When you have a chance to combine an excellent off-season hunt for a cool exotic animal that eats better than anything wild I have ever tasted, and do it while field testing a prototype of a hot new hunting tool, how can you not think that these are the times that one loves their job?

In this case I accompanied a handful of press folks and corporate execs to a posh lodge in South Texas to hunt axis deer with the yet-to-be-released Browning OneSixTwo crossbow from the company’s line of ZeroSeven crossbows. The OneSixTwo features Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camouflage and is made in the U.S.A. The company expects this model to be available later this spring.

With a 145-pound draw weight and 14.625-inch power stroke, the bow is rated to shoot at 370 FPS, producing an initial kinetic energy of 122 ft./lbs. Mass weight is 7.25 pounds. The OneSixTwo prototype I had proved to be smooth-shooting and highly accurate.

The bow ships fully assembled in a hard plastic Browning TPS (Total Protection System) Travel Case. It will also come with Browning’s patent pending Crank Cocking Device (CCD) installed from the factory.  The bow also comes equipped with a bore-sighted Cross 1.5-5×32 mm pushbutton illuminated crossbow scope with auto shut-off. Three 22-inch Browning carbon arrows are also included.

The scope is calibrated to match the velocity of the included 22-inch Browning carbon arrows and a 100-grain point. On this trip I shot it at the range with field tips, while on the range and in the field used a 100-grain GraveDigger Cut On Contact broadhead. Once calibrated (easy as pie) the scope’s internal range marks were right on at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards.

Serious rifle shooters will appreciate the TriggerTech trigger system. The trigger has a 3.5-pound pull weight and with the Frictionless Release Technology, it breaks as clean as any top-end rifle trigger with literally no trigger creep.

For added safety, the ADF (Anti-Dry Fire) feature will not allow the safety to be off if an arrow hasn’t been loaded. In addition, the Triggertech trigger won’t fire unless the arrow has been loaded with the proper vane facing down. This ensures positive contact between the arrow and the string.

The patented flight track hook groove keeps the cams aligned when cocking the bow. This design allows for an even and consistent draw and results in better timing for the cams when fired, which helps create repeatable accuracy. Also featured is a soft-touch rubber textured feel Comfort Ledge Palm rest that has proprietary rubber finger reminders to help both reduce vibration and sound suppression as well as act as a finger protector when shooting the bow. The detachable three-arrow quiver can be placed on either side of the bow and lines up parallel to the stock using the left or right Picatinny rails. There is also a rail on the bottom of the forearm for added custom ability of a grip or other accessories.

On this trip we hunted primarily from ground blinds, with the crossbow rested over a set of tripod shooting sticks. I took both an axis buck and doe, the shots being 28 and 35 yards. Both times the broadhead hit right where it was supposed to, and recovery was quick and easy.

The new Browning OneSixTwo is a sweet-shooting crossbow that’s easy to set up and use both on the range and in the field. MSRP is $1,400. More information is available at www.BrowningCrossbows.com.