t’s the start of August and the dog days of summer are upon us. Sure, it means we’re winding down backyard BBQs but it also means hunting season is right around the corner.
When it comes to bow hunting, we rely on our resident expert Chris Priester to give us the low down on what we need to be ready for a great season. Every year, Priester reminds his students of the age-old saying - “Take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you." Here’s our top five archery hunting accessories to get ready for the 2020-2021 seasons.
One of the most important pieces of gear is your safety harness. Two harnesses that stand out for us this year are the Blocker Outdoors Tree Spider Speed Harness and the Hunter Safety System UltraLite harness. “When it comes to safety harnesses, you need to do your research and you really need to try them on,” added Priester. The Tree Spider Speed Harness is designed to be easy to get into and then get out of your way. It has a shock reducing bungee harness and a simple one-pull adjuster for all the straps. Hunter Safety System’s UltraLite harness is one of the lightest safety harnesses on the market today. We like the individual, padded hexagons in the padding that make wearing it comfortable when you’re up in a blind.
If your feet can stay warm, you can stay in the tree much longer. The more time you’re in your blind, the better chance you have for that once-in-a-lifetime buck. First, check out the LOWA Tibet GTX HI boot. It comes in mid and low-cut versions too if one of those suits you better. We really like how well the boots breathe and the self-cleaning mountaineering tread helps you focus on what’s in front of you, not what you’ve stepped in. For guys, the Muck Boot Company Woody Grit is another great choice. It’s perfect for wet and muddy conditions, and will keep your feet dry and warm. For the ladies, the Muck Boot Company has the Hale Realtree Edge. They’re lightweight, breathable, and 100% waterproof.
Footwear is more than just a great fitting, dry boot–the rights socks can make all the difference. Check out Thrity48’s heavy hiking socks. Keep your scent down with their antimicrobial lining and keep your feet healthy by preventing blisters with their padded instep.
Gloves You've got your feet covered with the right boots. Now it’s time to talk about your hands. The right archery hunting gloves keep your hands warm – and let you shoot your release while you’re wearing them. ScentBlocker’s Trinity Gloves have built-in scent blocking and antimicrobial fabric to help prevent fungal growth. They also have touchscreen fabric in the thumb and pointer fingertips so you can use your smartphone without taking off your gloves.
If you’re looking for gloves that let you have full control, check out HotShot’s Bulls-eye fleece fingerless gloves. The gloves are pop-tops–letting you quickly get all ten fingertips free to aim that perfect shot.
Facemask Like your gloves, the right facemask works for when you’re tracking and when you’re shooting. The Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Scent Control Balaclava hits most of our marks. It’s got Under Armour’s ColdGear technology that keeps heat in–keeping you warm and comfortable longer. The facemask also gives you full protection for your face, which is what you need towards the end of the season as temperatures drop.
If you want a mask that doesn’t constrict your face, the BunkerHead No-Touch facemask is for you. The BunkerHead No-Touch system lets your custom fit the mask to whatever shape works for you. It easily attaches to any hat with their Bunker Clips and comes in four different fabrics – including a fleece that works for cold weather conditions. Our expert Chris recommends that you try several facemasks and make sure you shoot your bow while wearing it to find the right facemask for you.
The most important thing is to practice and sight in while wearing all your hunting equipment. What you wear can change your shot. We built BOWdometer to give you detailed shooting history so that you can see how your shots change when you adjust your bow setup.
BOWdometer can do the same thing for your hunting gear. With BOWdometer, you’ll see in detail how new gloves, harnesses, and facemasks change your shot over time. Check out this video to see how BOWdometer quickly gives you instant feedback as you shoot.