PH-111V by Vanguard

I have been using the Vanguard PH-111V for the last two years and for the most part it has served me well.  I want to start by saying that I am in no way affiliated with Vanguard and I am not getting paid for this review.  This is simply my thoughts on what this fluid head has to offer to the outdoor videographer. 

First and foremost, this fluid head’s price point is very reasonable compared to other fluid heads in the market.  On Amazon, the PH-111V runs at only $70.  The words “Cheap” and “fluid head” don’t belong in the same sentence.  Honestly, this was the best I could find as far as quality and low pricing.  So let’s dive into some of the specs, pros and cons of the PH-111V fluid head. 

Specs

  • Compact and lightweight 2-way fluid video pan head for smaller HD camcorders
  • Dual safety lock and DIN standard quick shoe (QS-36 included)
  • Handle with rubber grip can be installed from the front or back
  • Smooth pan and frontal tilt +60 ~ -90 degrees
  • 360-degree rotation
  • Supports up to 4.4 pounds
  • Product weight: 14.1 ounces

Cons

  • Short Handle
  • Vertical tilt has a tendency to stick
  • Not recommended for larger sized cameras

Pros

  • Smooth panning
  • After the initial stick is out of the way- tilt is smooth
  • Great for DSLR cameras when using a small to medium size lens
  • ¼” and 3/8” fitting on the base of the head, so it is compatible with any tripod and slider
  • Weighs less than 1 lb.- very light weight

 

Overall, I purchased this fluid head for three main reasons: inexpensive price, smooth panning capabilities and its light weight.  I strongly recommend this for any beginning fluid head user. So far I have been happy with its performance, and in my opinion, the quality matches its price point. Thanks for reading and before you go, check out my review video for the Vanguard PH-111V!

 

Gameplan Gear’s Treestand Support System

Gameplan Gear’s Treestand Support System

One of my main goals for the 2015 season was to start developing a silent-mobile treestand system.  The main objective was to find a treestand, climbing sticks and any needed accessories that allow me to move quietly and quickly from one hunting location to another.  My research led me many places and I was able to put together a silent system that worked great for me in the 2015 season. There is definitely room for improvement however the one item that I will continue to use within my system is Gameplan Gear’s Treestand Support System.  treestand

 

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Covered Buckles

The Treestand Support System (TSS) is padded for maximum comfort around the hip, back and shoulder area.  I carried my treestand, climbing sticks and backpack full of hunting and camera equipment all season without any problems.  There are adjustable straps for the shoulders, hips and torso area that allowed me to implement solid “pack framing” technique.  By tightening the strap around my hip area I am able to centralize the weight I am carrying.  Instead of my shoulders taking on the majority of the weight, my core and lower body receive a good part of the workload; ultimately making it a lot easier for me to maneuver.  The total weight I usually carry ranges from 50lbs to 60lbs, but with the well thought out design of the TSS I feel the weight is cut in half.  IMG_0600

Additionally, the TSS has some features to ensure it makes minimal noise.  The mesh covering on the back pack pads and the overall material of the TSS optimize silence.  Most of the buckles on the straps are covered to prevent twigs or small limbs hitting the plastic.  One modification would be to cover the larger buckle that goes around the waist.  I may use Stealth Strips or just simply glue wool fabric to the area of the buckle I want to cover.  I like to pay attention to the details when it comes to gear and equipment.  If the little things are ignored there can be major consequences.

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Lastly, the TSS’s durability is excellent.  I haven’t had any issues with any of the straps or the sewing. After a season’s worth of hauling up and down hilltops the overall status of the TSS is “like new”.  It even survived a thorough washing in my washing machine.  Some backpacks will fall apart after being washed just once or twice, but I did not notice any defects after washing the TSS.  


I really enjoyed using the TSS this season as it has become one of my essential pieces in my silent assassin arsenal.  You can check out the Treestand Transport System at www.gameplangear.com.  I would like to hear what other people use to enhance their mobile hunting systems. You can comment below or leave a post on Facebook.  Thanks for reading!

My Hunting Gear Christmas List 2015

My Hunting Gear Christmas List 2015

With Christmas quickly approaching, I can’t help to think about what I would REALLY like to have under my tree on Christmas morning.  A lot of great products and gear come to mind, but I have managed to narrow my selection down to my top five items.  I believe that I have made the “nice” list this year, but that is just my opinion.  Minus all the hours spent in a tree as opposed to keeping up with the maintenance around the house – I would say that I was pretty good this year.  It is tough for any hunter to make the “nice” list, especially when the “honey-do” list is a mile long and you have monster bucks beckoning you to the woods.  With thoughts like this, I question my eligibility but hopefully Santa is feeling extra generous this year.  I’m an optimistic guy, so let’s just say I made the “nice” list.  Given my wishful thinking, here is my top five hunting products that made my Christmas for 2015.  Full disclosure:  I am most definitely not sponsored by or paid by any of the products or companies mentioned in this list.  I simply bring their features to light because of the extensive research I have done on the product, or because I have had such a great experience with the product.  Enjoy!

 

1)Ozonics

Have you ever been to the Ozonics website? If not, make it a priority to read about exactly what the Ozonics machine can do.  The science behind Ozonics is quite fascinating, which is why tis scent killing machine makes the top of my wish list.  From what I gathered at the Ozonics website, oxygen molecules are introduced to electricity which transforms the oxygen molecules into ozone molecules.  Ozone is used as a purifier and oxidizing agent that helps clean or sterilize the air or objects.  Apparentl430938_L1y, ozone is used to sterilize hospitals and clean drinking water.  I have heard a lot of good things about ozonics, but given the scientific proof of the ozone molecule’s capabilities, I am definitely looking forward to having this in the tree with me next fall.  I will be saving my pennies and nickels because it most certainly is not a cheap product.  However, I see it as an investment and anyone that makes deer hunting a priority can understand that.

 

 

 

 

2)Nose Jammer

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Can you tell I want to build on my scent free system?  Truthfully, I am willing to try anything that will help me fool a whitetail’s nose.  It is a difficult obstacle to overcome, which is why it is so important to have all the odds in your favor.  I read some reviews about Nose Jammer, and what I found is that a lot of hunters like that it helps cover up ground scent.  Many hunters have had in the field success by spraying Nose Jammer as they walk to their stand, especially as they get closer to their stand.  From what I understand, the chemical contents of Nose Jammer simply overwhelms or masks a deer’s sense of smell.  This can weaken human scent making it difficult for deer to pick up your scent trail.  I am definitely willing to try this product out and test its effectiveness come deer season.

 

3)Covert MP8 Black Cameras

I have used Covert cameras for 3 years now, and I am very happy with their ability to continually manufacture a reliable camera.  I can remember buying my first supposedly “high quality” trail camera, and my experience turned out to be the exact opposite of what I had expected.  I had spent nearly $250 on a trail camera that quit working only a few weeks after I took it out of the box.  Needless to say, I never went back to using that brand of cameras. I am willing to try new things, however if I find something that exceeds my expectations of performance, I turn loyal to that product.  Covert trail cameras have proved to me that they can last through even the toughest of winters and other abuse from the weather.  I will say the night time video quality on some of the lower end models, such as the MP Black 6, are not the greatest.  There are definitely other cameras out there that provide higher picture quality.  However, if I can get an approximation of a buck’s antler and body size that is all I am really trying to accomplish.  The day I want to count the hairs on a deer’s nose (or the day I have the money) I will gok2-_93dcb6ea-b839-4fec-b47f-22e7810781a2.v3 buy a Reconyx.  But for right now, I am overly impressed by the reliability and simple functionality of the Covert line of Cameras.  Moreover, the Covert MP8 Black takes exceptional video and pictures with 8 megapixel capabilities.  This is why the Covert MP8 Black makes my 2015 Christmas wish list.

 

 

 

4)First Lite Sanctuary Insulated Jacket

I researched this hunting jacket a lot and found that it is one of the more elite deer hunting jackets being manufactured.  From what I gathered, this jacket is designed for the tree stand hunter.  Meaning that it is designed to keep you warm for long periods of time.  This seven layer garment has proven to work in sub-zero temperatures and is also rain resistant.  I must admit that I have been guilty of underestimating the weather a time or two, and naturally I don’t like to wear a heavy jacket when I am bowhunting.  With that said, I was really excited when I read about the amazing flexibility and comfort of the Sanctuary jacket.  The product engineers at First Lite understand the needs of a bowhunter, which is why they completed the Sanctuary jacket with biomechanical accurate Shooter’s sleejohn_hafner_36predator_sanctuaryves, shoulders and hood.  This helps make shooting easier and more comfortable.  Not to mention, the material they use for this garment is very quiet, which aids in making a silent, deadly draw during the moment of truth.

 

 

 

 

5)Wicked Handsaw

Wicked Tree Gear

I am an owner of the Wicked Tree Ultra Light Pole Saw, which is an extendable (out to 14 feet) pole saw made and designed for the toughest jobs.  If you bowhunt enough, you know how important tree trimming and lane clearing is.  One branch or twig can make the difference between a shot opportunity or a missed chance.  My Ultra Light Pole Saw has been great, it has helped with clearing limbs that are way out of reach.  The saw is actually detachable, so I can use it as a regular handsaw as well.  However, for the amount of trimming and lane clearing that I do, I would really like to have the Wicked Tree Gear Handsaw with the magnetic sheath holstered on my hip while using the extendable pole saw.  When trimming shooting lanes with just the pole saw I find myself adjusting the height of the pole saw frequently.  This makes some of my projects in the woods a little more time consuming than I would like.  Ideally, I would like to keep the pole saw extended and use the handsaw for any foliage that needs trimming at ground level.  Wicked Tree Gear has made a great hand saw that will make my trimming process much more efficient.  On top of all that, I truly love the Wicked Tree Gear products.  If you visit their website, you will find that their saws are designed to endure the toughest of jobs and are built to last a long time.  Todd Pringnitz puts a lot of time in the deer woods, and he knows what the die-hard whitetail hunter needs when it comes to kill sight preparation. He puts just as much time and effort into building his products as he does his hunting.  I am truly a big supporter of companies that focus on building high quality products that bring special value to their customers.  He also has outstanding customer service.  If you have any questions or concerns he is very quick to respond back to you.  I can’t tell you enough how awesome these saws are, so I highly recommend you put the Wicked Tree Handsaw on your Christmas list this year.

 

Truthfully, I could go on and on as there is always a need for new gear and equipment.  I am a nerd when it comes to whitetail hunting gear and it intrigues me to learn about the new technology that they have now in the hunting industry.  With this in mind, I also know how expensive all this stuff can be and it definitely helps to save money.  I have included links for each product within the article and below here so you can check out their prices.  I use Amazon frequently and I find that they have great deals on many hunting products.  Thanks for reading and I hope everyone enjoys their Christmas!

 

 

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