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What’s New at the SHOT Show

Steve Zahurak

 

What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.  This slogan used for more than 10 years is widely known and has been very successful in promoting Sin City.  But that slogan does not apply to the SHOT Show. From January 16-20, 2017, I was in Las Vegas attending the 39th annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) as a representative of Adirondack Outdoors. 

The SHOT Show, sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), is the largest outdoor trade show in the world. It is the premier exposition of firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics and related products and services. The second largest is in Germany. This year there were 1,600 companies displaying new products and technology. I was one of nearly 65,000 attendees from the 50 states and 100 foreign countries who were viewing new products with the latest technologies. 

It was a one-stop shop for seeing the newest equipment, the latest products, and must-have technology for hunting, shooting sports and law enforcement industries.   There were thousands of products for buyers to see on the show floor, encompassing firearms, ammunition, accessories, optics, knives, gun safes, and apparel, among other categories.

I am ignoring the slogan and am bringing back a few suggestions for your consideration. I talked at length with a representative from Farm to Feet which manufactures socks with 100 percent American materials, manufacturing, and workers.  The socks are US merino wool in four heights, three weights and are a cushion type heel.

For holding up your pants, you should consider Nexbelt, the belt with no holes.  It uses a ratcheting system to adjust the belt in one quarter inch increments.  I also liked the fact that the belts allow for concealed carry or open carry interchangeably with proper tension.

This past year I was pleased with my Yeti Rambler with a lid and straw that I used forcold and hot drinks.  At the show I observed the Rambler JUG that comes in both half gallon and one gallon sizes. I envisioned using it to hold hot chili or venison stew until lunchtime and sharing the meal with my companions.  I was especially intrigued that the JUG can be attached securely to tree, truck, boat, trailer or ATV with the JUG Mount.

  I was also very impressed with the innovative Yeti MagCap™ that uses powerful magnets to keep the cap secured on the lid while pouring or sipping. There is no looking in the leaves or under low light conditions for a dropped lid. Yeti coolers are built to be indestructible. The coolers come in a variety of sizes for hunting, fishing, camping, and tailgating (coolers with collegiate logos are available). New for this year are colors for the Rambler cups.

  In the early fall and through the deer season, I will be using Wildgame Innovations New Cloak 6 Trail Cameras while I employ scents, mock scrapes and attractants.  Tink’s Non-Rut Combo, Doe in Rut and Trophy Buck Lure and Conquest Ever Calm and Rutting Buck products will be deployed. I am interested in seeing how deer in my hunting spots will react to the various scents. I am looking into the trail cameras that send photos to my phone, which will eliminate the need to visit the cameras and thus be less disruptive to the area.

I am impressed with ONXMAPS. I was able to use them while rabbit hunting after the SHOT Show. They showed me the property lines, owners’ names and noted my location on the property. WMU boundaries are delineated on the phone along with color-coded private and public lands and water data.

Thermal and night vision products attracted my attention at the show. Hopefully, I will be able to address them in another article.

My selection for Made in USA products is Case Knives. My curiosity was piqued when I stopped at the Case Knife booth. They have an incomparable collection of hand-crafted pocket knives, sport/hunting knives, and collectables. They can be purchased at local hardware stores, cutlery shops, sporting goods stores, gift and specialty shops and at national retail chains. Case Knives are American made in Bradford, PA, just across the New York border, one hour from Buffalo, NY.

The show had 12 miles of aisles to walk and the floor space covered more than 11 acres.  I’ve been told if I visited every booth, I would spend 8 seconds per booth.  I planned out the booths I would like to visit, the ones I might visit, and I left Las Vegas as one weary person. I enjoyed seeing some old friends and met a few new ones.
Now that I am rested and have recovered I am looking forward to the 40th SHOT SHOW. I can say that the outdoors, hunting and firearms industry is doing well.

Steve Zahurak has been active in sportsman’s affairs for many years and has reported on developments affecting sportsmen. He has been involved in many sports but deer hunting has remained one of his favorites.

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