Avoiding Damaged Gear
"What’s the best way to pack a bow and arrows when you have to fly to a hunting destination? I live in Minnesota but plan to bowhunt for hogs in Texas this winter, and I want my gear to arrive in one piece." – Scott via e-mail
I pack my bow in a lockable hard-sided case and then fill u the extra room in the case with fleece clothing. I put my arrows with the broadheads off, in an arrow tube and then bury the tube with clothes inside a large duffel. My favorite duffel is the 26-inch-long Boyt Glider (www.BoytHarness.com).
The bottom of this duffel is designed to hold a hard-sided gun case, but I use this space for boots, raingear and bulky outer layers of camo. Packing this way maximizes the padding around both my bow and arrows. – Dave Maas
"I’m considering getting back into bowhunting due to the fact that it’ll give me more time in the woods each fall, and I’ve narrowed my two bow choices to a Hoyt Trykon or Mathews Switchback XT. I’ve read what the manufacturers have to say about split limb vs. solid limb, single cam vs. cam & ½, but I’d like an unbiased opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of these two popular setups." – John E William/Snowmassvillage, CO
John, this probably isn’t what you want to hear, but I believe any attempt to say something negative about either bow you mention in your letter would be ludicrous. These bows are so popular with today’s shooters because both offer outstanding accuracy with very little recoil during the shot.
With topnotch accessories installed correctly, both of the bows you’re considering are capable of shoot up to – and beyond – any archer’s abilities, and they’ll continue to perform for many years of service with proper care. The only way to decide between these two superb bows is to shoot them (side-by-side if possible) at a pro shop and pick the one that feels best in your hand as you draw and shoot it. You can’t go wrong with either model. – Dave Maas
"I’ve been bowhunting for only 3 years and each year it’s been with a different bow. I’m not thrilled with my current compound and am saving my pennies and plan on buying a Reflect Caribou this spring. I shoot with my fingers and prefer to keep it that way. I basically taught myself how to shoot, but I know it would be beneficial to study archery. Can you recommend a credible instructional book or video?" – Paul Abrun/Long Pond, PA
First, you need to peruse the company Web site of the bow you plan to purchase as well as the Web sites of other high-quality bow companies. Many manufacturers provide DVDs on proper shooting instruction. Mathews offers a CD-Rom titled, “Making the Shot,” which includes coaching and illustrations on making you the best archer possible. Visit www.mathewsinc.com.
Cabela’s has a section in its bowhunting catalog with videos, DVDs and books that focus on shooting basics and beyond. I also suggest getting hands-on instruction from an archery mentor or shooting coach. If you don’t have a mentor, visit a reputable pro shop and ask them about coaching instruction or even join a shooting league. – Mark Kayser