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Bows  Arrows  Rests  Broadheads  Sights Releases  Treestands
 

Bows: 

Q: What is the best bow in the market, or what is the best bow for me?

A: Technology affects all aspects of our world today. Bowhunting is no different. Because of technology and the competition for the bow market, all bow manufacturing companies must produce a high quality bow comparable to their competitors. Those companies that choose not to do so will not last in the current marketplace because today's bowhunter is more informed and educated and will not accept poor workmanship and performance. 

Having said this, the best bow in the market or best bow for you is the bow that fits your price point, feels the best to you, and helps accomplish your objective, whether it be hunting or shooting the top score on the 3D range.

Q: For hunting, what should be the bow draw weight and speed of the arrow?

A: Some states require a minimum bow draw weight necessary to hunt with legally. Beyond the minimum bow draw weight required by the specific state within which you are hunting, you should set the draw weight of  your hunting bow at the maximum weight that you can comfortably draw in awkward positions, and that can be held for approximately one to two minutes and still hold on the target for a kill shot. 

The velocity of the arrow is somewhat important in that when properly matched to the bow-- the faster the arrow, the flatter the arrow will travel. While this characteristic alone aids in improving accuracy caused by the human error of guessing distances, speed is not the most important factor in the bowhunting arrow. 

Kinetic energy, in this scenario, the amount of energy stored in the arrow when it leaves the bowstring is more important for optimum arrow performance in the hunting situation. The amount of kinetic energy stored in the arrow may fluctuate by the type of the game that is being hunted. The larger the species of game, the greater the foot pounds of kinetic energy that should be stored in the arrow for proper arrow penetration. This kinetic energy is a combination of arrow speed and arrow weight. The minimum amount foot pounds of kinetic energy that should be stored with any bowhunting arrow should be no less than 35 pounds. 

The ideal bowhunting set up should deliver a minimum of 50 to 65 foot pounds of kinetic energy. To calculate the amount of foot pounds of kinetic energy being generated from your bow, it is necessary to know the grain weight of the arrow with the broadhead being shot, and the velocity or speed of the arrow as measured in feet per second through a chronograph. Having those two measurements, the foot pounds of kinetic energy being generated can be calculated by using the following formula:

Velocity x Velocity x Arrow Weight / 450240 = Foot lbs. of Kinetic Energy
 
 


Sights: 

Q: What sight is the best for hunting? Target shooting? 

A: Fixed pin sights are the most common sights in use by archers today. The fiber optic fixed pin sight is quickly becoming the archer's favorite sight. The reason for its increasing popularity is the ability of this type of pin to gather light in dim light hunting situations in the morning or evening or dark hunting areas such as stands of conifers. This increases the shooting/hunting time where allowed within published state game shooting hours. 

Some of the most popular fiber optic pin sights are manufactured by: TRU-Glo, PSE, Scout Mountain, Toxonics, Impact and Advanced Archery Sights. 

The hunting and target sights are interchangeable, and what is used for hunting is also used for target shooting. The major difference of the target sight is the size of the sight pin head or aiming point. On the target sight for 3D competition shooting, the smaller sight pin head is preferred. This is because the small sight pin will not block out target areas at longer distances. 

Another sight increasing in popularity is the moveable sight. This sight has one pin mounted on a moveable vertical bracket. The archer may vary the vertical pin location to the approximate guessed distance of the target or animal in a hunting situation. There are various metal, fiber optic, lighted, and cross hair apertures available to meet the preferences of each shooter. Some of the more popular moveable sights used are the Toxonics 3-D Nail Driver or Terminator 3-D Target Sight. 

For the hunter, the single pin moveable sight, the Sight Master Pro Elite with the Sight Master Touch Master III finger tip control, has had a tremendous increase in popularity. 

Finally, the free swinging (pendulum) tree stand hunting sights have increased in popularity. Because most bowhunters hunt from tree stands, this type of sight compensates for the angle of the elevated position and adjusts the actual aiming point for the height of the tree stand. Some of the more popular tree stand sights are the Keller Pendulum Bow Sight and Predator IV Sight. 

Overall, the most popular sight is the fiber optic fixed pin sight. Today it is the most preferred type of sight for the bowhunter that also shoots target archery. 
 
 

Releases: 

Q: What is the best release aid to use and how will it affect my draw length?

A: The Back Tension Release
The back tension release is the best selection for the development of consistent, accurate shooting. The back tension release is mostly used in target shooting. This release connects to the bowstring with a release rope looped around the bowstring below the arrow nock. The elimination of shot anticipation, punching and target panic are the three major benefits of using the back tension style release. This style release helps because the release surprises the shooter when it functions properly. While it is more difficult to master the use of a back tension style release, the final outcome is normally more consistent accuracy and generally higher competitive scores. The major manufacturers of these releases are Carter, Stanislawski and  T.R.U.-Ball.

The Trigger Release:
The most popular type of target and hunting release is the "trigger" release. Functioning similarly to that of a rifle or handgun, the trigger release requires a positive amount of pressure put on the "trigger" for the release to properly function. This "trigger" release can be activated by the thumb, the index finger, and third or fourth  finger. The "trigger" release can attach to the bowstring with various different  heads or barrels. Currently the most popular is the “caliper” “jaw” and “ball bearing” release. In either of these releases, pressure on the trigger releases the bowstring crisply and cleanly. Examples of the "jaw" type trigger releases include the Scott Caliper, Tru-Fire Caliper, and COBRA Caliper release. Examples of the ball bearing type releases are the  Pro-Release Trophy Hunter and Tru-Fire Split Fire release. The trigger releases are easier to attach to the bowstring than the back tension releases. 

Changing from shooting with fingers to using a release, or changing releases may affect your actual draw length and arrow length. The location and the way you anchor with a release versus fingers causes the need to re-examine your draw and arrow length and spine. Normally, using a release instead of fingers allows the shooter to reduce to a lighter spined arrow. This is because the release provides the shooter the ability to cleanly let go of the string on a more consistent basis. 
 
 


Treestands: 

Q: Is it better to use a fixed or climbing treestand?

A:First, regardless of the type of treestand used, it is imperative that a safety belt be used at all times, while climbing up or down, to or from a stand, as well as while seated or standing on the stand! While this may seem cumbersome and a bother at times, it is better than severe injury or possible loss of life. The best type of safety belt is a harness type that places most of the stress on the shoulder, chest and back area. If using the belt type of safety belt, the portion connected to the body should be worn at the sternum (chest) or above to allow the proper functioning of the diaphragm for breathing and prevent the chance of being flipped upside down. 

The best type of treestand to use is determined by what state you are in and the regulations on the use of treestands, as well as each hunting situation. The type of game and location of the hunting area as it is presented to the hunter affects stand selection. If you are hunting near bedding areas, you want to get in and out of the stand quietly. This type of a situation necessitates the use of a fixed stand because it is often much quieter than a climbing stand. When hunting transition or feeding areas where the wind changes and affects the way the game approaches these areas, the use of a climbing stand allows the flexibility of moving locations with short notice to take advantage of wind and changes in deer movement patterns. While using the climbing stand is sometimes more noisy,