Alpine's New Bows for 2011

A lot of bow manufacturers have expanded their line-ups this year to include bows for the budget-minded hunter—and that’s good. Thing is, Alpine has been quietly specializing in producing high-quality, high-value bows for many years. This year’s new models feature low-weight risers, Alpine’s innovative limb pockets, a variety of new camo finishes, and high-performance cams, most notably Alpine’s Velocitic cams. The Velocitic is a hybrid cam designed not only to move the harnesses on both sides of the string for better balance, but employing helical grooves to shift them to the side during the draw cycle, all but eliminating cam lean and torque. Most notable in Alpine’s new line-up is arguably the JS (Jim Shockey) series Yukon. At 35 inches and 4.3 pounds, with draw lengths starting at 28 inches and running out to 31 inches and draw weights of only 60 and 70 pounds, this is a bow for big boys—or at least, not a bow for smaller-framed individuals. The 7 3/4-inch brace height and 80 percent letoff is certainly friendly enough for any bowhunter, and the speed of 320 fps is more than adequate. And—not that this matters, of course—it has a matte black riser with a one-piece laser-engraved rosewood handle and a JS series medallion, a film-dipped Realtree Hardwoods camo finish on the Bi-flex Composite Limbs, and red and black Stone Mountain Dakota strings, all making for the kind of sharp appearance that always draws a second look. The JS Yukon retails for about $700. An all-camo version called the Ventura, with the same specs but without the special grip or graphics, is available for the same price.

The JS Yukon is a lot of bow for $700, but bowhunters looking for a super bargain might find the new Fireball F1 at a street price of $570 difficult to resist. The Fireball F1 employs the same Velocitric Cam as the Yukon, along with a similar forged riser, Bi-flex Composite Limbs, the same limb pockets, and the same Alpine Decelerator String Stop. The brace height is a skinnier, though still adequate, 6+ inches, generating a trajectory-flattening speed of 347 fps. Thanks in part to a more parallel limb design, this is still a sweet-shooting bow. The Fireball F1 is available in draw lengths of 27 to 30 inches and draw weights of 60 or 70 pounds. It’s slightly shorter than the Yukon at 34 inches, and slightly lighter at 4.2 pounds. This is the kind of bow you want to show to your buddies—especially the really opinionated one who just spent twice the amount on a new bow.

Women bowhunters have a lot to be excited about this year, with more and more manufacturers producing bows made especially for them. Alpine’s Blush is more than just a smaller version of a man’s bow, and we’re not talking about the pink camo with a rosewood grip, though that does contribute to the appeal for many women. The Blush boasts the Velocitric 3G cam and the Bi-flex Composite Limbs, and generates serious bowhunting speeds of 290 fps. At 3 1/2 pounds with a 30-inch axle-to-axle length, it’s comfortable to carry and to maneuver through the woods. Draw weights are 40 or 50 pounds, and draw lengths are 24 to 27 inches. At a price of under $400, this pink bow is going to put a lot of game on the ground.

Kids bows are all about getting them interested and keeping them interested. Alpine has been making bows for the youth market for more than 20 years, and that experience is evident in Alpine’s new Lil Guff. Endorsed by Jim Shockey, it’s a very shootable bow, and versatile enough to grow with any youngster. It features a machined aluminum riser with Power Tuff Limbs and Alpines Radial Force A Cams. Draw length runs from 17 to 23 inches, with draw weights running all the way from 10 to 35 pounds, accommodating kids typically from about 5 years old to 12. Axle-to-axle length is 28 inches, and the Lil Guff weighs an unintimidating 2.5 pounds, making it comfortable for even the youngest shooters of both genders. Letoff is 65 percent and the Lil Guff sells for an affordable $220.

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