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The 2018 Archery Trade Association show is a trade show spanning over 400,000 square feet of exhibit space with 500 plus exhibitors. The show is a trade show that had over 8,000 in attendance, 3,000 qualified buyers, and 300 vetted media representatives. Life in Camo Media was lucky enough to be one of the media attendees.

The show offers a sneak peek at new products, even before they are launched to the public. New traditional bows, compound bows, bowfishing bows, and crossbows are introduced, and the attendees can shoot those bows at the indoor lanes for a hands-on experience. The networking that we can do at the show sets Life in Camo Media up for an entire year of products to take to the field for reviewing, field photos, and published reviews.

This year, like the years we have attended in the past, did not disappoint. This year was a huge success for Life in Camo Media, and we were able to put many items on our spring, summer, and fall editorial calendar. Those products are products we will share with you, our followers on the new website, http://www.LifeinCamo.com, that we are launching next week, and through other venues that write for.

I want to bring a quick mention here of some of the products we are excited about for 2018:

Primos Double Bull Surround View Blinds
The Primos Double Bull Surround View Blinds are the first that offer one-way see through walls. The blind is available with a 360 degree, a 270-degree, and 180-degree view. The 360-degree blind offers a 70” height and a 60”x60” floor space. With legendary Double Bull material and construction offering silent slide closure of the 180-degree full front shooting window, five shoot-through ports, four one-way see through walls and one moveable blackout curtain. The exterior is TRUTH camo pattern specifically to hide ground blinds in any terrain. For more information, visit the Primos website.

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Alps Outdoorz Deception Blind
Alps Outdoorz has released the first low-profile hub-style blind perfect for the turkey hunter. The NWTF Deception Blind is only 46 inches tall at the center, it is lightweight and is perfect to use with turkey hunting chairs. The smaller footprint blind with four hub-style walls is quick and quiet to set up and take down with an extra-large door opening for easy access. The 270-degree silent-track window system allows limitless window configurations. The blind includes a convenient shoulder strap carry bag for easy transport. For more information, visit the Alps Outdoorz website.

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Chama Chair All-Terrain Swivel Chair
The Chama Chair is an easy to set-up, 360-degree swivel hunting chair with a backrest that can be used on any terrain with the telescoping legs and pivoting duck feet. The quiet and comfortable swivel chair seat is ideal for blinds or your favorite dove field. No more fumbling in the dark trying to get your chair set up, simply open the legs, and one twist of a knob locks the chair in place. The padded seat is a triangular shape large enough not to have any pressure points making it comfortable for extended sitting. The base is light construction, and the chair comes with a tube-style carry bag for convenient carrying. Visit the Chama Charis website for more information.

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Hurricane Safety System Gravity Forward Climbing Sticks
The Gravity Forward Climbing Sticks have a unique design like no other on the market. The angle of the sticks allows for the hunter’s center of gravity to shift forward, resulting in a more balanced climb and less body fatigue. The parallel steps allow for climbing left or right foot first. Each step has a wave cut tread pattern for better traction and is longer than standard climbing-stick steps. The solid, sturdy all-steel design requires a no-tools, minimal assembly for erecting in the field. Each section has a graduated brace that rests against the tree that is attached to the tree with a ratchet strap. The bottom climbing stick has a base plate that digs into the ground for a secure base. The Hurricane Safety Systems Gravity Forward Climbing Sticks are available in 16’ set weighing 30 pounds and 20’ set weighing 40 pounds. For more information on this product, visit the Hurricane Safety System website.

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Garmin Xero A1 and A1i Bow Sight
Garmin has released the first digital ranging laser bow sight that works at the touch of a button conveniently located on the front of the bow grip. The Garmin Xero A1 and A1i automatically range the distance of the intended target, compensates for angle based on the target, the distance and angle are displayed on the on-board screen, and the bow sight provides the archer with a virtual LED pin for a precise shot. The A1i offers multicolor pins and a laser locate feature to assist in finding the exact spot where the target was located when the shot was made. The A1 and A1i weigh, on average, the same as other single pin sights. Two AAA lithium batteries average a year’s worth of use in the unit. For more information on this product, visit the Garmin website.

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Spypoint
One of the leading game camera companies has released new technology for their Link, Solar, and Force series, Buck Tracker Antler Recognition Technology. This technology automatically sorts through photos and sorts out photos with antlers saving hours viewing trail camera photos. This is going to offer more effective scouting and patterning of target bucks. This technology is complimentary in the Link, Solar, and Force cameras, even those already purchased. It is a download directly to the app. Spypoint also introduced another camera to their LINK series for 2018, the Link Dark with invisible black LED for night photos. Visit the Spypoint website to find out more about the new LINK Dark and the Buck Tracker Antler Recognition Technology.

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Lowdown High-Speed Trail Cam Viewer
The Lowdown is a trail cam viewer that is three times faster than any other viewer on the market. It is not only fast when viewing a large number of photos or videos; it has high definition 9” color touchscreen for easy manipulation when viewing. Easy finger-zoom on images allows you to view important details on photos. Easily delete individual photos or a group of selected photos, and save the images you want on a second micro SD card, clearing your cameras SD card for reinsertion. The unit has an HDMI cable port for viewing photos and videos on a TV. The Lowdown also plays sounds from video and even offers a headphone port. The company offers a Lowdown 30-day Bigger/Faster/Easier Performance Guarantee, that is how confident the company is that you will be pleased with this product. For more information on this product, visit the Lowdown website.

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4S Advanced Wildlife Solutions Block Feeder
4S Advanced Wildlife Solutions has introduced an innovative block feeder for mineral and protein blocks. If you feed mineral or protein blocks year round, this feeder is ideal for your management program. The durable all-metal construction protects feed and mineral blocks from rain and weather extending the life of the blocks. The unit fits up to three blocks and as the bottom block is finished, the next block drops down. The unit has an adjustable height to keep wild hogs and other animals from consuming the block. The perfect situation for remote areas and those areas that you do not want to disturb often. For more information on this product visit the 4S Advanced Wildlife Solutions website.

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Hunter’s Kloak Concealment Mister System
A scent concealment system that puts out a mist of scent at a regulated time while you hunt. The small unit is Mossy Oak Break-Up Country and easy to conceal with a hanging lanyard. The hunter has the option of choosing the regulated time that the scent is disbursed. The kit comes with the electronic mister, charging cable, versatile lanyard, and earth scent cartridge. The scents available are Earth, Pine, and Cedar in the conceal group, Acorn, Apple, Sugar Beet, Carrot, Sweet Corn, Peanut Butter, and Vanilla in the Attract group, and Citronella in the repel group. For more information, visit the Hunter’s Kloak website.

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Wild Carrot Deer Attractant
A disposable drag rag and scent wick all in one. This unique product comes in a sealed package that you tear open, attach it to a retractable drag wheel that stays attached to your boot, and as you walk into your stand, it disburses scent on the trail as you walk. Once you are at your stand, hang it, and the wind carries the scent of the attractant. Attracts deer for up to three weeks. The product is disposable so you can gather them up on your way out. Individually sealed attractant stays fresh all season and comes in doe and buck urine, rutting buck, and estrus doe. Visit the Wild Carrot Scents website for more information.

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Heated Hunts Scent System
Heated Scent Dispenser makes the scent appear fresh and sends scent further down range for more effectiveness. The convenient sized, easy to use unit is filled with the scent of your choice, push the easy on/off button to start warming scents, a silicone heater starts warming the scent, you hang the unit in a tree, and let the wind do the work for you driving deer your way. The unit dispenses scents up to 14 hours on 4 AA batteries, depending on outside temperature. Heated Hunts also has a line of advanced natural and synthetic scents High Octane, Seductive Doe, Brute Buck, and Buck-Tella. The High Octane is pure lab verified doe estrus to verify estrogen levels. A 5X Series Attractant and Cover Series are available as well in Sweet Corn 5X, Irresistible 5X, Fresh Apple 5x, Acorn 5x, Scent Off 5X, and Dirt 5X. For more information, visit the Heated Hunts website.

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Life in Camo looks forward to sharing our experience in the field with these products and the many more that we will be taking on the hunt with us this year. Stay tuned to our Life in Camo Facebook page for the announcement of our new website going live in the next week.

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A question was addressed on a Facebook page for a writer’s website that I follow. The question was “As a writer, what is the best advice you ever received?”

My answer…
“Actually, this is not advice that was given to me, it is what I sat down and asked myself before I ever wrote and published my first product review; elements I use for every evaluation and field test.
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The Syren by Fabarm, a division of Caesar Guerini

I asked myself, as a consumer and a hunter who depends on my gear with some critical in saving my life in the field what is important to me, to others, to the industry as a whole. As a product review writer for the outdoor industry, I think the best advice for me was that I need to approach every product WITHOUT personal preference and to be unbiased to the product and brand.

What works for me, may not work for the next person. In all situations and for all hunters, is this product practical in the field, is it quality and is the price comparable to the products demand, use, and quality?”

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Houndstooth Game Calls

As hunters and consumers, we are all looking for quality products within our own personal budget, that appeal to each of us and are practical for the products intended purpose in the field. I use every product that I write about and I bring readers the technical information about that product, not necessarily my personal opinion, but my unbiased opinion of that product and how it performed in the field.

I often get asked, “How do you handle products you do not like?” This is simple, I return the item to the manufacturer or vendor with a brief explanation as to why I could not publish a positive review on the product or why it failed in the field during my use. I will not put a bad review in publication; if it is a product I cannot spread good news about, I return it with an explanation that allows the manufacturer to respond or to use my opinions as valuable product design information, which is appreciated by the many manufacturers and/or vendors and it allows me to stay in good standing with that company for future assignments.

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Heat Packs by ThermaCell

My ultimate goal is to get as much positive exposure on the Internet and through social media of a product for a company from my field testing and personal use of their product in the field.

The bottom line, I treat all of those that I deal with in a professional and/or business capacity in a manner that I would like to be treated if the tables were turned.

Much gratitude is felt for all the companies that I have worked with in the past and those I am working with this year in getting product exposure for your product; I appreciate your trust in my ability and your confidence in my promise to provide a service. 

The Archery Trade Association Show is always an exciting show to attend for the media. We get a first-hand look at some of the years new releases in the archery/bowhunting world. This year was no different. I found everything from new crossbow cases, technology, electronics, hunting clothes, scent destroyers…you name it, it was there on the show floor.

I had so many favorites that I found and have many of those promised for future product reviews that I cannot wait to share with you. Some of these products will not release until late spring…and the anticipation is killing me. I will be sharing any published works right here on my blog in the coming months.

A sneak peek of a few of the items I will be sharing:

C280-Front-500x500The Lakewood Products Drop-In Crossbow Case is going to replace the humongous and somewhat cumbersome crossbow case that I currently own. The Drop-In Crossbow Case is a convenient, top-loading, stand-up design case that conveniently fits when packing. The soft-sided hard case offers maximum protection to your crossbow with designated areas for a loaded quiver and 18 additional bolts. The case measures 11.5″D x 37″L x 26.25″H and incorporates built-in wheels for easy transportation. This case is airline approved with zipper tabs that allow for a lock for secure travel. Made in USA with a Lifetime Guarantee. The case has an MSRP starting at $299.

ironMan14I hunted with a crossbow this season because of a shoulder issue and found it somewhat troublesome in un-cocking the bow each evening after the day’s hunt. Having to travel with our practice target in the back of the truck, unloading it to un-cock my crossbow, loading it back up for the next day. My problem is solved with the BIGShot Targets Iron Man 14. The Iron Man 14 measures 14″ X 14″ X 8″ and weighs 14 pounds. The triple compressed military fiber and ever-last nylon target face is rated at 450 fps for crossbows.  The Iron Man 14 is perfect for travel when a practice shot is critical in making sure your crossbow is still on and to discharge your bolt at the end of the hunt. The BIGShot Targets Iron Man 14 has an MSRP of $34.99.

Muck Boots ArcticThe new Muck Boot Company Ladies Arctic Hunter boot in Realtree Xtra definitely was of interest to me because of the issue that most women complain about not having enough calf room once they tuck their pant leg in during wet terrain or rainy conditions. The mid-calf design makes it possible to comfortably tuck in pant legs while hunting. As with all Muck Boot Company boots, the product is made quality materials and designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. The Arctic Hunter has an extended rubber exterior for durability in the field and 5mm of neoprene lined with warm fleece. The boot incorporates a dual density EVA midsole and slip-resistant rugged outsole for a comfortable and secure fit. The boot has a 10″ height with a back pull-on tab. For the ladies that don’t like pink on their camo, the Muck Boot Company Arctic Hunter only has a slight splash of pink on it.

Cirrus Hunt Vape TechnologiesThe trend of using electronics in the field is ever growing and it was evident by many of the new products I found on the showroom floor. One that got a lot of attention and was unique in its own nature is the Cirrus Hunt Vape Technologies Wind Indicator. The patent pending design detects the slightest wind or thermal currents with an easy to operate, one push, to expel a puff true vapor into the air. The small, lightweight unit requires a minimal amount of movement to operate and replacement cartridges are available. The unit is USB rechargeable and one cartridge holds thousands of puffs. This product will not be available on the market until later this quarter and an MRSP was unavailable at the time of this writing. Watch the video below to see how the Cirrus Wind Indicator works and to find out more information about this product.

Another vape product that was getting a lot of attention is the WyndScent Electronic Vapor Hunting Scent . Check out the informative video below for all the information and features of this product. This is a product I am looking forward to taking to the field with me next fall.

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There were so many fantastic and useful products that I found and many that I will be writing about in the coming months as some of them release or as I am able to field test the products personally. Stay tuned to my blog for publication announcements and information about these great products and a plethora of other great products released at #ATA2016.

All photos and video are the property of the rightful owner and used within this writing as reference only in efforts of product exposure for these owners/companies.  Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in this published material is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” or monetary payment to review the product. 

 


The Turkey Gypsy aka Nancy Jo Adams, with her first double bearded tom harvested in Pike County, Alabama.

The Turkey Gypsy aka Nancy Jo Adams, with her first double bearded tom harvested in Pike County, Alabama.

In NINE sleeps I will be stepping out into the turkey woods for opening day of the 2015 Alabama Spring Turkey Season; it is always with much anxiety that I count down the days, never knowing what the season will bring. I will spend Sunday in our gear room preparing my turkey vest for the new season. I have already broken-in my Danner Pronghorn snake boots from being stored all year by wearing them this past weekend doing some scouting. I have a thump of gear I will be taking with me to the woods this season for product reviews. Starting this weekend with the T.O.M. Targets and then I will be carrying several brands of calls into the woods with me; YAK Game Calls, B&C Custom Turkey Calls, Flatline Custom Turkey Calls to name a few. I will be taking some great decoys in the field with me from Avian-X and Dakota Decoy and even the new rage, the Turkey Fan.

I have already started dreaming of the “El Jefe”…I can’t wait to dance with him. I have studied up on decoy use and published an article; Using Turkey Decoys for Success. I have even visited with two of my favorite turkey hunters, Eddie Salter and Preston Pittman and brushed up on my tips and tactics–the article should run next week and I will post it here as well.

Let the TURKEY GYPSY CHRONICLES begin…….


Among the numerous bags I own, some of them are guaranteed to be on every adventure. Trophy Totes is definitely one of those bags. Check this bag out at the Ladies in Camo website. This is definitely a bag you are going to want to add to your packing list.

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As the founder, I am excited to announce the release of the Ladies in Camo website. This is a dream that has come to fruition for myself and to have the opportunity to be a part of it with several women that I have met through this journey is just amazing and humbling. Here is a little about Ladies in Camo and what you can expect:

    MISSION/GOAL

“Our mission is to provide women hunters with affordable hunts in an encouraging atmosphere; mentoring and advocating positive hunting ethics, effective conservation principles while promoting the hunting heritage. Our goal is to supply information through the publication of useful articles, product reviews, and through sharing the hunting experiences of others.”

    WHAT YOU WILL FIND ON THE WEBSITE

Featured Huntress: a different huntress will be highlighted bi-weekly
Tails of the Hunt: Archive of stories, photos from fans, staff and featured huntress column
Field Journals: Blogs written by region field staff, volunteer bloggers and guest bloggers.
Hunt Calendar: A listing of all hunts offered with a hyperlink to the printable announcement and other important information
Gallery: Photos and video for LIC hunts, photos submitted by staff and fans of LIC
Articles: Writings submitted by staff and guest writers
Product Reviews: product results from gear that has been tested in the field
Favorite Outfitters: Outfitters we proudly recommend
Favorite Gears: Gear and products we are proud to promote or use in the field.
Logowear/gear: a variety of branded products for sale {Designs will be posted later this week.}

    MEMBERSHIP

For a low membership fee of $35 you will get the option of a short sleeve logo wear shirt or a LIC ball cap, a vinyl sticker, 20% off your first order from the LIC store and you will be eligible for the membership-exclusive quarterly drawings for hunts and/or gear give-a-ways. You can sign up today using PayPal at the website.

PLEASE VISIT:
http://www.ladiesincamo.com

DON’T FORGET TO SIGN THE GUEST BOOK – you could be a winner!

In celebration, Ladies in Camo is giving away a hunt and some awesome gear. To get your name in the drawing, see the details in the attached flyer.

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