Great Amer­i­can Out­doors Show was a big hit

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake

Last month the fam­ily and I headed to the Farm Show Com­plex in Har­ris­burg, Pa., for the an­nual Great Amer­i­can Out­doors Show.

I saw some fa­mil­iar, friendly faces among the guides from Ken Pen­rod’s Life Out­doors Un­lim­ited and caught up with quite a few char­ter boat cap­tains from South­ern Mary­land. But mostly I was there to check out the lat­est and great­est gear on the market. Here’s a run­down of what caught my eye this time around.

Rocky Brands has been around since 1932, but in 2016, the com­pany in­tro­duced its own line of camo, the Ve­na­tor pat­tern. The name Ve­na­tor means hunter in Latin.

It took nearly three years of re­search and de­vel­op­ment, but the de­sign­ers at Rocky Brands have cre­ated a hit with this go-any­where camo pat­tern. It blends in what­ever the ter­rain — field, for­est, desert or moun­tain. And with Rocky’s signature scent-block­ing tech­nol­ogy, this camo pro­vides stealth in any en­vi­ron­ment.

Since its de­but last year, prod­ucts in the Ve­na­tor pat­tern have been fly­ing off the shelves. Items get sold out fast and just a quick look through their web­site www.rock­y­boots. com and you can see many items are on back-or­der un­til the sum­mer.

New this year, the Ve­na­tor pat­tern is avail­able in the Stra­tum line and later this year, Rocky will have a brand-new pat­tern for hunters in the ex­treme north­ern climes called Snow Ve­na­tor for white-out con­di­tions. The long-sleeved Stra­tum tee-shirt in Ve­na­tor is $59.99 and jack­ets start at $109.99.

The sales staff at Di­a­mond Archery rec­og­nized that bow­fish­ing has been gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity and that fish­er­men were buy­ing bows and mod­i­fy­ing them af­ter-market for bow­fish­ing So, they de­signed a new bow based on their pop­u­lar In­fi­nite Edge plat­form that is out-of-the-box ready for bow­fish­ing, the Edge Sonar.

This bow is for ages 6 and up, with a draw weight of 5 to 55 pounds and a draw length of 18 to 30 inches. It comes al­ready equipped with bow­fish­ing ac­ces­sories in­clud­ing the Re­triever Pro Reel, a durable, easy-to-use reel. The avail­able colors are Kryptek Nep­tune (black and blue) and Kryptek Yeti (white).

And to give their cus­tomers help­ful on­line sup­port, Di­a­mond Archery has cre­ated a web­site, Di­a­mondArchery. com/Sonar, with the most cur­rent in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing setup in­struc­tions and bow­fish­ing con­tent to help shoot­ers get the most out of their bow. The Edge Sonar with ac­ces­sories re­tails for $499.

Some good peo­ple have come out of Scran­ton, Pa., in­clud­ing Joe Bi­den, the staff at Dun­der Mif­flin, and my par­ents. Now there’s a new prod­uct we can add to the list of great things from Scran­ton.

The cre­ators of Heated Hunts

saw there was a void in the hunt­ing market and filled the niche with a one-of-a-kind heated scent dis­penser that re­places wacky home-en­gi­neered meth­ods which of­ten rely on dan­ger­ous chem­i­cals, can­dles, or Hot Hands.

The Heated Hunt scent dis­penser runs on just 4 AA bat­ter­ies and can last up to 14 hours. The dis­penser heats up to 105 de­grees Faren­heit and uses dif­fu­sion to ex­pose the scent to the wind. Hunters can place the unit di­rectly on the ground or hang it from a tree.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, “There are only two things drop­ping hot scent on a cold day: that doe and a hunter us­ing Heated Hunts.”

The dis­penser it­self starts at $34.99, and for just a cou­ple bucks more you can get the Hunter’s Bun­dle for $39.99 that comes with ex­tra wicks. For more in­for­ma­tion or to or­der one, go to www.heat­ed­hunts.com. Mi­rage Pro An­gler Series

This fi­nal item had to go at the end of the col­umn be­cause I didn’t want any read­ers drool­ing on their copy of the news­pa­per and blur­ring the print be­fore they were fin­ished read­ing.

I do hope the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus get to­gether for a drink soon and my name comes up. Surely be­ing so good the past 40 years has earned me one of th­ese, don’t you think?

If you like to fish (I do), and you like to kayak (I do), then imag­ine the best way to put those two ac­tiv­i­ties to­gether and you get Ho­bie’s new­est kayak line for an­glers called the Mi­rage Pro An­gler Series. What beau­ties they are.

The propul­sion sys­tem, the Mi­rageDrive 180, is in­ge­nious. En­gi­neers watched and stud­ies how pen­guins swim to come up with the scis­sor­ing ac­tion back and forth on the front and back stroke which yields a smooth, ef­fi­cient ride, un­like any­thing else avail­able on the market.

With the quick tug on a ca­ble, the fins pivot 180 de­grees, en­abling the user to move from for­ward to re­verse and back again al­most in­stantly. And your fish­ing rod, phone, binoc­u­lars or cold drink will be right where they should be, in your hands.

Th­ese kayaks are ev­ery­thing an an­gler could need or want and more. Hands-free propul­sion means bet­ter con­trol for casting and pre­sent­ing baits, safely fish­ing close to ob­struc­tions and fish­ing down­stream while hold­ing in cur­rent.

The top-of-the-line kayak in this series, the Mi­rage ProAn­gler 17T, comes equipped with two seats that can be po­si­tioned ei­ther faceto-face or tan­dem. It can also be used as a sin­gle.

The An­gler kayaks are height ad­justable from tall adult to child size. Op­tional ac­ces­sories such as a livewell and trolling mo­tor plat­form are avail­able.

Delaware Pad­dle­sports in Lewes (302-645-7300) car­ries the full line of Ho­bie kayaks and shop­ping is tax-free there. The Mi­rage ProAn­gler 17T re­tails for $5,699.

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