O nce again, I was invite to attend “The Greatest Show on Earth!”
No, I am not talking about the circus. I am talking about the 2017 SHOT Show that took place in Las Vegas Nevada—and what a show it was!
Of course, I loved seeing all the new and exciting products that will soon be introduced to the hunting world. More important, I was able to interview many representatives from various companies about these products. Some, I even had the opportunity to try myself.
April is turkey time here in Texas, and I will limit my column this month to the items that caught my eye for turkey season. I will reserve the right to talk about the many other fantastic products at the show, next month.
If you plan on hunting turkeys this month, I would strongly suggest you hunt out of a pop-up blind. I cannot explain why these wary birds are not alarmed by this square bush that was not there yesterday, but it is true, turkeys will pay no attention at all to these blinds.
Ameristep has a new “pop-up” blind they call the Crush Silencer Blind. As far as this writer is concerned, this blind is a HUGE improvement over any of the other models that I have seen. Not only does this lightweight blind set up in seconds, entry in and out of the blind is absolutely silent. There are no noisy zippers to alarm nearby game. You simply and easily move the entry corner and step in. That’s it!
Another great feature is the fact that the windows can either be open all the way or just halfway, which is perfect for some situations. Once again, there are no zippers or noisy velcro that would alert any turkeys of nearby intruders.
Josh, at the Ameristep booth also talked to me about another lightweight blind called the Throw Down Blind. It folds right up and fits in your backpack. Plenty of blinds are similar to this one, except for one feature that I have not seen before.
It has three legs that stick into the ground, but also has hubs similar to the hubs that are on their pop-up blinds. Once you set this up, you can pop out the hubs and it makes the throw Down Blind more secure.
The blind has leafy looking material that will move in the slightest breeze to give it that realistic look, but because of the hubs in the individual sections, the main body of the blind will not blow in towards the hunter. I loved it.
I told Josh that it is definitely something that every turkey hunter would be interested in. As a turkey hunter myself, I know how much you have to lug into the woods to be comfortable. Anything that is lightweight and compact is a welcome sight.
As I walked around the SHOT show, I happened upon the Flextone booth. I had to stop.
Although I did not get to speak to a rep at the booth, I did not need to. I have used Flextone deer calls myself and was impressed by how realistic they sound. Their turkey calls are just as impressive.
The Flextone Thunder Series turkey calls will get the job done. I loved the Flextone Cluck-N-Purr the best. It is not a call for distance at all, but more for a realistic purr sound that drives a gobbler wild. For distance, the Flextone thunder Cut-N-Locator call will let you know right where those tom turkeys are.
The many different diaphragm calls sound incredible as well, but you need to practice a little more to be able call a bird into range. With these Thunder-series turkey calls, a beginner can call a turkey in with little effort. The grizzled veteran hunters out there will love these calls simply because they sound so realistic and are super easy to use.
I stopped at the Flambeau booth and spoke to Charlie Puckett. He showed me a turkey decoy called the Spin-N-Strut. It does exactly that. You have full control to move the decoy 90 degrees both right or left. You also have the ability to move the open fan to full strut, half strut or down completely. How cool is that?
Movement on a decoy is that little extra you need to convince a big old gobbler that the bird he sees is real. The hunter has control of the decoy by using a nylon line attached to the Spin-N-Strut. There is more than enough line to set up the decoy many yards away from your blind.
Most tom decoys have a long beard attached to it. If you want to make it look more like a jake, you need to cut the beard. Not so with the Spin-N-Strut turkey decoy. If you want to make it look more like a jake, you just push the beard into the body of the decoy until you reach the desired length. Then, if you later want to use the decoy as a boss tom, you can pull the beard out to full length again. WAY COOL!
Walking through any outdoor store, be it Academy, Bass Pro or Cabelas, is one of my favorite pastimes. I tend to stop and look at all the different hunting supplies I think I might need someday.
I think I am not alone. Most outdoor people feel the same. You can only imagine what it is like to go through the SHOT show. It was like walking through the most sensational outdoor store ever! Check out the Texas Fish & Game website and Facebook page to view some of the interviews we did at the show this year. Until then—good luck this turkey season! Remember, have fun and hunt safe.
Email Lou Marullo at [email protected]