Mathews has built a serious reputation on producing bows that are dream-come-true whitetail rigs. Draw one — any one — and you’ll see why. This trend is alive and well for 2017 with the Halon 32 lineup, which includes three models based on either a 5-, 6- or 7-inch brace height. The 6-inch option weighs 4.73 pounds, is available in draw weights of 40 to 70 pounds and draw lengths of 25½ to 31½ inches, and can generate arrow speeds up to 343 fps.
This is possible through the highly efficient Crosscentric cam, which employs the concentric string payout and AVS technology to not only produce shoulder-busting speeds, but also repeatable, impressive accuracy and the kind of draw cycle that has proven smooth enough to rope in legions of loyal bowhunters who will never shoot another brand. Add in the FlatBack grip plus their usage of harmonic dampers and stabilizers, and you’ve got a whisper-quiet bow that pretty much covers the needs of all bowhunters, no matter where they call home or what critters dominate their daydreams.
There’s a reason so many diehard elk hunters end up posing over dead bulls with a Hoyt bow. In fact, there are quite a few reasons. The first is that Hoyt offers three versions of its flagships each year, which means you can choose a 34-inch model, a Turbo model or a shorter axle-to-axle offering like the Pro Defiant that tapes out at 30½ inches. This maneuverable 4.2-pound masterpiece isn’t just ideal for carrying through the quakies. It’s also an excellent whitetail bow thanks to its 7-inch brace height and rock-solid back wall that is created through Dual Cable Stops.
Perennial winners of the coolest-risers-ever award, Hoyt’s Pro Defiant is anchored by the eye-catching, yet highly functional, Offset Riser Technology that provides stiffness throughout the shot and effectively kills noisy vibration. UltraFlex limbs and the DFX Cam & ½ System produce expected tight groups, but shooters of this new bow will also notice an unexpected side effect from these two technologies — better-than-ever shooting form. This is no accident, and it’s a testament to the great minds behind the bow’s build. The broader cam-to-cam distance creates a flatter string angle, which brings the peep sight to your eye and allows for a more relaxed, strain-free shooting posture. This, of course, allows you to shoot better at the range and where it counts — in the field.
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More and more bowhunters find themselves looking to be multi-species specialists, which is one of the reasons why shorter axle-to-axle bows have become so popular in recent years. Exhibit A is the new Moment from Bear Archery, which tapes out at 31 inches between axles – the perfect length for humping up an elky mountainside, sitting in an antelope blind, or toiling for hours in a whitetail stand.
Naturally, Bear’s latest doesn’t only offer maneuverability, it also weighs only four pounds, features a six-inch brace height, and can send arrows downrange at up to 340 fps. Two draw weight ranges (55 to 70, 45 to 60) as well as draw lengths of 25 to 30 inches are offered in this flagship, which produces a whisper-quiet shot thanks to Bear’s usage of unique dual string suppressors. Also unique on the Moment and other Bear models, is the Hinge Guard, which moves with your cables to greatly reduce lateral torque during the shot cycle, which in laymen’s terms, allows these bows to be true tack drivers.
For a bow to shoot well, it has to do two things: deliver truly level nock travel and be balanced throughout the draw cycle. The engineers behind Prime are no dummies, and they’ve refined both of these in the new 33¼-inch Centergy. The new TRK Cam System is the latest in Prime’s Parallel Cam technology, allowing strings and cables to function so well by keeping them perfectly in parallel and in line, which addresses nock travel and accuracy issues while simultaneously working in conjunction with the Flexis-AR roller guard.
To address bow balance, the center-balanced 82x aluminum riser features the “swerve,” a strategically designed curve that functions to eliminate lateral movement throughout the draw cycle. Cutting down movement happens to reduce noise and vibration, which quiets the bow down and increases overall accuracy. In other words, this 4.3-pound offering from Prime is truly designed to be as accurate and enjoyable to shoot as possible. Better yet, it’s offered in 24 to 31 inches of draw length and peak draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 65, 70 and even 80 pounds for anyone looking to punch through moose like they’re prairie dogs. Shooters can expect arrow speeds in the neighborhood of 333 fps out of the Centergy, which is designed with a 6½-inch brace height.
Technology-wise, you’d be hard pressed to find a bow company doing more cool stuff than Bowtech. There is no greater evidence of this than its latest model, the 4.3-pound Reign 6. This bow incorporates PowerShift Flip Disc Technology to allow draw-cycle customization, Micro Sync Technology for fine-tuning the cams and the new Outrigger offset weight design to promote true balance once your bow is accessorized.
The company’s OverDrive Binary Cams work flawlessly with one another to produce blistering arrow speeds of up to 350 fps. They also perform in concert with the riser-torque-absorbing FLX-GUARD and Center Pivot Extreme Riser to produce tight groups and a truly smooth shot cycle. Everyone from backyard whitetailers to more adventurous bowhunters will be able to fit into this bow nicely thanks to its draw-length range of 24 to 30 inches and its peak draw-weight choices ranging from 50 to 70 pounds.
PSE’s latest is so light you might need to accessorize it just so it doesn’t float away in a mild breeze. At 3.3 pounds, it’s nearly a pound lighter than most of the competition. The 31.5-inch Carbon Air 32 ECS also happens to boast the Evolve Cam System (ECS), which not only produces a shoulder-friendly draw cycle but also creates a solid-as-a-brick back wall. Once you hit that back wall, you’ll also probably notice that it feels like you’re holding back about 6 pounds or so of draw weight given the optional 90 percent letoff.
To generate 3-D-level accuracy in conjunction with arrow speeds in the 342 fps range, the Carbon Air 32 ECS utilizes the new AirGlide cable guard system, an ingenious addition to this bow that ensures friction-free string function. All of this adds up to a bow that is as ideal for Western critters as it is for whitetails. Draw weights are offered in either 60- or 70-pound peaks, and draw lengths can be had from as short as 24½ inches all the way to 30 inches.
New from Elite is the 32-inch axle-to-axle Elite Option 7 – the 7 no doubt representing the bow’s forgiving brace height. Utilizing a 7075 T6 skeletonized riser with dual Riser Cages, the Option 7 boasts a 65 percent greater strength-to-weight ratio than previous Elite models. Tipping the scales at just 4.3 pounds, this tack driver features a LTR (Lateral Tuning Roller) roller guard, which, according to Elite, provides the finest tune the manufacturer has ever seen. Delivering blistering speeds, especially by Elite standards of up to 342 fps with the No. 1 31-inch draw module, this bow will be favored by many. The bow’s spit-limbs give it a dynamic look, and it’s offered in draw weights of 50, 60, 65, 70 and 80 pounds and draw lengths in half-inch increments between 27 to 31 inches. The Option 7 is available in Kuiu Verde, Kuiu Vias, Realtree Xtra, Max-1, AP Snow, Black, Hardwoods Brown, Olive Green and vibrant target-style colors.
Featured image: Bear Archery (Facebook)