Like many of us who hunt, I started small—as in, smaller game—moved up to bigger species, and left behind the birds and squirrels I’d hunted as a youngster. Lately, though, I’ve been revisiting my youth, trying my hand at doves, ducks and turkeys. But my hunting tool kit needs some help for these bird outings, and I just found it at the SHOT Show 2015: the Winghunter, a multi-function bird hunting tool, by Real Avid. Here are three things you need to know.
1. The Winghunter’s universal choke wrench (.410 thru 10 gauges) and pin punch allow you to disassemble your shotgun and change out tubes. A three-inch locking stainless steel blade does the field dressing. With the multi-purpose locking saw, you can clear out some larger brush (handy when duck hunting in flooded timber or to set up a quick ground blind while running and gunning for tom turkeys).
2. The non-slip grip handle feels great in the hand. I did a small “field test,” and ran my hand through a water fountain, then grabbed onto the Winghunter—a very solid grip even when wet.
3. It's easy to carry, even for something that's already compact. The Winghunter itself slips into a neat combination sheath-and-bird-carrier which attaches to your belt or, via the hang hole, can be slung over your shoulder. If you actually limit out on ducks or grouse? Eight carry straps dangle from the bottom of the sheath. The carry system is made of ballistic nylon and looks and feels like it can take a good beating afield from pointy limbs and pickery brush and hold together just fine.
The RealAvid people tell me of one small change from the model I examined and the one that will come out this spring: the gold rings on the SHOT Show model will actually be pewter-colored.