We love the month of January. Not because we’re gluttons for cold weather and rotten driving conditions, but because this is the time when the outdoor industry unveils all the new products we’ll be testing and be tempted to purchase later this year. The big hoopla starts with the Archery Trade Association show, and we’ve burned a bit of shoe leather today, scoping out the latest cool stuff the industry players have been working on over the last 12 months. We’ve located plenty of products to test and evaluate for you in the coming months but want to share with you a few items we thought interesting from today’s excursion.
TenPoint Nitro XRT
One thing we have learned from the folks at TenPoint Crossbow Technologies is to expect something fresh with each new model year. Once again, the company didn’t disappoint, unveiling three new crossbows and a ground-breaking new nock design (which we’ll talk more about in the near future). The star of this year’s TenPoint lineup, though, is the new Nitro XRT. As with all of these made-in-the-USA crossbows, the Nitro XRT boasts the latest in category innovation, from the EVO-X Marksman scope to the all-new T-5 trigger system. We had a chance to shoot the Nitro XRT and found it to justify the “budget-challenging” MSRP of $2,499.99. Suffice to say, this crossbow is wicked-fast, boasting a velocity of up to 470 FPS and kinetic energy potential of 191 ft/lbs. This is a reverse-draw platform that yields an impressive 7.0 inches axle-to-axle width and a pleasing 30.7 inches overall length.
Aside from its lightning-fast performance and solid downrange thump, the Nitro XRT exudes the precision feel and smooth operation you would expect from a premium-level crossbow. The new T-5 trigger, especially, represents a huge leap in trigger performance when compared to the previous TenPoint trigger. The take-up has been significantly shortened (a common complaint some shooters have made with previous TenPoint triggers) and the pull is lighter. The result is a crisp break (for a crossbow) that contributes to improved accuracy. Another notable upgrade for this year is the revised ACUdraw PRO cocking system. Gone is the ratchety-clack when cranking on the handle. The Nitro XRT package includes, in addition to the EVO-X scope, a 3-arrow quiver, six EVO-X CenterPunch carbon arrows, and TenPoint’s STAG hard crossbow case.
Code Blue Scent Stalks
Although we always favor a liquid medium for deer scent due to its superior dispersal capabilities, the fact is that not everyone likes to deal with liquid scents because they invariable drip onto something you don’t want them to and they’re sometimes quite messy. There are several alternatives to the liquid scent dilemma on the market, and Code Blue has added one more with their new Scent Stalks.
The Scent Stalks are simply a stick form of Code Blue’s scent formulation that is designed to deliver up to 10 days of scent dispersal—no need to worry about getting a splash of noxious liquid on your hands or gloves, and no more toting around bottles of scent or wicks in plastic bags so they don’t leak in your day pack. Each pack contains five Scent Stalks and hooks. Simply take one out and secure it to a limb to augment a scrape or to create your own and you’re set. No muss and no fuss.
DirtNap D.R.T. Single-Bevel Broadhead
Modern-gear bowhunters are starting to learn what serious traditional-gear bowhunters have known for many years now—nothing beats a single-bevel broadhead for bone-splitting penetration. Single-bevel broadheads, with only one side of each blade featuring a sharpened, beveled edge, produces a slight twist as it penetrates bone. This twist results in greater penetration of the broadhead when encountering hard bone, giving the arrow a better chance of punching through to the vitals.
For 2019, DirtNap has added a single-bevel profile to their popular D.R.T. four-blade broadhead. Like the standard D.R.T., this broadhead features an aluminum ferrule with a .051-inch thick main blade assembly for a total cutting surface of 1-13/16 inches (1-3/16-inch thick primary blade and 5/8-inch thick bleeder blade). The difference is that the new D.R.T.’s primary blade edges have only one bevel to deliver the bone-ripping torque necessary for maximum penetration. As with all DirtNap’s broadheads, the D.R.T. Single-Bevel utilizes the company’s Modular Weight System (MWS), which allows the broadhead to be set up for 100 or 125 grains, depending on your preference or your FOC target percentage.