As the summer heats up, so, too, does anticipation for the coming hunting seasons. From the first shots in the dove field to the final salvos in the duck blind, wingshooters are looking forward to a “normal” fall like never before. For pre-season prep, each year we spotlight new products that could add to the success or enjoyment of time afield. The following items are worth considering come game time.
Designed for negotiating serious terrain, Kenetrek Corrie 3.2 Hikers are light yet sturdy. Corrie means “a half-open, steep-sided hollow on a mountainside”—exactly the type of country these boots were designed for. The 7" boots are comfortable and stable, featuring K-straps that tie the base of the heel to the leather-and-nylon padded upper. There is double- and triple-stitching in high-wear areas; a Windtex waterproof, breathable membrane; a 5mm nylon midsole; and rubber toe and heel caps for abrasion resistance. Grapon outsoles provide plenty of traction.
Sizes: whole and half size 5 through 12 plus 13.
Colors: Brown (shown) and Black.
Weight: 3.2 pounds per pair.
Tired of having ducks circle but not commit? Mojo’s Coot Confidence Pack will give ducks the reassurance they need to put their feet down and settle into the spread. Why coots? Because not only are they some of the wariest ducks out there, but they also are highly visible from the air. The Coot Confidence Pack includes 4 static decoys and 2 Rippler decoys, to provide motion. The Ripplers operate on 4 AA batteries (not included). Price: $100.
Sportsmen looking for an edge should consider Filson’s new Bird & Trout Knife. The 3" taper-ground blade is high-carbon stainless steel and ideally shaped for fine slicing tasks, such as dressing game and fish. The knife has full-tang construction from tip to hilt and Micarta handle scales, and it comes with a custom leather sheath.
Overall length: 6½".
Weight: 2 ounces.
ESP (Electronic Shooters Protection) produces custom-fit earplugs that allow wearers to hear true sounds but also protect them from harmful noises like gunfire. The latest model is the Apex, which offers the highest-quality digital sound and speaker quality available. The earplugs have six auto-environmental settings, 16 channels and a rotary volume control. The omni-directional microphone picks up and auto-calibrates sounds, enhancing normal hearing but dampening harmful noises. Apex plugs also offer dynamic wind-noise suppression, are waterproof and have a Passive Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 25db. Average battery life is 300 hours. Available in custom colors. Price: $2,500 per pair.
For standing in a dove field, walking the uplands or even a day of clay shooting, the ALPS OutdoorZ Sportsman’s Belt is a versatile system that holds shells, gear and more. Made of waxed cotton canvas, the system includes 2 large “hold-open” shell pockets with grab loops, a large game pouch with a TechMesh bottom for drainage and breathability, and a water-bottle pouch—all of which secure to a 2"-wide waist belt that cinches with a brass buckle. The modular design allows for removing pockets for cleaning and repositioning as desired. Color: Coyote Brown. Weight: 2 pounds 2 ounces. Price: $70.
Dove hunters who prefer close-in shooting will be drawn to the new Avian-X PowerFlight Dove decoy. The life-size motion decoy features an ultra-realistic paint scheme, true-to-life posture and wings tuned to spin naturally in winds up to 30 mph. The patent-pending wings spin 360° with contrasting colors that attract doves from long distances. The PowerFlight Dove has a water-resistant housing and operates on AA batteries (not included), with a battery life up to 16 hours. It comes with a mounting stake with an arm extension (providing two mounting options) and a protective carrying bag. Price: $60.