Bowhunting’s best

20 tremendous new bows, crossbows, arrows, broadheads and accessories

Also check out Outdoor Canada’s full roundup of the year’s top new hunting gear, including firearmsbowhunting gearopticsapparel and accessories.

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There’s never been a better time to buy new gear for bowhunting. The number of new, high-quality bows and accessories coming to market this year is shocking, and with a downturn in archery sales last year, the prices have never been more competitive. And new technologies continue to produce better quality high-performance gear, making bowhunting more accessible to more people. This past January at the 21st annual Archery Trade Association Show in Indianapolis, Indiana, I had the chance to survey the best new gear on offer from some 653 exhibitors. Here’s what I found most impressive.

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ARROW ID 7000 VR

Featuring optical vibration reduction (VR) technology, Nikon’s Arrow ID 7000 VR is the first-ever laser rangefinder to compensate for unintentional hand movements, reducing shaky images in the viewfinder by approximately 80 per cent. The unit also features Nikon’s popular ID Technology to compensate for the incline/decline effect of any shot.

Nikon Sport Optics, 1-800-645-6687; www.nikonsportoptics.com

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SPORT HUNTER COUNTER SLIDE

Whether you’re hunting or practising at the range, Bee Stinger’s Sport Hunter Counter Slide promises to help keep you on target by perfectly balancing your bow. With five one-ounce weights and a sliding bracket, the Counter Slide allows for minute adjustments to offset the weight of your sight, quiver and other accessories. It comes in 10-, 12- and 15-inch lengths.

Bee Stinger; 1-800-551-0541; www.b-stinger.com

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BOW JACK

Ideal for longer axle-to-axle bows, Truglo’s lightweight and durable Bow Jack is a portable bow stand for use in the field, blind or treestand. Measuring 7.25 inches long and weighing just 3.5 ounces, the Bow Jack clamps to your bow limb with rubber grips, helping balance the bow so it stands freely off the ground. To support most crossbow models, you can use two Bow Jacks.

Truglo, www.truglo.com

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CARBON HYBRID MICRO SIGHT

Made of carbon composite and aluminum, Truglo’s multi-pin Carbon Hybrid Micro Sight provides an excellent strength to weight ratio, greater durability and less vibration. Featuring a unique metal pin design with extra-long fibres for maximum brightness, the sight also has a reversible bracket for a larger vertical adjustment range. It can be used for both right- and left-handed set-ups.

Truglo, www.truglo.com

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CARBON PHANTOM RCX

TenPoint’s Carbon Phantom RCX crossbow sets the standard with its namesake carbon-fibre riser, moulded polypropylene stock, adjustable cheek and butt plate and anti-dry fire technology. Weighing 6.9 pounds, it comes complete with a quiver, scope and cocking mechanism, as well as string dampening rods and six arrows. Just over 13 inches wide when cocked, the 35.5-inch-long bow shoots up to 385 fps.

TenPoint, (330) 628-9245; www.tenpointcrossbows.com

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MO’ GO

Delta McKenzie’s Mo’ Go archery target features extremely dense and durable foam, making for greater stopping power and less slivering than other layered targets. With its foam layers heat-bonded into a single block, the target requires no straps to hold it together, and it can be shot on all sides with both field points and broadheads. Weighing just 15 pounds, the compact target measures 18 x 16 x 11 inches.

Delta McKenzie Targets, (801) 539-1400; www.dmtargets.com

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STAY SHARP BROADHEAD CASE

Designed to keep your broadhead blades factory sharp, Easton’s Stay Sharp Broadhead Case holds six fixed-blade or mechanical broadheads. It works by supporting the ferrules only, leaving the blades suspended so they’re not in contact with anything. With its durable ABS body and snap-fit locking end caps, the case is easy to transport in the field. It’s compatible with standard 8-32 and Deep Six broadheads.

Easton Archery, (801) 539-1400; www.eastonarchery.com

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HEMORRHAGE DE

The new Hemorrhage DE from Obsession Bows has a distinctly smooth draw and fast, vibration-free release. The sleek, compact riser combined with the new Dynamic Energy (DE) cams provides greater performance, while the seven-inch brace allows for complete control. This bow is easy to hold at full draw, letting you focus on your shot. And with the DE cams, you can adjust the draw length in half-inch increments.

Obsession Bows, (478) 945-3340; www.obsessionbows.com

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HYPODERMIC TRYPAN

The 100-grain Hypodermic Trypan from Rage Broadheads consists of two 0.039-inch-thick stainless steel blades that deliver a two-inch cutting diameter and a slap-cut entry hole of more than 2.5 inches. And the streamlined titanium ferrule is tapered to a point, giving the broadhead its incredible strength and namesake needle-like appearance.

Rage Broadheads, 1-800-282-4868; www.ragebroadheads.com

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KATANA 360

The Stryker Katana 360 is a powerhouse, shooting 360 fps with a 150-pound draw and 13-inch power stroke. The compact limbs are just over 20 inches wide before being cocked, while the entire bow weighs in at 6.5 pounds. Loaded with features such as anti-dry fire, the bow comes with a scope, quiver and rope cocking device, as well as three Accu-Strike Light Arrows with field points.

Stryker Crossbows, 1-877-901-1934; www.strykerxbow.com

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MICRO SUPPRESSOR

Excalibur’s Micro Suppressor is amazingly compact, powerful and quiet for a recurve-limb crossbow. Extremely light at just 5.4 pounds, the bow has a 10.2-inch power stroke and 280-pound draw weight producing arrow speeds of 343 fps. It comes with an ambidextrous cheek patch, illuminated scope, rope cocking device, anti-dry fire and three arrows. Excalibur Crossbow, 1-800-463-1817; www.excaliburcrossbow.com

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MXB-CHARGE

Quiet and compact, Mission’s lightweight MXB-Charge crossbow provides extreme speeds of up to 365 fps with its 12.75-inch power stroke and 225-pound draw weight. Featuring a split-limb design, the easy-to-handle bow weighs 6.9 pounds and measures 32 inches in length and just under 20 inches wide when uncocked. The XB Pro package includes an illuminated scope, rings, quiver and arrows.

Mission Archery, (608) 269-2728; www.missionarchery.com

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CENTERGY

Prime Archery’s Centergy is built with a centre-balanced aluminum riser to help aim the bow quickly and consistently. The bow draws straight back and is vibration-free, meaning there’s little lateral movement through the draw cycle or release. The parallel limbs, 6.5-inch brace height and unique cam design produces speeds of 333 fps IBO. The entire bow weighs 4.05 pounds and measures 35 inches, axle to axle.

Prime Archery, (810) 392-8431; www.g5prime.com

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PRO DEFIANT

The Pro Defiant from Hoyt was designed to offer hunters the same precision advantages that target archers enjoy. The aluminum bow produces arrow speeds up to 350 fps IBO, with the offset riser helping kill vibration for consistent accuracy. The bow also has a smooth valley and solid back wall helping to prevent torque. There are two models in 30.5- and 34-inch axle-to-axle lengths, with six- or seven-inch brace heights.

Hoyt, (801) 363-2990; www.hoyt.com

815 PREDATOR CAMO

Ravin’s futuristic-looking R15 Predator Camo crossbow is just 10.5 inches wide axle to axle, and a mere six inches wide when cocked. And with a total weight of 6.9 pounds and a 12-pound draw force on the cocking handle, it’s easy to handle for any-sized hunter, yet shoots a blistering 425 fps. The bow comes ready to shoot, complete with a quiver, scope, built-in cocking mechanism, anti-dry fire, six arrows and more.

Ravin Crossbows, 1-800-382-2337; www.ravincrossbows.com

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REIGN 6

The Reign 6 from Bowtech offers speed, smoothness, stealth, balance, forgiveness and fine-tuning options for personal preferences, with settings on the cam enabling users to change the draw cycle to maximize comfort and power. Noticeably quiet and vibration-free, this compound has a six-inch brace height and an IBO speed rating of 350 fps. It weighs just 4.3 pounds and measures 32 5/8 inches between axles.

Bowtech Archery, 1-877-901-1934; www.bowtecharchery.com

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SPITFIRE DOUBLECROSS

The Spitfire DoubleCross from New Archery Products requires no tuning and offers four stainless steel cutting blades to quickly take down game. The leading edge performs like a chisel, with two blades opening from the front and two blades deploying from the rear on impact, for a total cutting diameter of 1 7/8 inches. The 100-grain broadheads come three to a package; no collars or elastics are required.

NAP, (708) 488-2500; www.newarchery.com

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TITANIUM X

Truglo’s Titanium X mechanical and fixed-blade broadheads are available for both compound bows and crossbows in various blade configurations. They feature 0.031-inch-thick replaceable stainless steel blades, titanium ferrules and one-piece tips that cut immediately upon impact, while the narrow flight profile promises field-tip-like accuracy. The broadheads come three to a package, with one set of replacement blades.

Truglo, www.truglo.com

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VELOCITY VALKYRIE

Velocity Valkyrie arrows from Gold Tip come factory fletched with four low-profile vanes for added surface area without sacrificing clearance or speed. This configuration produces more back-end drag and faster stabilization, which in turn produces 20 to 75 per cent smaller arrow group sizes using broadheads. Lightweight with 0.003-inch straightness and +/- 0.5 grain weight tolerance, the arrows come in five spine sizes.

Gold Tip, 1-800-551-0541; www.goldtip.com

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VENTILATOR

New from Canada’s Kill’n Stix, Ventilator carbon arrows feature a smaller inside diameter of 0.204 inches—with lighter grains per inch—while maintaining the pass-through power needed for quick kills. Designed for most North American big-game species, these arrows are built with tight tolerances. They come fletched or as bare shafts in spine sizes 300, 350 and 400.

Kill’n Stix, (780) 514-4536; www.killnstix.com

 

This is Brad Fenson’s 10th report for Outdoor Canada on the annual ATA show’s top new gear.