Best bow-hunting gear 2019
|Hoyt REDWRX RX-1|
Our tester stated, “Over the years I’ve shot and owned my fair share of bows but I think my search for the perfect hunting setup has ended. The RX-1 has it all. While the list of technologies put into this bow is lengthy, all you really need to know is that it is smooth, quiet, fast, and built with Hoyt’s legendary toughness. I had it shooting bullet holes through paper after making one small adjustment after the initial setup. The 32-inch axle-to-axle length is perfect for archers like me who like a shorter bow for easier handling in tight situations but like the stability and accuracy of a longer axle-to-axle. At my 30-inch draw length I am launching a 585-grain arrow at 295 fps, more than enough KE and momentum for any critter in Alaska, or any other part of the world when tipped with the right broadhead. New bows come and go every year, but I plan on hunting with this one for a long time.” Note: as this gear guide went to press we were informed that this bow is no longer available. We currently plan to test the newer RX-3 this year.
|Easton Deep-Six 4 mm FMJ Injexion Arrows|
Easton FMJ arrows have been a long-time favorite of many bow hunters. The Deep-Six FMJ’s take performance one step further. These micro-diameter shafts fly true and deliver outstanding on-game results. The aluminum outer makes removal from targets easier than any other shaft on the market and it also makes them silent when drawn across a fleece-covered rest, a major plus when trying to draw on wary critters. The one thing that sets these shafts apart from others is weight. The 280 shafts we shot weighed in at 12 gpi…as much as 5 grains per inch heavier than other micro-diameter shafts. This added weight equates to better penetration, less wind drift, and better down-range energy. They come with Easton’s proprietary Deep-Six inserts that require the use of Deep-Six specific heads, or you can use Easton’s titanium half outserts and shoot any standard broadhead on the market.
Expandable broadheads aren’t necessarily the best option for all types of game in Alaska, but they do have their place. If you liked the old Ulmer Edge, you’re going to love the new Sevr heads. With a properly tuned setup these things will fly exactly like your field points. Our tester shot them out to 80 yards and there was no difference in accuracy or point of impact from his field points. The titanium ferrule and blade-locking feature make these heads both tough and dependable. Our favorite feature was the practice locking system that allows you to lock the blades in the closed position and shoot the same heads you’re going to hunt with without dulling the blades. With a 2.1-inch cutting diameter, their on-game performance is devastating.
|Easton Titanium Half Outserts|
Like the idea of shooting the ultra-slim FMJ’s or Injexions from Easton but don’t want to give up your favorite broadhead for the limited selection in the Deep-Six line up? Well here is your answer. These half outserts will allow you to use any standard broadhead on the Deep-Six arrow line up. We topped off a half-dozen FMJ’s and put them to the test. Every single one of them spun absolutely perfect, just make sure you or your pro shop guy squares the end of the shaft before installing the outserts.
|Valkyrie Archery Jagger Broadheads|
The broadhead category is filled with gimmicks and hype, but it is tough to beat a well-made, three-blade head, and the Jagger heads take performance to a whole new level. No gimmicks, just a rock-solid head that performs like it is supposed to. Designed as a proprietary system to be used with Valkyrie’s aluminum or stainless-steel centerpin sleeves and Valkyrie Reign shafts, the Jagger broadheads deliver outstanding on-game performance, pinpoint accuracy, and come with a zero-failure-on-game guarantee. We shot the 200-grain Ti series head with a stainless centerpin sleeve. That combination gave our tester 20% FOC and he experienced no shift in the point of impact from previous arrows. He had no problem shooting sub-AMOA groups out to 80 yards—the furthest he could shoot on his home range—with both the broadheads and Valkyrie target points. Valkyrie’s centerpin system provides precise shaft-to-point alignment, superior strength and durability, and the fine threads and O-ring keep the points from rattling loose. If you’re an Alaskan bowhunter, there is no better broadhead on the market.
|Valkyrie Archery Reign Shafts|
Valkyrie Archery strikes again with the Reign shafts. Boasting a straightness of +/- .001”, the quality is undeniable. There is nothing fancy or gimmicky about these things, no unnecessary graphics, no shiny finish, just an ultra-straight shaft made for hunting. The 100% hi-modulus carbon shafts provide incredible stiffness-to-weight ratios that allow hunters to maximize the weight-forward potential of their arrows without increasing overall finished weights and sacrificing trajectory. The Promax vanes and turbulator tape work together to offer maximum stabilization in a small package that reduces drag on passthrough shots. The quality and on-game performance of the Valkyrie system in unmatched.
Want to add a custom touch to your bow and make it as quiet as it can be at the same time? Then check out the options offered by Buzzkill. You can custom order a variety of styles in an endless combination of up to four different colors. With all the advances in archery in recent years, it can be tough to find a product that actually makes your setup noticeably quieter, but these limb dampeners definitely make a difference. We shot them on several different brands of bows and everyone raved about the great look and the difference in noise level compared to the factory and other aftermarket dampeners. The material is soft but tough and does not “melt” over time like other brands do. Each set is poured by hand in custom molds to meet customer specifications and takes 2- to 4 weeks for delivery. Pick up a set, you’ll be glad you did! Available for both split and solid-limb bows.
|BowTech Realm SS and Realm SR6 Bows|
Contributing Editor Paul Atkins had this to say, “I’m a serious bow hunter, whether it be here in the great state of Alaska or elsewhere. The bow I use must not only be accurate, fast, and quiet, it also must handle the rigors of hunting throughout most of the year. This year’s bow lineup offered by BowTech Archery, specifically the Realm SS and Realm SR6 meet those needs—Smart technology for smart bowhunters.”