5 Great Hunting Bows for Your Strengths

5 Great Hunting Bows for Your Strengths
Hoyt's flagship RX-1 features a hollow carbon tube riser with over 50 individual layers of carbon to stiffen it and deliver maximum efficency.

hunting bows

Here are five new, task-specific hunting bows that will enhance your enjoyment as a bowhunter.

Bow choice is very personal

With plenty to consider when selecting that perfect rig. For instance, how you intend to hunt is very important. Are you an ambush artist? Or, are you a backcountry addict? Is arrow speed the most important consideration for you? Or, do you place value on being able to control the bow at full-draw with little or no shake?

Other considerations include your build and draw length. Are you comfortable with a short axle-to-axle bow or do you need a few more inches of riser to tighten your groups? These questions need to be asked, and at least partially answered, long before you darken the door of your nearest pro shop.

Bowtech REALM

best hunting bows


Let's say you're a whitetail hunter who occasionally draws killer tags for Western critters. Or you may on occasion jet off to Alaska or maybe you're planning a hunt in Africa soon. If that sounds about right, then the Realm is your bow with its PowerShift Technology.

The PowerShift eccentric system lets you to shift the cam's FlipDisc and alternate between two different draw cycles (speed versus comfort). Since the Realm is anchored by the OverDrive Binary Cams, you know this bow is not only accurate, but very, very easy to keep tuned.

Small design details like the Clutch Performance grip and FLX Guard Technology round out this slick rig, which is well-suited for just about any bowhunting endeavor your bank account can support.


  • Axle-To-Axle 30 3⁄4 in.
  • Brace Height 7 1⁄8 in.
  • Bow Weight 4.3 lbs.
  • Advertised FPS 345 fps
  • MSRP $1,099
  • Website Bowtecharchery.com


best hunting bows


The new Carbon RX-1 is a precision piece of equipment. One which promises to make you a better shot. If that sounds like marketing hooey, consider this: The ZT Hyper Cam System is designed in such a way that it produces a comfortable, natural shooting posture, by increasing the cam-to-cam distance.

This means when you draw the RX-1, you'll experience a flatter string angle, which brings your peep directly to your eye (less eye fatigue during the shot sequence) and reduces facial contact with the string. This may not seem like a big deal and won't be when you're at the range. However, when you're in the heat of battle and have only a few seconds to set up and execute an awkwardly angled shot, it means everything. Naturally, the RX-1 offers a litany of other technologies to improve your overall accuracy, all designed to heighten the shooting experience.


  • Axle-To-Axle 32 in.
  • Brace Height 6 in.
  • Bow Weight 3.9 lbs.
  • Advertised FPS 340 fps
  • MSRP $1,649
  • Website Hoyt.com

Mathews TRIAX

best hunting bowsAN AMBUSHER'S DREAM

Like their 2017 Halon 32, the new Triax delivers incredible accuracy and easy tuning with the Crosscentric Cam technology. Unlike last year's model, the Triax is 4 inches shorter between axles, which means it tapes at only 28 inches.

For the treestand and ground blind hunter, the Triax is a dream come true as it delivers true maneuverability in tight situations and allows for a smooth, shoulder-friendly draw during those up-close moments when you could be busted by excessive movement.

The Triax feels short at first, but after a few shots you'll settle into the abbreviated design. You'll often hear bowhunters say that bows this short are difficult to shoot well, and many have been, mostly because they didn't tackle the problem as well as Mathews.


  • Axle-To-Axle 28 in.
  • Brace Height 6 in.
  • Bow Weight 4.4 lbs.
  • Advertised FPS 343 fps
  • MSRP $1,099
  • Website Mathewsinc.com


best hunting bowsTHE CHEAPSKATE'S SECRET

Are you tighter than bark on a tree or simply short on excessive bow funds but still want to shoot a technological marvel? Look no further than the Enlist, which can be yours for $749. If that's too steep, Elite will finance your bow, so you can pay as little as $67/month to own it.

Elite has developed a solid reputation for producing bows that are a joy to shoot, and the Enlist is no exception. It's got a buttery smooth draw cycle and doesn't skimp on the performance.

Aside from the price tag and performance, Elite has done something else with their Enlist (and the rest of their lineup) for 2018 — they'll let you build it any way you please on their website. Their factory techs will put together your bow and send it to an Elite dealer to finalize the setup — a pretty sweet deal all around.


  • Axle-To-Axle 33 7⁄16 in.
  • Brace Height 6 7⁄8 in.
  • Bow Weight 3.95 lbs.
  • Advertised FPS 325 fps
  • MSRP $749
  • Website Elitearchery.com

PSE Carbon Air Stealth SE

best hunting bowsTHE MOUNTAIN MIRACLE

Anyone who has spent 10 days in the mountains sleeping in a tiny tent and eating their pseudo-meals out of a pouch knows how precious a few ounces can be. This is why the new Carbon Air Stealth SE from PSE is an elk hunter's dream-come-true.

The SE tips the scales at a remarkably light 3.2 pounds, which will buy you a pound or more on nearly all of the competition. They achieved this feathery mass weight by crafting a monocoque carbon riser. This engineering feat is both extremely stiff and strong, resulting in a durable bow that is quiet and accurate.

If that's not outside-the-box enough for you, consider this: This bow also sports the HL Module, which allows for up to 90 percent let-off. This kind of let-off helps eliminate arm fatigue, no matter how long you're stuck at full draw.


  • Axle-To-Axle 33 in.
  • Brace Height 5 7⁄8 in.
  • Bow Weight 3.2 lbs.
  • Advertised FPS 340 fps
  • MSRP $1,500
  • Website Pse-archery.com

[bookyourhunt species="White-Tailed deer" title="Book Your White-Tailed Deer Hunt"]

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.