Gear: A Multi-tool For Bowhunters

I'm in Illinois this week at an event called the Bowhunter's Roundtable, a gathering of media people and some of the archery industry's top manufacturers. I've seen some pretty cool stuff in the last couple of days; bows, crossbows, treestands, ground blinds, trail cameras... All solid gear, but sometimes it's the little stuff that catches my attention. Exhibit A from Day One of the Roundtable is the BowSmith (realavid.com), a multi-tool made specifically for today's archer.

This smartly-designed unit boasts 28 tools. In addition to the ubiquitous needle-nose pliers are specialty items like a string spreader (for installing or moving peep sights), a nock crimper, a broadhead wrench and sharpener, a fletching stripper, and even a starter for screw-in tree steps. There's also a hex set with 14 bits that can make tuning adjustments on most modern bows. Of course the whole thing folds neatly together and slides into a slick nylon carrying case you can strap to your belt.

I go on a few out-of-state, do-it-yourself, bowhunts each fall, and these trips have taught me how important a tool like this can be. When you're miles from a pro shop--or even a hardware store--making adjustments or repairs to your bow can spell the difference between a minor hiccup and disaster. The BowSmith is one of those things you can slip in your truck or bow kit at the beginning of the season and forget about it...until you need it to save your hunt.