Recapping the 2019 Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers Conference

Every year the Association of Great Lake Outdoor Writers has a conference where outdoor communicators, convention and visitor bureau staff, and manufacturers converge to network and enjoy the company of their peers. During the four days of the most recent conference in La Crosse, we got to see some outstanding new products entering the world of outdoor sports. I must admit, I was amazed by most, if not all of them.

I’ve had my permit to carry a firearm since it became available to me a dozen years ago. I seldom carry one because I’ve never found a holster that would allow me to conceal the gun and feel comfortable. At this conference I discovered the Massaro holster. It is revolutionary in its simplicity and comfort. I say it’s simple because the holster is constructed of a neoprene pad, two clips and the holster that mounts to the pad with velcro. You can wear it inside your pants or outside and it doesn’t matter how you want the gun to sit because you can position it any way you want via the velcro. Check them out at:

Boat motors are evolving rapidly these days, and Yamaha was at the conference with its new V6 V MAX SHO. I took a test ride in a G3 boat and this motor is incredible. This 200-horsepower four-stroke was super quiet with outstanding fuel economy and a hole shot that would pop that boat up on plane in about two seconds. Brand new for this model is its 25-inch shaft option for both the V MAX SHO 200 and 250 models. That makes it an even better choice for anglers fishing bigger waters on 25-inch transom boats such as deep-V hulls, bay boats, flats boats, and multi-species craft. See this innovative motor at:

So I was reviewing the gun optics including the thermal imaging scopes when I spotted a laser rangefinder for golf. Looking around and duly noting there were probably only two other golfers in this hook-and-bullet crew – my friend Karen Lutto – who represents the company, handed them to me and said, “Try them out.” I did on the links, and they are the best hand-held golf rangefinders I have ever used. Made by GPO (German Precision Optics) they are small, exceptionally sharp and quick to lock on the pin even when you’re 400 yards or more out. They are magnified and have a sweet focus bar right on the eyecup. Premium optics in a golf rangefinder is just what a straight-ball hitter like me needs. Check it out at:

The trail cams were very intriguing. The SpyPoint trail cameras I handled at the conference have built-on solar panels and are super fast and sharp. You can get them with cellular features that send the images to your smart phone so you know immediately what’s going on where you hunt. It will even tell you if someone is trying to steal the unit. You will have rock solid knowledge of what is traversing your trails when you set up a couple of these trail cams in your woods. All the specs can be found at

Technology is once again providing tremendous innovations to hunters and anglers and even golfers, three sports I love. These are just a few of my favorites but there was so much more available on the market right now.

Categories: Tim Lesmeister

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