10 Great Outdoor Innovations

If you want to start a lively debate in hunt camp, ask your buddies what they think is the best … Continued

1. Trail cameras have come a long way in a very short time, and arguably are one of the biggest aids for hunting ever developed. They have evolved into high-tech, highly sophisticated digital photography and video devices that reveal more about deer than most hunters ever dreamed. Much of their value is learning where, when and how deer move about their range. But it’s also fun to simply look at whitetail antics, and other critters cameras record, too, such bears, mountain lions, coyotes, snakes, bobcats, raccoons, foxes and others. Outdoor Life Online Editor
2. Mechanical broadheads have been around many years. But over the past decade they have been expertly engineered to provide bowhunters with pinpoint accuracy without sacrificing quick kills on deer-size big game. Outdoor Life Online Editor
3. Digital rangefinders are an offshoot of laser technology and have allowed optic companies to produce range estimation devices all hunters can use quickly, quietly and in all weather and lighting conditions. Small and compact, rangefinders are important to almost all hunters; whether they need to know the distance for an arrow shot at an antelope, or a 7mm magnum try at a bighorn sheep across a canyon. Outdoor Life Online Editor
4. Fiber-optic sights allow a hunter to get his rifle, shotgun or bow on target faster, with more precision, than ever before. In the low-light of dusk, dawn and in overcast weather, seeing a bow pin on a buster buck or a shotgun bead on a strutting turkey is a whole lot easier thanks to the light-gathering qualities of these innovative sights. Outdoor Life Online Editor
5. Pelletized blackpowder has taken the guesswork out of precisely loading a front stuffer for millions of primitive-weapons hunters. No more is it necessary for muzzleloading hunters to precisely measure messy powders for consistent, accurate shooting. With pellets, a hunter simply drops a pre-measured load of compressed powder (pellet) down a gun barrel, and then loads a bullet as usual. Now you can count on consistent powder charges every time. Outdoor Life Online Editor
6. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are, perhaps, the greatest advancement in navigation the world has ever known. Thanks to a couple dozen earth-orbiting satellites that emit microwave signals, small, inexpensive GPS receiver units can instantly show your position and relationship to other locations. New GPS devices are accurate to within mere feet of a location, and can be used with maps and memory devices to allow sportsmen unprecedented safe access to the outdoor world. Outdoor Life Online Editor
7. Scent-absorbing/killing products have helped hunters hide from big-game animals better than ever before. From boots to hats, face masks to underwear and outerwear, scent-absorbing clothing, sprays, powders and more have enabled hunters to get closer to game undetected. Outdoor Life Online Editor
8. Motion decoys have perhaps drawn more game within range of hunters than any other product developed. Spinning wings of such decoys attract ducks and geese, doves and crows from long range. Moveable turkey and deer decoys have suckered plenty of wild game to close range, too. Getting birds and animals within effective range not only makes hunters more successful, but allows sportsmen to make precise shots, and be especially selective in their harvest. Outdoor Life Online Editor
9. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have revolutionized the way sportsmen access much of the best hunting property almost everywhere. Low maintenance, fast, reliable and rugged, modern ATVs get hunters, their gear and their harvest, into wild country, and out again, with ease. Four-wheel and six-wheel off-road vehicles run the gamut from single person, gas-operated units; to side-by-side six-person capacity ATVs with heavy-duty suspension, all-wheel drive, high road clearance and plenty of cargo capacity. A new generation of battery-operated ATVs even makes for quiet access to the great and wild outdoors.
10. Modern hunting clothing enables sportsmen in any weather or climate to be comfortable and mobile while afield. No longer must a duck hunter suffer in cold, wet, heavy coats and waders. Deer hunters can sit on stand all day in below freezing temperatures and in relative comfort. Upland game hunters can walk for miles in new-age outdoor garments without sweat soaking clothes and ruining an otherwise great day after pheasants or quail, rabbits or grouse. Modern lightweight, warm, breathable jackets, pants, coats, boots, socks, gloves and rain gear allow today’s hunter to pursue his sport in comfort our fathers never knew. Outdoor Life Online Editor

If you want to start a lively debate in hunt camp, ask your buddies what they think is the best hunting innovation in the past 10 years. Here are 10 sure to be in the running- in no particular order. What do you think ought to be included?