Editor’s note: Check out the best new blinds, decoys and more gear for the hunt below. Need more new gear? Click here for the latest in crossbows, optics and firearm accessories, and here for knives, shears and more must-have tools.
PRIMOUS SURROUNDVIEW BLIND
What: This hub-system, “Double Bull” blind is billed as “the blind without a blind spot.” You can buy a model that has one-way, see-through walls for 360 degrees, or versions with 270 and 180 degrees. The SurroundView 360° comes with four one-way see-through walls with one movable blackout wall, to go with five shoot-through ports and a 180-degree front shooting window; the 180-degree model has two blackout walls. The windows close quietly on a sliding track, with no noisy zippers or Velcro. Comes with a carrying bag.
Specs: 60-by-60 inches on the ground, 70 inches high. Weighs 23 pounds.
Price: $299 to $499, depending on model.
ALPS OUTDOORZ NWTF DECEPTION BLIND
What: This is a unique, easily packed, hub-style, portable blind that’s ideal for quick setups and when you’re “running and gunning” and need extra concealment — like when hunting with a fidgety youngster. This blind will work well with low-profile chairs or turkey vests with built-in support legs. The window system is designed to open quietly and offer up to a 270-degree view, if desired. Two interior gear pockets are built into the blind. Includes stakes, tie-downs and shoulder strap.
Specs: 44-by-48 inches on the ground and only 46 inches high — no standing in this one. Weighs 8 pounds.
TENZING TZ TR18 TURKEY RECLINER
What: A few years ago, Tenzing came out with a couple of packs (turkey and predator) designed to provide back support in a sitting position independent of any tree or other thing to lean against. They tweaked their turkey hunting model this year, making it lighter (5.25 pounds) and adjusting the legs to make them easier to deploy and stow. It’s available in Realtree Edge or Mossy Oak Obsession camo patterns and features a structured internal aluminum frame with two silent, spring-loaded legs; a dual-layer foam seat; and many specialized pockets, including dedicated compartments for box calls, diaphragm calls, pot calls, strikers, shotshells and a cellphone. You can quick-detach the front pocket section to afford easier and more stealthy access to calls or other items. The back of the vest has an extra-large turkey compartment to transport your bird.
Price: $219.99, but look for it to sell for about $200.
AVIAN-X TROPHY TOM
What: This good-looking turkey hunting accessory has a couple uses. First it can be a field decoy, with a genuine turkey tail to go with its collapsible stake and carry handle. It’s lightweight and looks very realistic from the front, but really, all that old dominant tom is focusing on is that tail. It can also be used as a wall mount in a taxidermy application, with its ultrarealistic head and finely molded and painting feathering. Just attach a fanned, prepared tail and beard and hang it on the wall. It’s a great space-saving and money-saving alternative to a full mount.
GATORZ MAGNUM Z ALUMINUM SUNGLASSES
What: OK, these are different. The frames are milled from top grade T‐6 7075 aircraft aluminum and fitted with high-velocity, polycarbonate lenses with an anti-scratch coating. Adjusting the fit is interesting: Metal has a memory and it can take a few gentle flexes to loosen or tighten the frame to your tastes, but the glasses are comfortable and cool once adjusted.
Specs: The lenses have an American National Standards Institute Z87+ rating. Available with a prescription, if desired. Two-year warranty.
Price: $160 for some Magnum-line offerings, $200 for the ANSI Z87+ “Z” blackout variant.
LOWA SESTO GTX HIKING/HUNTING BOOT
What: It’s a rare feeling when you slip your foot into a new boot and it feels like it’s gliding on Teflon. But that’s how two pairs of LOWA boots have felt thus far. And when these new Sesto GTX boots are on, they feel like as light as sneakers. This is a very lightweight (about 2 pounds) multifunction boot. LOWA has something it calls Monowrap construction that integrates side supports up from the foot bed to increase support and stability. The boot feels rigid, but not unyielding — good when clambering up rough terrain. The upper part is split leather and fabric. It has an injected midsole and LOWA Multicross Evo sole, which has a nice nonslip tread as well as a softer rubber that improves walking comfort. The lining is waterproof Gore-Tex.
Specs: Men’s sizes range from 7.5-12 (half-size increments), 13 and 14. One thing I’ve noticed about some European designs is they can fit snug width-wise; if you can, always try on a pair before buying to ensure a good fit.