Today’s high-tech arrows are designed to be stronger and more accurate than ever before.
Whether you’re chasing big-boned moose or sharp-eyed pronghorn, there’s an arrow specifically designed just for that hunt. There are a few important attributes to consider when choosing your arrows; spine and spine consistency, grains per inch (gpi), straightness and weight tolerances.
Spine is probably the most important. An arrow must soak up as much energy as possible for efficient delivery to your target, and when an arrow is underspined, it’s not only unsafe but a waste of that energy. Always refer to an arrow selection chart when deciding what size of shaft/spine of arrow to shoot.
Also, at a minimum, be sure your arrows have at least an overall mass weight (point included) of 5 grains per pound of draw weight. For example, for a 65-pound bow, you need an arrow weighing at least 325 grains. And for bowhunting, there’s no such thing as too heavy!
Sure, we can gain more speed with a lighter shaft, but when shooting fixed-blade broadheads, tuning becomes more critical — and heavier arrows tune more easily.
For 2009, Petersen’s BOWHUNTING is pleased to offer this arrow shaft selection guide.
From lightweight shafts providing sizzling speed to heavy hitters intended to tackle the largest of game, bowhunters have options. Our goal is to highlight the newest, latest and greatest hunting arrows. Please refer to the graph on pages 62 and 64 for an extensive list of hunting arrows.
Whether you’re looking for a high-end hunting arrow or your kid’s first carbon shaft, Beman (www.beman.com; 801-539-1400) has just what you need. One of Beman’s most popular series of shafts is the MFX Carbon arrows, which includes the Hidden Insert Technology (HIT) equipped MFX Team Realtree and MFX Classic.
These micro-diameter carbon arrows are said to increase penetration and minimize wind drift thanks to slim diameters and HIT insert system, which provides better shaft and arrow matching because the broadhead’s shank is aligned directly against the inside diameter of the shaft.
The Classic is finished in rustic, Photofusion wood-grain finish, while the MFX Team Realtree sports a camo-crested Team Realtree logo. New for ’09, the Classic includes brass HIT Break-Off Inserts that allow you to reduce total arrow weight by 25 grains.
Beman’s ICS Hunter, Hunter Elite and Hunter Camo shafts are popular among bowhunters. The Elite comes with both ViBrake Inserts and Nocks and has a straightness of +/-.001 inches. The Hunter and Hunter Camo have straightness values of +/-.003 inches and come with ViBrake Inserts and standard nocks.
ViBrake Inserts and Nocks utilize LimbSaver NAVCOM IV material and work to dampen vibration and improve broadhead flight. They can be purchased separately and fit most standard-diameter carbon arrows. For hunters pulling less poundage, Beman’s ICS Hunter Junior is offered.
Compatible with bows set up to 40 pounds, the one-size-fits-all arrow comes with 3-inch fletching. Yet another offering is the ICS Bowhunter, an affordable arrow at just $59 a dozen.
Enter the newest arrow company on the market, Burt Coyote (www.lumenok.net; 309-358-1602), aka Lumenok. Known for producing lighted nocks, Lumenok is breaking onto to the arrow shaft scene with the Lumen-Arrow.
Made in North America from high-quality carbon composite fibers, the 100-percent carbon Lumen-Arrow has a smooth, polished finish and is available as a bare shaft or with Bohning 2-inch Blazers. And as the name implies, every Lumen-Arrow comes with a lighted arrow nock in either red or green. Each nock has been specially fitted to ensure optimal performance.
Lumen-Arrows come in three sizes: 45/60 (8.1 gpi), 60/75 (8.8 gpi) and 75/90 (9.9 gpi).
Using only the highest grades of carbon fiber for each shaft and a computerized manufacturing process that ensures all shafts in a set have the same spine tolerance, Carbon Express (www.carbonexpressarrows.com; 800-241-4833) arrows are a brand favorite among bowhunters. Carbon Express (CX) feels arrows with consistent spines ensure tighter groups and consistent accuracy. To achieve this, CX laser sorts its premium hunting shafts to be sure spines are all the same – guaranteed.
To improve downrange accuracy, CX’s Built-In Weight Forward technology shifts more weight to the front of the shaft, which reduces oscillation and aids in accuracy and penetration. This technology, along with BuffTuff, which adds weight and strength to the front of the arrow, and BuffTuff Plus, a carbon fiber that makes CX arrows stiffer and lighter in the back, lends increased accuracy to bowhunting setups.
This technology can be found in the Aramid-KV, Maxima Hunter, Terminator Lite Hunter and Rebel Hunter. The Aramid-KV includes additional high-tech arrow building technology. The top-of-the-line Aramid-KV is made with a layer of Kevlar, a synthetic fiber that’s five times stronger than steel. Combined with the BullDog Nock Collar (a nock protector available on the Aramid-KV, Maxima Hunter and Maxima), you get bone-crushing arrow shafts.
Other notable hunting shafts from CX include the wood-grain finished Heritage, which has the look of cedar and is perfect for those toting old school stick and string bows. You also have the lightweight Terminator Lite Select, an affordable shaft designed for speed.
In 2009, CX introduced the 6071-T9 alloy aluminum arrow, which has tunable TCS nocks and comes fletched with 5-inch vanes. For youth, check out the Predator II, available in two sizes, one good for 30-40 pounds, the other 20-50 pounds. And for the bird shooters, or those looking to have a little fun, there is the Flu-Flu, a carbon composite shaft fletched with six, 4.5-inch feathers.
Another big name in the carbon arrow market, Carbon Tech (www.carbontecharrows.com; 916- 641-8088) offers arrows designed specifically for bowhunters; with names such as the CT Rhino, CT Panther, CT Cheetah, CT Whitetail and CT Hippo. The Panther is the newest shaft, with a tapered design and arrow construction that makes it heavier on the front end.
This offers improved accuracy and spine control. Panther shafts can be spine tuned; increase spine by cutting from the nock end or decrease spine by cutting from the insert end. Nocks and inserts fit regardless of where you cut.
For those looking to get the most speed possible, the CT Cheetah and Cheetah 3-D are the perfect lightweight hunting arrows, flattening trajectory and increasing your margin for error. All Carbon Tech arrows, with the exception of the Panther, are offered in a more expensive +/-.0015-inch straightness shaft or standard +/-.005-inch shaft.
One of the most talked about arrows in 2009 will be Easton’s (www.eastonarchery.com; 801-539-1400) A/C/C Pro Hunting Series shafts. These aluminum/carbon hybrids have been optimized for hunting and are built so that a high-strength carbon fiber is bonded to a precision 7075-alloy core. Easton’s A/C/Cs also boast excellent broadhead flight thanks to the HP insert and the speed of SuperLite Alloy/Carbon. The result is one tough, accurate arrow.
Easton’s small diameter, thick walled Axis Full Metal Jackets (FMJs) should also be a top choice among hunters this year. For 2009, they added the Full Metal Jacket Dangerous Game, which will be popular for those looking for added weight and kinetic energy. Two sizes are available, a 250 and 300 shaft, weighing 17.2 gpi and 15.5 gpi, respectively.
The Dangerous Game FMJ also uses the new HIT Break-Off insert. Regular FMJs are offered in two finishes, Gun-Metal Black and Camo. Also new for 2009 is the Flatline. Available in three sizes – 340, 400 and 500; weighing 8.2, 7.4, and 6.5 gpi respectively – the Flatline shafts were designed for speed thanks to new Microlite nock and insert. The Microlite Speed System reduces overall arrow weight by up to 16.5 grains and is said to boost velocity by five or more feet per second.
For the aluminum shooters out there, Easton offers its XX75 Gamegetter in their popular carbon hunting arrow sizes and a XX78 Super Slam Digital, also available in Easton’s popular carbon hunting sizes. However, the shafts have a straightness value of +/-.001 inches. For youth and women hunters, Easton offers two great shafts: the Axis Junior, for bows up to 40 pounds, and the ST Epic Jr., for bows up to 45 pounds.
One hundred-percent carbon construction allows Gold Tip (www.goldtip.com; 800-551-0541) to maintain perfect strength-to-weight ratio on their Premium Hunting Arrows.
What does this mean? Gold tip can build a lightweight, heavy-duty arrow that was ultimately designed for hunting. In the Hunting Series line, they offer three models: the Pro Hunter, XT Hunter and Expedition Hunter, with straightness values of +/-.001-, +/-.003- and +/-.006-inch respectively. The Pro Hunter, meanwhile, offers a weight tolerance of +/-0.5 grain, and the XT and Expedition both are built to come in at +/-2 grains.
Each model is available with a black, Realtree APG, Crested or Mossy Oak Treestand camo finish. The camo versions do have a heavier gpi rating. Gold Tip also offers great hunting arrows in their Specialty Arrow line including the Traditional .003 and .006, Big Game, Carbon Aluminum Arrow (CAA) and Ted Nugent Signature.
For those bowhunters looking for a little extra punch, and hunters who prefer heavy arrows, check out Alaska Bowhunting Supply’s (www.alaskabowhunting.com; 206-453-3821)
GrizzlyStiks, which are full-length, tapered shafts. Depending on type of bow used, arrow length and tip weight, they also offer one of the widest spine ranges available in a carbon arrow.
GrizzlyStiks are available in three models, the Sitka (40-55 pound range), Alaskan (50-65 pound range) and Safari (60-100 pound range) and help hunters build arrows at 10 grains of arrow weight per pound of draw weight. These arrows are constructed from multi-directional woven carbon and weigh less towards the nock end of the shaft.
This design allows the shaft to straighten out more quickly when it accelerates (stabilization and accuracy) and decelerates (impacting target), resulting in increased penetration. Thanks to a tapered design, GrizzlyStiks have built-in Extreme Forward of Center (EFOC) technology they say increases penetration 15 percent.
GrizzlyStiks are widest at the point directly behind the head, which they claim results in fewer shaft failures.
PSE Carbon Force Arrows
Radial X Weave technology is the backing behind PSE’s (www.pse-archery.com; 520-884-9065) bone-crushing Carbon Force Radial X Weave arrows. Available in bare shafts, or with the choice between 4-inch fletchings or Bohning’s Blazers,
Carbon Force arrows come in four models: PRO, Predator, STL Hunter and Black Mamba. Depending on the shaft, they also are available in up to four sizes: 100, 200, 300 and 400. Heavier gpi arrows can be found in the 300 and 400 models, with the STL Hunter 400 shaft hitting 9.2 gpi and Black Mamba at 10.5 gpi with the included kinetic energy tube. The 100, 200 and 300 shafts weigh in at 6.6, 7.5 and 8.8 gpi respectively.
PSE’s Radial X Weave Pro features a straightness value of +/-.001-inch and a weight tolerance of +/-1 grain. For those shooting less than 50 pounds, PSE offers the Desperado shaft in lengths of 26, 28 and 30 inches.
Trophy Ridge Arrows
Trophy Ridge, a division under Bear Archery Products (www.trophyridge.com; 800-694-9494), offers four arrows: the Crush, Blast, Hailfire and Wrath. To make a strong arrow hunters would appreciate, Trophy Ridge took a seamless, woven carbon arrow and increased the thickness of the shaft wall. To further boost durability, they designed an over-the-shaft insert, which they say increases shaft integrity – avoiding mushrooming at the leading edge.
These two features, along with a slim diameter, aid in penetration. Also important to the design are trustworthy Beiter nocks that help improve accuracy and Silent Slide Coating, an arrow finish that provides quiet performance. The high-end Crush shaft separates itself from the pack with a straightness value of +/-.0008-inch — one of the straightest shafts available.
ctory Archery (www.victoryarchery.com; 866-934-6565) surged onto the scene a couple years ago with some fantastic arrows. The 100-percent carbon design adds to the overall durability and a smooth, polished finish provides quiet shooting and easy arrow removal. The VForce and VForce HV line of hunting shafts will cover a wide variety of bowhunters, while the new Nano Force, with its slim diameter construction, will be a big hit not only in the field but on the shooting line as well.
All Victory hunting shafts come in three straightness values: V1 (.001), V3 (.003) and V6 (.006). For youngsters, Victory offers the VForce Junior, an arrow weighing 7.2 gpi with a .500 spine. For those archers looking to add a little color to their setup, the VForce Pink is offered — pink finished VForce — with a percentage of sales proceeds going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.