that even the slightest breeze, often undetected through normal senses, can mean the difference between seeing game and spooking game I find this product vital.  I tested BREEZE DETECTOR under varying conditions and here is what I found.

The Wildlife Research Center's BREEZE DETECTOR comes in a compact, lightweight plastic squeeze bottle. Once in position the user simply removes the cap and holding the bottle away from the body, tip pointed upward, squeezes the bottle to produce a fine cloud of white powder that floats on even the slightest breeze.

In shady areas where some sun might trickle through breeze detector drifted slowly. Even in this low light situation, it was easy to see the small crystal beads picking up the light. I had no problem following the white cloud in any of the light conditions I tested the product in.  In still air it will have almost no movement but will very slowly drift down.  This remarkable, super fine powder will drift on any air current so you can visually determine the direction and movement.

John, a friend of mine who is legally blind, was on hand for some of the tests.
Although he could not see I was interested in his enhanced sense of smell to determine if he could detect any odor.  He could not.  Holding the bottle up to his nose he described a,"A very faint fresh odor, almost like outdoors." That reinforced what I thought.  No detection problem here. The bottle is small, only 3gm so it is light and compact to carry in a pocket.

Overall, the BREEZE DETECTOR did exactly what it is sold to do. It will help you determine air currents, regardless of how minute. The super fine powder stays up and visible for a long way out without putting an odor in the air that will alert the game.  I would highly recommend this product to any bowhunter as one more tool to help us put the odds a little more favorably on our side.

RATING (1=low and 5=high)

Wildlife Research Center -  the name says it all. This fine company makes a lot of fine products for the hunter that delivers what they promise. The BREEZE DETECTOR is another good example of what Wildlife Research produces. 

Sight Master X/Celerator by Dave Conrad
One word that I can use to best describe the Sight Master X/Celerator  is SMOOTH.  This compact sight is constructed with quality and speed in mind.  Tight tolerances and Sight Master's patented, four bushing design allows for incredibly smooth range adjustments and ensures the elevation adjustment stays in place. Once set, my adjustments never came loose, even after several sessions from my high poundage, high performance bow.  This efficient yardage adjustment can also be locked into position with a half turn from a small hand screw. This is one of the smoothest, tightest bowsights I have ever shot.

Other outstanding features include a Fiber Optic Starburst XL Scope with an integrated bubble level.  Sight Master recently went with TRUGLO for their fiber optic pins and these tough, bright pins will allow you those extra crucial minutes of hunting time in low light necessary to harvest that trophy animal.  The integrated bubble level was great because it helped in making sure my form was correct and the bow was not canted.  Color-coded, self adhesive yardage markers are highly visible and weather proof for confidence when hunting in less than ideal conditions.

The X/Celerator was designed for short riser, high performance bows and as such is  both compact and light.  It is also a quality made product that is machined from 6061 High Grade Aluminum.

This sight can be attached to either right or left handed AMO standard bows.   AMO standard posts also allow you to attach your favorite quiver.  The X/Celerator will also accept all Sight Master Accessories.  If you are seeking a new bow sight for your high performance bow, you can’t go wrong with a Sight Master X/Celerator.  Sight Master also stands behind this sight with a five-year warranty.

RATING (1=low and 5=high)
Design – 5


Ease of use – 5

Features - 5 Appearance – 4 Overall Quality - 5 SIGHT MASTER, Inc
1093 Highway 12 East
Townsend, MT  59644
406-266-5516
Fax  406-266-5693

New Archery Products THUNDERHEAD ‘PRO SERIES’ by Arlan Beckman
New Archery Products commitment to quality products for the archer are very evident in the Thunderhead ‘Pro Series’ broadhead.  The broadhead is extremely well made The broadhead assembly and tuning are effortless (and in this case, painless) thanks to the  free Tuning Instructions that are included with each pack.  I tested the Thunderhead ‘Pro Series’ with a Hoyt split limb bow set at 62#  with a 29” draw length using an Easton 2315 aluminum arrow and a 2300 carbon arrow. I was able to assemble this set-up with ease.  The Retainer Ring and rubber O-ring made a snug connection with both the aluminum and the carbon arrow shaft. The .027” thick  stainless steel blades are extremely sharp due to NAP’s  blade manufacturing procedure.

I started my accuracy phase with the aluminum arrow and shot at a distance of 20 yards (using a high density 3D target) I only had to move my sight from my field point setting 1/8 of a inch down to be dead center.  The penetration that I received was impressive and I am assuming part of that is due to the aerodynamic design of tip and grooved ferrule which reduced the drag with less surface area.

I then placed shots from 30 yards out to 50 yards and experienced  no flight problems, even at the farthest distance.  Each arrow flew straight and true with no windplanning or erratic flight. To test for toughness I  used an empty 55 gal. steel oil drum, as this seems to be the standard test medium.  I took my shots at a safe 20 yards.  The hardened tip and 1 3/16 inch cutting diameter did their job as each arrow penetrated both sides of the drum.  The blades were dulled but the tip was in perfect shape.  (The aluminum arrow was the only part that became a casualty).  By changing blades, I was able to repeat this out to 40 yards and still got penetration out the far side.

The carbon arrow test came next and the only adjustment necessary was what was required for the lighter shaft.  Th’Pro Series’  broadhead is very compatible with carbon arrows.  There were no arrow control problems with flight or accuracy, even with the increased speed of the carbon arrow.

The nickel plated tip and stainless steel blades will not rust so if you are hunting in less than favorable weather, maintenance is a minimal concern with these broadheads.

Rating:  1=low and 5=high
Assembly.................................... 5
Sharpness................................... 5
Blade Durability.......................... 5
Point Durability........................... 5
Variety......................................  5

NAP has been making quality broadheads for over 20 plus years and after putting this model through it’s paces it is easy to see why they remain the number one manufacturer. These broadheads almost look too attractive to shoot. The design, tolerances and finish are reflections of their President's concern and commitment to quality and reliability.  I remain impressed with how they look and even more so with how they shoot. These are good looking, durable heads. The Thunderhead ‘Pro Series’ comes in the 3 most common weight of  85 gr, 100 gr, and 125 gr.  They should be available in all Archery Pro Shops and other Outlets.


New Archery Products QuikTune 1000 Pro Series Arrow Rest
by Arlan Beckman
If there is a product to get excited about this year it is the QuikTune 1000 Pro Series Arrow Rest  from New Archery Products.  All of the things that a bowhunter looks for in a Rest, simplicity, reliability and quietness have been brought together in this one product.

The quality of this Rest is evident merely by picking it up and looking it over.  The product features a sturdy looking, extremely smooth machined base with Launcher Arms fitted with Prong Tip Silencers for quiet shooting.  The adjustment features are easily visible in the etched windage and elevation marks to help make adjustments easy and fast. Another nice feature is it only takes one wrench to  make all adjustments.  In addition,  you can make Spring Tension adjustments with out losing your windage and elevation adjustments.

I set this Rest  for my hunting bow and tackle within 15 minutes and had perfect arrow flight.  The settings were tight and the quietness of the shot could be attributed to the solid construction and the Launchers fitted with the Prong Silencers.  After accuracy, this is the first thing I looked at, both extremely important to me for hunting.

While setting up, the graduation marks made finding, setting and locking in adjustments  for Center Shot  and elevation, fast and accurate.  This was especially noticeable for the final tweaking for the perfect tune. This Rest is also rock solid, probably helped by the wide mounting bracket.

Like the name says, the QuikTune is simple to install and set-up. It is quality made, strong, quiet and easy to get shooting accurately.  Like all NAP products it is well designed and flawless in it’s finish. I feel very comfortable taking this Rest into the field after game.

Below is my evaluation's of key points with 1 being low and 5 being high.
Adjustability............... 5
Quietness................... 5
Manufacturing............ 5
Durability................... 5
These ratings show New Archery Products dedication to manufacturing high quality and dependable
products for the bowhunter today.  The QuikTune Pro Series is definitely in a class of its own.
There were no improvements that I could find that I wanted  as it seemed to incorporate everything an archer could want in one Rest.  If you shoot targets, hunt or do both this is one Arrow Rest that will make it easier and more accurate.


'ROLLAID' FROM PRO RELEASE Inc. by David C. Conrad
There are those who seem to believe that all release aids are created equal.  Attach them to the string, draw and release.  However, when compared to other caliper designs, the RollAid archery release aid from Pro Release, I feel, is anything but equal.

What is most  impressive is that the stainless steel jaws are tipped with narrow Roller Bearings.  The slender bearings cut down not only string pinch but allow for a  fast, smooth release as the string rolls through them.  You can expect to see increased arrow speed compared to other standard caliper designs.  This patented feature is very kind to the string and will cut down on replacing servings as well as strings.

Another feature that I like, compared to others, is the trigger and jaw linkage swivels 360 degrees.  This allows for greater comfort on the hand and wrist.  Arrow pinch is cut down by alleviating extra pressure from wrist twist while coming to full draw.  The comfortable curved trigger mechanism is machined entirely from aluminum and stainless steel. It is fully adjustable and available in two styles to fit hunters as well as competition shooters.  The adjustments are quick and easy with the turn of a small Allen wrench.  It took minimal effort to set the trigger to the quick instantaneous soft touch which I  prefer. The RollAid ingenious design incorporates minimal parts resulting in less bind and problems

Of two models available, Concho style or padded wrist, I tested the latter.  The wrist strap has a good supply of Velcro that will initially hold the Release in place while you tighten the  securing strap.  An ample amount of  soft material cuts  down on the strain where the Release connects into the wrist strap.  The RollAid is very comfortable and does not feel bulky on your hand when not in use.

The only suggestion that I would offer is an adjustment to control the length of the linkage between the jaws and wrist strap.  Being of small hands this would allow the trigger to be set more comfortably into my index finger. The result of all these details creates an innovative Release that is hard to beat and very durable in the field.

EASE OF USE: Pull the trigger, clip on to the string, reset trigger and you are ready to draw.  This is complemented by the ease of putting the release on.
COMFORT: There is ample padding throughout.  Every inch of the wrist strap is covered with the soft padded material, alleviating the nasty binding feeling accustomed to other strap on releases.  The only improvement needed is an adjustment for the overall length.
TUNING: Easily adjust trigger to either a fast or slow release.  This ensures a fit for every situation.
RELIABILITY: The metal construction and bearings are rock solid.  There are less moving parts to concern yourself with.
QUALITY: The RollAid is a well thought out, durable and smooth design.  An archers confidence level will remain high while utilizing this Pro Release product.


BRACKLYNN 'GOBBLER' Hearing Amplification System
by Lou Milanesi, Phd.
I must admit that I had a lot of fun testing the new hearing amplification system from  BRACKLYNN Products, the 'GOBBLER'.  I also learned much about sound and noise in the bargain.  Like other hearing enhancement devices, 'GOBBLER' are designed to amplify all normal sounds, while suppressing loud noises (like gun shots).  They are capable of producing 43 dB at peak gain, however, normal use will usually be at much lower levels.

'GOBBLER' resemble standard hearing aids and fit directly in the ear canal.  Compared to other sound amplification devices that are rather bulky and awkward, 'GOBBLER' can be well integrated with archery clothing and equipment.  They will not interfere with head movement or drawing a bow like other models, and their diminutive size allows them to be stowed in a shirt pocket with room to spare.

Standard hearing aid batteries power the units, and two batteries are supplied with each  'GOBBLER' system.  Unfortunately, the size was not indicated either on the batteries or in the enclosed documentation that accompanies the product.  Rather than attempting to visually compare the enclosed batteries with the almost infinite variety of hearing aid batteries, I called the folks at BRACKLYNN Products.  I learned that relatively inexpensive Ray-O-Vac size 312's or their equivalent fit the 'GOBBLER'  units.

Each pair of gobblers contains a right and left unit.  Each unit can be individually adjusted  for volume, a definite plus for individuals who may have some hearing loss in one ear.

Unlike single-source models, the use of two units provides stereophonic sound input for the user.  Therefore, hunters using 'GOBBLER'  more quickly locate the direction and  source of sounds they detect.

My sessions testing the 'GOBBLER' were a valuable learning experience.  At first, the amplified sounds coming in from the world around me was distracting. However, within  a few minutes I had adjusted to the new experience and was amazed by a variety of  discoveries.  I first used the 'GOBBLER' near my house and quickly learned how many sounds are produced in the activities of even the smallest town.  I then headed to the woods to further test the 'GOBBLER' system.  All sounds are amplified by the units and at first one must adapt to the new cues reaching the ears.  At first, a gray squirrel sounds like a Pope and Young buck, and a several turkey sound like a herd of cattle.  As I adapted to the system, I realized that I could hear many faint details and patterns of movements made by the creatures around me.  The system also made me more aware of the various noises produced by my equipment and clothing that might alert a nearby buck or tom.

Anyone intending to use 'GOBBLER' or any other sound amplification system should practice using this equipment before bowhunting season.  At first I was eager to hear all that the units would reveal and cranked them up to maximum volume.  I quickly found that a mid-range setting was more comfortable and less distracting.  Additionally, I discovered that the unit would squeal when the volume was set to high or if an obstruction was placed near the unit (like my finger when adjusting them, also see Note 1).  When, I came to full draw the right unit would squeal in protest if the back of my hand obstructed its function.  These squeals were heard by other people standing at least 20 feet away, therefore, I'd predict that deer and turkey could hear them at normal shooting ranges.  However, a little practice with the 'GOBBLER' system allowed me to easily avoid these sources of noise.

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

Ease of Use............................... 5
Comfort.................................... 4
Portability................................. 5
Sound Quality........................... 4
Information/Instructions............. 3
Cost......................................... 4

Overall, the 'GOBBLER' system from BRACKLYNN Products worked well during my tests.  Bowhunters who are interested in sound amplification systems should give the 'GOBBLER' serious consideration.  The system lends itself well to use with archery equipment, provides input to each ear for rapid location of game, and is the most compact stereo-input system on the market.

Note 1: Sound amplification systems do not work well when used in enclosed spaces. For example, the unit did not work well in my fully enclosed dome-type blind.  In such conditions, the enclosure echoes all internal sounds, while simultaneously blocking or reducing external sounds.  These conditions interfere with normal hearing as well, but the  effect is much more distracting when amplified.
| Bracklynn Web Site |


TOUGH MANtm ARROW REST by Arlan Beckman
The TOUGH MAN Arrow Rest by Golden Key-Futura certainly seems to live up to it's name.  This  rest was very easy to set up and is extremely sturdy.  I was able to set it up and have my hunting bow paper tuned in about 10 minutes.
The manufacturing of this rest is second to none with the stainless steel launchers, brass setup screw, no strip steel collars, plated, rust resistant screws and the new urethane stop. Also the new wider Mounting Block will make this a favorite among bowhunters.

The TOUGH MAN Rest was very easy to adjust to my carbon arrows just by pulling the arrow shaft through the middle of the Launcher Arms, this will also make it easy  to adjust to any shaft size you shoot. Also by  using the very first of three mounting holes I was able to, in effect, have a mini overdraw as the rest sat back a little farther on the bow.  I found that there was no need for double back tape of any kind because of the wider mount.  This is a great improvement over other brand Rests of this kind as this eliminates the problem of your  Rest moving in a upward or downward direction  over time.

The bearing play on the TOUGH MAN has been virtually eliminated by Golden Key-Futura.  It was easy to make this Rest totally silent with the Shrink Tubing that is supplied, and the new urethane stop.  The "stop" is another great innovation as it eliminates the "click" that you have when a Rest of this type hits the collar screw as it rotates back into the ready position after the shot.  I give this Rest a very high rating for a lot of reasons but mostly because of the ease of set-up, durability and quietness, all important to me in a hunting situation.  I believe that if you are looking for a long lasting, quiet, adjustable, Arrow Rest this is one Rest you will want to check out.

Ratings 1 = lowest rating, 5 = highest rating.
Adjustability............... 4
Quietness................... 5
Manufacturing............ 5
Durability................... 5

Improvements
I would like to see a gauge of some sort on the Bearing Arm so that when you are adjusting for Center Shot those final few adjustments, it would be easier to tell how far you moved.  I feel it was easy to over-adjust.  I suggest a series of lines on the bearing would be enough to tell where you are and where you want to move it to.  This was the only reason that I did not give this rest a perfect score in all 4 areas.


PREDATOR IV PENDULUM BOWSIGHT by Rich Pederson
One of the toughest problems in bowhunting, especially for new hunters like me, is learning to accurately estimate the range to our target.  It is even more difficult from a tree-stand, where elevation must be figured into the inside-your-head calculus of where to aim with which pin.  I lost a beautiful doe last year when my arrow sped right over her back because I thought she was further out that she was.

Which leads me to the PREDATOR IV Pendulum bowsight from PREDATOR Products , and the Product Evaluation I have most enjoyed doing and.writing.  It is not deer season anywhere near here right now, but I will go back after that doe and her kin this fall knowing that my 'which pin where' problems are a thing of the past.

POINT RATINGS   (1= very good,  5 = very bad)

EASE OF ASSEMBLY:...........................1    see note 1, below
EASE OF ADAPTATON:
Means of adaptation:
   right/left hand.........................................1    see note 2
CLARITY OF INSTRUCTIONS...............1    see note 3
RUGGEDNESS.........................................1
CONSTRUCTION.....................................1    see note 4
RELIABILITY...........................................1    see note 5
LOW-LIGHT VISIBILITY.........................1    see note 6
ADAPTABILITY FOR GROUND USE......1    see note 7

NOTES & COMMENTS:
I have never, until now given a product I tested an "all 1's" rating. Read my notes and see why the PREDATOR earned this grade:

  1. The PREDATOR IV arrived almost completely assembled.  Attaching it to my Hoyt USA bow was simple, and all the screws and nuts needed to adjust and sight in the PREDATOR IV were easy to reach and work with standard tools.  The sight guard detaches for even easier access.
  2. To change from right to left-handed shooting, simply arrange the sight  in a mirror image of how it comes packaged, and re-wire the light (If present) according to instructions. The whole operations takes less than 5 mins.
  3. The first thing I noticed when I opened and got to work with the sight was the clarity, completeness, and readability of the instructions. They are logically laid out, well-organized, and accompanied by 5 clear and specific line-drawing illustrations. (Did you ever notice how photos can get grainy when photocopied?  None of that here.)  Topic headings and crucial points are highlighted with bold text to make them stand out. These instructions were obviously written by someone who not only knows their product, but knows how to use a word-processor as well. This all may seem trivial, to be spending so much time writing well of the instructions, but the PREDATOR IV is a somewhat complicated system, and if you have ever slaved in frustrated agony over poorly-written, skimpy, under-illustrated "instructions", you will know why the excellent set included with the PREDATOR IV is so valuable.
  4. Because the sight is a moving pendulum, I was concerned before I got it that the sight could bump against the stops or guard and make a noise at the very moment when I most need silence: the draw.  No worries; the stop is covered with a soft rubber tube which not only kills all noise, but cushions the sight, as well.
  5. Here we come to the bottom line:  can the PREDATOR IV do for your tree-stand shooting accuracy what it claims it can do?  The answer is an unqualified YES!  I don't pretend to understand the geometry of how it all works together, but when properly adjusted, this sight gives you the ability to sight accurate, tight, consistent groups all the way out to the effective range of your bow.  The phrase they use is "Absolute accuracy", and they mean it.
  6. For low-light situations, the PREDATOR IV can be equipped (mine was) with a small, red LED which sheds just a bit of light on the pin, which is coated with luminous paint at the end.  The sight guard is also coated on the edge toward you for added visibility, framing your target. Such a light will keep your buck out of the record books, but it may just help land him in your freezer.  You choose.
  7. The final issue when deciding to use a pendulum sight is, "What about on the ground?"  As with all such sights, with the PREDATOR IV, once you are out of your tree, you have a stable, 1-pin sight, which will be good at one specific distance, depending on your bow speed and the tree-stand height at which you have sighted-in for stand shooting.  Slow bows will find the sight set at around 25 - 27 yards, and about 6 inches high at 20 yards.  Very fast bows could be accurate all the way out to 40 yards, and just a few inches high at 20 yards.
Also, if you want to, the PREDATOR IV has room for you to install extra pins for different yardages for ground shooting, as well.  Sight them in as you would any multi-pin sighting system.   Properly installed, they do not interfere with the operation of the pendulum.  Thus, you can leave them installed when you climb into your tree.

BEST FEATURE OF THE PRODUCT:
After the groupings I was able to achieve from my stand, I want to say the accuracy of this sight is its best feature, but that would be too limiting to a product whose every aspect shows a well thought-out and well executed design.  It is a complex system made easily available and usable by even novice hunters.

SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS:
1.  If I think of any over the course of the coming deer season, I'll let you know, but don't hold your breath waiting.  This is one impressive product.

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