Fall and Winter throughout the Midwest and much of the United States means one thing to outdoorsmen and women… Big Game Hunting! Hunting deer, elk, or moose is a time honored tradition passed down through the generations. With each year, new and interesting gear, technology and equipment come to market seemingly everyday, it’s almost impossible to keep up with everything essential for your next hunt.

Lucky for you… that’s where the Busted Wallet staff steps in and takes care of business. That’s right, our staff of hunters is seasoned, serious about big game and totally obsessed with new and exciting equipment. Here to help you get geared up and ready to roll, we’ve put together a list of essential gear to have at your disposal this season. Good luck out there and happy hunting!

Bear Archery Moment Compound Bow

This compound bow is a work of art. Bear Archery has outdone themselves this year! Weighing in at just 4lbs, the Moment is very light – easy to carry and maneuver even in tight spots. Throughout our testing the draw proved to be impressively smooth, while the limb dampeners keep the bow virtually silent. Did we mention it also sends arrows at a scorching 430FPS!?

As a long time Bear Archery customer myself, I was truly impressed with the technology and comfort of this bow delivered. Once sighted in, pulling back on the Moment gave me complete confidence that my target would be hit dead-on.

A compound bow is more than just an investment of money. It is an investment in time and practice. With the Moment I know my arrow will fly true and my prey will never know it is coming. What more could you ask for?

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Summit Vine Double Ladder Stand

Blending into its environment like no other ladder stand on the market, the Vine Double Ladder Stand from Summit is one of the coolest tree stands we’ve seen. Not to mention, the mesh seats are wildly comfortable. If you’re in the market for a double tree stand that feels stable, hides in the trees and is comfy to sit in all day – this one should be on your list for consideration.

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Browning OneSixOne Crossbow

field-oso-1field-oso-5 field-oso-4 field-oso-3When you think of Browning, you probably think of rifles and shotguns, not crossbows but we have news for you… you should! The OneSixOne is an incredible crossbow that is ready to hunt right out of the box. All you need is some broadheads. The included scope is fantastic. Many times we would upgrade the scope immediately, but this 32mm scope with 4X magnification is ready to rock. The crossbow also comes with 3 bolts and a quiver.

The 135lb draw weight is easy enough for most to pull back by hand, but the included cocking cord and optional crank cocker make it even easier. At 350 FPS this crossbow is a big game slayer from short range up to 50 yards with ease.

If you’re in the market for a crossbow with some power, smooth trigger pull and great optics right out of the box. We can’t recommend another crossbow more this season.

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Sitka Stratus Series Gear

The Stratus Series from Sitka is ready fall and early winter hunting with technology to keep you warm and comfortable no matter where the hunt takes you. The Stratus Jacket is a brilliant design! It is quiet (perfect for bow hunting) and flexible. It does not restrict your motions, whether you’re drawing back on your bow or lining up the perfect rifle shot.

The Stratus Pants, much like the jacket, are extremely comfy and quiet. The Windstopper technology works wonders to keep you warm when the temps dip and the wind chill kicks in. As you would hope, both the pants and jacket are 100% windproof and designed to keep you warm, which means you’ll be hunting more. The Stratus line-up includes a jacket, pants, a vest, gloves and a beanie. Basically everything you need to be invisible to prey and comfortable in the elements.

Next time you don’t see me in the woods… it’s because I’m layered in Sitka gear.

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Ozonics HR300

You’re looking at the newest generation of in the field ozone generating power. The HR300 features enhanced odor destroying ozone output – up to 45% more than the HR 200. In addition the new design utilizes Integrated Pulse Technology which balances time and oxidant concentration to ensure the proper amount of oxidant is deployed. Not too much. Not too little.

After using the HR300 for the past couple months we’ve been impressed with its ability to eliminate scent. Several times we have been in bad position due to changing winds and the HR300 helped keep us hidden from the nose of the deer.

When using the HR300 you want to make sure you keep an eye on wind direction and adjust the unit accordingly to keep your scent from reaching your prey. If you can do that, the ozone takes care of the rest. All you need to do is be ready to take the shot!

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Ameristep Supernatural Ground Blind


Equipped with the Rugged Spider Hub frame for easy setup and takedown the Supernatural ground blind is perfect for everything from turkey hunting to whitetail. Its 75” shooting width x 67” height make it ideal for both rifle or bow hunting. Not to mention the custom dual layer, Naturshell fabric shell with natural fiber exterior to eliminate glare and sheen.

If you’re a hunter who likes to stay on the ground and still be invisible… this is the ticket.

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Cabela’s Comfort Max 360° Mag Elite Blind Chair

Quite, adjustable and comfortable. This is the ultimate ground blind chair. We’ve been testing this chair in our pop-up blind during early archery season and love it. The only thing you need to be careful of is not falling asleep because you’re too comfy.

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Tru-Fire Panic-X Release

This is the perfect release for those suffering from the target panic affliction known as punching the trigger. The Panic-X will not go off if trigger is slapped. Instead, the trigger must be pulled slowly to shoot. The on/off feature is great for training and allows release to be shot normally or in anti-punch mode.

A smooth adjustable trigger design and comfortable buckle foldback strap makes for consistency and convenience of use.

While testing this release this fall, we found it to be a great training aid. If you find yourself punching the trigger you need to look into this release. It will get you shooting straight again.

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Gerber Vital Big Game Folder

With this knife you don’t have to worry about having a sharp blade when you’re out in the field ever again. This folder is razor sharp and worth every penny. The replacement blades are easy to change out in seconds. We’ve had the smaller Vital Pocket Folder in our kit for a year now and love it. The Big Game Folder is the big brother we’ve been wishing for – and it is ready for any hunt.

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Cabela’s Intensity HD 8×42 Binoculars

When you need to see if that bull elk or whitetail is a 4×4 or a monster 14 point you need good optics, and that is what these binos deliver. Weather you’re glassing in the back yard at birds and bucks, or target shooting, or you’re perched on a hill top waiting for the “big one” to come into range – these are are binoculars you can rely on.

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Wildgame Innovations Vision 12 Trail Camera

The best way to ensure your hunts will be successful is with proper scouting of your hunting grounds. The new Vison 12 trail cam from Wildgame Innovations makes that possible and easy. You simply set up the camera for the parameters you want and walk away. When big game comes within sight, this camera will capture it. Letting you know when and where you should be spending your time hunting.

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Yeti Tundra 110


This thing is a tank! And when it comes to packing out meat you can’t do better than a Yeti. Designed specifically with the rafting community in mind, the hunting community has found out that this cooler is perfect for packing in food and beverages that will stay cold for the week and packing out meat when the hunt is complete.

Like all YETI coolers, the Tundra 110 is built to last trip after trip, with the same rotomolded polyethylene construction used to make whitewater kayaks. Up to 3 inches of PermaFrost Insulation and Yeti’s ColdLock Gasket mean you won’t have to constantly top it off with ice.

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Hooyman 16 Foot Extendable Pole Saw

Designed for clearing limbs and branches from shooting lanes and putting up tree stands, the Hooyman 16 Foot Extendable Pole Saw is a must have for your hunting pack. I can’t tell you how many times I have been up in a tree stand and realize that there are overgrown branches blocking vital shooting lanes. With this saw and the add-on Pole Saw Lopper Attachment at my side I make sure I’m ready when that buck walks into range.

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Millennium Outdoors L200 18ft Double Ladder


The L200 Double Ladder Stand is ideal to share a day in the woods with your family and friends. With a 500 lb capacity, it is perfect for introducing that young hunting partner to the sport. The L200 is fully equipped with ComfortTech seats, adjustable shooting rails and folding foot rests.

What we liked best about this ladder stand is the extra space you get. If you’re hunting alone you have space for your gear. If you’re hunting with a buddy you can sit comfortably and have four eyes on the lookout.

Setup is easy, but it is best to have two or three people on-hand to help hoist this heavy stand into the tree.

If you’re in the market for a new ladder stand that will have room for you and your gear or you and a friend, this is a great option.

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Thermacell MR450 Mosquito Repeller

We’ve been using Thermacell portable repellers for years. The new MR450 is the most rugged version they’ve ever produced. The new design integrates nice ergonomics, a rubber armor and an accessory mounting system. As with all Themacell repellers, they create a 15 x 15-foot zone of protection from bugs while remaining silent, virtually odor-free, with no open flame. If you hate bugs as much as we do, this is a must have.

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Motorola Talkabout T465 Two-Way Radios

Ideal for outdoorsmen and women who want to keep in-touch when there is no cell service, the T465 is a rugged two-way that is designed perfectly for hiking, hunting, camping and just about anything you can throw at it. These two-ways work great while hunting in locations that are off the grid.

The T465 is a must have if you are hunting in a group that splits up. The weatherproof design is ideal for rain and snow conditions. Not to mention, you can alert other hunters in your group with a vibration instead of noise, keeping your location hidden from prey. Don’t leave camp with out it.

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Gerber Span Archery & Shotgun Tools

When your gun or bow breaks down in the field you better have the tools necessary to make the fix. Otherwise it is a long and lonely walk back to camp. Put these tools in your pack and never have to worry about missing out on the buck that got away.

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Rinehart 18-1 Target

18-1This target shows you its best side every time and is the longest lasting archery target Rinehart has ever offered. They guarantee the 18-1 for a full year! With 18 vivid target zones made from legendary solid Rinehart “self-healing” foam, the 18-1 can take arrow after arrow without losing its shape or integrity. The 18-1 is lightweight with its own easy-to-carry handle, making it perfect for practice almost anywhere – at the club, in the backyard, or even a quick practice session at hunting camp. Whether shooting broadheads, field points or even expandables, the combination of solid Rinehart “self-healing” Foam and 18 sides make this the longest lasting target available.

If you shoot out all 18 sides, visit your authorized Rinehart dealer and they will replace it!

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Radians R-3700 Bluetooth Earmuff


Yeah, that’s right… the safety earmuff has been upgraded for the 21st century! These bluetooth earmuffs connect wirelessly to your smartphone so you can stream music while keeping your ears protected.

How does it work? Good question… Four independent microphones provide a full surround sound experience that amplifies low sound level noises while compressing sounds that exceed safe levels.

After using these earmuffs to sight in our rifles this season, we love how they work. They are comfy and easy to operate. Being able to listen to our favorite tracks while sending lead down-range is a great feeling!

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Wenzel’s Farm Snack Sticks


When you have a craving and you need some protein why not reach for some snack sticks? Recently we had a chance to taste Wenzel’s Farm Snack Sticks and found out they are damn tasty! They make a lot of good options, but we liked the Teriyaki, Spicy and beef w/Cheddar sticks the best.

The Wenzel Family brought the craft of sausage making from Germany to Wisconsin more than 100 years ago and since the company’s founding in 1949 in Marshfield, WI that heritage continues. Tucked away in the heart of dairy land, and still operating out of the original barn in which the brand originated.

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About The Author


Busted Wallet’s resident testing and review specialist, Josh has a keen eye for all things tech, booze, and sports-related. After working closely with brands such as Nike, The North Face, EA Sports, Beam Global, Burton, HP, Oakley, Sony, Cannondale, Confluence Watersports, Taylormade Golf and many others over the past several years he’s grown to become one of the most reliable reviewers in the business.

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