Photo: John Hafner
“It’s done,” said my good buddy in a recent phone conversation. He was calling to inform me that the limbs on his 1980 compound bow model finally gave out — he’d found a large crack on the bottom limb.
“I was all dialed-in for spring birds, but now I don’t know what to do,” he went on. “I just can’t afford a new bow right now, let alone some accessory items to put on it. I could use my old sight and rest, but they aren’t in the best shape either, and after the bow break, it’s got me nervous. I’ve been needing to upgrade for some time now, but every time I scrape some change together, something comes up with the family. I’ve got $1,000 to spend right now. Can you help me?”
Sound at all familiar? Here’s the good news: it’s possible to put together a hunting setup for less than $1,000 — and that includes a sight, rest, stabilizer, quiver, arrows and broadheads. Check it out.
Three Budget Rigs
First you’ll need a quality bow. And while some premium flagship bows can easily cost over $1,000 for a bare bow, there are several quality bows that still leave plenty of room in the budget for good accessories.
Mission Hype DTX
The Hype DTX ($400) was new in 2017, and this up-to-305-fps bow is still creating a buzz with the budget-minded bowhunting crowd. Measuring 31 inches axle to axle and tipping the scales at just 4.16 pounds, this bow is ideal for spot-and-stalk, treestand and ground blind hunting. Designed to fit almost every bowhunter, the DTX has a no-press-needed draw-weight range of 15 to 70 pounds and a draw-length range of 19 to 30 inches. The brace height is a forgiving 7 inches, and the letoff is 80 percent. The grip is a composite-style, and the bow features Mission’s perimeter-weighted F.I.T. Cam System. Other notable features are the Dead End String Stop and Mathews Harmonic Stabilizer.
Diamond Deploy SB
Diamond describes its Deploy SB ($649) as its most technically advanced bow. It doesn’t take long to see why. The bow is powered by Bowtech’s proven Binary Cam System and hits speeds up to 330 fps. Weighing only 3.2 pounds, this bow is a dream to tote. The rig’s feather-like nature can be credited to its aerospace-inspired carbon riser. Measuring 31 ½ inches axle to axle, the Deploy SB boasts a generous 6 ¾-inch brace height and comes in peak draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds. Effective letoff is 80 percent, and the bow fits draw lengths between 26 and 30 ½ inches.
Built on an all-new riser and short-limb design, PSE’s Ramped ($400) promises a great feel and an ultra-adjustable Drive-style cam. Weighing just 3 ½ pounds and measuring 30 ¾ inches between the axles, this rig hits speeds up to 318 fps. A generous draw-length range of 24 to 30 inches and peak draw weights of 60 and 70 pounds with up to 12 limb-bolt turns to reduce weight make this rig even more attractive to the budget bowhunter. The bow offers a 6 ½-inch brace height and has an effective letoff rating of 80 percent.
All three of these budget bows come as packages (for an additional cost). But if you’ve chosen to purchase a bare bow, you’ll need to purchase a few other items to be ready for the field. Here are some quality accessory items that won’t break the bank:
TruGlo TSX Pro Series Standard
The TSX Pro Series sight ($63) offers the features bowhunters loved in the Tru-Site Xtreme and adds Tru-Touch Soft-Feel coating and rugged stainless-steel pins. This three-pin sight (a five-pin model is also available) boasts a large circular field of view and ultra-tough — but still lightweight — construction. The TSX Pro Series features an adjustable second- and third-axis level with two vertical bars and an adjustable rheostat light to reduce unwanted pin glare.
QAD UltraRest Hunter
QAD is known for its quality, and when it comes to the piece of equipment that holds your arrow, quality is a must. Enter the UltraRest Hunter ($65). This fall-away arrow rest guarantees total arrow containment via the capture bar, has an easy-to-use thumbwheel, and boasts horizontal and overdraw adjustments. The rest is made from precision CNC aluminum, stainless steel and delrin components.
Trophy Ridge Static 6
I’ve always been a fan of Trophy Ridge stabilizers, and the Static 6 ($35) is one of my favorites. This airy stabilizer is lightweight, and its design allows wind to pass easily through, making you steadier in gusty conditions. The Ballistix CoPolymer System is 25 percent lighter than aluminum but offers the same strength. The stabilizer comes with a pair of 1-ounce weights.
A four-arrow quiver with a molded hood and liner for quiet storage of fixed- and mechanical broadheads alike, the Bohning Bruin ($33) boasts a high-impact polycarbonate stem to provide the strength of metal without the added weight. The quiver is equipped with a built-in hook for quick hanging and Bohning’s legendary Lever-Lock mounting system. A number of custom-color hood liners are available.
Tru-Fire Smoke Extreme
A new-for-2018 spin on Tru-Fire’s popular Smoke, the Smoke Extreme ($40) is a reliable dual-caliper release that offers locking length adjustment as well as adjustable trigger travel. The Extreme Style wrist strap promises comfort.
Beman ICS Bow Hunter Fletched Arrows
With a straightness rating of +/- .006, the ICS Bow Hunter ($36/6-pack) has been a bowhunter favorite for years. Built on the concept of durability, the ICS Bow Hunter comes fletched with 2-inch XPV vanes, Direct-Fit S nocks and CB inserts. Spine sizes of 340 (9.3 gpi), 400 (8.4 gpi) and 500 (7.3 gpi) are available to meet a wide range of draw weights.
Sold in packs of three, the G5 Montec ($42) is a proven-in-the-field fixed-blade head you can depend on. Featuring one-piece MIM construction, the Montec doesn’t need to have blades inserted, and the 100 percent steel engineering ensures rugged durability. A three-blade design with a 1 1/16-inch cut diameter, the Montec has been the demise of countless game animals since its introduction.
Below is a breakdown of your total cost of the three different budget bows outfitted with the above-mentioned accessory items:
Mission Hype DTX: $714
Diamond Deploy SB: $963
PSE Ramped: $714
There you have it. Whether you’re looking to replace a worn-out bow package or simply wanting to get into the bowhunting woods for less than $1K, the above products are worth a look.