Gadget Game-Changers

By Mark Hampton

It was thought-provoking as I looked through my dad’s vintage hunting pictures. Back in the ’50’s and ’60’s hunters enjoyed hunting opportunities we can only read about today. The gear available back then differs greatly from what handgunners currently enjoy. While I’m not a fan of some forms of modern technology, there certainly have been developments making life easier for handgun hunters.

Trail cameras are one innovation taking scouting to a new level. These devices provide useful information for hunters and landowners alike. Deer hunters can gather data on when and where animals frequent without physically invading their turf and leaving scent everywhere. I’ve even seen trail cameras employed in Africa for lion, leopard, crocs, even at waterholes to monitor game movement. Landowners can also use them if trespassing becomes a problem.

Recently I’ve been using a Trophy Cam HD from Bushnell. I appreciate some of the features on this camera, including the black no-glow LED’s, 8-MP high definition video and extended detection range going out to 60 feet. It has a fast trigger speed capturing a full image of that big buck walking past the camera. No doubt this tool helps me make wise decisions when hunting my property.

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A Bog-Pod with a PSR rest attachment (foreground) and the new Primos
short tripod aid handgun hunters with shot placement. They’re both
light and easy to handle.

Steady Rests And Getting Lost

Handgun hunters benefit from shooting off a solid rest. Primos’ new short tripod and Bog-Pod are two of the shooting aids I like and have used here in the US as well as Africa. The Primos comes with a detachable yoke and can also be used for cameras, spotting scopes or binoculars. This tripod adjusts quickly and the V-yoke rotates for any angle. Plus it’s light enough to carry all day.

Bog-Pod offers the PSR rest specifically designed for handguns. This attachment fits on the CLD-3 tripod, or any other tripod the company offers, thanks to the quick-change stem. When the terrain will allow, I like sitting on the ground, resting my elbows on my knees with the gun resting in the tripod. These shooting aids are far better than shooting offhand. As ethical hunters, we owe it to the game we pursue to make a quick, humane kill, and a stable rest helps.

Many years ago I always carried a compass, but today Bushnell provides a simple, lightweight GPS system even I can operate. The Back Track is basically a personal navigation device that will get you back to wherever you started. All you do is turn it on, mark the location, and when you’re finished hunting, navigate back. This GPS stores up to three locations of distance and direction with no map required. Drop in a couple of AAA batteries and enjoy the hunt without worrying about finding your way back.

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Mark never leaves camp without some things in his pack. The Bushnell trail camera,
Hoppe’s BoreSnake, Back Track from Bushnell, headlamp, Ballistol multi-purpose wipes
and a Caldwell’s brass trap (for the range) all make life easier for handgunners.

Chasing Dark Away

I often find myself on a hunt in a remote place enduring rain and snow. In the past I rarely had cleaning gear along, so I’d watch the rust develop overnight. Today I always take along Ballistol multi-purpose wipes. These handy wipes lubricate and protect your valuable shooting iron. The wipes form a film protecting the firearm from rust and will not harm custom grips. Now I don’t have to worry about rust forming overnight while I listen to the rainfall on my mountain tent.

The only other cleaning device I throw in my pack is a Hoppe’s BoreSnake. This handy little cord can be pulled through the bore a few times and you’re ready for more hunting time. The BoreSnake incorporates an embedded brush in the cord that cleans your barrel fast if you don’t have a cleaning rod available.

Many times I’m in a situation after dark where both hands are needed to do skinning tasks or other chores. A good headlamp is just the ticket. Lately I’ve been using the Bushnell H250L AD headlamp and found it to be the handiest item in my pack. The light provides 250 lumens with a beam distance of 90 meters. Three AA batteries run various illumination modes such as boost, spot, flood and red halo. This is a great light for adjusting for reading or finding your way back to camp, plus a long list of other night chores.

As I was practicing at the range for an upcoming hog hunt with a semi-auto, I spent about as much time chasing brass as I did shooting. With Caldwell’s Brass Trap I no longer dread shooting a 1911. This nifty innovation allows shooters to concentrate on practice and not have to spend back-breaking time picking up brass.

I’ll confess — today’s technology makes life easier for handgunners.

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