I love the Kansas State Fair and even though I’ve been there dozens of times I never tire of attending. Possibly our favorite places at the fair are the exhibitor buildings, where besides enjoying the air conditioning, we can load up on “freebies.” These buildings are also Mecca’s for what’s new in the gadget world. We also enjoy attending Expos having to do with hunting, fishing, trapping and the outdoor world in general, and even though we’ve also been to dozens of them, we never tire of attending, as they also offer bags full of “freebies” and are Mecca’s for what’s new in the outdoors. Friday afternoon we attended the fifth annual Midwest Huntfest at Century II in Wichita, and here are a few of the new and interesting products that were my favorites.
Deer hunters often store their hunting clothes in closed containers during the off season, sometimes adding something like pine or cedar boughs to keep them smelling natural like the surroundings where they hunt. There are also scent-free products to wash your body and clothing during hunting season. We found a company from Savannah MO. called Wild Game Drops LLC that has a line of “Buck Barrier” products that all smell like dirt. Good old fashioned dirt smell is about as natural as it gets and Wild Game Drops has cover scent spray, bar soap, wafers to store with clothing and even beard oil that all smell like God’s plain ole’ soil. I smelled them all and can attest to that claim. Check them out at www.wildgamedrops.com.
Cover and attractant scents are important to both big game and predator hunters and a company from Michigan called Fourth Arrow has developed a neat new electronic scent dispersal system and a line a high intensity cover and attractant scents to go with it. Known as Wyndscent, the scent can be used with a battery operated wand that sticks in the ground or hangs from a limb and can be set to disperse the scent at set intervals, or it can be used in a hand-held squeezable bulb called a grenade that disperses the scents when squeezed. Both are designed to get the aromas into the air and let the wind currents take them where they need to go. Deer attractant scents that smell like buck and doe urine are available, cover scents come in pine and apple aromas and they even have an attractant specially made for a bear’s sweet tooth called donut shop. The company also makes a line of high-end camera mounting equipment to help hunters film their own hunts. Check them out at www.fourtharrow.com.
Portable hunting blinds are very popular and handy, especially if you hunt at multiple locations and don’t want to build permanent blinds. You can carry them in, set them up for a day or a week them take them down and hang them in the shed until next season. We have a couple older models and have harvested several deer and turkeys from them. A company called DOX Outdoors carries two portable blinds known as the Reflex Series; a larger one known as the ReflexPRO and a smaller size called the ReflexSCOUT. These blinds are multi-sided blinds that set-up and take-down accordion style and stow away in a nice carrying case. They are very well made from square metal tubing and covered with heavy cordura canvas fabric. All windows and shooting ports have both clear and solid covers that attach magnetically making them very quiet. The sales rep. told us they have had them up in 75 mph winds and they stood just fine. Their down side is that they are very expensive. Check them out at www.doxoutdoors.com.
Just when you thought nothing more could possibly be made for a smart phone, Convergent Hunting Solutions now offers a game call that operates from a special free app that runs on any Android or Apple devise. Called the Convergent Bullet HP Electronic Game Call, it runs on rechargeable lithium batteries and uses Bluetooth technology to let you download calls from a library of sounds and play them through powerful speakers built into the call. It comes with a decoy that mounts on top of the unit for increased attraction to predators. At $260 it’s cheaper than most good game calls. Find them at www.convergenthunting.com.
And finally a home town company called To-Extreme off Road and Outdoor Products from just up the road in Salina, KS offers a myriad of heavy duty off-road outdoor products including coolers, cargo carriers, navigation tools, emergency/preparedness gear, and my favorites, a heavy duty trailer and a line of tents made to mount on a frame above the trailer or on top of an SUV. These tents are way cool and would be just the ticket for camping in rattlesnake, bear or mountain lion country. See them at www.to-extreme.com.
Plan to take-in the Midwest Huntfest next year and see some of this stuff for yourselves. Besides all I’ve told you about there were the usual guns, knives, gear, archery contests, taxidermy contest, outfitters booking hunts, TV personalities and several booths selling dozens of flavors of jerky& sausage, and offering free samples. It just doesn’t get any better than that! Continue to Explore Kansas Outdoors.
Steve can be contacted by email at [email protected]gmail.com.