The Archery Trade Association’s annual Trade Show is the bowhunting industry’s biggest event. Nearly 10,000 people attended the 2019 ATA Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 10-12. The event is closed to the public so manufacturers can concentrate on selling new gear to retailers. Let’s look at some of the new products bound for retailers near you.
Practicing on paper targets fine-tunes your form, but shooting at 3D targets improves shot placement. “It really elevates your game,” said Tanja Washburn, vice president of Rinehart Targets. “You get used to seeing where you’ll hold your pin for the best success and most ethical shots.”
Rinehart updated its retail deer-target lineup for 2019. The Jimmy Big Tine and Mr. Perfect 3D buck targets feature richer colors, and a replaceable core and removable skullcap so you can mount your own antlers on the target. Rinehart also developed a one-third-scale 3D bull-elk target. “At 20 yards, it simulates a shot at 60 yards on a 600-pound bull elk,” Washburn said. “You can take a couple dozen shots in the backyard to work on your shot placement.”
Most 3D targets are pricey, but Kirsch makes them more affordable with its Black Edition series. The series features a boar and several small-game targets in all black. Kirsch president Phillip Kirsch said customers can paint the targets themselves before using them for practice. He said the targets are fun, interactive and affordable.
After you’ve spent months getting your bow to shoot just right, and you start packing for a hunt, you need to safely transport your bow to the field. You must protect it whether traveling by air, ATV, truck or horse.
Several cases can protect your bow and all your equipment. Pelican’s Air 1745 hard bow case holds a bow, arrows and accessories. Adjustable straps secure the bow, a foam divider adds protection, and wheels help you roll through the airport. Another great option is RUGID’s soft, waterproof bow case, which features a water-resistant zipper and rubberized exterior that protects equipment against rain, snow and dust. The case also has detachable backpack straps, making it easy to carry through airports or haul around camp.
Don’t forget to protect your other gear. “You spend a lot of money on optics, so you want to protect them,” said Zac Jones, vice president of operations at Alaska Guide Creations. The company’s binocular harnesses are designed for bowhunters. “It keeps all your necessities at your fingertips,” Jones said. “The hook and bungee provide silent, one-handed operation.” Several other companies also offer binocular harness systems, including Vortex and Sitka.
Small accessories have huge impacts on performance. For instance, Wasp Archery collaborated with Havalon Knives to create the Wasp Havalon HV broadhead. Havalon is known for its razor-sharp blades, while Wasp makes tough broadhead tips.
Easton’s latest innovation, the T64 FMJ arrow, combines the benefits of two designs with its new tapered arrows. The arrows measure 6 millimeters in the front and taper to 4 mm at the nock. This design delivers maximum penetration and better long-range accuracy.
Lost arrows are an expensive, unfortunate part of practice and bowhunting, but one company wants to ensure you never lose another arrow. Archers can track Breadcomb’s Bluetooth traceable nock through a smartphone app, and they don’t need cellular service. The company says this system isn’t designed for tracking animals. It’s strictly meant for retrieving nearby arrows. Check your state’s hunting regulations to ensure you can use this device during open seasons.
Female bowhunters once had to sit in treestands or stalk the woods while wearing ill-fitting men’s clothing. Not anymore. Clothing companies answered widespread needs for women’s hunting apparel.
“We wanted to offer women systems they could build and customize for themselves, just like in the men’s line,” said Alex Templeton, a Sitka Gear ambassador. Sitka’s 2019 women’s lineup features whitetail and big-game apparel, and a waterfowl line. “Your clothing is gear,” Templeton said. “This gear keeps you quiet and focused. You’re supposed to be focusing on the hunt, and not your clothing.”
DSG Outwear, which makes women’s hunting clothes, also displayed its latest bibs, vest, jacket and pullover at the ATA Show.
Calls that mimic your quarry’s sounds are effective for talking animals into bow range. Hunters Specialties created a turkey call for beginners. This pot call has a slate striking surface covered by a piece of plastic with slits. “Anybody can use this call,” said Tad Brown, Hunter Specialties’ product-development specialist. Simply run the striker through the slot in the direction indicated.Primos andFOXPRO also make user-friendly game calls for several species.
Bowhunters sometimes need a little pick-me-up before they can even consider picking up a bow. “We’re trying to prove that not all instant coffee sucks,” said Jimmy McKinney, cofounder of Tioga Rise. The company sells individual instant coffee packets. Their grab-and-go blend took two years to develop. “It’s super easy to pack in,” McKinney said. “It’s super light. It’s a remote-ready solution for the backcountry.”
Hunter’s Blend also offers bowhunters a coffee choice. It comes in ground and whole-bean packages, or k-cups. Hunters founded the company, which uses its money to support hunters.
To check out these products and many more featured at #ATA2019, visit your local bow shop.