Best New Bowhunting Gear and Accessories for 2012

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There is an ulimited amount of new gear available to the curious bowhunter. In order to help you stay on top of the ever-growing list of treestands, broadheads and accessories, Bowhunting Editor, Todd Kuhn rounds up a list of the best new products from the Archery Trade Association Show from Columbus Ohio. The first five products in this gallery were picked as game changers in the archery world.
**Game Changer – #1
Blood Sport CX-3 **
Mechanical broadheads have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years. After all, they fly perfectly and are lethal. However, putting them in a quiver can be a real pain. Typically they open when inserted or removed. The Blood Sport CX-3 (three arrow) and EX-5 (five arrow) both were designed to accommodate mechanicals (CX-3 accommodates both mechanicals and fixed-blades). The hood on both quivers opens to allow the easy insertion of broadheads. A trick ball mount system attaches the quivers to the bow, making for an easily adjustable mount. An extra ball mount, with a wood screw is integrated into the quiver's stem. When screwed into the tree, the quiver mounts securely and is adjustable to any angle. ($59.95;
Game Changer – #2
**X-Press Pro Model **
With the recent advent of beyond parallel limbs and pre-loaded limbs, the bow press industry has been scrambling to find a design that will accommodate all the hybrid bows. Add to that, the incredible popularity of crossbows, and you have a bow press nightmare. The people at X-Press have the answer. Their X-Press Pro Model accommodates every compound and every crossbow. Yes, you read that right. The new X-Press utilizes an amazing array of wheels, drives, and cradles to fit anything out there that launches an arrow. And, it is super-fast to set up, going from compounds to crossbows in a matter of seconds. ($1199;
Game Changer – #3
The Blood Vane
Vanes are perpetually deforming and tearing–making arrows scatter all over the target. Hit a soft spot in a bag target or bury an arrow in a foam target and you've rendered your vanes worthless. Refletching is time consuming and a real pain in the neck. The Blood Vane from Outer Limit Archery makes messing around with vanes a thing of the past. The molded one-piece vane, is hands down, the hardiest vane out there. It is also the easiest to install. To do so, simply slide the vane assembly down the arrow shaft. Once in place, put a drop of glue in the external glue ports. The vane channels glue down the length of the vane and shaft leaving you a perfectly fletched arrow. ($15.99/6-pack;
Game Changer – #4
**Crossbow ZVT and Compound ZVT **
Blood Sport is a division of Muddy Outdoors. The Blood Sport Crossbow ZVT (Aero Vibration Transfer) and Compound ZVT were very popular items at ATA this year. For compound shooters, the ZVT replaces the stock string stop rubber bumper. A set of dual, angled brushes allow the string to complete its entire power stroke unencumbered, then the rearward angled bristles capture it when it begins to return to neutral. The result is no vibration is introduced into the bow. The Crossbow ZVT mounts to most crossbow buss cable tracks. Dual heads capture the string, not allowing vibration to enter the bow. In both cases, noise and vibration are reduced by significantly noticeable amounts. ($49.95 – $59.99;
Game Changer – #5
Ol' Man Drone Hex Drive Climber
Climbing treestands let you customize your hunting set-up by providing versatility. However, they do have several drawbacks; the biggest being if not set-up correctly, the standing and seating platforms are at odd and dangerous angles when you reach your hunting height. The Drone Hex Drive allows you to adjust your climbing angle as you climb in total safety. Rotating handles spool in or pay out cable to keep the stand level while climbing. It's easily the best climbing system I've seen. The two built-in, flush-mount gear accessory hooks and quiver mounting system are ingenious designs; keeping gear and cargo close, yet out of the way. ($399;
EliminX Xtreme
Ever go to douse yourself down with your favorite scent eliminating spray only to find that it's frozen? The people over at Code Blue have introduced their no-freeze formula of EliminX Xtreme with Silver-Zyme. The Silver-Zyme combines nano-silver and enzyme technology to form a solution that eliminates bacteria and foreign odors. Beyond the fact this stuff is freeze-proof, it also works. ($12.99/12-ounce spray bottle;
Xtreme Hardcore Gear's V-Twin Arrow Rest
This rest has independent, adjustable spring tension on each Teflon launcher. Individual adjustment allows for custom tuning of side and downward rest tension. Combined with the rubber mounted top capture option and you have a very huntable rest. ($89.95 w/o Mathews Harmonic; $99.95 with Harmonic;
Revelation Gut Hook Knife
Ever try holding a flashlight in your teeth while gutting a deer? Frustrating for sure. The Real Avid Revelation Gut Hook Knife has a built-in LED light just behind the blades base. Turn it on while working and you've got plenty of light to complete the job no matter how dark it is. ($44.99;
**Pile Driv'r **
Spin feeders have been the bane of hunters for decades. Spinner motors are finicky and jam often. Wildgame Innovations Pile Driv'R utilizes an auger system to keep feed flowing and jams at bay. The poly drum holds up to 50-pounds of feed, including, bran, corn, pellets, and powdered minerals. ($119.99;
V-Loc Ultra Bow Sling
Stabilizers are great for taking some of that teeth-jarring thump out of an archery rig. They also help balance the bow. The Xtreme Hardcore Gear's V-Loc Ultra Bow Sling has a sling mount with an integrated stabilizer mount. The result is a sling that makes the bow much more comfortable, and a stabilizer mount that allows you to adjust your stabilizer to any position for a custom balance. ($39.95;
A/C Injexion
Easton has been making arrows forever. For 2012 they introduce the A/C Injexion arrows. The new shafts are nano-small, promoting deeper penetration when an animal is struck. Their new Deep Six arrow inserts are integrated into the shafts, eliminating bulky outserts. The new shafts are so small in diameter, special field points and broadheads have been developed for Easton by ancillary companies (see NAP D6 BloodRunner 2). The A/C Injexion shafts have aluminum cores, and a proprietary carbon wrapped outer shell. Straightness is guaranteed to +/- .002". Made in America, the polished 9-micron finished A/C Injexion shafts are not cheap though; retailing for $279.99 per dozen bare shafts. ($279.99/doz. shafts;
D6 BloodRunner 2
New Archery Products D6 BloodRunner 2 is designed specifically for Easton's new Deep Six arrow insert system (see Easton A/C Injexion). This 2-blade, 100-grain broadhead has a cutting diameter of 2-1/16". The over-bore technology and boat-tail slim ferrule design creates a channel wider than the shaft, decreasing friction. ($39.99/3-pack;
**AmeriStep Switch **
Hub-style blinds have been standard fare for decades. When they work right, they're easy to use and provide plenty of concealment. When they don't work right, they're a pain to put up and take down. AmeriStep's Switch ground blind has a lightweight, square aluminum frame and slip-over RealTree AP camo outer shell. Push button legs allow you to raise the blind to its full height of 88" for standing bow shots or lower it to 60" for low-profile gun shots and multiple height options in-between. The legs adjust independently, allowing for custom height adjustment on uneven terrains like hills. Optional shells are available in RealTree APG, Max-1, and Max-4 to adapt to any season. ($299.99;
Kill Zone
Rear deploying mechanical broadheads have become the rage in recent years. Rear deploying blades offer better penetration, improved flight, and a small flight profile. New Archery Products Kill Zone broadhead is a rear deploying mechanical with a robust 2" cutting diameter. A spring-clip design ensures blades won't open in flight or in the quiver. ($39.99/3-pack;
**TruGlo Crossbow Sight **
TruGlo's Trajectory Compensating Crossbow Dual Color Open Red Dot Sight lets the user choose four different descending aiming dot patterns to match the arrow trajectory of their crossbow. Eight different reticle choices in the colors of red and green provide contrast against any target or background. An adjustable rheostat controls the brightness while a click windage and elevation adjustment is provided for quick and easy sighting-in. The 24 x 34 mm window is large and great for quick target acquisition. ($90;
**Toolio Scope Mounting Kit **
For all the crossbow enthusiasts out there, Real Avid offers a scope mounting kit. The Toolio Scope Mounting Kit consists of the ergonomically designed handle, eleven double-ended optics bits (specifically made to fit today's optics hardware), a bubble level, micro-fiber lens cloth, and carrying case. ($44.95;
**Epic D1 **
Wearable video cameras have become extremely popular recently. The ability to capture ones hunt without the need for a cameraman is great. Epic expands its line of wearable adventure cameras with their Epic D1. The D1 records in 720 x 480 standard definition. The ultra lightweight, ultra compact D1 captures all the action with sharp, high-resolution video and crisp, clear audio. The D1 also doubles as a still image camera with the ability to shoot up to 9 sequential images. The external LCD screen displays number of video files in memory, as well as battery life, and resolution setting. Features include 2X digital zoom, 25 frames per second, 2 megapixel still cam with 1-9 action sequence, 48-degree lens and accepts up to 16 GB SD memory cards. ($79.99;
**Brunton RecSync **
Dead electronics can ruin any outing. Brunton Hunting has a new portable power pack designed for demanding USB equipped devices like tablet computers, e-readers, smart phones, and GPS units. The Brunton ReSync has a power gauge and auto shut-off, is all-weather tough with its rubberized shell, weighs just 10-ounces, and easily stows in a backpack or fanny pack. The ReSync is a 9000mA rechargeable lithium polymer battery, that's water resistant and compact at 2.7" x 5.7" x 0.9". ($168;
**Stealth Cam's Drone Wireless System **
Stealth Cam's Drone Wireless System has been in development for over four years. This sophisticated cellular based wireless system allows for complete control and image monitoring from any computer–anywhere in the world. The Stealth Cam Drone camera has all the bells and whistles of most Stealth cameras along with a GPS enabled cellular wireless modem. The Drone Command Hub Website controls the camera from anywhere a computer is available. The hub provides users with GPS satellite overlay of camera locations, control of multiple cameras with one login, SMS & email notification of image upload, thumbnail preview, battery & memory level monitoring, status monitoring, image galleries and email & social media sharing. (MSRP Not Provided;
**The Elevation Jacket **
Woman owned and operated Prois, offers women the finest in outdoor apparel. The Elevation Jacket is constructed from a breathable, waterproof laminate fabric with waterproof zippers that snap for complete silence. Prois' signature nylon tricot lining and integral thumbholes make Elevation Jacket perfect for layering. The jacket features deep-set hand pockets and an integrated arm pocket for carrying valuables. For concealment, the Elevation Jacket is wrapped in Mothwing Mountain Mimicry camo pattern. ($220;
Rinehart Woodland 16
A quality archery backstop is a necessity for any real archery enthusiast. The Rinehart Woodland 16 is a rugged target that incorporates the industries best self-healing foam. The Woodland 16, is, as the name implies, 16" x 16" x 16". The Rinehart is solid foam from corner-to-core with the company's latest Solid FX Foam. Like all Rinehart's, this target will withstand as many shots as you care to send its way without a pass-through. ($119;
**The Crush **
The Crush by Carbon Express is a carbon composite shaft engineered for a flatter trajectory and consistent accuracy. The proprietary finish, exclusive to Carbon Express, delivers a smoother release off the arrow rest and provides greater stealth in the field. Raptor vanes are standard, as is the bull dog nock collars for protecting the aft end of the arrow shafts. Straightness is +/- 0.003" with a weight tolerance of +/- 1-grain. ($54.95/6-pack;
**Gamer Field Point Target **
Big Green Targets have made a name for themselves producing archery targets made from recycled materials. Their Gamer Field Point Target features two "game" target faces designed to create longer target life and add a new level of entertainment to shooting. Measuring 20" x 20" x 13", high-definition screen-printed front and back target faces provide remarkably sharp graphics. The Gamer is rated to 350 fps and weighs about 25-pounds. ($89.99;
**Sitka Scrambler **
For the little hunters out there, Sitka Gear offers the Scrambler series jacket and pant. The Scrambler jacket has a light insulation to ward off early morning chills while providing maximum breathability throughout the day. With articulated elbows, a micro-fleece lining, and a functional chest pocket–the Sitka jacket is just like the ones grown-ups wear. The Scrambler pant features micro-fleece to wick away moisture and keep nippy temperatures at bay. The articulated soft shell pants are made to be worn with or without layers underneath. Reinforced seat and knees along with a 2-way stretch seam make the Scrambler a very solid built clothing system that caters to the up and coming outdoorsmen. Available in Gore Opti-Fade. ($129 jacket; $89 pant;
HSS Hybrid
Vest-style and skeletal-style full-body harnesses are both very popular. However, one can be too hot while the other provides no pockets for precious hunting gear. Hunter Safety System's HSS Hybrid vest combines the best of both harness styles. The Hybrid's lower portion features six pockets, including two fleece-lined hand-warmer pockets, two security pockets and a pair of quick-access utility pockets. Smart fabrics reduce the Hybrid's overall weight to stingy 3-pounds. ($149.95;
Moultrie M-80
The Moultrie M-80 is a pint-sized trail cam with black flash technology. Black light diodes emit no visible light when flashing; rendering it invisible. The M-80 takes 5-megapixel pictures and has a flash field of 50-feet. In plot stalker mode, the camera captures images at a pre-set interval, allowing the monitoring of large food plots when an animal might not be close enough to trigger the camera. The camera operates in three modes: IR triggered game camera, time-lapse plot camera and plot camera by day/IR camera by night. A built-in 16:9 viewer allows in-field picture review while a photo strip records temperature, moon phase, date, time and user ID. The M-80 records video too, and operates for up to one-year on a single set of batteries. ($199.99;
Titanium Xtreme
Titanium is strategically used on key parts like the sight housing, pin-guard, and body of the sight for reduced weight and improved performance of the Archer Xtreme Titanium Xtreme sight. The sight has a large, light gathering 2-inch sight housing for a better low-light view. A titanium bracket keeps the mount strong while stainless steel pins ensure stout performance without pin bending. Five .019" fiber optic pins glow brightly and are micro-adjustable. A 2nd and 3rd axis adjustment is standard. The sight is left or right handed with zero-gapping pins. The Titanium Xtreme is available in blackout or titanium gray. ($299;
SKB Case
SKB is now offering a Mathews Z7 and Z9 custom double bow case. The ATA bunk-style double bow case has molded bumpers, heavy-duty cushioned handle, patented trigger release TSA latches, and wheels. The case measures 41" x 15" x 6" and has a $1500 airline content coverage policy. ($279;
**Hijack Full Capture Rest **
Octane, a division of BowTech, now offers The Hijack Full Capture Rest. The Hijack is made of magnesium, a very light and durable material. Three "fingers" keep arrows cradled tightly and adjust to customize a bows tune. Plungers are covered in a quiet material, much like moleskin. ($49.99;
**DeadLock Lite Arrow Quiver **
The DeadLock Lite Arrow Quiver from Octane is an ultra-light design for both mechanicals and fixed-bladed broadheads. For mechanical use, simply remove the foam hood liner. Grippers are adjustable for any arrow length. A user-friendly mount makes for easy attachment even with gloved hands. ($49.99;
**Rocky Athletic Mobility Line **
Rocky's Athletic Mobility line of apparel has three levels of performance for outdoorsmen. Level One is lightweight apparel, perfect for mild weather. Level Two is constructed with 100-percent polyester rip stop and adds 60-grams of Prima Loft insulation. Level Three serves as an outer shell, with water repellent, 100-percent polyester two-layer performance fabric on the outside and micro fleece lining. The fabric has four-way stretch, making it very comfortable. ($49.99-$149;
**G Force 1300 ARC **
While you'll probably never need a 1,500-yard rangefinder while bowhunting, Bushnell's G Force 1300 ARC laser rangefinder has a host of cool features. It has a 6X magnification eye-piece with adjustable diopter. Fully waterproof, the ARC has a bright red readout, great for any weather condition. Angle compensation is included, and a turbo processor speeds greatly reduces target acquisition times. Accuracy is +/- 0.10 yard at 5 to 125-yards. The unit is built with a rugged metal housing and features a rubber armor coating. A built in tripod mount is included. ($399;
**Bushnell Outdoor Product's Trophy Cam HD **
Bushnell Outdoor Product's Trophy Cam HD is impressive on many levels. The one-year battery life, calculated using worst-case scenarios, is admirable. The HD offers high-definition (HD) video, 0.6 second trigger speed, and improved Field Scan 2X time lapse technology. The HD has 8 MP image resolution and HD video standard. The flash capacity is 60-feet, with a multi-flash mode and three programmable flash settings. Users have the ability to input the GPS coordinates of the camera and auto-embed a geo-tag on each image or video. In addition, an info stamp includes date, time, temperature, moon phase and a user-selected name. ($229-$299;
Legend UHD
Some bowhunters pass on binoculars as they are heavy and distracting. Bushnell Outdoor Product's Legend UHD 10 x 25 binoculars are very compact. In fact, they're so compact, they can easily fit in a vest or shirt pocket. The waterproof and fog-proof binoculars have multi-coated lenses and a textured non-slip armored housing. For any bowhunter who has steered clear of bulky binoculars–you'll love these. ($199.99;
**Rage X-Treme **
Perennial mechanical favorite Rage introduces the Rage X-Treme. With a giant 2.3-inch cutting diameter and a new sweeping blade angle, the Xtreme promises better penetration than other large cutting diameter heads. The two-blade rear deploying broadhead is recommended for archers shooting 60-pounds of draw weight or heavier. ($49.95;
**Bone Collector Rub Line Slime **
Wild Game Innovation's Bone Collector Rub Line Slime is touted as an attractant that can be poured on trees and shrubbery. The super-gooey formula sticks to whatever it touches while attracting whitetails. The slimy gels oozes down following application. ($11.99;
T****rophy Ridge Beacon Quiver
Trophy Ridge's Beacon Quiver incorporates a ballistic copolymer that is very light while being very strong. Integrated into the hood are four green LED lights. Three LEDs are on the outside with one pointed into the hood's cavity. The lights help with bow chores when dark. A braided hang rope is included for hanging the quiver when in a treestand. Available in RealTree APG. ($79.99;
**The Whipper Snapper **
Spot Hogg Archery Products has built a solid reputation on ruggedly-built, functional archery products. The Whipper-Snapper is a three or four-finger release, styled after back tension releases. However, it is not a back-tension release. The Whipper-Snapper is very comfortable in hand, in fact so much so, that for those who have never shot this style of release will enjoy giving it a go. A great jaw anchors the design, one that opens whne the trigger is activated. A set-screw adjusts release tension for a custom feel. ($138.85 three-finger; $149.95 four-finger;
Wicked Tough Handsaw
Hand saws are a commodity. Everyone and their brother manufactures one. Wicked Tree Gear has built a genuinely rugged hand saw; one that will stand up to the rigors of hunting chores without failing. The Wicked Tough Handsaw is constructed of a cast metal handle with rubber over-molding for a great grip when tackling an abstinent limb. The blade is as sharp as I've seen and will not bend under load. ($39.99;
The Bednar Perfect Puller
This tool from Ten Point Technologies is designed to remove deeply buried arrows and crossbow bolts from high-density foam targets. No matter how easy the pretty gals on television make it look, anyone who has spent time grinding arrows into foam targets knows they are nearly impossible to remove. These pliers, with their rubber jaws, grip arrows perfectly while the pliers grips allow easy arrow removal. The best $20 you'll ever spend. ($19.95;
**Viper Specialist SD **
The folks at Summit Treestands have been making treestands for a 32-years. This year they introduce their Viper Specialist SD. The Viper is Summit's number-one selling climbing stand line. For Summit loyalists, the first thing you'll notice is the Viper's round tubing construction. By using round tubing, Summit engineers were able to shave 4-pounds off while retaining a 250-pound user weight rating. The Viper Specialist offers an open front design; great for bowhunters. And at 14-pounds, this Viper is light. While shy on weight, the Viper is big on amenities. A thickly padded armrest and rail are wrapped in Realtree AP. Rapid Climb molded stirrups are standard, as is the signature Summit QuickDraw cable system and back pack straps. ($299;

Bowhunting Editor Todd Kuhn rounds up 42 new bowhunting products that you need to have on your radar for 2012.