By Mark Kenyon
Without a doubt, one of the booths I was most excited about at ATA 2014 was HAWK. This brand new company launched it’s line of treestands and accessories at the show this year, and it was an impressive launch to say the least. HAWK was definitely one of the most buzzed about companies at the show, and for good reason. They have brought some seriously innovative new products to market, and at good prices to boot. In their first year of existence, HAWK has launched 10 really neat new archery/treestand accessories, four hang-on stands, five sets of climbing sticks, a climbing stand and three ladder stands. Needless to say, they’ve been busy!
Today, I wanted to give you a brief introduction to some of the new products from HAWK that I think you’ll be most interested in.
First, the accessories. Treestand accessories usually aren’t too exciting, and have rarely warranted mention on this site. But HAWK has done something very different, they’ve actually took time to think about how we use these accessories and improved upon age old designs.
For example, the bow arm. Traditionally you either have a screw in hook or the longer hinged bow holding arm, which allowed you to move the bow arm on a horizontal plane. Both work ok – but they could be better. That’s where HAWK’s GoGadget Bow Arm comes in. This is a three arm bow holder, which can be moved horizontally AND vertically. This allows you to set the bow exactly where you need it to grab your bow with as little movement as possible. The arm has has an adjustable rubber molded hook at the end that can spin 360 degrees, again giving you more versatility. In addition to that, you have three extra accessory hooks on the arm to hang more gear. This arms packs down to 14.5″, and extends to 36″ when in use.The GoGadget will retail for $34.99. Check out the video below to see this in action.
HAWK has also launched a second bow arm, that is an extendable, non-hinged arm. It’s a smaller and lighter arm, that extends from 8.75″ to 16.5″. Also in the accessory line are two new tree hooks. I wouldn’t have thought you could innovate on tree hooks, but HAWK has. One of their tree hooks is called the “Tactical Tree Hook” and it is a hook overmolded with rubber, and includes a thread protector that goes over the sharp auger tip of the hook to protect the inside of your pocket or pack from getting poked. Attached to the cap is a carabiner, allowing for you to easily clip that on to your pack. The second hook is the “Jab Handle Tree Hook” and this has a rubber molded handle which allows you to “jab” it into the tree, to easily begin the screw-in process. When not in use, the auger tip folds into the handle. Simple, but pretty smart.
Other accessories include a few alternatives to your usual pull-up rope, a ground level tree seat and a much improved tree umbrella. Overall, it’s a really impressive line of new products improving upon accessories that we often use, but have rarely been impressed with. HAWK has come along and changed that.
On to treestands, as mentioned before, they’ve launched a collection of hang-ons, ladder stands and a climbing stand.
For now, I’m just going to cover the hang-on stand that I was most impressed with and that was the Helium hang-on.
The Helium is a light weight hang-on stand, coming in at only 10 lbs. It has a thick, memory foam seat (super comfortable) and a 21″ x 27″ platform. The platform on HAWK’s stands are pretty unique too, as it is powder coated and is essentially one-piece, due to all contact points being welded – this should decrease the number of creaks and pops. Self lubricating bushings at points of movement are also included to eliminate squeaks and other noises. Next is the treestrap hook, and this is a nice feature. Rather than having a metal hook that bangs against the tree stand, this treestrap hook is overmolded with plastic, making it silent and easier to attach.
Overall this is a really nice and innovative new stand – what makes it even better is a reasonable price tag of $120.
Also of interest to me were the new climbing sticks from HAWK. They came out with five different versions, but I’m going to discuss just one – the Helium sticks. The Helium’s come in a set of three and each stick is 30″ long with three sets of steps. The sticks are made of extruded aluminum, with cut-outs to allow for extreme light weight. Each step folds out on both sides of the stick, ands back in easily and without too much effort. Similar to the Helium stand, the steps also feature the quiet over molded plastic hook for easy attachment to the tree.
In addition, a nice set of bungees come with the steps to easily secure them together for packing out. Speaking of, probably my favorite feature of the Helium sticks is how flat they pack. All together, the packed sticks probably only stick out 4 inches off your back and they weigh just 8.4 lbs. That’s more than a 1.5 lbs lighter than the climbing sticks from competitors such as Muddy Outdoors. These sticks will retail for $99.99.
Overall, I was really impressed with everything I saw from HAWK. It looks like they’re going to make a big splash in the hunting industry this year, and I’m excited to try out some of their gear in 2014!
For more information visit the HAWK facebook page.