Product Spotlight:Archery Compound BowsCompound bows are used for target shooting, tournaments, home protection, and hunting. I grew up shooting bows with my brothers and my dad. We did target practicing in the summer, to get us ready for archery deer season towards the end of summer. The equipment over the last thirty years has come a long way with bows being faster, quieter, lighter, and of coarse pricier. But, you get what you pay for. You don’t want to be out in the woods stalking a real trophy and have your equipment let you down. It’s good to set a budget and find the best bow within your range that have all the features that you are looking for. There are a lot of great benefits to hunting with a compound bow during archery season. Archery hunting is all about being extra stealthy so you can sneak up close to get your shot. Compound bows are super quiet, and if you miss a shot you can usually get another shot to seal the deal. With a rifle, you will have a game animal running at full speed before you can hammer out another shot. Another benefit is that there are less bow hunters than there are rifle hunters. So you pretty much have most of the forest to yourself, instead of a big shooting range to worry about with a stampede of rifle hunters. It’s earlier in the year, which is bad because it’s usually still hot, but the game are not spooked at all, which will make it easier to find them and to get in close to them to get your shot. Another benefit is that it is more of a challenge, and getting a game animal with a bow is that much more exciting. Plus, your awesome for being a bad ass and being up to the challenge in getting out there face to face in close proximity to the game. I mean, how amazing is that! What to look for in a new compound bow:•Draw Length•Draw Weight•Draw Letoff•Bow Weight•Bow Package Deal•Bow CaseDraw LengthDraw Length is very important, and it’s a good idea to measure your draw length, and measure it twice. For two reasons, a short draw length will cause you to not be able to pull the bow back far enough to line up the perfect shot. A long draw length will allow you to pull back too far to get the full draw and you can hurt yourself. Draw length of your compound bow is crucial. How to Measure Your Draw LengthTo measure your draw length you need to stand with your back to the wall and stretch your arms out against the wall. Make sure you are standing straight, and your arms are fully stretched out, with your palms out. You can have someone mark the wall at the end of your middle finger tips on both hands, or you can have someone measure the length from the end of your middle finger to the length of your middle finger on your other hand. This will give you the length of your arms stretched out at full length. Take this measurement, and divide it by 2.5 to get your draw length. Round the number up to the nearest half inch. Draw WeightDraw weight of your compound bow is also very important. You want a bow that has a variable draw weight that you can pull back now, but you can increase the draw weight as you practice more and more and build up additional strength to pull the bow back. You don’t want too much draw weight because it can cause you to shake as you stress your muscles out, but a high letoff of 80% can alleviate the muscle shaking issue to give you a good stable and accurate shot. You don’t want too low of a draw weight because a low draw weight will give the arrow less power and less accuracy, causing you to miss a shot or wound an animal and not be able to retrieve it due to a bad shot. Most bows will have a 55 to 70 pound adjustable draw weight. Draw LetoffDraw letoff is an amazing invention. I used to get buck fever when I’m pulling back on a nice buck, or that is what I called it, where I would shake and not have a steady aim. I realized that I was using too high of a draw weight and had to dial it back. The problem was having to hold the full weight of my 70 pound draw weight, and it was fine for me to pull back, but a few seconds into the hold of the draw I would start shaking. It was too much weight to hold at full draw. With the Letoff feature, most of the weight of the draw is gone at full draw. Many bows have an 80 to 85 percent letoff. The higher the better! Once at full draw, with the letoff feature, it’s like your not holding much weight at that point. This gives you as long as you want to aim and have a more accurate shot. Bow WeightCarrying around a heavy bow for miles as you get into a good spot to hunt is not a good time. The weight can really wear on you after a while. They do make bow slings, and backpacks that you can use to carry your bow, which is also great. But, it’s also important to get as light of a bow as will fit in your budget. Today’s bows are very light in all models, but in the high end they are amazingly light weight. Arrow SpeedAs bows have evolved over the last couple of generations, the speed of an arrow has greatly increased. The speed that the arrow travels when shot from a compound bow varies depending mainly on the type of compound bow, the draw length, the draw weight, and the weight of the arrow. Most modern compound bows shoot an arrow at a speed between 300 and 340 feet per second. The faster the better. In the old days you could shoot the arrow and literally watch the arrow flop up and down as it traveled to it’s intended target. With today’s high tech compound bows and high tech light weight arrows, the arrow is pretty much in the target almost instantaneously. It’s a beautiful thing. Faster, quieter, and more accurate give the bow hunter the added advantage needed for a successful bow hunt. Bow PackageBow accessories are expensive. If you find the right package that fits what you are looking for, you will save a lot of money by buying a package deal. All of the components are perfectly matched for look, style, and precision. Many bow packages typically include an arrow rest, an arrow quiver, sight, stabilizer, D-loop, and peep sight. Buying a package deal saves you money, as well as time so that you don’t have to do a lot of research on each of the individual components. Bow CaseNow that you have spent a nice chunk of change in buying the perfect bow and accessories, or a bow package deal, it’s important to protect that investment with a good bow case. Bow cases come in many different shapes, styles, and come in both a light weight soft case, and a sturdy hard case. My recommendation is to go with the hard case because it will completely protect your bow and the components. The soft cases are nice, but you have to be a little careful with where you put them with your other hunting or camping gear so as to not let any weight damage your bow or your components. A hard bow case offers complete protection and peace of mind that your sight pins won’t get bent which could mess up your entire hunt.PSE Archery Brute NXT RTS Compound Bow Package•Model Number - 2012BTRST2970•Brace Height - 6-1/2"•Weight - 3.7 lbs.•Arrow Speed - 328-320 FPS•Axle-To-Axle Length - 30-3/4"•Draw Length - 22 1/2 - 30”BlackOut Epic Compound Bow Package•Model Number - AV05A420A6R•Brace Height - 6"•Weight - 4.1 lbs.•Arrow Speed - 340 FPS•Axle-To-Axle Length - 32"•Draw Length - 26" - 30"PSE Archery Stinger Max RTS Pro Compound Bow Package•Model Number - 2028SSRST2970•Brace Height - 7"•Weight - 4 lbs.•Arrow Speed - 312-304 FPS•Axle-To-Axle Length - 30"•Draw Length - 21 ½ - 30”BlackOut Pursuit Compound Bow Package•Model Number - AV04A320A7R•Brace Height - 6-1/2"•Weight - 4.1 lbs.•Arrow Speed - 330 FPS•Axle-To-Axle Length - 31"•Draw Length - 26.5" - 30"PSE Archery Stinger Max RTS Compound Bow Package•Model Number - 2014SSRST2970•Brace Height - 7"•Weight - 4 lbs.•Arrow Speed - 312-304 FPS•Axle-To-Axle Length - 30"•Draw Length - 21 1/2-30”Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Mendenhall Outdoors team. 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