Must-have accessories for Canadian hunters
13 new knives, gun cases, tools, packs and other cool stuff
Plasticase’s Canadian-made Nanuk 990 gun cases allow you to travel with the complete confidence that your firearms will arrive undamaged. That the cases are waterproof and impact resistant goes without saying—what I really like is that they’re lighter than other models. Plus, the unique carry handles fold away and the latching system is the easiest to use on the market, bar none.
Plasticase Inc., 1-800-783-6883; www.plasticase.com
Unlike other multi-tools, SOG’s Baton line of tools fold up slim and sleek to about the length of a pencil, making them easy to stow in your pocket or the pen slot of a pack. Depending on the tools you’ll need, you can choose from four models: office and administrative work; urban emergency; basic wilderness and urban essentials; and, our favourite, advanced wilderness and urban essentials.
SOG, (425) 771-6230; www.sogknives.com
Real Avid’s hockey puck-sized Bore Boss takes portable gun cleaning to a new level. This encased self-storing cable/brush/mop combo eliminates the mess you typically get with portable systems. What’s really ingenious is the little steel ball on the end of the cable that clips into the casing, providing a comfortable handle to easily pull the unit through the barrel. It comes in 10 sizes to match various calibres or gauges.
Real Avid, 1-800-286-0567; www.realavid.com
Whether you hunt small or big game, these knives from Camillus have you covered. The two fixed-blade models, two folders and a dedicated gut hook let you match your style preferences with your hunting needs. The non-slip handles are ideal in cold and wet conditions, while the titanium blade promises corrosion resistance and the ability to hold a strong, sharp edge.
Camillus, 1-800-835-2263; www.camillusknives.com
The Monarch X pack from Alps features contoured shoulder straps, a shorter torso length and a smaller waist belt, providing an improved, more comfortable fit for women. The pack includes Alps’ full suite of technical features, from the drop-down rifle or bow pocket to the built-in stow-away meat shelf. It even includes a rain cover and a generous capacity of 2,800 cubic inches.
Alps Outdoorz, 1-800-344-2577; www.alpsoutdoorz.com
MUZZLELOADER’S MAINTENANCE KIT
I’m a big fan of convenience, and the Muzzleloader’s Maintenance Kit from Lyman fits the bill to a T. Designed to service both .50- and .54-calibre rifles, the kit contains all the cleaning essentials you’ll need, from mops, brushes, jags and patches to a breech scraper, nipple wrench, ball puller and more. Black powder solvent and gun oil are also included.
Lyman, 1-800-225-9626; www.lymanproducts.com
SPARK LED LIGHT
You can light up your blind, clean your deer, change a tire and more after dark with the help of Gear Aid’s four-ounce portable Spark LED Light. The water-resistant unit can stand alone, or you can mount it on a tripod or hang it using the included hook. Offering up to 160 lumens, the light can run for five to 25 hours before it requires recharging via a USB port.
Gear Aid, (306) 671-2227; www.gearaid.com
SPECKLE BELLY DECOYS
All waterfowlers know how finicky specklebelly geese can be on some days, unwilling to commit to your spread. Fortunately, you can tip the odds in your favour with these ultra-realistic decoys from Avian-X. Available in non-chip paint (AXP) or durable flocking (AXF) models, the full-bodied decoys come six to a pack, with three feeders, two walkers and a sentry.
Avian-X, 1-877-534-2263; www.avian-x.com
With its simple yet ingenious organic window shapes, Ameristep’s hub-style Spirit Blind does away with attention-grabbing straight lines to better blend into the background. And the upgraded window closure system, which can be silently operated with one hand, includes fully customizable window openings that allow you to adjust viewing and shooting angles, as well as light levels.
Ameristep, 1-800-847-8269; www.ameristep.com
Providing illumination wherever you look while leaving your hands free, the Tactikka Core from Petzl is an indispensable tool for a host of after-dark tasks. It features three white-light modes, with the brightest providing 350 lumens for two hours. There are also two red-light modes for stealth lighting. The included battery can be recharged via a standard USB port; the lamp can also run on AAA batteries.
Petzl, (801) 926-1500; www.petzl.com
TRIGGER STICK GEN 3
Available in both short and tall monopod, bipod and tripod models, the Trigger Stick Gen 3 from Primos features a newly designed yoke system that makes it easy to switch from your rifle to optics, while offering increased smoothness when panning. And the namesake trigger mechanism lets you adjust the shooting stick’s height using just one hand.
Primos, (601) 879-9323; www.primos.com
The quality and performance of Tenzing packs is now available to a wider array of hunters with the introduction of the economically priced TX Series. The six new models include waist, lumbar and single sling packs, and three day packs of varying sizes. Tenzing promises the packs will maintain the quality design and performance for which the company is renowned.
Tenzing, 1-800-226-9868; www.tenzingoutdoors.com
ULTRA GUN VISE
Do-it-yourselfers will love Tipton’s portable Ultra Gun Vise for handling everything from rifles and shotguns to ARs and even crossbows. The front and rear clamps adjust independently, and the solvent-resistant accessory and tool trays can be removed for cleaning. The feet have independent adjustments, enabling you to perfectly level your rifle when mounting a scope.
Battenfeld Technologies, 1-877-509-9160; www.btibrands.com
Hunting editor Ken Bailey has an eye for the best new gear for Canadian hunters.