Like anything else in life, a bowhunter's list of wants is often tied to a budget. Sure, we'd all like to have the best of everything, but our husbands or wives are there to remind us about financial reality. At the same time, our devotion to the sport — as well as our concern for ethical hunting — demands we have the most efficiently lethal tools possible when we step into the field.
If you'™re trying to avoid spending more than three months worth of mortgage payments on your next bow, Bear Archery
has a lot of great options for you. Bear offers products like the Domain, which has a 33-inch axle-to-axle length for improved balance, and a feel more like that of a target bow. With E3 Cams, the Domain shoots an impressive 322 fps — pretty sweet for a bow that doesn'™t cost [imo-slideshow gallery=32],000 or more. It'™s also an incredibly smooth-shooting bow with a lot of forgiveness, great for budget-restricted hunters of every stripe.
Price: $ 599
Bear MethodBear Archery
'™s philosophy is that a high-performance speed bow shouldn'™t cost you a fortune and shouldn'™t compromise on the draw cycle. Another of Bear'™s great budget-friendly offerings is the Method, which like the Domain is a 33-inch axle-to-axle bow with incredible forgiveness. The Method has a brace height of 6.75 inches, which helps it stay smooth throughout the draw cycle. It'™s only $50 more expensive than the Domain, but shoots a screaming 340 fps. It'™s available in 50-, 60- and 70-pound draw weights and comes in either RealTree APG or Shadow Series (black).
Price: $ 649
Martin Bengal ProMartin Archery
'™s 2012 Bengal Pro is a bowhunting tiger, thanks to extreme stability offered by a longer riser design and a more extreme parallel limb angle. In addition, the new Fury XT single cam allows you to easily change the draw length anywhere from 24-30'‰½ inches, in half-inch increments, while the adjustable draw stop permits even more fine tuning. The XT cam also allows notable draw-weight adjustability. The Bengal Pro is 31 inches axle-to-axle, weighs 3.8 pounds, has adjustable letoff up to 80 percent and comes in peak draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds.
Price: $ 449
Easily one of the best options on the market for budget-conscious bowhunters or the parents of children who are archery-obsessed, the new Riot from Mission Archery
offers high-end performance without the sticker shock. The Riot is fully adjustable from 19-30 inches of draw length and 15-70 pounds of draw weight, meaning this bow is capable of handling a seven-year-old'™s first chipmunk hunt or a seasoned veteran'™s moose hunt. The Riot weighs 4.3 pounds, measures 31 inches from axle-to-axle and features a comfortable 7-inch brace height.
Price: $ 399
Martin Onza XT 3
Continuing in its legacy of the bridged riser design, Martin
offers the Onza XT 3, which boasts of the most advanced features on the market. The Onza comes with a 33.25-inch axle-to-axle while maintaining extreme rigidity. Created with perfect balance, the Onza also shoots an amazingly smooth 340 fps. It features a Nitro Hybrid cam system that remains steady in hand and deadly silent. The Onza also has a carbon fiber string dampening system and pivoting Roto Cup alignment system. It'™s hard to beat the value on this bad boy.
Price: $ 649
According to PSE
, the new Prophecy is the 'œfastest single-cam every created,' shooting an amazing 340 fps. But most importantly, the Prophecy is as smooth as it is fast — a great addition for hardcore bowhunters who need performance at a budget-friendly price. The Prophecy has an axle-to-axle length of 32 inches and a brace height of 6 inches, both of which make it an incredibly stable bow to shoot. It comes with past parallel limbs, a Planar Flex riser and the new Backstop 2, making this a great buy for any serious bowhunter.
Price: $ 699
Sinister might be one of the most impressive price-for-pound bows on our list. At under $500, the Sinister is incredibly compact — 28 inches axle-to-axle with a brace height of 7.25 inches — and incredibly fast, boasting of 327 fps. Because it'™s so compact, the Sinister is great for a treestand, a blind or on those long hikes out West. Forgiving, fast and easy on the pocket book — it'™s hard to say no to that combination.
Price: $ 499
Another great offering from Quest
, the Torrent is built for a wide range of hunters. A shorter brace height and new Fluid Cam gives hunters extra speed without sacrificing a smooth, comfortable shot. The Torrent also comes with Quest'™s patented I-Glide torque reduction system and has a crazy smooth draw. With a starting price of $500, it'™s hard to beat the value of this setup. Speed isn'™t an issue with a solid 322 fps and an axle-to-axle height of 31 inches. Like the Drive, the Torrent comes with a 6061 forged aluminum machined riser.
Price: $ 499
At 30.5 inches between the axles and just 3.16 pounds, the Ross XD
(Xtreme Devastation) proves you can pack a lot of performance into a small package. In addition to being one of the lightest hunting bows on the market, the XD features an IBO speed rating of 320 fps with a silky smooth draw and solid back wall, ensuring you will be able to execute a perfect shot during the moment of truth.
The Ross XD has a 7.5-inch brace height, 80 percent letoff and can accommodate draw lengths from 26-31 inches. It'™s available with peak draw weights of 50, 60 or 70 pounds. Finish options include Realtree AP camo or Stealth Black.
Price: $ 525
has spent countless hours machining the perfect bow geared toward forgiveness, smoothness and accuracy. The Drive is the quintessential demonstration of this philosophy. It features a Flux Cam for a smooth draw, allowing you to make a quiet draw in any condition. It comes with a forged CNC machined aluminum riser and Bowjax limb dampeners for whisper quiet performance.
Price: $ 699