Just In Time For Spring Gobbler Season

There was plenty of good news and great products out of both the ATA and SHOT Shows this past month. Here are a couple more that I feel will do you all well to check out just in time for spring turkey season, including the folks at Blocker Outdoors, GPO Optics and NEXUS Outdoors. NEXUS HARDCORE line may be designed for waterfowlers hunters, but a closer look one will see that many of the same items available for fall hunting are very useful in the spring turkey woods.

The search for the perfect turkey vest should be as important to gobbler hunters as the perfect sounding mouth call. The perfect vest can’t be heavy, has to have the right pockets for your call and the pockets have to be easily accessible. A good comfortable seat is important for the time we are waiting on that gobbler to get in range and it must have a good-size game pouch, just to name a few.

Fortunately, the folks at Blocker Outdoor just hit the market with a vest that is worth a look, if you are in the market for a new turkey hunting vest (aren’t we always?). These weary birds have exceptional vision and hearing, leaving little room for error as you stroll through woodlands and across fields. Gear bouncing and banging around is unacceptable.

The solution? Keep your gear tucked away and tight to your body.

Fortunately, Blocker Outdoors new Finisher Pro II Turkey Vest concisely and comfortably manages your essential hunting tools. Beginning with compartmentalization, the keenly designed vest sports abundant and customized pouches and pockets.

The front right features a pair of elongated zippered pockets for easy access to locator calls, box call, and other field necessities, as well as a vertical, zippered chest pocket, perfect for your “muted” smartphone. On the right chest, you’ll appreciate a pair of shaped mouth call holders and specialty box call pouch, and a bonus zippered chest pocket.

The Finisher Pro II Turkey Vest is further fortified with a padded, drop-down seat cushion for settling into your shooting position. The detachable seat cushion is also water resistant to keep your bottom side dry.

One of the first things I noticed on the Finisher Pro II Turkey Vest was the extra wide straps across the shoulders to support and balance weight. Moreover, a padded back makes leaning back into a tree less tedious. The mesh fabric breaths in warmer weather and while we are running and gunning.

An easily deployed and retracted blaze orange safety flag is also incorporated. And once you’ve filled that tag, travel back to the truck hands-free with your trophy in the rear game bag attachment.

GPO introduced at the 2023 SHOT Show its new 15-45×60 Tactical Spotting Scope, featuring the same reticle found in the company’s popular new first focal plane GPOTAC 4.5-27x50i FFP Tactical riflescope.

“Employing the same mil-based reticle in both the GPOTAC 4.5-27x50i FFP Tactical riflescope and our new 15-45×60 Tactical Spotting Scope makes using them in tandem the ideal shooting combination,” said Michael Jensen, GPO, USA owner and CEO. “For serious long-range shooting, trying to spot and adjust long-range shots without a reticle is simply wasting rounds. By matching reticles in both the riflescope and spotting scope, the shooter can make calculations and adjustments quickly and accurately.”

The grid markings on the spotting scope reticle and the riflescope reticle are identical in appearance and size to ensure familiarity and sight picture synergy of the user. Both reticles offer the same level of fidelity and utility, whether it is marking a target, assessing distance or holding a ballistic offset without the need to adjust elevation and windage turrets. The two products work in tandem and make the process of spotting, assessing and successfully acquiring the target flawless.

The GPO 15-45×60 Tactical Spotting Scope with FFP Reticle features a variable 15-45X eyepiece, a 60mm objective lens to gather any and all available light, a 60-foot field of view at maximum power, and its compact size and weight – measuring just 10.95 x 5.4 x 3.3 inches and weighing a mere 2.75 lbs. make it easy to transport across any terrain both near and far. It will be available in two colors: black and brown.

The term hardcore has become ubiquitous, often misappropriated. Someone gets heavy into something, they’re now hardcore. Hardcore this, hardcore that. But when a company chooses a phrase to name its brand, they better be serious. HARDCORE Waterfowl is one of the rare few.

In late 2022, NEXUS Outdoors proprietor of trusted brands like ScentLok and Blocker Outdoors acquired HARDCORE Waterfowl, and instantly became a major player in waterfowl hunting.

“Hardcore means something,” said NEXUS Outdoors President Aaron Ambur. “Being hardcore says I wake up earlier, stay later, and hunt harder. The phrase really connects with avid waterfowlers. And it’s how the NEXUS staff lives, works, and hunts every day.”

Another pivotal factor in the acquisition was that the NEXUS Outdoors’ product development team already knew the space. Most significantly, NEXUS Outdoors has had a licensing agreement with HARDCORE Waterfowl since 2018, designing custom waterfowl apparel, including parkas, jackets, midweight layers, base layers, bibs, pants, headwear, and gloves.

Ambur said the progressive design of HARDCORE Waterfowl apparel will continue, too, even accelerate. “The era of the 4-in-1 parka is over. Our designs are functional, mobility and all-day comfort being at the core. Waterfowl hunters are active, setting and retrieving decoy spreads and getting in out of blinds, as well as long periods of just sitting still. HARDCORE Waterfowl hunting apparel accommodates all of that, from the moment you step out of the truck before sunrise to retrieving the last duck or goose of the day.”

To that end, NEXUS Outdoors focuses on key elements like layering, stretchability, articulation, breathability, anti-friction, anti-fatigue, durability, and comfort. The construction and performance of existing products from ScentLok and Blocker Outdoors is impeccable, and that will always ring true with HARDCORE Waterfowl apparel.

Not lost in the discussion will be NEXUS Outdoors commitment and expansion of the core hunting decoy business. Ambur said they’ll stay true to HARDCORE Waterfowl’s decoy quality, durability, and authenticity, while engineering for the future. “We’re already experimenting with new paints and molds while reexamining the entire decoy assortment. Innovations and new products are already in the pipeline.

Ambur continued with, “From painting to sewing, we don’t cut corners. Waterfowlers tend to be hard on gear, so our products must meet and exceed expectations.”

Strengthening inventories and streamlining the delivery process are also part of the plan.

“As we do with our existing brands, the shipping dock will be cleared daily,” said Ambur. “Ultimately, we’re making an investment in HARDCORE Waterfowl.”

And that investment spans into customer service as well.

“The customer is always first,” stated Ambur.

Conservation will continue to be cornerstone to the HARDCORE Waterfowl brand, as well as advocating for the involvement of young hunters and the future of the sport.

Ambur concludes with, “HARDCORE Waterfowl will deliver the head-to-toe experience of everything you need to be successful in the field. Our gear performs and holds up for guys that are in the field 60 to 90 days a year, so they’ll certainly perform for the recreational hunter.”

There you all have it, a handful of exciting items that are must-have for any spring gobbler chaser. The perfect vest from Blocker to a new spotting scope from GPO that lets you know if that gobbler strutting in the field is worth the effort going after clothing for all weather from NEXUS Outdoors. It’s to get ready for the case of spring fever.


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