TEXAS TESTED

FISH & GAME GEAR
December 25, 2016
THE PRACTICAL ANGLER by Greg Berlocher
December 25, 2016

Flextone Game Calls 

One of the main reasons I hunt is to have fun and if I can call a deer within my known accuracy range, then I consider that the epitome of fun!

Recently, I tried using some Flextone game calls. Their Extractor 4-n-1 call is a user-friendly grunt tube call that is so versatile and sounds incredible. It comes with a 3-way X-Glide system, which starts with a switch on top that can be tuned to the sound of a fawn, for those early bow hunts. The middle switch mimics the sound of a doe and the third or farthest switch is reserved for the buck grunt. The rubber corrugated throat tube certainly helps to make the sounds realistic and will not crack in colder climates, unlike some plastic ones. 

As if all that were not enough, located on the upper portion of the extractor 4-n-1 grunt call, is a snort wheeze call. This will really bring the big boys in looking for a fight. Believe me, I have heard a nice buck call like this in the woods, and the sound of this call is exact!

The only drawback I could see was that although the directions on the box explain how the different sounds work, they neglected to explain the snort wheeze sound. So for those who haven’t heard this before, blow into the call with a “phtt, phtt, pheeeeeeewwwww” and you are golden!

Another call I tried was what Flextone has named their “Tine Teaser”. Love this call. It has a nice nasally sound that is exactly what you want. The beautiful part of this tiny giant of a call, is that it is a “hands-free” device for those times when you need both hands on your weapon. We all know that when that moment of truth draws near, we cannot move! So, having a call already in your mouth ready to go is a big plus! The package describes in detail how to make a buck, doe or fawn sound with this call. I recommend both of these calls for success in the deer woods.

—by Lou Marullo

Ameristep Pop-Up Blinds 

I have used portable “pop-up” blinds since they were first introduced to the hunting world and Ameristep has taken them a step further. 

I recently tried the Crush Silencer Blind by Ameristep. The very first thing I noticed about this blind that sets it apart from all the others, is the easy silent entry. Every other portable blind I have seen uses a heavy zipper to open and close the entry. Not so with the “Silencer” blind. Once it is set up, which only takes seconds, you simply move a corner of the blind open and quietly step in.  Good idea!

Ameristep Silencer pop-up blind with split window design.

Once inside this cool blind, I noticed the unique window system. It uses slides that easily go up or down with no noise at all. And you can do it with one hand! Sure beats the noisy zippers or Velcro that the other blinds have. The camo mesh on the outside of the window also has the same silent system.  Really good idea!

Now to the feature I liked the most about the Silencer Blind. It comes with a split window design. You have the option of opening a bigger section of a window, or using the smaller, rectangular opening which is conveniently located so that a hunter who is seated inside can see out without being uncomfortable. These openings are strategically placed so the hunter can either shoot his bow or rifle while seated in the blind. Really, really good idea!

The Crush Silencer Blind has a floor that measures 55 inches square, and is a whopping 66 inches tall. The 62 inch shooting width makes it comfortable for 2 people. Perfect for filming a hunt or bringing a youngster who wants to share the hunt with you. It also is equipped with brush loops if you want to add some extra foliage and add to the Realtree Xtra Camo pattern. 

It looks like this is the perfect blind made for hunters, by hunters. A big improvement in portable blinds with a small price tag.

—by Lou Marullo

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