Dressed to Kill
Hunting gear designed and manufactured by small businesses.
(FSB Magazine) -- Rivers West Stalker Jacket $199 After his waterproof gear leaked during a 1997 deer-hunting trip, Michael McGinley decided to make his own. A clothing supplier for companies such as Patagonia, McGinley, 56, spent $2 million and three years developing H2P, a soft, waterproof, fleece-like fabric that doesn't tear easily. Recently McGinley's Seattle company, Rivers West, expanded its line with clothing for warm-weather hunts. Its new, lightweight Stalker jacket features a long shirttail to keep lower backs dry and zippered underarms for added ventilation. riverswest.com
Leupold VX-L Riflescope $875-$1,500 Leupold & Stevens, a fifth-generation family company based in Beaverton, Ore., has made optical equipment for hobbyists and the military since 1907. Its VX-L riflescope, named Optic of the Year by the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence, has a 50-millimeter lens that collects more light, making it easier to see the target during dawn and dusk hunts. A groove carved along its underside allows the scope to lay almost flush against the rifle's barrel, minimizing the adjustments a hunter must make to sight targets. leupold.com
Hazel Creek Decoy $430 Cally Morris, the 38-year-old owner of Hazel Creek Taxidermy, found a better way to hunt wild turkeys: Replace plastic decoys with real stuffed hens. (The first time he tried it, the wild toms tried to mate with the stuffed females.) Morris, a three-time Grand National Wild Turkey Taxidermy Champion, breeds his own turkeys, then helps his Greencastle, Mo., crew assemble the mounts. The decoys, at 6ｽ pounds, are durable enough to last ten years. hazelcreekturkeys.com
Russell Prickly Pear Birdshooter Boots $340 Last October one of Russell Moccasin's Texas-based customers suggested that the company make a boot shorter than traditional knee-high snake boots. By year's end Russell had launched the Prickly Pear Birdshooter, a 12-inch leather boot lined with Warwick Mills' TurtleSkin Snake Armor, a high-tech material that deflected the fangs of diamondbacks in lab tests. Like all Russells, the Birdshooters are made to order in Berlin, Wis. Famous clients include Harrison Ford and Robert Redford. russellmoccasin.com
SureFire E2L Flashlight $129 SureFire, based in Fountain Valley, Calif., has sold its LED flashlights to law enforcement agencies and the military since the 1980s. The lights have withstood blasts from rocket-propelled grenades while used in Iraq by all four branches of the military. In 2001, the company created a model with reduced candlepower and tapped a new market--hunters. SureFire's new E2L Outdoorsman, which gives off about one-fourth the brightness of its tactical models, weighs just four ounces and fits in a pocket, yet it generates twice as much light as a D-cell flashlight. surefire.com
Rich-N-Tone Old Style Duck Call $80-$130 Rich-N-Tone's newest duck call, the Old Style, is a copy of one of the Stuttgart, Ark., company's first models, introduced more than 30 years ago. Built with a single reed, it is designed to produce a more realistic duck sound, focusing less on volume than modern counterparts. Company president John Stephens, 33, won the 2005 World Duck Calling Championship with one of his own products. rntcalls.com
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