Bohning, maker of some of the highest quality arrow fletching, has just released its newest vane. These vanes are named "HEAT" and what they bring is a nice new dynamic to the hunting industry and potentially the overall archery industry. The new HEAT vane is a 2.5" long vane that houses a smaller height aspect to the vane coming in at .41". What this creates is a smaller sized vane like the Blazer vane, though has the smaller height to clear all those speedy bows that everyone has. They also come in at 6 grains same as the Blazer so we aren't loosing or gaining any weight with this setup.
New bows that the manufacturers are coming out are moving the cables closer and closer to the middle, thus those with the larger height vanes are hitting the control cables and causing accuracy issues. Archers are then required to the modify their optimal nock positions to accomodate this, thus potentially not being completely as accurate as they could be. I must say that on my bow (the bow I tested with as well), I have noticed that the Blazer vanes comes seriously close to the control cables. I have also found that on my drop-down cable that I have a slight wear spot (just noticed this and is being addressed in a different way). The bow I use is a New Breed GX2 (awesome bow btw), while the cables are out of the way sufficently, the extra clearence the HEAT vanes give me gains more confidence in shooting.
So here we go.. I got the vanes in and started comparing to the Blazers that I normally shoot. Take a look at the pictures and you can certainly see there is a profile difference and length difference. So I then removed the fletching from two of my Black Eagle Rampage arrows and refletched them with these new vanes. Fletching was simple just like the regular Blazer vanes (as expected). I have them at a 3 degree offset, though I'm thinking that I'm probably going to drop that to a 1 degree and see how that flies as I typically don't shoot past 50 - 60 yards.
My New Breed GX2, bow is setup to 65#'s at a 28.5" draw, I have a NAP Apache Carbon rest that I'm using currently, though that is probably changing in the near future. Also, now that deer season is over I'm practicing for my indoor spot league shooting at 20 yards. What I did was shoot one of my regular arrows, then shoot an arrow fletched with the HEAT vanes. The part of these vanes that I liked the most was the extra clearance they gave me. As a hunter, this is huge with the speed of the bows and the dropdown rests this little bit extra really is useful in rest drop timing and cable clearance issues.
So now with shooting in that fashion, I was able to see direct differences between them. What I have found through this testing is that the clearance is certainly something that is going to help, espesically with cable driven dropdown rests, but with the extra room between the control cables give more confidence for tuning and with that comes overall better accuracy. With the lower profile you will also get less drag on the arrow, meaning a faster flight, though I didn't get a chance to chrono it to see the difference there is certainly a sound difference. They sound quieter shooting at a distance as well, which is nice when hunting to not spook the deer as this is something that probably is overlooked by most hunters. The arrow sound flying through the air.
Overall, I'll certainly be swapping all my arrows over to these new "HEAT" vanes. With the extra clearance I'll be able to get tighter tuning of my bow and perhaps keeping the rest up longer, thus having a more stable arrow through the releasing of the arrow to the arrow leaving the rest.
So now to that point, BRING ON THE HEAT!!!
Visit Bohning Archery here to get yours ordered up!!
So, when a new bow comes in, the first thing I'm doing is replacing are the strings. There are a few reason I do this, first being the factory strings typically are not the greatest strings on the on market. To me, the string should be pretty much already fully stretched and should come with quality material for the string and servings. Second, the amount of strands is fairly important to ensure strength of the string and enabling consistency with shooting. Depending on the type of bow, more or less strands can be used as needed. Also, as part of this, the string stretch tension and the serving tension used plays a critical role in overall string use. Those are the top two items that hit the list for items I look with a company that builds strings.
So all that being said, my daughters bow has been shot for the past year on the factory strings. It's a 2015 Diamond Infinite Edge, pink (remember it's my daughters) and it is in need of a new set of strings. I talked with the guys at 60X, super great guys and I got a set of new 452X (all pink) strings. Ordering was super simple, just gave them the lengths of the bow and colors. Few days later I had a new set of strings in the mailbox, quick fast shipping. Awesome!!
So, at first glace at the strings, they came nicely packaged and very pink. The measurements were solid and right on the money, they have a nice layer wax on them for shipping and ready to install. So I took all the bow measurements, compared to factory and started the install. The install went smooth, easy and the fitment was great.
Once installed, time to setup the arrow leveling and d-loop install. My daughter shoots Beman Arrows and their standard size nock, nock install on the servings was perfect, the nock the clicks on with the notable click but is not tight on the string, the string still spins freely and the nock taps off with no issues. After arrow leveling, d-loop install regardless of the string, I like to shoot the bow a bunch of times prior to peep install just to ensure that the string is settled into all the grooves appropriately. Once that was finished, peep install was fine and served in with no issues.
Now, after shooting the bow for a little bit, the peep has not moved one bit. Something I have noticed was that the bow seemed a little quieter than with the factory strings. Also, I have not had the chance to chrono the bow with the new strings, though at this point the bow is at about 32 pounds. She is working on getting to 40 to be able to hunt come springtime for turkeys with this bow.
Overall, the people at 60X Custom Strings are extremely nice and great to work with, the strings are made with 452X BCY string material and assembled with care. They were right on the money with all the lengths as I gave them and fit the bow perfectly. I would recommend a pair of 60X Custom Strings certainly to anyone looking for a new pair of strings. Give them a call at 724.525.3972 or hit them up on their website at www.60xcustomstrings.com.
Hunter Safety is paramount, so when it comes to tree stands so far for the 2016 deer season I personally have heard about three tree stand falls to date (Everyone is fine and are out hunting the next day, so all is good with them). So with that said, this post is a review on the Big Game Treestands, "The Ironhide Harness". So since with starting this year, my daughter will be hunting with me. So that means new tree stand harnesses for us to ensure we are up to date and she is fitted appropriately.
So in comes the new hardnesses, both packaged very well. Comes with full instructions on how they are to be used, how to be fitted and what to do to get the press off your legs. The instructions are written fairly well and in figures are a great help. The package contains your harness, tree strap for once you up in the tree, climbing strap for while you are going up the ladder to your stand, foot strap and instruction manual.
For fitment, I'm about 5'7 and 165 pounds and my daughter is 12, but fits a womens small (she's 5.5 and about 110 pounds). I ordered the same size for both of us and it fitted both of us as it should. My daughter fits in it, though all the straps are tightened to their max though it fits. Once fitted, they are not bad to walk around in, so putting them on once you get to the field prior to going in would be recommended. It is also recommended that the foot straps be placed on your person at all times, this is to ensure that if during a fall you have that strap on your person to get the weight off your legs and you are now just "standing there" hanging. This way, you can now manuver yourself to get back on the stand or to your ladder.
Walking into the field, it doesn't feel like your wearing anything additional. Though, with the legs straps, the buckles for me (which are metal) would rub together. Thus making a clanking sound while heading out. So, I kept those in my pockets till I get to my stand and then buckled them up. No big deal.
As your climbing, using the climbing strap to go up the tree is very easy. Then once up in the tree, the tree strap that comes with it, should be a little longer. It is very strong and the buckle is really simple to use, I have just found that during use, it is rather short and should be longer to fit around larger trees that are used for double person ladder stands. Moving around once up there is simple as well and when fitted correctly, really doesn't pose an issue.
So overall, the system fits very comfortably and thus far I haven't had to test it out thankfully. Using this system is simple and easy, though I would recommend practicing once or twice to ensure you know how all the buckles work. Also, I would probably look into getting a longer tree strap to fit around the larger trees. I would certainly recommend this system to others as I'm trusting my daughter with it, so I trust her in it. I could certainly recommend it to others.
At the end of the day, we want you all to be as safe as possible. So when you are out there hunting from any elevated position, it can not be stressed enough to wear an "up to date" safety harness for yourself and loved ones. You have way more to live for and we all want to you to get out there hunting the next day. Check out Big Game Treestands for more information.
If you read my blog on the items I typically keep in my pack titled "What's in your PACK?" then this might be a slight follow up to that as I needed a new pack to take with me. So, since it being so close to hunting season when I purchased the bag and I wasn't looking for something that would be more than carrying the essentials, the bag I chose was the ALPS OutdoorZ Crossbuck Hunting Pack.
Reason I chose this bag was for the purpose that I wanted a smaller backpack that would fit the essentials for a morning or evening hunt with the notion of coming into camp for lunch. Out of the box I was fairly surprised by the size of the pack. The looks are fairly small in size (expected) and the part I found very nice about the pack was it is extremely quiet. At this point, I have used the pack outdoors twice now, two morning hunts.
As for the overall size, it certainly is small, though I did fit pretty much everything I needed in the pack. Though, again it is just for the basic essentials not an all day hunting pack. I was able to get my essentials in the pack, along with binoculars, my quiver (about 1/2 the quiver), three of my deer calls, bow hanger, small hand saw for any small limbs and about every version of rope you can imagine. At this point the pack was fairly full, though still getting it on wasn't an issue and hauling was simple.
Once up in the tree, the zippers were certainly quiet and the little loop clips included with it helped wonders. Though, it did take a little bit of two handed holding to unzip or fully zip up depending on the angle I was at. Not a big deal, but enough to worth of note. The straps seem fairly well made, this and there are extra buckles all over for securing around the chest or with the side ones, was able to strap to my tree stand so I didn't need to use a bow holder to hold the bag.
Overall the pack worked well, though at the end of the day, I like having just a bit more room in the bag, as most times I always end up wanting to bring additional items that at this point will not fit. So I think as the season moves forward, my daughter that hunts with me sometimes will inherit this bag and I'll then get the next size up. As I think, this bag works well for 99% of what I needed, there's always that piece that I'll need and want to stuff in my pack the morning I'm heading out.
It appears that everyone out there has tried out lighted nocks of one flavor or another at this point. Given that Clean-Shot was offering a trial on their website I figured that I would purchase some and see they work. Now, given that I have never used lighted nocks before, I don't really have anything too compare them to. Though, I mean really, they are nocks for your arrows that light up with a battery that is installed inside the nock. Fairly straight forward design overall, nothing fancy.
Given that this is my first product review, we'll see how it goes.
The test gear is as follows:
Bow: New Breed Archery GX2 -- 65# draw, 28.5" draw length
Rest: NAP Apache Carbon Drop Away
Release: Hot-Shot Vapor
Arrows: Black Eagle Arrows Rampages -- cut to 27.5 inches with blazer vanes 420 grains
Ok.. So I ordered them direct from Clean-Shot's website and they were at my door in a few days. The packaging was well and everything was kept separated, neat and snug. The front houses the nock itself and the sizing bits for a "universal" fit to most arrows. The directions for use were on the back of the packaging, so with that you'll need to be careful to not rip the back open. I used a razor blade to just cut out the clear plastic portion and lifted the side to release the nock and bushings.
So I chose the bushing that fit my arrow and slide that into the end of my arrow, then slid the nock into the bushing. The installation was actually fairly straight forward and simple. The only item was to ensure that you oriented the nock to how you require for your bow, prior to pushing it all the way in. Other than that, simple installation. The overall weight to the nock with bushing in my setup was 25.6 grains.
The nock itself to use is pretty simple. It works on a push / pull basis with an integrated battery that has an 8-hour life. The idea is that there is a silver collar that allows the nock to either be pushed in for field use or not for practice use. To activate the nock, turn the collar 45 degress, then once the arrow is fired the string pushes the nock in to activate the led light and on it goes. Then, once you get your arrow back, simply pull the nock away from the shaft at the light goes out. The design is simple and thus far appears to be working without issue.
The only item to note is that the nock appears to fit a little looser than I would like on my string. The standard Black Eagle Nocks fit just right with the correct amount of tension, so my string serving is fine. I have given another pair of nocks to a friend of mine and he noted the same thing with his bow. So it appears that the nocks are designed to fit slightly looser. This maybe to ensure that the light does not turn on while nocking the arrow to the string. Additionally, the arrows that are equipped with these nocks do not appear to fly any different than the arrows equipped with the standard nocks.
As for brightness, the nocks appear to be extremely bright and you would be able to see them no issue when hitting the animal of your choice. The pictures do not appear to do it justice as they were taken with an iPhone 6S Plus.
Overall, the nocks seem great to use and I would certainly suggest them to a friend as I already have. They are simple to use and are plenty bright for shooting at dusk or during the day. To order your self these nocks, please visit their website at www.clean-shot.com
Just to note, this is my opinion of the nocks and my experience with them. Others may have a different opinion, but from my testing and overall use of the product. All information is a factual as I can make it, if there are errors I will update the post to correct them.