December 18, 2017
When the tines of a Booner buck appear through the fall leaves, we all get a little shaky. Trembling fingers can make it hard to pick up an accurate rangefinder reading. Nikon's new MONARCH 7i VR features groundbreaking technology to help with buck fever by reducing shake by 80 percent to align the image with the activated laser beam. The results make for clear, crisp images and precise readouts. The 7i ranges from 8 to 1,000 yards, features incline/decline technology, and two different ranging modes: First Target Priority and Distant Target Priority depending on your hunt situation. $400; nikonsportoptics.com
Sitka has upped the ante by creating entire systems dedicated to female big game hunters. The Fanatic jacket and bibs are just two pieces of the system made for whitetail hunters, and both are crafted with Berber fleece, Primaloft insulation, and Sitka Groundshield Technology, a high-tech insulation layer. The jacket features a safety harness port, diagonal-zip opening, and removable hood. Pair it with the bibs and you'll be toasty in your treestand. Bibs $389, Jacket $399; sitkagear.com
Federal Premium's new line of centerfire cartridges speaks to the hearts of the whitetail afflicted. Made specifically for deer hunting, the Non-Typical ammunition is available in 12 different calibers ranging from .243 Win. to .300 Win. Mag. The cartridges utilize a softpoint bullet with concentric jacket that provides a jaw-dropping punch and lethal wound channels. Muzzle velocities range anywhere from 2,200 to over 3,000 fps depending on caliber. $20 — $28; federalpremium.com
The Big Bear X pack is a modular system perfect for the treestand or spot-and-stalk whitetail hunter. The two-in-one design allows sportsmen to choose between a lumbar or day pack, or both. The lumbar pack features a large main compartment, two side pockets, and a front pocket. A large extendable day pack unfolds for an additional 1,900 cubic inches. The padded shoulder and waist belt are adjustable and removable, and they can be paired with Alps accessory pockets. $140; alpsoutdoorz.com
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.