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SHOT reveals outdoors quantum leaps

Do you remember the 1980s television series “Quantum Leap”?

Each week a character played by actor Scott Bakula would jump through dimensions into another time, often the future.

That is what I felt like as I attended the 2011 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades Show (SHOT) in Las Vegas last week.

Some of the innovations in guns, ammunition, camouflage and other hunting accessories were truly mind-blowing and definitely the most impressive since I have been attending the event.

Here are 10 items that really caught my attention.

Leupold RCX Trail Camera System—This new camera features lot of interesting innovations but the one that caught my attention the most was a three-inch display screen and can be used to download and view images from the camera on the spot, eliminating the need to remove photo/SD cards and check them at another location. With the controller/viewer, the user can also get real-time alignment of the camera’s view and instant access to all program settings, without opening the camera or removing it from the mount. Anyone who has ever used a trail camera knows what a pain adjustment can be.

Extreme Shock Ammo—A small but upcoming company has produced ammunition that allows hunters to take big game without having to use monstrous cartridges. For their field testing a young girl was shown to have taken a 200 plus pound feral hog with a single shot from a .32. The secret is the bullet does not pass very far through soft tissue and all of the energy of the bullet is released soon after impact. For those spooked off of large rifles this could be advantageous.

Flambeau Buck Growl—This unique whitetail buck call produces the rarely heard (by hunters) growling sound of a whitetail buck. Flambeau says, “Whitetail bucks sometimes get so emotional and so intense their grunts turn to a rapid succession of vocalizations which sound like a growl or bawl. The sound is made when a buck is in the presence of a “hot” doe. Growling can and will work especially in and around the rut cycle as other trolling or cruising bucks approach the sound to investigate the potential presence of an estrus doe.” A fellow outdoor writer who attended the show said he has heard this sound and not known exactly what it is. Could be very interesting to try out next season.

Tink’s Mr. October—This is the new highly realistic inflatable deer decoy produced by Tink’s a company known for their scents. Last year they debuted “Ms. November” an inflatable photo-realistic doe decoy. This is the companion for hunters who like to decoy in rutting bucks and features the same lightweight build and unique presence.

Smith & Wesson Governor—Sidearms are popular with Texas hunters because of the presence of dangerous rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and the occasional charging feral hog.

Smith & Wesson introduces The Governor, a handgun that fits .410 shotgun rounds, .45 Colt and .45 ACP and comes with cartridges that allow hunters to alternate these rounds. No reptile would be a match for this specially designed gun.

Winchester Archery—I was shocked to see Winchester entering the archery market. Given the opportunity to handle both their compound and crossbows it was easy to tell the company that brought us so many classic rifles as well as ammunition is putting the same kind of ingenuity in bows. Expect a full line coming soon.

Under Armour Boots—Under Armour has been all the rage with everyone from police offers to hunters with their line of tactical and outdoors clothing.

Now they have taken their superior technology to boots and have produced a new line of waterproof, breathable boots that have obviously been in development for years. Designed for comfort and durability, these boots will cost you a pretty penny but would be worth it for someone trekking many miles in harsh habitats.

Wicked Ridge Warrior—This company has been producing reliable, affordable crossbows for a few years now and in 2011 will put out The Invader. This bow with a slimmer profile and lighter weight than other models, but still shoots at 285 feet per seconds. Retailing at less than $500 this is a bow for someone wanting to break into crossbows without breaking the bank.

Jimmy Houston Turbopower Energy—The legendary outdoors show host debuted this new energy drink, an obvious competitor to 5-Hour Energy but one designed specially for the demands of outdoors lovers. The SHOT show is super tiring and after walking over six hours one day from booth to booth, I stopped by Houston’s for a sample. Within about 15 minutes I actually felt an energy surge that carried me through the rest of the day and without feeling jittery.  Houston said he has used it to give him an edge when out filming on the water and in the woods in early afternoon when slumber tries to set in.

Crosman Benjamin Rogue .357—Crosman has come out with air rifles that are far superior to the ones we hunted rabbits with as kids and that are definitely for the adult market. This air rifle actually shoots a 175 grain .357 round and can even be matched with Nosler Ballistic Tips. While speaking with Crosman’s crew at SHOT I learned this has been endorsed by hunting legend Jim Shockey who calls it “the future of hunting”. Learn more at http://www.crosman.com/airguns/newFor2011