Big game seasons may still be months away, but if you’re a bowhunter who hopes to be at the top of your game when opening day hits, you need to be practicing right now. Really, you should practice year round. Even though today’s technological advances in bow, arrow and accessory design make shooting a bow easier than ever, it still requires more practice and skill to shoot accurately than just picking up somebody else’s scoped and sighted rifle or crossbow.
Arrows are a key component of that accurate shooting equation, and with most of the new 2012 models now available in stores, it’s a good time to get a new quiver load and start dialing in your setup with plenty of practice. Before you know it, that monster-racked buck is going to be standing broadside to you at 20 paces.
Here are five arrow options that will help you make that shot when it finally arrives:
Beman ICS Hunter Pro
Beman calls its new ICS Hunter Pro arrow both its lightest and fastest carbon arrow ever. Made from advanced lightweight carbon, the arrows are outfitted with 8-grain Microlite S Nocks, as well as Vibrake Hot Tail inserts. Both help minimize vibration, as well as stabilize the arrow during flight for a truer, flatter trajectory. The straightness of the arrows is +/- .002 inches. Available arrow sizes are 300 (9.6 grains per inch), 340 (8.8 grains per inch), 400 (8.1 grains per inch) and 500 (7.5 grains per inch). The finish is a Realtree camouflage fiber weave. Vibrake Nocks are available but sold separately. MSRP: $90/dozen.
Cabela’s Outfitter Arrows
Cabela’s new Outfitter Arrows for 2012 offer premium performance comparable to top-of-the line models of other manufacturers. The Outfitter Arrows are made from a unidirectional, carbon-fiber core surrounded by high-strength composite fibers, which enhances durability and leaves a micro-smooth finish. The arrow diameter is reduced from standard-size arrows increasing kinetic energy by 10 percent. Factory-installed cresting helps the otherwise camouflage finish to be easier to pick up with the eye and track in flight. Outfitter arrows come complete with installed H nocks. HP inserts are also included, but not installed. MSRP: $120/dozen.
Carbon Express PileDriver
The new PileDriver Hunter arrow is Carbon Express’ heaviest arrow, designed to deliver maximum kinetic energy for serious penetration on big-game animals. The arrow features Carbon Express’ Weight Forward technology, designed to allow for better flight and down-range accuracy. Additional model features include the use of Predator vanes, a high-performance compact fletching for increased arrow speed and enhanced accuracy. BullDog nock collars are stronger than standard nocks for added durability where energy transfers from the string to the arrow and can even withstand many nock end impacts. Straightness of the PileDriver is +/- .005 inch with a weight tolerance of +/- 1 grain. Factory fletched sizes include 250 and 350 size arrows that weigh 10.4 grains per inch and 11.3 grains per inch respectively. MSRP: $110/dozen.
Easton has been really ramping up its offerings for hunters with the new high-dollar A/C Injexion arrows ($280 a dozen) and the incorporation of Deep 6 inserts and points available with most of its arrow models. The company’s new Bloodline arrows are yet another brick in the foundation of technologically advanced offerings but at a price many hunters will still appreciate. The Bloodline employs a smaller diameter lightweight carbon shaft made from high-strength nanotube N-FUSED carbon fibers for increased speed and better penetration. The arrows are factory crested, have a guaranteed straightness of +/- .003 inch and feature pre-installed red H Nocks and HP inserts. They are available in 330 (8.7 grains per inch), 400 (7.7 grains per inch) and 480 (6.8 grains per inch). MSRP: $90/dozen.
Gold Tip XT Hunter
The XT Hunter is the most popular hunting arrow in Gold Tip’s line-up, delivering carbon performance that will maintain straightness and consistency in performance throughout repeated use through their Smart Carbon Technology. The XT Hunter is available in crested versions, black or, new this year, Mathew’s Lost Camo finish. Straightness tolerances are +/- .003 inch and weight tolerances are +/- 2 grains. The XT Hunter is available in sizes 3555, 5575 and 7595. Black arrows are lighter running 7.4 to 8.9 grains per inch depending on shaft size, while the crested and camo models run 8.2 to 10.2. MSRP: $95/black dozen, $115/camo & crested dozen.