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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washington County
Re: Best Hunting bow on the market
As mentioned used is a great way to go. There are many things to consider when buying a hunting bow, and I look for a good combination of all of them. Draw cycle is extremely important to me, whether it is a dual cam or single cam bow, I want something smooth, with a good back wall. Shootability is also extremely important, and I prefer bows over 32" axle to axle, with at least a 7" brace height for that reason. Unfortunately, the more forgiving a bow is, typically the slower it is, so you need to find the combination that works best for you. Some manufacturers are able to create more speed with larger brace heights. Of course everyone wants a bow that is super quiet as well. I do most of my hunting from treestands on private ground, and it doesn't much matter how much my bow weighs, so I prefer something a bit heavier. It tends to be more stable. Here are some manufacturers and models you should consider, that are models that fit the description of having a good combination of these qualities, that you should be able to find at a very good price used, probably pretty close to the $400 mark.
PSE Bowmadness Series-Best bang for your buck. Awesome single cam smooth draw cycle, great speed as compared to brace height, one of the quietest bows I have ever heard.
Bowtech Allegiance- One of my all time favorites. Incredible speed and shootability, with a more customizable draw cycle. One of the best hunting bows ever made bar none.
Mathews DXT- A shorter ATA hunting bow, with good speed, a good draw cycle, and a pleasure to shoot.
Hoyt Alpha Max- Just an incredible shooting bow, one of the best new hunting bows on the market. You should be able to find a 2009 model on blowout at about $600.
Diamond Iceman- My personal favorite for 2009. No hand shock, no vibration, no noise. Perfectly balanced, and perfectly suited for hunting.
Elite GT500 (346 fps IBO) or Z28 (328 fps IBP)- If you want more speed, coupled with a big brace height, and a smooth draw cycle, this is it. Nobody makes speed with big brace heights like Elite does. And Barnsdale limbs to boot. The Z28 is a bit shorter, and a bit slower, but has a huge 8" brace height. Both are super quiet as well.
2008 Ross 31 or 34- Another great line of single cam bows. Extremely smooth drawing, and extremely quiet.
These are just some of the many great hunting bows out there, but you should definitely give these a look. I would start with the Bowmadness, Allegiance, and Elites. Archerytalk is a great place to find awesome deals on used bows. I just recently bought 3 new ones there. I now have a 2009 PSE Xforce GX 7 that I am hunting with, a 2009 Elite XLR that I am shooting indoor and some 3D with, and a PSE Bowmadness XL, that I will be using primarily for 3D next year. Most importantly when you choose a bow, pick the one that you feel the most comfortable shooting. Don't get caught up in names, or hype, or anything like that. It means nothing.