April 25, 2017
April 25, 2017

SHOT 2017

A s promised, this month’s column is dedicated to the 2017 SHOT show, which I had the pleasure of attending.

Turkey season is a memory now here in Texas, and if you are not planning on doing any hog hunting, it seems the perfect time to sit back and read all about some of the many products that are being introduced to the hunting world this year. Hey! It’s Vegas baby! Here are some of the highlights that I was impressed with at the SHOT show.

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I know I mentioned this in last month’s column, but it was so cool that it bears repeating. The Spin –N- Strut turkey decoy from Flambeau might be the best decoy I have seen. Movement is the key element that will fool any wary game. Any turkey hunter can tell you that some boss toms like to hang up just out of range. This decoy will bring them in.

Not only can you move the decoy from side to side, but you also control the fan to be in either a full strut, half strut or down all the way. One cool thing is that the fan is a photo print of real feathers. Looks great!

Leupold had the most amazing hand-held thermal imaging unit. Priced at under $700, this thermal imaging unit had many different settings on it, depending on what you wanted to see.

I personally liked the red heat setting. Everywhere you looked, you could see heat coming from the head and hands of people walking by. This unit was so sensitive that it even showed the heat from your shoes on the carpet after you had walked through! WOW!

Wildgame Innovations had some very cool items. I own a Wildgame Innovations trail camera, and it takes fantastic pictures.

Now they have introduced one they call the Silent Crush that takes amazing shots even from a distance of 100 feet! 100 FEET! They also talked to us about a mix that they call the Reactor.

You mix this powder with water, and it gives an apple scent that is carried by the wind. Then it turns into a hardened mineral that deer cannot resist. It seems perfect for the preseason scouting to get a deer closer to a camera and also would bring them nice and close for that bow shot during the season.

Tinks! What can I say?

I have used Tinks products since I first started hunting, and I swear by them. Tink’s products work, and they work well. I was excited to see what new products they had and was extremely impressed by an attractant gel.

Unlike some of the other scent products that dissipate after the first rain, this gel is stored in an aerosol can, and it will last for a long time, rain or shine. It has the ability to spray out to 10 feet, which is really important if you want to keep your human scent free from the baited area.

I like this particularly because you could climb up in your stand, look at your surroundings and spray this gel to a spot where an unsuspecting deer will walk into range. Way Cool!

As always, Tinks products simply work, and I would not go on a deer hunt without this in my back pack.

I made a stop at the Spyderco booth and saw some amazing knives. The rep showed me how easy it was to open and close the knife blade using one hand. It seemed effortless and that is important. It frees up your other hand to feel secure while you open the knife.

I could also see how this would come in handy in an emergency. Accidents can happen. If you get tangled up with a strap while in your stand, you will be able to free yourself with little effort.

The particular knife that I was looking at had a non-slip grip and also a place to rest your thumb while you use it. That was a nice safety feature. Very lightweight, and WOW, was it sharp!

Have you ever seen the nature blinds that are available? They are so cool!

They look just like tree trunks and blend into the woods so well that you might have a hard time finding it. You need either your own hunting land or a private lease to use one. and you need 5 men and a strong boy to carry them out in the field.

However once in place, it will be your favorite hunting blind. A friend of mine has one, and he lugged it in the woods using a tractor. Nice! I hope I get to hunt out of it one day.

Once inside, you are in an air-tight blind that will not allow any of your human scent out. The dark colored windows slide up and down quietly, allowing you to open them only when you are ready to take your shot. Comfort while hunting for hours is the name of the game and believe me… these blinds are what comfort is supposed to be.

It was late in the day, but I made it a point to check out the Under Armour booth. I knew they made scent—locking garments to wear under your camo to absorb any moisture from your body.

Now UnderArmour has expanded their line from sneakers to fit wear. I thought that was it. Was I wrong? Yes!

The rep was happy to show me Under Armour camo for both colder climates and a lightweight outfit for the Texas climate. I was impressed to say the least.

There were hundreds of different booths to see, and three days just is not enough time to check them all out.

Yet, we did our best so you can see them for yourself at the Texas Fish and Game website. Check it out and watch some of the videos we made while we were there. I am looking forward to the upcoming hunting season and also next year’s SHOT show.

Email Lou Marullo at

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Email Lou Marullo at [email protected]

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