Keep It Simple
Q: I've been looking at the Golden Key Mirage fall-away rest for my Browning Dakota bow. My concern is that it looks awkward, heavy and in the way and I also can't find any stores around here that carry it. I mostly hunt elk and shoot Beman Hunter arrows. Do you have any opinions on this? My kids want to get me this for a gift since they see me salivating over it all the time. -Bob Meyer, Rogers, Minnesota
A: I have a real problem with some of the newer and fancier rests manufactured for hunting. As an outfitter with 30 years of experience, I've had numerous clients with rest problems that have either cost them a trophy or ruined their hunt.
If a rest is complicated and unique, it also will probably be harder to fix in the field. Although many of the newer rests are manufactured with respect for quality, they have several intricate and moving parts. Personally, I use the simple New Method Archery Products flipper rest. I tape an extra one onto my bow so I can replace a faulty or broken rest within seconds.
Follow the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) and your elk hunting will be more fun and productive with less hassle and equipment worries. -Judd Cooney
More Speed For Elk
Q: I have an older Hoyt Super Slam Bow set at 65 pounds with a 29-inch draw. I shoot fingers with a flipper rest and 30-inch 2475 Easton Super Slams topped with 100-grain Thunderhead broadheads. I've been shooting the same setup for the past 10 years. I think my current setup is shooting just a little faster than 200 fps. Most of the hunting I do is for elk in western Washington state. I want to increase my arrow speed and trajectory, but I'm still in school so I don't have the money to buy a new bow. I'm curious about the new full-diameter carbon arrows. Is there a difference between various brands, and what should I be looking for in an arrow? Are they heavy enough for elk? -Jeff Rose, Snohomish, Washington Several years ago I was fortunate enough to take a 365-inch bull with a Super Slam set at 68 pounds using a flipper rest, 301/2-inch 2514 arrow with a 125-grain Ironhead broadhead. I was also finger shooting.
A: After 25 years of outfitting bowhunters for elk and assisting with the harvest of more than 500 elk, I have a great background for recommending proper archery elk equipment. There are two obvious ways to increase speed with your present setup. The first is to increase your bow weight. The second is to lighten your arrow. I don't believe in high-speed bows matched with lightweight arrows for bowhunting elk.
There are some carbon products out there that are heavy enough for elk, but still slightly lighter than your aluminum setup. One great product that I've experimented with is the Easton Kinetic 3-71. At 30 inches, a 2514 XX78 with a 100-grain head weighs 532 grains. A Kinetic of the same length and head weighs 481grains. This is still an acceptable weight for elk, and will give you some additional speed.
For now, stick with your present setup and maybe crank up the weight slightly if you fell comfortable doing that. After you get out of school, shop around for a new bow; you'll be amazed with the new technology available.-Jay Verzuh
Tracking Down Tracer Nocks
Q: Where can I find Tracer Nocks? I've seen them in use on several hunting shows on TV and have been trying to track down more information on them. -Bruce Porter, Weston, Ohio
A: You can obtain information about Tracer lighted nocks by calling (210) 387-3766, or visit www.huntingclub.com and click on the "Featured Links" icon. (www.tracerarrow.com.)
An introductory single nock set sample costs $9.99 plus $1.50 for shipping. Texas-based Tracer Products Inc. offers magnetically-activated nock systems for both bowhunters and target archers. The nocks, which illuminate when an arrow is released, are designed to make following the flight of an arrow-and its recovery after the shot-much easier. Tracer's mailing address is: 9539 Legend Isle, San Antonia, TX 78245.
For what it's worth, bowhunters should note that the Pope and Young Club won't accept any trophy-class animal taken with the assistance of an electronic device attached to a hunting bow or arrow. Good luck and good hunting in the seasons ahead. -M.R. James