Best of the Best in 2017 Archery Products (Part 1)


We asked several dealers at this year’s ATA Show to tell us what products and companies excited them most. Here’s what they said:

Jake Schlangen

Archery Country | Rogers, Minnesota

With multiple locations, Archery Country is an archery powerhouse in the Midwest. Jake Schlangen and the Archery Country team were looking for high-quality products that reinforce the store’s reputation for quality and service.

  • “I know Afflictor Broadheads were originally released last year, but I personally hadn’t looked at them seriously until this year. I think their design is innovative and solidly made.”
  • Black Gold, which has been known for years for making some of the best hunting sights, entered the market this year with a target sight. It’s fairly lightweight but built well and loaded with all the features you could ask for.”
  • “I liked the Mission Charge crossbow. The Charge is built with the solid performance of other Mission crossbows, but it also offers the ability to adjust the length and comb of the stock to every shooter. That makes this a crossbow that’s truly customizable to every individual.”
  • “The new jaw design sets the Scott Echo release apart. You can tell a lot of engineering time has been put into this to get the cleanest release for the best arrow flight and tune possible.”
  • “The Spot-Hogg Swap arrow rest has a very cool design. It allows you to have either two blades set up for different arrow sizes and tune or a back-up launcher ready to go with no effort at all.”
  • “I also liked the Dead Ringer Super Freak Extreme broadhead. This is a nice addition to the super-large expandable market. It will be especially helpful in putting those turkeys down this spring. The 2 ¾-inch two-blade will get the job done.”
  • “The Leupold LTO Tracker handheld thermo tracker is a gadget that everybody will want once they look through one. It will be helpful for everything from tracking game to walking in and out in the morning and evening without spooking game.”
  • “Finally, I really like the Vortex Prism HD Rangefinder Binos. I love the quality of the glass, the rangefinder in it, the retail price and the Vortex warranty.”

Related: Best of the Best in 2017 Archery Products (Part 2)

best bowhunting productsRonnie Kimbrough

Full Draw Archery | Huntsville, Alabama

Ronnie Kimbrough of Full Draw Archery found a lot to like at this year’s Show. One of his primary concerns was whether a product lived up to its advertising. Fortunately, he found many products that do.

  • “There were three bows that really caught my eye – the Hoyt Pro Defiant, the PSE Evolve and the Mathews Halon 32. The Hoyt Pro Defiant is smooth and lightweight. We’ve already been selling quite a few of those. We sold several of the aluminum-riser Defiants last year, but I think the subtle changes Hoyt made on the Pro Defiant are really going to bump it up. And it has so far this year. Then there’s the PSE Evolve with that new cam system and the Mathews Halon 32. Those really jumped out at me. They are what they advertise to be. The Mathews has got speed and low hand shock. It’s very quiet, very accurate. The PSE Evolve has a smooth cam and great letoff. It feels great in each letoff position. You’ve got your 80, 85, 90 percent letoff where you can adjust it. It felt good in the hand, and it had a good draw cycle. I was impressed with those three bows.”
  • “I think the new nocks Nockturnal came out with are going to be a pretty good hit.”
  • “I was very impressed with the new lightweight treestand Millennium Treestands has coming out. The new M7. It’s a lighter-weight hang-on stand.”
  • “Another product I really liked was the new Pro treestand harness from Summit with the detachable pockets. You can get different sized pockets and pouches to go along with it.”
  • “Also – and I know this was last year’s product – if you’re talking about harnesses you have to mention the Hunter Safety System Hanger Harness. It’s a harness you use to go in during the pre-season and hang your stands with. I really like it. I used it last year. I like the pockets and the design of that for pre-season hanging. We sold quite a few of the Hangers.
  • “The new Sear release by Tru-Fire was pretty interesting. It’s a little T-handle back-tension release. I think that’s going to be great for the tournament archers. That was pretty sweet.”
  • Elite Archery has a new sight out with some awesome pins. It’s made really well. It was tough. I really liked the pins on it.”
  • “And I liked that Spot-Hogg redesigned the heads on their sights with the new L brackets. I think it’s going to be great. I like the Fast Eddie. I like the Tommy Hogg. And they have the new front end – they call it the MRT Pin Guard. We’ve already sold several of them this year. That helped our January, selling some of this new stuff. I think it’s available on all their sights. It’s a yellow ring that screws on and off on the sight facing the archer to give you a different look and a different-sized aperture. That looks really good. I’ve already got some guys shooting it, and they really seem to like it. They can adjust the size of the aperture on their sight for different-sized peeps.”
  • Sitka came out with a new camo pattern. We do well with Sitka clothing here in the Southeast. We did pretty well with the Elevated II pattern last year, and we’re offering pre-orders on it and have already gotten some. It’s high-end, but serious bowhunters are looking to buy quality clothing so they don’t have to keep rebuying cheaper stuff. That new Subalpine pattern is going to be a good camo pattern. I see it having multiple uses: here in the South with the green and also out West with the sage. I don’t know if my customers will like the Subalpine better than the Elevated II, but for early bow season down here when it’s really green, I think that green color is going to help out. And the clothing is so comfortable and really durable. It does what it says, and it’s great clothing.”
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