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Hunters gear up for new season, equipment

By Taylor Mitchell
Sept. 17, 2013 at 4:17 a.m.

Deer feeders, like the one shown above, help attract deer to a specific area and keep them there.

Hunting may seem like a simple task.

You go into the woods and wait for the animal to show up, line up your shot and pull the trigger.

However, there are a million different factors that go into a hunt, like the timing of when deer, and other animals, show up in certain areas or the different ways of attracting animals.

That's where new technology comes in to play to help hunters find that big kill.

One of the more popular things hunters and landowners use nowadays is a camera that is set off by motion sensors.

"Cameras serve a lot of different purposes," Chad Hester of Victoria All-Sports said. "You can learn about an animal's moving patterns, like when they come through a certain area. A hunter can see that and position himself there well before the animal comes through."

Cameras aren't exclusively used to find animals. They're also used to identify poachers who illegally shoot and kill animals.

"You know where your camera is, but poachers don't," Hester said.

There are a wide range of cameras available, and the quality depends on how much you're willing to spend. A high-end camera will have 12 megapixels, while the average is about 8 megapixels.

Infrared lighting helps cameras get photos at night and a built-in viewing screen saves hunters time by allowing them to see photos in the field, rather than bringing them all the way to a computer.

"Everybody is using cameras now," Hester said.

Technology is also improving feeder systems. Feeder systems distribute food for deer, as well as other animals, and keep deer coming back to a certain area.

There are various distribution methods, but one new method is a remote control that sets off the feeder whenever the hunter wants to.

"It will keep the deer around and attract more to the area," said Darrell Hester, owner of Victoria All-Sports.

However, the feeder doesn't always feed the intended animal. Varmints, specifically raccoons, are smart enough to get the feeder to distribute food by spinning the device on top with their paws.

That's where The-Eliminator comes in to play.

"Its varmint-proof," Chad Hester said. "With the price of corn rising, this will save you money."

The-Eliminator works by dropping down as the motor spins to throw out food. Once completed, the spring-loaded shaft sends it back to the top position.

Not only does it prevent varmints from stealing the food, but it also prevents accidental distribution caused by bouncing and vibrations.

While the above are just a few of the new developments hunters can use this fall, there are also traditional upgrades to the equipment hunters use all the time.

For instance, Edna-native Steve Austin introduced a new rifle scope called the BSR 4-12X50 RIFLESCOPE. The scope is made by Meopta but was designed with the help of the WWE Hall of Famer.

But with all of the new, complex and exciting options available to hunters out there, sometimes it's the simplest items that are the most valuable.

"For me, it's binoculars," Durrell Hester said. "I look through them all of the time. It's easier to lift binoculars rather than your rifle. It lets me bring the deer in closer and see how many points are on its rack

"Of course, sometimes I grab the rifle because I know it's a good deer."

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