June 06, 2013
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.
You have a budget, but you can't sacrifice quality for it. Here at Petersen's Bowhunting, we understand completely. That's why we've done the legwork for you and compiled our list of the best bows for under $700. So if you need to upgrade your bowhunting arsenal without breaking the bank, look no further — we've got the right compound bow, at the right price, for your needs.
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
'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 Pro
'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 'fastest 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