From bows to accessories, here are 10 of the best deals in the bowhunting market this year for buyers in the know.
Archery industry manufacturers seem to have fractured into two factions lately. On one side you have high-end, uber-expensive equipment that while nice, is clearly out of reach for most of us. On the other side is the bargain-basement, sell-to-the-masses gear that sometimes breaks before you get it out of the store.
Fortunately, there is a sweet spot right in the middle of that spectrum where you’ll find products that are reasonably priced and will help any bowhunter or archery enthusiast shoot better. Here are 10 of my favorite products that budget-conscious archery enthusiasts should consider buying this year.
You can spend $250 for a drop-away rest, or you can pick up a do-the-job-just-as-well COVERT from Apex Gear for just $99. This new full-capture, drop-away rest features a thumb lever to raise the launcher, and utilizes HAMMER RELEASE TECHNOLOGY to ensure there is zero launcher movement during the draw cycle. The COVERT is designed with independent windage and elevation adjustments and will provide total vane clearance for excellent downrange results.
If you need a quiver that is built to last, consider the new Bruin from Bohning, which is constructed of strong-as-metal high-impact polycarbonate. For only about $30, the four-arrow Bruin is an absolute steal with its molded hood that can house any style of broadheads, its rock-solid lever locking system, and also its built-in hook for quick hanging in your treestand or the backyard shooting range.
Quick tip: While many bow shops run specials on select items year-round, the best time to purchase bow gear is right after New Year’s when new models come out and dealers may be clearing out last year’s models at reduced prices.
Whether you’re looking for a total bow upgrade, or to get into the archery thing for the first time, BOWTECH has you covered with their Fuel. This highly-adjustable hunting rig can generate arrow speeds up to 320 feet-per-second and measures 31.5 inches between axles. It’s adjustable for draw lengths of 18 to 30 inches and draw weighs of 14 to 70 pounds (all sans a bow press), and comes R.A.K. Equipped, meaning for $500 you get a fully accessorized bow that will fit nearly anyone.
Anyone who enjoys the arc of the arrow should try out lighted nocks. They make practice so much more enjoyable and are an asset to bowhunters who want to know exactly what happened during each in-field shot. The best and most cost-effective way to outfit your entire quiver with the brightest nocks on the market is to get the new Combo Pack from Lumenok. For $50 you get four Lumenoks, two spare batteries, and an arrow puller.
Few sights are easier to set up than The Wheel from Dead Ringer. This $80 four-pin (.019-inch pins) mover allows you the opportunity to simply print out sight tapes at home free of charge. After that, head to the range and sight in for specific distances and then affix the proper sight tape. This is a great option for anyone who just enjoys target shooting as well as the hardcore hunter who might target back-40 whitetails one week and then western critters the next.
Quick tip: Your local bow shop is always the best place to go for sales and service, but if you don’t have a good local dealer near you Camofire offers great prices online.
Laser rangefinders have come a long way in recent years, and not only are they now highly portable and extremely accurate, but they are also very affordable. Take the XR800 from Halo for example. This water-resistant rangefinder is designed with 6X magnification, will provide instant readings that are precise to +/- one yard, and is designed not only with Scan Mode, but also Angle Intelligence so that you’ll get true horizontal readings no matter where you’re shooting. The best part? You get all of this for $150.
$700 may not seem like a bargain, but it’s important to remember that cheap doesn’t always equate to value. The PowerMax Compound Bow Package from Hoyt is A LOT of bow for the money, not-to-mention it comes with every accessory you need to start flinging. The 3.8-pound PowerMax measures 31 inches axle-to-axle, can produce arrow speeds up to 328 feet-per-second, and is loaded with Hoyt-specific technologies that make it not only highly accurate, but also very enjoyable to shoot.
If you’ve never considered a Quest bow, maybe 2018 is your year. This company, which is under the G5 Outdoors umbrella, has quietly been churning out some of the best bows on the market. This year, they’ve released the 3.4-pound Thrive, which features a seven-inch brace height and can send arrows downrange at 330 feet per second. Peak draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds are offered in this $650 rig.
Everyone needs a target, and most of us need a 3D target of a whitetail. The problem is, a lot of the targets on the market are really expensive. Not so with the Big Shooter Buck from Shooter 3D. This 48-inch tall target is designed with a replaceable vital insert, can handle all field points and broadheads, and allows for easy arrow removal. On top of that, it can be yours for $100.
About the Author: Tony J. Peterson has written hundreds of articles for over two dozen national and local publications. Although he covers topics related to all forms of hunting and fishing, his passion lies in do-it-yourself bowhunting for whitetail deer and western big game. Peterson is an accomplished outdoor photographer and currently serves as the Equipment Editor for Bowhunter magazine and Bowhunter TV.