Written By: Aaron Lasco
Out of the 15 years that I have had the privilege to own and operate an archery pro–shop, I am more proud, excited and enthusiastic to write 2011’s “Top 20 Best Archery Products” than any other year before!
Every year, I strive to seek out the new archery gear that I feel as a long time archery pro-shop owner will make both target archery and hunting the most exciting, affordable, fun, challenging and rewarding as possible. Every January when I return from the Archery Trade Show, I am never disappointed in the new technology and inventions that are offered to the awesome sport of archery. However, the new 2011 archery gear absolutely “knocked my huntin’ socks right off”! In every archery category across the board, archery manufacturers have made unbelievable technology advancements in an unprecedented amount of time.
As the owner of Spirit Quest Archery, Inc., I cannot wait to show off these innovative new products…..as a bowhunter, I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these awesome new archery toys…and neither will you!
Here it is fellow bowhunters and target archers!
#20 When a bowhunting success comes your way, you need a game bag to pack out your meat. Most game bags are made of cheese cloth material that is clumsy, stretches, rips and is not reusable. The new “CARNIVORE MEAT BAGS” by Caribou Gear is made of a tougher material comparable to cotton that allows for superior wicking away moisture from the meat content for optimal drying properties and breathability. They are ultra light, strong, very compact and reusable. Never head out for a hunt without this game bag!
#19: What if you could buy a “bad boy” – arrow holding – drop–away rest for the price of a whisker biscuit? Trade up to the “REVOLUTION” by Trophy Ridge for uninterrupted – flawless – arrow–launching for a mere $54.99. The “Revolution” is a high performance arrow rest at an economical price!
#18: So you’re hiking along and you stop to glass…do you drop your new bow in the mud? No way! Hang it on the new “HIPBONE TACTICAL BOW HOLDER SYSTEM” from Tactical Archery Components. Traditional bow hooks constantly snag tree limbs and your other gear – even your hunting buddies on occasion. The “Hip Bone” is a snag free solution that hangs on your bow or belt for hands free hunting!.
#17: We love the long lasting durability of Rinehart Targets but not everyone can spend $400.00 on a deer target. The new “WOODLAND BUCK 3–D TARGET” from Rinehart has a replaceable insert that is made with their best rubbery foam at an unprecedented price. You can now afford to own your own Rinehart 3–D Target at an affordable price. Smart!
#16: You just spent big bucks on a new bow, but the hard case takes up so much room in your vehicle that you wind up tossing it in the backseat? Dangerous for you and your gear. Strap it into the “BACK SEAT BOW SLING” by Trophy Hunting Products. This product safely secures your bow to the back of your front seat and is quickly and easily made accessible again with a simple snap of a buckle. Nice!
#15 Any hunter who has been caught in one of Mother Nature’s unexpected rain storms learns the importance of having rain gear on hand at all times. Yet, often times, we are hesitant to include it in our packs as a result of unwanted extra bulkiness and weight. ASAT (our favorite camo pattern) cleverly designed a light–weight–packable–size “RAIN GEAR SET” in their own individual bags for easy storage at an affordable price. This product is a must have!
#14 Just when you thought all bugles sound alike, Mossback Game Calls have reinvented the authentic! “DA HOLLA BACK ELK BUGLE and DA WILD THANG ELK BUGLE” are astonishing! Unbeknown to me, these elk bugles consist of both a mouth AND nose air openings creating two parallel octives of music! Mossback achieves this technology with SPLIT tubes that successfully mimic these twin sounds to perfection.
#13 Black Gold has an airtight reputation for durable sights for any adventure. They have done it again in 2011 with the “RUSH SIGHT”. The Black Gold “Rush” Sight features five (5) machined, BombProof all–metal, Micro Groove, Micro Dot (.019) ultra–strong pins encased in a rocky mountain tough frame surrounded with an interchangeable glowing aiming ring around the house. Brilliant!
#12 The engineers at Fuse and Hoyt never rest. They travelled to the wind tunnel lab in California to prove their “CARBON BLADE STABILIZERS”. The body is an aerodynamic, incredibly strong, lightweight carbon fiber structure that lessens side wind resistance by 70% to keep your bow on target in a breeze. Amazing technology in four sizes.
#11 Born late last year, the S4 Gear “Sidewinder Range Finder System” is the best rangefinder retractor available. Want the “bells & whistles” version? The S4 GEAR SIDEWINDER EVO clips on anywhere with a lockable swivel ensuring that your range finder is always at your fingertips – yet will silently retract to prepare for the shot of a life time.
#10 Speaking of range finders, don’t have an extra $300.00? How about lighting–fast yardage reporting for less than half that of most range finders? Check out the R400 HALO LASER RANGE FINDERGROUND by Wild Game Innovations!
#9 Matt McPherson is certainly on a “Mission” with the new CRAZE COMPOUND BOW. The Craze is adjustable from 15 – 70 lbs. and 19 –30 inches of draw. Yep – the bow that can’t be out–grown at only $299.99! Now that’s crazy!
#8 Are you tired of pine needles and nose drippings falling into the eye pieces of your expensive binos? The S4 GEAR LOCKDOWN OPTICS PERFORMANCE SYSTEM features a pliable cover over your bino’s lenses when not in use and prevents that annoying and uncomfortable bouncing of your binos against your chest during hiking. This bino system is like no other! Check out the LockDown…your binos deserve it!
#7 When Carbon Express unveiled their Maxima Hunter arrows with dual spine–forward weight technology, they created a new plateau to measure accuracy in arrows. Carbon Express’ new MAXIMA BLUE STREAK ARROWS are an even lighter, faster, “killing machine” arrow with all the technology of its predecessor. Wanna shoot better? Shoot “Maxima Blue Streak” arrows!
#6 Headlamps are great except that they bounce while you walk and cause dead spots. The BACK PACK TRAIL LIGHT by Crooked Horn is a flip–open headlight that clips onto your back pack’s shoulder strap. The “Back Pack Trail Light” directs the light in front of you instead of downward like a headlamp allowing you to maneuver your way safely around obstacles.
#5 Sometimes you simply jump out of your truck in pursuit of a spontaneous sighting of that big game animal leaving your pack behind with all of your essential survival gear. The XSERIES XTREME BOW SLING by Blacks Creek is a brilliant solution! This sling attaches to your bow in several ways – you can shoot with it still attached to the bottom limb – and you can carry your essentials in it for those “spur of the moment” game animal pursuits. When you are not carrying your bow, you can wear it like a fanny pack. Cool!
#4 MONTANA TRAX MAPS are the best thing since the GPS itself. The entire state’s property ownership is downloadable on most newer Garmin GPS units. Now you can find all public land, its access points, and private property owner’s contact information to request access permission in an easy–to–use GPS software program. Priceless!
#3 I normally carry approximately 2 1/2 lbs of skinning knives, boning knives and sharpening stones. No more. HAVALON KNIVES are the manufacturers of the finest scalpels for surgical use and have now invented the outdoorsman’s dream collection of replaceable blade knives. A single blade is strong enough and sharp enough to debone up to seven caribou before replacing a new blade is necessary! No more fighting marginally sharp blades in the middle of the night. Make easy work out of a big job when deboning your game animal by using “Havalon Knives” so that you can get off the mountain quicker. It’ll make you beg your friends to convert too!
#2 Every year I wonder what the bow manufactures could possibly do more to improve compound bow technology. Well…Hoyt has answered my question for 2011 bow technology. Last year, Hoyt introduced the “Carbon Matrix” with an all “carbon tubed riser” making a longer axle–to–axle compound bow lighter with even more shot accuracy. This year, they have perfected it! The HOYT CARBON ELEMENT COMPOUND BOW features the same all “carbon tubed riser” as the 2010 “Carbon Matrix” but in a shorter, more desirable axle–to–axle length for bowhunters vs. target archers without sacrificing the accuracy that a longer axle–to–axle bow provides. The Hoyt “Carbon Element” is “off the charts” for absolutely zero vibration! Not only did Hoyt’s unique and original TEC riser design succeed in improving their bow’s shooting accuracy and maximizing the riser’s vibration dampening to zero, the appearance of Hoyt’s “Carbon Element” TEC riser design is sleek, sexy and exciting! “Thumbs Up” for Hoyt!
Before I give you #1, I would like to take a moment to tell you why I chose this product as #1… It is a tear jerking experience to watch the awe in your child’s eyes the first time they experience that heart pounding adrenaline rush from getting up close and personal with one of God’s majestic and beautiful creatures. I can’t express in words the thrill I get from watching the ear–to–ear grin on one of my lil’ shooters when they accomplish their first “bulls eye” or “robinhood”. Not too long ago, I had a young boy crack open his piggy bank on my store counter after he finally saved up enough money to buy his first bow. As I handed over to him his very first – hard earned and well deserved bow, his eyes lit up like a shiny new penny. I would have done just about anything to capture that moment on camera so that I could revisit and share that very, very cool memory. Well…now we all can.
#1 Last year, many of you captured and shared those priceless bowhunting and target shooting moments with the “IKam Xtreme Video Recording Sunglasses”. You simply cannot bow hunt or target shoot while holding a video camera at the same time. The sunglasses were very cool, but not always comfortable or convenient in every situation. This year, Rhino Labs introduces the next level of personal video recording devices. Not much bigger than the average flashlight that clips onto your hat brim, the LIDCAM VIDEO EYEWEAR has 4 – 8x zoom and a swiveling lens so you get in line with the shot for bowhunters. A must have to capture the action or video the kid’s events!
I hope you have all enjoyed this Article as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you, and wish you all an outstanding 2011 archery season!