Calls, Optics, Targets & Accessories

Rinehart’s 3-D Broadhead Deer Target

Rinehart – A name fast becoming known as the best target company on the market, and truly my favorite.

Most of the year I practice shooting into a Rhino Block target from Rinehart, but come the month of August, it’s the deer target that gets most of my shooting action, in preparation for the September archery deer opener.

What I really like about the 3-D Broadhead Deer is the fact that on the “reverse” side of the foam core vitals area, is a deer’s correct anatomy. This is a great tool for showing shot placement to beginners (and veterans alike). It’s also great for seeing exactly where your steeply pitched, quartering away shot from a treestand took its course.

If you look closely enough, on the “front” side of the deer you can make out its bone structure. It’s nothing blaringly obvious, but subtly shows up when up-close.

Just like all Rinehart targets, it is easy to pull arrows from, and is made with long lasting foam.

It’ll handle broadheads just as well as your field tipped arrows. Rinehart also uses foam inserts so when the vitals of your animal have finally taken as many shots as they possibly can, just replace it with a new core. You won’t need to replace the whole deer, so this will save you money in the long run.

The Broadhead Deer comes in at a height of 17" and is 45" in length.

Just one look at Rinehart’s web site and you can see that founder John Rinehart has a sense of humor. Check out some of the other R100 targets and you might get a chuckle out of: the boxing kangaroo, the 13-ft tall alien, a shark entitled “Jaws”, a pink flamingo or even, get this, a toilet and toilet paper target!

A favorite of our local archery shop is the beautiful white wolf target.  Another is the cheetah where it becomes quite challenging to “pick a spot”. (Which “spot??”)

For more information on this target and more Rinehart targets, check out their web site at:

Rinehart Targets
1029A South Jackson Street
Janesville , WI 53546
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Shoot straight and shoot often!


© October 2005

Rhino Block from Rinehart Targets

When I first saw the Rhino Block from Rinehart Targets, I thought it would perform like any other target on the market. Wrong!! This cube-shaped target that looks like dice, will really surprise you! I have to say, after shooting into various targets of different brands, makes and models; I will probably never practice on any other target other than the Rhino Block again. Why? Because this is the smoothest target to ever pull arrows out of! I’m talking Effortless with a capital E.


After many days of rain, I made a trip to my local outdoor archery range for an afternoon of some shooting. I decided to take the Rhino Block with me, knowing the wet hay bales at the range could make for some difficult pulling, which it did.

I needed both hands and a whole lot of body movement (and a few unintended vocalized grunts) to get the arrows out of the hay bale.

Now it was time to switch targets! I began shooting into the Rhino Block. I shot 12 arrows pretty much on top of each other and I had no problem pulling each and every one of them out with just one hand. I was impressed!

Another trip to an archery range with my husband, had the same sentiment… "This target is cool! It’s so easy to pull out the arrows! ", he said. And he doesn’t get excited very easy! Hence forth, this target will be accompanying me on all my shooting sprees!

 Here’s the low-down on the Rinehart Rhino Block:

  • This target has six sides and 12 forty-five degree edges with varying sized shooting spots on it.
  • It also has a carry handle of nylon rope so you can transport it easily.
  • Another feature of this target is that you can shoot not only field points, but also any broadhead into it and you’ll have no problem pulling them out. Nada.
  • You’ll also never be able to shoot an arrow completely through the cube, so nothing behind your target will ever come in contact with the sharp end of your shaft.
  • The Rhino Block has been tested with over 1,500 broadhead shots in it and it is still accepting arrows as the test continues! That’s not going to happen with other targets. You’d need to replace the core much sooner than that, several times perhaps, at a much greater expense to you in the long run.
  • This 17" x 17" x 17" target retails for just under $100.00. A bit pricey you say? Well this is where the saying, "You get what you pay for", rings true.

This block may be the last target you’ll ever have to buy!

Shoot straight and shoot often.

For more information, visit:

or contact:

Rinehart Targets
1029A South Jackson Street
Janesville, WI 53546

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Wind River® Katmai™ 8x32mm Binocular by Leupold & Stevens

Earning my chance at one of the most majestic of the deer family, the wapiti, I hiked through the Colorado mountains dotted with aspens and strewn with deadfalls, while it was still dark. As soon as light broke through the ridge in front of me, I began to glass for elk. With such an expanse of country to cover with legs and eyes, I was in need of lightweight, accurate, and tough optics. My choice was Leupold & Stevens’ latest Wind River® Katmai center focus binocular, with 8x magnification and 32 millimeter objective lenses. Initially skeptical upon opening the small case that enclosed these glasses, I took time to properly focus the binocular back home even before I left on my hunt. But now here I was, having to carry everything I needed for the day on my back, and it was not a problem to accommodate this full-size binocular in my pack when necessary. At only four inches in length, the Katmai is one of the most compact binoculars on the market today.

That it was early morning with minimal lighting was insignificant – the Katmai offers superior light transmission for an accurate view of game in a mosaic of habitats. Treated roof prisms with large surface-area objective lenses provide remarkable sharpness in low light conditions. I watched through this binocular as several mule deer browsed in the sage and grasses of the valley beneath me. Not long thereafter, a herd of elk on the move about 400 yards away came crashing down a ridge, closing the distance. With the Katmai, it was trouble-free to discern the spike that was off limits given that I held a tag for only a female elk. When the herd paused with a short cow call, I quickly took a broadside shot and dropped my awesomely beautiful, healthy elk at 326 yards.

The portable weight of the Katmai (18.9 ounces) is forgiving on a woman’s neck, especially while hiking and packing out after the harvest. This rubber-armored compact binocular fits like a dream into the delicate hands of a lady, and can be held comfortably with one hand while keeping the other free for another task. The twist-up eyecups of this binocular are an added luxury for hunters like me who wear eyeglasses in the field. Firm pressure is needed to advance or retract the eyepieces, eliminating any unwanted shifting of the eyecups. Furthermore, the 15 millimeter eye relief allows a comfortable distance from the ocular to where the viewer’s eye must be positioned for a full field of vision.

Because I was able to harvest an elk on the first day of season, the following time was spent scouting for next season and shed hunting. The multi-coated lenses of the Katmai allowed for incomparable brightness and contrast when searching for deer and elk antlers along the canyons. Inevitably, dark nimbus clouds rolled overhead and overshadowed the fun with a little rain, but not to worry, as this binocular proved to be completely waterproof. I covered over a dozen miles of untouched wilderness 10,000 feet above sea level on this scouting adventure, glassing for game while crossing various types of terrain in a single day. This binocular never trapped a drop of vapor inside the lens. When I entered dense timber, the Katmai could power down to offer a close-focus distance of not much more than one yard. Sage and other vegetation covered the open range like a carpet, and it was very easy to focus on a mulie buck 400 yards away and then to immediately switch to observe the brilliantly-colored, spongy lichens beneath my feet.

Leupold’s reputation caused my guide to give my little binocular a second glance; he examined the Katmaiintently and put it through his own evaluation, soon proclaiming its merit aloud, as if I had never noticed, and quietly "borrowing" these glasses for longer periods. Always keep an eye on this binocular if other hunters accompany you while afield; they will definitely value its performance just as you will!

A high-country elk hunt is a remarkably taxing and liberating adventure for even the most adventurous woman. Covering such a large expanse of wilderness range and enduring variable conditions was part of the deal, and I was able to meet my challenges and become familiar with the backcountry by using the Katmai binocular. One of the most raw, pure, and isolated lands is the glacier-capped and volcanic wilderness of Katmai, Alaska. Nomadic hunters pursued the big game of Katmai thousands of years ago, particularly favoring caribou and brown bear. Even today, hardcore hunters, anglers, and other sportsmen and women venture to this remote region of Alaska in pursuit of the ultimate adventure. The Katmai name given to this binocular is fitting, accentuating its toughness as brilliant as the Alaskan land enjoyed by the serious explorer.

In South Carolina, I took the Katmai along on whitetail hunts and was not let down by its performance in a completely different landscape. Late in the afternoon, I caught a gleam of white-tipped antler before the deer stepped into a clearing. I brought the glasses to my eyes in time to see the buck with a bright green piece of vegetation hanging from his mouth. Bringing the binocular down and shouldering my rifle, I dropped a nice cull and harvested some excellent venison for the family. You can bet the Katmaiwill accompany me on all future hunts.

All outdoor enthusiasts, especially hunter-naturalists, will appreciate the Leupold Wind River® Katmai. In addition to my favorite outdoor pastimes, my scientific pursuits have lent to me a thorough understanding of the value of impeccable resolution. Having participated in field observations as a DNR wildlife technician and routinely using a microscope for research purposes, I can relate to the necessity of a clear image. Hunters, competitive shooters, mountaineers, biologists, conservation officers, special operations military personnel, and wildlife viewers will all be pleased with the comfort and precision of this well-made binocular. Leupold, "America’s Optic’s Authority," offers products that perform for the dedicated hunter and outclass the competition.

A Leupold mint-green ring signifies that the Katmai has been put through a battery of tests to ensure top performance wherever it will be used. The power, extremely small size, clarity, durability, and reliability of the Leupold Katmai are impressive and backed by a limited lifetime warranty. If you, like me, are serious about the performance of your optics and getting the most out of your favorite outdoor activity, I strongly encourage you to contact Leupold & Stevens. 

Leupold & Stevens, Inc.
PO Box 688
Beaverton, OR 97075-0688
Ph. 503/526.1400


© January 2005

Longhorn 3-D Archery Javelina Product Review

I usually have to buy an archery target once a year. Most of the targets I have owned never stood up to my broadhead practice and after a year its pretty much shot to pieces. That and five other people shoot the same target as I do, so we just wreck havoc on any and every target in sight.

One target I have found that has met my standards is the Longhorn Archery 3-D Javelina. They have the longest lasting target I have yet to own. Why is this? It is made with polyfoam, which self seals. I really didn't believe it . . . self-sealing foam? But, truly it does! This is what gives it superior durability and what makes Longhorn Archery's 3-D targets the absolute best.

Another test my Javelina went through was the all-weather test. I often leave targets out to harsh weather. My last 3-D target I purchased from the store was not a pretty sight after one year. Between us and the woodpeckers along with rain and harsh weather my last target was pretty sad looking. My Longhorn Archery 3-D Javelina after one year still looks great!

What about after you've shot your target out? Don't worry-its fixable with the repair kit. Easy to use and makes those vital spots brand new! At only $27.50 the repair kit is VERY cost effective.

Longhorn Archery's 3-D targets look so alive. I was amazed at how real these targets looked. The choices are unlimited, they have 23 different 3-D targets. From alligators to Turkeys and Big Horned Sheep to Leopards, they have it all. What will be next? (Elephants) That would be quite a sight sitting in my front yard but I'm sure Longhorn Archery could tackle it.

Longhorn 3-D Archery doesn't just make 3-D Targets, they also make targets specifically for broadheads. Omni Directional Broadhead Target & The Broadhead Target are made with the same self-sealing foam this broadhead will last you a while as well. At $170 they are quite expensive but well worth the investment as they will last you longer than any other broadhead target.

Longhorn 3-D Archery doesn't just make 3-D Targets, they also make targets specifically for broadheads. Omni Directional Broadhead Target & The Broadhead Target are made with the same self-sealing foam this broadhead will last you a while as well. At $170 (individual internet price) they are quite expensive but well worth the investment as they will last you longer than any other broadhead target.  If you are a club or dealer you get a discount price. If you are a club and you are purchasing 1-5 targets they are $150.00 a piece,  6 to10 targets are $130.00 a piece and 11 & up target is $119.00. If you are a dealer targets are $119.00 any amount.

Bottom Line? Longhorn 3D Archery Targets are "Simply the Best!” You don't have to take my word for it. Go out and test for yourself. Purchase online at

I would love to see these offered at my local archery shops, so I'm putting in a good word!


 © November 2007

Leupold® RXTM II Compact TBR Digital Laser Rangefinder

After completing my research project on Cape buffalo in South Africa this June, I left to go on safari.  Traversing the Limpopo River along the Botswana border, I hunted the Limpopo Province, in habitat catering to bushbuck and warthog.  I sought these and other species using a Winchester bolt-action .375H&H calibre fitted with a Leupold 1x4 Vari-X II scope.  I also brought my Leupold WindRiver® KatmaiTM binocular.

Because my stipulation was an honest African walk-and-stalk hunt, it was necessary that I include in my equipment a rangefinder to judge distances of shots I would take across the veld.  I selected the Leupold RXTM-II Compact True Ballistic RangeTM Digital Laser Rangefinder to accompany me on this safari.

Louis, my Professional Hunter (PH), had a Bushnell Laser Pro from the first days of his career, but its performance could not even compare with that of my Leupold RXTM-II Compact TBRTM Digital.  It wasn’t long until this PH, my long time friend and an avid bowhunter, “discovered” the True Ballistic Range feature on my rangefinder.  In fact, soon the temperature “mysteriously” switched to the Centigrade scale, convenient for most African hunters.  Our campfire discussions concerning the merits of this compact rangefinder were honest and illuminating, and we finally resolved just how helpful a tool a quality rangefinder by Leupold can be in the hands of a knowledgeable hunter. 

My hunt was scheduled secondary to Cape buffalo research I was conducting in KwaZulu-Natal, and thus we were quite short on time.  Nonetheless, I took what green measures as a Safari Club International (SCI) Gold Medal impala ram, as well as two mature boar warthogs.

My PH and I happened upon the first warthog rooting in thick bush under the shade of a low-spread acacia when we were stalking a herd of impala.

“Look, do you check that warthog?” my PH asked when we paused our stalk to listen.  I had been focused on the form of the vlakvark behind the bush for what felt like ages, but had just not gotten the words out as quickly as he had.  He was so close!

“Yes, I do.  Is it a boar?” I asked urgently.  Louis stared through his binocular and soon reported that it was indeed a boar.  The warthog winded us and went 76 yards before he stopped broadside between two full bushes to reassess the situation.  Louis planted my improvised shooting sticks and I readied myself to touch off the shot.  When I lowered the rifle onto the sticks, they loosened and collapsed.  Louis and I scrambled to resituate the sticks, and my bullet from the .375 travelled through the boar’s vitals, dropping him to the ground.  The most thrilled PH in Africa took off sprinting to the downed warthog, his client right behind him.  I gasped when I saw my first African harvest lying beautifully atop the red earth.  His ivory-coloured tusks curled far above his lips; my PH and I were delighted.

We were soon off in pursuit of a rooibok, or impala, the South African ungulate most commonly compared to the North American deer.  My impala offered an especially challenging target, facing me directly at 178 yards.  I chambered a round into my .375, compensated for the distance and angle, and the ram fell with one shot. 

This, however, I could not see.  When I fired, I didn’t hear the bullet find its target, so I scanned the departing herd while asking my PH if my impala was down.  Louis didn’t answer me, yet I was certain he had been looking through his binocular at the herd when I took the impala.  When I turned to look at my PH, he was grinning and shaking his head.

“Did you see what happened?” he asked.

Confused and impatient, I indicated I hadn’t.

“Relax, sweetie, you got your ram. Ludwig [the farm manager] saw him drop.  It’s just that when you shot, the recoil from the .375 sent your shoulder right into my face and flipped my binocular straight over my head.  All I saw was blue sky.”

We were laughing softly as we went to where the impala had stood minutes before, finding him without much difficulty.  I ran my hand along the spiral contour of the ram’s horns; he was a trophy both by my standards and those of the record books.  Ludwig shook my hand and congratulated me on a superb shot.  When you know the correct distance to your animal and understand the physics behind shot placement, you are then equipped to decide on whether a shot is promising, and to make adjustments accordingly.  My hunting companions and I were quite pleased that this Leupold rangefinder was exhibiting remarkable performance and the events of my safari were playing out so well.

Alas the hunting turned quite difficult; the game wasn’t moving and we definitely weren’t finding zebra or gemsbok.  Then a very nice warthog showed himself.  My rangefinder gave the distance as just less than 200 yards.  I prepared for the shot as my PH whispered, “Take him when you’re ready.”  I hesitated for a tenth of a second, remembering I had already harvested one boar, but then decided that an African hunter can never have too many of these unique creatures.  The opportunity was before me, so I took the warthog.  Another very nice boar. 

Each harvest was admittedly quite emotional for me; the entire safari was a soul-stirring journey.  I was fortunate that this rangefinder enabled me to place my shots exactly where they needed to go.

The Leupold RX-II model is perfectly suited not only for archery and rifle hunting, but also for handgun/shotgun hunting, marine navigation, golfing, surveying, 3D archery, and wildlife agency use.  I was even able to successfully employ the RX-II to range distances to individual buffalo in diseased herds I was researching!

With solid dimensions of 4x2.75x1.5 inches, the 6.8 oz (193g) RX-II is one of the lightest, most compact rangefinders on the market.  This particular model has 6x magnification and a ranging accuracy of plus/minus 1 metre.  The maximum range to a medium sized antelope is 500 yards, 750 yards to a reflective target.  The Leupold RX-II digital laser rangefinder is protected by the Leupold Green RingTM Electronics Warranty.

Impressively, this rangefinder has an inclinometer that will allow for the precise distance measurement of the path of your chosen projectile—bullet or arrow—with a confidence level of plus/minus one meter.  Significant error is thus eliminated with the TBR feature. The Quick-Set Rotary menu is remarkably easy to operate and fully multicoated lenses resist scratches from bush thorns and everyday wear.

Several useful modes are featured.  For long-range shots exceeding 150 yards, one can opt for the Long Range mode to augment accuracy.  If the Rowland Ward hartebeest bull closest to you has several herd members behind him, selecting the First Target Mode will allow you to range the hartebeest if several unwanted animals, bushes, or other objects might also be in the path of the laser beam.  Should the situation reverse and your sitatunga becomes obscured by a branch closer to you or your client, the complementary Last Target Mode (which, if selected, will simultaneously disable the First Target Mode) will allow for a more accurate reading of the range to that sitatunga further away.  The operator is able to toggle among various measurement units with the Yards/Feet/Metres Output feature as well.

Numerous factors must be analyzed in order to provide the hunter with the most accurate aiming information possible. The RX-II uses advanced ballistic algorithms patterned by those developed by engineers for modern space vehicles.  These state-of-the-art algorithms are coupled with readings of the incline, straight Line of Sight (LOS) distance to the target, and specific performance matching groups.

Both bow and rifle hunters are given the precise horizontal range even when they are above or below their target. This is the level fire range whereby the correct aim can be determined.  TBR is programmed with settings designated for seven genres of manufactured cartridges and three different settings to determine accurate ranges for arrows using individual arrow drop data (from the 20-yard pin at 40 yards).  Both comprehensive and abbreviated instructions for archers as well as gun hunters that will allow for maximum utilization of the Leupold RX-II TBR are included!  Should you be partial to hand loading or the use of unique cartridges, there are suggestions of how to analyse bullet path data (mid and long range) to determine in which group your cartridge would be classified. 

The RX-II takes TBR into account and allows rifle hunters to access the minute of the angle (MOA) for which they must adjust to hit their mark.  Based on the sight-in zero and ballistic group chosen, the HOLD function provides the number of inches or centimetres that one must holdover the point of aim.  Additionally, the equivalent range at which you should shoot when implementing Leupold’s Ballistic Aiming System (BAS) reticles is given.  Leupold takes the physics of projectiles seriously; extensive ballistics data organised into performance tables are included for reference.

Please note that getting the most out of the TBR concept requires the operator to devote a good deal of time to familiarizing him or herself with the TBR feature.  I spent several sessions with my PH practicing before our hunt.  The operating instructions are absolutely essential for the optimal utilisation of this piece of equipment.  And always remember that you must have an intimate familiarity with your firearm and are ultimately responsible for the path of your bullet.

Surrounding air temperature can be measured by the internal thermometer on either the Fahrenheit or Centigrade scale.  Hunters know that the weather will not always be as warm, dry, and clear as it was on this safari.  Leupold’s weatherproof RX-II compensates for unpredictable conditions with a Rain Mode that filters out false returns from raindrops and other atmospheric obstructions.

There are also 13 preloaded reticles available to select as the principal aiming point for the rangefinder. My preferred reticle was the contrasting Duplex®.  I found the Bracket squareTM reticle to be most useful when bracketing larger bodied animals like zebra and kudu.  It is also worth noting that many hunters from Africa and Europe prefer the German #4 Open Point reticle that does not cover the top half and exact centre of the target in the field of view.

The RX-IV model has a digital compass, which would have been lovely added to the RX-II as well, but the advantages of such a lightweight and portable rangefinder would be sacrificed in the trade-off.  One has only to devote enough time to learning the sometimes complex features of the RX-II for this tool to augment marksmanship precision in almost any situation.  The overall quality and performance of the Leupold RX-II make this rangefinder the ideal choice for the professional and serious amateur hunter.

My confidence not just in this particular rangefinder but in Leupold products in general is constantly challenged by international hunters loyal to brands like Bushnell, Swarovski, and Nikon, but the results are always crystal clear: the majority of people exposed to this company’s products inevitably adopt Leupold as their personal optics choice.

While Leupold is inarguably America’s Optics authority, I see the African hunting industry, which has long looked to the European company Swarovski, now acknowledging Leupold’s superior experience in the field.  This is not surprising: Africa is serious about hunting, and Leupold products are light years ahead of the competition.

Leupold & Stevens, Inc.
PO Box 688
Beaverton, OR 97075-0688 USA

Note: All photographs by author.


© July 2006