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Hell of A Hoodie!
Friday, May 16th, 2014

Hell of a Hoodie!

There’s the type of sweatshirt you wear when you run out to get milk and then there’s the type of hoodie you wear when you’re out in the elements for hours at a time.  You want the latter to keep you warm while standing up to the abuse that only you can dish out.  This review is going to take a look at 4 hooded sweatshirts from two companies that have earned the moniker “Hell of a Hoodie” because of their rugged never-say-die durability and unique features.  Carhartt and Arborwear are well known for making extremely durable apparel geared for work in the outdoors and these hooded sweatshirts are the “LeBron James” of the sweatshirt world.  Enjoy!

Carhartt

Men’s 3-Season Midweight Sweatshirt $60

Constructed in a 10.5-ounce, 50% cotton/50% polyester blend, it features Rain Defender™ durable water-repellent technology. This hoodie is quilt-lined – including the attached hood with draw-cord closure. An inside cell phone pocket and spandex reinforced rib-knit cuffs / waistband are welcome features in this sweatshirt.  This hoodie is also “water-repellant” in that it can withstand the occasional downpour but not a complete soaking.  We wore this sweatshirt ice fishing and it held up to a 20 minute rain shower without turning into a sponge.  It kept us warm and dry.

•10.5-ounce, 50% cotton/50% polyester blend

•Rain Defender™ durable water-repellent technology

•Quilt lined

•Inside cell-phone pocket

•Relaxed fit

Men’s Brushed-Fleece Sweatshirt/Sherpa-Lined $72


This Sherpa lined hoodie has a “media port and loop” that allows you to string earphones from the pocket to your ears without them hanging out in the open.  It’s a nice feature on this ultra-warm sweatshirt.  This hoodie won’t keep you dry in a downpour but if you like thick, heavy fleece around your shoulders and neck when it’s cold, you’ll love this sweatshirt.

•10.5-ounce, 50% cotton/50% polyester blend (Slate Heather: 55% cotton/45% polyester)

•Brushed fleece for softness

•Sherpa lined

•Relaxed fit

Midweight Realtree Xtra® Camo Hooded Zip-Front Sweatshirt $60


This hoodie is truly a “midweight” design in that it is not ultra-warm but is definitely rugged.   Where this hoodie excelled was as a mid-layer for us.  It works perfectly in that it is not too bulky but provides enough warmth between your base layer and outer jacket.  The hood also serves to block the wind from getting to the back of your neck on those cold mornings in the deer woods.  We were very impressed with the durability of this hoodie.  It’s like the “Stretch Armstrong” of Hooded sweatshirts (pardon the wrestling toy reference from my 80’s childhood but it seemed fitting.  That toy was unbreakable!)

•10.5-ounce, 50% cotton/50% polyester blend, midweight

•Front hand-warmer pockets

•Attached hood

•Realtree Xtra(R) camo pattern fabric

ArborWear

We’ve sang the praises of this hooded sweatshirt for 3 years now and it continues to impress us.  This hoodie really shines after it has been broken in and washed a few times.  Imagine your favorite hooded sweatshirt.  The one that has been washed a thousand times and makes you feel like Rocky Balboa when you put it on.  Now double that in warmth and thickness and you’ve got a sense of the Double Thick hoodie from ArborWear.  ArborWear does offer a single-thick version of this sweatshirt but there’s really no need to offer more of a variety when these two sweatshirts can handle just about anything.  Give the Double Thick sweatshirt a look today at www.arborwear.com  You’re welcome!

Double thick Hoodie $89.95


*2-12 oz. Layers of Pre-washed, 100% Cotton Fleece

° Oversized Hood

° Gusseted Arms

° Snap Collar

° Vertical, Recessed Handwarmer Pouch

° Garment Washed

Summary:

All of the hardware on these Hoodies  are top notch!  They are durable and function without error each and every time.  All of these hoodies are rugged and can outlast you on any given day.  We wore these hoodies in just about every situation that we could over the last 3 months and they all performed extremely well.  Although each has its own “claim to fame” so to speak, they all deserve the moniker of “Hell of a Hoodie” because of their rugged durability and pumped up features.  Any one of these hoodies will outlast whatever you have in your closet right now.  In fact, they would probably jump off the top rope and put it in a headlock!  Get yourself one of these today!

Rod and Rifle Bourbon Review
Friday, February 28th, 2014

Rod and Rifle Bourbon

This past Christmas season, I was in a liquor store in New Hartford NY wandering around trying to come up with a gift for some of my hunting buddies.  We often will celebrate the highs and lows of our season with a nice glass of quality spirits.  While in the store, I stumbled across a bourbon called “Rod and Rifle” by a company called “Prestige Imports LLC”.  As an avid outdoorsman the packaging (along with the fantastic name) immediately caught my eye and after taking a minute to read about their efforts to preserve the hunting and fishing heritage through the purchase of the bottle, they had me hooked (pardon the obligatory pun).  After hearing my buddies rave about the Bourbon a few weeks later, I decided to contact Tom at Prestige LLC and find out more about this product and their efforts.  Heritage Hunters has always been about the preservation of the hunting and fishing heritage through a variety of avenues and this sounded like another great opportunity.  Here’s our take on the Rod and Rifle products and be sure to click the photo to visit their website.

The Product itself:

Rod and Rifle offers two main products, Bourbon and Whiskey.  One of the differences, that I learned after a phone conversation with Thomas Cleaver  from the company, is that Bourbon stays in the Oak barrels to age longer than the Whiskey does.  We sampled both of these products and they are absolutely top-shelf!  Both the Bourbon and Whiskey are smooth and balanced with a satisfying finish.  Although taste is subjective, we thought that both the Bourbon and Whiskey are lively enough to keep you interested but smooth enough to keep you from jumping ship.  There certainly is no need for mixing these with anything as you’ll want to enjoy the true taste of each.  There was a hint of vanilla to the aroma of each and neither seemed watered down at all.  Of course if you like your Whiskey watered down, you can simply add some ice and time!

The Whiskey: As we’ve learned with Whiskey, many companies mix what are called “Neutral Spirits” in their products which, in essence, make the product a mixture of elements in addition to the Whiskey instead of just the pure product straight from the barrel.  These Neutral Spirits are basically “filler” that we would suspect is a cheaper way of making the product.  You won’t find any of those  Neutral Spirits or Filler in the  Rod and Rifle products and that equals high quality without the watered down taste.

Tasting Notes:

Age: 100% barrel aged whiskey

Proof: 80 Proof

Color: Golden Brown

Aroma: Clean, Smooth with Vanilla & Brown Sugar

Taste: Full Bodied with No Sign of Neutral Spirits

Finish: Thick, Rich and Balanced Perfection

Comments: “Unlike Other Blended Whiskey’s,

Tastes More Like Matured Barreled Whiskey”

The Bourbon: A mash of 70% Corn, 25% Rye, and 5% Malted barley, this product is double distilled and aged in newly charred barrels of American Oak for 48 months.   We don’t know much about how to make a really good Bourbon, but we do know what one tastes like and Rod and Rifle hit the bullseye.   Simply put, this product is as smooth as we’ve ever tasted.  Again, we found that drinking this product straight was even more enjoyable than mixing it with anything because we liked the taste so much.   The Bourbon comes with a collectible shot glass inside.  This year’s version has a beautiful whitetail buck logo on the glass and they are rolling out other versions of the glass in the years to follow (Waterfowl, fish, etc.)  A nice bottle of great tasting Bourbon, a commemorative glass, and a contribution to conservation efforts with your purchase?  Try getting all that with ANY other brand of whiskey!  We dare you!  If you need any more motivation to try this product, we’ll give you some: The Tasting Panel that rates these types of products gave Rod and Rifle a score of 92.  Now we don’t exactly know what that means, but we can tell you that similar products score in the mid 80’s and those are some popular brands.  Sure taste is a subjective quality, but the people on that panel should have some experience tasting this stuff, wouldn’t you say?

Tasting Notes:

4 Year Old Straight Bourbon

Color: Deep, Rich Copper

Aroma: Sweet Vanilla Oak

Taste: Complex & Balanced

Finish: Crisp, Sweet & Smooth

Conservation Impact:

Rod and Rifle Bourbon forwards proceeds of each customers purchase to Wildlife Forever for the preservation of fish and wildlife habitat.  If you are unfamiliar with this nonprofit charity you can read more about how they are helping to conserve America’s wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife by visiting the link below:

www.wildlifeforever.org

The beauty here is that by purchasing something you enjoy, or a gift for that matter, you are also helping to preserve America’s hunting and fishing heritage.  It’s truly a win / win!  To find out more about what projects Wildlife Forever is involved in in your state click the link below:

http://www.wildlifeforever.org/projects

The Bottom Line:

Rod and Rifle Bourbon and Whiskey are produced in the highest quality manner resulting in a smooth and balanced taste.  In addition to the stand-alone quality of the product, a portion of the proceeds are going to an organization that works toward conserving the hunting and fishing heritage that we all love and cherish!  How can you go wrong with this product?  You can’t!

To find the distributor or retail store in your area go to:

http://www.rodandriflebourbon.com/distributors.html

or to purchase on-line go to:

http://www.rodandriflebourbon.com/rod-rifle-bourbon-promotions.html

Check out the Rod and Rifle website to see what other new products they are rolling out in 2014 and as always, enjoy responsibly!

Protect Your Phone! -Lifeproof 5s frē & Otterbox Defender Review
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Protect Your Phone!

In the last few years, our “smart phones” have become an important piece of hunting gear.  Not only do they allow our loved ones to rest easy knowing that we have a lifeline in the event of an emergency.  The various apps on these phones help us keep track of the weather, wind and deer activity.  These phones even give us a source of entertainment when the deer movement is slow.  With the price of such high tech equipment these days, it’s important to protect these phones from the type of elements we subject them.  We’ve tested two cases in the last few months that do an excellent job of keeping your phone protected.  Click on the pictures of the phones to go directly to the websites!

Lifeproof 5s frē case $79.99

The Iphone frē  case from Lifeproof has combined a slim, light fit with all-around shock and water protection.  We were big fans of the Lifeproof Iphone 4s cases and wondered how Lifeproof would get around the fingerprint touch ID scanner of the Iphone 5s.   They did it with a tough, but thin piece of flexible plastic that sits over the scanner itself.  This piece of plastic is thin enough for the scanner to read your fingerprint, but thick enough to provide the complete waterproof coverage. Think of this plastic as a “skin” of sorts that blends seamlessly into the rest of the case.  We have read the reviews of people having issues with the reliability of the ID scanner and this type of case.  In our opinion, these issues have more to do with the Iphone itself than any case you may be using.   Even without a case on the Iphone 5s, the Fingerprint ID is quirky to say the least!  This issue is not the fault of the Lifeproof case.

The Lifeproof 5s frē case is Protected by what Lifeproof calls (The Four Proofs)

Waterproof: Fully submersible to 6.6 feet (2m)

Dirt proof: Totally sealed from dirt and dust

Snow proof: Completely closed to snow and ice

Shockproof: Survives drops from 6.6 feet (2m)

All of the screens, buttons, ports and lenses are completely sealed and protected by this case and it is backed by a 1-year warranty.  If you’re familiar at all with our last Lifeproof review, you know that every case comes with an adapter for use with headphones.   This adapter allows for continued waterproofing even with the use of your headphones.  Lifeproof improved the headphone port by keeping the screw-in cover attached to the phone instead of previous versions needing to be taken out and attached to the adapter for safe keeping.  With this new feature, you no longer need to worry about losing the screw-in cover when using the adapter.

We had zero issues with the touch screen with this case.  All of the swiping and touch functions worked flawlessly even in wet weather.

This case is offered in a variety of colors and just recently became available in Realtree camo for us hardcare hunters.  Just don’t drop it on the forest floor!

Biggest Advantage:

This case is completely waterproof and submergible without the fear of damaging your expensive iphone.  In our minds, if you can submerge this case without any worries, it certainly will hold up to the wet weather of the outdoors!  We’ve also found that the Lifeproof cases keep your iphone looking brand new for the length of time you have it in the case.  With the iphone exchange plans available now, this is a money saver down the road for you.

Biggest Drawback:

Needs an adapter (included) to use the headphones but the total waterproof protection is well worth the slight inconvenience.  Also, the phone doesn’t come with a belt holster clip but is available online.

Otterbox  Defender

for iPhone 5S: $49.95 – $59.95

The Defender is a 3-layer case that protects your phone against drops, scratches and general debris.   The outer screen protector and polycarbonate backing snap together to sandwhich the Iphone while the outermost flexible silicone shell fits snuggly over this sandwhich and creates an extremely durable shell for your phone.  The whole thing will also fit into the included holster that clips onto your belt or gear and doubles as a kickstand for your phone.

The case has strategically placed cutouts for various ports, the fingerprint scanner and the camera while the silicone shell covers the ports so debris does not get into the inner workings of the camera.  The Fingerprint scanner and camera are not covered by the inner shell or silicone shell which allows some dust or debris to accumulate on the surface of the camera (This dust and dirt was only on the surface and could be easily cleaned off).  Routine removal of the phone from the case may be required for a spotless Iphone.  While this case is not completely “waterproof” like the Lifeproof  frē, it is “weatherproof” in terms of the normal type of weather that you might experience in the outdoors.  For the price, the Defender represents an extremely durable case that keeps your Iphone dry under normal conditions.  The included holster is a big plus for this price!

Otterbox also offers a camo version of it’s Armor Series for the Iphone 5 (Note: This case is for the iphone 5 and is a different case than the Defender case shown above.  We did not test this case)

Biggest Advantage:

The Defender protects your iphone from scratches, drops and most any impact that you could subject it to.  It also comes with a belt clip / holster / kickstand that is a nice feature for an overall affordable price!

Biggest Drawback:

The case is not completely waterproof like the Lifeproof case and there are areas that dust and debris can get to the phone underneath.

The Bottom Line for these 2 Cases:

If you want to protect your phone, you’ve got plenty of options but you certainly get what you pay for.  We’ve tested several cases over the last couple of years and these two companies are, in our opinion, the best options available on the market today.  They’ve got a case for your phone that will protect it from harm.  Give them both a look today by  clicking on the phone photos.  Tell them they both get a “thumbs up” from Heritage Hunters!

Deer Gear 2013 / 2014
Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Deer Gear 2013 / 2014

Ok, so you didn’t get everything you wanted for Christmas! If you’re like us, you’ve got 8 – 10 more months before hunting season begins and that means that there’s plenty of time to save up for some really cool new gear. To kickstart the New Year off, we thought we’d feature some new products that we fell in love with while testing this past season. There are products in here to suit the big spender as well as the budget minded hunter so enjoy the selections. As always, don’t take our word for it! Please click the product photos to check these products out for yourself!

Limbsaver Proton $800

THE BASICS:
The Proton is a 32” axle to axle Split-limb bow with a 7 inch brace height. It has 80% let-off and weighs 3.8 lbs.
This bow has a very friendly draw curve and a rock solid wall. There is very little creep with what limbsaver calls the “H.E.A.T cams”
We’re getting a consistent 313 FPS out of this bad boy and Limbsaver did themselves a favor by re-designing the wooden grip.
We’ve reviewed both the Deadzone and Speedzone in the past and the re-designed grip on the new Proton sits perfectly in the sweet spot of your hand a little better to prevent any sort of torque during the draw and the shot. Pictured below: Proton with improved grip (left) and Deadzone (right)


INNOVATION:

Limbsaver is known for innovation and the Proton is no different. Not only does this bow have features that have become standard on most of today’s bows like the string stop, but the Proton also has some features that make it (What Limbsaver Calls) the “Most shootable bow on the market!” The POSI-LOCK limb system allows for precise poundage adjustments WITHOUT any change in draw length or brace height. This means that the bow won’t lose it’s tuning when you change poundage. The Proton comes with a special wrench that allows you to adjust the Posi-lock system. The system has 7 numbered locations each corresponding to 2lbs each. This means that I can adjust the poundage from 70 lbs to 64 lbs with 3 clicks of the wrench without needing to re-tune my bow. We also like that the limb area under the posi-lock system seems “beefier” which we assume ensures the integrity of the split limbs during the draw.

The smooth draw is controlled by a 3 phase H.E.A.T cam. Limbsaver has figured out how to affectively balance the forces created by the buss and control cables to essentially eliminate cam lean. Aside from all the technical mumbo jumbo, this bow just plain looks cool and it shoots Lights out! The camo finish is top notch and there’s plenty of bells and whistles on this thing to keep it deadly silent! We’ve spent several months with this bow and we can state as a matter of fact, it is the best shooting bow we’ve ever tested. Limbsaver hit a homerun with the Proton as far as we’re concerned! But don’t take our word for it, visit your local dealer and give one a test run! As always, “AIM SMALL, MISS SMALL”

Upwind Scent Elimination Products

$4.95 – $14.95

One of the necessities of the season, each and every year for us is some form of scent elimination spray as well as hair and body wash.  You’ve got to make sure you are Bacteria free when you head into the deer woods or else you’re negating your efforts.  We spend a great deal of money on these type of products every season and most are essentially full of hydrogen peroxide and who knows what else.
We’ve found a product that allows us to be free of bacteria while at the same time giving us a spray bottle that works flawlessly……enter Upwind Scent Elimination products.  Upwind has it all from the Gallon size, and the 32 oz. spray bottle to the small bottle that fits in your pack to use when you get where you’re going.
Upwind’s patented copper ion technology was originally developed to meet a need for industrial odor elimination. It worked so well with the bacterial growth in the oils and grease used in production of the facilities of the midwest, that it was a no brainer for use in the Hunting realm.  What this essentially means to us hunters is that Upwind uses the anti-bacterial power of copper ions to prevent the gaseous odor caused by those microscopic critters.  No bacteria means no odor and that means your one step closer to zipping an arrow through ol’ mossy horns!
Upwind also has the cure for your stinky breath!  The foam mouth rinse works great and is especially handy for us coffee drinkers that get up at O’dark 30.   We’ve used the spray bottle this entire season and we’re happy to call it the best bang for buck we’ve ever used! (pun intended!)
Upwind Odor elimination has you covered….. literally! So check them out at HUNTUPWIND.COM  and take a look at their products.  You’ll be glad you did!  but your bacteria won’t!!

Puma SGB Trophy Care Set: $55.84

(Click here to see this special price!)

The Puma SGB Trophy Care Set is one of the best “All-around” knife sets that we’ve used to date.  The compact size of this knife set along with it’s leather sheath allows you to wear it on your belt or stash it in your pack.  The blades of all 3 knives are razor sharp and easily maneuverable.  The set includes a gut hook knife, a small caping knife and a small fleshing knife.  All 3 knives are full tang and feature smooth white bone handless with inlaid puma medallion logos.  The Trophy Care set can “Do-it-all” for your skinning, caping and field dressing needs.  We didn’t need to “re-sharpen” as often as some of the other blades we’re used to and best of all, the price is affordable for the average outdoorsman!
Product Specifications:

  • Folding or Fixed Blade: Fixed
  • Blade Steel: 440A Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Smooth White Bone
  • Serrated: No
  • Carry Options: Leather Belt Sheath
  • Blade Finish: Satin
  • Rockwell Hardness: 55-57 HRC
  • Imported

Willow Creek Hydration Pack $70

The Willow Creek Pack from Alps Outdoorz is a small pack that comes with a 3L hydration bladder. It has 3 pockets (2 in the front of the pack and 1 larger compartment in the back of the back) which are separated by a kangaroo type pouch to strap your clothing and other gear. We’ve found that we rarely wear all of our outer layers on our trek to the stand. Therefore, we need to lash our clothes onto our packs. The Willow Creek pack does an excellent job of this for those “speed hunts” in which we are only taking in a few necessities along with our clothing for a portion of the day. The pack is ultra-lightweight and sits comfortably on the upper portion of our backs and shoulders with ample padding and extremely durable buckles. We have also found the Willow Creek pack to be an excellent scouting pack. Many times we will go into an area all day to scout. Not only does this pack provide enough room for our gear, it provides us with enough water for an all-day scout.

Bushnell Archer boot : $180

This boot fits excellent and the bottoms feel more like a sneaker than a hard boot. That’s a good thing in case you couldn’t tell! We really like the drawstring top which serves to keep our scent inside the boot rather than wafting out over the top. The pull strap on the backside of the boot is also a huge plus in our eyes. It’s clear that Bushnell set out to make a boot that bowhunters would love and they hit the bullseye with the Archer boot. We put some miles on these boots this season and not only do they still look in very good shape, they still fit great too! There is no break-in period with these boots and there is no “break-down” of the boot causing the fit to erode over time. We are very picky when it comes to boots but the Bushnell Archer boots are well worth their price tag.

Specifications:
17″ insulated Realtree AP Camo ®
400 grams Thinsulate Ultra
Rubber Foot/Neoprene and Leather Upper
ScentMaskâ„¢ Odor Elimination
900 Denier DWR
Camo Wrap EVA Mid Sole
Dual Density Heel Cushioning System
Anti Slip Rubber Sole Plate
Heat Zone Removable Insole System
Fleece Lined
3.5mm Full Sock Neoprene
100% Waterproof

M12 Milwaukee Heated Jacket $219

(Click here for special online price)

If you’ve ever cut your hunt short because you were too cold to stay on stand, the M12 Heated Jacket by Milwaukee may just be your answer to Mother Nature during those situations!  Originally conceived as a heated jacket for construction workers on the job site, the Realtree Xtra version of this jacket works exceptionally well for hunters that want to stay on stand for up to 6 hours with continuous heat on one charged battery.  The Jacket itself is water and wind resistant and has 3 sewn-in carbon fiber heating zones to distribute the heat to “core body areas”.  The battery compartment is a zippered pocket on the backside of the jacket.  A nice feature of jacket is the 3 Heat settings that can be controlled by a button in the upper chest area so you don’t need to mess around with the zippered battery compartment once you’re “plugged in”.  (see photo below)

The jacket comes with an M12 battery charger.  Simply pop the battery on the charger and it’s ready in 30 minutes.  This jacket can really crank out the heat and once you’ve tried this jacket in a cold weather hunting situation, it becomes as important as your weapon the next time you go afield.  The jacket runs a tad small for us (so you’ll probably want to order a size up if you’re layering!)  However, it is a high quality jacket that can be used by itself even without the heating features.  If you’re looking for an all purpose jacket that is built tough and allows you to control your core temperature when the weather gets cold, this is your choice hands down!

The Bowfile Bow case by Lakewood Products $280

When it comes to traveling with your archery equipment, the old adage “You get what you pay for” is certainly true. It’s certainly easier to spend a little more on a quality case to protect your archery investment. The Bowfile bow case combines the protection of a hard case with the versatility of a roomy soft case. The Bowfile secures your bow in a foam lined compartment while providing 2 other inside cases for your arrows and archery accessories. The outside of the case is sturdy enough for airline / vehicle travel and the drop-in design allows for better protection without the need to remove your quiver! The inner removable cases are made from the same quality materials as the overall bow case and the straps on this thing are an added bonus for carrying. We’ve found that the Bowfile design not only allows us to combine our archery accessories into one piece of luggage, but also gives us the protection that provides piece-of-mind on a hunting trip.
Check them out by clicking the logo below


Specs:
Interior box is made of high-strength ABS
· Has an additional support bracket specifically for hard-handling in travel
· Compact, yet has excellent arrow storage
· Holds up to eighteen arrows in bottom compartment
· True drop in design, allows you to open the top and drop your bow in the case with the quiver on – filled with arrows!
· Made with foam lined heavy duty material that won’t scratch the inside of your SUV
· Made for the parallel limb style bows
· So sturdy you can stand on it
· Lakewood™ C215 and C255 cases (INCLUDED) fit snugly inside the Bowfile for more protection and versatility
· G275 Also available in Tall Sizes! – 1.5″ taller, for the Mathews Z7 Series
· Available for left or right-handed bows (please specify)
· Colors: Advantage APG, Black, Pink Camo
Models & Dimensions:
C275 Outside Dimensions: L:41″ x W:7″ x D:15″
C275 Bow Storage Dim: L:40.75″ x W:3.5″ x D:14.25″
C245 Outside Dimensions: L:45″ x W:7″ x D:15″
C245 Bow Storage Dim: L:44.75″ x W:3.5″ x D:14.25″

DPx Gear’s H.E.S.T. II Woodsman review
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

DPx Gear’s H.E.S.T. II Woodsman review

We were not previously familar with the knives from DPx Gear before this review but you can bet we’ll be keeping tabs on them in the future.  This knife is a work of art but it is extremely well built so you can rest easy putting it through punishment. The wood grip on the handle fits perfectly in the hand without any slipping. As you can see from the picture, it has some tool points on the knife for wire stripper jimping and even a thumb grip bottle opener. I really like the fact that you can take apart the handle for cleaning after a day of field-dressing, caping and processing. This knife worked like a champ for all three and I found no need to re-sharpen during the process. As great as the knife itself looks, the sheath is quite a looker in its own right! The handmade Italian leather sheath snaps shut and covers the handle so it won’t snag on clothing or brush. Overall, this knife looks classy but still badass! It’s the perfect combination of size and design to work in any hunting situation. We usually don’t advocate spending this much money on a knife unless it’s the only one you’ll buy in the next 2 decades! The Woodsman is that good, has a timeless look to it and get’s the job done in all arenas! It also comes with a lifetime, no questions asked guarentee! Check out www.dpxgear.com today and get this thing in your gear bag for the fall!

Here are the specs on the H.E.S.T WOODSMAN by Dpx Gear: $256.25

*Blade length: 3.15” / 80.01 mm
*Blade thickness: 0.19” / 4.70 mm
*Overall length: 7.63” / 193.80 mm
*Weight: 4.34 oz / 123.04 g
*Stone-washed Sleipner tool steel blade with 60 Rockwell hardness
*Hollow handle
*Unique wire str ipper jimping and hard lashing points
*Thumb grip/bottle opener
*Brazilian Santos hardwood scales
*Handmade Italian leather sheath
*Lifetime no-questions-asked warranty
*304 stainless steel hybrid slotted/Allen screws
*1/4” hex driver
*Designed by Robert Young Pelton
*Handmade by LionSTEEL® in Maniago, Northern Italy

2012 Deer Gear Preview
Monday, October 15th, 2012

2012 Deer Gear Preview


Each fall we try and bring you a smorgasbord of products that may be useful in adding to your hunting arsenal.  For most of you, your season has already begun so by now you know the equipment that you need and have some idea of the equipment that you might need.  In contrast to our more in-depth individual product reviews, we try and give you the fast facts about each item in the Deer Gear Preview.  If what you see intrigues you, check out the link to the manufacturers website by clicking on any of the pictures and better yet, contact the company and ask some questions.  All of the manufacturers listed in this preview have gone out of their way to answer our questions.  On another note, Christmas is approaching so consider this as our way of brainstorming for possible gifts for the hunter who has it all!  We hope you enjoy this year’s take on the Deer Gear Preview!

Hunter Safety System Hybrid Harness:  $139.95

We’ve been fans of the HSS product line for years and my 7 year old Pro Series HSS Vest has been a mainstay in my gear bag.  Lately HSS has come out with some variety in their line of harnesses and one feature to all of these that intrigued us was their overall weight.  The new line of HSS harnesses and vests are much lighter than the older styles and the buckle design has been streamlined.  These two attributes caused us to contact HSS to see if we could try out their new Hybrid harness.  It is a combination of their Ultra lite design and Pro Series Vest.  At only 2.5 lbs this design is the perfect combination of pockets and padding.  It gives us the pockets we need for small items like cell phones, wind checkers, and flashlights but also allows for handwarmers.  The leg buckles are stronger and lighter than previous models and are very quiet to latch.   By now, we shouldn’t have to tell you the reasons why you should wear a harness in the treestand.  Look in the eyes of your loved ones if you need more motivation.  In our opinion, there is only one harness brand to consider when you’re in the market for a safety harness.   That brand is Hunter Safety System!  They not only offer a variety of models to suit your needs, the comfort and design is unmatched.  Check them out at www.huntersafetysystem.com

ArborWear:

No Deer Gear Preview would be complete without us mentioning our friends from ArborWear, their awesome double-thick hooded sweatshirt and some new products they bring to the table.  Let’s start with the double-thick hoody.  When the weather turns colder, we have literally one piece of clothing that we reach for and that’s the Double-thick hoody from ArborWear ($99 full zip, $89.95 pullover)  Here’s a funny commercial we made last fall:

The Double-thick hoody comes in pullover and full zip and is a must for all outdoor activities this winter.

ArborWear is constantly coming out with new products and one of them is the Hiram Pullover ($119.95 shown above the video in 1/4 zip grey)  We’d characterize this product as a performance blend of wool and polyester that gives you the warmth of wool without the bulk.  This thing is sweet and gets better with wear.  The fit is perfect and would serve as a great base layer for the Deer woods.

Another nice addition to the ArborWear lineup are the Tech Beanies ($19.95)  These polyester, moisture wicking beanies are light and great for wearing on the way to the treestand to keep from getting “sweated up”.  Surprising enough, these beanies are also quite warm on those frosty mornings.  Blaze orange is also available for those mid to late season deer drives!

LifeProof Blaze Orange Iphone Case with Belt Clip: $79.99 for case, $29.99 for belt clip

Our iphones have become a necessity for us in the woods.  From the luxury of checking Fantasy Football scores to the practicality of checking the wind direction and radar, the smartphone has become part of our carry-on luggage in the treestand.   Having a good quality waterproof case is critical in the elements that we hunt in.  We believe that we have found the perfect case in the LifeProof brand.  Not only is this case completely waterproof, it now comes in Hunter Orange!  The case itself is sleek and only adds 1.5mm to your existing iphone’s dimensions.  The LifeProof case is the only case that we have tried that produces crystal clear images when using the camera.  The Military grade shock-proof material that the LifeProof case is constructed from provides a good grip while still allowing full sound capabilities from the iphone speakers.  Couple this case with the belt clip (sold separately) and you have the perfect accessory for your pack.   The clip will attach pretty much anywhere on your gear and you won’t have to worry about stashing the phone away in some unreachable pocket when the weather gets nasty.  We’ve used these cases while hunting, ice fishing, boating, and during some real downpours so there’s no need to doubt the waterproof claims.  This case provides peace of mind for your phone and that is worth every bit of the price for us!  Check out this video shot entirely through the LifeProof case with the iphone:

Zeal Optics:

We’ve reviewed some of the models of Zeal’s sunglasses before on this site and we love the style and rugged material that these optics are made of.  The Z-resin plant based material that Zeal makes their frames with is unique in that these optics are “crude-oil free” so you can feel a little better that the Zeal brand is an eco-friendly purchase!  They also have a great nose piece on most of the styles that are adjustable for a variety of face types.  It seems like we have an infatuation every few months with one of their new styles and this bow season it seems to be with the BREWER model.  These are similar to the classic “wayfarer” style made famous by Tom Cruise in the movie “Risky Business“.  I’m no Tom Cruise, but I thought the face-paint added a nice touch! Check out our previous review of the Zeal brand here:   http://www.theheritagehunters.com/content_admin/?p=2318

Insane Archery Bow Camera Mount: $39.95 in black, $49.95 in camo

We spent all Spring and Summer testing this product and we have come to the conclusion that it absolutely should be in the gear bags of anyone that wants to add an extra dimension to their hunts without ANY extra hassle.  Professional and Amateur videographers alike can appreciate this simple rugged product.  Screw it onto the stabilizer and your ready to video your shot!  We like the Insane Archery mount for the variety of camera angles it provides and it also comes in handy when your cameraman calls in sick!  Here’s a video explaining all of the features of the Insane Archery Mount

Thermocell’s Heated Insoles: $129.99

The ability to stay on stand in the deer woods is very much determined by how long you can withstand the cold.  Thermocell, makers of the famous and extremely effective mosquito repelling device, have broadened their horizons and developed a product for use in cold weather.  Their Heated Insoles are rechargeable and remote controlled.  The Heat that is generated has 2 levels (Medium = 100 degrees and High = 111 degrees) and lasts continuously for up to 5 hours.  We had no problems with the remote control device and it’s a nice feature allowing the heat to be turned on/off without messing with the insoles or taking your boots off.  The insole itself is not bulky or hard (like we thought it might be) and resembles a normal insole that can be trimmed to help get the proper fit inside the boot.  We found these insoles to work the best with a performance type sock and a rubber boot.  That combination allows you to walk to your stand without getting your feet all sweaty and once you’re on stand, you can decide when it’s time to remotely control the type of heat you want to turn on.  All in all, a great idea that has been perfected by Thermocell.  Give them a try, your feet will thank you!

Blood Vane by Outer Limit Archery: $19.99 for 6 pack

This product is a genius idea!  Forget the hassle of gluing individual vanes and the problems associated with fletching your own arrows.  Hey, we’ve done our own arrows for years and it’s fun, but sometimes we’d like the process to be a little more streamlined.  Enter Blood Vane!  This is a one-piece set of 3 vanes that slip over the arrows shaft.  In between the vanes are glue tracks that require just a dab of glue to run into the track.  The vanes are remarkably rugged and there is absolutely no issue with flight.  They fly exactly like normal fletched vanes.  We’ve shot these vanes for 2 straight months now and have had zero issues with them. They still look brand new! Check out the installation video on the Outer Limit website:      http://www.outerlimitarchery.com/blood-vane.html

Swhacker Broadheads:  $34.95

Swhacker has expanded their cutting diameter on their already devastating design.  It’s sort of like giving Superman another super power!  With a high-carbon steel chiseled tip, aircraft aluminum ferrule and two separate cutting edges on the .032 thick blades, these heads slice and dice with even more cutting diameter.  Simply put, if your setup allows for a mechanical broadhead and you want the most cutting diameter with field point accuracy, give these heads your attention.  You’ll be glad you did on your next blood trail!

Backpackable Bow Case by Midwest Orion: $65

As the name implies, this product is a backpack and bow case all-in-one.  The padding and weather resistant materials make this pack a great option to transport your bow to the stand and hang it while you hunt.  The price is less than many of the backpacks currently on the market and your bow will be protected inside.  We found this product to work excellent when using climbing stands.  Many times we find it difficult to carry our traditional packs on our backs when also transporting a climber.  The backpackable bow case has a tough nylon handle to carry your bow along with everything else.  Here’s a video of the backpackable bow case in action:

Worksharp Knife and Tool Sharpener:  $89.95

There is no beating around the bush with this product.  The thing works awesome!  We got this sharpener out of the box, found about 10 knives that needed sharpening and within the first 4 knives knew we had stumbled onto a winner.  Literally 3 or 4 pass throughs on each edge of the knife is all that is needed to get your cutlery back into razor sharp condition.  Simple and easy to use, this product should be on everyone’s christmas list this year!  Excellent, excellent, excellent!  Need more proof?  Here’s a video for you:

LLBean Hunting:

We’ve always associated LLBean with ultra high quality products designed to last forever.  Couple that with the fact that they have a great array of hunting products and you’ve got a “Go-To” place for all your hunting needs!  Did you know that they offer products in addition to their LLBean branded items as well?  Check out these offerings:

LLBean Gore-Tex Upland Kangaroo Boots: $179.00

Now I’ve not had much experience with Kangaroo leather but apparently it is 60% stronger than normal cowhide.  After our testing of these boots, we have no reason to disagree!  The Kangaroo leather is lighter than cowhide which makes them lighter than the boots we’re normally used to.  The comfort level with the Upland boot is similar to wearing a pair of your favorite sneakers, and Gore-Tex???  Need I say anymore about that little feature?  Hey, we’d be the first to tell you that $179 is a little steep for a pair of boots but not in this case.  If you want an ultra light and comfortable pair of waterproof (not just water resistant) boots that will probably be around longer than you will, check these babies out!

Under Armour Ridge Reaper Gear from LLBean: ($249.99 Jacket, $249.99 Bibs, $39.99 Gloves)

We’ve always been fans of Under Armour but $500+ for a hunting suit??  Honestly we thought we had caught LLBean at their own game here with these.  I mean here’s a company that has built a reputation on offering long lasting, well made products that give you the most bang for your buck right???    So you’re telling me that this Under Armour stuff is made to your specifications and that’s why your carrying it, right?  Apparently that is exactly right!  Keep reading to see why……..Pulling the Under Armour products from the box had just added to my skepticism because the Ridge Reaper apparel is a tad on the thin side.   It is designed to be worn as an outer garment over base layers so if you’re looking for insulating properties, check out one of their other styles.  Although thinner than what I was expecting, the Ridge Reaper fabric is extremely tough AND  features Under Armour’s new scent control properties to suppress bacterial growth and odor.  It’s quiet, waterproof, windproof and you won’t feel like a bulky marsh mellow walking to your stand with these garments.  The fit is superb and to be honest, we feel a little embarrassed to think that we had doubted LLBean’s decision to carry a product like this.  Yeah, it’s expensive stuff but in our opinion, the Ridge Reaper garments are worth the moolah if you can afford it.  Well played LLBean, well played!

Terramar Base Layers:

Over the years, we’ve found that a good base layer is as important as your bow or gun.  A performance oriented base layer with the right degree of warmth can make or break your experience on stand.  You’ll either be prepared and comfortable or ready to call it a day before it even starts!  We found this company called Terramar over the summer and decided to give their products a try this season.  So far, so good!  Terramar has 3 ratings for their base layers; (1.0 warm, 2.0 warmer, and 3.0 warmest).  We tried their 3.0 warmest level in a crew style top and bottoms in mossy oak camouflage.  ($44.99 each).   The base layers are constructed of what Terramar calls their GEO Fleece.  Not only is the performance level of this product there with a quick-dry moisture wicking feature, the GEO fleece contains an anti-microbial element for scent control.  The fleece is thin and constructed of a polyester / spandex mix (95 % / 5 %) that makes layering easy and not all bulky.

We also tried out the reversible beanie and neck warmer from Terramar: ($24.99 Beanie and $9.99 Neck Warmer)

The reversible beanie is made from merino wool and is the perfect blend of weight and warmth.  Thin enough to wick moisture but also warm with a degree of stretchability.  The neck warmer is more for early season in that it is constructed of micro polyester and spandex.  Simply put, if you spend a lot of time in the outdoors (Hunting, skiing, snowmobiling, cutting wood, etc.)  you may want to check into the Terramar line.  They are sure to have a style and warmth level to suit your needs.

Ruckpack Nutrition / Energy Shots: $2.29 each or $54.95 per case of 24

We wrote a review of these non-caffeine energy shots this summer but thought we needed to mention them again.  Many of you know that we recently welcomed a newborn into the family a little over a month ago.  Let me just say that the RuckPack shots have been a life saver in helping me with the energy I need to juggle a baby (not literally juggle him but you get the point), my everyday responsibilities and the rigors of hunting season.  When you’re running on empty, reach for RuckPack!  Here is a link to our review on them:   http://www.theheritagehunters.com/content_admin/?p=2345

NiteHawk Portable Bow Press: $114.99

We’ve used NiteHawk Archery’s Portable Press for several years now and can say without a doubt that every bow hunter should own one!  Not only does it serve as our main press, it is so light and packable that we take it on our hunts out of state in case an issue arises.  The two things that really stand out about this press is 1.) The convenience and portability and 2.) The design.  The press works by pressing the tips of the limbs evenly to distribute all of the pressure down the center instead of the sides of the limbs.  If you look at many of the new bow designs out on the market, this press fits inline with how the manufacturers recommend the bow to be pressed.  To be honest, we have had our bows pressed in reputable bow shops with high priced presses only to hear sounds coming from the press/bow that quite frankly make us nervous.  The NiteHawk Portable Bow Press alleviates our fears and we recommend it to anyone with any style bow.  There is even a shorter turnbuckle model available for pressing crossbows and Nite Hawk has updated the current version of the regular bow press. Here is a video of the press in action and look for this press to be featured as one of our “At The Tailgate” video segments later this fall!

CarboMask: $14.95 for 3.5 oz

We are facepaint users and have been for ages.  Carbomask has combined a non-scented facepaint with activated carbon to mask even more of the scent coming from your face.  The paint dries crazy fast and comes off easy (we don’t take the “come off easy” comment lightly.  It really does but we recommend using non-scented baby wipes to aid the process).  Other than a few chunks of carbon, the paint goes on smooth.  You also get a ton more product than normal facepaint products (3.5 oz goes a long way).

Well that’s it for this year’s 2012 Deer Gear lineup.  We hope you’ve seen a few gems and found something that you want to try out in your gear bag for the remainder of the season. Stop back later this fall when we show you some of these products in action on our “At The Tailgate” video review series.

Ruck Pack Combat Nutrition Review
Monday, August 13th, 2012

Ruck Pack Combat Nutrition Review

click on bottles to check out www.ruckpack.com

We’ve been interested in the benefits of Energy supplements for a while here at Heritage Hunters.  The rigors of pursuing the passion of hunting mixed with the normal and sometimes hectic responsibilities of everyday life can be draining.  While we’ve tested some interesting and exceptional energy products over the last few years, we have stumbled upon a product that rises above all others.  Here are the reasons why we feel this way.

The Back-story:

To Give you an idea of why we were interested in testing this product in the first place, here’s some information directly from Ruckpacks.com website.

“RuckPack was developed by Marine Corps Major Robert Dyer on the battlefields of Afghanistan to provide a single source of supplemental nutrition for troops in the field, elite athletes and other active people seeking a boost in energy and endurance from natural sources.

RuckPack had its origins in January of 2008 when Dyer participated in several combat reconnaissance patrols with a Marine Special Operations company in the Helmand River Valley, one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan.

Dyer and other support units also carried multipacks of vitamins and supplements they purchased from military stores or online civilian providers and shared with one another, but they were frustrated by having to take up to twenty pills and capsules per day from multiple sources.

One of his company’s first products is RuckPack, a concentrated liquid energy shot of essential vitamins and minerals, without caffeine and sugar. Dyer developed RuckPack under battlefield conditions to help weary troops recover quickly from fatigue and dehydration with minimal down time under stressful conditions.”

Now the fact that this product is born out of the first hand knowledge of decorated combat officers should be motivation enough to try this product.  However, if you need a little more, keep reading.

Our Impressions:

Taste:

The taste of the RuckPack shot is a kind of fruity flavor that isn’t overpowering.  It’s not real sweet but at the same time is enjoyable.  We never really focused on the taste of these type energy shots anyway since the reason we take them is not to treat our taste buds.  If taste is a concern for you however, you won’t be disappointed with this product.

Not Just Another Energy Shot:

If you couldn’t figure it out from the excerpts above, RuckPack isn’t just another over the counter energy shot.  What you’ll be getting from this product is a combination of battle tested knowledge and ingredients that is specifically designed to fight fatigue and dehydration.  The ingredients in RuckPack include:

Vitamins: B6, B12, C and D3

Amino Acid: L-Glutamine

Minerals: Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium

Herbs and Other Ingredients: ST. John’s Wort, Ginko Biloba, Ginseng, Chondroitin and Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

Side Benefits:

Since the idea for RuckPack came from the battlefield, consumers can choose to donate care packages of the shots to the forces on the front lines fighting for our freedom.  The care packages are offered at a discounted price and are sent directly overseas.

RuckPack also gives a minimum of 10% of their profits to other worthy organizations like Hunter’s Fight, the MARSOC foundation and The Wounded Warrior Project

Our Testing:

We tested this product in a variety of ways that covered areas of fatigue, physical exertion and mental aptitude.  RuckPack excelled in all three.  We used the product during our spring turkey season and it seemed to cut the fatigue we usually feel in half by mid-day.  When your day chasing forest chickens starts at 3:00 AM and you have other responsibilities like your kid’s softball games, honey-do lists and oh yeah….your day job, things can get a little tiresome.  RuckPack gave us the needed stamina to fulfill our responsibilities and still have enough energy to pursue our hunting addictions!

I personally used RuckPack on another front this summer.  I signed up for 2 races in the winter and for anyone that knows me, I am not exactly what you would call a “runner”.  The first race was a 9.3 mile road race in Utica NY called the Boilermaker.  The second was a month later and a completely different kind of race called the Warrior Dash, set at a ski mountain in Windham NY.  Not only did I utilize RuckPack for my training sessions in preparation for these events, I used them the day of the events.  There were days that I admittedly forgot to take the RuckPack and although I made it through the workouts, I felt like I needed a nap within 2 hours afterwards.  The days that I took the RuckPack before the workouts however allowed me to not only have a more productive workout but also helped me carry out my other daily activities without feeling fatigued and sluggish.

My Sister-in-law and I after finishing the Warrior Dash at Windham Mt. in New York

Summary:

If you’re a fan of energy drinks like we are, you need to try this stuff.  Between the actual benefits of taking the product and the donation benefits that their website offers, we consider this product a WIN-WIN!

After all, if RuckPack is good enough for our elite forces on the front lines, shouldn’t it be good enough for you?

Eyewear Review for the Serious Outdoorsman III
Friday, April 6th, 2012

Eyewear Review for the Serious Outdoorsman III

This review marks our third installment of style meeting function with eyewear geared for the Outdoors.  For this round of Optics testing, we tried out 3 brands of sunglasses.  Our testing consisted of performing the varied outdoor activities of ice fishing, clear cutting with chainsaws, training for our annual “warrior dash”, shooting trap, skiing, freshwater fishing, stand hanging, scouting, shed hunting, riding ATV’s, and all-around general purpose wear.  Although all of these brands held up well to our abuse, we did have a favorite.  Keep reading to find out which one and be sure to click on the photos of the glasses to visit the manufacturer’s website!

Zeal Optics

(www.zealoptics.com)

We discovered Zeal Optics late in 2011 and we think they are sure to become a major player in the Sunglasses industry.  Let me state first and foremost that we liked each of the brands we tested in this review.  All had qualities of updated styling and functioned well in our activities.  The Zeal brand however, rose to the top as having all the qualities we look for in sunglasses.  They are sharp looking, the clarity is amazing, they offer many styles to choose from, their website is extremely informative on the models they offer and the level of protection is above the standard ANSI rating.  Everything about these glasses screamed “Perfect”! when we put them on our face.  We really liked the array of styles that Zeal has to offer so they are receiving our highest rating for this review!

Z resin process: The entire line of Zeal sunglasses are made from castor beans instead of the normal crude oil plastic process.  If you’re into “going green”, these bio-based sunglasses are for you!

Hyperion Lenses: Zeal has achieved the perfect blend between ballistics grade protection and crystal clarity in there lenses.  Not only do these lenses go above the ANSI standards in protection, they also protect your eyes from 4 types of harmful light rays.  The optical clarity was superior in the Zeal Brand for sure!

Fit: We’ve tried many brands of sunglasses over the years and we knew immediately that we would like the Zeal brand by just putting them on.  The Fit is outstanding, even adjustable with the “My Fit Nosebridge” available on some models. The pads on the nosebridge rotate 180 degrees to the right and left, but also shift up and down for a custom fit.   This feature creates what we would describe as a “perfect, non-slip” fit, even during strenuous activity.  Each pair of Zeal optics that we tried (even without the My Fit nosepiece) fit our face snug but not too snug and rested on the correct facial structures (ie; bridge of the nose rather than the high-points of the cheek).  The Zeal website (www.zealoptics.com) does a great job of characterizing each pair of sunglasses with a sizing description of  “Small”, “Medium” or “Large” so you know what size face they typically fit well.  Zeal Optics is simply the best fitting sunglasses that we’ve tried to date and we’re glad we found them!

One-Lens Technology: The Zeal lenses also allow for the proper amount of shading with various intensity of light.  That means that you can wear your Zeal sunglasses in most lighting situations without feeling like you need to take them off to see in lower light.

Price: The price of the Zeal optics are comparable to the top brands on the market.  The models we tested range from $79 – $139.  For the features and fit of these models, we feel the price is appropriate.

Models we tested:

Essential -pictured top left and far right-($99): Great name for these shades and one of our favorite styles!  A throwback to the wayfarer style glasses, these updated shades look good in just about any situation.  The strategically placed “Proflex” rubber on the inside of the frame create a great fit and keep these glasses from slipping during serious horseplay!

Equinox -pictured lower right-($139): Move over Oakley!  These ultra-lightweight shades are perfect for the athlete and everyday situations.  With the “My Fit Nosebridge”, these glasses sit perfectly on our face and offer the perfect blend of style, ventilation and performance.

Insomnia -pictured lower left-($139): These shades are more “Badass” and seem to give you an instant attitude adjustment when you slip them on!  Once again, the Proflex rubber on the frame of the Insomnia is placed perfectly for fit and performance.

Zeta -pictured at top-($139): One more reason why we like Zeal Optics!  They offered to send us a woman’s pair of glasses so we took them up on it and we’re glad we did.  We actually had a hard time getting these back from our wives once we started the testing.  Ultra lightweight, extremely comfortable and a contemporary style were the repetitive phrasing we received on this pair from the…..well….we’ll call them “The women of Heritage Hunters”!

Tifosi Optics

(www.tifosioptics.com)

“Tifosi” is Italian for “super-fan” or “enthusiast” and this brand of optics caters to sports minded people who have a passion for their activity of choice (hmmm….sounds like us!).  Overall, this brand blends a sporty fashion look with high tech features.  We took a hard look at the Logic and Core models in this review.

Frame: We felt that the Frame on these two models was the most impressive feature.  Not only do these glasses have a high bending strength (without losing their shape) the hydrophilic rubber at strategic points on the frame did a great job of holding the glasses in place during strenuous activity.  Because these glasses are developed specifically for outdoor related activities, they are structured to stay in place with movement and sweat.  They did a great job of doing just that.

Lenses: Tifosi offers a wide variety of lenses.  Not only do they offer a wide array of colors in the lenses, they offer lenses that change tint with changing lighting conditions.  We found this especially true on the Logic model.

Models we tested:

Core Model -pictured on right-($69.95): These glasses have 3 things going for them.  They are 1.Fairly indestructible, 2. Look very stylish and 3. Fit our faces very well with the strategically placed hydrophilic rubber on the frame.  The ear pieces are adjustable for a customizable fit as well.  Although we only tested one other model in the Tifosi line-up, It’s hard to go wrong with the Core model for looks and fit.

Logic Model -pictured on left- ($59.95): Initially these lenses come off as a “safety glass” look with a clear lens but after stepping outside, the amplification of sunlight causes the lenses to darken creating just the right amount of tint with no loss in clarity.  The Logic models would be great for activities that require a lot of inside/outside work.  Carpenter perhaps?  The Logic model has the same type of non-slip fit as the Core model and worked extremely well in a variety of light conditions.

Gargoyles Eyewear

(www.gargoyleseyewear.com)

The Gargoyles brand of eyewear has been around for a while and has a reputation for being a “Function First” brand that views sunglasses more as GEAR than a FASHION statement.  Somehow they’ve managed to combine technology (with their Toric Curve shatter-resistant lens) with some degree of styling because their glasses still look Badass!  They have received many positive testimonials on their website from Military personnel so we do not doubt the effectiveness of their lenses!  The review on these would boil down to how they fit our face.

Lens: Read about Gargoyles Toric Curve lens technology here –> http://www.gargoyleseyewear.com/technology.html

Style: All of the styles offered by Gargoyles (In 4 different collections) are definitely Badass and down right intimidating when you put them on.  They ALL look cool! Need I say more?

We tested two models from the Instinct Collection: The Balance and Contact (both with 100% UV protection)

Balance -pictured at bottom-($95): With Shatter-resistant ballistic defense lenses, the Balance is a combination of safety and style.  The fit was superb on these and the Locking snap pin stop hinge provides for an ultra-strong frame setup.   The Balance are a high quality lens on a nylon frame and other than the Zeal models mentioned above, were our favorite pair out of the variety that we tested!

Contact – pictured on top- ($110):  While these glasses provided more lens coverage (7 base, 210 degree lens), they didn’t fit our faces as well.  The bottom of the frame rested on our cheeks rather than our nose making these geared a bit more for larger faces.  However, the Contact glasses are made in the same vein as the Balance with shatter-resistant ballistic grade lenses and they do give you more eye / face coverage for  a greater degree of protection.

It’s hard to go wrong with any of the models mentioned above.  Sunglasses are a clearly a matter of preference in both fit and style.  They are very much like choosing a compound bow.  You don’t really know how much you will like them until you try them on!  Since spring is here and the sun of summer is right around the corner, do your eyes a favor and visit the websites of the companies above.  Be sure to tell them that Heritage Hunters sent ya!

“Get Your Tech Wet!” – Cell Phone Protection for Hunters
Saturday, February 4th, 2012

“Get Your Tech Wet!” – Cell Phone Protection for Hunters

Cell phone use has become increasingly prevalent in all aspects of our lives these days and from a hunting aspect, we’ve found them to become quite useful too.  They allow us to communicate with each other through mute texts and photos of harvested game, provide a life-line for help in case we need it and in the case of our iphones, allow us to check the up-to-the-minute weather details.  We’ve even been known to check out our Facebook page when we get a little bored on stand.  Whether your cell phone is an extension of your extremities or you simply just take it along in case you need help, we’ve found some gadgets that you’ll want to consider to keep it safe and most importantly, dry during a hunt.  The key to a good case is that it protects the phone without hindering the phone’s performance and these two products do just that!

One of the biggest complaints that we’ve heard about not bringing along a cell phone into the woods for a hunt revolves around the possibility of it getting wet and damaged in the elements.  It is a valid concern since replacement plans are NOT cheap these days.  We realize that not everyone utilizes their phone during a hunt, but if you do (or have been concerned with damage caused by the elements) you may be interested in the products below.  Each has its own place in the gear bag.

Click on the price or picture to visit the manufacturers website!

Life Proof: $79.99

This case has the perfect name for how it fared in our testing.  It literally protects your phone from the rigors of life in general.  I have been utilizing the Life Proof case since I received it and can honestly say that it does what it claims to in every aspect.  Life Proof cases protect  your phone from Water, Dirt, Snow and Shock.  It is an all-purpose type case that will hold up in whatever environment you find yourself in.  We found that there are two areas that the Life Proof case really excels in; the ultra-slim design and the full functionality.  The case only adds 1/16 of an inch to your existing phone and the design does not hinder the phone’s performance in the least.  It allows me to keep my phone in the case at all times without feeling like it’s too bulky.  We were able to take photos and videos, play sounds through the speakers and not sense any reduction in sensitivity of the touch screen with the Life Proof case. All facets of the phone are functional while in the Life Proof case. The case is also able to withstand being submerged up to 6.6 feet in water.  Overall, an excellent case for hunters that want to use their phone in the elements without the worry of the phone being damaged.  If you’re worried about the $80 price tag, don’t be!  The investment will not only protect your phone but keep it looking brand new.  Click here to visit Life Proof

Dry Case: $39.99

Although having a different design, the Dry Case is also another reliable product for keeping your phone protected in the elements.  This product is essentially a clear waterproof plastic bag that becomes air tight when a bulb is attached to suck out the air.   This product is really geared for situations where you know you will get wet and is not a “daily” type case that you will want to keep your phone in all the time.  In fact, the motto of Dry Case is “Get Your Tech Wet!” and you can imagine the myriad of situations (not just hunting)  that you could  use the Dry Case in and still fully utilize your phone.  We tested the Dry Case while rifle hunting in a downpour as well as ice fishing and each time it worked flawlessly. The clarity of the plastic allows for the camera on the phone to be fully functional and we experienced zero problems with the touch screen sensitivity while texting.  We literally had our phones out in the pouring rain in the Dry Cases and were able to use them as normal.  The Dry Case comes with a neoprene armband and has a headphone jack built into the bag for use with waterproof headphones.  Overall the Dry Case is a genius idea and should at least be in the gear bag of every hunter that uses his/her cell phone while hunting.  They even have a case for the new Ipad.  Click here to visit Dry Case

Check out this video of Dry Case in Action:

Both of these products do exactly what they say they will do in the protection of your phone.  While each is a different variation on the same theme, both the Life Proof case and the Dry Case are great investments to keep your phone safe from the elements.

2011 Deer Gear
Sunday, November 20th, 2011

2011 DEER GEAR

Have you ever tried a product that suited your exact needs perfectly at first use?   We were fortunate enough to try out several new and innovative products this Fall that did just that.  For the sake of simplicity with all of these products, we’ve broken them down into two categories: The Best of Show; which represents products that we’d feel “naked” without, after our testing, and The Best of the Rest; which still represent good quality products, but may require some additional time with before they fall into the first category.  Click on the pictures or the Product name to visit the manufacturers website.

BEST OF SHOW

ArborWear:

I don’t know why this stuff isn’t in everyone’s closet by now.  From standing on the sidelines of my daughter’s frigid soccer games, to ice fishing, to the deer woods, the double thick sweats are a fantastic piece of gear.  Whether it’s the hooded sweatshirt, quarter-zip sweatshirt or sweatpants, Arborwear has hit a homerun with the double-thick series of apparel.  They have a variety of items that are “tougher than nails” and you should definitely check them out at www.arborwear.com

Another great product from Arbor Wear is their 1/4 zip pullover with “Dri-Release” that has a built-in odor neutralizer which also does a great job of moisture management.  Combined with the Double Thick Sweats, the 1/4 zip pullover is a great combination for outdoor activity when the mercury drops!  Another thing that Arborwear does really well is come up with great slogans for their apparel.  Check out their latest Thanksgiving Advertisement below:

Gerbing “Core” Heated Clothing:

Once you experience Gerbing’s line of Heated clothing, you’ll realize why you never again have to be concerned with the question “How cold is it going to get?”   Gerbing’s heated vest is an absolute must have piece of equipment for the avid hunter and ice fisherman.  Not only does the vest give you the ability to wear less layers, it gives you the ability to have “heat” at your command with the small rechargeable battery packs that fit neatly in the vest pockets.  It’s pretty simple really.  You wear the vest (which is pretty warm in it’s own right) to your stand and sit until you start feeling that unforgettable chill that hunters experience.  With a simple push of a button on the battery, you can heat up the inner-workings of the vest to the level of your choice (100%, 75%, 50% or 25%).  When you get home, you plug in the battery to a charger (included with the vest) and recharge for the next hunt.  We also will be trying the heated sock version of the Gerbing System later this Fall/Winter so stay tuned to see how we like those!

Leupold Trail Cam:


It seems like when Leupold does something, they do it right!  The RCX trail camera system is by far the best we’ve ever used.  Not only are they easy to hang and operate, the controller / viewer allows you to 1) take a look at your field of view to make sure it’s pointing correctly and 2) View your pictures in the field and download them to another SD card in the controller.  Simply throw the controller in your pack and you can check your pictures without removing anything from the camera itself.  The units allow for both pictures and video depending on the settings you choose as well as options for a single or continuous string of pictures.  We can’t imagine using anything but Leupold trail cameras from now on.

Midland HD Camera:

The beauty of this product is its simplicity!  Slide the switch forward and you’re recording.  Slide it back, and you’ve turned it off.  We absolutely love these Midland cameras for capturing all the action that happens to and from the treestand.  They are small, easy to clip onto your hat and take great video.  Order one of these to video your next track job!

RackHat:


This hat is literally two hats in one.  When we heard that this product was “reversible” we had our skepticism.  Usually one side is better than the other, but this is not the case with the RackHat.  Realtree camo on one side and blaze orange on the other.  We can see this hat working especially well in Turkey season by turning it to the blaze side while walking out of the woods with a forest chicken slung over your shoulder.

Watson Airlock camo carrier bag:


I’ve always been somewhat of a “scent freak” when it comes to storing my hunting clothing.  I moved from rubber totes to the Hunters Specialties bag and that all seemed to work pretty well……….Until now.  Since finding the Watson Airlock Camo bags, I can literally throw ALL my hunting clothes in one bag along with all my non-apparel accessories and drag that sucker from hunt to hunt.  We do a ton of “speed hunts” in a few different counties and this carrier bag is perfect for a hunter on the go.  It’s big (26″L x 19″H x 12″D), rugged (Back2Backâ„¢ fabric coating technology for water repellent and abrasion resistance) and Scent Proof (Airlockâ„¢ Technology to lock out odors).  Watson Airlock also offers a version of this bag called the “Bottomless” bag for boot storage in the same size as the camo carrier that we tested as well as a bigger 34 inch version.

Wolverine Mayhem Side-Zip Boots:


The Mayhem Boots from Wolverine combines everything I love about a lace-up hunting boot and the one thing I love about rubber boots……..the easy on/off!  With the Mayhem side-zip boots, I can lace them up and forget about it!  The Individual Comfort System or ICS easily changes the amount of cushioning in the heel. Simply remove the insole and turn the gel disc to enhance inner support, increase outer support, add cushion or even make the shoe more firm.  With it’s 100% waterproof full grain leather construction, the Mayhem boot from Wolverine has found a home in our arsenal of footwear!

Irish Setter Black Bear Boot:

The Black Bear Boot not only have that Classic look, they are built to withstand any punishment you can dish out!  A throwback to the days before camo rubber boots, these 10 inch boots are waterproof and have 400 grams of Thinsulate Ultra, making them the perfect still hunting boot!  One look at the stitching on this boot or perhaps the aggressive tread pattern on the outsole and you’ll see that these boots are built for wear and tear.  The padded removable insole is a nice touch and means that comfort is also important to Irish Setter.  When the season turns from sitting long hours in the stand to hiking over vast terrain, reach for the Black Bear Boot from Irish Setter!

Wicked Tree Saw:

Just take one look at the saw teeth on this bad boy and you can figure out how well it will cut.  No longer do we need to sweat buckets taking limbs the size of our calves, nor do we need to worry about saws breaking in the middle of those type cuts!  The Wicked Tree saw is in fact “Wicked” when it comes to making short work of branches and small trees.  The saw is 14.12 inches long when it is open and only weighs 0.5 lbs.  I would love to see this company come out with a pole saw version of this thing and maybe add some sort of a sheath for this compact cutting machine.  Check out the video on their site to see this saw in action! (click on picture above to see how Wicked Sharp and Tough it really is!)

SEEMZ Scent Free Products:

Seemz offers a variety of scent-free products and one of those comes as a complete system called “The Krush”.  The Krush system includes:

32 oz Scent Elimination Spray

12 oz Scent Elimination Spray

64 oz Scent Elimination Refill Bottle

32 oz Laundry Detergent

12 oz Hair and Body Soap

Seemz Truck Sticker

I’ve used the Krush System all bow season and have not run out of spray.  The Spray bottles are unique in the fact that they spray just as well when tipped upside down.  The whole odor elimination system hinges on what Seemz calls “Odor Fusion Technology” which creates a molecular barrier that prevents odor molecules from reaching the air, thereby possibly floating downwind to your prey.  The Krush system from SEEMZ Technology has not only saved me money this fall, it has also provided me with the confidence of having a reliable scent-free system.

BEST OF THE REST

Believer Bow by Concept Archery:

The newly redesigned Believer G1 from Concept Archery is another great addition to their line of 99% let-off bows.  The Specs on the Believer G1 are:

  • Axle to Axle . . . . . . . 33-7/16″
  • Brace Height . . . . . . . 8″
  • IBO Speed . . . . . . . . 312 fps
  • Adjustable Let-Off . . 80% or 99%
  • Draw Lengths . . . . . . 25-32″
  • Draw Weights . . . . . . 30-70lbs
  • Mass Weight . . . . . . 3lbs 14oz
  • String Length . . . . . . 88-15/16″”
  • Cable Length . . . . . . 35-11/16″

As with all the Concept bows, the draw cycle is super smooth and it’s a blast to shoot.  We were able to have several of our staff shoot this bow this Fall and they all had the same impression……….smooth draw, accurate and fun to shoot!  The valley on the 99% let-off bows takes a little getting used to on the “let-down” if you’re not shooting the arrow.  It’s hard to know when the rollover is going to occur going from 1% holding weight to the full poundage gain.  Hand shock was minimal and we’re pleased with their redesigned wood grip.  It not only looks classy, but it’s slimmer and fits the “life-line” of our hands better than the older models.  Concept is making huge strides in their bow production and if you’ve never shot one, you’re missing out!

LLBean Big Game System Clothing & LLBean Northweave Apparel:


Then LLBean name is synonymous with quality and durability when it comes their apparel.  The offerings for their line of hunting apparel is no different.  LLBean has come up with what they call “The Big Game System” which essentially is a series of shell, liner, and pants or bibs.  There are two different shells and liners to choose from and although our pick for those where the Technical Shell and the midweight liner, it’s hard to go wrong whatever you choose.  All aspects of this Big Game System is built for hard wear in harsh weather and the best thing about these garments is that they kept us dry and warm in our outings.

The Northweave series is a lightweight shirt and pants that are designed to be a durable moisture wicking garment.  These were not only great for hanging tree stands in late summer, but would serve us well for chasing Spring Gobblers in the rising May temperatures.

Irish Setter Clothing:

We’ve always been big fans of Irish Setter’s boots and are quickly becoming fans of it’s clothing line……..that’s right!  If you didn’t know by now, they make apparel as well as great boots!  The Springfield Jacket and Starbuck Lined Pants contain what Irish Setter calls “Wool Loft” insulation.  It is this 100% wool insulation that traps in the heat while allowing for moisture management.  The “Ultra Dry” membrane keeps the garments wind and waterproof.  One looks at this apparel and you get a sense of quality.  There are no imperfections in the seems or clasps that we could decipher.  That’s probably a good thing for the price!  (Springfield Parka = $209 and Starbuck Pants = $199)

RamCat Broadheads:

The RamCat is a fixed style head with blades that move forward and back.  The ferrule is one piece stainless steel with 0.32 inch thick blades that are sharpened on the front and rear.  The cutting diameter is 1 3/8 inches and the cutting tip has deep lobes that serve to minimize any windplaning.  We found RamCat Broadheads to outperform our expectations on toughness and durability.  After shooting these heads through 1/2 inch plywood, they sunk into the tree behind it, only to be pried out with only a slightly bent tip of one of the blades (see above).  The flight of the head flew great out of our Hoyt Rampage XT’s and we found no difference between the RamCats and our usual mechanicals.  All testing was done with Victory VAP arrows and the combination with the RamCat is absolutely impressive!  Check out how far the head sunk into the tree behind the plywood! (below)

Chair Pak:

This product is the epitome of a 2 in 1 product for hunters.  As the name suggests, it is a pack that quickly folds into a chair.  No longer do you have to carry a seat/folding chair as well as your pack into the deer woods.  Originally I thought that it would take some getting used to in order to figure out how the chair folds/unfolds in order to strap to my back.  I was wrong!  There really is only one way it logically folds/unfolds and it is quite simple to use, even when the pack pockets are filled with gear.  As one might surmise, this product has other uses besides hunting.  From fishing, to camping, to sitting on the sidelines at your child’s games, the Chair Pak comes through as a useful and durable product.

Radians Shift and Vengeance Sunglasses:

We also tried out 2 different types of safety / sunglasses from a company called Radians.  The Shift glasses remind us a lot of the classic M-frame Oakleys and come with 5 different color lenses (along with a sweet black zip box to keep them in).  The nosepiece fits great on these and they are so lightweight that you won’t even know you’ve got them on.  In fact, there were a few times I caught myself forgetting they were on as I climbed into my afternoon stand!  The other pair of glasses are called the Vengeance glasses by Radians and these are also lightweight and stylish.  They too come in a variety of lens options and two different frame colors (black and tortoise shell).  Both the Shift and Vengeance glasses meet or exceed ANSI  Z87.1 + standards and are both very affordable. (Shift = $78 and Vengeance = $11)

Radians Hunting Tape:

Anyone who has marked their hunting property with POSTED signs knows that sometimes you want something a little extra to send that message.  Radians also manufactures a line of “Safe Tape” to do just that.  Coming in 3 different messages (NO HUNTING, POSTED….PRIVATE PROPERTY AND  NO TRESSPASSING), the high visibility boundary tape works perfectly.  The durable 4mil tape comes in 300 foot rolls and worked especially well for us in marking gateways and parking areas.

HyCreek Clothing:

HyCreek is famous for offering “package deals” when it comes to hunting clothing.  We decided to test out their Bowhunters Stealth II Package for 2011.  The package comes with a Jacket and pants that both have a 130 gram low-nap outer layer and a 300 gram berber fleece inner layer.  It also comes with their STAY-DRY Wicking Underwear w/ ScentSense (top and bottoms) and PRO II Extreme Insulating Thermal Set (top and bottoms).  In essence, you get 6 garments for $229. Now after having had several years of experience with base layers, it’s no secret that I’ve always been a big fan of the Under Armour products.  However, the base layers that come with this HyCreek Stealh II package are just as good in my opinion.  I found that the wicking properties of the base layers did the job quite well as did the insulation properties.  As for the outer layer Jacket and Pants, the phrase I would give to these would be “tougher than nails”.  They do very well with the wear and tear associated with walking through the woods and brush.  The Jacket and Pants also do an extremely good job with blocking the wind.  As for fit, the Jacket, pants and base layers are true to fit and comfortable.  If you’ve ever seen those HyCreek Advertisements on the back of a hunting magazine and wondered how they would fair, feel free to give them a try.  It’s not a gimmick!

Elusion Camo:

Elusion camo represents one of the most exciting products to hit the scene in a very long time.  We’ve seen camo companies emerge over the years, but none that seem to have the longevity to compete with the “Big 2” of Mossy Oak and RealTree.  Although in the early stages as a company (having just started in March of 2011) Elusion Camo has already been a buzz on the internet.  We decided to see what the buzz was about and got ourselves two sets of BDU style suits (Ridge Raider and Forest Ghost Autumn patterns).  The suits are 100 % polyester and have no insulation but can be worn over layers of insulation because of the generous sizing.  The pockets seem to be well thought out and the Velcro enclosures hold up well after prolonged use.  The suits come with jacket, pants and headcover and there is one price per suit to make things simple.  The area where Elusion Camo shines is the HD quality of patterns and variety of patterns available.  One look at the 11 patterns available and you’ll see why we think this company is going places.  The company’s founder Lee Dufresne is also a force to be reckoned with.  He is one of the more driven individuals that I have met in the hunting industry and appears to have “the sky’s the limit” philosophy on this company.  The true photo HD quality of the patterns has “turned heads” in the industry and we predict that it’s only a matter of time before Lee has the ear of a major bow brand to dip their risers.  Another feat that Lee has managed to accomplish in his first year in business is to manufacture his products entirely in the USA.  When you purchase a suit from Elusion Camo, you know that you are helping to employ another person in this country.  Add to that the feeling of comfort that comes with Elusion’s guarantee policy and we think you’ll be pleased with your purchase.  Lee is always willing to “talk shop” and answer your questions so don’t hesitate to contact him (Lee@elusioncamo.com).  See if you can get Bill Jordan or Toxey Haas to answer an email!?!?  Check this stuff out at www.elusioncamo.com

5.11 Gloves:

5.11 is a company that specializes in tactical equipment for law enforcement and the military.  That means quality equipment that is well thought out.  5.11 offer a line of gloves that are not only tough and comfortable, but are off the charts on dexterity.  Because members of law enforcement and the military have to be able to “feel” what they are doing while wearing gloves, 5.11 has mastered the market in this area.  We tried out the Taclite 2, the Station Grip and Praetorian gloves in their line and we’re not sure we can put enough wear and tear on them to justify needing another pair.  We gave the Praetorian gloves to a K-9 handler friend of ours to try.  Needless to say, he raved about them so much that we never saw them again!  He told us that not only did they not take long to “Break in” but they were a perfect combination of warmth and tactility.  In short, they are tough enough to handle the dog in a rowdy situation but tactile enough to use in drug searches.   As for hunting, we found the Taclite 2 glove to be the perfect early season bowhunting glove.  They are like shooting a release with no gloves on yet, they provide a level of protection when griping the tree steps to climb into a tree stand.  The station grip gloves are the perfect riding gloves for ATVs and do equally well for putting up those tree stands in the summer and early Fall months.

Itasca Swampwalker 2000 Boots:

With 2000 grams of Thinsulate, you’d think the Swampwalker 2000 boots would be too heavy to bother wearing too/from your stand.  Not so!  Itasca has found a way slimline the entire boot while maintaining the extensive insulation aspect of these boots.  Sure, they are a little heavier than your uninsulated boots, but we really didn’t notice too much of a difference between these and our usual 1000 or 1200 gram rubber boots.  As for the quality, the seems are nicely welded and the outer walls of the 17 inch boot are made of tough rubber.  We can’t wait to see how these fair on the ice this winter!

Skull Lok:


This product has got to be the coolest I’ve seen in a while.  I’ve always thought that a European mount looked much more bad ass than a regular taxidermist mount.  Skull Lok takes that concept and gives you a custom mounting bracket for a European mount or a simple horn mount.  When I first contacted Jon from Skull Lok, I asked him about the broadhead brackets.  To my surprise, he told me that he can make a custom bracket of just about any shape (he even does the shape of your home state) and he offered to do up the Heritage Hunters logo for us as a giveaway.  When it showed up at my door, I was blown away.   The thing is beautiful and the powder coat is equally impressive.  If your hunting club or organization is looking for a great promotion, drop a line to Jon Eichhorn at joneich@skulllok.com

Strut & Rut Energy:

The Strut & Rut Energy brand energy “shots” have got to be the ultimate energy drink for hunters.  The container looks like a giant shotgun shell and to be honest, they’re almost too cool looking to throw away after drinking.  They make me want to line them up on a shelf somewhere………anyway, the actual drink itself tastes great and doesn’t cause any sort of “crash” after the fact.  We’ve found that energy drinks come in two basic varieties; Those that give a short-lived burst of energy with the crash that comes later and those that provide a sustained, almost “Timed-release” trickle of energy to keep you going even when you’re dog tired.  Strut & Rut Energy is definitely of the latter version and we would recommend it to any and all hunters that want to keep up the pace, even after getting up day after day at O-Dark Thirty!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the variety of items presented in this year’s 2011 Deer Gear preview.  Obviously not all the items are necessary to bag that slammer, but they’re all worth a look!  Do us a favor and let us know what you think of any of these items in our FORUM.

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