Welcome to BOWHUNTING's 2013 New Gear Guide! For more than a decade, we've prided ourselves in bringing you the year's first and most comprehensive collection of new products in the bowhunting business, and with an incredible 300-plus products packed into nine sections, this year's edition is certainly no exception.
As you thumb through the pages of the New Gear Guide, I have no doubt you'll find a host of innovative new gear that catches your eye and at least a few "must-have" items to add to your arsenal. As I find myself saying year after year, the quality and variety of gear at our disposal has never been better. These truly are bowhunting's good old days!
During my four years as the editor at BOWHUNTING, my appreciation for quality gear and the companies that make it has grown tremendously as I've had opportunities to learn just how much work is involved in creating it. Simply put, bringing any new product to the hunting public requires a significant financial investment and many months--or in some cases, years--of hard work. Along the way, you need talented designers and engineers, high-tech manufacturing capabilities, marketing plans, retail partners and more. But the more I get to know folks in the archery industry, the more I am convinced that none of that would be possible without an undying passion for bowhunting itself. The vast majority of the people in the industry are diehard archers, and while everyone has to put food on the table, money is not their primary motivation.
Many of the best new bowhunting products produced each year are conceived in treestands, turkey blinds or mountain peaks deep in the wilderness. Those ideas are then brought back to the office, where plans are refined, computerized simulations are created and prototypes are machined. Thus begins a lengthy process of testing and tweaking that involves plenty of real-life field testing by company employees and others, such as yours truly.
In recent years, I've had the privilege of conducting advance field testing on such products as Easton's Injexion arrow shafts, New Archery Products' Deep Six-approved broadheads and Trijicon's AccuPin sight, to name a few. Such opportunities not only help the magazine stay on top of the latest bowhunting trends, they provide valuable feedbackto manufacturers, who ravenously devour constructive criticism received from prototype users to make even more refinements before a final product is shipped to consumers.
It's a safe bet that just about every item you see on the pages of the New Gear Guide came a long, long way from the first concept or crude sketch its creator penciled on a napkin at some diner outside Grand Junction, Colo., or Terre Haute, Ind. In fact, when you go to the local pro shop to purchase a new bow, pack of broad-qeads, dozen arrows, rangefinder pr other item, you can be confident those products were extensively field tested and proven effective by a group of hardcore bowhunters.
And who knows? I just might lave been one of them.