Looking for a new rig to take to the deer woods this fall? Here are some of the top new bows available in 2012.
The flagship offering from Mathews this year is the Heli-M. True to its given moniker, the Heli-M is a featherweight, tipping the scales at only 3 1/2 pounds. Naturally, the engineers at Mathews didn’t hang their hat solely on shedding mass. Instead, they endowed the Heli-M with the new Heli-Cam which is responsible for producing arrow speeds up to 332 feet per second, and outfitted the bow with their Harmonic Stabilizer Lite and Reverse Assist Roller guard for a buttery-smooth draw cycle. The 30-inch Heli-M is available in draw weights ranging from 40-70 pounds and draw lengths from 26-30 inches. $959.
Darton Archery DS-3800
If you’re in the market for a seriously fast bow, you may want to consider Darton’s DS-3800. Darton’s DualSync Hi-Performance Cam System is the engine behind the DS-3800’s arrow speeds that top out at a blistering 350 feet per second (fps). The 33 13/16-inch axle-to-axle DS-3800 weighs just over 4 pounds, and features a 6-inch brace height. To accommodate hunters and target shooters alike, Darton offers the DS-3800 in Next G1 Vista camouflage, Shadowy Black, and Target Red. The DS-3800 model bows are available in draw weights ranging from 40-70 pounds and draw lengths from 25-31 inches. $949.99.
PSE X-Force Dream Season EVO 7
Very few companies have contributed as much to bow design as PSE, a trend that continues handily with the new X-Force Dream Season EVO 7. Sporting a generous 7-inch brace height, the EVO 7 offers a smooth draw cycle that culminates in a solid back wall. Each EVO 7 measures 32 1/4 inches between axles, weighs 4.4 pounds, and can achieve arrow speeds of 335 fps. Available in draw lengths ranging from 26-31 inches and draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds, the EVO also features a litany of PSE’s top bow components like X-Technology split limbs and Vibracheck Backstop string suppressor. $849.99.
Hoyt Carbon Element RKT
Hoyt hit a home run with their original carbon riser design, but their engineers didn’t rest on their laurels, evidenced by the new 32-inch Carbon Element RKT. The RKT refers to the RKT Fuel Cam & 1/2 system, which is responsible for arrow speeds up to 330 feet per second. The RKT system also features Hoyt’s new ErgoDraw Technology to produce a smooth draw cycle. At only 3.6 pounds, the Element RKT is one of the lightest bows on the market. Each RKT boasts a 6 3/4-inch brace height and is available in draw weights ranging from 30-80 pounds and draw lengths from 24 1/2-30 inches. $1,399.
BowTech Archery Insanity CPX
BowTech is one of the most innovative bow companies because of its outside-of-the-box thinking and design. Their new Insanity CPX is sure to garner a loyal following. The 4.3-pound Insanity CPX utilizes BowTech’s Overdrive Binary Cam synchronized dual cam system and high-quality 7-layer Hardcore Limbs to blow through chronographs at up to 355 fps. The 32-inch Insanity CPX also features a 6-inch brace height, 80-percent letoff, and the innovative FLX-GUARD, which flexes throughout the shot sequence to cut down on accuracy-robbing riser torque. $999.
Mission Archery Riot
Easily one of the best options on the market for budget-conscious bowhunters or the parents of children who are archery-obsessed, the new Riot from Mission Archery offers high-end performance without the sticker shock. The Riot is fully adjustable from 19-30 inches of draw length and 15-70 pounds of draw weight, meaning this bow is capable of handling a seven-year-old’s first chipmunk hunt or a seasoned veteran’s moose hunt. The Riot weighs 4.3 pounds, measures 31 inches from axle-to-axle and features a comfortable 7-inch brace height. $399.
Bear Archery Anarchy
Bucking the trend of shorter is always better, Bear Archery’s new Anarchy measures 35 1/4 inches from axle-to-axle. The easy-to-shoot Anarchy features a 7 1/4-inch brace height and weighs a feathery 3.8 pounds. To reduce game-spooking shot noise, the Anarchy boasts the popular Dual Arc Offset String Suppressors. Other Bear Archery notables include Max Pre-Load Quad Limbs and the Zero Tolerance Limb Pockets. The Anarchy is available in draw lengths extending from 25 to 31 1/2 inches and peak draw weights of 50, 60, and 70 pounds. $899.99.
If you’ve got any questions about what constitutes a great hunting bow, Elite Archery has your "Answer." Their 2012 flagship bow offers a two-track cam system with two different module options. Choose the "smooth" option for a rig that tops out at 330 fps, or the "speed" option if you’d like to gain an extra 10 fps or so. The Answer measures 33 1/2 inches from axle-to-axle, features a 7-inch brace height and is available in 10-pound peak draw weight increments that run from 40-80 pounds. Draw lengths on the Answer model range from 27-30 inches. $869.99.
Another quality offering without the bank-breaking price tag is the new single-cam Velocity from Parker Bows. The 4.15-pound Velocity is loaded with bowhunter-friendly features like the Tunable Draw Stop, the Deluxe Tunable String Suppressor, and even an integrated wrist sling. The Velocity’s draw weight is adjustable from 50-70 pounds to accommodate a wide range of shooter preferences. Arrow speeds of up to 315 feet-per-second are possible with the Velocity, which has a generous 7 1/4-inch brace height and a shoulder-saving 80-percent letoff. $400.
Martin Bengal Pro
Martin Archery’s 2012 Bengal Pro is a bowhunting tiger, thanks to extreme stability offered by a longer riser design and a more extreme parallel limb angle. In addition, the new Fury XT single cam allows you to easily change the draw length anywhere from 24-30 ½ inches, in half-inch increments, while the adjustable draw stop permits even more fine tuning. The XT cam also allows notable draw-weight adjustability. The Bengal Pro is 31 inches axle-to-axle, weighs 3.8 pounds, has adjustable letoff up to 80 percent and comes in peak draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds. $449.
Prime Centroid LR
For 2012, the Prime Centroid LR boasts a new design that is 9 percent lighter and 15 percent stiffer than the original. The hallmark of the Centroid is its Parallel Cam Technology, which reduces horizontal nock travel and limb fatigue, equaling tighter groups. Another highlight is a machined 7000 Series T6 aluminum riser — twice as strong as traditional aluminum risers. The Centroid is 34 inches axle-to-axle, has a 7-inch brace height, weighs 3.9 pounds and has an IBO speed rating of 330 fps. It accommodates draw lengths from 27-31 inches and draw weights from 40-70 pounds. $999.
Quest Bowhunting Torrent
The new Torrent from Quest Bowhunting was designed to offer a combination of forgiveness, smoothness and speed. Quest’s new Fluid Cam gives hunters speed without sacrificing accuracy, and the addition of the patented I-Glide cable system reduces torque and improves smoothness. The Torrent boasts an IBO rating of 322 fps with a 7-inch brace height and axle-to-axle length of 31 inches. It weighs 4.2 pounds, can accommodate draw lengths of 25 1/2-30 inches in half-inch increments and is available in draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds. $529.