New Archery Accessories
New Archery Accessories That Make a Difference
Every year there are always many new archery accessories that hit the market and have archers and bow hunters alike buzzing. This year is no different, and there are several new accessories that I have been testing in preparation for the bow hunting season to return. There are way too many new products that appear each year, so I am only focusing on a few select items that I feel will really make a difference for avid bow hunters.
It is easy to get caught up in the hype associated with new gear. Everyone is always looking for a 'magic fix' for their problems, or a product that will make them a better archer. While there is no substitute for regular practice, there are some products that can help to make you a more consistent archer or provide a better experience in the woods. And I am all for that!
(Image Credit to InterRev - That's Me!)
Lighted Arrow Nocks
Stop Losing Arrows
While lighted arrow nocks aren't going to make you shoot better, they are a very useful product that can help to keep you from losing your expensive arrows. It is so easy to lose an arrow in the woods, especially when hunting in heavy brush or tall grass.
When you take a $10.00 carbon arrow, add a $10.00 broad head, and possibly custom arrow wraps, you can easily watch $20.00 or more worth of your gear fly through the air after your shot, possibly to never see it again. If you are an avid hunter with custom arrows, this expense could be even larger. I can't tell you the number of arrows that I have lost over the years.
These nocks will light up and glow once shot and released from the bow string. Even in low light conditions, it makes it easy to locate your arrow on the ground. In addition, it makes your arrow flight easier to track and allows you to see your arrow impacting your target more easily. This can help you determine the quality of your shot.
I highly recommend lighted nocks. While there is a small up front cost, they can save you a lot of money in the long run on lost arrows. Each of my hunting arrows is equipped with a lighted nock.
The IQ Bow Sight Retina Lock
Eliminate Torque, Eliminate Anchor Point Problems
Poor form often plagues many archers and causes inconsistent shooting. This is usually caused by having issues with the anchor point or with bow hand torque.
The anchor point is the location where an archer draws their bow string to. This vary from archer to archery. My anchor point is along my cheek with my knuckle resting just under my right ear lobe. When you sight in your bow, you should be using the same anchor point consistently. If your anchor point varies high or low, then you could overshoot or undershoot your target. Maintaining a consistent anchor point is crucial for consistent arrow patterns.
Bow hand torque is essentially inconsistent pressure on your bow grip that can cause your aim to shift horizontally off center. If you torque just 1/4 inch on a 20 yard shot, then your arrow can land off target by as much as 5 inches. Distance amplifies this problem. That same 1/4 inch of bow torque can put you off target by as much as 10 inches on a 40 yard shot.
The Retina Lock uses a black dot that floats inside of a larger green circle on the bow sight. To ensure proper form, that black dot should be exactly in the center of the larger green circle. If it rests high or low, then you have an issue with your anchor point. If it rests to the left or right, then you are experiencing a bow hand torque issue. If it is right in the middle, then you have perfect form, and your shot is going to be on the money.
The IQ Retina Lock found a home on my bow this Spring, and I instantly found better consistency in my arrow groups, especially on longer shots.
Bow Mounted Rangefinder
The Leupold Vendetta Eliminates Guesswork
I know that distance estimation is one of the most important factors for accurate shooting. In fact, it gets more critical as the distance increases. I have historically used hand held laser rangefinders. I had always found it difficult to justify an electronic bow mounted rangefinder. The Leupold Vendetta changed my mind though.
This rangefinder mounts directly to your bow and gets calibrated to your 20 yard sight pin. You lay your 20 yard pin on your target and depress the pressure pad to activate it. The laser gives you an accurate reading for distances between 10 to 70 yards on the LED. Then all you need to do is switch to the proper distance sight pin and cut your arrow loose. You go from ranging your game to shooting in a fraction of a second. You even have the ability to range moving game too for continual distance readings.
I've had a lot of fun with the Vendetta. On my archery range, I have been shooting from completely random distances and angles, and this bow mounted rangefinder has had my arrows on the money.
Unfortunately, electronic bow mounted rangefinders are not allowed for hunting in all states. They are legal in 27 of the 50 states currently.
If you are looking to get into the Pope & Young record book with your next trophy whitetail, you will be out of luck with an electronic bow mounted rangefinder. Using one is against their rules of fair chase. Otherwise, it goes a long way to increasing your accuracy.