Best hunting accessories 2019
|Garmin inReach Mini|
We used this device to send emails while off the grid. It worked well. It’s light and compact, but packed full of features. It provides 100% global Iridium network two-way messaging and interactive SOS plus basic navigation. Online location tracking using the Earthmate app helps people keep track of your whereabouts, and weather forecasts help you know what to expect. This is a handy device, and another means of staying connected and safe while in remote locations.
|QuickLock QLH Chest Holster |
Safety while in the vast expanses of the backcountry holds lifesaving value to many hunters when dangerous game is present. Such is the case with the QLH Chest Holster from QuickLock Holsters. Form fit, lightweight, and paired with a .44 mag that was carried over the course of a 2018 moose hunt above the Arctic Circle, the QuickLock was secure and comfortable. It is easy to slip on and buckle in while packing not just daily gear, but also when packing moose quarters. In addition, the feeling of safety that at any second, the pistol could be easily drawn for protection from brown bears or other dangerous game gives the holster high marks. While hiking and stalking, our tester found the holster tucked snug against the chest at all times. The adjustable straps appropriately adjusted with little effort, leaving no rub marks on clothing or person and while often overlooked, removal of the holster was just as simple after a hard day. After testing many such sidearm devices on dozens of backcountry hunts, our tester stated that the QLH mold-formed chest holster should become an essential part of a hunter’s gear bag.
|MaxxDry Boot Dry|
This boot dryer uses air warmed to 105° and thermal convection to dry boots, shoes, and gloves. The machine operates silently using 30 watts and has no moving parts. It’s got a drip tray to catch excess water and muck. It can dry boots up to 16 inches tall. We have several boot dryers from MaxxDry and in a household of four boys, they are in use most of the winter.
|Spyderco Cara Cara 2 |
This everyday carry is light, sleek, and sharp. It features an ambidextrous one-hand opening, lanyard hole, and pocket clip. The lightweight, value-packed knife has been reengineered and includes upgrades like a full-flat-ground blade, for better edge geometry and cutting performance as well as an FRN handle for increased grip. We like that it’s light, sharp, comfortable, and is really well priced.
|Black Diamond Carbon Whippet|
Although it was designed as a self-arrest ski pole, the carbon whippet takes trekking poles to the next level for serious mountain hunters. The self-arrest feature came in handy several times while traversing nasty sheep country and the carbon fiber sections make this pole light enough for even the most weight-conscious hunters. Although not intended to be used as an ice pick or a climbing aid, our tester caught himself using it more and more to reach up and steady himself on a few gnarly climbs in the rocks. This is one piece of gear he won’t go without in the high country from now on.
|Coast FL60R Rechargeable Headlamp|
This rechargeable LED headlamp is super light and easy to wear; it’s a 450-lumen headlamp with a wide-angle flood beam in a 2.8-ounce package. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery will run for about two hours on high and 10 hours on low. The lamp can also run on three AAA batteries. It’s got three output options: low, medium, and high. At high, a user can see out to 100 feet. It comes in four color options.
|Bait Em 907 Bear Attractants|
Our tester shared, “I was using a handful of different commercial products along with dog food and getting, what I thought, were okay results. Then I got my hands on some stuff from Bait Em 907. While their list of is too long to list here, there are two products that I would highly recommend every bear hunter in the state adds to their bag of tricks: Bruins Brunt ground cover and Attitude Adjustment burn formula. After I applied the cherry-scented Bruins Brunt the increase in activity at the bait site was unreal. The number of bears and frequency of their visits tripled. The burn formula (I used the blueberry and honey scents) pulled in multiple bears and was far easier to use and longer lasting than real honey. It pulled in several bears on the first burn; unfortunately, when the big guy I was after showed up and finally offered me a shot, I clipped a small branch I had missed with the machete and he got away unscathed. Bait Em 907 offers a wide variety of bear attractants that will make your bait station more productive than it has ever been.”
|Bait Em 907 Moose Lures|
This is another top-notch product from Bait Em 907. We used the bull urine gel and spray to make a fake rut wallow about ¼-mile from spike camp and hung a trail camera on it. One day later a decent bull and a couple cows arrived, and the site was visited several more times over the course of our two weeks afield. Our tester gave a friend of his the remaining supply of cow urine gel and spray that he wound up using in a rut wallow he had started. After having several sub-legal bulls in bow range, he finally got a shot at a 58-inch bull on the final day of season. He was standing in the wallow with his nose on the bag of urine gel when the arrow was turned loose! This stuff works, period. Use it at the right time of the season in a travel route and the moose are going to check it out if they smell it. If you’re moose hunting during the rut, don’t leave camp without it.”
|Work Sharp Pocket Knife Sharpener|
This handy little sharpener was priceless on a moose harvest last fall. It quickly touched up our blades multiple times throughout the long night of butchering. It’s lightweight, compact, and perfect for tossing in your backpack to keep an edge on your knife after a successful hunt. With a coarse diamond side to quickly restore an edge, a fine ceramic side to polish it up, and the angle guide that makes it virtually foolproof, this sharpener has earned a permanent spot in our pack for years to come.
|Plano Waterproof Case Plano Waterproof Case|
We tested model 145000, which has external dimensions of 9 inches long by 4.875 inches wide by 3 inches tall. It sports a Dri-Loc O-ring seal combined with a strong polycarbonate case to provide waterproof and crushproof protection. We used it to store our phone, wallet, license, and keys, and it works perfectly.
|Red Mountain Gear Vari-Leg Tripod Base|
Hardcore mountain hunters spend hundreds, if not thousands, trying to shave ounces off their gear. Here’s a great way to shave off a few pounds. The design of the tripod base allows you to use trekking poles, tent poles, or whatever else is handy for tripod legs. It comes with three lightweight aluminum legs that are rock solid, but a bit short for some applications. The base had zero issues solidly supporting spotting scopes with 80mm objective lenses. The amount of weight and bulk this little piece of gear shaves off your pack is well worth the performance trade-off of a full-size tripod and pan head. It took a little time to get used to using the VLT, but now that we have, our tester stated that if you pack a spotting scope anywhere off the beaten path, this is a must-have piece of gear produced right here in Palmer, AK.
|Bushnell Trophy Cam HD|
With a host of features and settings to suit just about any situation, this camera is about as versatile and reliable as they come. The picture and video quality are both outstanding and the battery life is second to none. We ran this camera at a fairly active bear bait for a few months and then shipped it to Washington to set up on a feeder for deer; the camera is still using the first set of lithium batteries. The blackout flash keeps bears from picking up on the camera’s presence during low light and nighttime situations, which really helps reduce damage or loss. We mounted this one about six feet high looking down at the bait and not a single bear took notice of it. If you want a reliable, full-feature trail camera that won’t break the bank, look no further.
|Coleman BatteryGuard 425M Flashlight|
This flashlight will provide three hours of 625 lumens reaching 425 meters (465 yards) on high and 200 hours of 20 lumens reaching 50 meters (55 yards) on low. It sports BatteryGuard which provides 25% more battery life. The outer casing is tough and waterproof.
|Ultimate Predator Stalker Decoy (Moose with Antler Attachment)|
The decoy easily attaches to your bow via a couple of velcro strips and can be attached or removed in a matter of seconds. Use it as a seductive cow moose or get that old bull riled up at the sight of a smaller intruder. Our tester stated, “I spent a fair amount of time practicing with the decoy attached to my bow and it had no effect on my accuracy unless I was shooting in the wind. If it is windy you can use the loop at the top to hang it in a tree or a buddy can hold it by hand. The decoy and antlers pack down tightly and add minimal weight. I even used it as a ground cloth when we spent the night out away from camp. This decoy is a great trick to have up your sleeve to pull that big old bull moose those last few precious yards for that perfect shot.”
|Stealth Cam DS4K|
Associate Editor Scott Haugen put the Stealth Cam DS4K to good use in 2018. He had this to say, “One of the tools I depend on year-round is a trail camera. I have quite a few units, and am always looking for the best, especially when it comes to video quality. I learn far more about animals, animal behavior and animal movement through video than I do still photos, and this is where the Stealth Cam DS4K instantly caught my attention. The quality of both day and nighttime video this camera captures is flawless. It’s the world’s first 4K digital trail camera, and the NoGlo infrared flash range is 100 feet. The fast trigger speed means you’ll not miss capturing high-quality still shots, either. I’ve had great success with the DS4K for tracking deer, elk, bears, turkeys, waterfowl, small game, and a range of predators.”
|Mountainsmith Halite 7075 Trekking Poles|
These are well-made, collapsible trekking poles that break down to 16 inches and can fit right in your pack. Our tester appreciated the quality grips and hand straps, as well as the locking mechanism that kept these sticks sturdy on rough terrain. They come with a hiking basket, replaceable rubber boot tips, and a carbide tip.