Bugle Contributor, Brad Fenson reviews the latest products to help you get ready for your next archery hunt.



KUIU Hard Case 50X14i  

KUIU teamed up with SKB to build a hard case for bows or firearms that is versatile and provides peace-of-mind protection. The waterproof, shockproof and dustproof case includes an ambient pressure equalization valve. It even floats if it should happen to end up in the water. The case provides extra storage for clothes, optics and other essential gear with high-density foam to partition internal storage without extra weight, making it ideal for trips with weight restrictions. Handle, wheels, padlock holes, carpet lining and trigger release latch system round out the features.

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Barnett Hyper Raptor 410

When I picked up the Raptor 410 it looked and felt like a high-tech hunting crossbow that is extremely compact, lightweight and easy to shoot. It didn’t disappoint, shooting extremely accurately right out of the box. The design makes the crossbow easy to maneuver at 7 ¼ inches axle-to-axle when cocked. It is fast and uses small .204 diameter HyperFlite arrows. The Crank Cocking Device makes the 205-pound draw weight easy and safe to manage. A 14-inch power stroke, molded limbs, Pivoting Limb Pockets and self-timing cams provide sufficient energy to shoot arrows at 410 fps with 142-foot pounds of energy. The forward-draw limbs are designed to reduce up-front weight and vibration. The crossbow is sold as a package with a 3-pound trigger, adjustable length of pull, step-through riser scope, and a quiver.

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Grim Reaper Pro Series 3-Blade Broadhead

 Broadhead simplicity provides peace of mind, and a mechanical head without O-rings, clips or extra gizmos means less to worry about when an elk steps out. The Pro Series 3-Blade mechanical broadhead will leave a distinct blood trail with a 1 ⅜-inch cut diameter and a “Snap Cut” design. The 40-degree angle of the blades and cut-on-contact tip increase penetration and stability on impact—and the likelihood of pass-through. The Pro Series 3 Blade head comes in 100 or 125 grains, the latter of which should appeal to elk hunters wanting more weight for better penetration.

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SEVR Titanium 1.5 Broadhead

I have taken over two dozen animals with SEVR broadheads. I am convinced they provide an advantage. The mechanical heads have blades that fold into the ferrule and use acceleration, wind and travel speeds to keep it closed, while an O-ring provides added security. The rear-deploying blades open on impact and lock in place, providing an immediate slap-cut. But the unique design also allows the deployed blades to pivot back and forth in the ferrule to steer around bone as they cut without changing trajectory. I prefer the Ti 1.5 for elk hunting, as the smaller diameter provides superior penetration with a titanium tip. The features I love most are field-point accuracy and included lock-screw to keep the blades from deploying, allowing me to practice with the heads I intend to have in my quiver. Shoot it, remove the lock screw, put on an O-ring, and go hunt.

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Maxima Photon SD

Hunting with small-diameter arrows has proven to be a big advantage when shooting longer ranges, dealing with wind, or looking for increased penetration. The Maxima Photon has an inner diameter of .203 and is constructed of 30-ton carbon to maintain strength and increase accuracy. Tri-Spine Technology provides 360 degrees of spine consistency and accuracy at all ranges, allowing a launched arrow to recover faster after leaving the rest. The arrow flexes more in the center, adding to its fast recovery. An aluminum half-out insert comes with standard threads, and the back end of the arrow features a Bulldog nock collar and Launchpad nock. The Photon is a premium arrow laser checked for straightness to 1/10,000 of an inch. Available in a 300, 350 or 400 spine.

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Burris Oracle 2 Rangefinding Bow Sight

The first time I used a Burris rangefinding bow sight, I knew my archery life had changed forever. Draw the bow, find the target, press a button and have a precise aiming point with angle compensation. Burris continues to improve the sight, and the Oracle 2 reflects hunter feedback. The sight is easy to install and program for different arrows or broadheads. I set up two arrow profiles and switched back and forth depending on what I was hunting. The sight offers improved auto-brightness detection and manual brightness control, easy setup (micro-adjustments on LRF) instructed in the viewfinder, better waterproofing, and more accurate arrow drop calculations. The sight takes out the guesswork for shooting at different angles by automatically adjusting the point of aim and an electronic level helps accurate sighting and arrow placement. The rangefinder works out to 500 yards on reflective targets and 200 yards on animals. Not that anyone would shoot that far with a bow, but it can help you strategize your approach. The smart optic weighs 20 ounces and takes CR123 lithium batteries.

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ARXOS Series BowSight

 Arxos is a custom-dial sight that is lightweight, intuitive to see through and calibrates easily on the range for accuracy in the field. The scope arm attaches to the bow with a traditional dovetail or Picatinny attachment. The Mag, or sight housing, attaches to the arm and has a level in the top and standard fiber optic pins in either .010 or .019 sizes. A unique feature is a hood over the pins to adjust lighting to different conditions in the field. The sight adjustment occurs at the front of the scope arm, offering macro and micro windage adjustments for getting sighted. I like the simplicity and hold of the VOID dial used to adjust elevation by moving the sight up or down the elevation rail. When dialing farther distances, the Mag will move toward the riser, increasing the elevation adjustment. The Mag is oversized to allow for small adjustments within the sight for distance—no tool is required. A SwitchTape can be swapped, or the entire yardage ring can be changed for different arrow setups. MAGSWAP technology allows you to switch out the entire sight housing.

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Nockturnal Shift Nock with FIT Technology

Shooting a buck or bull quartering away means picturing where your arrow will exit on the far side. The first time I used a Nockturnal Shift Nock with FIT Technology on a deer, I knew my arrow hit the vitals after watching the red and green strobe light trace my arrow’s flight. The nock was easy to install and proved beneficial at both the range and while out hunting. The external on/off switch makes it easy to turn off the light at the end of a practice session, saving the lithium batteries that provide an impressive 20 hours of life. The LED lights are activated by a piston that turns on with the string release’s motion. The universal design fits a wide variety of inserts. Lights are available in red, green and red/green strobing. The Nockturnals are durable, waterproof and shockproof and weigh 25 grains.

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Scorpion Venom

Custom or otherwise, the price of new bow strings is a major investment, so I do all I can to protect them. I have used Scorpion Venom products for my bow strings for years, increasing their lifespan, reducing friction and maintaining color. Run the applicator up and down the string once or twice, and the string will remain flexible as the Polymeric Bowstring Fluid penetrates the core of the string. The fluid is odor-free and provides waterproofing. You can then use the Polymeric Wax. A String Cleanser and Pre-Lubricant Cleaner removes old wax and dirt. Allow products to dry for a few minutes before shooting your bow.

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The post Gear: Bows and Accessories appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

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