June 30, 2023
IT’S SUMMERTIME! Hang those trail cameras, put out your mineral and take your binoculars out and glass up those beanfield bucks. Now is a great time to start developing a game plan for your fall target, and if you’re in need of any gear to help you get it done, we’ve got it here for you.
Browning's Defender trail camera line is forever rooted in trail cam lore — thousands of hunters use them for intel. For 2023, Browning ups the ante with its Defender Pro Scout MAX Extreme. More compact, easy to conceal and tote around the woods, this cell cam boasts a tested 0.25-second trigger speed. The Auto-Detect feature means the camera can recognize the strongest cellular signal in the area, and it comes with preinstalled SIM cards, simplifying the set-up process. This cellular scouter produces 22MP images and has full HD 1080p video with sound settings.
Most deer fanatics want to keep an eye on their deer woods 24/7/365. We get it, and if you fall into this camp, turn your attention to Moultrie’s Mobile Edge Pro Cellular. This innovative camera allows the user to set the camera to identify and capture only the species the hunters want to see on camera. That means no skunks, possums or raccoons. Users can select triggering based on custom detection zones using the innovative Moultrie Mobile app. Each camera operates on the strongest cellular signal in the area to ensure you get ideal connection from the camera to your phone. Built-in memory means no SD card is required, which means you no longer have to fret over SD card size.
Covert’s popular WC20 got a 2023 facelift. Redesigned to be more compact, the camera measures 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3 inches. For those that put a premium on concealment, these scouters shouldn’t be overlooked. Add the ultra- sensitive 0.30-second trigger, and you can bank on the deer centered in the frame. Forty Infrared No-Glow LEDs provide a 100-foot flash range for even illumination. Maximum Silence Image capture means the camera produces no game- spooking noises, and setting this camera up is simple thanks to the integrated 1 1/2 - inch color settings screen. Coverage plans for AT&T and Verizon are available.
Now available from the minds at SpyPoint is the LM2: a camera the industry has been waiting for. The LM2 is a compact, put-anywhere cell scouter with a 22-megapixel photo rating that promises the utmost detail. The half-second trigger time and a 90-foot range are extremely impressive, and wearing a price tag of $99.99, you can string together plenty of LM2s and create a camera arsenal in your woods. The LM2 has photo and multi-shot modes and operates on an LTE network.
Reliable and easy to operate, Reveal’s lineup of wireless cameras is tough to beat. New-for-2023 is the Reveal X-Pro. Cellular lovers will dote on the camera’s compact nature and adjustable 80-plus-feet nighttime illumination. The X-Pro can detect an animal’s presence out to 96 feet. The camera has been tested in every weather condition possible, and false triggers are few and far between. The Reveal X Pro runs on 12 AA batteries, and users should know the camera requires a Tactacam, SanDisk or Lexar Class 10, U3 SD card in either 16 or 32 GB to ensure top-level performance.
We were fans of the original CelluCore 20, but the new-for-2023 CelluCore 20 Solar Cellular is even better. The good news is users can still bank on crystal-clear photos and absolute reliability. The better news is that the CelluCore 20 has increased battery life thanks to the addition of a solar panel that detaches, allowing the panel to absorb the most daily sunlight depending on the camera's location. The panel sports a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and can maintain a full charge for up to 70 images per day with direct sunlight.
Cuddeback has been doing it right for a long time, and its new Cuddeback Tracks Cellular Camera is another shining example of why so many hunters belong to Cuddeback Nation. The Tracks is small and compact, and the dual external paddle antennas pull every ounce of service available, so those areas with limited service are less of a problem. Cuddeback's Tracks utlizes an advanced IR-cut image sensor to ensure exceptional image clarity and quality, and the four D batteries provide extended battery life.
Keep it small, compact and powerful in the stand or blind with the Zeiss SFL 40 Compact. The latest member of Zeiss’ legendary SF line, the new Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) concept promises maximum color fidelity and the highest possible resolution. Combine this with 90 percent light transmission and you get a binocular that provides excellent edge-to-edge clarity with a wide field of view. Zeiss offers the SFL 40 Compact in two models: SFL 8x40 and SLF 10x40.
Leica developed its new-for-2023 R Series as a foursome, which includes the R 8x42, 10x42, 8x56 and 15x56. Not only do these optics ensure maximum edge-to-edge quality, but each is also integrated with a rangefinder. With a measurement range of 2,000-plus yards and the Equivalent Horizontal Range (EHR) ballistics function, shooters can know the exact range of their target, get an excellent look at the headgear on that target and make a good shot.
Leupold’s BX-4 Pro Guide HD 10x42 binocular is a do-all optic designed for whitetail scouting. This compact and lightweight binocular provides enough field of view for tight areas while maintaining the magnification to spot those far-off summertime target bucks. With high-definition clarity and a built-in tripod adapter, the BX-4 Pro Guide comes ready for summer scouting whitetails.
Built on a platform engineered for the minimalist hunter and specially designed for the whitetail bowhunter, Sig’s Kilo6K-HD Compact measures 5.7 inches long and weighs a mere 26.1 ounces. The best part is the built-in rangefinder, which guarantees accuracy up to 2,500 yards on big game animals and 6,000 yards on reflective surfaces. The Kilo6K-HD Compact also features fog mode to cut through that frustrating morning haze and an XR Extended Range mode, which allows longer range capabilities from a tripod. The binocular is available in 8x32 and 10x32 models, and it is built like a tank.
A high-quality binocular for any whitetail hunter is the Steiner Predator 10x42. In the 10x model, the Predator provides the perfect blend of clarity at distance and field of view for closer ranges. The Predator is also an ultra-durable optic that can withstand any beating received while conducting boots-on-the-ground scouting.
An optic doesn’t have to wear a hefty price tag to be a valuable, economic hunting tool, and when you drop your hard-earned cash on Vortex’s Diamondback HD, you get a quality and budget-friendly optic. Built like a tank and measuring just 5.1 inches long, and weighing 3.2 pounds, these binoculars are super compact and come with the GlassPak TM binocular har- ness. The HD lenses are fully multi-coated, and phase correction coating on the roof prism enhances resolution and contrast. The ArmorTec frame protects the exterior lenses from damage, and the body is completely shockproof.
OLLIN MAGNETIC DIGISCOPING SYSTEM
Digiscoping has become more popular over the last decade and become a great way for getting footage of wildlife from afar. The Ollin Digiscoping System is hands-down the most efficient digiscoping setup available on the market. Ollin's system is a magnetic digiscoping system that ensures perfect and secure alignment every single time, all within about a second. There are three main parts to the system: an eyepiece that goes over the ocular lens on your optic, a cover for that eyepiece, and a very low-profile case for your phone.
Minding the wind isn’t something you should only do while hunting, but it’s also important while summer scouting. The new Optimal Wind Feature from onX will make it easier to scout summer bucks without bumping them from their beds. This feature makes tracking the wind a breeze; all you need to do is punch in locations of interest, set the optimal wind conditions for any locale, and the onX Hunt App automatically produces an accurate wind calendar for all your locations.
A smooth-riding workhorse with an extended row of seating and a sizeable gas-assist dump box, Polaris’ Ranger SP 570 Crew will help you get around your farm and conquer those off-season whitetail management chores. The spacious interior offers plenty of leg room, and the best-in-class suspension means a smooth ride and excellent ground clearance.
New from Boss Buck is their Cottonseed deer attractant. Available in 5-pound bags and loaded with protein and phosphorus, this nutrient-dense feed provides this attractant with high fat levels and promotes antler growth and recovery after shedding. It’s June, and this could be an excellent product to sprinkle on your deer dirt and help those bucks produce good growth.
When you’re busting through the brush trying to nail-down your target buck’s home range in the summer heat, you burn energy fast. To counter fatigue, you need to stay hydrated and full of protein. Old Trapper beef jerky is a high-protein snack that comes in a sealable package and can easily be stored in your scouting pack. Boots-on-the-ground scouting in the heat is demanding, and Old Trapper can help you fight off the fatigue.
Clean, convenient and easy to get to your mineral stations, Lucky Buck offers a dynamic duo — two 20-pound mineral buckets loaded with only the minerals deer love. A critical component to use from spring through late summer, this year-round mineral is not affected by moisture and has an active ingredient for portion control.
Who doesn't love creating mock scrapes and having those scrapes taken over? An excellent tool for the task is the ScrapeMaker from Conquest Scents. Designed to aid in making authentic licking branches realistic mock rubs and giant scrapes via the large deer-track shaped bottom, this tool is a good one to get your mock scrapes started early enough to help inventory your target bucks.
Strike Force's Timer Tripod Feeder is great for summer scouting and inventorying bucks. This feeder can be set to feed up to six times each day, and the feeding amount is adjustable. Other notable features are a test mode to check feed distribution, a battery meter to check charge and easy assembly with the Twist-Tight feeder mounting system. With heavy duty legs and a varmint guard, this is the perfect feeder to help find your target buck.
WILDLIFE RESEARCH CENTER
New-for-2023, Wildlife Research Center introduces their Active-Branch mock scrape kit. With quality licking branches not always being in the locations where you’d like to establish them, Active-Branch solves that problem. With Golden Scrape scent, the Magnum Scrape Dripper, a mounting strap and the branch holder all included, this kit will have your summer scrapes established in no time.
Scouting in the summer heat can be dreadful, so you need clothing that keeps you cool when Mother Nature is scorching. Browning’s Early Season 3/4 Zip Shirt is the perfect garment for scouting in the heat. This long-sleeve shirt has 50+ UPF protection built into it, and its lightweight fabric has mesh panels to help keep you cool. Coming in Browning’s Ovix, Carbon and Major Brown colors, the early season shirt is a dynamic hot-weather garment.