No Wires on MLK Day
In observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday, we will not be publishing any wires on Monday, January 18, 2021. We will resume our normal schedules for all wires on Tuesday, January 19.
Sellmark Corporation announces the acquisition of BulletSafe. BulletSafe provides state-of-the-art body armor to law enforcement and non-sworn citizens.
Black Gold’s Pro Hunter HD sight offers all the industry-leading features of their Ascent Verdict, but adds the Pro Pin.
Bolstered by heightened interest in outdoor recreation activities and ways to social distance, consumer demand for new boats surged across the country in 2020. More than 310,000 new powerboats were sold in 2020.
Drury University angler Cole Breeden takes home 1st place honors with a largemouth bass measuring 24.00 inches.

The Pickwick Slam is scheduled to take place on April 10-11, 2021 and will be the final major event of the season on the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series prior to the year-end Championship in May.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program looks forward to welcoming competitors each month at their indoor air gun ranges. A full lineup for the CMP Monthly Matches, featuring a series of air rifle and air pistol events, is scheduled for 2021.
White County Archery hosted the 2nd Illinois S3DA regional qualifier with a limited number of students participating.
Hornady congratulates Sean Murphy and Greg Hamilton for their performance in the Toughman Division at the 2021 Mammoth Sniper Challenge, January 7-9 in Ft. Gordon, Georgia.

Austin Orgain took home the coveted PRS Golden Bullet award and is the first competition shooter to win both the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) Pro Series and the Armageddon Gear Cup Match (AG Cup).
Sports fans who enjoy watching the top bass pros in the world compete head-to-head on the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament trail can take their passion to the next level and get in on the fun by playing Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing during the 2021 season.
Wildlife Forever’s Fish Art Contest is proud to announce the new Richard M Hart Educator of the Year Award. By teaching the Art of Conservation®, educators connect young people to the outdoors and help inspire the next generation of stewards.
DSC has big plans for its 2021 Convention, Reflections, which will be held virtually February 10-14. 

Savage Arms announces the arrival of IMPULSE Predator. The American made IMPULSE Predator combines Savage accuracy with the speed of a straight-pull action and is the ideal platform for hunting carnivores.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources plans to stock about 300,000 trout, which includes rainbow, golden, and brown trout, for statewide distribution between now and April 30.
- GEAR -
MOJO® is excited to announce they have received GOLD for Best Decoy in the annual Predator Xtreme Readers’ Choice Awards. This is the ninth consecutive year to receive this honor for their Critter Series.
For the first time in the history of Gray’s Sporting Journal Gray’s Best Awards, German Precision Optics received two awards in the same category for its RangeTracker 1800 Rangefinder and its RangeGuide 10x50 Binocular.

These days it’s more important than ever to carry extra ammunition for a defensive handgun, and Galco offers many ways to do just that. Options include vertical magazine pouches, horizontal pouches and revolver ammo carriers, like the 2x2x2.
DeSantis Gunhide announces three new holster fits for the SIG Sauer P365 with SureFire XSC microcompact WeaponLight.
Minnesota based hunting electric bike company Rambo Bikes announces numerous models receiving upgrades, along with the launch of three new 2021 models.
Heritage Manufacturing, Inc., maker of the classic-style Rough Rider series single-action revolvers and carbine rifle, is excited to present the Barkeep Giveaway.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the opening of the winter turkey season, which runs statewide from January 21-23 for hunters who did not harvest a turkey during the 2020 fall season.
TacSol has hired Steven Boelter to direct their product development. Steven comes to Tactical Solutions after working for Anschutz North America.
JEBS Choke Tubes is pleased to announce that effective immediately Murski-Breeding Sales is the Sales Agency of Record and will be covering the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest territories.
Chaos and CTR Headwear, the foremost and a leading innovator of knit and constructed headwear and apparel is pleased to announce the appointment of Powers Sales Group West (PSGW) in the Midwestern States.

Daniel Defense is proud to announce that it has received a Certificate of Registration for ISO 9001:2015. This is an internationally recognized standard of excellence.
Abu Garcia and the Association of Collegiate Anglers announce the renewal of their partnership for the 2021 Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.
TrueTimber has announced a partnership extension with JR Motorsports along with co-primary sponsors Bass Pro Shops and Black Rifle Coffee on the No. 9 car driven by Noah Gragson for the 2021 season.
Meprolight has renamed its HVS—high visibility sights— family of self-illuminated day/night sights to Hyper-Bright, reflecting the fact they’re 30% brighter than any other pistol sights on the market.

The new Viper Pro SD incorporates new and improved functionality that will make setup and takedown quicker and easier than ever.
Summit’s newest Viper Pro SD stand features the all-new FasTrack system that allows users to easily add Summit accessories to the exterior of the seat frame. FasTrack accessories include Summit’s Ultimate Hook, Rifle Holder and Phone Holder.
Lightweight, rugged, rigid and stable, five new pedal-powered platforms, the iTrek 9 Ultralight, iTrek 11, iTrek 14 Duo, Mirage Fiesta, and Mirage iEclipse pedalboard, are designed to go anywhere and transport in anything – including your trunk, back seat or flatbed.
Riton Optics announced the launch of the Riton Revolution. This free platform will house educational videos from Riton University, a lifestyle podcast called The Riton Podcast, as well as vlogs and blogs from members of the community.
The National Rifle Association announces a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to assist in the recruitment, education, and retaining of sportsmen and women through NRA’s vast hunter education and outreach programs.
Houston Safari Club Foundation (HSCF) and “Hunting Matters” welcomes Pat Murray, National President of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA).
This week, Outdoors Radio features St. Croix Rods pro-staffer Jim O’Brien, Ruffed Grouse Society forest conservation director Jon Steigerwaldt, Ashland AmericInn general manager Todd Chingo and pro angler Duffy Kopf.
Indiana Conservation Officer Rhett Braun has been selected as the 2020 District 4 Indiana Conservation Officer of the Year.
Silencer Central can now deliver silencers directly to customers in the 42 states where silencers are legal. The shipping process has revolutionized the way silencers are sold.
With traditional trade shows canceled, Brownells will cap its week long NOT Show eVent, January 18 through 22, with the release of the next scope in the Brownells Match Precision Optic line.
TrueTimber has announced a partnership extension with JR Motorsports along with co-primary sponsors Bass Pro Shops and Black Rifle Coffee on the No. 9 car driven by Noah Gragson for the 2021 season.
The public is invited to cut up and remove certain downed trees at Lincoln State Park for firewood. Permit sales and cutting continue through Feb. 26.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources swore in four new state conservation officers on Jan. 8, who will undergo several months of training before reporting to their assigned territories later this year.

Habitat improvement projects with logging equipment on the East Slang portion of Little Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area in Ferrisburgh will be underway from January through March, closing the entrance road and parking area off Greenbush Road.
The Special Landowner Deer Season will allow a qualifying landowner as many as four permits to designate themselves or immediate family to hunt on his or her property on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before the opening of the November firearm deer season.
The Ruffed Grouse Society & American Woodcock Society led a coalition of conservation groups that filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, related to the Houston South Vegetation Management and Restoration Project (Houston South Project) within Hoosier National Forest.

Despite the fact I’m writing at my desk at home instead of a table in a crowded media center, trade show season is totally underway. Not exactly underway like past events, but from the SHEEP SHOW to the Archery Trade Show, 2021’s trade show season is off and running.

We’re not able to test ride eBikes the way we could at Archery Trade Shows past (above), but plenty of equipment and new products are rolling out, like Swarovski’s new EL range finding binocular being explained by Swarovski’s Wolfgang Schwarz (below).

At the first session of the day, Swarovski took what it called a “deep dive” into the idea that “connection” -especially to nature-might be more important today than ever before.

“Today,” it was explained, “150 million more people around the world say they’re watching nature than before the pandemic.” That encouraged them to carry the connection idea across their product lines. They’ve come up connections for what they call today’s “hybrid world” combining their digital announcements with news that their innovative mobile experiences (well received in 2020) would expand for 2021. All part of their recognition of the need to, well, connect with new comers to hunting, birding and the overall outdoor world.

Swarovski used a digital rollout to announce the planned expansion of their decidedly “analog” campaign of taking mobile optical experiences to potential customers.

After three or four new product seminars, you realize that the new world this “hybrid” world, despite having some noticeable drawbacks, might not be all bad. Sure, I’m sorting through screen grabs rather than photos, but as is the case in every previous trade show season, I’m writing about new products later in the afternoon than I’d prefer, with the “regular” prep work to be done.

Other differences are pretty significant: I’m in comfortable clothes, my feet don’t hurt, and I’m not battling early-onset laryngitis from yelling over the thousands of other people who have walked on my feet, jostled my drink onto my sleeve, and made me late for more than one meeting. And my exercise app isn’t telling me “you’re killing it today” because I’ve walked 5-8 miles already.

Digital rollouts may become my preferred way for new announcements. They’ll never replace actually going hands-on with them in field testing, but those events are for considerably smaller groups.

My hearing makes “normal” public product introductions and educational seminars virtually worthless. If I don’t get directly in front of an amplified speaker, I either can’t hear what product managers are mumbling, or can’t translate the shorthand they insist on using.

For digital rollouts (I saw three yesterday), I can either wear AirPods or Walker’s bone conduction headsets. They connect to my computer - or iPad - and I simply crank the volume up to the point I can hear. Without offending everyone around me -or risking the embarrassing squeal of overworked hearing aids. Both have happened. And my desk chair’s very comfortable.

Swarovski’s product introductions brought home the fact that, despite all the disconnection we’re experiencing in life today, connectivity is crucial in today’s outdoor world.

Their new EL Range binoculars, for example, reflect revisions that come from talking with customers. One optional, for example, creates a resting/stabilizing point on your forehead. When using them with one hand (usually the dominant hand if you’re a righty), it gives you a second stabilizing point as your other hand holds your bow or rifle. When using both hands, it stabilizes your hold like the third leg of a stool.

Digitally, the new EL Range connects with your phone to exchange information, including a new trail connectivity that uses your phone, compass and range finding to actually help keep you on the correct path between two points (think from where you fired at an animal to where the shot impacted). “It won’t replace dogs or blood trails,” said Schwarz, “it’s more like an airbag. You won’t always need it, but when you do, you’ll really appreciate it.”

The connectivity idea also carries over into their new ds/Generation II riflescopes. You can customize the viewfinder with a choice of reticles and information on everything from rifle cant to individual rifle profiles and bullet holdovers.

Swarovski’s new Generation II riflescope can be customized to include several bits of information, including the automatic holdover calculation. If you’re more “casual” about your outdoor observations, you might consider their new CL Pocket binoculars (below).

If you’re more into casual outdoor activities, their new CL Pocket binoculars might be right up your alley. They’ve been given some mechanical redesign this year (better armoring, new focus wheel), but still have the same light transmission. Whether it’s their 8 or 10x version, they’re light, compact, and very bright.

Deep details (specifications, technical information and pricing) weren’t provided in yesterday’s rollouts, but will be available in the news releases we’ll have soon. Without trying to translate euros (I couldn’t connect a second North American brief) into dollars, I can say this gear will represent investments in your equipment. They’re not outrageously expensive, but they’re certainly not inexpensive, either.

As always, we’ll keep you posted.

— Jim Shepherd

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