Toss out the term “youth” or “woman’s” bow and you likely conjure images of discount models lacking cutting-edge engineering, owning plastic parts, or even bows resembling outright toys. These assumptions come honestly via a plethora of models lacking attention to detail and, well, real bowhunting performance. The basic problem, perhaps, is manufacturers build many beginner models for the casual shooter. Designs are driven by price points, as many beginners simply don’t stick or care to shoot living animals. Parents or spouses hedge their bets by keeping it simple (and affordable) until they witness real and lasting interest.
Yet there are plenty of women and young archers who have been bitten hard by the bowhunting bug and do want to earn big-game success. Youth and women are no longer excluded from big-game pursuits due to equipment limitations. More efficient engineering, hard-driving carbon arrows and new broadhead designs allow small-statured archers to deliver the goods with authority. One hunting buddy’s 10-year-old daughter recently killed her first whitetail deer; a doe and 8-point buck. Plenty of my industry gal-pals have bow-bagged bull elk and moose — a couple have taken African Cape buffalo.
These shooters demand real performance, and they get it in today’s marketplace. The following are bows with big-boy performance in smaller packages:
Designed especially with small-framed archers in mind, the Eclipse delivers big performance in a compact package. This is a serious hunting bow powered by the same hybrid, ball-bearing-equipped Velocitec (twin-track binary) Cam System as Alpine’s bigger bows. The rock-solid yet lightweight modular riser holds 13-inch, parallel split limbs in Alpine’s vice-like VX Pocket System for accuracy and silence. This creates a 31-inch axle-to-axle, 6 3⁄4-inch brace height bow capable of 295 fps in a 26-inch draw.
Available draw lengths are 24-27 inches — module controlled — and peak draw weights of 50 or 60 pounds. The 3.9-pound bow includes Next G-1 camouflage finish and a one-piece rosewood grip.
Like its deadly namesake, the Black Mamba MX1 is sleek and lightning fast. The bow (capable of 352 fps IBO in big-boy specs) gives smaller shooters energy to spare thanks to the APA Xtreme Venom two-cam system.Available in draw weights down to 40 pounds and draw lengths to 25 inches, this 4.1-pound, 34-inch bow is an ultra-accurate option for smaller shooters.
String-stop bumper and BowJax accessories throughout make it silent, special features such as incorporated Bow Grip (making it easier to carry), Fang Riser (to hang the bow on any limb), Tool Centre (carbide knife sharpener, broadhead wrench and nock tuner) and Cam Lock Press (change strings without bow press) make it bowhunt ready. Camowest Vanish Hybrid’s the camouflage of choice.
Based on the resounding success of The Truth II adult model, the Young Gun distills that bowhunting powerhouse into a more petite package. Features like speed-enhancing, vibration-squashing Dual Arc String
Suppressors and Axle-Mounted Weighted Dampeners remain the same as bigger versions. A Rotating Modular Cam System allows quick setup for draw lengths from 14-27 inches, its 70-percent letoff and 6-inch brace launching arrows to speeds of 266 fps (27-inch draw at 50 pounds). The 29 1⁄2-inch, 3.2-pound bow’s offered in 40- or 50-pound peak draw weights and includes compression molded limbs, machined aluminum riser, pivoting limb pockets and Realtree APG HD camouflage finish.
Measuring 34 inches between the axles, the S.W.A.T. features Bowtech’s innovative Binary Cam system and Vertical Force Technology where the limbs are set at parallel angles. The result is less shock, noise and vibration. Draw lengths from 26-31 inches are possible on the cam system with a user-friendly Rotating Mod System — one module required for seven inches of draw length adjustments in half-inch increments. A 7 1⁄8-inch brace height and impressive 314-322 fps IBO rating top it off. Thanks to adjustable letoff between 65-80 percent, along with the rotating module, shooters will be able to fine-tune their anchor point and how the bow holds at full draw. Numerous finish options (Gore Optifade shown).
Available alone or as a bowhunt-ready kit, the Micro Midas includes adult features that enhance short-draw performance. The versatile Hypermax Cam propels arrows to IBO speeds of up to 279 fps and includes 65-percent letoff. The system allows draw-length adjustments from 18-28 inches to grow with younger archers. Peak draw weight options are 29 and 40 pounds, and upgrading from the lower option costs just $45. All draw length adjustments are accomplished without a bowpress. The Midas is 32 inches long, weighs 2.6 pounds and has a 6 1⁄2-inch brace height. The riser is black, with Mossy Oak Break-Up limbs.
Ninety-nine percent letoff sets Concept bows apart, but the C-32’s 31 9⁄16-inch axle-to-axle and 3-pound, 5-ounce specs make it easy for women or youth shooters to handle.
Incorporating a 6 5⁄8-inch brace, it boasts IBO speeds of up to 308 fps. Performance features include 6061 T machined aluminum riser, Gordon Composite diamond-sanded fiberglass limbs, needle-bearing equipped cams, Sims LimbSaver vibration dampening and draw-length-specific cams. Choose draw weights from 30-70 pounds and draw lengths from 24-31 inches. Next G-1 Green camouflage finish and pre-stretched BCY 452x strings too.
Designed specifically for beginning bowhunters, Darton’s Ranger III is the perfect bow to get kids started in bowhunting. Offering draw length adjustment from 17-28 inches amd draw weights from 15-45 pounds, this is one model that can grow with a young bowhunter. With a brace height just under 7 inches and a 32-inch axle-to-axle length, the Darton Ranger III features a PFS Single Cam System. All that combines to provide the bowhunting accuracy young archers need.
The Rock’s wide draw-stop and letoff ranges ensure it’s always a perfect fit for any shooter, accommodating draw lengths from 23-30 inches and draw weights of 40-70 pounds. Diamond’s 80-percent letoff, single-cam system generates dazzling speeds around 31 5⁄8-inch axle-to-axle and 7-inch brace height specs. It’s offered alone or with a Backwoods Accessory Package including 3-pin fiber optic sight, Hostage capture rest, four-arrow
quiver, braided wrist sling and peep. Bow features complete Hush Silencing package. Finish options include three Realtree patterns, Advantage Max-4 HD, Camowest Vanish Hybrid, Next FLX or Mossy Oak Brush.
The GT500 is available in man-sized models, but add Elite’s efficient Cuda Cams and the 4-pound bow instantly becomes a top-end youth or woman’s model with draw lengths from 23-26 inches and draw weights starting at 30 pounds. This 34 7⁄8-inch axle-to-axle, 7 1⁄8-inch braced bow is big on performance, kicking arrows to IBO speeds up to 340 fps.
A twin-track, binary cam system assures zero limb twist or cam lean at full draw for superior accuracy. Silencing features include E-Suppressor string dampener and BowJax limb silencers. Finish is Realtree AP HD, matte black or a black riser holding AP limbs.
The extremely forgiving Trykon Sport is perfect for young shooters or women but packed with pro-caliber technologies normally reserved for full-sized bows. Features include exclusive Hoyt TEC bridge riser and parallel split limbs, Alpha Shox limb silencers and Cam & ½ Plus Performance System with 23-28 1⁄2-inch draw length adjustment, in half-inch increments. The 30-inch bow has a 6 1⁄2-inch brace height and weighs 3.2 pounds. It also offers draw weight options of 20-30, 30-40, and 40-50 pounds. Finish is Realtree APG HD camouflage.
Weighing just under 4 pounds and available in draw lengths down to 25 inches and draw weights starting at 40 pounds, the 30-inch DZ-30 makes a perfect bow for the serious woman or youth bowhunter. The H.E.A.T. Modular cam produces IBO speeds up to 325 fps at longer draws but still provides a highly respectable showing at 25 inches.
LimbSaver’s pivoting limb pocket allows a wide range of draw weights in a single bow.
Winner’s Choice Bowstrings, fall-away rubber arrow rest pad, rubber arrow cushioning strip, super-slick Teflon cable slide and Next G-1 camo are other features of this deadly package.
At only 29 3⁄4 inches axle-to-axle and 3.35 pounds, the Leopard certainly isn’t short on performance, launching women or youth arrows to speeds of up to 280 fps with a 7-inch brace height. Those are real numbers not taken from the top end of the draw length/weight spectrum, as the Leopard is available in only 40-, 50- and 60-pound draw weights and 21-26-inch draw lengths. This is made possible via the Mini M-Pro Cams without sacrificing smooth drawing characteristics or a shock-free shooting experience.
The machined-aluminum riser holds Martin’s original Vibration Escape Modules, Roto Limb Cups supporting efficient parallel limb configuration and Thermal V grip. It is covered in Next G-1 camouflage.
The Mathews Passion is specifically engineered and designed for the lady archer. And it’s so new, BOWHUNTING readers are among the first to get a peek at this eye-appealing bow. Featuring draw weight options from 30-70 pounds, the 29 3⁄4-inch axle-to-axle Passion weighs only 3.6 pounds — a weight female archers can be comfortable with.
With draw length options from 22 1⁄2-29 inches (half-inch sizes also available), the cam-specific Passion includes special colored Zebra Barracuda strings, Mathews’ exclusive Harmonic Damping System, the new Harmonic Stabilizer, String Suppressors, Perimeter Weighted Solocam, Ball Bearing Roller Guard, a small, colored Inline Walnut Grip and parallel limb design for a quiet, hard-hitting package. It’s available in three functional yet modern-chic finishes — Pink, Teal or Camo.
“We set out to make a bow specifically for the female shooters,” said Matt McPherson, Mathews’ founder and chief executive officer. “Gone are the days when lady archers had to adapt to bows not made with their needs in mind. They deserve something that not only fits them perfectly, but is stylish. After all, we want as many women as possible to ‘share the passion’ for the outdoors.”
The 2CPW (Two-Cam Perimeter-Weighted) system energizing this feathery powerhouse provides an astounding range of draw weight and length options — from 16-52 pounds of weight adjustment and 17-30 inches of draw length in a 70-percent letoff design.
Weighing just under 3 pounds, measuring 31 inches axle-to-axle and including a 7 1⁄4-inch brace height, this compact bow provides plenty of power and its perimeter weights enhance performance and reduce recoil. It also includes a rubberized grip, Zebra custom bowstring and cables and carbon cable guard rod. The bow is covered in Advantage Max-4 HD camouflage.
Youth and women can now take advantage of PSE’s vaunted X Force technology thanks to the all-new Chaos. Headlining this power-packed dynamo are preloaded, 12-inch beyond parallel split limbs, stress optimized for added performance. Combined with the SI inner cam system, the bow is IBO rated to 286 fps (at 27-inch draw). This cam also allows 10 inches of draw length adjustment (17-27 inches) without a bow press.
Weighing a mere 3.1 pounds and measuring 32 inches axle-to-axle, the Chaos has a 6 1⁄4-inch brace height and provides peak draw-weight options of 29, 40 and 50 pounds.
Available finishes include Mossy Oak Treestand and Pink camouflage.
With a low-end draw length option of 26 inches, the Alien-X bow isn’t for the smallest shooters, but is offered in a 50-pound option. For those with enough draw length to wield this 3.5-pound, 31 1⁄2-inch axle-to-axle mighty-mite, you can look forward to IBO arrows speeds of 330-340 fps via the Hybrix Duo Cam System and 7-inch brace height. For all its speed, the bow is ultra smooth, quiet and shock free. Its “bridged-style,” Next-camo-finished riser is one of the stiffest launch pads the company has ever produced. Other features include five-layer, multi-laminated limbs in Roto Limb Cups, Shock Terminator Suppressor string system and roller Cable Containment System, all of which kill vibration before it starts.
At a compact 22 inches axle-to-axle, the Revolution not only offers an easy-handling unit for smaller-framed bowhunters, but draw weight and draw length latitude enough to allow it to serve any shooter for a lifetime. The 80-percent letoff Revolution 2-Layer Single Cam is adjustable from 24-30 1⁄2 inches of draw length and from 35-100 pounds of draw weight — all in a single cam! The 8 1⁄4-inch brace height makes it highly forgiving, Limb Pod Dampening Technology makes it super quiet, and 2 3⁄4-inch limb bolts allow in-field repairs without a bowpress. Also comes with Winner’s Choice Strings and Firecracker string loop, plus M2D, Next G-1 or G-1 Green camouflage finish.