The Best Gear For The Hardcore Carnivore Hunter

Realtree Max

My father-in-law sat on his patio, reading the paper and drinking a hot cup of morning coffee when it caught his eye. The coyote was hunkered down less than 100 yards on a tee box of the golf course that butts up to the back of his home. Around a dozen squirrels scattered the backyard, filling their bellies on fallen acorns from a large oak. It was a bountiful feast€¦for the coyote.

The wild canine belly-crawled towards his quarry until he was close enough. The rodent didn't stand a chance. He pounced, trapping one of the squirrels by the tail with his paw. For several seconds, he toyed with the furry snack, smacking it around until he had finally had enough "playtime." The squirrel delivered a final squeal before being devoured. The spot and stalk was complete.

Typically, predators are not foragers or grazers — sans bears — they're killers, and that is what makes them so much fun for us. We're hunting the hunters, something that survives and thrives on fresh meat. Smart and wary quarry, they detect scent and the slightest of movements, probably because they know one false step, and it's over. So trick them, if you can, with some of the best gear on the market. You'll need it. Trust us.


Keep it Real


Billed as a waterfowl pattern, Realtree Max-4 can really go anywhere, delivering maximum concealment in open terrain without geographical limits. The Max-4 camo design features cattails, mullet, milo, cornstalks, sunflowers, oak and maple leaves, cedar and oak limbs, and a variety of other plant life. Realtree AP is an all-purpose camo that incorporates overlapping limbs and a hazy background into an incredible 3-D effect. The light, gray, neutral base colors melt into rocky and open terrain. www.realtree.com

Calling More Quarry

PhantomcallsThis is a perfect call for a slow day in a buck stand. If the whitetails aren't moving, slide in a Predator stick and go to work with the Mini Phantom. This flashlight-sized game call utilizes multiple call sticks for a variety of game. You can bring in deer, turkey, moose, elk, waterfowl and crow in addition to predators. The Mini Phantom has many of the same features as the more conventional e-callers on the market and runs on just three AAA batteries. www.phantomcalls.com

Les Approved


Phantomcalls2We love to watch Les Johnson "get ta callin'," but even a master mouth caller needs to give his chops a rest. The compact Phantom Mini Remote is a perfect option, featuring 10 different calls on two Predator sound sticks (the caller operates with any of the company's sound sticks, which are digital recordings of Johnson's actual calls). You can operate the e-caller up to 150 yards with the remote, which has an LCD display with easily navigated buttons and a decoy output port.  www.phantomcalls.com

Attention All Dogs

TheNavajoCompact and light, the Navajo comes standard with 400 high quality Orion sounds and a dual-speaker design, plus it's affordable. The LCD remote will control just about any feature you can imagine, from turning the unit on/off and working a decoy to selecting a sound and controlling the volume. The Navajo also includes an external speaker jack if you really want to get the attention of some coyotes. www.western-rivers.com


The Closer

TheApacheSometimes a quick change in calls will bring your quarry to the stand, but you have to be able to switch sounds in an instant to draw your prey in close. The Apache from Western Rivers can recall 10 sounds at a time and you can view five at a time on the remote's LCD screen. Decoy compatible, the Apache's Select-a-Speaker feature makes it possible to play one or both of the hi-fi speakers, which can be controlled from the remote. www.western-rivers.com

Run & Gun

RockRiverArmsFred-EichlerWhen those coyotes spook, they can be gone in a flash. Drop 'em on the run just like Fred Eichler with his new AR-15 series chambered in .223 from Rock River Arms. This lightweight rifle weighs in at just over 7.5 pounds and comes equipped with a 20-round magazine (also available in a 10-round mag where restricted by law). The 16-inch mid-length stainless steel barrel has been cryogenically treated to increase accuracy, and a custom muzzle break with directional porting reduces muzzle rise and recoil. The free-float hand guard has a full-length Picatinny top rail and 2.5-inch rails at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock for lights, lasers and bi-pods. Hard case included. www.rockriverarms.com

Digital Fur

RockRiverArmsLARWe are sure you have seen every camo pattern in the known world, but Rock River takes it a step further with its .223 LAR-15 WYL-Ehide. The pattern mimics real coyote fur, so when that wild canine appears over a rise all he is focused on is the decoy. The LAR-15 has a free-floated half-quad rail, chrome moly barrel, tactical muzzle break, collapsible stock and Hogue grip. And don't be worried about the finish chipping off. It goes through a hard-coat anodizing process, same as the black finish. www.rockriverarms.com

AR Royalty

DPMSPrairiePantherThere is no way you won't feel like a predator-slaying bad-ass with the Prairie Panther .223 from DPMS in your hands. This rifle is plenty light (just over 7 pounds) for the most mobile of hunters, and with a 20-round magazine, you can keep on pumping hot lead through those dastardly dogs. The AR features a 20-inch fluted Teflon-coated 416 stainless barrel and an A2 skeletonized stock. Available in Mossy Oak Brush, Kings Snow Shadow and Kings Desert Shadow.  www.dpmsinc.com

White Lightning

DPMSArticPantherAll we could think about when seeing this gun for the first time was how sweet Roger Moore would have looked picking off bad guys with it during that ski scene in "The Spy Who Loved Me." Maybe you're not as debonair as James Bond, but you don't have to be to silence those big cats. Do it with the Artic .223 Panther from DPMS, an ideal winter AR-15. Equipped with an A2 fixed stock, the 20-inch barrel is fluted and Teflon-coated in 416 stainless steel. www.dpmsinc.com

Pest Control

SvageModel25If Craig Boddington speaks, we listen. And since he called the Savage Model 25 "a serious varmint rifle," we suggest you pick one up, especially if bobcats and foxes are your game. Chambered in .17 Hornet, .204 Ruger, .22 Hornet, .222 Rem and .223 Rem, with a four-shot detachable polymer magazine, the Walking Varminter is perfect for any of your predator needs. The M25 has low recoil, so it won't move much once you break Savage's Accu-Trigger, a crisp, clean light trigger pull, which maintains safety. www.savagearms.com

Pull The Trigger

SavageXPpredatorYou only need one shot — and it's not because you only get one — with the Savage 10 XP Predator. The camo-clad bolt-action shoots .204 Rem, .22-250 Rem, .223 Rem and the .243 Win, so those dogs aren't going anywhere if you're on-target. A 4x12x40mm scope comes mounted and bore-sighted, ready for you to take afield right out of the box. www.savagearms.com

Optical Advantage

Halo900xWhen you want to put a long shot on a big dog it's critical to get the distance exact. The new Halo R500X and R900X laser rangefinders from Wildgame Innovations offer second-to-none precision. With extremely fast target acquisition, the Angle Intelligence technology compensates for shooting angles of incline or decline up to plus or minus 89 degrees without having to recalculate actual shooting distance. Scan mode also lets you range multiple targets at the touch of a button. www.wildgameinnovations.com

TARS & Feathered

TrijiconTARSFor long-range targets, a rifle is only as good as its optic — and we think this one's a doozy. Trijicon's TARS 15x50 magnification with illuminated reticle optic was specifically designed for sporting and tactical rifles at extreme ranges. TARS' patented reticle system features 10 different levels of intensity, two of which are for use with night vision, and one battery provides 30,000 hours of use. Machined with aircraft-grade aluminum combined with the company's mil-spec construction, the scope will hold up in the harshest of environments. www.trijicon.com

RED-icle

TrijiconRMRA tough, durable reflex-style sight that delivers superior performance and is adaptable to the elements, the RMR from Trijicon puts your eye on-target quickly. With eight brightness levels, shooters can customize the red-dot sight accordingly. The RMR is offered with 3.25MOA and 6.5MOA aiming points for maximum accuracy, and is powered by a long-life lithium battery. Tested to military standards, the 1.2-ounce RMR will hold up to years of hard use. www.trijicon.com

Pack 'N Play

MojoCritterSitterStand-hopping is way more convenient when you're not lugging a pile of gear. Mojo's Critter Sitter has storage space for a multitude of items, keeping your hands free to lug the gun and any fur you put on the sled. It also conveniently doubles as a seat, so you can be comfortable on the hunt. The bottom of the chair frame is designed for stability on rugged, uneven ground. You can fit just about anything in the pockets, from e-callers to rain gear, and a side-mounted sleeve is perfect for stowing shooting sticks. www.mojooutdoors.com

Smell Something?

What's better than waking up pre-dawn and spraying yourself down with a bottle of animal pee? Nothing, if you're chasing coyotes and cats. This bottle of rabbit urine will mask unappealing human B.O., and keep your scent out of the noses of wary predators. www.casscreek.com

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