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So...what bows have you owned, which has been your favorite and why??

1081 Views 28 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  Bowguy67
I'll start...

My first compound was a Bear Whitetail hunter. Very early compound bow technology and all I'll say on its behalf, is that it was a starting point. It got me shooting in the back yard.

My second compound was a Bear Epic Extreme. Pretty nice little bow. It was my first "real" bow when I got serious about archery hunting. It was fairly compact, drew nice, and shot fairly fast for a bow from that era. I think that bow was ahead of its time. I hunted with it for for 10 years and shot 9 deer with it, including my first archery deer and my first archery buck.

My third compound was a Matthews Z7. Also a very nice bow. Also fairly compact, shot about 284 fps (slower due to my 27.5" draw length), and was pretty quiet. The draw cycle wasn't as smooth as I'd like, but all in all, it was a good bow. I hunted with it for for 4 years and shot 12 deer with it, including three pretty decent bucks with it.

I liked both my Epic Extreme and my Z7, but the Z7 was definitely a higher quality bow and I shot it better than my prior bow, so I'd give it the nod as being my favorite.

I was never one to chase the latest and greatest. I'd have shot the Z7 a lot longer, but my bow arm shoulder was giving me problems and drawing it to the point to get the cams flipped over was just painful and shooting it was no longer fun.
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Started with a PSE at age 11....Nova I think was the model? Used a few years until I grew into an adult bow. Killed my first archery buck with it and missed several deer with it.

Then a Hoyt. Alphamax or Alphasomething I think? Used for about 10 years. Killed quite a few deer with it. Still have it and shoot it from time to time. Hot dang have bows come a long way since then. Squishy as mud backwall, twangs in your hands like a tuning fork. Shoots pretty good still.

Elite Answer bought 2012 or 2013 used until 2019. Current backup. Loved that bow until I got a new string too late in the summer and couldn't get it tune for the life of me. I'm not big into that technical archery stuff though. Love the draw and backwall on that bow, stops like a rock and zero jumpiness. Has a lot more twang in the hands than my current bow.

Mathews Triax only used one year as an emergency plan B. Hated it. Draw cycle is awful I launched not one, but two arrows on accident in the woods that fall. Collecting dust in my basement if anyone wants it. I've had friends looking for bows I won't give it to.

Bowtech Revolt currently. Really like everything about it except it's super heavy. The tuning is idiot proof and the draw/shot cycle is nearly perfect.
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By far Bowtech Invasion CPX- super forgiving with the 7鈥 brace height, compact, and fast.

Close second is my Elite E35 that I鈥檝e used for quite awhile.

Been threw a few Matthews back in the day and another few Elites.
Bear Polar LTD, adjustable 40-65lb, Fred Bear 4 blade hand sharpened broadheads with replaceable inserts, fiberglass shafts. Back when there was an abundance of deer and I was a lot younger and ambitious, would say not if I was going to get a deer but rather how many. Gave away the first deer to someone that needed it every year. More deer with it than the rest combined. People would make fun of it/me saying I needed to get something faster, so I did a Golden Eagle and remember my first shot was a miss but was shocked I didn't/couldn't see where the arrow went. I missed and loved watching the arrow arc and disappear in the chest, max shot was about 33yds most were under 20. Never any question about where the arrow was going.
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My first compound was a PSE F2 Maxxis. Currently I shoot a Striker Classic traditional. Im really eyeballing a Ten Point Nitro. My buddy got one this past year that has the Garmin rangefinder scope on it and that thing is truly unbelievable. I just dont know if I wanna dump $4500 on one.
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I鈥檝e had bows for 50 plus years now. Killed deer with lots of them and many reasons any could be a favorite. My pick here through is an old Bear Kodiak Hunter recurve. . My passed uncles bow. First time out with it I killed a doe in 45 mins. 2nd day took a little longer but both adult does and the bow was I believe made in 1976.
Far as compounds:

Bear Polar LTD

Can't remember brand / name of my second one other than it had a metal riser with recurve wood core limbs. May have been a Ben Pearson

Ben Pearson Renegade

PSE Mach 5

Pearson Spoiler with overdraw

Golden Eagle Split Fire 1 (still have it)

No favorite, each were high end in their day.
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First was a Bear whitetail hunter from the early 80s. Best was a Mathews switchback XT. Should have kept that one, just felt like an extension of my arm, extremely quiet and smooth. Now shooting the Triax.
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Best was a Mathews switchback XT. Should have kept that one, just felt like an extension of my arm, extremely quiet and smooth.
I've heard a lot of folks say that about their Switchbacks.
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my first and favorite bow was a black hawk saturn from 1975 they were crud but man was I was good with it split 4 arrows and knocked plenty of nochs off I would shoot dozens of arrows just about everyday shot a few nice bucks with it eventually the limbs broke from there a bear then a martin wart hog, fury, highcountry. I would love to go back to my blackhawk if anyone knows where I find one for sale let me know it has to be LH
From the first day that bug bit me until today, Hoyt.
From that old Fast Flight heat, to the RX-5 that I have today, I will not say anything bad about my Hoyt's.
My first bow was a Darton of some sort, bought new in 1988.

Then a PSE ThunderFlite.

Then a High Country Hunter.

Then a Golden Eagle LiteSpeed II...which I still have and is free for anyone who wants it.

Then I went to a crossbow for a while because I never learned to shoot that Golden Eagle for beans.

Then in 2009 a Bowtech Captain that I still have.

2016 Hoyt Defiant followed when I had the Bowtech slip out of a stand and splinter a limb. Bowtech replaced them, but it was mid-season and I wasn't interested in losing hunting time.

Hunted through this season with the Defiant, but every cold morning I'd kick myself for not getting a carbon riser when I got the Defiant.

So...this past November I picked up a Hoyt RX7 that I'm slowly putting through its paces and getting rigged up for hunting.

Favorites....?

Currently the Hoyt Defiant, because picking that bow up after 7 seasons with it feels like putting on a well-broken in pair of well-fitted boots.

The RX7 is growing on me. I anticipate running both of them for a while with the RX7 as the primary hunting bow, although I'm not ready to really let the Defiant collect dust. I got it in 2016, took a buck with it that year....and out of 7 seasons I've had it, it's killed 5 bucks.

I haven't "bonded" with prior bows like I have with my Defiant, and I'm pretty sure the RX7 will be similar. They feel like they just belong in my hand when I pick them up.
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Jennings forked lightning (used) was my first bow.
First new bow was a Browning Ballistic Mirage鈥252 fps鈥.with Keller pendulum sight then later a Savage pendulum sight鈥.cool looking bow鈥 really started hammering the deer with that setup.
Hoyt tenacity was next.
Pse that I didn鈥檛 care much for
Bow tech that I liked
Pse again Mach or something not my favorite
Shooting an elite currently that I like.
Recently just shot the Mathews phase 4鈥鈥檓 debating on that one鈥
I like a bow that has a good back wall not ready right on the edge to take off.
I started out with some type of Jennings.
Got a Reflex Excursion after that. It had deer hoof prints on the riser. I shot my first bow buck with that one, a nice 10 point, probably why its my favorite.
Then a Mathews Hyperlite. I couldn't get that bow to shoot no matter what I tried. I'm sure it was mostly shooter error, but I couldn't get good groups.
Traded the hyperlite in on a Monster. Shot fast, but same thing, couldn't get the consistency I wanted.
Crossbows were made legal, and I never looked back.
I started out with some type of Jennings.
Got a Reflex Excursion after that. It had deer hoof prints on the riser. I shot my first bow buck with that one, a nice 10 point, probably why its my favorite.
Then a Mathews Hyperlite. I couldn't get that bow to shoot no matter what I tried. I'm sure it was mostly shooter error, but I couldn't get good groups.
Traded the hyperlite in on a Monster. Shot fast, but same thing, couldn't get the consistency I wanted.
Crossbows were made legal, and I never looked back.
Some of the Mathews suck. A bow such as the monster was unforgiving and unless you had perfect form executed each and every time you鈥檇 see mixed results. Not just Mathews, any of the bows like the monster only geared toward speed. Listen years ago we鈥檇 shoot whitetail hunters, brown or black bears with fingers. Not knowing anything bout tuning a bow perfectly and before Berger buttons were even a thought we鈥檇 shoot black walnut hulls in hay bales consistently at 30 yards. Yea better eyes, maybe more shooting though I still shoot a lot but those old wheel bows shot better than todays need for be hyper tuned and easy to get out of tune/time race bows. Imo the manufacturers have given you all what you鈥檝e asked for. If a bow came out today shot 500 fps, pretty soon all bows would have to be near that or the sales would suffer. Imagine a nice easy, forgivable wheel bow came out. Would you buy it? Wasn鈥檛 you bud, was the bows
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Some of the Mathews suck. A bow such as the monster was unforgiving and unless you had perfect form executed each and every time you鈥檇 see mixed results. Not just Mathews, any of the bows like the monster only geared toward speed. Listen years ago we鈥檇 shoot whitetail hunters, brown or black bears with fingers. Not knowing anything bout tuning a bow perfectly and before Berger buttons were even a thought we鈥檇 shoot black walnut hulls in hay bales consistently at 30 yards. Yea better eyes, maybe more shooting though I still shoot a lot but those old wheel bows shot better than todays need for be hyper tuned and easy to get out of tune/time race bows. Imo the manufacturers have given you all what you鈥檝e asked for. If a bow came out today shot 500 fps, pretty soon all bows would have to be near that or the sales would suffer. Imagine a nice easy, forgivable wheel bow came out. Would you buy it? Wasn鈥檛 you bud, was the bows
Yep, high speed bows with short brace heights, and touchy draw cycles are hard for the average guy to shoot. As for the 500 fps comment, that's what's happening in the crossbow industry. Ravin in particular, is putting out very high speed and high maintenance equipment these days. No thank you for me.
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I started with a bear whitetail, moved onto a pse thunder flite, than a PSE g Force with 6" overdraw next was the baby G force with 6" overdraw, than my favorite of all time the PSE Stingray.
I shot my biggest buck with the Stingray with the same PSE 6" overdraw. I was shooting 27-28" arrows. That bow was quieter, smoother pulling, shot lazers.

I wanted to continue hunting with the Stingray longer. The day I noticed a limb was cracked. I took the bow to a PSE dealer right away to get it replaced (lifetime warranty). I was like a father with a sick child rushing to the emergency room.

The dealer called said the bow was repaired. I rushed to go get it, paid the $20 and I noticed the limbs had a USA flag decal not Stingray? I pulled the bow back what the ----. It was shorter draw fit for a kid. I looked at the cam wheels see if the bow string was on the same sting loops I had marked with a gray sharpie for my correct draw lenght and they were. Whats going on here I asked the dealer?

PSE didn't have 70 pound limbs, only had 50 pound limbs for that model. Well I want a happy camper. I said I brought in a adult hunting bow, now I got a kids hunting bow? I went home called PSE. The best they could do was I to pay shipping and return the bow they would give me hundred some dollars credit on a newer bow they have on there site. I did not like none of them and I want happy with the service I received, so I went with Bowtech.

Bowtech Realm was the bow I bought from a dealer an hour away from home shot great up until I had a custom string put on it. I could not dial in that bow. After all the back and fourth to the press, bare shaft paper tuning and so on for 2 weeks, I decided to get a stock string. Problem solved.

I moved up to the Realm SS. Comfort setting works best for me. I can hold it at full draw and smoke a cig to the filter while holding that bow back at 63 pounds. Performance setting I don't like it one bit.

That said the stingray is and was my favorite bow of all time.
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My first bow is a 1941 longbow that my grandfather gave me. Next was a Bear Whitetail 2, then a Browning Mag Reflex, then a Bear First Stike, a Jennings Carbon Extreme, a Hoyt XTec, a Custom made 52# recurve, a Horton Vision, A Ten Point Nitro, a Wicked Ridge Fury 410 and an Excalibur 340 TD.

My favorite is the recurve because it was made just for me and it is fun to shoot. I just wish it didn't give me so much shoulder pain from screwing myself up when I was younger.
Started in the mid 70s with a PSE Pacer, then a Bear Grizzley XLR. Next I went thru a Jennings phase and had 3 of them followed by a Prosport. Last 2 were a Matthews LX and a Z7. LX was probably my fav, lots of deer killed and 3-d tourneys won.
My favorite compound was a hoyt pro vantage fps I bought in '86. Threw the overdraw away and shot full length 2219's. It's my favorite cus of all the memories we made together, I shot it for 18 years, killed dozens of bucks, some turkeys, a couple geese, and an unlucky coyote with it. It went with me to montana, new york, ohio, and west virginia on hunts in those 18 years with friends and relatives who are no longer with us. It never let me down despite a lack of care and some abuse. When I got a new bow, I gave it to a neighbor kid and told him just take it to the woods, it knows what to do.
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