By: Roy K. Keefer

In the first part of my year in review I covered the bow, arrows, broadheads, arrow rest, and sight I put to the test in the field. Next I’ll cover some of the accessories I used.

Hunting Clothing HECS

HECS has a truly unique product. It’s a special high-tech fabric camo that can be worn under clothing on a cold day or as outer clothing on hot days. The science behind this product is that all living things emit a faint electric signal and that animals have the ability to detect these signals. The HECS suits block the emission of these signals which allows the hunter to be in closer proximity to game animals without being detected. .

In evaluating this product I am at a loss at how I can measure its effectiveness. I wore the suit religiously and I did have a lot of unspooked animals near me many times. Was this a combination of the suit, wind direction and other factors, I’m not sure. I can’t say HECS didn’t work because I did have animals close but the main thing is I do believe that anything that will give me an extra edge in the field is worth the time and money to try. I know there have been countless hunters who swear by HECS and I’ve certainly seen some video hunts that sure show the effectiveness of wearing HECS.

I want to say too that the suit is well made and comfortable. Perhaps you should try your own test and see what you think. You have to admit it’s an innovative concept and stands alone in its concept and design.

Trail Lights
Firebugs Trail Lights  has a product that really impressed me. The small light is designed to mark your trail into the stand so you don’t have to use a flashlight to find your way. Also you can place a light on your stand so you can easily find it in the dark. It can be clamped or pinned to a limb. You push the start button and it’s good to go. The replaceable battery lasts at least two weeks. Six extra CR2032 lithium batteries are included in the package – which should be enough for multiple hunting seasons. The best feature is that it turns on/off automatically at daybreak and dusk. I used them throughout the season was very satisfied with their performance. They may be a little pricey, $5 a

piece, but I think you will consider it money well spent. A big “thumbs up” for this product.

Energizer Lights
For those times when I did need a light, I went to my Energizers. I used two different ones. The Night Strike is a versatile light that is durable, it can survive a 10 foot drop; has an 8 hour run time and 7 light modes. It can be hand held or attached to your cap.

The Energizer Ultimate headlight is a great light to use in blood trailing. The bright LED delivers 100 lumens which can be boosted to 130 lumens for 15 seconds. It’s water resistant and has 5 light modes.

If you thought Energizer batteries were good, you’ll be equally impressed with these lights.

Blo-Glo Wind Puffer
Cass Creek (Altus Brands) has a wind direction puffer, the Blo-Glo, a product like you have never seen.

The puffer is filled with an odorless, phosphorescent powder. A light inside activates the powder creating a glowing puff when you squeeze the puffer. The powder can easily be seen even in dim light. I like the product, but if I had one wish, it would be that the container was slimmer and fit easier in your pocket. If you’re tired of straining to see your wind direction powder, this is the ticket.

Evolved Habitat  Rack Rock is a mineral rock supplement which contains a mineral blend of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and sodium. It is designed to assist in bone and antler growth and overall well being. I used it and the deer liked it. My only suggestion for this product is that it should come in larger sizes. The 6 pound block doesn’t last too long once the deer find it.

Dead Down Wind products have been in my field bag for quite some time.

The body and hair soap, laundry detergent and field spray greatly help in reducing human odor. The field spray also comes in a dry powder which makes it easy to transport on flights. Once you get to your hunting site just add water and you’re ready to go. I use it and you should too.

Ribzwear Pack

Have you ever been hunting and needed some piece of equipment that was in your back pack? You had to stop, remove the pack and then retrieve what you needed. Well you don’t have anymore. This year I used a pack that eliminates the problem. Ribzwear has a pack you wear on the front of your chest. The pack has many pockets to carry most of your needs for a day trip. The beauty of the pack is its ease of use. Things are quickly and easily accessible. You can put your rangefinder, scent lure, gloves; you name it in the multiple pockets the pack features. The pack is well made of durable material and should stand up to the rigors of any outdoor adventure you have in mind. I liked having the weight on the front of my chest and being able to get to things quickly. The pack is reasonably priced and worth the money. I plan to use it a lot in the future.

Wildlife Research Center

If you have read any of my annual reviews, you know I like to make mock scrapes for whitetails. I’ve been using Wildlife Research’s Active-Scrap for two years and can attest that it works. I clear out a spot near overhanging limbs, spread some of the Active-Scrap, install a trail camera nearby and wait for the bucks to find it. Of course, not every scrap is hit but the percentage of active scraps is much higher than if I had done nothing. In two years I have had 75% and 60%, respectively, of the mock scraps hit. It is a product I plan to continue using for years to come. If you haven’t tried making mock scraps you’re missing some of the fun of hunting. Wildlife Research has many fine products so be sure to check out their website.

Lakewood Products Bow Case

This is my third year using a Lakewood bow case. As you may know, I travel a lot and my baggage gets banged around in my truck or by the airlines. The Lakewood bow case has always protected my bows no matter how much abuse it encountered. The outer shell is a durable fabric and the inner liner is a hard composite material with reinforced corners, covered with a material lining, and is so tough you can stand on the case and the contents will be unharmed. I like to have easy access to my bow and accessories. In many hard bow cases you have to unsnap four latches to open them. And to close them, you have to make sure one lid fits exactly into the other before you snap them shut. You don’t have to do it anymore. Just unzip the lid and everything is accessible; closing it is just as easy. Lakewood has a lifetime warranty on its products. They make many neat archery, gun, camera, and tackle cases; check out their website for more details.

Well there you have it. Another year of chasing critters and putting some new and some old products to the test in the field; the good Lord willing, I’ll be out there this spring and fall doing the same. If you have any ideas for things I should test drop me a line. I hope these articles have been some use to you and I wish you much luck this season.