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9 Great Buys for Bow Season

Top-quality gear to help you succeed.

9 Great Buys for Bow Season

(Photo courtesy of ALPS OutdoorZ)

As bowhunters, the equipment we carry into the field plays a large role in our ultimate success or failure. So, buying the best we can afford and learning how to use it properly well in advance of opening day is a big part of our pre-season preparation.

Regardless of whether you are a new archer just getting started in bowhunting or a seasoned veteran with decades of experience of under your belt, there is always room for some new gear that can offer an edge in the form of advanced technology, innovative design or just a more clever spin on a time-tested idea. With the season fast approaching, we offer this list of nine “great buys” for bow season — items chosen not based on price but the overall value and benefits they offer bowhunters.

Whether you are in the market for a brand new bow or crossbow or just searching for a few smaller accessories that can really help get your gear collection dialed in, we’re confident you’ll find something of on our list.

ALPS OutdoorZ DEADQUIET Shield Bino Harness

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ALPS OutdoorZ DEADQUIET Shield Bino Harness

Keep your all-important optics safe and at-the-ready with the ALPS OutdoorZ DEADQUIET Shield Bino Harness. Weighing only 12 ounces, this 6.5x6x3-inch case is made from ALPS’ lightweight DEADQUIET fabric, with a fleece exterior that minimizes noise if you brush against it or come in contact with branches or brush; a waterproof membrane to keep rain and snow from seeping through; and a rugged suede interior that cushions and protects your binos yet produces hardly any sound as you’re getting out or putting away your binoculars.

Features of the Shield Bino Harness include: a stay-open, easy-to-close lid; rear pocket for storing accessories or cellphone; and tethers for attaching your binos to the harness. Plus, numerous MOLLE attachment points make it easy to connect items such as a rangefinder or game call, whether you’re a left- or right-handed shooter. The harness comes in coyote brown, is fully adjustable to ensure proper fit and designed to accommodate almost every style of 10x42 binoculars, including the newer rangefinding models. $49.99 | alpsoutdoorz.com

Alps OutdoorZ DEADQUIET Ember Handwarmer

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ALPS OutdoorZ DEADQUIET Ember Handwarmer

If you bowhunt the late season or live in parts of the country where the weather is downright chilly come late fall, you know how important it is to keep your hands and fingers warm and comfortable so you’re ready for the shot when a big buck strolls past. But what if you hate to wear gloves? That’s where the DEADQUIET Ember Handwarmer comes in!

At 19 inches wide and 7 inches tall, the Ember Handwarmer offers plenty of room to fit both hands comfortably inside yet extract them easily if you need to pick up and pull back the bow. The handwarmer features ALPS’ DEADQUIET fabric that has a quiet, soft fleece outer layer to dampen noise; waterproof mid-layer to keep you warm and dry if it’s raining or snowing; and a soft yet sturdy suede layer inside. Plus, the elastic cuffs on the handwarmer help prevent cold and wind from seeping in.

The Ember can be attached to your body via the included, adjustable waistbelt (29-49 inches) or clipped directly to the bottom of the ALPS OutdoorZ DEADQUIET Shield Bino Harness. The handwarmer also includes an envelope-style, magnetic pocket for storing your cell phone, small snacks such as granola bars or hunting accessories you need at your fingertips. It comes in coyote brown color. $59.99 | alpsoutdoorz.com

Burris Signature LRF 10X42 Binoculars

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Burris Signature LRF 10x42 Binoculars

Crystal-clear optics and ultra-fast ranging capabilities are the hallmarks of the new Burris Signature LRF 10x42 Binoculars, giving bowhunters the best of both worlds — the ability to glass or scan for game and judge shooting distances as your intended quarry draws near.

With its integrated laser rangefinder, the Signature LRF binos can range game at blazing-fast speeds out to 1,100 yards and reflective objects out to 2,600 yards. Plus, the bright-red display is incredibly easy to see, even in bright sun. The binos feature several operational modes, including Auto, Sport, Hunt and Scan, as well as five ranging options: Line of sight (LOS) only, horizontal distance (HOR) only, LOS and HOR at the same time, LOS and angle (ANG) above and below horizontal, and HOR and ANG simultaneously. The Hunt Mode will certainly be of interest to archers, because it allows you to effectively range the furthest object in a group of targets, cutting through some of the challenges that come with trying to accurately range game in tall grass or heavy brush.

As for the optics, the Signature LRFs, like all Burris products, are designed for exceptional clarity, sharpness and light transmission, with multi-coated HD lenses and BaK-4 roof prisms. The binos have a rugged, shock-proof, rubber-coated housing; weigh 36 ounces; and measure 6x5.5x2.7 inches. They’re also nitrogen-filled to prevent fogging. $1,200 | burrisoptics.com

Burris Signature LRF 2000 Rangefinder

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Burris Signature LRF 2000 Rangefinder

Judging shot distance — quickly and accurately — is essential for successful bowhunting, which is why a high-quality rangefinder is such an important companion in the field. Enter Burris Optics’ new Signature LRF 2000, a compact, lightweight rangefinder that can detect distances out to 2,400 yards in the blink of an eye. Weighing a mere 6 ounces, the rangefinder fits easily in the palm of your hand, with a rubber armor exterior that offers a comfortable grip and protection from accidental drops and other mishaps.

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The unit can range game animals such as deer and elk out to 1,100 yards, offers three operation modes — Auto, Sport and Hunt — and five display options, including the all-important Horizontal Distance (HOR) reading you need when shooting from a treestand or in steep terrain. The other display options include Line of Sight (LOS) only, LOS and HOR simultaneously, LOS and angle (ANG) above and below horizontal, and HOR and ANG. Plus, the rangefinder’s scanning mode allows you to keep reading distances as long as you hold your finger on the ranging button.

The LRF 2000 operates on one CR2 battery, offers 7X magnification, a 31.5-foot field of view at 100 yards, has an adjustable eyepiece to help ensure the display focus is sharp and measures 4.75x3.25x1.5 inches. It’s also simple and easy to use, with only two buttons for ranging and navigating the setup menu. $360 | burrisoptics.com

Dryshod Evalusion Hunt

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Dryshod Evalusion Hunt

Knee-high rubber boots are a bowhunting mainstay, because they do a great job of containing human scent while keeping your feet dry, comfortable and protected. Dryshod’s new Evalusion Hunt waterproof boots measure 16 inches tall and feature a new DUREVA outsole that is softer, quieter and significantly lighter than traditional rubber outsoles, making the Evalusion Hunt 12 percent lighter than any comparable Dryshod boots. The DUREVA sole also offers great comfort and energy return, making these boots an ideal choice for long days in the field.

Evalusion Hunt boots are made using 5mm Densoprene insulated foam booties treated with a special Hydrokote coating that sheds water and mud. Inside, a four-way stretch, breathable, air-mesh lining helps keep feet dry in hot weather and warm when the temperatures dip. Other features include hand-laid natural rubber overlays, steel shank, an easy-on/easy-off design with a roll-down calf pipe, back-pull tabs and a latex-infused fabric underlayment for added puncture resistance. Featuring slipper soft comfort and true, athletic-shoe sizing, the Evalusion Hunt is a true four-season boot, boasting a comfort range of -20 to 75 degrees. $189.95 | dryshodusa.com

Hoyt VTM

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Hoyt VTM

Hoyt’s flagship aluminum bow for 2023, the VTM comes in two models — the VTM 34, with a 34-inch axle-to-axle length, and the VTM 31, with a 31-inch axle-to-axle length. Billed as the Hoyt’s quietest aluminum bow to date, the VTM features a 59 percent reduction in vibration and 31 percent reduction in sound compared to 2022’s Ventum Pro.

Highlights of the VTM include: a longer axle-to-axle geometry, resulting in a better draw cycle; a stiffer Tech riser for better accuracy; dedicated riser cutout for arrow rest activation cords; and a new Hole Shot V2 string dampener to help reduce higher sound frequencies deer, elk and other game rely on to detect danger. The VTM is powered by Hoyt’s HBX Pro Cam System, allowing for easy tunability and optimized performance, with two modules that cover adjustments across the entire draw-length range. Plus, the bow is designed to work seamlessly with Hoyt’s In-Line accessory system, including the Pro Series Stabilizers, Superlite Quivers and QAD Integrate rests. It also features lower mounting positions on the riser for adding a side bar and stabilizer, resulting in a lower center of gravity for better bow balance and the ability to use smaller stabilizers. The end result is enhanced accuracy and an improved overall shooting experience.

The VTM 34 has an advertised IBO speed of 334 fps, 6.25-inch brace height, 4.8-pound mass weight and is available in a draw-length range of 26-31 inches and peak draw weights of 30-80 pounds. The VTM 31 has an advertised IBO speed of 342 fps, 6-inch brace height, 4.6-pound mass weight and is available in a draw-length range of 25-30 inches and peak draw weights of 30-80 pounds. Both bows offer 80- and 85-percent letoff options. $1449 (VTM 34) or $1,349 (VTM 31) | hoyt.com

SEVR Titanium 1.75 Broadhead

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SEVR Titanium 1.75 Broadhead

When it comes to broadheads, bowhunters often feel they have to choose between maximizing cutting diameter or maximizing penetration. Well, that’s exactly why SEVR Broadheads developed its new Titanium 1.75, a 2-blade mechanical head designed to give customers the best of both worlds by combining a relatively generous 1.75-inch cutting diameter with a swept-back blade angle that helps boost penetration.

Built using a solid, one-piece titanium ferrule with a precision-ground tip for extreme durability, the Titanium 1.75 has 420-grade, .032-inch stainless steel blades featuring SEVR’s exclusive Lock-and-Pivot design. Once the blades fully deploy, they lock in place but can swing freely from side to side to get around bone. This allows the head to drive deeper while ensuring the full, 1.75-inch cut is inflicted along the way.

The Titanium 1.75 has a very small profile in flight for fieldpoint accuracy, but when the front wing blades contact an animal upon impact, they stretch the hide before slicing through, resulting in even larger entry wounds for better blood trails and easier recoveries. Another highlight of the head is SEVR’s Practice Mode that allows a setscrew to be installed in the ferrule to lock the blades closed. This feature lets you practice with the very broadheads you’ll use for hunting, boosting your shooting confidence and eliminating the hassle of pre-season broadhead tuning with your bow setup.

SEVR Broadheads is a direct-to-consumer brand sold online and shipped directly to your door. The Titanium 1.75 is available in 100- and 125-grain versions in standard thread. $15.99 each | sevrbroadheads.com

TenPoint Flatline 460

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TenPoint Flatline 460

If you’re thinking about a new crossbow for this fall, TenPoint’s new-for-2023 Flatline 460 is arguably the year’s top all-around performer. Earlier this year, we tested a dozen of the best crossbows on the market, and the Flatline 460 earned high marks across the board, finishing second in bolt speed, third in overall length, width and lowest shot noise, and fourth in lightest average trigger pull, narrowest axle-to-axle width and 35-yard shot group accuracy.

A compact crossbow built to unleash bolts at blistering speeds, TenPoint’s Flatline 460 combines speed, accuracy and hard-hitting impact in one dynamic package. Thanks to its reverse-draw assembly, RX8-Cam system and 14-inch power stroke, this crossbow has a tight profile — only 26.5 inches long and 7.5 inches wide when cocked — yet it is capable of launching the included EVO-X CenterPunch 16 410-grain carbon bolts an impressive 460 fps. The crossbow’s Vector-Quad Cable technology utilizes four cables instead of two to help eliminate cam lean and produce straight nock travel, while the 16-inch MICRO-TRAC barrel reportedly reduces string contact by 50 percent, furthering string life and boosting downrange accuracy.

The Flatline 460 is also extremely easy and safe to operate thanks to TenPoint’s exclusive ACUslide cocking and de-cocking mechanism. This crank device reduces the crossbow’s 300-pound draw weight to a mere 5 pounds of effort, operates silently and features an internal braking mechanism that allows you to stop and remove your hand from the crank handle at any point during the cocking or de-cocking process while holding the bowstring completely still.

Other highlights of the Flatline 460 include: a zero-creep, two-stage S1 trigger; dual-illuminated EVO-X Marksman 100-yard scope calibrated to the speed of the crossbow; and Sentry Bow Hanger on the front of the crossbow to hang the rig in a tree or safely rest it against the ground. The Flatline 460 comes as a complete, ready-to-shoot package that also includes six EVO-X CenterPunch 16-inch bolts, quiver, integrated string stop system and bubble level.

Wildlife Research Center Active-Branch Mock Scrape Kit

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Wildlife Research Center Active-Branch Mock Scrape Kit

Scrapes and licking branches are important communication tools deer use throughout the year. So, that means savvy bowhunters can employ mock scrapes to their benefit for both pre-season scouting and hunting.

Although mock scrapes — manmade scrapes strategically positioned for a hunter’s benefit — are nothing new, Wildlife Research Center is making the task of creating them easier than ever with its Active-Branch Mock Scrape Kit. The kit includes a branch bracket that can be attached to trees or wooden posts, using either the included nylon strap or screws you provide, allowing you to create a realistic scrape anywhere you want, regardless of the presence of a suitable tree or natural branches. The bracket holds two branches. The top branch, which angles high above a deer’s reach, is used to hang the included Magnum Scrape-Dripper filled with the included four ounces of Golden Scrape scent. The bottom branch, which sticks straight out from the bracket, serves as an “interaction branch,” allowing visiting deer to rub against it and deposit pre-orbital scent from their heads as they also smell and work the scrape created on the ground below.

The Active-Branch Mock Scrape Kit is a great tool to use in tandem with a trail camera before the season, as it will attract deer and help you gather an inventory of the local population. It’s also a deadly tool in-season, as a new mock scrape placed within bow range of your stand or blind could be just thing to draw a wary buck within range. And, since the Scrape-Dripper dispenses scent only during daylight hours, it will encourage deer to visit during legal shooting hours. $47.99 | wildlife.com




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