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The Ultimate Game Scouting ‘Gear’


The Ultimate Game Scouting 'Gear'

Sure, we’ve all used ‘standard’ equipment for scouting, i.e. Trail cams, spotting scopes, and hunting for sign; but if you want to get serious, really serious about scouting, you need to start thinking bird’s eye view. Before you read on please note: MANY/MOST states do not allow aerial scouting. That’s right - don’t harass the animals! However, if you happen to be doing a little aerial tour and spot some game, well shucks – keep your new ‘no-tell um creek’ a secret.

#1 Powered Parachute (PPC’s) & Paramotors

It is the easiest flying vehicle we know about - only two airborne controls: One to control your rise and decent through the skies, (the throttle) and the other to make turns (via your feet and the foot rudder bars). Besides keeping the unit sturdy, clean & dry, they don’t take much to maintain. Sure these scouting toys may look and sound a little dangerous but consider the fact that this one has a damn parachute. If the engine stops running, simply float down to the ground (and brace for impact).

First we have the Infiniti Commander 912. This passenger model is a three-wheeled flying monster. Take a look at those seats; they look like they’ve come out of a high-end car. Let’s just hope they can handle a pressure washer after your first flight. If you are more of the “trike” kind – well, we’ve found your model.

For the gear heads:

  • 4-stroke Rotax 912 motor

  • 100 horsepower

  • 28-32 mph

  • Ceiling 10,500 ft. (that’s a negative ghostrider!)

  • Cost: $11,000


Your next option is the Blackhawk Intruder 250. Think oversized Gokart with a big fan and parachute on the back. I don’t know about you, but that one extra wheel makes me feel a little bit safer.

  • BlackHawk INTRUDER 250 EFI 4-Stroke

  • 35 Horsepower

  • Mph?

  • Ceiling?

  • Cost: $14,995


#2 Gyrocopters/Autogyros/Gyroplane

These babies are part airplane, part helicopter and 100% badass. Instead of a parachute, you have a free-rotation rotor blade. While a helicopter has a powered rotor blade, this rotor blade acts like a parachute by providing lift. So, even if the forward propelling motor and rotor fail or are turned off you can simply set it down. Other advantages of a gyrocopter and why they’ve landed a spot on our ultimate game scouting gear list - the gyrocopter can fly very low and slow and do so safely. Second, they can land and take off from very short runways. Sounds like a scouting no-brainer!

First is the Tercel from Air Gyro Aviation in Salt Lake City, Utah. Manufactured by Trendak in Poland this two-seater has all the options any hunter or flight enthusiast could need.

  • Cruise Speed: 87 mph

  • Range: 271-521 miles

  • Cost: We found used listings around $80,000


Next we have the German made AutoGyro Cavalon. A leader in the market, this gyrocopter looks to be one of the favored options among enthusiasts.

  • Cruise Speed: 87 mph

  • Range: 380 miles

  • Cost Base Model:

  • $100,000


#3 Backpack Balloons/Hopper Balloon/Hopper/Cloudhopper/Sky Hopper

What is it with the folks involved in these niche aircraft industries? Why can’t they decide on a name for their flying machines? They are all a little crazy anyway, hopping in to toys with names like Cloudhoppers and soaring thousands of feet in the sky. Really?

‘Crazyseats’ as they should be called, are simply a one-man hot air balloon. Just sit your tookus down, harness up with a propane tank at your back and let er’ rip. Compared to conventional hot-air balloons, cloudhoppers are very maneuverable and can land in small areas; they are also very easy to store and transport between flights.

Some interesting cloudhopper activities: “the cloudhopper can kick his or her feet in the tree-tops, or go "moon-walking" through open fields in huge, forty-foot jumps.” Yep, crazy, or crazy fun – it’s hard to say.

For a complete ready-to-fly system look no further than Cameron Balloons “Sky Hoppers”.

Some features:

  • Accepts any Hopper or standard envelope 20,000 to 34,000 cubic feet.

  • Four-point “fail safe” bearing system.

  • Fast easy envelope connection via carabiners for four-or-three point hookup.

  • 43x16x15 inch pack

  • $23,000 – complete ready-to-fly system


#4 Flynano Miniature Electric Flying Boat

WHAT? If you didn’t already know it, you NEED a miniature electric flying boat. Because we all dreamed about one as children right? If this Redneck had a choice, it would sound like a P51 Mustang, but electric works – especially for our scouting purposes.

With official sales started the summer of 2018, you can own this unique Finnish flying machine and start using your local lake as your private airstrip. Some interesting specs:

  • Top Speed: 87 mph

  • Range: 40 miles

  • Total Weight: 150 lbs!!!

  • Assembly Time: 15 minutes

  • Charge time: 1 hour

  • Wingspan: Just over 16 feet.

  • Cost: Approximately $42,000 (including trailer)


#5 The Zapata Flyboard Air

WTF! If you aren’t up on the latest acronyms, that stands for Well Thanks Fella. Thanks for inventing an actual personal flying machine. This makes the hover boards in Back to the Future look like child’s play. What’s crazy is that it has so much redundancy built into it – it’s actually SAFE. Assuming you aren’t a complete moron, you could travel on your personal jetpack that’s barely wider than your shoulders.

Think, Segway except cool.

Some interesting specs:

  • 125mph

  • 10,000 foot max altitude (ah no thanks we’ll keep her closer to the ground)

  • 30 minute flight time

  • 440 lb. max capacity (that’s a lot of burgers)

  • $250,000

Caveat: If you are pushing max capacity you should know the Zapata Flyboard Air requires an extraordinary amount of core strength and balance to operate. I.e. If you are out of shape and don’t have the natural ability to balance we’d recommend staying firmly planted on the ground.



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