Product Tests – Vizion Nite-Vision Binocular/ Scent Drifter/ Buckaroo Stoo
Well, the 2008 New York deer season ended quite unremarkably on December 16. It has been a tough year to hunt and to properly field test different products. Seven of the eight weekends saw heavy winds and/or heavy rain and blowing snow in the higher areas. The last weekend blessed us with a half inch of ice on everything, fallen trees and limbs, 250,000 people without power and absolutely deplorable conditions to hunt in here in the Capital District and Southern Adirondacks. Nevertheless, I managed to finish my field testing.
One item that was sent to me to test was a set of Vizion Nite Vision 10X50 binoculars that sell for as little as $15.00. Now I am the God Father of Cheap…but I have limits. I need function, performance and a degree of quality. I am still searching where the name “Nite Vision” comes from. The daytime vision was marginal at best, with the ability to focus past 100 yards testy. The frame was made of an inferior grade plastic, offering little in the way of durability. The oculars were adhered in place – plastic on plastic. The binos were attractive, designed in a green and tan two-tone arrangement. Also, they come with flip down lens covers for the objective end.
The nuts and bolts of this rather short product report are that these might be okay for the kids to play in the backyard with. I would rather have you pay 20 Bucks for a used pair of about anyone else’s binoculars to hunt with. I told the folks that sent them for me to evaluate that I would render my honest opinion of their product…here it is… stay UPWIND of Vizion Binoculars! These rate my minimum…one little birdie.
The season was not all bad, by any means. A tandem of items I tested, as much as weather permitted, was the Scent Drifter scent distribution system and Buckaroo Stoo deer attractant and cover scent. Scent Drifter products come from Arkansas, so I know that there are some serious hunters down there. Buckaroo Stoo…well it comes from the shadow of Yankee Stadium…yep…New York City. So what does a guy with a NY accent and a city demeanor know about deer and deer scents? Damn…he knows a bunch!
I was anxious to try their deer stuff because I tried there bear stuff (Bruinaroo Stoo) and it smelled like bear stuff. Unfortunately, someone with bear dogs was running them on the mountain I was on; otherwise I am certain I would have drawn Yogi in.
The only weekend without gale-force winds happened to be while my son, Tyler, was home on leave from Baghdad. We went up to a spot in Lake Desolation State Forest that we knew, and set up the Scent Drifter. It works so well that Buck Commander has come on board with Scent Drifter. Man, I should have thought of this thing. It is a nondescript black plastic case containing a small fan, a heating element and a scent bottle. Fill the bottle with your favorite scent (here we used Bruinaroo Stoo), insert the wick (included with the Scent Drifter) and screw the bottle into the opening. Turn the Scent Drifter on (rocker switch on side) and suspend it about five feet above the ground. That’s all there is to it. Set up at whatever distance matches your weapon or the particular spot. Where we were, that was limited to fifty yards. My son was carrying a NEF 25-06 and I had one of my favorite cheapies, a Mosin Nagant 7.62X54R. We had about two hours left so we settled in to see what would happen. About an hour later, I could hear an animal moving through the brush adjacent to the relatively open hardwoods where the Scent Drifter was set. Tyler motioned to me that he heard more than one animal moving directly to our left (skirting to the wind side to hone in on the scent). The wind was not real hard but was swirling.
Across a small opening I spotted a large doe moving our way. Her tail was about half-mast, usually an indicator that she was hot. Her nose was up and she was definitely picking up the Buckaroo Stoo being broadcast from the Scent Drifter. Cool it calls in doe. Chip Housley, Scent Drifter’s big dog, told me he has taken a number of doe off his Scent Drifter, some with their nose almost on it. I knew it worked on buck, too. There was another deer following the doe but staying in the brush, not ready yet to expose himself, which was a real shame. I raised Tyler to hunt and fish. I taught him to shoot. Boy did he learn well! He will clean my clock shooting today. But, this was a good day for him. He might get a chance at shooting a deer instead of shooting sand lizards in Iraq.
Now for the drawback to hunting public land…I decided to tickle my Buckbag a little to see if antler noises might draw the unseen deer in. Instead we heard crunching in the leaves about 30 yards up to my right. Yep…a hunter walking up and over the ridge and looking right at us. He, my son and I all had hunter orange on. But that did not stop him from walking right through our set up. We let the area settle down a while and started scanning the brush for the deer we had heard. Once again we caught site of the hot doe working back toward us. Tyler and I both figured the Ole Boy following her would be pooping out at any minute. Once again we heard the crunching of leaves being indiscriminately trampled on!
This time there was a difference…a walkie-talkie beeped loudly followed by a loud voice “Hey, where are you?” This was, I surmise, addressed to the unclassy hunter that cut our setup 20 minutes earlier. This noise was not the noise that bothered us the most. That noise was the sound of those deer tearing off through the woods, with one of them knocking the stuffing out of the limbs with his antlers!
Tyler said it best. “The next time we go hunting we are taking the Scent Drifter with us! It and the stuff you put in it (that would be the Buckaroo Stoo) really work! I was getting a whiff of it every once in awhile all the way over where we were.” That’s exactly right, Tyler. We will be taking both with us. Their respective web sites are www.scentdrifter.com and www.buckaroostoo.com. Go there and check them out. America’s Frugal Sportsman (that would be me) gives Scent Drifter a rating of 5 little birdies (that’s the top rating) and buckaroostoo (and bruinaroostoo) you get 5 little birdies as well. If I was computer crafty I would design a little birdie scoreboard. Maybe I can put John Stabley to work!
The Sling-on From Tree Apron
The folks at Tree Apron are known as innovators of hunting accessories. I am a hands-on sort before issuing an opinion. So I was excited to test the Sling-on rifle/sling stabilizer and see if it actually worked as purported. We all know what a pain it can be trying to navigate through the woods while continually pulling your sling back up on your shoulder. I have tried most of the slings out there and they all seem to slip and slide around. Would this new product put an end to that? Pop on over to my home page and read the results.