What’s Coming Next with the Best Deer Gear for Hunters

Some of the deer hunting (and fishing) gear I find stored away in my garage makes me shake my head at the advancements we’ve seen in the outdoors industry.

Barnett Raptor Reverse crossbow is unique, cool and darned lethal on deer.

Barnett Raptor Reverse crossbow is unique, cool and darned lethal on deer.

I’m sure my pals who hike and camp regularly think the same. I ran across an issue of Backpacker magazine from 2002 recently and laughed at some of the “innovative” gear they had highlighted. Of course, I could pick up an issue of Deer & Deer Hunting from 13 years ago and do the same thing.

But the cool thing is that we can laugh about it. What was “innovative” then was, for the time. Thirteen years with today’s technology, computer design, outside-the-box thinking of new and young designers and materials that are lighter and stronger has given us some incredibly cool stuff.

My first compound bow in the early 80s was a Jennings, which I loved shooting until some mouthbreather broke into our outdoor storage area and stole it. I hope he dry-fired it and the limbs smacked him in the forehead. I shot a Champion for a while and then a Ben Pearson Diamondback VX with “revolutionary” Vib-X dampener of Vibrasorb gel. Loved it. It was quiet, fun to shoot (still is) and got the job done.

PSE Decree HD

PSE Decree HD

Compared to today’s bows, though, it’s one of those early Chrysler minivans we see on the road and say, “Whooeee. Why the hell are they still driving that?” The technology behind today’s bows just blow my mind, to be honest. Limbs are tougher. Risers are engineered to be stronger and more balanced. Speed? Zippy numbers. Bow company folks won’t give too many specifics but they’re testing designs and materials for future models that will be innovative.

Mathews new No-Cam compound is one example. It’s quiet and speedy. PSE’s new Decree HD is sleek. I got mine recently and after pulling it out of the box, my first thought was it reminded me of a wand of death for deer. (No, seriously. It did. It’s just long and lean and cool.) Arrows are smaller. Broadheads? Holy smokes. Have you seen the Toxic from Flying Arrow? The mechanicals? Yowza. Clothing is off the hook for lightweight warmth. Just take a gander at 10X, Scent-Lok, Under Armour, Sitka, ScentBlocker, Huntworth and others.

The reverse limb crossbows just blow my mind, too. They’re reversed! I hunted last autumn with the new Barnett Raptor Reverse and it’s a blast to shoot. Powerful and speedy, they’re going to be a hit with deer hunters. You’ll see more reverse limb technology and continued improvements on these crossbows and traditional models in the coming years.

But we still have our basics, like the Muzzy fixed blade heads and the simple, reliable design of a release. Rifles get a tweak now and then, like the cool and versatile Mossberg Flex, yet we still have the option of an old classic like Mossberg’s new Patriot. Even inline rifles get tweaks like the cool CVA and Traditions models, but at heart they’re still “load from the top” muzzleloaders that go boom and make smoke.

We’re amid production for the DDH Equipment Annual and you’ll see some of the coolest new deer hunting gear for 2015. In just seven or so months our crew will be at the ATA and SHOT shows to see next year’s gear. But for now let’s celebrate all the technology, innovation and cool ideas as we get ready for deer season and then dive in headfirst.

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Click the calendar to learn more ...

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