Last summer, I wrote a review of a shooting stick we bought at a trappers convention a couple years ago made by the folks at Vanguard USA.
Last summer, I wrote a review of a shooting stick we bought at a trappers convention a couple years ago made by the folks at Vanguard USA.It was a bit pricey, and at the time I doubted I could ever enjoy it much for that reason alone. Iíve since come to love the thing and have shot several coyotes using it to steady my 22.250 predator rifle. Also last summer I became aware that Vanguard added a tripod style shooting stick to its product line, and they have a complete line of binoculars as well. The shooting stick, called the Quest T62 is a rather unique design that employs three legs which adjust from a 30-inch folded height, (just the right height for me when seated on the ground) to just over 60 inches when fully extended (tall enough for a 6-foot-3 guy like me when standing).The legs adjust very easily; simply twist clockwise to unlock the leg then twist counterclockwise to tighten again. The Quest is a tripod, bipod and single gun pod all-in-one. To use as a bipod, the third leg can easily be removed or folded up and out of the way; ditto to use it as a single-leg gun rest. Iím most comfortable with a bipod rest, but Joyce likes the tripod feature. When we hunt together from a ground blind, unwritten rules give her the first shot, so when weíre both there, she has her gun at the ready while mine sits in the corner. The tripod rest provides her the steady gun rest she needs, while allowing her to move around without worrying that her shooting stick will collapse and take her gun with it. She shot her deer this year while using the Quest T62 as her gun rest.Iím rather hard on binoculars and thus in the past have always bought the most inexpensive models I can find. Iím usually pretty proud of my purchase until I accidentally knock them off the edge of the pickup bed or bang them against a tree limb and they turn to mush. I was so impressed with the other Vanguard products that I dug a little deeper into my pocket this time and purchased Vanguards top-of-line optic, the Endeaver ED.The ďEDĒ stands for Extra Low Dispersion glass, which reduces color dispersion to give the viewer high resolution colors and magnificent clarity. They are also nitrogen charged and sealed with ďOĒ-rings which makes them water and fog proof. Theyíre quick and easy to adjust with a nice large thumb wheel. The company calls their long narrow shape ďan ergonomic open-bridge design.Ē Iíll have to take their word for the ergonomic part, but the design fits my hands well and the darn things just feel solid and sturdy. The clarity of what you are viewing is like no other binoculars Iíve ever looked through. I believe Joyce called them ďAmazing binoculars.ĒAt a smidge under $400, they are still less than half the cost of other companyís top-of-the-line offerings. Plus Iíve looked through many of those top-of-the-line optics and the Vanguard Endeavers are every bit as clear and crisp as them.Iím pretty sold on Vanguard USA products and highly recommend their shooting sticks and optics. Yes, they are a little pricier than some, but considering what we outdoorsmen and women routinely pay for other products we use, Iíd say they are a good value. Dicks Sporting Goods handles some of their products but browse their website www.vanguardworld.com for a complete listing of vendors, and continue to Explore Kansas Outdoors.Steve Gilliland is a syndicated outdoors columnist, and can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.