It may be true that crossbows are literally flying off many retailers’ shelves in response to newly opened seasons, but not all crossbows, or crossbow companies, are created equal. Mark Wenberg used more than 20 years of product development experience to create Velocity Archery (270-231-2911; www.velocityarchery.com)and merge efficient production with the customer-focused principles of a small-town, American Heartland archery shop. It’s led to great designs like the split-limb Raven ($449), engineered to propel bolts up to 350 fps—meaning this 175-pound horizontal rig can produce 111 foot-pounds of energy. The molded pistol-grip stock was constructed to promote fit and feel, and the dual sting stops and rubber inserts in the foregrip should squelch noise and vibration. At 35 inches long, 23 inches wide, and sporting a mass weight of 7.8 pounds, this 4-pound trigger pull crossbow comes as a package that includes a 4×32 scope, three carbon bolts, sling, rope-cocking aid, quiver, and rail lube.

Devoted whitetailers represent the largest users of lighted nocks. Nock Out lighted nocks ($29/3-pack) from Clean-Shot (425-242-5970; www.clean-shot.com)are weatherproof, simple to use (no glue, no assembly), fit any arrow shaft, enjoy long 24-hour battery life, and weigh only 20 grains. With a proper adapter they can even be used for bowfishing. A simple quarter-turn deactivates the light; there's no need to switch between regular and lighted nocks for hunting or practice shooting. To use the “easy off” design, simply pull the nock straight back until you hear or feel the click and the light turns off. The coolest feature may be the unique universal fit design; each package includes adapter bushings to fit most shafts, including G, S, H, X and GT diameters.

Another great way to mount accessories to bows is the Universal Bow Accessory Mount fromTRUGLO (888-8-TRUGLO; www.truglo.com)that fits most existing stabilizers. Popular accessories designed to mount on a Picatinny-style base adapt with ease to this versatile accessory mount; the 4-inch-long rail can be rotated for greater versatility. The all-metal CNC-machined aluminum construction is not only lightweight (just 4 ounces), but rigid to offer full support for almost any adaptable accessory item. Also from TRUGLO is the Tru-Tec Carbon Pro Stabilizer that features a carbon-composite exoskeleton for a sleek, balanced look and feel. The high-modulus carbon-fiber rod provides superior strength, and the Tri-Foil shape provides optimal rigidity. The unique design features a vibration-dampening adjustable weight-suspension system that includes three stainless steel 1-ounce weights. The 6-inch model is adjustable from 4 to 7 ounces. Choose from Black, Realtree Xtra, and LOST Camo patterns.

Big Tine Fortified Deer Blend from Big Tine (800-989-4178; www.bigtine.com), a year-round food supplement, is the only deer feed that contains minerals and vitamins along with attractants and protein. Big Tine has a cherry aroma that attracts deer and keeps them coming back while providing the nutrition necessary to grow big herds, bigger bucks, and bigger racks.Big Tine is the only deer blend fortified with Whitetail Institute's Imperial 30-06 vitamin and mineral supplement, plus a blend of wholesome grains. The 11 vitamins and minerals help deer reach their potential and its anti-oxidants and crucial fatty acids can also help improve health and longevity. Use with any type of feeder or on the ground.

Whitetailers can't resist a versatile, great-sounding new deer call. The new BCX (Buck Commander Extreme) deer call ($20) from Flextone Game Calls (866-XXL-GAME; www.flextonegamecalls.com)is powered by patented soft-body technology, and designed to recreate each note of a deer's vocalization. The unique design produces loud, nasally grunts, while the palm-sized design incorporates True-Tone Buttons that enable users to create the entire spectrum of life-like deer vocalizations such as grunts, doe bleats, estrus bleats and fawn bawls—all with a simple touch of a button. An oversized snort-wheeze chamber produces super-loud and aggressive snort-wheezes.

Yes, the little details can matter most. Another great example is new Powergrip Serving from bowstring specialist BCY Inc., (860-632-7115; www.bcyfibers.com). This tough, durable serving is a new, resin-coated blend of tightly braided spectra and nylon yarn that’s designed to grip extremely well. It’s available in .018 diameter (End or Center Serving); .021 and .025 diameter (Center Serving), and .032 diameter (Crossbow Center Serving). All are stocked in black and white, and available in most solid colors.  

Americase Inc. (800-972-2737; www.americase.com)in June announced that it has developed the first aluminum Breakdown Crossbow Case, ideal for keeping gear safe and secure while traveling. The EC Series case measures 36×13.5×7 5/8 inches; because it is less than 62 linear inches it can be checked as luggage without an oversize fee. The welded aluminum design mirrors other EC Series cases; the interior has a lift-out panel that will accommodate virtually any breakdown crossbow available. The lower compartment holds the crossbow stock, quiver with bolts, and storage, while the top holds the bow and foot stirrup. The .063 aluminum case has a spring-loaded handle, two heavy duty key locking flip latches along with two eyelets that can be padlocked, and comes with a water resistant seal designed to keep out dust, dirt, and moisture.

Valuable help in keeping critical gear safe and ready for action is the wide-ranging, affordable line from Gear Keeper (888-588-9981; www.gearkeeper.com). The spring-loaded Deluxe Instrument Tether (model RT44 5272) features a 30-inch extension, keeping rangefinders and other important gear (weighing up to 9 ounces) within arm’s reach and ready for action. Simply mount the compact unit to your hunting jacket or pack via its combo attachment system, which includes a snap clip or threaded stud option. Those looking for secure rangefinder storage should be shown the Integrated Rangefinder Retractable Holster; it features a retractor incorporated into a wearable holster, allowing hunters to use their rangefinder, let it go, and have it easily retract into its soft padded case.