Is Your Old Compound Bow Obsolete?

Compound bow design and performance continues to improve each year, but that doesn’t mean your current bow, even if it’s 15 years old, is obsolete.

Is Your Old Compound Bow Obsolete?

Bow manufacturers amaze me. Every year I think we’ve hit the peak —  the pinnacle of design — and believe in my soul that vertical weapons can’t get any better. But every year, I’m proven wrong. To survive in the bow-building ocean, manufacturers must deliver. If they don’t come up with a shiny new penny loaded with new and purposeful features, they get devoured by another shark in the same ocean.

I’ve spent a lot of time shooting and testing a few of 2020’s new bow crop. It’s impressive. With that noted, I often think bowhunters develop a mindset that their future success hinges on whether their case harbors a new-for-that-year vertical wonder. If this is you, stop. Take a lesson from the rifle world. How many rifle goers still hit the deer woods with granddaddy’s Winchester Model 70? Let me help you out: it’s a bunch. That gun was launched in 1936.

Your success in the field hinges on your ability as a bowhunter and not the bow you’re toting. I realize bow manufacturers discontinue past models, but that doesn’t make them obsolete. Last year, I dusted off my Mathews Outback and killed a few deer with it. Guess what? This 2004 model worked wonderfully.

Of course, if you have the means and you’re in the market, a new bow is worth every penny. Today’s rigs are quieter, faster and more balanced than ever before. If you don’t have the means, or are confident and comfortable with your current in-the-field companion, stay with it. The amount of meat in your freezer won’t be in jeopardy, I promise.

Whether you purchase a new compound bow prior to the 2020 big game seasons or not, the off-season is the perfect time to become a better shooter.
Whether you purchase a new compound bow prior to the 2020 big game seasons or not, the off-season is the perfect time to become a better shooter.

Regardless of what you decide — new bow or an already owned-model — spend the coming months focusing on becoming the most proficient bow shot you can be. Master a hinge-style release. Shoot a pile of 3-D tournaments. Join an indoor league. Hang a treestand in your backyard and practice shooting from an elevated position. Get in a shooting routine. Build shooting confidence. Go into the hunting months knowing that if a targeted animal wanders bowhunting close, you’ll be able to close the deal.

Images by Jace Bauserman

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