I started off this year preparing for the upcoming bow season with a new bow in the next weight class as my previous bow. Albeit, I bought the same exact bow, a Bowtech Equailizer. I figured that I liked my old bow so much that I wouldn’t change the model or brand. I spent about 2 weeks shooting my new bow which didn’t exactly have the wow factor that my previous one had. It was even more evident shooting side by side with my husband, who was sporting a new Hoyt Alpha Max 32. That bow was screaming compared to my Equalizer. To me, it was important to have a great shooting bow and to be able to shoot well with it since I had big plans for the upcoming bow season. I am a true believer that all things happen for a reason.
A dear friend of mine and favorite 3-D buddy, J9, had won a brand new PSE Dream Season X-Force bow at the Covington County 3-D shoot in Opp, Alabama several months back. The bow was a 60 pound bow and was not going to work for her, nor her husband. So she offered to sell it to me. Still shooting the Equalizer, I thought it would make an awesome back-up bow for my husband. So we bought it.
When we got it home, I was like a kid with a new toy…. I knew that the draw length was as short as it would go…which so happened to be my draw length. I asked my husband if I could shoot his new bow since it was set up on my draw length. He laughed and said “yes”. So I quickly grab it and an arrow out of the case and headed out to the backyard. Not thinking that the bow sight had not been sighted in on the 20 yard pin since I knew the bow technician that set it up and he usually does that, I nocked the arrow set the pin on the bulls-eye and let that arrow fly. Fly it did…right out of sight. I took the bow to the deck and got the Allen wrench set out and started adjusting. It took three times to the bag and the sight was spot on.
After shooting about a half a dozen times, I took the bow in and put it in the case. My husband said, “that is the bow you need to be hunting with this year.” I looked at him and said “but it is a PSE”. He said “so, it is faster and quieter than your Bowtech.” Well I pondered on that for a couple days and decided I would take it to my bow technician and get his opinion. My bow technicians first thought was that the bow would be a little less forgiving than my Bowtech and then he wanted to watch me shoot it before he gave me his opinion. When it was all said and done, we had swapped the sight, rest, peep and added an STS to the PSE and I was now hunting with a PSE.
I have to be honest and say that the first couple practices I was really starting to doubt the decision of swapping over. By the third session with the bow, I was really letting it get me down and the whole while thinking in the back of my mind, I miss my Bowtech. Sunday morning was beautiful, with a nice cool breeze. I woke up bright and early, throwed on a pair of shorts, T-shirt and a ball cap, grabbed my bow and gear and headed out the back door to shoot.
I shot about 25 arrows in groups of 5 and I had one good group about the diameter of coffee cup; the rest were not to my liking. I just could not figure this out. The bow had started jumping in my hand at the end of the draw/release cycle, not a big jump, but something out of the ordinary. I do not grip my riser with my hand and I use the V-grip form which had always worked so well for me. I pondered on it a few minutes, then walked back to the house, shoulders slumped and my ego bruised. I went from shooting spot on with my old bow to being only an acceptable shooter with the new bow and that, to me, was just not good enough. I tend to have a competitive-perfectionist trait that is constantly competing against myself and sometimes that makes it difficult for me. Most folks would have just accepted those pie plate groups–but I just couldn’t do it. I wanted equivalent to my old bow or better and if it meant going back to the drawing board….Katie bar the door.
As I went about marking off the things on my To Do list, my performance with my bow stayed in the back of my mind. I finally brushed it off that this was only the fourth time practicing with this bow. Monday morning came and I called a friend and guide in Florida who is also a PSE Pro-Staffer who had actually tried to talk me into buying a PSE when we turkey hunted with him earlier this year. I chatted with him a few minutes and explained to him the issues I was having with this new bow. He explained a few things about faster, shorter brace height bows, then listened to me some more. He then gave me some great information on how to tweak my PSE bow for maximum performance. I couldn’t wait to get home to try it. I had a make-shift positive attitude all the way home.
Once I got to the house, I ran in and grabbed my bow and headed out the back door eager to give it a whirl. I shot it two or three times without tweaking anything just to check a few of the things he told me to look for. I got the Allen wrench set out and went to tweaking. I shot my second set of arrows, and with the first draw, I instantly felt the difference. I felt like I was shooting my Bowtech in form. Then I realease the arrow and it did not twitch at all, and more importantly it did not creep at all. Okay, I thought, I am liking this.
I went and pulled my arrows and shot another set, Richard and I side by side. That group was not as nice so I told myself to dig deep, pay attention and concentrate. I shot a second set, this group was much better. We pulled our arrows and came back to the shooting line. I let another arrow fly and it seemed a little, not much, but a little high. The bow is starting to really feel good, just as good as my Bowtech through the draw and release. Concentrate. Make a perfect shot. I drew back, anchored, leveled my bow, float the pin and let another one fly. This one almost hit dead center. Okay!! This one was much better. I nocked another arrow, I drew my bow, anchored, leveled my bow, float the pin on the spot the previous arrow was at and released. I heard a vane shearing sound, not too loud, not even audible enough for Richard to hear. I placed my bow on the hanging stand, pulled my binoculars out and lo and behold…. a ROBINHOOD.
I would not shoot my Bowtech on the same dots for fear of sheering vanes of nicking carbon arrows so I had never had the opportunity for a Robinhood–this was my first!! I was excited to say the least and although it cost me $25 it was a small price to pay to get that confidence factor back. I am feeling much better with the new bow and hope to improve my groups dramatically over the next few days so I can start backing up and setting those other pins on my sight tape. The season is starting to look up again. 🙂
© Nancy Jo Adams 2009