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The Times
  • The gotta-have gadgets for the outdoors season

  • Every year, countless new products come on the market aimed squarely at outdoorsmen and women. Some are simple. Some are complicated. Some make you smack your forehead and wonder why you didn’t think of it first. Some even keep you safe.

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  • Every year, countless new products come on the market aimed squarely at outdoorsmen and women.
    Some are simple. Some are complicated. Some make you smack your forehead and wonder why you didn’t think of it first. Some even keep you safe.
    Trophy Anglers’ Livewell
    Mick Nelson of Ramsey, Minn., developed a product in response to a frustrating problem. He wasn’t looking for fame and fortune, just a way to keep some fish alive to eat later during long canoeing and
    camping trips.
    His product, the Trophy Anglers’ Livewell, is designed to keep fish safe from predators and alive for another day.
    Like many good ideas, this one was born after nature dealt a humiliating lesson. During a camping trip of several days, Nelson’s group caught 15 fish, ate five of them and put 10 fish on a stringer anchored 10-feet deep.
    “The next morning, I woke up to this incessant splashing,” he said. “The gulls were dive bombing my stringer and making it. We lost all 10 fish.”
    Once he had the idea for the product, a mesh basket with a top that cinches closed, it took several years to bring to market.
    “I initially built it for myself, and I didn’t have any idea that I would actually market it. I just wanted something to keep fish alive for me,” said Nelson, who got his brother Don involved.
    “It was a long road, and we didn’t know what we were doing,” Nelson said.
    Then Don died, and in the settling of his estate, Mick got the business back.
    He said he thinks the product could help anglers make better use of live wells on boats, by keeping fish in the water the majority of the time and using live wells only for transportation from one fishing spot to another.
    “With this, you can keep them in the habitat they live in daily,” he said. “You can pick it up by both rings and it will slip into a live well.”
    And how does it hold up?
    “We went up to the Boundary Waters and we stocked it full of our fish,” Nelson said. “We had five smallmouth in there for about a week, and we witnessed an onslaught of every type of critter you could imagine.
    “They never gave up, but they were never successful either.”
    Nelson’s Trophy Anglers’ Livewell sells for $59.95 and is available at: www.trophyanglerstackle.com.
    Deer stand harnesses
    When it comes to safety, everyone wants the same thing.
    “We want our hunters to return safely to their families and their loved ones,” said Karen Lutto, representing Hunter Safety System harnesses (www.huntersafetysystem.com).
    Page 2 of 2 - Harnesses keep hunters secure in tree stands.
    “Anytime your feet leave the ground, you should be in a harness,” she said. “Eighty percent of accidents happen when people are climbing up into a tree stand.
    “Obviously, we would like to use a a Hunter Safety System product, but if you don’t, use a Treestand Manufacturers Association approved harness.”
    Proper tree stand safety can keep an accident from being fatal.
    “The statistics are frightening,” she said. “There are a lot more (falls) you don’t hear about because they don’t report their falls because they are embarrassed.”
    Lutto showed two harnesses, an Ultra Lite basic harness and a reversible one that has pockets and can switch from camouflage to blaze orange for hunters switching between bow and gun seasons.
    Lone Wolf, known for making tree stands and other gear, offers a six-point harness system with a lineman rope assembly and carbineer rope assembly designed to arrest a fall.
    “You can basically have hands free and you can make adjustments,” said Kristen Durbin Monroe, account manager with Bast-Durbin, Inc., an outdoors media firm. “It is high quality, padded and really comfortable.”
    Lighted hunting knife
    The Revelation Lighted Hunting Knife has two LED lights built into the handle to put light on the right spot for hunters having to field dress a deer after dark (http://revelationknife.com). No more holding a flashlight in your mouth or asking someone else to shine a light in just the right spot. The light runs on hearing aid batteries.
    Multi-tools for shooters and hunters
    Forget the corkscrew. These 18-tool multi-tools don’t have one.
    The Real Avid gun tools are designed for hunters and shooters with tools needed to maintain shotguns and rifles (www.realavid.com).
    Among the 18 tools are choke tools, magnetic bit driver, a claw-point blade, pin punch and Torx and hex head drivers.
    There is also a multi-tool specifically made for Ruger firearms.
    Backpacks
    Two Alpsoutdoorz backpacks are made especially for hunters, depending on the weapon of choice (www.alpsoutdoorz.com).
    The Pursuit backpack is built to hold a hunter’s bow securely, while the MatriX is designed for a firearm or crossbow.
    Both have a blaze orange cover that can be used to shield the backpack from inclement weather and provide additional visibility on the way to and from the hunt.
     
     
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