January 15, 2016
By Tony J. Peterson
When you walk the aisles of the ATA Show 2016, you're going to see plenty of big ticket items. From flagship bows to UTVs, the latest and greatest can certainly put a sizable dent in the bank account. It's fun to see those cash-draining products, but it's also a bit disheartening for many of us.
Fortunately, not everything that is awesome is expensive. Nestled throughout the Show floor are companies offering up products that cost less than a three-pack of decent broadheads, yet offer the bowhunter something worth carrying in the woods.
Following are eight new products from ATA Show 2016 that cost less than $30.
Tru-Fire | Patriot Flex
The original Patriot release was a huge hit in the archery industry. The latest version, the Patriot Flex, is highly likely to keep that trend of popularity sweeping right along thanks to its updated head design, which is not only thinner but also narrower. Each made-in-the-USA Patriot Flex features a Flex Tube that can be cut to length for true customization, and boasts a .5-inch nylon webbed wrist strap that is fitted with a steel buckle.
Evolved Harvest | AlphaPlot
If you flip through the outdoor channels you might assume that all bucks are killed on perfectly maintained food plots, and that growing those plots is a breeze. Personal experience tells me just the opposite, but maybe I'm not a green thumb. Either way, if you want to give yourself a chance, consider AlphaPlot, which contains hybrid alfalfa, clover, chicory, and T-raptor (rape/turnip).
This high-protein, palatable blend offers something for all of the deer in your local herd, and better yet, is both heat and drought tolerant, which means you'll see some nice green growth even if Mother Nature flips you a scorching bird all summer long.
Beman | White Box
I'll bet you didn't expect to see arrows in an ATA Show 2016 bargain article? Well, they are here and they are an excellent choice for time- and cash-strapped bowhunters. Each box contains four arrows that are cut to 29.5 inches, are fletched, inserted, and essentially - ready to shoot right out of the box.
White Box arrows are straightness checked and weight matched (420 grains with field point or broadhead). Easily one of the biggest advantages to shooting these arrows is that should you have a serious arrow-flinging session on stand, you can simply buy another box and refill your quiver without worrying about having mismatched ammo.
Ultimate Wild | Micro 150 Green LED Flashlight
Okay, this is actually $33, but worth every penny as I learned at ATA Show 2016. Here's why: this tiny flashlight, which weighs only 2.3 ounces, is weather resistant, constructed with aircraft-grade aluminum, and is capable of 150-lumens of output. A simple tap on/off control on this 3.9-inch, green LED flashlight make it ideal for serious bowhunters who need a get-into-and-out-of-stand-sites light, without spooking deer.
Cirrus | Wind Indicator
I'm going to be honest here, I can't remember how much the Cirrus Wind Indicator costs and that memory lapse has nothing to do with the amount of smoke in their booth at ATA. I just know that it pretty dang cool, and is going to pay for itself in the field. Built from e-cig, vape technology, the Cirrus Wind Indicator allows you to check even the most delicate of winds and ever-so-slight thermals all day long.
The whole time I was watching the demonstration of how it works I could only think about all of those times I've stalked mule deer and frantically tried to check the wind with powder bottles as I closed the distance. And of course, the world of whitetails has needed a better wind indicator for a long, long time. Well, it's here.
ROCKY | Broadhead Ultra Grip Gloves
Finding good bowhunting gloves is a lot harder than it should be for some reason, as if most manufacturers haven't really bowhunted or something. Anyway, ROCKY has unleashed the new Broadhead Ultra Grip gloves, which are constructed from four-way stretch fabric and feature ScentIQ technology. A silent, adjustable cuff system allows you to tighten them to a perfect fit. Lastly, these gloves are designed with an opening for a release, which is always appreciated.
Flextone Game Calls | "Turkey Man" Three-Pack
Here's the thing - if you're going to be a good turkey bowhunter, you need to use mouth calls. Sure slates, box calls, and dare-I-say-it, push-button calls, have their place in the blind. But it's the mouth calls that allows us to work birds at all times, even when at full draw.
Enter the new "Turkey Man" Three-Pack from Flextone Game Calls, which features three of Eddie Salter's favorite calls - the Drama Momma, Feather Cutter, and Trash Talker. With all three, you're afforded a wide range of tones that are perfect for taking the temperature of all nearby longbeards and eventually coaxing them into bow range.
G5 Outdoors | Meta Pro Peep
I don't eat much fast food these days, but occasionally when I'm on the road I'll swing through a drive-thru. Late last summer I did just that when I saw a sign for a Hardees while I was driving home from a bear-baiting session in northern Minnesota. My bill was $13, which wasn't my best investment considering for that same amount, I could have gotten a new Meta Pro Peep from G5.
These peep sights are available in sizes of 3/16-, 1/4-, and my personal favorite, 5/16-inch. They are constructed of 7000 series aluminum and feature radial string grooves for secure engagement. I choose the largest offering possible out of the Meta Pros for a simple reason - it allows more light to hit my eye, and if I should for some reason have a slight rotation issue while a big buck is standing 17 yards upwind, I can still see through my peep sight and aim. That is cheap, cheap insurance from ATA Show 2016.