Printer Friendly

1989 archery product review.


Deciding what products to stock for summer and fall can be an ordeal for archery dealers. Never before has there been such a wide array of gear aimed at pleasing America's 2.4 million bowhunters. Simply deciding which bows are best can boggle your mind. There are several hundred models from which to choose in 1989, ranging from traditional hardwood recurves to basic round-wheel compounds and complex overdraw cambows. When you add bow accessories, arrows, arrowheads, string-release aids, rangefinders, protective cases, and specialized bowhunting gear to your spring wholesale shopping list, the sorting-out procedure makes a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle look like a snap!

It would be impossible to describe and evaluate every new archery item in a good-sized book, let alone this article.

However, here are some general guidelines to follow when stocking your archery shelves in 1989. Most of the products described can readily be ordered from well-stocked distributors like Jim Dougherty Archery, O. H. Mullen Archery, Kinsey's Archery Products, Pape's Archery, and Archery Center International.


The trend in bows is presently toward models that produce very fast arrow flight. We saw this manufacturing fad take hold in 1988, with most major bowmakers offering short-coupled, largewheel compounds that generate a bit more arrow speed. Overdraw arrow-rest attachments were popular last year, and we saw the first "cableless cable" bows with lighter, faster synthetic cable systems and bowstrings. Strangely enough, this trend went hand-in-hand with higher-letoff wheels and cams, which makes shooting easier but somewhat slows a bow down. Many bows sold this year exhibit these basic 1988 characteristics.

You should definitely stock a mix of bows to accommodate both traditional and speed-oriented tastes. The most sensible hunting bows, from an accuracy and dependability point of view, are still moderate-speed models with round wheels or mildly oval cams, conventional arrow rest setups, and a fairly long axle-to-axle length of 46 or 48 inches. Hoyt, Golden Eagle, PSE, Pro-Line, Darton, and others all sell such products, and these work great for the average tree-stand-sitting bowhunter who never takes shots past 30 or 40 yards. Souped-up compounds are okay for longer-distance shooting at critters like pronghorns, open-country deer, caribou, and mountain sheep, but tend not to be as accurate, quiet, or dependable in average hands.

There is currently a mild resurgence in the popularity of recurve bows and longbows for hunting. Martin, Hoyt, Browning, Bear, and several other companies offer fine "stick bows" at affordable prices, and a few hanging in your store might sell along with your primary stock of wheel-and-cable models. Bear in mind, however, that tastes in bows tend to be quite regional. If you happen to operate a store where overdraw cam-bows are all the rage, you might end up dusting off those stick bows when winter of 1990 rolls around.

Bow Accessories

Bowsights are standard on most modern hunting bows. Nationwide, the majority sold are still sturdy multiple-pin models like the Browning Rack-And-Pinion, Hoyt Pro Hunter, PSE Mongoose 105, Martin Deerslayer, and Satellite Hunting Sight. However, an increasing number of bowhunters prefer a sturdy crosswire model like the Fine-Line Hunter or PSE Mongoose 107. You should offer both styles to satisfy every taste.

Bow quivers become better designed each and every year. Hoyt's Pro Bow Quiver is a fine example--a sturdy, two-piece offering which attaches in seconds to the quiver brackets on all Hoyt Pro Vantage, Spectra, Pro Series, and Gamegetter hunting bows. PSE's excellent Uni-System quiver setup is especially practical because bowsight and quiver are one integral, easily mounted unit. This saves time and prevents vibration noise during a shot. Fine-Line's new Hunter adjustable bow quiver is another top choice, featuring adjustable length to compactly accommodate any arrow length from 24 to 36 inches. This particular quiver's unique nock bar secures arrows at the rear end to completely hush fletching rattle during a shot. Many other sturdy bow quivers are also available through manufactures and distributors.

One trend in quivers worth mentioning is a return to non-bow arrow transport systems. The Cat Quiver backpack quiver is selling very well these days, and my own all-leather Adams Arrow Holster hip quiver is currently in high demand. Most archers who want such quivers are especially nitpicky about accuracy, preferring the sweet balance and easy tunability of a bow without paraphernalia attached. A few hip quivers and back quivers in your store should move well in 1989.

Bow stabilizers can be solid sellers if you point out their obvious pluses to customers. Well-designed models like the Easton Gamegetter II, Saunders Torque Tamer, and Golden Eagle Hunting Stabilizer improve accuracy by reducing bow torque or twist during a shot. These also reduce bow noise by absorbing excess shooting vibration.

Arrow rests are sold by many companies, and all are touted to produce excellent arrow flight. Golden Key Futura is one of the largest rest manufacturers in America, and offers a tantalizing array of time-tested models. Saunders Archery sells several fine rests, including the Kwik Flite Rest and the brand new Mini Overdraw rest. Hoyt has been prominent in arrow-rest innovation for years, with models ranging from the traditional all-nylon Super Rest to the sophisticated Pro Tune springy rest. PSE is another pioneer in quality arrow rests, with a mind-boggling array to meet any need. The list goes on and on.

A bowstring peep will improve any bowsight-user's accuracy. There are two basic types from which to choose. A simple peep must be rotated in practiced bowstring fingers to ensure hole-alignment with your eyes. Saunders, Martin, and others sell such peeps. More practical for many shooters is the Fine-Line Zero Peep, which aligns perfectly with your eye no matter how you draw the bowstring. The secret to this peep is a surgical tubing umbilical which attaches to the bow and comes taut at full draw. Fine-Line sells thousands of these peeps each year-- mute testimony to the excellence of their design.

Nobody does a better job of supplying dealers with accessories than Saunders Archery. From clamp-on nocking points to bow-string wax, this company has those little but all-String wax, this company stock. Check out the 1989 Saunders Archery Catalog for details.


Easton Aluminum needs no introduction to active archery dealers. This long-time company provides the best-quality aluminum shafts archers can buy, paying unequalled attention to critical accuracy details like straightness, uniformity of diameter, and consistency in weight. At present, Easton sells more than 30 sizes of aluminum shafts to hunters-- shafts covering every need regardless of the game being hunted, the bow variety being used, or the trajectory druthers of the customer.

Given the current trend toward faster arrow speeds and flatter trajectories, Easton's new Super-Lite aluminum line is selling extremely well. These large-diameter, thin-wall shafts share the same durable alloys and rigid manufacturing tolerances as their heavier counterparts, but their lighter overall weight boosts arrow speeds an average of ten feet per second. Easton's new Aluminum/Carbon/ Hunter (A/C/H) shafts will be the ultimate speed choice in 1989, combining a thin inner aluminum tube with a stiff, featherlight over-coating of linear graphite fibers. The A/C/H line of shafts is designed to add another ten feet per second to your chronograph readings--which will in turn make hitting animals easier at longer, uncertain shooting range.

Easton supplies several arrow manufacturers and distributors with unique shaft lines. Jim Dougherty Archery sells Easton-made camouflage shafts called Super-Naturals. Pape's Archery offers attractive, dull-anodized Bark Brown Easton shafts, and PSE markets coal-black Equalizer shafts of the durable XX75 Easton variety. Be sure to check out these variations in standard Easton sizes and shaft colorations.

In addition to shafts, Easton will introduce a full line of archery adhesives in 1989. This should be a real hit, because most archery dealers use and sell large quantities of arrow-assembly glue.


Arrowhead selection is more sophisticated than ever before. Easton Aluminum's latest bowhunting catalog includes revised charts that take into account the effect varying arrowhead weight has on shaft selection. Satellite, America's largest broadhead manufacturer, recently began packaging matching-weight field points with each of the seven hunting heads they sell. This is a sensible move, because arrowheads must weight the same if you hope to achieve the same point of impact down-range.

Every archer needs simple steel field points for target practice. Special-purpose "stump-shooting" heads like the Satellite Grabber. Zwickey Judo, and Muzzy Spider are also desirable because these let you practice-shoot afield without losing arrows beneath leaves, grass, and underbrush. However, one of the most difficult choices to make is which hunting broadhead to use.

At present, there are more then 60 different companies producing an estimated 300 models of hunting broadheads. These vary from standard, long-time heads like the MA-3, Snuffer, Zwickey Black Diamond, and Bodkin to newer replaceable-blade designs by Golden Key, Muzzy, Satellite, Game Tracker, Delta Industries, Hoyt, PSE, Bohning, Rocky Mountain, Wasp, Anderson, and others. The selection possibilities are staggering.

For average customer use, you should sell broadheads with three or four blades. These should cut a hole at least one-inch in diameter. for deer, any nosecone or pyramid-point head will penetrate adequately from the average hunting bow. Be sure the models you decide to sell are truly hair-shaving sharp from the factory. Most are; a few are not. Fine choices include the Satellite Supra, Satellite Mag 125, PSE Brute, Muzzy Matador, Golden Key Spinner, Game Tracker Terminator, Hoyt Black Hole, Wasp Cam-Lok, and rocky Mountain Razor. For deer and larger game like elk and bear, most experts prefer a cutting-nose head like the Satellite Titan, Hoyt Bow Bullet, Bohning Blazer, Kolpin Twister, or Rocky Mountain Grand. Such a broadhead creates a minimum of penetrating friction and drives deep for quick kills on magnum-sized animals.

Although hand-sharpened heads like the Snuffer and Zwickey Black Diamond have plenty of fans, most beginning and intermediate bowhunters prefer quick, easy factory-sharpened models.

Shooting Aids

Several shooting aids are essential for decent accuracy with a bow. These include various gadgets to help you release the bowstring, and an archery rangefinder to ensure pinpoint distance estimation on targets and game.

Most bowhunters still draw and release the bowstring with their fingers. This basic technique requires some sort of protection from the pressure and abrasion of the string. Some archers use a finger glove with good results. Kolpin, Saunders, Bear, and others sell excellent gloves for bowhunters. A better bet for most is some sort of finger tab. A tab resists grooving over time, which in turn produces an especially accurate arrow release. Neet's Super Tab is one fine choice; another is the calf-hair Kant-Pinch tab. Saunders also sells several excellent tabs for target and hunting sport.

Mechanical bowstring releases are quite popular with some bowhunters. These vary considerably in configuration, but all grip the bowstring mechanically and let you release smoothly by merely pressing a button or trigger. This can produce superior accuracy--especially when you're using a fast, accuracy-critical cam-bow or overdraw setup.

To satisfy customers, it makes sense to stock several gloves, tabs, and mechanical release aids from which to choose. Since mechanical releases vary so dramatically from model to model, you should obtain sales advice from your chosen archery distributor.

Even from a hot-shooting overdraw cam-bow, arrow trajectory is pathetically arching compared to the flight of a shotgun slug, black powder ball, or centerfire rifle bullet. With the average hunting compound bow, you must estimate the distance within two yards to a 40-yard deer or suffer a complete, frustrating miss. Flatter arrow trajectory from a "hot-setup" will help a bit, but you'll still miss with a scant three-yard error in judgement. For this reason, most savvy bowhunters carry an archery rangefinder and learn to use it quickly in game-shooting situations.

Ranging is presently the sole manufacturer of quality, dial-operated archery rangefinders. In addition to their one-power Model 80/2, this company is offering 3X and 6X versions of the same timetested unit in 1989. Ranging has also redesigned their popular Model 50/2, incorporation through-the-lens distance determination and a greater accuracy level than ever before. If you don't carry archery rangefinders in your store, you're doing customers a disservice and losing out on substantial sales!

Archery Cases

The 1980s have seen a dramatic increase in quality protective cases for compound bows, including Bob Allen, Saunders, and Browning. Molded plastic cases for arrows and accessories are also commonplace. Ranging was among the first to offer a bowhunter's tackle box, and their molded, lightweight Arrow Tube is a solid hit after only one year on the market. Martin, MTM, Bohning, and several others also sell rugged molded accessory cases in 1989. For serious airline travel with archery gear, check out the hard-side bow cases by Doskocil, ZIEGEL Engineering, and Saf-T-Case. All such cases protect fragile shooting equipment from shock, heat, moisture, and grime.

Hunting Gear

Every archery dealer should carry hunting gear as well as shooting equipment. Such gear need not hog your store, but a few well-chosen products are guaranteed to sell. These include treestands, clothes, optics, bowhunting scents, and knives.

Several excellent treestand companies exist today, including Amacker, Loggy Bayou, and Sat-Tree. My personal treestand favorite is the Saf-Tree Vantage Point, a pin-mount design that erects in seconds for optimum hunting flexibility.

Fifteen years ago, bowhunters had limited clothing options. Most camouflage duds were tigth-weave cotton, and the only camo patterns commonly sold were World War II and Vietnam leafprint. Today, bowhunters can choose from cotton, wool, and polar-fleece in leafprint, tree camo, snow camo, desert camo, and several other common patterns. Companies like fieldline, Bowing Enterprises (Trebark Camo), Woolrich, Day-One Camo, Browning, and others actually cater to bowhunters, with clothing cut to accommodate shooting a bow and fabrics chosen with silent camouflage in mind. As a dealer, you can offer archers what they need in clothing as never before.

Optics are essential in bowhunting. The excellent 5X Ranging Dawn and Dusk Binocular is the only field glass currently tailor-made for hunting in close quarters--a compact, rubber armored product with superb light-gathering ability. Bushnell's expensive line of binocular is tough to beat from a dealer's point of view--especially the more compact, rubber armored models. Bushnell's unique Stalker spotting scope in camo rubber armoring zooms from 10X to 30X yet weighs next to nothing--the perfect scope for a trophy bowhunter in semi-open terrain.

In our day and age of scientific deer hunting, the production of odor-masking scents and buck lures, has become big business. The nitty thing is, these products really work! Companies offering such scents include Buck Stop, Cabelas, Deer Me, Robbins and Scent Lures.

Most archery dealers stock a few hunting knives, game saws, and other animal-care items to satisfy optimistic hunters.


The foregoing product suggestions are meant to be food for thougth as you stock up for 1989. For details on specific items or entire product lines, there's no better source than a top archery distributor.

PHOTO : Easton Aluminum manufactures dozens of arrow sizes and models to accommodate every archery flight.

PHOTO : The Satellite hunting sight is a simple, sturdy multi-pin design.

PHOTO : overdraw bows are expected to sell well in 1989. This is Hoyt's Pro Vantage FPS+--one of the most popular models available.

PHOTO : the Super Tab from Neet.

PHOTO : Marv Epling, golden Eagle's new president and avid bowhunte, uses one of the company's Pro Turbo Bows on a hunt in New Mexico.

PHOTO : PSE's Unisystem setup combines bow quiver and sight in one handy, rattle-free unit.

PHOTO : Pro-line's new Point Blank compound is a short-lim, big-wheel bow designed primarily for high arrow speed. It is typical of many compounds for 1989.

PHOTO : Fine-Line's new Hunter adjustable bow quiver grips arrows securely by the nocks to prevent fletching rattle during a shot.

PHOTO : The Zero Peep from Fine-Line incorporates a surgical tubing umbilical to ensure eye alignment each and every time.

PHOTO : Saunders' new Mini Overdraw Rest is ideal for those who value top accuracy and fast arrow flight.

PHOTO : A bow stabilizer improves accuracy and hushes a noisy bow.

PHOTO : The new Super Lite shaft line form Easton combines thinner walls and larger diameter to produce faster, flatter arrow flight.

PHOTO : For bowstring wax and a myriad of other accessories, Saunders Archery cannot be beat.

PHOTO : For most big-game hunting chores, a razor-keen, pyramid-point broadhead like the Hoyt Black Hole is ideal.

PHOTO : Small-game arrowheads like the Sattellite Grabber are popular with serious bowhunters.

PHOTO : A mechanical bowstring release allows especially accurate shooting with fast, temperamental cam-bows and overdraw setups.

PHOTO : The Satellite Titan is large, sharp and designed to penetrate deeply in the biggest big game.

PHOTO : Treestands sell well to bowhunters. The author's favorite is the Vantage point from Saf-Tree--a sturdy steel model with no-slip expanded metal deck and quick pin-pointing feature.

PHOTO : A shooting tab like the Super Tab from Neet provides adequate finger protection and excellent accuracy.

PHOTO : An archery rangefinder like the ever-popular Ranging Model 50/2 ensures pinpoint hits in hunting situations.

PHOTO : Animal lures like Wild Boar Scent from robbins really works!

PHOTO : Bear Country Sights

PHOTO : Soft-side cases like this camo model from Bob Allen are great protection for an expensive compound bow.

PHOTO : Plastic gear container are more popular than ever with bowhunters. This broadheads box is manufactured by MTM.

PHOTO : Bear's Broadhead Line

PHOTO : Camouflage clothes for bowhunters take many forms these days. This new bark-leaf pattern is sold by Jim Crumley's Tre-Bark.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Publishers' Development Corporation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Adams, Chuck
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:buyers guide
Date:Feb 1, 1989
Previous Article:U.S. firearms imports, January through September 1988.
Next Article:SI takes a look at World Archery Enterprises, Inc.

Related Articles
SI takes a look at POW WOW '89: going with a winner.
Cosmetics can make all the difference in archery sales!
Getting started as an archery retailer.
Space - the final frontier and the primary concern.
The archery aisle.
Keeping up with the latest archery technology.
It's bowhunting season.
100 days to bowhunting season - is your gunshop ready?
Catching Up.
The Archery Industry Sets Its Sights On A Second Century Of Business.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters