How We Test And Review Products

Why Trust

For more than 25 years we have been bringing our readers valuable content about deer hunting and hunting in general. We are a team of expert hunters that love to share our knowledge and grow the sport of hunting for future generations.

When we share hunting gear reviews, we share reviews of the gear that we actually use. In the event we include new models that we have not used previously, we purchase the new models and put them through rigorous testing in the field and evaluate the product on a number of different criteria.

We then share everything about each product, we hold nothing back. We will tell you what we like and what we don't like about each product, where it shines and where it falls short.

It is because of this honesty that we have developed a huge following and readership that allows us to continue to bring you truthful information about hunting tips and techniques, as well as honest reviews of the best hunting gear.

What We Test And Review

We test and review all of the gear that we, as expert hunters use on a daily basis, both during the hunting season and in the off season while we prepare for the upcoming season.

The list includes everything from tree stands and blindsbinocularscompound bowsrecurve bowscrossbowsbootsclothingrain gearfeedersprocessing equipment and more. All of the things that we actually use.

How We Test And Review Products

Our staff consists of a team of hunting subject matter experts. These guys are in the field all year testing and rating hunting gear. They become intimately familiar the gear they review. They then share their findings and opinions with our managing editor, who then does his own testing and review to confirm the findings before preparing the content for publishing.

Here are the steps we take for gear testing and review for each of our "Best Of" articles:

1. We assemble a list of all the gear used by each staff member during a year of hunting. We then compile a spreadsheet of the gear and create the specific categories for the gear to be tested. For instance, Best Climbing Tree StandsBest Hang On Tree Stands, etc.

2. We then compile a list of all the gear that we use in each category. We also reach out to our readers through our extensive mailing list and ask what their favorite gear in each category is and why. Then we look at any new gear in that category that deserves testing and review.

3. We then acquire any new products or suggestions from our readers to test and compare with the gear that we use every day. Some of this gear we purchase and some we request from manufacturers to test, rate and review.

4. Once we have the gear required, we begin testing and comparing the gear to our top picks. The staff member assigned to each piece of equipment will share their findings and opinions with our managing editor. The editor will then also test the gear to make sure that the staff member's findings are accurate.

5. After the testing and rating is complete, the managing editor will prepare the content and list the gear in terms of best in each category. Many gear categories will have many more than one "best" product. For instance, there may be a "Best Overall", but maybe it is expensive, so we will also include a "Best For The Money" and  "Best" in other categories that make sense for the product roundup. We will share the reasons for the "Best Of" award, as well as, what we liked and what we didn't like for each product so that each reader has the knowledge to help him or her find the best product for his/her situation.

Affiliate Relationship may earn a commission if products are purchased using links in our reviews and gear roundups. You will not pay more when buying through our links. In fact, oftentimes we have negotiated lower prices and discounts than you would otherwise find on the internet. These commissions allow us to provide you with tons of free, valuable content without the subscriptions or distracting advertising that you will find at our competitors websites. You can see our full Affiliate disclosure here.

Meet Our Experts

John VanDerLaan Editor

John VanDerLaan

John is the founder and Managing Editor here at He oversees a team of editors, writers and pro staff that are subject matter experts in hunting and hunting gear. John's expertise includes thoroughly testing all types of hunting gear, as well as hunting all over the U.S. and Canada. While his hunting expertise includes game birds, small game and large game, his favorite game animal is the whitetail deer and he loves to share the knowledge that he has gained over 40 years of chasing the wily whitetail with both archery gear and firearms. John is an active member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

Ron Parker

Ron Parker

Ron is the Archery Editor here at He is an archery instructor and expert bow hunter that lives with his wife and kids in central Ohio. When he is not teaching archery or in the woods bow hunting deer, he is testing archery and bowhunting gear, as well as writing informative articles for

Shawn Lentz Bull Elk

Shawn Lentz

Shawn Lentz is a freelance outdoor writer, avid bowhunter, and fish hatchery specialist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He has a wealth of knowledge and is a subject matter expert in hunting and hunting gear. He loves to test new gear and see how it compares with the gear he is used to. He regularly writes for online and print publications such as, Wide Open Spaces, Fair Chase Magazine, Stone Road Media, and more. 

Jesse Gillotti

Jesse Gillotti

Jesse is a member of our pro staff and a frequent contributor to He is obsessed with hunting deer and big bucks in particular. He has a knack for obtaining permission on the best private land to hunt big bucks. He is constantly testing out new equipment and providing feedback for our reviews and gear roundups.


Kyle Rogers

Kyle is a member of our pro staff and a field tester here at He is well known here for putting hunting gear to the test. He has been known to drop gear from tree stands and to ride around with gear in the bed of his truck on bumpy roads to test the durability. Kyle is from upstate New York and travels across the country frequently in search of both whitetail and mule deer.

You can learn more about ther members of our staff by visiting our About Page.