Replacing My Saftey Harness with the Gorilla Gear G-TAC AIR

[easyazon_image add_to_cart="default" align="left" asin="B00BTBTSNO" cloaking="default" height="160" localization="default" locale="US" nofollow="default" new_window="default" src="" tag="arrowarchery-20" width="160"]I was cleaning up my office tonight and moved a pile of paper that uncovered my 2014 Bowhunting magazine New Gear Guide.  I had been wondering where I had put that thing.  I recall it coming in the mail but never got a chance to look at it.  So I have been flipping through the pages and realize that it is time for me to do some shopping again.

The Gorilla Gear G-TAC Air safety harness definitely caught my eye and will be at the top of my shopping list.  I've had the same safety harness since 1997, and realized that it is almost 17 years old.  I've always been happy with my Seat-O-The-Pants safety harness, but it is definitely starting to show signs of age and the abuse that I have put it through over the years.

I won't hunt from a tree stand without my safety harness.  Over the years I have had a number of close calls with falling.  I have a buddy that took a fall from a stand and luckily only ended up with a concussion.  Every season you hear about major injuries or deaths related to tree stand falls, and these are always a good reminder to be safe when hunting from a stand.  I encourage everyone to review the tree stand safety guidelines that have been published by the TMA (Treestand Manufacturers Association).

You may be surprised to find out that many safety harnesses will actually have expiration dates associated with them, and they should be replaced after that date.  And that is the situation I am in now.

So have my eye on the Gorilla Gear G-TAC AIR for a number of reasons.

  • It is ultra-light weight and not bulky.
  • It can be used by hunters from 120 pounds to 300 pounds in weight.
  • It has a three point, ergonomic fit.
  • The shoulder and back areas have extra padding for comfort.
  • The leg strap loops use a wider strap for comfort.
  • It does not have a waist belt, which also helps comfort.
  • It includes a self locking carabineer for the tether.
  • It goes on and off easily with the silent micro buckles and has multiple adjustment points for a good fit.  This is ideal for transitioning from warm weather to cold weather hunts where you end up wearing more bulky cold weather gear.
  • It has two anchor points on the front that allows you to use the harness as a lineman's belt.  This is ideal when you need to be elevated and hands-free for setting up hang-on stands.
  • It uses Fall Force Reduction technology that reduces the forces felt during a fall by nearly 40% compared to a leading competitor's tether.
  • It has great reviews, currently with a 4.7 out of 5 star customer rating.  I put a lot of weight on customer ratings and reviews before I actually purchase a product, and all the reviews from current owners state that they would recommend this harness to others.  It doesn't seem like I could go wrong with this harness.

No matter what type of safety harness you use this season, make sure you are always hunting with one.  Don't hunt from an elevated position without being tethered to a tree.  The risk and resulting injuries you could experience just aren't worth it.  Have a safe season this year and best of luck!

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Mathews Heli M vs Z7 – Worth the Weight

Once again, Mathews has one-upped itself and turned out another bow that is catching the eye of avid hunters.  While that "new bow smell" may not have even worn off of last year's Z7, an impressive Mathews Heli M just may have those Z7 owners ready to trade in.

The most important thing to note about the new Heli M is the fact that it weighs just a mere 3.5 pounds.  While it might sounds like a toy, this 30" axle to axle bow has an IBO rating of up to 332.  There has been a lot of buzz and chatter about the Heli M.  There are a number of differences between the Heli M and the Z7, but are they worth enough to justify the MSRP of $100 over that of the Z7?  Well, let's take a look at what the guys over at are saying in their recent comparison.

Besides the weight and small specifications differences, there are a few other notable changes.  The Dead End String Stop Lite is mounted lower than the previous version on the Z7 series, thus allowing for the elimination of the bottom, limb mounted suppressor.  The standard Z Cam has now been replaced with the new Heli-M cam, and is supposedly smoother on the draw by creating a draw force curve that peaks rapidly, then slow eases off before dumping into the valley.  Also, the Heli-M cam looks to be larger overall.

By looking at the overlay of the two bows, it’s obvious that the risers differ more than in the change to the Grid Lock.  The Heli-M riser is slightly shorter and follows slightly different lines than the Z7.  The brace height and the ATA both remain the same, however the limbs on the Heli-M have less pre-load to them and are more akin to the 2012 Jewel.

The roller guards, though different in their mounting systems, appear nearly identical in location as does the top limb-mounted string suppressor.  Both bows also include two Harmonic Stabilizers in near identical locations.  Handles on both bows appear nearly identical, though supposedly the new Heli-M handle is made of a higher grade walnut that Mathews calls “Rich Walnut,” more akin to wood used in high-grade gun stocks. ...More at 2012 Mathews Heli-M vs. 2011 Mathews Z7

A pound may not seem like a big difference, but you will quickly notice the difference once it is in your hand.  Check out the following video of Lee Lakosky from Crush TV.  He has a lot of good things to say about the Heli M, and more or less raves about this bow.  Near the end of the video, you get to see him take his largest typical buck with the Mathews Heli M.  It was a beautiful 47 yard shot, that Lee said felt more like 20 yards thanks to the Heli M.



Wildgame Innovations W6X

I recently picked up a Wildgame Innovations W6X infrared digital game camera. It is also frequently called the Wildgame Innovations Micro 6 Red. This is another one of those small digital trail cameras that will come close to fitting in the palm of your hand. So far so good with this scouting cam...
I've been really impressed with the quality of the images and videos that I have gotten off the W6X. I have experienced a few issues with some of the images and videos being a little washed out during the dusk and dawn times. It seems like this game camera has a slight issue with kicking off the infrared flash during the transition period between light and dark and vice verse. Once that transition period passes, everything is fine. I have talked with some others that have not experienced this issue, and some who have. So I don't think this is an issue with all of the W6X's.
With as little as I paid for the Micro 6 Red, this is an issue that I can live with. Most of the daytime pictures and videos and vivid color and detail. Most of the night time pictures are very crisp and have great detail as well. The night time images are obviously black and white, since there is no strobe flash on this game cam. It uses a series of infrared LEDs that light up the target with no visible flash. A few of my night time images has a little blur in them for moving game. You don't get any blur on video mode though, and that is the primary mode that I shoot in. I like video much better than images. Video will allow you to see the deer moving and give you many frames that allow you to study the details of that "big bucks rack" (hopefully nice bucks anyway).
So it looks like Wildgame Innovations has done it again... They have turned out yet another under $100 game camera that does a pretty good job considering the price. There is a pretty good review that shows some sample images (both day and night) and some videos from this game camera: Wildgame Innovations Micro 6 Red .

I encourage anyone that is in the market for a trail camera to search for sample pictures and videos before they buy so they can see what the game camera is capable of. Wildgame Innovations has been turning out new trail cameras on a very frequent basis. They seem to really be pushing their technology innovations forward, and I suspect they are grabbing a sizable slice of the trail camera market with their low price points.

Combating the High Price of Corn

If you haven't stocked up your deer feeders with corn yet this year, you are in for a shock.  I stopped in to a local pet and feed store (one of the large retail chains whose name I won't mention here) and found that corn prices were up big time.  I was looking at $12.00 for a 50 pound bag of shell corn.  So I headed straight back out of that store, with plans to visit another feed store that deals strictly in feed for live stock.

When I visited the other feed store the following day, I was in for another shocker.  Read the Rest of This Post

Leupold Vendetta Keeps You in the Kill Zone

Leupold Vendetta Bow Mounted RangefinderI've recently went on the search for a bow mounted range finder.  This has been on my mind every since I missed a shot on a quality buck last season.  I thought he was about 32 yards out, where in reality he was closer to 39.  I honestly think that the large body size of this buck threw me off and had me thinking he was closer in than he was.  Either way, I should have ranged the deer with my hand held range finder before taking the shot, but was afraid the movement would get me busted.  As I watched my arrow fall short, grazing his chest, I realized the importance of knowing the exact distance to your target.

So I recently picked up a Leupold Vendetta, and have been very impressed with how easy it is to use once you get used to it.  Read the rest of this entry »