Reports on products that increase the quality, safety and success of your hunts. If you'd like to have your product reviewed here, email (The author/owner of this website posts these reviews as a service to readers, and does not receive any compensation from the manufacturers.)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

For camera, spotting scope or rangefinder, everyone needs a Stedi-Stock®

by Steve Sorensen (originally published in Ohio Valley Outdoors magazine, July/August 2011)

Stedi-Stock® Optical Assist Device
I keep a pair of binoculars in my truck for scouting purposes, but often they don’t provide the magnification I want when I look into the far reaches of a field at a buck or a gobbler. For that, I need a spotting scope. The problem is that a spotting scope is impossible to hold still, and those awkward window-clamp devices take too long to line up properly.

Leave it to a creative service-disabled American veteran, a Texan named Harold Hurst, to come up with an inexpensive device for quick, rock-steady viewing through a spotting scope. It’s the Stedi-Stock® – the optical stabilizer that makes perfect sense.

The Stedi-Stock is a shoulder brace that looks like a small skeletonized rifle stock. It has a forward handle with a 1/4 x 20 camera screw on it to attach not only a spotting scope, but a still camera, video camera, or rangefinder. Rest it on the edge of the window of your truck, on a monopod or bipod, against a tree, or any way you’d steady a rifle. Nothing is quicker or easier to use.

The Stedi-Stock really shines when you’re using a long lens to take photos. I loaned it to my brother, an avid photographer, who was impressed with his ability to hold the camera still with a 200mm lens using the Stedi-Stock. His only suggestion was to add a thin rubber strip between the camera and the Stedi-Stock to create some friction that will help stabilize the camera on the camera screw. After loaning it to my brother, I have one problem. He won’t give it back.

When doing any kind of video, the Stedi-Stock eliminates those bouncy movements that only induce headaches and eyestrain. It’s so effective that professional photographers and videographers on some of your favorite outdoor TV shows are using it. And the price is unbelievably low – just $29.95.

Made from super tough hi-strength nylon, the Stedi-Stock is only 14 inches long and weighs just 6 ounces, so it won’t be a burden when you pack it to the high country or carry it on vacation.

For free-hand use, it has a shoulder strap that also functions as a carrying sling. Check it out, along with several accessories, at If you use any kind of camera or spotting scope or rangefinder, this is the number one accessory you need. My advice is to buy two, because if you ever loan one out, you won’t see it again.

Ceramic Blades Have Finally Come Of Age

by Steve Sorensen (originally published in Ohio Valley Outdoors magazine, July/August 2011)

Timberline® Ceramic Blade Folding Knife
I’ve used a few ceramic blade knives, with less than perfect satisfaction, until now. Ceramic blades have come of age in the Timberline series of knives from GATCO (Great American Tool Company).

During spring gobbler season I field-tested a folder that has the look and the heft of a steel blade knife, but with sharpness that’s almost unbelievable. I breasted out a gobbler with the knife, and it made the job a breeze. The knife I tested is a Timberline Model 8010 folding blade ceramic knife. It has an aluminum handle and a 3 3/16" blade.

For a folding hunting knife, you always want a reliable locking mechanism. This knife has a liner lock that blocks the blade open. The hinge has a silky smooth action with no wobble. The black matte finish aluminum handle fits my hand perfectly, and the engraved groove and dot pattern assists my grip. A pocket clip lets you clip it to a belt or in your pocket, point down.

One hunter put this knife through a grueling field test on safari. He skinned out 10 animals with it, and the sharpness remained as new. That’s because the high polish ceramic edge exceeds the sharpness of any metal blade, and as long as you don’t go after bone with it, virtually nothing affects its sharpness.

If you want a knife that’s a cut above what your buddies are using, choose the Timberline Model 8010 ceramic folder. It comes in a hinged aluminum frame see-thru gift box. The knife is the Timberline website: Click here for Model 8010. Contact Timberline through their website:

An Easy Do-It-Yourself Trigger Job

by Steve Sorensen (originally published in Ohio Valley Outdoors magazine, July/August 2011)

The EZ-Pull Trigger Assist

Most guns come from the factory with a heavy trigger pull because, for liability reasons, manufacturers live by the “better-safe-than-sorry” school of thought. Almost any knowledgeable shooter will tell you that a lousy trigger pull is still harmful – harmful to accuracy – and that the starting place to better accuracy is a better trigger.

The bad news is that many hunters continue to suffer with a bad trigger because low to mid-priced guns often don’t justify the cost of a professional trigger job. Here’s the good news – a gunsmith has fixed that for you by making the E-Z Pull Trigger Assist.

At the Columbus Deer & Turkey Expo, I ran into the inventor of this device, Robert Nehrt. He showed me how it simply fastens onto your trigger guard and adds extra leverage to your trigger. No need to take your rifle or shotgun to a gunsmith – no internal or external modifications are necessary. Assembly instructions and an Allen wrench are included, and you can remove the device from one gun and attach it to another.

My buddy put one on his turkey shotgun this spring, and loved it. I put one on my Remington 788, a rifle that’s not especially receptive to trigger work, and improved its accuracy in the woodchuck fields.

The E-Z Pull Trigger Assist has a small roller bearing which rests on the bottom of your trigger, and smoothly compounds the pressure on your trigger to reduce the pull by 50% or more.

If you have a shotgun or rifle that needs a lighter trigger, if you want tighter groups, if you want your woodchuck rifle to be a better performer, but you don’t want to spring for an expensive custom trigger or a professional trigger job, the E-Z Pull Trigger Assist is exactly what you need. Check it out at