New Gear for 2006

Bowhunters are constantly looking for anything that can give them an edge. Archery companies are happy to fill that need, each year introducing equipment that improves accuracy or helps archers climb higher or hunt longer. Here are some new products that hit the mark.

BBK HUNTING SYSTEMS EZ-LADDER If you like to hunt high but are leery of climbing tree stands, check out BBK's EZ-Ladder. The foldable EZ-Ladder fits in car trunks, truck cabs or packs on an ATV. It transforms from a folded 4-foot unit into a 16-foot ladder in less than a minute. ($299; 210-637-1633; bbkhs.com)

PRIMOS BOWHUNTER'S VEST Bowhunters lug a lot of stuff around with them, which is why the Bowhunter's Vest will come in handy. It has large zippered pockets that offer a place for every gadget. Other notable features include an elastic waistband and deep-cut armholes for a perfect fit over bulky winter coats. ($55; 601-879-9323; primos.com)

LEWIS HUNTING ACCESSORIES EXTREME REFLECTION TRAIL MARKERS Extreme Reflection trail markers only reflect back to the light source. Unless a rival knows exactly where to start, he won't find your stand. ($2.95; 715-886-5720; lewishunting.com)

ALPEN 630 8X42 BINOCULAR Looking for a piece of glass that gets the job done without breaking the bank? Check out the Alpen 630. The waterproof binocular touts clear optics, has long eye relief and contains a digital display that delivers time, a compass reading and temperature. ($180; 877-987-8370; alpenoutdoor.com)

EASTON AXIS FULL-METAL JACKET (FMJ) Building on the success of its A/C Super Slim, Easton Archery offers the Full-Metal Jacket. The new low-glare arrow shaft features a thick-walled carbon core wrapped in aluminum. The combination provides plenty of spine (11.1 grains per inch) and a small diameter, with straightness guaranteed to ± 0.003 inches. ($135/dozen bare shafts, $147 fletched; 801-539-1400; eastonarchery.com)

GAME PLAN GEAR RATTLESTRAP If you've ever struggled with where to place rattling antlers in a tree stand, look no further. Game Plan's RattleStrap makes it easy to handle awkward ivory. The adjustable strap wraps around a tree trunk; following each rattling sequence, simply slip the antlers back in the O-rings, where they'll be easily accessible for the next session. ($22; 740-544-6611; gameplangear.com)

CRIMSON TALON HYPER-SPEED Hunters who shoot ultrafast bows know that broadheads don't fly true at that speed. Until now, that is. Crimson Talon is marketing its new Hyper-Speed as the only broadhead designed for ultrafast compounds and crossbows. The Hyper-Speed has 11 airfoils that spin-stabilize hunting shafts from the front. Its spiral-cut tip makes the head screw through the target, leaving a gaping hole. Available in a 100-grain point that delivers a 1¼-inch cutting diameter. ($30/three-pack; 410-658-9660; spintite.com)

SPOT-HOGG 7-PIN HOGG-IT HUNTER Today's compound bows airmail arrows into dime-sized groups at amazing speeds and distances. To be accurate at long ranges, you've got to have more than a three-pin sight, and the 7-Pin Hogg-It fits the bill. A large pin housing, second and third axis leveling, individually micro-adjustable pins and a dovetail mount make this sight extremely user-friendly. As a bonus, the sight's machine work and fit-and-finish are excellent. ($194; 541-995-3702; spot-hogg.com)

DOUBLETAKE ARCHERY, LLC AIR-REST Arrow contact with the rest is the number-one cause of errant bow shots. The Air-Rest creates a magnetic field that suspends the arrow inside the rest. There's no contact whatsoever; thanks to magnetic inserts, the shaft is levitated inside the rest housing. During the shot there's no friction, no noise and no moving parts. ($150; 210-722-3484; air-rest.com)