The 10 Most Innovative New Products from the 2016 ATA Show

   01.12.16

It’s a little mind-boggling how far the business of bowhunting has come in the past 25 years. It’s gone from meager beginnings to a multi-billion dollar annual industry that shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s interesting to see how the use of archery equipment in movies and TV has increased participation in unexpected demographics. More millennials and more women are getting into archery and bowhunting in unprecedented numbers.

I attend the Archery Trade Show (ATA) every year and I am always impressed with the new products as well as improvements to existing equipment I find there. The American Dream is alive and well in the archery business and there are some great innovators, from the multinational companies to the archer tinkering in his garage.

Here are my top 10 new products from the 2016 show in no particular order.

Rinehart Deloma decoy

The Rinehart Deloma decoy. Image courtesy of Rinehart.
The Rinehart Deloma decoy. Image courtesy of Rinehart.

The Rinehart Deloma decoy is really amazing. You can’t really tell by looking at a photo of it, but this is the most realistic-looking decoy I have seen. It moves with any small breeze and the movements look surprisingly real. It mounts to a stake driven in the ground and the decoy offers two mounting points, one for light breezes and one if it’s really windy so it isn’t too jerky. The head moves independently, and there is also a joint in the shoulder area. They had it set up with a fan on it, and the decoy just looked like a doe who was turning from side to side to look around her. Rinehart is known for its 3D targets, but these decoys, which will be available in other species as well, is pretty cool.

Real Avid Revelation F4 Knife

The Revelation F4. Image courtesy of Real Avid.
The Revelation F4. Image courtesy of Real Avid.

Old-style hunting knives are now obsolete with the introduction of the Revelation F4 knife, which has one traditional folding knife blade and a second folding blade that includes a gut/skinning hook. But the feature of this knife that makes you wonder why no one ever thought of it before is the built-in LED flashlight. Very cool. I will be adding one of these to my hunting backpack for sure.

Glowing Wind Checker powder

The Glow Smoke Wind Checker powder. Image courtesy of Glow Smoke.
Glow Smoke Wind Checker powder. Image courtesy of Glow Smoke.

How about a wind checker puff bottle that has powder that glows in the dark? If you have ever stepped out of your truck in the morning and wondered which stand to go hunt based on wind direction or otherwise check the wind before daylight, this is the perfect product. The Glow Smoke Wind Checker powder is not yet available in stores but it is a good idea with a future.

Celestron Thermotorch

The Celestron Thermotorch. Image courtesy of Celestron.
The Celestron Thermotorch. Image courtesy of Celestron.

Here’s a great combo tool from Celestron. This is a flashlight, handwarmer, and device charger. The light has three settings, the brightest of which is 300 lumens (very bright). It also has a switch that causes the light to warm up so you can warm up your pockets and your hands. The back of the waterproof light has a USB port that gives you access to the battery, which allows you to charge your cell phone up to four times. Turn the flashlight on the first setting and it’s enough to light up a tent or follow a blood trail—and it will last for 24 hours before going out. The Thermotorch plugs into any USB charger to recharge.

Hawk Hunting Hookster

The Hawk Hunting Hookster. Image courtesy of Hawk Hunting.
The Hawk Hunting Hookster. Image courtesy of Hawk Hunting.

Now here’s something really cool. The Hookster from Hawk Hunting is a silent, rubber-coated hook that fastens just about anywhere with a rubber-armored wire twist that is reusable over and over again. Hang your rattling antlers, your backpack, your jacket, even your bow anywhere you want it. Roll it up and toss it into your backpack. No need to screw anything into a tree with the Hookster.

Sherpa wheels

Sherpa's wheels. Image by Bernie Barringer.
Sherpa’s wheels. Image by Bernie Barringer.

Sherpa introduced a set of wheels and an axle that mount to your climbing stand, effectively turning it into a game cart. It fits virtually all of the climbers made by major treestand manufacturers and makes it much easier to get your gear into the woods and your game out. Great idea.

Nomad Bastion jacket

The Nomad Bastion jacket. Image by Bernie Barringer.
The Nomad Bastion jacket. Image by Bernie Barringer.

Nomad is a new company that just appeared on the scene last year and they are making waves at the ATA with their innovative clothing line. Each of their clothing items are very well-thought-out and feature things bowhunters specifically need. Jackets and pants that bundle up and fit nicely onto a backpack for when the evening turns cool, base layers, lightweight garments with scent-killing and sweat-wicking properties for hunting in warm weather, and so on.

The entire line is filled with features that every serious bowhunter has thought of. This year the Bastion jacket really impressed me. It is filled with PrimaLoft for lightweight fill and insulation. The zippers are waterproof and everything is perfect for the bowhunter.

Scent Crusher

Scent Crusher's duffle bag. Image courtesy of Scent Crusher.
Scent Crusher’s duffle bag. Image courtesy of Scent Crusher.

I have been skeptical about the ability of an ozone generator to kill human scent in an outdoor hunting environment. I know the science behind ozone killing the bacteria that causes scent is sound, but the thought of hanging an ozone-producing device with me in the treestand and expecting it to prevent a deer from smelling me is just too optimistic. But a company called Scent Crusher has introduced a new product that takes ozone scent-killing to a level I can get excited about. They offer a duffle bag and a portable clothes “closet” with built in ozone generators. They run on AC or DC and you can put a pair of smelly tennis shoes in the duffle bag for a few hours and they come out smelling fresh. The implications for eliminating scent in your hunting clothes are obvious. This product has a future.

Ameristep Arcane Blind

Ameristep's Arcane blind. Image courtesy of Ameristep.
Ameristep’s Arcane blind. Image courtesy of Ameristep.

Ameristep introduced two new ground blinds. One is called the Haven, with the hub off-center so the blind is tall enough to stand in and has tall windows. The other, called the Arcane, is fully screened with a leaf-type covering that breaks up the outline and hides it well. I think this will be a big hit with antelope hunters who spend hours in the blind sitting over a waterhole in hot weather. The breeze blows right through it, but you cannot see through it.  I’m sure there are other applications for this blind as well.

Covert Phantom camera

The Covert Phantom camera. Image courtesy of Bernie Barringer.
The Covert Phantom camera. Image courtesy of Bernie Barringer.

Covert has added a top-of-the-line camera to the lineup. The Phantom has 42 black LEDs, which increase the night range of the camera over that of typical red IR LEDs with a black-flash lens over them. This camera offers a high-quality lens and sensor, which significantly improves the quality of the photos. Plus it features a 0.4-second trigger speed. Most cameras that compete for this category run $400 to $500, but the Phantom offers similar features for a $249 price point, which will make it an instant hit.

Follow Bernie’s bowhunting adventures on his blog, bowhuntingroad.com.

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