Need a Third Hand?
by Steve Sorensen
(Originally published in the Warren Times Observer, September 18, 2010.)
One of the simplest inventions is a bow sling
that doubles as a set of tree hooks.
If he ever turns his mind to inventing a better mousetrap, current mousetrap manufacturers will go broke.
Many times I’ve said that outdoor pursuits produce some of the most resourceful and inventive people. One of those people is Jim Litmer of Third Hand Archery Accessories. Jim hasn’t just come up with an idea or two. He has a whole range of products that will make what you carry lighter, put what you need within easy reach, or make your hunting excursions go little safer and smoother.
Bottom line – he gives you that third hand you often wish you had. No, it’s not a surgical addition. It’s the name of his company – Third Hand Archery Accessories, a line-up of handy tools that make getting a grip on things easier for hunters.
One of the simplest inventions – and one I’ll use regularly – is a bow sling that doubles as a set of tree hooks. Sling it over your shoulder and hook your bowstring to the rubber clip. When on stand, wrap the sling around a tree and hang all your gear (binoculars, rattling antlers, grunt tube, quiver) on the four hooks. As for the rubber bow clip, he also sells it separately, and many 3D archers use it to carry their bow on their belts.
He also offers something he calls a “can’t-fire release.” It’s not actually a release aid, but everyone bow shooter should have one for two reasons.
One – the most damaging thing you can do to your bow is an accidental dry fire. Draw your bow with the can’t-fire release when you don’t want to release an arrow, and eliminate the possibility of dry firing. Two – use it for reps to build the chest, back and shoulder muscles you use for drawing.
But it’s not just for the individual archer. Every archery shop should have several of them to use for checking a customer’s draw length.
Another top product is the 32" x 34" “Rag Bag” – actually a printed target cover that you pack full of worn out clothing and rags. Even though I hesitate to say it’s the “cheapest” – because it isn’t cheaply made – this is one of the least expensive arrow targets you can get. Your wardrobe throw-aways replace the most expensive part. It’s durable enough to outlast any other target cover, and you can replace the rags over and over. The top closes with Velcro.
For gun hunters who hunt from the trees, he’s solved that old problem of getting your rifle or shotgun up into your treestand with his Tree Stand Gun Hoist. Before climbing into your stand, place the muzzle of the gun into a nylon pouch, and fasten the strap to the stock of your gun. It’s secure and keeps debris out of the gun barrel. After you’ve climbed, you simply pull the gun up with its business end safely pointed down at the biggest backstop in the world – the world itself. It would make a great gift for the young hunter who has just completed his hunter’s safety course.
I’ll add a word of advice here. Since you lay your firearm on the ground to get started, a means of protecting the scope from dirt and moisture would be a plus. Maybe the next invention from Third Hand will be an accessory to protect your scope.
For getting your bow into your stand, he has the Tree Stand Bow Holder. It clamps to the side of your climbing stand so your bow can hitch a ride – it stays with you all the way up the tree. When in your stand, it keeps your bow secure, silent, and ready.
If you’re like me, you might look at Third Hand Archery Accessories and say, “I could have thought of that.” But you didn’t. The good news is that all Third Hand products are surprisingly inexpensive, so why reinvent the wheel? You can check out all his American-made products online at www.ThirdHandArchery.com, or call 1-800-339-0232 for a print catalog.
From time to time, every hunter wishes for a third hand. Countless hunters have used Third Hand Archery Accessories with success. You might as well be the next one.