Jace Bauserman outlined the basics of the new-for-2016 Mathews Halon bow line earlier (https://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/bowhunting/mathews-launches-halon-trio/); you can read all about the line’s specifications in his report. Taking it one step further, I set up a Halon 6 this week and spent a half-day at the range getting it tuned up and dialed in. I added a 5-inch Doinker stabilizer (www.doinker.com); AXT Rogue bow sight (standard 5-pin design to which I had them add 2 additional sight pins), www.archerxtreme.com; a ¼-inch peep; and the Mathews HD-Series Arrow Web 6-arrow quiver. Taken together, the ready-for-the-field package weighs in at 6.6 pounds, sans arrows.

This bow has a draw length of 28-inches and draw weight of 70 lbs., which is what I shoot for virtually all my bowhunting. I paper-tuned it using two different 28 ½-inch arrow styles and spines — a Beman Hunter Pro 340 carbon shaft, and Easton Nemesis 400 carbon shaft, both fletched with NAP QuikFletch vanes (www.newarchery.com). Adding 100-grain field tips, the Beman shafts weighed in at 402 grains, the Nemesis shafts at 427 grains. During the tuning process, the 340-spine shafts kept giving me a bit of a left-hand tear, both at 5 and 15 yards. The Nemesis, however, gave me perfect bullet holes at both distances. That’s the shaft I chose to stick with.

The Halon 6 has an IBO speed rating of “up to 345 fps.” Cool beans, but what’s the raw arrow speed of my 2 chosen shafts? Beman, 282 fps; Nemesis, 275 fps. In my mind, this is great performance for a hunting-weight shaft. Initial kinetic energy (K.E.) values are 71.00 and 71.72 ft./lbs., respectively.

I started the range testing in the desert near my southern AZ home an hour after sunrise, with an ambient air temperature of 37 degrees and no wind. Within 30 minutes I had the sight pins dialed in for 10-yard increments from 20 to 80 yards. During my own training sessions I rarely shoot more than 2 arrows before pulling them from the target in an attempt to force me to concentrate on each shot rather than simply throw arrows in bunches without regard for form. That said, virtually every arrow I shot once the bow was sighted in went where I wanted it to — even when shooting from my knees, from a chair, or with my body contorted in those weird positions game animals have a habit of forcing on us.

To me the bow draws smoothly, with no little grabs or jerks during the draw cycle. At the wall the bow anchors solidly, with no creep. It releases smooth as silk, and is quiet as the proverbial church mouse

Just one range day, but my confidence is high enough with this rig that I plan on taking it on a mid-December whitetail hunt to frigid Minnesota. I’ll report back on how that all goes here.

More information on the Mathews Halon line can be found at www.mathewsinc.com.