My mission was to fill the freezer. My perch was a Summit Crush Series Ledge hang-on situated 18-foot up a gnarled cottonwood. The stand was perfect – overlooking three trails leading to a nearby alfalfa field. The rut was long past, and the deer in the area had switched to survival mode. They needed calories, and the alfalfa field was their only choice.
A bitter north wind howled and tiny ice pellets pounded my exposed face like a tattoo artist’s gun. It was uncomfortable to say the least. I had only been in the stand an hour, but it felt much longer. There was no snow – it was too cold to snow. My bow, sight, rest…everything was covered in ice.
Over the course of the next hour Mother Nature got nastier. The wind speed kicked up, boosting the velocity of the microscopic ice pellets and making it almost impossible to stay warm. I was debating on whether it was time to get down when I saw her emerge through a thick stand of tamaracks. She was a big doe, and her shaggy winter coat made her look enormous. She was moving slowly but would soon be standing broadside at 20 yards.
The grip (direct to the riser) on my Bear Arena 34 was freezing and ultra-slick. My Victory VAP V1 shaft and Rage Hypodermic broadhead looked like they had been cryogenically frozen. What was I most concerned about, though? The functionality of my QAD Ultra-Rest HDX. Why? Simple: it had many working parts and it was frozen.
No, this wasn’t my first time shooting the rest. And, yes, I’d shot it in a myriad of weather conditions, but nothing this extreme. The last glance at my phone showed a wind chill of -18 degrees Fahrenheit. Were the working parts frozen? Would the rest drop? Should I even take the shot? These were just a few of the question filtering through my brain as the doe closed the distance.
I soon discovered that QAD’s Ultra-Rest HDX lived up to its hype. The rest dropped. The rest didn’t bounce back. The rest was whisper quiet. The rest performed exactly as it had many times before. As for the doe, she was making a death sprint. The Rage Hypodermic had deflated her lungs, and I could see blood pouring from her side.
I’ve long been a fan of drop-away style rests. If tuned and setup correctly, today’s popular drop-away rests, like the HDX, prevent arrow and vane contact. And as I mentioned earlier, I’d tested and shot my QAD in almost every weather situation possible. Its curved capture bar promises arrow clearance, and its convenient thumbwheel makes it a breeze to cock. Vertical, horizontal and overdraw adjustments reduce set-up time, and its laser-cut felt, cam-brake and dampeners reduce noise. Then there are two amazing technologies: Anti-Vibration and Lock-Down. Anti-Vibration Technology reduces noise and vibration, adding an appreciated element of hush to the rest. Lock-Down Technology ensures the rest arm won’t rebound upward after falling away, meaning there is no chance of the arm coming back up and contacting the passing arrow or vanes.
Of course, all of this technology wouldn’t be worth a plug nickel if it didn’t perform, but in the case of the QAD Ultra-Rest HDX, it performs flawlessly.