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Nikon Archer’s Choice MAX Rangefinder [PRODUCT REVIEW]

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PROS: 0.1 yard increment readings, 200 yard ranging capability, easy to use, one handed operation, quickly acquires target, distance is compensated for angle +/- 89 degrees, rubberized finish, waterproof, fogproof

CONS: the backlight turns on automatically in lowlight conditions and cannot be controlled or adjusted for brightness

MSRP: $349.95

Rangefinders are essential pieces of bowhunting equipment and I’ve been using Nikon’s Archer’s Choice MAX rangefinder for the last two seasons. It’s a tool that’s earned my trust and rely on my Nikon to make an ethical shot and a quick clean kill while bowhunting. With the Archer’s Choice MAX I can quickly and easily range my intended target from 5 to 200 yards in 1/10th increments. You can even hold down the range button and continuously range an animal as it moves – how cool is that!

The big thing with today’s rangefinders are their angle compensating technology. Nikon’s ID Technology compensates for various incline or decline shooting angles, up to +/- 89 degrees. It’s extremely helpful for hunters out west, but don’t over look its importance if you’re a treestand hunter. I’m routinely in a treestand 25 feet off the ground in hilly terrain which exaggerates the already steep angles from my treestand to the deer below me. This is where the Nikon Archer’s Choice MAX and its ID Technology really shine.

If you’re familiar with Nikon’s binoculars, then you’ll feel right at home with the Archer’s Choice MAX. The rangefinder is finished with a rubberized coating for a non-slip grip regardless of weather conditions. I find this especially useful for those early season hunts in the rain. If you hunt late season, and I’m talking late December into January when the temperatures really drop, any sound you make travels farther. The rubberized coating deadens any noise should anything come in contact with the rangefinder.

What you won’t find on any other rangefinder is the unique neoprene carrying case that comes with Nikon’s Archer’s Choice MAX. The soft case provides a protective cover for the rangefinder body as well as a quiet magnetic front flap for protecting the optics from dirt and scratches. The front flap is great because I’m always moving around my rangefinder and without a cover for the glass I’m sure I’d find a way to scratch the lens. On the other hand, if front flap bothers you, just unsnap the it and put it in your pocket. With an adjustable shoulder strap, it’s easy to keep the rangefinder close and slide out of the way as that big whitetail works his way in.

There is one feature that Nikon had good intentions with, but slightly missed the mark on and that’s the automatic backlight in low light conditions. The first version of the Archer’s Choice had black text on the screen when you ranged an object. The downside to the black text was at dawn and dusk the lowlight conditions made it hard to read the rangefinder. Nikon’s new automatic backlight was supposed to solve this problem by illuminating the display with red text for easy visibility, but a new issue came along with the illuminated display.

With no brightness control, the illuminated display washes out what you’re ranging making it difficult at best to be see what you’re actually ranging. I found there were times right after daybreak and before dusk when the illuminated display came on, but was not yet needed.

Weighing the pros and cons of the Nikon Archer’s Choice MAX I still can’t argue it’s quality and ease of use. It’s rangefinder that’s great for any bowhunting situation and it’s saved me in a few instances from both the deer stand and the turkey blind.

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Product Reviews

Glider Gloves for Bowhunting Deer [PRODUCT REVIEW]

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PROS: touch screen smartphones (tested on iPhone) function with high degree of accuracy, comfortable lightweight material, long cuffs, 10 finger touch screen capability

CONS: fit was slightly off, fingers were a bit short on my pair, not durable enough for use as an active hunting glove, grip material on glove palm creates torque on the bow hand

MSRP: $24.99

Last season I was contacted by Glider Gloves to field test a pair of their Urban Style Touchscreen Gloves. I had previously reviewed a pair of similar gloves by a company called A glove so I welcomed the chance to review these.

Compared to the Agloves, these gloves were higher quality and had a much longer cuff which is something I always look for in a hunting glove. As social media becomes a larger part of hunting and a growing part of NYBowhunter.com I welcomed the chance to be able to easily send updated to my Facebook fans from the tree stand. The Glider Gloves made it easy to text and check email while keeping my hands warm and concealed from the eyes of any nearby whitetail deer.

One thing bowhunters should note is the gloves have a grip on the palm. Some bowhunters, including myself, prefer not to have any grip on their gloves as it helps create torque which lead to less accurate shooting.

These gloves are great at what they were designed to do – be a comfortable touchscreen glove. However, for hunting purposes, you have to remember what these gloves were designed to do. If you plan on wearing these in the field and climbing up to your tree stand day in and day out you’ll rip through these knit gloves in about a month. If you want these gloves to last as a hunting glove you’re better off waiting until you’re settled in the stand before putting them on so there’s less wear and tear on the gloves.

Overall, I’d recommend these gloves if you’re looking for a true touch screen glove. They’re way nicer to use than similar hunting gloves with a silver pad on the pointer finger and thumb. Just remember, they’re not made for hunting, so don’t expect them to last you for several seasons if you’re rough with them.

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Product Reviews

Fuse Mossy Oak Rugged iPhone Case [PRODUCT REVIEW]

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Last spring I was contacted by Paul at Fuse to try out a new case they had for the iPhone called the Mossy Oak Rugged Orange iPhone 4/4S Shell Case. It combined my two favorite colors – hunter orange and camo – so I gave the case a try.

The case is made up of an inner soft rubber case that acts as a shock absorber and a rigid polycarbonate frame on the out side for added protection.

What I really liked about this case was the fact that it wasn’t covered in a sticky rubber like some of my other iPhone cases so it didn’t pull my pocket out of my pants every time I reached for my phone. Another nice feature is the size of the case, it’s not oversized so you still feel like you have a slim smartphone.

My only complaint about the case was that it didn’t come with a screen protector. It wasn’t hard to find a stick on screen protector online, but it would have been nice if the case included one for 360 degree protection.

This iPhone case travelled with me on scouting missions, spring turkey hunts and fall deer hunts. I really liked the phone case and never had any issues with it coming apart on me, in fact I was really impressed on how well it stayed together. One of my previous cases from another manufacturer used to come apart all the time, but the Fuse case just stayed together.

So how did the case hold up? My phone survived a few drops off of the counter top in my kitchen, it slipped out of my hand and dropped on the floor outside several times and I dropped it in the woods more times than I care to remember, but the case took the brunt of all of the hits and the phone didn’t get a scratch. Had I dropped the phone out of the tree stand it would have been a different story, I think only a fully enclosed phone case would really protect in the event of a 20 foot fall (which I’ve done with a previous case and my phone survived).

Overall this is a quality case for the iPhone. Add a clear antiglare screen protector and you’re set. If you’re looking for a stylish phone case give the Fuse Mossy Oak Rugged iPhone Case a try.

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Product Reviews

Bowtech Releases its First Carbon Riser Bow the Carbon Knight

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Bowtech Archery has released it’s first carbon riser bow – the Carbon Knight. Following the lead of Hoyt with the Carbon Matrix back in 2010, the new Carbon Knight from Bowtech weighs in at just 3.2 pounds (compared to 3.6 pounds for Hoyt’s Carbon Element G3).

Most manufacturers launch their new bows in the early fall (Bowtech usually launches their new bows at the ATA Show), but this one was “just too good to hold any longer,” says Samuel Coalson, Director of Marketing for Bowtech.

The Carbon Knight is said to have a smooth draw and plenty of speed at 330 feet per second. The Carbon Knight features Bowtech’s binary cam design, the Knight Riser constructed from durable carbon, a 7-inch brace height for forgiveness and a 32-inch axle-to-axle length. Draw lengths range from 26.5″ to 30.5″ and draw weights from 50 to 70 pounds in ten pound increments.

The bow is available in Black Ops and retails for $849 (Hoyt’s carbon bows are in the $1,200 range).

The new Carbon Knight definitely looks like an interesting bow and it’s a bow I’d like to try out and compare to some of the other carbon bows currently on the market. If you get a chance to shoot one leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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