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Product Reviews

Sitka Necessities [PRODUCT REVIEW]

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It’s been over two months and through two seasons that I’ve put my Sitka Gear through the ultimate test – bowhunting for whitetail deer. Back in November, I was fortunate enough to be invited down to the GORE facility in Maryland to put GORE Optifade Forest to the ultimate test – the eyes of a whitetail deer. We were outfitted with Sitka Gear in the Optifade Forest pattern and asked for our opinions on how it performed in actual hunting scenarios. The result? Well, you’ll just have to read ahead for that!

The Bandit is the perfect piece of gear for keeping your face concealed during the early season. It can be worn with a hat so all that is showing are your eyes. I really like the idea of the bandit and it’s a quality product, but I found it to be too tight around my nose when I was wearing it and that made it uncomfortable for me. I guess if you’re nose is a little smaller than mine, you’ll be alright! This is a try before you buy product to make sure it fits right.

I’m very picky when it comes to choosing a bowhunting glove and I need a glove with as much dexterity as possible to ensure I can anchor properly against my face and feel the trigger as I set to release an arrow. What I really like about these gloves is the long cuff on them which allows me to put my release on over the cuff instead of behind it which causes the release push the cuff of the glove forward causing an annoying and uncomfortable situation. What I don’t like in a glove is a big rubberized grip which puts unwanted torque on the bow. The Core Glove is the perfect lightweight glove for bowhunters. It does have some grip on it, but not enough to cause any negative side effects when shooting a bow. I put these gloves through a lot of abuse including climbing trees with a climber, setting climbing sticks and hang-on stands, dragging deer and pushing brush out of the way. After two months of hardcore bowhunting I had very little if any of the grip left on the gloves, but that was the only real sign of wear. The material itself was still intact – no rips or holes – and the stitching held up very well. I was extremely impressed with these gloves and plan on having a few extra pairs for next season.

The Stratus Glove is a mid-weight glove with GORE Windstopper which prevents any wind from reaching your hands. Sharing the same lining as the Stratus Jacket and Stratus Bibs, the Stratus Gloves are fitted to increase dexterity while providing warmth when the temperatures drop. With leather palms these gloves are my workhorse gloves and are perfect for setting new stands and clearing brush. If you’re a gun hunter, these will be excellent gloves for handling a firearm and will allow you to easily operate the bolt or action. The high dexterity of these gloves means your trigger finger will be able to feel the trigger of your rifle, shotgun or bow release. While I was impressed with the Stratus Glove, I did find that it changed my anchor point too much for my liking so I did hunt with these gloves because I was not comfortable shooting my bow with them on. How you anchor your release hand will determine if these gloves will work for you as a bowhunting glove.

The Stratus Hat has a GORE Windstopper membrane – a soft, warm lining that is very comfortable to wear. The breathable GORE Windstopper prevents precious heat from being lost to cold winds and is breathable so you don’t end up with a wet head from perspiration. Like all the Sitka Gear I’ve tried, the Stratus Hat has a great fit and finish and is an essential piece of gear for keeping you focused on the hunt instead of being focused on how cold you are.

I’ve taken three deer so far while wearing my Sitka Gear in GORE Optifade Forest and I can honestly say that this clothing did make a difference when it came to my success. Having the right system has allowed to me focus on the hunt instead of worrying about how much longer I could sit in the stand. The cut of these garments is second to none and I’m able to move around as I wish without worrying about making a sound. The GORE Optifade Forest pattern is the perfect compliment to the Sitka system and time and time again I’ve watched as deer look right through me instead of at me. Choosing the right system is essential for success in the field and Sitka Gear featuring GORE Optifade Forest concealment is the right system for me.

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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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