Are you ready to hunt the regal king of the backcountry? Stop here for a peek at some of the latest and greatest new gear—to ensure you go afield this season with the deadliest elk arsenal possible.
Winchester Expedition Big Game Ammunition. Whether peering through your scope at a heavy-beamed royal bull elk on a distant Montana ridge or preparing for a heart-pounding up-close stalk on a huge kudu in Africa, the world’s biggest game requires a bullet that can hold together upon impact no matter what the shot distance. Winchester’s new-for-2016 Expedition Big Game ammunition features the company’s proven Accubond CT bullet technology—one of the most-accurate and devastating cartridges used on animals with tough hide and thick bone. Accubond CT bullets feature a polymer tip, bonded alloy lead core and Lubalox coating and deliver controlled expansion and deep penetration with every squeeze of the trigger. Expedition Big Game is available in: .270 Win. (140 gr.); .270 WSM (140 gr.); 7mm Rem. Magnum (140 gr.); 7mm WSM (160 gr.); .30-06 SPRG (180 gr.); 300 Win. Mag. (180 gr.); .300 WSM (180 gr.); .325 WSM (200 gr.); .338 Win. Mag. (225 gr.), and .338 Lapua Mag. (300 gr.). Learn more by visiting Winchester.com.
Nosler Trophy Grade & Trophy Grade Long Range Ammunition. There’s nothing like having absolute confidence in your firearm and ammo when it comes time to make a challenging shot on a heavy-beamed herd bull. Nosler’s reputation for making high-quality ammunition is recognized among serious hunters and shooters who demand the very best, and as a result, Nosler’s Trophy Grade and Trophy Grade Long Range Ammunition have added the following new offerings for 2016: For the ubiquitous .300 Win. Mag., a lead-free option from Nosler now exists in Trophy Grade ammunition. It’s loaded up front with the 180-grain E-Tip at a muzzle velocity of 2,950 fps, delivering 3,478 ft./lbs. of energy combined with 95-percent weight retention, providing a devastating combo. The Trophy Grade Ammunition lineup wouldn’t be complete without the addition of the new and incredibly powerful .30 Nosler cartridge, loaded with the 180-grain AccuBond. At 3,200 fps and 4,092 ft./lbs. of energy at the muzzle, it provides shocking external and terminal ballistics. To further complement the introduction of the .30 Nosler cartridge, Trophy Grade Long Range Ammunition will also be available with a 210-grain AccuBond Long Range bullet loaded to 3,000 fps so you can really reach out and touch your trophy. Also fresh in the Trophy Grade Long Range Ammunition product line expansion is a new option for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor. Loaded with the 129-grain AccuBond Long Range bullet at 2,850 fps, it delivers reliable expansion out to 1,200 yards and stays supersonic past 1,500 yards. For the .270 Weatherby fans, Nosler’s Trophy Grade Long Range Ammunition loaded with the 150-grain AccuBond Long Range bullet breathes new life into this classic by stretching the effective range well past 1,000 yards. For the most current information on Nosler product announcements, visit the Nosler Facebook page.
Leupold VX-3i Riflescopes. Hunt earlier, hunt longer. It was with this game-changing idea in mind that Leupold created the new VX-3i series ($520-$1,249) of riflescopes, and avid elk hunters everywhere stand to benefit. Every aspect of the VX-3i was designed to give you an edge in the first and last light of day, deep shadows, or anytime the light is low. The key to its performance is the Twilight Max Light Management System. First, it optimizes the red and blue frequencies of light at the ends of the visual spectrum—the kind found in the first and last moments of daylight—while simultaneously transmitting a high percentage of mid-spectrum light to maximize contrast and resolution. Precision machining and edge-blackened lenses eliminate glare, which can degrade your sight picture. To protect this precision system from scratches and abrasions, Leupold gave it DiamondCoat 2 lens coatings. The improvements didn’t stop there. Leupold aggressively redesigned the VX-3i power selector, making it easier to grasp and turn, with larger, brighter numbering for quick verification. For absolute confidence in your adjustments, Leupold added a match-grade, dual-spring erector system with 1/4-MOA finger click windage and elevation dials. Lastly, to better resist thermal shock and guarantee waterproof performance, Leupold gave the VX-3i its second-generation Argon-Krypton waterproofing. Available in a range of magnifications from 1.5-5x to the jaw-dropping 8.5-25x, the VX-3i is lights out the best low-light hunting scope you’ll find.
Burris Veracity Riflescopes. Award-winning Veracity riflescopes ($720-$1,080) give smart elk hunters plenty of advantages beginning with their highly versatile five times zoom system, delivering a larger field of view at close ranges and better target acquisition at long ranges. Accurate and repeatable reticle adjustments match the measurement system of the reticle, making windage and elevation adjustments fast, easy, and extremely accurate. Multi-Turn Target Knobs found on 4x-20x and 5x-25x models offer up to 15 MOA adjustment per rotation with multi revolutions of adjustment. They also feature Zero Click Stop to quickly revert back to your original yardage setting without counting revolutions. A finger adjustment zero is offered for both windage and elevation on the low profile E1 Hunter Adjustment Knobs found on the 2x-10x and 3x-15x models. Veracity reticles are state of the art, featuring a Front Focal Plane (FFP) design and the new PTCTM Technology. FFP reticles keep reticle measurements accurate at any power, so you can take full advantage of reticle measurements and trajectory compensation at every magnification. The Ballistic E1 FFP reticle features trajectory compensation out to 600 yards, with cascading wind dots to help you compensate for wind. Veracity riflescopes are equipped with high performance glass and Hi-Lume multi-coated lenses for excellent brightness and clarity. A double internal spring tension system allows each scope to hold zero under shock, recoil, and vibrations, and the precision gauged and handfitted internal assemblies maintain a consistent point of impact through the entire magnification range.
Nikon Monarch 7 30mm Long Range Riflescopes. Elk country is big country, and your gear had better match the terrain. Long-range shooters and hunters will be better equipped to reach out farther than ever before, thanks to Nikon’s newly enhanced flagship Monarch 7 riflescope line ($850 to $1,100). These riflescopes feature a 30mm main body tube and larger objective lenses, which provides the user with a bright image and edge-to-edge clarity. The fully multicoated lenses minimize reflection to further maximize the light transmission of the riflescope. A large 56mm diameter objective lens (largest in Nikon riflescopes) is found in the 3-12X56mm SF and 3-12X56mm SF IL Monarch 7 models. The glass-etched Advanced BDC reticle combines Nikon’s highly acclaimed BDC reticle technology with an innovative wind-compensating reticle. Windage marks on both the left and right side of the post are calibrated for a 10-mile-per-hour crosswind when the rifle is zeroed at either 100 yards or 200 yards depending on the type of the cartridge. Even if the crosswind is more or less than 10 mph, shooters now have a reliable benchmark to compensate for distance and windage. In addition, Monarch 7’s optional Illuminated Advanced BDC reticle delivers the ability to easily see the the aiming point in the center of the reticle, regardless of lighting conditions. Shooters will benefit from the wide range of intensity in 32 gradual steps, from extremely dim to very bright settings, to accommodate any hunting or shooting environment. The scope’s eyepiece lens cover doubles as a battery cap opener for any maintenance required in the field. Illuminated reticle models include the 4-16X50mm SF IL and 3-12x56mm SF IL. For more on Nikon’s full line of riflescopes, binoculars, fieldscopes, and laser rangefinders, go to NikonSportOptics.com.
Sig Sauer Whiskey5 & Whiskey3 Hunting Riflescopes. Elk hunts often boil down to just a single fleeting opportunity, and your optics had better be up to the task. The Whiskey Series is one of several product families found under the new SIG SAUER umbrella of high-performance optics. The series is comprised of the WHISKEY5 and WHISKEY3 riflescopes, both engineered to bring the most-difficult targets into sharp focus with the goal of making every hunter’s first shot count. Built to perform in the toughest conditions, the WHISKEY5 ($700-$1,300) super-zoom 5x riflescope features SIG’s proprietary HDX optical system for extreme clarity and low-light performance. HellFire fiber-optic illuminated reticles and FREE SBT (SIG Ballistic Turret) calibrated to the shooter’s unique ballistics and environmental conditions come standard with the WHISKEY5. The scope features 5x optical zoom with illuminated and non-illuminated reticles and is available in second focal plane (SFP) with multiple reticle options. The WHISKEY3 ($190-$300) features low-dispersion glass, rugged chassis, and capped windage and elevation turrets. The industrial design of this scope provides rugged reliability and protection from the most extreme elements. Most models of the WHISKEY3 include one FREE SBT (SIG Ballistic Turret) custom-lasered elevation dial calibrated to the shooter’s unique ballistics and environmental conditions. The 3x optical zoom of this scope is offered in second focal plane (SFP) with multiple reticle options. With a European-style eyepiece, this product is smooth, fast and precise, providing a great advantage to a wide variety of hunting situations. To see the entire lineup of SIG SAUER Electro-Optics visit SigOptics.com.
Hummingbird ED Micro Spotting Scope. When it comes to elk hunting, few pieces of gear can deliver better detail, and more helpful info, faster than a respectable spotting scope. However, most spotters tend to be large, heavy and awkward to carry into the high country. For those who want high quality optics and extremely compact size Celestron has introduced the Hummingbird ED–the world’s first “Micro” spotting scope. Weighing in at a mere 19 ounces (50mm objective model) and 21 ounces (56mm model), these scopes won’t weigh you down. Both measure a compact 7 inches long, and fit easily fit into a pocket or pack. Celestron has designed the Hummingbird ED Micro Spotting Scopes to work as either a hand-held or mounted spotting scope, so it’s possible to use it as an “all-in-one” field optic. Both versions are suitable to serve as a substitute for a binocular. They also have a “close-focus” feature for objects as close as 10 feet away. Handiness in the field is also matched by toughness: waterproof and nitrogen-filled, Hummingbird optics are protected against wet weather, humidity, and harsh environments and encased in a durable armor that protects against bumps and jolts in the field or on the go. To find out more about Celestron optics go to Celestron.com.
Cabela’s Instinct Euro HD 15×56 Binoculars. Elk country is big country, and one of the biggest challenges is often locating some elk to hunt. Cabela’s Instinct Euro HD 15×56 binoculars ($1,600) deliver performance that matches or surpasses some of the best names in optics for a fraction of the cost, with the kind of power that gives you the option of leaving a heavy, bulky spotting scope behind. Cabela’s upgraded its already outstanding Euro binoculars to create the Euro HD, binoculars that provide performance equal or superior to high-end binoculars costing hundreds of dollars more. Euro HD features a MeoBright 5501 fully multicoated optical system and phase-corrected prisms to deliver amazing 99.9-percent light transmission per lens surface and nearly non-existent color distortion. You’ll enjoy image clarity and true, rich, vivid color reproduction no other binoculars in this price range can surpass. All this outstanding optical performance is housed in a sleek, ergonomically designed aluminum-alloy body with a rugged layer of textured rubber armor to reduce carry weight and protect it from rough use. Each pair is completely nitrogen-purged, sealed and guaranteed to provide a lifetime of fogproof, waterproof performance.
Nikon PROSTAFF 3S Binocular. With all the many sharp eyes in an elk herd, it pays to have a high-quality set working for you as well. A great affordable choice is Nikon’s new PROSTAFF 3S binocular, available in both 8×42 and 10×42 models. These new optics offer Nikon’s legendary optical quality, along with a durable waterproof/fogproof exterior design. You’ll also find light-gathering 42mm objective lenses that offer a large field of view, yet the body is noticeably lightweight and compact to assure portability. Other features include prisms with high-reflective silver-alloy mirror coatings and multilayer-coated lenses that provide bright and clear viewing. Also, turn-and-slide rubber eyecups with multi-click adjustments allowing easy eye positioning, even for eyeglass wearers.
Styrka S7 Series Binoculars. Need an optical advantage in the backcountry? Styrka is a Minnesota-based optics company with over a century of optical expertise, and it certainly shows in its new flagship S7 Series binocular line. Included are three models (8×42, 10×42 and a very compact 8×30), all backed by the best warranty in the optics industry: the Styrka Pride Warranty. Under Styrka Pride, not only is the optic covered unconditionally, but once a year it can be returned to Styrka for a cleaning and thorough inspection to make sure everything is working as it should. After some extensive field-testing this past fall, ScoutLook Executive Editor Mark Melotik considers the 8×30 model to be a near-ideal bowhunting binocular. He especially liked the sharp, crisp images in the low light of dawn and dusk, and the super-compact, lightweight design that never interfered with bow shooting and was easily stowed in pack or pocket. The S7 line features extra-low dispersion (ED) objective lenses; coupled with Styrka’s proprietary SXL-MAX flat multi-coatings, the optical design delivers razor-sharp, high-contrast images to help you find more game in any terrain. All models are fully waterproof and nitrogen purged for use in any weather condition.
ALPS OutdoorZ Bino Harness X. Following the successful launch of its Extreme line of premium hunting packs that include several elk-worthy models such as the Extreme Commander X with Pack, ALPS OutdoorZ has expanded its Extreme line with another elk-friendly essential: the Bino Harness X. This premium binocular harness is designed with the hardcore hunter in mind starting with its 6.5×5.5×2.25-inch pocket that stays close to your chest, preventing bouncing or shifting as you run, hike and climb into position. The back panel is padded for extra comfort, and the harness is fully adjustable to fit all body sizes. The straps have been specifically designed to fit comfortably underneath your pack straps, allowing you to wear the Bino Harness X comfortably with or without your pack. The tough durable design features the same 1680D Nylon Ballistic material fabric found in all of the ALPs Extreme line products to ensure extra durability in even the harshest environments. The closure mechanism on the main compartment is adjustable to allow for a variety of binocular sizes, and the binocular attachment straps are metal-free to prevent any unnecessary wear on your binoculars’ attachment points. The Bino Harness X features four total lashing points to allow for your favorite “add-on” accessories; a lens cloth is also included. To learn more about the Bino Harness X, and all products in the ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme line, click here.
ALPS OutdoorZ Commander X + Pack is a complete system ideal for elk and other multi-day backcountry hunters. The combination of an internal frame meat hauling pack with a detachable 4,000-cubic-inch pack bag ($350 complete system) offers the ability to pack in gear to a spike camp, and haul out meat when the task is completed. The Commander X frame has a helpful lashing system that incorporates a compressed wing system and a lower shelf to secure loads to the frame. The pack bag can then be reattached with a series of compression straps over the load. When the meat-hauling frame is not needed the pack bag attaches to the frame with zippers for a secure fit to the frame for a comfortable carry. The frame is comprised of dual aluminum stays with channeled high-density polyethylene frame for a durable, rigid carry. A rain cover is included; frame weight is 5 pounds, 3 ounces; pack bag weighs 4 pounds.
Mossberg Patriot Rifles. Would you trust the fate of your elk season on a budget-priced rifle? You can with the Mossberg Patriot. With more than 25 options in various elk-killing calibers, and numerous stock options, look to the Patriot hunting series. You can also opt for a premium scoped Patriot combo package featuring the latest riflescope technology from Vortex Optics: the Dead-Hold BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) reticle. Choose from four popular calibers in the Patriot/Vortex combo that are suitable for elk: .270 Win., .308 Win., .30-06 SPRG or .300 Win. Mag. The newly-released Patriot series of bolt-action rifles combines the most requested features of Mossberg’s field-proven centerfire rifles in a re-engineered bolt-action platform. All Patriot rifles feature a handy 22-inch fluted barrel and come standard with a detachable box magazine.
Nosler Model 48 Liberty Rifle. For blaze-orange elk hunters who demand uncompromisingly tight tolerances, same-hole groups and hair-splitting long-range performance out of their rifle, check out the Nosler Model 48 Liberty. Nosler guarantees this rifle will produce a three-shot group that’s an inch or less at 100 yards, so long as you use prescribed Nosler ammo. A Nosler M48 bolt action is paired with a match-grade stainless-steel barrel, all riding on a lightweight composite stock. Connect these attributes with an amazingly crisp trigger, and you’ve got yourself an elk gun that big bulls will fear. Learn more at Nosler.com.
Elite Impulse 31. The new Impulse series is being touted as Elite’s most-advanced bow ever, and the super-compact, 31-inch axle-to-axle Impulse 31 (343 fps, 4.2 pounds, 6-inch brace height) might be one of the best ground blind bows ever made. The bow reaches speeds to 343 fps with help from the new Impulse 2-track cam system; also adding to the speedy performance is the new “open geometry” 6061 T6 aluminum riser, designed to distribute load over a greater surface area and improve rigidity. The new Perfect Alignment Limb System limb pocket is designed to deliver exceptionally balanced, forgiving shooting. The Impulse 31 retails for $999 and is available in a wide variety of finishes including new-for-2016 KUIU Vias and KUIU Verde camo patterns.
Cabela’s Influence Compound Bow Package. Looking to give bowhunting for elk a try, or get a youngster started in bowhunting without breaking your gear budget? Cabela’s has the answer in its new Influence Compound Bow Package ($499.99) that offers an ideal combination of wide-ranging adjustments, tack-driving accuracy and great price that make it an excellent choice for just about anyone. Thanks to its Synchronized Binary Cam System the Influence provides exceptional accuracy and stays in tune. Unlike asymmetric single-cam and hybrid-cam systems, the Synchronized Binary Cam System is comprised of two perfectly symmetrical cams that are bound to each other, forcing the cams to turn in perfect synchronization. Rotating modules don’t require a new cam or module to set your draw length and let you adjust draw length between 20 and 30 inches. Extreme Adjustability Limb System also accommodates growth as it lets you adjust the draw weight from 18 all the way to 70 pounds. Perhaps the best part is it does all of these things while maintaining a flat-shooting, lethal IBO speed of 315 fps. Right- and left-hand models available, in both Cabela’s Zonz Woodlands camouflage and Teal. Cabela’s Influence Compound Bow Package includes: R.A.K. Custom 3-Pin Sight, Octane Hostage XL Rest, Octane DeadLock Lite Quiver, rope sling, carbon peep, 5-inch Ultra-Lite Octane Stabilizer, and a BCY string loop.
Plano Field Locker Compound Bow Case. A large component of elk hunting is travel, and that means taking time to ensure your gear arrives at your hunt camp in A-1 condition. Whether you’re flying to a western airport or driving in a packed truck or SUV, the Field Locker Mil-Spec Case Series delivers absolute protection. Considered by many to be the finest firearms cases ever engineered, for 2016 the series expands with the all-new Plano Field Locker Compound Bow Case (exterior dimensions 46.38x18x 7.25 inches, interior 44x15x6.38 inches) arguably the finest and most durable hard-molded bow case ever produced. The quality componentry and vital features of this case begin with Plano’s inimitable molding process, which yields a reinforced shell that’s up to any task assigned; from long and rugged travel by truck, boat, ATV or airline, to extreme exposure to rain, ice, mud and muck. Like its brothers in the Mil-Spec Field Locker line, the new Field Locker Compound Bow Case ($250; 23 pounds) is watertight and dustproof. Secure sealing with premium Dry-Loc gaskets coupled with exacting measurements ensure your bow, arrows and accessories inside will not be affected by hostile elements or environments. Plano’s pledge to protection continues with a high-performance Pressure Release Valve, which equalizes pressure divergence caused by altitude or temperature.
Cabela’s Instinct Order Acu50 Crossbow By TenPoint. Crossbow use is increasing by leaps and bounds nationwide, and more and more elk hunters are seeing their flat-shooting advantages. Cabela’s Instinct Order Crossbow By TenPoint tips the scales at a backcountry-friendly 6.4 pounds, thanks to its weight-shedding, carbon-injected polymer barrel and boasts speeds of a blistering 350 feet per second. The Functionally Superior Bullpup (FSB) stock is designed for optimal balance and extreme durability, while the compact 13.5-inch XLT bow assembly packs a powerful 185-pound draw weight into a 13.5-inch axle-to-axle width when cocked. The patented ACU-50 cocking aid makes the Cabela’s Zonz Woodland-camo-covered Instinct Order easy to cock for just about anyone. The Cabela’s Instinct Order Acu50 Crossbow Package By TenPoint ($1,100) includes: Crossbow, TenPoint 3x Pro View 2 illuminated scope, patented ACU-50 cocking aid, Instant-detach 3-arrow quiver, and three carbon arrows.
Kwikee Air Quivers. With elk hunting the critical equation is fairly straightforward. The less weight you carry the faster you can travel, and the more ground you can cover. Many quivers claim to be light but few can compare with the new Kwikee Air; in its standard configuration the Air, which is made entirely of shock-reducing foam, is 70-percent lighter than comparable quivers. And because of its adjustability bowhunters can reduce weight even more. The unique design allows you to customize your quiver by removing an arrow holder, and you can also increase the distance between the arrow holders and the shield. You can even use old arrow shafts to increase or decrease the length of the quiver, so you can position it on your bow in the perfect location. With no plastic or metal parts you cannot make a more-silent quiver. Your broadheads can’t clank against each other or any hard plastic; bang the shield against your treestand or other hard objects and all you will hear is a dull thud. The StarTite design holds all diameter arrows securely; choose from 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-arrow models, in both Straight and Curved hood designs. All are backed by the famous Kwikee Kwiver Lifetime warranty.
TightSpot Quivers Get Lighter. By now you’re likely catching on to the fact that Team ScoutLook believes lighter is better when it comes to elk hunting. For 2016, all 5-arrow TightSpot quivers now feature a new streamlined, lighter weight crossbar. The crossbar is structural and also holds a bumper strip that quells arrow vibration. Reducing crossbar weight reduces overall quiver weight, also reducing torque on your bow. The 5-arrow TightSpot quiver is also now available in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, the latest camo pattern from Mossy Oak, along with the new Skullworks 2 and Mathews’ Lost Camo XD. TightSpot also makes a 3-arrow treestand quiver for the hunter who needs only three arrows. The 3-arrow TightSpot is extremely compact and ideal for a treestand’s tight quarters. Both TightSpot models provide better bow balance, thanks to TightSpot’s patented 3-way adjustment system that essentially allows your quiver to act as a stabilizer. They also kill vibration and noise five different ways and feature acoustic dampening material in the hood and vibration absorbing carbon rods. And, they both feature TightSpot’s patented BullDog Arrow Grippers that are individually adjustable and offer 20 times the gripping power of other quivers. For more on TightSpot quivers, go to TightSpotQuiver.com.
WildEar Master. Elk hunting is about as “interactive” (and vocal) a hunt as you can undertake, in some cases even more so than for spring turkeys. Grab an edge in hearing those distant bugles with the WildEar Master, built for the shooting sportsman who values hearing protection as much as hearing enhancement. Whether hunting from a treestand or shooting at the gun range, the WildEar Master provides the most-advanced technology in hearing protection and enhancement on the market. The Master protects your ears from extreme noise and gun blasts, and also provides hearing enhancement for safety and communication, both at the range and in the field. WildEar Master includes 4 digital hearing enhancement programs, and each set is custom-fit using digital technology to ensure all-day comfort and superior fit. Features include: 4 digital programs, adjustable volume with up to 5 times normal hearing boost, Sound Guard technology, right and left ear color-coded, custom fit for all-day comfort, vent system to alleviate the “plugged ear” sensation, and a unique wax protection system.
HHA Sports Optimizer Lite King Pin. When you’ve put in the necessary practice, there’s nothing better than having a bowsight that you can quickly dial-in to the exact yardage when finally in range of your dream herd bull. No sight lets you do that faster or easier than the Optimizer Lite King Pin ($350). A full 20 years in the making, the King Pin marks the third generation of archery’s best-selling movable single pin sight. The most notable difference is its wheel-forward design, making it compatible with virtually any quiver, and extending it further in front of the riser than HHA’s proven Optimizer Lite and Lite Ultra sights. With 2.1 inches of vertical travel combined with the industry’s most-accurate yardage tape system, the King Pin’s silky smooth all-brass rack-and-pinion can be dialed from 20 to 100 yards in 1-yard increments. Interchangeable yardage wheels can be swapped out in seconds for shooters who change their setups frequently, eliminating the need to “re-tape” the sight each time. A “Blind 20” feature allows the shooter to return the sight to their 20-yard mark while keeping an eye on the target and illuminated sight tapes, courtesy of an add-on Blue Burst light, are sure to be a hit with ground blind hunters. With the choice of a 1 3/8-, 1 5/8-, or 2-inch sight aperture, and available in both .010 of .019 fiber diameters, the King Pin boasts an exclusive mechanical rheostat that infinitely dims and brightens the pin intensity. Fully integrated 2nd and 3rd axis adjustment make the King Pin the most accurate and versatile Optimizer ever. Like its predecessors, the King Pin is made in the USA and carries a 100-percent Lifetime Warranty. For more about this sight and other HHA products, click here.
Black Gold Ascent Verdict Movable Bowsight. Movable-pin sights are among the hottest bowhunting trends, and the new Ascent Verdict from Black Gold is one of the best around; it’s designed to deliver target sight accuracy, super-smooth adjustability and legendary Black Gold durability to bowhunters everywhere. It’s available in three models: 3-pin, 5-pin or 1-pin scope, offering more range and adjustability than traditional movable hunting sights. Like all Black Gold bowsights, the Ascent Verdict features some of the brightest pins on the market thanks to SkyCoil Technology. The 3- and 5-pin models are outfitted with one-piece, machined micro-grooved pins, while the single-pin model has Black Gold’s brightest single pin ever. All three models feature High-Performance PhotoChromatic Technology that automatically dulls pins in bright light to prevent pin halo. Put an end to finicky and frustrating level adjustment with the Verdict’s new Level Head sight ring (patent pending), which features an easy-to-adjust and ultra-secure build-in level. A splined vertical drive gear system with 80-percent more gear surface interface means much smoother and quieter operation when you turn the “Dial-of-Death” wheel, and it also eliminates gear burnout. Exclusive first axis adjustment keeps the sights dialed in at long ranges. Learn more at BlackGoldSights.com.
Thermacell Max Life Refills. Never leave home without your Thermacell, or you’re bound to get bit. Whether you’re hunting wapiti early or face an unexpected warm spell later in the season, you never know when mosquitoes might be on the prowl. Thermacell Repellers create a virtually odorless 15×15-foot zone of protection that’s up to 98-percent effective against mosquitoes and other biting insects. All devices operate on a single butane cartridge, which heats a repellent mat releasing allethrin, a synthetic copy of the natural repellent found in chrysanthemum flowers. New for this season, you can get Max Life Refills with updated repellent mats that provide 12 hours of uninterrupted Thermacell action. Or you can still opt for the original refills (12-hour butane cartridges with 4-hour mats) and stock up with the Mega Pack refill box, which provides 120 hours of bug-free enjoyment.
Bluetooth-Enabled ThermaCELL Heated Products. Late-season elk hunters now have some powerful high-tech options to combat frigid conditions. ThermaCELL Heated Products have brought comfort to outdoor enthusiasts for years in the form of ThermaCELL Heated Insoles and ThermaCELL Heat Packs products; the company’s new-for-2016 innovations include ThermaCELL Heated Insoles ProFLEX Heavy Duty and ThermaCELL Heat Packs Bluetooth Pocket Warmers, both of which offer temperature control via Bluetooth smartphone connectivity on both iOS and Android devices, as well as the ability to check the battery life through the free application. Talk about convenient.
ThermaCELL Heated Insoles ProFLEX Heavy Duty ($200) operate through any major smartphone via Bluetooth, eliminating the need for wires and small remotes. The lightweight cushioned heated insoles are supercharged with a 30-percent higher capacity battery than their predecessor, providing up to 8.5 hours of foot-warming comfort on a single charge. They’re more rugged, and also recharge quickly, acquiring a full charge in less than 2 hours. As their name suggests, these insoles are highly durable, and they have been tested to over 1 million footsteps. They also provide up to 27 degrees of protection beyond a footwear’s insulation rating, meaning wearers can comfortably stay out in the cold longer. A ProFLEX Extended Life Battery Pack ($60) is also available for those trying to extend their time in the outdoors. This new battery pack will power either the standard or Heavy Duty ProFLEX insoles for up to 6.5 hours per charge. The second generation of ThermaCELL Heat Packs/Pocket Warmer ($80) is also Bluetooth-enabled and can be operated with a smartphone while continually remaining in the pocket. Additional features of this new product include a 50-percent faster battery recharge and an embedded eyelet in the corner to allow for hanging from a lanyard. An adjustable lanyard is included with each ThermaCELL Heat Packs – Bluetooth Pocket Warmer retail package. For those who want to do double warming duty this winter season, the ThermaCELL Heat Packs – Bluetooth Pocket Warmers and ThermaCELL Heated Insoles ProFLEX Heavy Duty function through a simple interface on the same application. Find the nearest ThermaCELL Heated Products retailer by visiting Heat.Thermacell.com and clicking “Where to Buy.”
Nikon Arrow ID 3000 Laser Rangefinder. Elk are big animals with a fairly large vital zone, but steep, challenging western terrain can make estimating exact yardage difficult. Unless you’re packing the new Nikon ARROW ID 3000 laser rangefinder, which delivers proven TRU-TARGET Technology and ID (Incline/Decline) Technology. The high-quality 4x monocular system features multilayer coatings for bright, clear images while offering invaluable field-of-view to easily locate and range targets quickly. That means less time searching for targets and more time preparing for the shot. The ARROW ID 3000 provides 20.3mm of eye relief for a pleasurable viewing experience for any archer, including eyeglass wearers, allowing them to quickly range distances from 6 to 550 yards. You’ll also find a hunter-friendly rainproof housing and wide temperature tolerance. Nikon’s proven ID (Incline/Decline) Technology instantly calculates the horizontal distance to the target. Archers also have the option to simply switch modes to the traditional “linear” distance reading when required. TRU-TARGET Technology offers users the ability to select between First Target Priority (1st) mode and Distant Target Priority (Dst) mode. First Target Priority mode displays the distance of the closest subject– useful when measuring the distance to a subject in front of an overlapping background. Distant Target Priority mode displays the range of the farthest target among a group of targets measured, useful in wooded areas.
Sig Sauer KILO2000 Laser Rangefinder. When a trophy bull elk makes a sudden appearance, knowing the range is one of the biggest keys to your hunt’s success. SIG SAUER has done its part to help elk hunters everywhere with the new KILO2000 Rangefinder ($500). Updating at 4x per second in “HyperScan” mode, the KILO2000 rangefinder with patented LightWave DSP technology delivers amazingly fast yardage readings; couple that with the ability to range reflective targets at 3,400 yards, trees at 1,500 yards, and deer at 1,200 yards, and you have a very potent hunting partner. The built-in inclinometer of the KILO2000 calculates AMR (Angle Modified Range) for angled shots to ensure accuracy; SIG’s proprietary Lumatic OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) Display, automatically adjusts display intensity to match ambient light conditions, bright in bright conditions and dim in twilight to protect the shooter’s eye. As opposed to other products, the KILO’s simplified user interface clearly displays system status, but while ranging, only provides the necessary range data. At a very compact size of 7x25mm and 7.5 ounces (with battery), the capabilities of the KILO2000 have created a rangefinder fit for any situation a shooter might encounter. This unit is covered by the SIG SAUER Infinite Lifetime Guarantee. To see the entire lineup of SIG SAUER Electro-Optics visit SigOptics.com.
Halo ZIR10X Laser Rangefinder. High-tech elk hunting gear doesn’t often come at a killer bargain, but a good example is this fine laser rangefinder, a compact and accurate 1,000-yard model with features well beyond its $230 price tag. Delivering accuracy to +/- one yard, the Halo ZIR10X automatically detects and compensates for elevation changes with AITM (Angle Intelligence) Technology, which results in the display of a true ballistic distance. The ZIR10X ranges targets in two modes. Standard mode provides a precise distance reading with a single push of the button, while the convenient Scan mode enables users to quickly range multiple targets without having to reactivate the laser in between. You’ll also find 6x magnification an updated, easy-to-read, color LCD readout with dusk/dawn display mode that stands out against dark backgrounds, and clearly displays the reticle, battery status, mode setting, numerical display and unit of measure, which is selectable by yards or meters. The comfortable and ergonomically correct Soft Touch grip extends over the unit’s objective lens to minimize glare while increasing surface area for more reliable handling. A nylon strap and protective case are included. For more information visit HaloOptics.com.
Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer Coolers. Veteran elk hunters know that caring for and transporting meat following a successful hunt can be some of most-critical considerations of the entire adventure. Cabela’s made-in-the-USA Polar Cap Equalizer Coolers are proven to keep ice frozen for up to five days, and are certified bear-resistant for use in the toughest environments, helped along by a molded padlock receptacle that allows you to securely lock the coolers when you’re not in camp. You’ll also find a maximum insulation-to-weight ratio that provides a hefty amount of temperature-controlling foam insulation without adding excessive weight. An innovative freezer-grade gasket creates a seal that’s air-tight, preserving what’s inside longer; more convenience comes with the barrel-shaped, rubberized T-handle latches that provide a secure seal and feature integrated bottle openers. The elevated, nonskid feet reduce heat transfer and increase cooling efficiency, and molded-in handles and a molded-in hinge with aluminum connecting rods enhance durability. More smart details include a pressure-release valve for easier lid opening, rope handles with integrated handle retainers and glow-in-the-dark tracers. Choose from 25-, 40-, 60-, 80- and 100-quart capacities.
Engel Backpack Cooler in Kryptek Camo. Ultra-mobile outdoorsmen like elk hunters are prime candidates for soft-side coolers, because they’re uniquely versatile and portable. And now, the Engel Backpack Cooler, complete with its handy backpack straps, highly efficient insulation and dual radiant barriers, is available in great-looking Kryptek Highlander camo ($180). Any sportsman—or sportswoman—will appreciate the benefits of blending into the surrounding environment as well as the tough, easy-toting performance of this new design. The Backpack Cooler offers easy access with plenty of room for lunch and more—in total, it’ll hold more than 24 12-ounce beverage cans. The top opening features a heavy-duty, two-way, water-repellant zipper that pulls open for full access to the main inner compartment. Next to the main opening there’s a zippered side pocket, an ideal place to hold an Engel Cooler Pak or two. (Engel Cooler Paks will keep the adjacent contents in the main section cold without relying upon ice—freeing up more space for groceries and eliminating sloppy meltwater). Rugged construction includes a durable 500-denier tear-resistant diamond ripstop outer shell with a waterproof TPE coating. On the inside, there are dual radiant barrier liners of reflective foil—an Engel exclusive feature—and sandwiched in between is a 1.5-inch-thick layer of closed-cell foam insulation. Under typical conditions, the Engel Backpack Cooler will hold ice for up to 3 days.
Siberian Coolers 22 Quart Sidekick. An elk hunting camp just can’t have too many dependable, high-performance coolers, whether the goal is storing provisions or elk meat. The Sidekick ($190; 18x13x12 inches; 10.75 pounds) is a compact and affordable, high-performance 22-quart cooler ideal for riding along in your truck or ATV, or keeping near your bunk in base camp. With its 180-degree, aluminum ergonomic carry handle and weighing in at just 10.75 pounds, the Sidekick is easy to carry and transport. The non-skid rubber feet keep the Sidekick from sliding about in your truck bed or boat, and the stainless steel hinges will keep the lid of your Sidekick opening smoothly for countless trips into the field or on the water. You’ll also find a PE foam-injected layer that helps keep beverages and snacks cooler longer; the roto-molding construction process consists of a high-temperature, low-pressure plastic-forming procedure that uses heat and bi-axial rotation to produce hollow, one-piece parts for optimum performance. This process has inherent design qualities, such as consistent wall thickness and strong outside corners that are virtually stress free. For more information visit SiberianCoolers.com.
IceMule Realtree Pro Field Cooler. A big part of most elk hunting is base camping, and you can’t have too many versatile coolers in camp. IceMule Coolers, the world’s most portable high-performance cooler, has partnered with leading camouflage designer Realtree to debut the IceMule Realtree Pro cooler. The IceMule Pro’s unique portability and durability makes it an ideal cooler option for elk hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. Built for extreme adventure, the IceMule Pro features a 1000 denier exterior tarpaulin fabric, seams rated to 65 pounds, and reinforced back-straps and ventilated back pads that provide ultimate comfort for long-range excursions. The heavy duty MuleSkin inner layer is 2x thicker than most soft coolers, while PolarLayer Insulation keeps contents “IceMule” cold for up to 24 hours. Available in 20L, 30L, and 40L capacities, the IceMule Pro is completely buoyant and comes with exterior bungee webbing. The IceMule Realtree Pro is available at select retailers nationwide and online at IceMuleCooler.com.
Cabela’s Instinct Outfitter Tent. Elk hunting and tent-camping are virtually synonymous, and this versatile “base camp” tent offers the spacious livability of a wall tent, along with the easy setup and lightweight durability of a dome tent. Featured is a high-rise frame and straight-side walls that combine to create a living area that is a full 10 feet wide by 14 feet long, with an 84-inch center height. And it weighs only 50 pounds. More smart details of the Instinct Outfitter ($1,000) include a weatherproof snow skirt, and oversized, D-shaped door. This sturdy design has been wind-tunnel tested at more than 50 mph, performance helped along by the strong and lightweight DAC Da 17 aluminum poles that are backed by internal cyclone straps and external cyclone guy lines for extra rigidity in seriously windy conditions.
Sitka Timberline Series Huntwear. If you’re a serious elk hunter and haven’t yet discovered the many advantages found in the well-rounded Sitka Gear lineup, the versatile Timberline Jacket ($349) and Pant ($229) are a great place to start. This newly redesigned combo features new bombproof textiles and taped WINDSTOPPER fabrics, all built with Sitka’s uncompromising attention to detail and performance. The Timberline Jacket’s performance fit features body-mapped Micro Grid Fleece insulation to keep your core warm, and the reinforced shoulders and sleeves will hold their own in the rugged terrain. This mid- to late-season jacket is Sitka’s most versatile in the big game lineup; it’s available in Gore Optifade Concealment Open Country, in sizes medium to 2XL.
By reinforcing the seat, knees and hem on the Timberline Pant, Sitka was able to make it more durable and pliable, meaning it can stand up to the rigors of any alpine hunt. This highly-technical 4-way stretch nylon pant is far more water repellent and quicker-drying than before, translating to less weight when packing it away. The Timberline Pant is available in Gore Optifade Concealment Open Country, Lead and Moss. For more information about Sitka visit SitkaGear.com.
Cabela’s Instinct Backcountry Ultra-Pack Rain Jacket and Pants. All roving hunters—elk hunters included—need dependable rainwear that’s lightweight and truly packable, and this premium suit excels in all three areas. Both Jacket ($200) and Pant ($190) pack down to about the size of a 12-ounce soda can—so they’re always handy, never cumbersome. Generously cut designs allow fast on and off in the field. The Jacket has a draw-cord hem, elastic cuffs, adjustable hood and a full-front zipper, and weighs only 7.2 ounces. The Pants (6.3 ounces, including stuff sack) have an elastic waist and knee-length zippers for easy on and off. Both are constructed of 100-percent four-way-stretch polyester. Camo pattern: Cabela’s Zonz Backcountry.
Huntworth Men’s 1/2 Zip Performance Fleece Pullover. Start-and-stop, run-and-gun elk hunting poses its share of challenges when assembling a deadly hunt apparel arsenal. This versatile, packable, affordable pullover ($55) features 230-gram, four-way stretch performance fleece that offers exceptional flexibility and durability for active hunting. Chilly morning? The newly designed interior uses ceramic print technology to keep cold out via its “Huntworth” print pattern interior lamination. Use it as outerwear, or as mid-layer under a heavier jacket. The super soft double-sided fleece is deadly silent; the forgiving four-way stretch fleece fabric delivers exceptional freedom of movement. Smart details include Huntworth’s exclusive camo pattern, Oak Tree EVO, and a zippered left arm shoulder pocket that will accommodate a large cell phone, including the iPhone 6 Plus.
Browning Hell’s Canyon Speed Gear. This exciting new-for-2016 hunt apparel represents the latest advances the technical clothing industry has to offer big game hunters, including dedicated elk fanatics. The proprietary camouflage is A-TACS Camo. A-TACS AU (Arid/Urban) camo is ideal for elk hunting in the drier, western climate; A-TACS FG (Foliage/Green) camo is designed for a temperate, forested climate. Browning’s new HeroFit tailoring trims away excess weight and bulk. The Hell’s Canyon Speed line includes jackets, vests, pants, rainwear, hoodies, base layer tops and bottoms, caps, beanies and gloves. The line gives both archery and rifle hunters alike a complete offering of apparel that provides unmatched durability, mobility and comfort. Late-season elk hunters will appreciate the warm Hell’s Canyon Speed Shrike Jacket ($230; pictured above) that features Body Mapping technology that varies the weight of PrimaLoft insulation throughout the body and sleeves. A highly constructed outer shell fabric is both wind and water-resistant; the stitching pattern enhances mobility at the elbows and lower body. Two chest pockets and a full-length front zipper with internal storm flap and beard guard are also featured, and the HeroFit eliminates excess weight and bulk. For more information on new Browning outdoor apparel visit Browning.com.
ScentBlocker Beast Jacket & Pant. Little about elk hunting can be considered “conventional,” so why wear conventional camo? No matter if you’re after elk or other big game, turkeys or predators, the lightweight Beast provides concealment far beyond a Ghillie suit. The Beast’s “non-human” profile, 3-D leaves, multi-toned grasses and Trinity scent control technology combine to make the Beast the ultimate assault weapon. Mitigating detection on all fronts begins by breaking up the human silhouette with the jacket’s hood design that starts at the shoulders and wraps over the head, changing the hunter’s usual profile. Both the jacket and pant are sheathed in a never before seen combination of 3-D fabric leaves woven with strands of rough textured, multi-colored strings to create an illusion that goes unnoticed in the woods. Constructed with ripstop fabric infused with Trinity Scent Control Technology, it’s cool, lightweight and tough as nails.
HuntStand App. Download the free HuntStand app to save unlimited elk hunting locations to your interactive ScoutMap. Revisit your saved locations at any time to view pinpoint weather conditions, including hourly ScentCone wind forecasts to plot your stalks on wary wapiti. Use ScoutMarX to store locations of watering holes, wallows, rubs, bedding areas and other key clues that will bring you closer to elk success. Use the Terrain map overlay to efficiently evaluate your daily travel routes and avoid mountain mishaps. Store logs of specific elk observations so you can develop patterns and fill tags. Cache parcels of your hunting areas for offline viewing and GPS navigation. HuntStand helps to put you in the right place at the right time. Available for Android and iOS.
onXmaps HUNT App. You should never need to wonder if you’re trespassing or hunting on the right property. On those same lines, you should be able to effortlessly tap into the massive swath of nationwide public land for pursuing elk. The onXmaps HUNT app will help you dominate navigation from the convenience of your smartphone. This powerful app has private/public land boundary data and land ownership information for nearly everywhere in the United States. With onXmaps HUNT, you can view boundary maps by detecting your real-time location with your phone’s GPS, so you’ll never again wonder where you are or where you should be going. You can also choose to get maps via micro SD cards for your GPS, or online from your desktop computer. HUNT App MSRP: 12-month memberships; $15-30 per state.
Hooyman Ratchet Pruner. There’s no telling when you might need to build a makeshift blind, clear brushy obstructions or construct a temporary shelter to weather a high-elevation storm. Keep a Hooyman Ratchet Pruner ($35) at the ready for any of those tasks and more. The pocket-sized, ruggedly built aluminum “Two-in-One” design features a detachable 3.5-inch, high-carbon-steel lock-back saw blade specifically designed for cutting branches, while the hardened ratchet pruning blade is built to hold its edge much longer than non-hardened models. Why carry both a ratchet pruner and hand saw when you can have both tools in one compact unit?
Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener 2.2.1. Every elk pack and base camp can benefit from the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener 2.2.1 that is a complete “in-the-field” knife and tool sharpener. This unique unit is the first angle- guided, 5-stage sharpening solution designed for sportsmen who need a compact, complete and versatile field sharpening tool while on the go. This ingenious design incorporates five stages of sharpening and honing, each with built-in angle guides for a consistent bevel across the entire blade. Included are two Diamond Plates (one Coarse Grit for shaping and repairing, and one Fine Grit for sharpening), and two Ceramic Rods (a 3-position ceramic rod incorporating Coarse Grit, Fine Grit and Fish Hook honing sides, plus a smaller-diameter, Fine Grit serration sharpener); also included is a Leather Strop (conditioned with a micro-abrasive) to finish your blades to a razor-sharp edge. The sharpening guides are purpose-built for your hunting knives, pocket knives and fillet knives, making easy work of sharpening flat, curved and serrated blades—as well as camp tools such as axes, hatchets and machetes.
Steel Will Gekko 1513 & Gekko 1533 Knives. When it comes to elk hunting knives, the more versatile, the better. A great case-in-point is Steel Will Knives, which has grown its popular Gekko series with the Gekko 1513 & Gekko 1533—fixed-blade knives that are some of the most-versatile for hunters and campers. Size really does matter when it comes to different tasks that elk hunters are challenged with while on the trail or in camp. The larger Gekko 1533 (10.12 inches, 7.37 oz.), is great for various chores such as campfire duties, food preparation and shelter construction, while the Gekko 1513 (9.33 inches, 6.8 oz.) also supports the same tasks but as a smaller option. Both Gekko knives are made in Italy and come with a highly visible orange G10 handle; the 0.16-inch thickness of the N690Co blade can handle some of the most-difficult tasks and can be easily honed back to a razor-sharp finish. You’ll also find a protruding tang with an eyelet, for attaching a lanyard, and a high-quality leather sheath for secure transport and quick-and-easy access. The leather material is also comfortable to wear, dries quickly when exposed to the elements and is easy to maintain. To learn more visit SteelWillKnives.com.
Morakniv Bushcraft Survival Knife. The many facets of elk hunting demand a versatile, do-it-all knife; and ideally, one that won’t weigh you down. High carbon steels are preferred in applications that demand durability and frequent regrinding, and the core of the Bushcraft Survival knife ($100) is a razor-sharp, burly 1/8-inch (3.2 mm) thick carbon steel blade treated with an anti-corrosive black coating. The scandi grind makes it a perfect camp/Bushcraft knife as it prevents the knife from slipping off easily, and bites into the surface without getting stuck. It also stays sharp longer. The 4.3-inch-long blade is relatively thin making it easier to field-dress and process your elk.
The Bushcraft Survival comes with an ultralight black plastic sheath, with interchangeable belt clip and belt loop, that holds a Morakniv Fire Starter (included) and features an integrated diamond sharpener, making it easy to sharpen the blade. The spine of the blade is ridge ground so that it can be used with the Morakniv fire starter that lasts approximately 7,000 strikes and produces a 3,000-degree spark, even when wet. The ergonomic handle with high-friction rubber grip gives the feeling of control, making work easier and more enjoyable, as if the knife were an extension of your hand.
Klecker Knives Abiqua Hunter. At the heart of any great elk-hunting knife is a solid, functional design, and it appears Klecker Knives of Silverton OR has hit the sweet spot with its unique new Abiqua Hunter knife. The Abiqua is a lightweight drop point, all-around hunting knife that is easy to pack yet big enough (3 7/8-inch blade, 8 ¾ inches overall, 7.15 ounces) for large jobs, including elk processing. The G-10 handle is comfortable with easy-to-grip finger notches that keep it in place, even when slick. Making this design truly unique is a full-size removable gut hook (4 ¾ inches) neatly concealed in the handle, ideal for processing elk and other big game in the backcountry, yet when stowed literally disappears into the handle. The Abiqua Hunter is a collaboration between Glenn Klecker and custom knife maker and avid hunter David Kurt, who called upon his own experiences in the field when conceiving the knife’s design. The attractive two-tone handle is available in hunter orange or layered brown and black G-10.
Cabela’s Meindl Men’s Western Slope Hunting Boots. Those who hunt elk and high-country muleys know the farther you can hike into rugged country, the better your chances for success. Cabela’s Men’s Western Slope Hunting Boots by Meindl feature the advancement of Air Revolution Technology for optimal comfort during your most-challenging hunts. For premium air circulation, the specialized tongues are made of 3D mesh and a cushioning, reticulating and perforated foam. This special tongue runs along the top of the foot in order to draw in and circulate air. Its longer length extends up and outside the boots, so every step’s compression ejects warm air. Uppers are made of rugged suede and breathable mesh for even more airflow. DIGAfix lacing systems snug boots around your instep to lock heels securely in place. Waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex linings seal out all moisture for bone-dry comfort in wet conditions. AIR-ACTIVE drysoles add cushioning and conform to the exact shape of your feet. Vibram Alpine Rigid rubber outsoles with polyurethane wedges and integrated spoilers offer reliable, nonslip traction on any hunting terrain.
Danner High Ground. After some diligent testing, ScoutLook Executive Editor Mark Melotik is counting the High Ground among the best hunting boots ever made. The reasons are many, but first and foremost is the Gore-Tex-lined High Ground’s wide-ranging, almost scary versatility. To date, Melotik has used this svelte, slim-profiled boot (the uninsulated 8-inch model) to chase Oregon’s Columbia blacktails and Midwest whitetailed deer across a half-dozen states, as well as Colorado elk, Arizona mulies, and Midwest turkeys, ruffed grouse, even predators. And the list continues to grow. Another bonus of the High Ground? Affordability. The uninsulated model lists for about $170, well under many “premium” models. In a nutshell, what Danner has done with this model is build a rugged, stable hunting boot that is both athletic-shoe light, with near out-of-box comfort. And of course, this is a very powerful combination—if indeed you can get it right. Some of the toughest things to build into a truly ultralight boot are ankle stability, and general durability. The vast majority of ultralight boots will fail both of these tests. Badly. Conversely, these are areas where the High Ground excels. Maybe the single highest bit of praise Melotik can heap on the High Ground, is that it is his new “go-to” elk boot. He spends an inordinate amount of time agonizing over the gear list slated for his annual do-it-yourself elk bowhunts, knowing every ounce will be carried on his back, and for many miles. The uninsulated High Ground lists at 46 ounces per pair, but feels much lighter. And even at that weight, it compares favorably to many hiker-style boots, and is considerably lighter than another popular Danner boot, the 8-inch Pronghorn, which weighs 55 ounces in its uninsulated, all-leather version.
Irish Setter Elk Tracker 2.0. Less weight in your elk boots mean more mobility and less fatigue. Irish Setter has developed lighter versions of its award-winning Elk Tracker boots to provide another option for hardcore hunters. To reduce weight, new Elk Tracker boot uppers feature abrasion-resistant nylon along with full-grain waterproof leathers. All Irish Setter Elk Trackers combine a variety of features which contribute to their comfort and durability. Genuine leather welt construction provides some flexibility with enough rigidity and torsion control for stability on uneven terrain. And the cushioning of the removable Comfort Cork EVA Footbed with Memory Foam and ScentBan Odor Inhibitor comes standard on all models. Locking lace hooks help tighten boots for a secure fit. Primaloft Insulation provides warmth in cold environments. The aggressive Bulls-Eye Air Bob aggressive sole offers superb stability and traction on the toughest terrain. The dual-density sole provides maximum underfoot cushion. Leather/fabric versions feature UltraDry waterproofing; all leather-upper versions feature a Gore-Tex membrane that blocks moisture from the outside, while allowing moisture inside to evaporate.
Wolverine Edge Extreme. Elk hunters know a big part of consistent success is being mobile enough to intercept a traveling herd. This lightweight, athletic 8-inch boot features an aggressive Vibram rubber lug outsole for reliable traction even in wet, hilly terrain, and you’ll also find a durable Nubuck/900 Denier Polyester upper and a Gore-Tex waterproof breathable membrane. NXT odor control helps the Edge Extreme ($180) stop odors before they start with organic odor-eating enzymes, and 600 gram 3M Thinsulate Ultra Insulation provides the perfect amount of warmth for cold mornings and active hunts. A compression molded EVA midsole and a removable open-cell polyurethane footbed offer support and cushion in each step.
Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots. The last pair of hunting boots you’ll ever need. That’s what you’ll get if you’re willing to drop serious coin on any of boots in the Mountain Extreme series ($455-475) from Kenetrek. Just read some of the testimonials from Kenetrek customers and you’ll learn how hardcore these boots really are. You’ll find Mountain Extreme boots offered with 400 grams of Thinsulate insulation or no insulation at all, and both versions are available specifically for ladies. The ankle support and uncompromising soles of Kenetrek boots make them a favorite choice among elk hunters who want to tackle the toughest terrain.
PEET Footwear Dryers/Deodorizers. Smart hunters do all they can to prevent body odor from sabotaging a close-range encounter with game, and now footwear-drying specialist PEET is offering several smart, affordable solutions. For years, PEET footwear dryers have been keeping outdoorsmen and women more comfortable in the field, and now, with two all-new products, this innovator is also targeting odor-targeting bacteria—using strictly controlled ozone (O³) molecules that penetrate odor and pollution molecules, destroying them by altering their chemical make-up. So odor isn’t covered up—it’s destroyed (read more here). The PEET Ultra Dryer & Deodorizer ($50) is designed with the roving hunter in mind; the twin dryers/deodorizers easily fit into any pair of hunting boots after a full day’s hunt. In addition to drying wetness and sweat, its O³ science destroys odor molecules so you and your boots are ready to go the next morning. The PEET D’ODORIZ’R Module ($70) is PEET’s most-powerful odor-eliminating product. It’s also the most versatile. It can be operated in three distinct ways to overpower odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew. The Module may be inserted into boots or waders, attached to several PEET Dryer models, and can also be used as a “stand-alone” unit for deodorizing small room areas.
Ozonics KiNETiC. Looking for some high-tech help to hide from those incredible elk noses? Ozonics has long been a leader of scent management for treestand and ground blind hunters with in-field ozone generators, and now Ozonics is offering that same level of protection for hunters on the move with the introduction of the KiNETiC ($230). If it’s possible to get there, the KiNETiC ensures scent is controlled and destroyed during every single step of the journey. Through an ozone delivery system, the KiNETiC is designed to give the hunter the ability to harness and utilize the powerful scent elimination benefits of oxidation technology and to reduce their overall scent footprint anywhere—still hunting, spot-and-stalk, checking scouting cameras, and getting to and from hunting blinds and treestands. The KiNETic is designed to be a mobile ozone delivery system, featuring 1,300 cubic inches of space in a main compartment, multiple zippered side compartments and a dedicated Ozonics HR unit carry compartment designed to ensure the most effective delivery of ozone for hunters in motion.
Wilderness Athlete Energy & Focus. Pre-season workouts are a way of life for dedicated elk hunters, and it never hurts to have a little extra motivation and energy. Originally developed for professional, Olympic, and other elite athletes, Energy & Focus offers a healthy, effective, gluten-free formula that contains no simple sugars to interfere with normal blood sugar metabolism and regulation—a true “no crash” formula. Few sportsmen push the limits of endurance and sleep deprivation like dedicated elk hunters. Up at 4 a.m., chase bulls all day, eat a few harried meals, plan the next day’s attack, repeat. Even casual elk hunters can benefit from this proven energy drink, which has been uniquely formulated to feed the energy-producing mechanisms in the body while boosting mental clarity and increasing physical output. And who among us couldn’t use that?
H.S. Scent-A-Way BIO-STRIKE Odor Shield. Elk noses are among the best in the big game world; grab an edge by turning any piece of clothing into scent-blocking apparel with new Scent-A-Way BIO-STRIKE Odor Shield. This proprietary formula that you simply add to the rinse cycle of your washing machine impregnates clothing, eliminating current odors, as well as inhibiting the development of odor-causing bacteria and yeasts. One packet of Odor Shield in your wash can provide up to 30 days or more of scent elimination. Odor Shield won’t stain or fade clothing and is safe for all washing machines; it works great for hunters who will be on extended trips where laundry service is unavailable. Odor Shield is sold in a four pack ($6), which will treat four average-sized (medium to large) wash loads. For more information log onto the Hunters Specialties website.
Family Tradition Treestands Double Tripod. Treestands for elk? Absolutely. It’s no secret that Family Tradition Treestands makes some of the strongest and most comfortable stands on the market, especially for dedicated whitetailers, but the company has been pleasantly surprised to learn that western customers are increasingly utilizing the line’s comfortable Double Tripods for elk hunting. If you’re looking for something durable, sturdy and more mobile than a conventional box blind, Family Tradition has the answer. The Double Tripod measures 12 feet to its spacious foot platform (a full 48 inches deep by 78 inches wide) and features galvanized tubular steel for added structural integrity and rust resistance, as well as a baked-on, extra-durable textured powder coating to ensure many seasons of enjoyment. More features include 360-degree swiveling fully welded chairs (with nylon self-lubricating bearings) along with arm rests, and premium quality nylon webbed seats that measure 20 inches wide by 15 inches deep, with a 23-inch-high backrest for ultimate “all-day” comfort. Optional, available accessories include a heavy-gauge plastic Roof Dome, and Custom fit Camouflage Skirt. Learn more at www.FamilyTraditionTreestands.com.
Browning Black Out 6V Head Lamp. If you want an advantage in the elk mountains, you’ll leave camp in pre-dawn darkness and return well after sunset. Helping you do safely and efficiently is the new Black Out 6V Head Lamp ($100) from Browning, one of the most-powerful headlamps on the market, producing 635 lumens with an effective distance of 165 yards. The light uses a white LED that never needs replacing. Four brightness settings, plus an emergency strobe mode, make the light very versatile. A Silent Tilt Hinge provides quiet adjustment for added stealth. A soft rubber head plate and elastic head strap offer comfort. The Black Out 6V headlamp has an ultra-tough, anodized all-aluminum body and is waterproof and submersible to 3 feet for 30 minutes. The light will run for three hours on “high” mode and has a 48-hour run time on “low” output mode. Two CR123A lithium batteries provide the power source for the light. The light is available in black. For more information on new Browning flashlights visit Browning.com.
Celestron Elements ThermoTorch 5 & ThermoTorch 10. Elk hunting means wide-ranging backcountry weather, and your gear better be up to the task—a tough task for cell phones and GPS units that likely won’t hold up for the whole trip. Unless you’re packing some unique new technology. The ThermoTorch 5, and its bigger brother the TermoTorch 10, are 3-in-1 outdoor tools, serving as a tactical flashlight, a hand warmer and a portable power bank for recharging smartphones, tablets, cameras, DPS devices, MP3 players and more. The TermoTorch 5’s 5,000 mAh rechargeable battery can provide up to 5 hours of heat as a hand warmer; the larger ThermoTorch 10’s 10,000 mAh battery can provide up to 10 hours of heat. Both also have a C-link feature that allows them to be connected to other Celestron power sources to essentially double the battery life between recharging. The flashlight feature in the ThermoTorch is a 3-mode 5W LED system rated at 300 lumen for bright, dependable light. It works when you need it at the level you need it. They are also very simple to use to charge other devices—simply plug the device into the USB OUT port and the ThermoTorch does the rest. Click here for more on ThermoTorches and other new products in the Elements line.
Camp Chef Mountain Series Stryker Stoves. If you want a hot meal on the mountain or a warm cup of coffee in your deer blind, the trouble is finding a stove that’s small enough to toss in your hunting pack, yet powerful enough to get the job done when you decide to turn up the heat. The Camp Chef Stryker portable stoves are the ticket. Choose from isobutane- ($60; smaller, more compact) or propane-burning ($65; larger, lasts longer) models and clear out your pocketful of granola and candy bars.