The newest of PSE’s popular Dream Season bows, the Dream Season Decree is touted as a bow occupying that sweet spot between super fast on the one hand and smooth drawing and pleasant to shoot on the other. Of course speed is relative, and smooth drawing, though we can map it as a draw-force curve, remains somewhat subjective. And speaking relatively, it’s fair to say that a top speed of 355 fps is very fast by any standard. Like most of PSE’s premium bows, the Dream Season Decree certainly looks aggressive. The characteristic highly pre-loaded, way-beyond-parallel split limbs contribute a lot to that impression, as do the oversized Inertia Cams – the hybrid system behind a lot of this bow’s speed.
In terms of technology, the most significant new development is arguably the Planar X 3-D structural riser, which employs a sort of crossing X configuration that, together with PSE’s 7075 forged-aluminum construction, makes for a very solid shooting platform. The X-Tech Speed Limbs, B.E.S.T. Grip and Backstop 3 String Suppressor, among other features, have all been tweaked and are all latest generation. I’m a fan of PSE’s CenterPull Technology, which positions the arrow at the center in relation to cams, limbs, strings and cables – it just makes too much sense in terms of nock travel, torque and general tunability.
In terms of specifications, a glance at the spec chart reveals the DS Decree represents a moderate design in most respects. The mass weight of 3.7 pounds merits a comment, though. While there is a case to be made for slightly heavier bows in terms of forgiveness, stability, vibration and noise, the trend has been in the direction of lighter bows for the simple reason that many hunters prefer them. PSE’s move in the direction of including some lighter bows in its lineup is a good one. And while it’s not exclusive to PSE, the 65-pound peak draw-weight option is a welcome move as well.
In terms of appearance, the DS Decree strikes me as among PSE’s sharpest-looking bows. Fit and finish is what you’d expect from a premium bow, and the test model was flawless and easily passed my scratch test.
Shooting the Bow
Setting up PSE bows is normally a straightforward affair, and PSE bows generally accommodate a wide range of accessories without issue. The string stop on the test bow was too far from the string at rest; a simple adjustment remedied that. I always appreciate visual references like the arrow-positioning line on the shelf of this and other PSE bows. Draw-length adjustment is easily made without resorting to a press, and though the test bow did not include a printed manual, PSE’s online owner’s manuals are clearer and more comprehensive than most. Draw weight is adjusted in a conventional manner by loosening set screws, then turning the limb bolts to the desired position before re-tightening the set screws. The limb bolts on the test bow were very stiff but turned smoothly without slipping or chattering. I’m sure there is a reason the set screws have torx heads instead of the far more common hex heads, but I do not know what it is. Suffice it to say that if you do not have a set of torx wrenches and wish to adjust your draw weight, you will have to run out to a hardware store and buy a set.
Overall, I found the DS Decree unusually easy to set up and tune. Arrow flight appeared good with the first shot, and with a couple of very minor adjustments I was getting bullet holes through paper. Grip is an important but sometimes overlooked feature of any bow. I like PSE’s side-plate-style grips, and the new third-generation B.E.S.T. Grip is an improvement on an already good grip.
The draw cycle is indeed smooth, but 355 fps is still very fast, and it should be no news flash to any savvy bowhunter that speed is not free. The Inertia Cam is fairly aggressive; the weight climbs rapidly, levels off for a while, then drops off quickly to a 75 percent letoff right before hitting the very solid limb stops. The shooter who is not overbowed will not find it unpleasant, but the aggressiveness of the cams is apparent. At the shot there is a slight amount of vibration, though the noise level is very good on this bow, especially given its speed. And you won’t need a chronograph to tell you the arrow gets to the target in a hurry, hits it very hard and drives very deeply into it.
Make no mistake: This is a bow for hunters who prefer a high-performance bow and the advantages of flat shooting that come with it. For those hunters who favor a bow that is fast but highly tunable, light in weight and moderate in length, the PSE Dream Season Decree is a bow that deserves serious consideration.
PSE Dream Season Decree Specs
Brace Height:………………6 inches
Weight:…………………….. 3.7 pounds (approximate)
Axle-To-Axle Length:…….. 31-3/8 inches
Speed:……………………… 355 fps
Draw Lengths:…………….. 24-1/2 to 30 inches, modular adjustable in half-inch increments
Draw Weights:…..………… 50, 60, 65 and 70 pound peak, adjustable down 10 pounds from peak
Options:…………………… Black, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Skullworks
Suggested Retail:………… $950
Objective Tests (30 Inches Draw)
Peak Hold*:…………………70 pounds
Weight, Full Draw*:………19.5 pounds
*Rounded to nearest half-pound
At 70-Pound Draw Weight
|Arrow Weight||Speed @ Launch||Speed @ 20 Yards||K.E. @ Launch||K.E. @ 20 Yards|
|385 grains||319 fps||308 fps||87 ft. lbs.
||81 ft. lbs.|
|500 grains||288 fps||280 fps||92 ft. lbs.||87.5 ft. lbs.|
At 60-Pound Draw Weight
|Arrow Weight||Speed @ Launch||Speed @ 20 Yards||K.E. @ Launch||K.E. @ 20 Yards||Sound Level|
|385 grains||305 fps||294 fps||79.5 ft. lbs.||74 ft. lbs.||59.2 dBA
|500 grains||273 fps||265 fps||82.5 ft. lbs.||78 ft. lbs.||47.2 dBA|