Five Winners From SHOT Show 2020 for Your Predator Pursuits

Every year companies launch new products in hopes of capturing your attention, and ultimately, your hard-earned cash. Here are some you may want to consider for your predator pursuits.

Five Winners From SHOT Show 2020 for Your Predator Pursuits

Hornady Subsonic Ammunition

Every year companies launch new products in hopes of capturing your attention, and ultimately, your hard-earned cash. Many are launched at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade show each January in Las Vegas. You and I understand much of what is marketed is simply old product with new paint, but a few products do stand out and here are some you may want to consider as we move into the new decade. 

Hornady Subsonic Additions 

The latest trend in predator hunting is “shhh.” As more and more states allow suppressors for hunting, predator hunters are embracing the movement. Currently 40 states allow the use of suppressors during hunting season and the fight continues in Congress to pass the Hearing Protection Act to make suppressors exempt from the 1934 National Firearms Act. Of course, common sense doesn’t pertain to Congress, so the bill continues to be an uphill fight.

Although a suppressed firearm is quiet, a few want even their suppressed firearms to be quieter. Hornady helps those with a need for tranquility by adding more additions to its already-popular Subsonic ammunition lineup

Introduced in 2018, the .300 Blackout caliber loaded with the 190-grain Sub-X bullet immediately caught the attention of those with sensitive hearing. Going into 2020, hunters have the option of capping the crack of their .300-30 Winchester, .450 Bushmaster and the beefy .45-70 Government. Now, those calibers have nothing on zippy calibers like the .22-250 Rem., .223 Rem. or the new 6mm Creedmoor, but when you combine Subsonic ammunition with a suppressed firearm the results are discreetly impressive. 

Where would you utilize these relatively sluggish options tossing giant projectiles into the air? No everyone hunts the wide-open prairies and deserts west of the Mississippi. In close-quarter environments, a quiet rifle works exceptionally well for the reduced distances anticipated. Plus, if you do have multiple predators arrive to your calls, the extra quiet report is subdued enough that it could easily give you time to settle your reticle on a second furbearer. Finally, any of these calibers and loads work for deer-sized game or smaller. Your 100-yard shooting lane in the whitetail woods is amply covered with any of the Hornady Subsonic offerings. Sure, the bullet weights are beefy, but with the slower velocities to accommodate subsonic speed, you won’t be throttling through hides with shattering results. 

At the heart of the Subsonic lineup is the Sub-X bullet. Hornady engineers designed that bullet specifically for velocities of 1,050 fps or less. It is built with a lead core, and long grooves fixed into the gilding metal jacket work in concert with the Flex Tip insert and overall flat profile to expand at the anticipated low velocities. Hornady boasts a 90-percent retention weight with speeds lugging along at 900 fps for terminal penetration.

Purposely chosen powders are selected to boost performance, maintain consistency between ammunition lots and reduce the muzzle flash. Cartridges are constructed to work in traditional and semiautomatic firearms. They even have a lineup for handguns if you enjoy a hunting challenge or wish to outfit your home defense firearm with Subsonic. 

Primos Dogg Caller Remote

Have you ever lost the remote to your TV? Have you ever wanted a flat screen remote that does more? Have you ever wanted a remote that not only changes channels but also pairs all your digital gizmos together, including surround sound, to maximize your theater experience at home? For all of those needs you should be perusing pages on Amazon Prime. But if you’ve ever dreamed of making your predator caller more productive or possibly pairing it with one or more electronic callers, then you need to check out the Primos Dogg Caller Remote

Sure, your Primos caller arrives from the factory equipped with its personal remote to blaze through a mind-boggling collection of features. But for a few of you, that’s just not enough. Maybe your calling venue is incredibly vast? Maybe your hunting property has unique features that force you to prod predators into precise openings? Maybe you hunt exclusively under cover of darkness? Maybe you were a thespian in junior high and wish to recreate those adolescent memories with an incredible theatrical production during your predator calling setups?

Yep, the Primos Dogg Caller Remote can help you with all those complicated scenarios and more. A top reason to consider investing in the all-around remote is the fact it can pair your unit with multiple electronic callers. Pair the remote with the Triple Dogg, 360 Wireless or the 360 Wireless Top Dog and you can place the units with precision to direct predators into an orchestrated trap where they can’t escape. 

The remote allows you to network with all the features included in the Dogg Net series of electronic callers, including the Wireless Sit N Spin Decoy. Primos refers to this as creating a “realistic sounding predator zone.” I refer to it as the ultimate in predatory diversion. 

Primos makes it easy to create a predator trap with four Hot Buttons to customize and punch for your favorite directives. Another punch of the button starts the Expert Hunts sound library, or you can design and access your personal playlist. 

Since I start and end nearly every predator hunting setup in darkness, I love the night mode that provides ample illumination in dim conditions. Combine night mode with the full-color display screen and you’re no longer squinting to make out black and white commands. Best of all, with three new AA batteries you’re provided 40 hours of predator hunting theatrics.  

Mossy Oak Rio

Camouflage continues to drive the hunting market. It’s a required purchase for all hunters, but predator hunters particularly must melt into the backdrop to hide from the eagle eyes of toothy opponents. In addition to being a requirement for predator hunting success, camouflage is also hip. Wearing camouflage brings you into the hunting brotherhood and advertises your support for the hunting heritage.

New patterns arrive on the market annually, and Mossy Oak has brought two into the forefront with launches late in 2019. The first is labeled Mossy Oak Rio. Its intended purpose is to aid hunters in the Southwest, but its application pushes north in the arid reaches of the West, too, while even providing invisibility for Great Plains’ predator hunters. 

The wide range of adaptability to a variety of environments is provided by enhanced photography techniques. Experts used well-defined images of mesquite tree trunks and limbs, combined with a blend of prairie grasses, sagebrush and evergreen vegetation. Set in a naturally occurring landscape layout, the composition of plants blends with a myriad of open-country environments, especially those found in the desert Southwest. To achieve even more melding into the natural backdrop, design professionals incorporated the use of shadows into the pattern, thus providing the needed depth to allow it to disappear.  

I had the chance to utilize the new pattern in the semi-arid landscapes of my Wyoming backyard and was pleased with the disappearing act. A December trip to Texas to hunt whitetails also proved the pattern could disappear into the mesquite as advertised. 

Those of you really into vogue camouflage likely have embraced or yearned for the digital realm of covert camouflage. Mossy Oak has been a player in digital patterns since 2017 and recently launched Elements Terra, the latest offering to its Elements family. 

There’s nothing fancy about the makeup of Elements. Specialists use the basic elements of earth, air and water to weave together a pattern that disappears into a variety of landscapes as Terra is designed to do. In addition to using Mother Nature, Mossy Oak specialists utilize the newest 3-D modeling technology to capture topographical geographies and transfer them into the pattern. They refer to it as “all natural,” but the pattern’s exceptional layout is almost absorbed into the backdrop without the past use of art or photography. 

Since the fall of 2019, I’ve included Elements Terra into Rocky Mountain big game hunts, Midwestern whitetail hunts and predator hunts. One of the biggest surprises is how it disappears into a broken backdrop of snow and open country, plus its ability to melt into the gray trunks of trees in treestand situations. 

ICOtech Outlaw Professional Grade Call/Decoy

The name ICOtech is synonymous with game calls. Best of all, this hunting-oriented company provides products that fit any budget. Whether you’re looking for a unit for less than $50 or those that exceed $400, you can find a quality caller to fit your current budget. 

For those of you looking to jump into the ranks of professional calling, ICOtech introduces the Outlaw Professional Grade Call/Decoy. As the name implies, the unit includes both the call and a decoy. Many units offer those amenities, but ICOtech does it without breaking the bank, thrusting you into the professional category of predator hunting without pain. 

The call comes pre-programmed with 240 high quality sounds, 50 of which are from expert predator hunter Tony Tebbe. The unit is also able to store a total of 450 sounds, making your digital library virtually overwhelming to any critter you decide to call. To make it even more versatile, the unit can play .mp3 and .wav formatted files. Play two sounds simultaneously and with ease you can press a button and recall up to 20 of your favorites, plus one coax sound to keep the predator in play depending on response circumstances. ICOtech also realizes you aren’t made of money, so in addition to an affordable caller they include free, unlimited sound library downloads. Thanks, ICOtech!

To achieve professional grade, a caller needs to be able to talk with the remote from long range. That keeps you separated from the unit and all eyes on the sound; not on you. The Outlaw has been tested to converse between the caller and remote from up to 300 yards. Best of all, those 300 yards are not required to be line-of-sight. That gives you flexibility to put the caller in a depression or behind a hill to lure predators into the shooting situation of your choosing.  

Additional features you will appreciate include the realistic decoy that is jitter-speed adjustable and includes an LED to illuminate in dim light or total darkness. The remote also offers you adjustability on the screen display to ensure it illuminates correctly in any lighting setting. The caller also includes a tripod mount if you wish to prop it higher to send sound above vegetation or to give predators a better view of the decoy. If there is one negative about the unit, it’s that it requires a total of 18 AA batteries that are not included. Come on now though; you bought more than that at Costco to ensure the kids and grandkids could get every present powered up on Christmas morning. 

Work Sharp Tools EDC Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener

How many times have you pulled a knife from your pocket or sheath only to discover it couldn’t even penetrate the hide of the critter you’re skinning? If that sad saga regularly ends your hunts, then you need to consider having a touchup option on hand. Work Sharp Tools is synonymous with knife sharpening options and its latest product, the EDC Pivot Plus knife sharpener, ensures you always have a sharp knife in seconds. 

The biggest complaint many have about sharpeners is that they are too bulky to take to the field, and the smaller versions rarely give you an edge for an extended chore. Each season I’m tasked with deboning elk in the backcountry and the thick hide of these monster ungulates eats up edges in minutes. Furbearers, like bears, coyotes and cats, also have the tendency to test a blade. The Work Sharp EDC Pivot Plus utilizes two sharpening slots. One is made of carbide steel and the other is ceramic to produce a quality edge and then hone it for consistent sharpness. Innovative pivot technology allows the sharpener to follow the curve of the blade for a uniform edge. 

Also stowed in the small-sized sharpener is a tapered diamond rod to give you the advantage in touching up serrations on blades of that design. There’s even a groove for sharpening a fishhook in case you stumble across a stream brimming with trout. Best of all, you can stow this sharpener in your pocket or pack with little notice of its presence. When a big chore presents itself, you’ll always be ready to re-whet your favorite slicing partner. 

Work Sharp EDC Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener
Work Sharp EDC Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener


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