I’m a big believer in getting into the best archery equipment you can afford and that you shoot well. But, of all the accessories to improve your bowhunting experience, I have never understood the price that a top of the line quiver retails for. As long as it stays on your bow and holds onto your arrows, what on earth could possibly be worth the five-times as much you charge for your boutique arrow receptacle? I simply have not been able to bring myself to drop $150 on such a “meh” piece of gear. What I have done is use three different budget-friendly quivers over the past couple years, and I figured other people in the same boat might like to know what is the best bang for the buck. All three of these are in the $30-45 range, and I have spent actual days in the field with each of them. So, here’s the breakdown…
The sun came up, the hours started to tick by, and I didn’t see anything. After a while, the fact that I had been up since 4:00 started to catch up with me, and I could feel my head starting to droop. Eventually, I straight-up fell asleep. I’m not sure how long I was out, but I remember being suddenly awakened by the loudest, most hair-raising sound I had ever heard in the woods…a giant bull elk bugled directly behind me. I snapped awake, and slowly turned my head to see a bull and five cows standing less than 10 yards from my blind. The adrenaline dumped into my veins, my heart-rate went through the roof, and I remember thinking, “holy crap…this is about to happen!”
I can’t believe how fast time flies! I decided over five months ago that I was heading to CO for an Over the Counter Archery Elk Hunt, and it felt like I had all the time in the world. Now, I am just a couple weeks out from hitting the trail in a brand new wilderness in an unfamiliar state chasing these magnificent creatures that I haven’t hunted in two years…the mixture of excitement and trepidation is hard to describe (it’s like the night before your wedding day…if you feared you might fall off a mountain or utterly fail at getting married). If you have also been trying to get yourself prepped for a brand new hunting adventure (whether out of state or in your own backyard), then what should you be focused on in these final weeks leading up to the big hunt?
The question of the day is about the Ritual from Elite Archery…is it really as shootable as they claim? According to Elite, the Ritual is the culmination of every piece of ground-breaking bow technology they’ve ever developed…all crammed into one, magnificent compound bow. That’s quite a claim, if you ask me! But, I recently had the opportunity to form a relationship with Elite, and to get myself into a brand new Ritual 33. But, does it live up to the hype???
For the last six years, I have continued shooting the same budget release I bought when I first started bowhunting. I’ve upgraded my bow three times since then, but never stopped to really consider if my inexpensive Cabela’s brand release might be negatively impacting my accuracy. But, once you start looking into higher-end releases, the sticker-shock can scare you back to your old release in a hurry. Is it really worth it to drop well-north of $100 (minimum) for a high-quality release? In the case of the Spot Hogg Wiseguy…ABSOLUTELY!
Well, it’s been a couple months since my first post walking through all the facets of planning an out of state hunt. At this point, I will be hitting the mountain in almost exactly three months, and I couldn’t be more excited! I also couldn’t be more aware that there is still so much to do. So, at the three-months and counting mark, here is what I’ve done and where the whole process stands.
So, you didn’t get drawn for elk in your home state (story of my life here in AZ), or you live in a part of the country that simply doesn’t have elk hunting. You’ve watched all the shows, been sucked deeply into the YouTube vortex of Western elk hunting, and would LOVE to chase these majestic creatures this fall. But, where do you even start? It’s hard enough to navigate your local hunting options…now you’re gonna throw a dart on a map in an area you’ve NEVER been before, travel hundreds of miles, and hit the trail hoping that everything comes together? The idea of taking your first out of state hunting adventure is equal parts exhilarating and terrifying.
In my relatively short bowhunting career, I have had three wildly different bow shopping and/or tuning experiences at three different locations. A big box store and two different independent archery shops - two experiences were terrible and one was fantastic. Having now experienced some of the worst in the bow-world as well as some of the most amazing archery professionals, I am firmly convinced that EVERY archer needs to have an ongoing relationship with a really good bow shop. Here’s why and how to identify one…
We've all been there: miles from civilization, weather and/or darkness moving in, the animal just stepped into range, and it's the moment you envisioned when you chose/purchased/packed that one piece of gear. You go to set it up, or take the shot...and you realize it doesn't work! Or, doesn't work like you thought it would, and you're going to have to improvise. Or, you miss the shot opportunity and never see that bull or buck again. It's almost part of the outdoors initiation process, but it's also one of the easiest situations to avoid...just test your gear beforehand!!! In this article, we will look at three key pieces of gear that we often don't test (at least not as rigorously as we should), and hopefully identify some things to look before before even making a purchase so we end up with better, more effective gear in the first place.
As I approached the trees in a surgically slow army crawl, I popped my head up to check that the bull hadn’t grown suspicious. To my horror, the bull was now standing where he was bedded and staring right at me. Haltingly, I retrieved an arrow from my quiver, knocked it, and waited for him to avert his gaze for just a moment to give me the chance to draw. He stared through me to my partner who was blowing cow calls 40 yards behind me for what felt like hours. Flinching through an intensifying hamstring cramp, I forced myself to remain perfectly still. Finally, he moved briskly behind some thicker timber, giving me the chance to come to full draw. He stopped for another cow call, just on the other side of the timber, quartered away, with his vitals inside of an 18-inch window in the trees. I took a deep breath, squeezed back on the release, and watched the arrow sail through the air…