The lion’s share of new products featured at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas comprises firearms, ammunition and optics. But this event also serves as the launch for some of the coolest new hunting accessories—everything from boots to water bottles. We’ve sorted through the offerings along the aisles of the 2017 SHOT Show and picked out some of our favorite new gear items—the stuff you’ll wish you had come autumn.
MAKE: Ontario Knife Company
MODEL: Spec Plus Alpha Survival
This affordable, durable, American-made knife is what you want on your side when you’re on a hunt. The 5-inch blade is made of high carbon steel with a tough phosphate coating. The synthetic rubber handle offers a secure grip, even when wet (a bonus when skinning game), and the simple, effective design is easy to clean after you’ve finished in the field.
MAKE: Stealth Cam
Stealth Cam’s new game camera combines 4K Ultra HD video with 30 MP Ultra Hi Res performance to give you the absolutely clearest images available. The Reflex Trigger has an activation time of under 0.4 second so you won’t lose images of passing game. Forty-two NO GLO IR emitters take great shots at night without spooking animals. Other features include Matrix blur reduction, Retina low light sensitivity, burst mode with up to nine shots and much, much more.
MODEL: Lead-B-Gone Skin Cleansing Wipes
When you’re in the field or at the range, it’s a good idea to clean your hands and exposed skin to reduce exposure to items such as lead, nickel, copper, antimony and other contaminants. For that reason, it’s important to keep Hoppe’s Lead-B-Gone wipes in your pack. These wipes remove 98.8 percent of contaminants on their own and 99.9 percent with a water rinse (as opposed to 72 percent with water only). They contain a gentle pH cleanser, aloe skin moisturizers and are disposable. There are 40 wipes in each compact, portable canister.
MAKE: Canyon Coolers
MODEL: Prospector 100
This 100-quart cooler has a base designed with six tie-downs so it can easily be attached to an ATV, UTV, boat or other vehicle for transport. The interior has four tiered baskets—if you aren’t hauling out elk quarters or deer meat. The empty cooler weighs just 40 pounds and is made with Huntsman High Density PU foam. The latches are easy to use and secure, and the hardware is robust. Plus, Canyon backs its coolers with a lifetime warranty.
MAKE: MTM Case-Gard
MODEL: Game Trail Camera Case
These sturdy, hard-plastic cases are designed specifically to protect expensive game cameras during the off season or when traveling to and from the field. Each case has four individual padded slots that hold one camera each (so there’s no chance they’ll bang against one another), and the case comes with a special foam-padded SD card protector so you can quickly and easily swap out memory cards without fear of loss or damage. Plus, this hard case attaches to an ATV—perfect for transporting cameras into the kind of rough country big bucks love.
MODEL: Trigger Stick Gen2 Short Bipod
No hunter should be without a great pair of shooting/optic sticks. The new Trigger Stick Gen2 short bipod from Primos is designed for a variety of hunting and glassing applications. With a pull of the trigger, you can adjust this bipod from 18 to 38 inches. The secure V-yoke attachment is detachable. It will support 1/4×20- and 3/8×16-
inch threaded fixtures for use with optical gear. This is a must-have addition to any hunting pack.
MAKE: Wiley X
Eye injuries are a concern for hunters, and in some environments, polarized sunglasses are a huge help in spotting game. The Omega line isn’t new, per se, but these contoured glasses offer a level of eye protection that’s pretty incredible (at SHOT, I saw a video of them being shot, run over and even blown up with firecrackers). Add to that the cool-looking Typhon camo frames, and you’ve got the ultimate hunting and shooting eyewear.
MAKE: Final Approach
MODEL: Hunting Pack
Although it is designed for waterfowlers, this pack is great for just about any hunting application. It’s made from durable 900D fabric for years of hard use. The waterproof bottom and tree hook will help keep your gear out of the mud and muck. There are large main and secondary pockets, as well as a front access compartment, padded waist belt and sternum strap for extra comfort. There’s even a zip-out gun sling and waterproof cell phone pocket. No matter where your hunt takes you, this pack will carry your gear effectively. It’s available in Realtree MAX-5 and Mossy Oak Blades camo patterns.
MAKE: Sitka Gear
MODEL: Ascent Clothing
MSRP: $169 (Ascent shirt)
Sitka’s newest pattern is its sub-alpine digital camo, which is one of the most versatile camo patterns you’ll find—perfect for almost all hunting conditions. It’s available across Sitka Gear’s line, but the Ascent series of hats, shirts, vests, gloves and pants covers just about any need. With breathable, four-way stretch fabrics, you won’t hold in moisture or be bound up by heavy, high-volume gear. This is perfect for the active hunter who is serious about pursing big game in any environment. The Polygiene anti-microbial treatment reduces body odor, and breathable mesh pockets are easy to access. It’s perfect for early-season hunts.
MODEL: VisiColor Big Game Targets
Being able to hit a target is one thing, but being able to place the bullet into the vitals of a big-game animal to ensure a quick, clean kill is something else. Ahead of this hunting season, practice with targets that will help get you on target and in the vital zone with Champion’s VisiColor Big Game Targets. Each pack of 12 contains four antelope, four whitetail deer and four bear targets, and the VisiColor designs appears instantly when you shoot so you’ll know exactly where the bullet struck. These are great for off-season practice and make excellent tools for field drills, shooting off sticks, prone and stalking.
MAKE: Camp Chef
MODEL: Pro Series
Camp Chef stoves are extremely popular with everyone—from backcountry hunters to backyard grill masters. The company’s newest offering is the Pro Series line of grills, which feature a unique folding design: The legs can be folded up and also have built-in levelers for uneven ground. The side shelves also fold up, making this one of the most easily transported grills you’ll find. The Pro 60X comes with two 30,000 BTU cast-aluminum burners and almost 450 square inches of cooking area. The Pro 90X has three burners with more than 600 square inches of cooking area. The Pro 60X works with Camp Chef’s 14-inch cooking accessories, while the Pro 90X works with its 16-inch accessories.
MAKE: Browning Footwear
MODEL: Buck Shadow
MSRP: TBD (availability: fall 2017)
These hunting boots are designed to get you anywhere game goes. The long list of features include a Silent Cell single injected midsole, SymmPlate integrated external shank and three levels of insulation (uninsulated, 400g Thinsulate, 800g Thinsulate). Perhaps the coolest feature is the advanced OutDry technology utilizing a breathable membrane layer that blocks moisture from coming in but is highly breathable. Camo options include Realtree Xtra, Mossy Oak Country, ATACS AU and ATACS FG.
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2017 print issue of Gun World Magazine.