“There are many like it, but this one is mine” is an excerpt from the Marine Corps Rifleman’s Creed that all enlisted Marines learn during recruit training. The Rifleman’s Creed has serious meaning that goes far beyond the analogy I’m about to use; I certainly must acknowledge that before moving on.
So what I am I applying this phrase to? My bow, of course! Options for today’s archers have never been better. There are hundreds of different bows out there that people can choose from. It’s fantastic to have such a diverse selection, but at the same time it can be overwhelming. Unless you are one of those people who get a new bow every year (I envy you folks!), when you choose a bow you’re making a long term investment. Bows aren’t cheap so you want to take your time and make sure you get the one that fits you best.
My current bow was purchased in 2012. I spent a considerable amount of time doing research before making my decision, and the process was a lot of fun. Despite being right handed, I have a dominant left eye and thus I shoot left handed. It’s not a big deal to shoot left handed, however finding lefty bows in stock to test shoot proved to be a challenge. As a result, I put on many miles traveling around to archery shops to find a sufficient number of lefty bows that I could evaluate and shoot. The process of figuring out what I wanted took a little over two months to complete and I really enjoyed it.
What was I looking for? My top priority was the feel of the bow. I wanted a comfortable draw cycle that was smooth, not jumpy. I wanted a bow with a solid back wall so I could confidently hold at full draw for extended time periods in a hunting situation. I wanted it to be quiet and I wanted it to have minimal vibration after releasing the arrow. I wanted a comfortable anchor point and I discovered that the biggest variable in this area was a bow’s axle-to-axle length. In terms of my personal preference, I found that short axle-to-axle length bows (30 inches or less) created a tighter sting angle at full draw and that did not provide me with a comfortable anchor position.
What did I end up with? After an exhaustive search I found a handful of bows that I didn’t like at all, many bows that felt good, and one that jumped out as my clear favorite. My bow is a 2012 Hoyt Vector 32; it is set at a 60 lbs with a draw length of 29″. I really love this bow and after thousands of shots I enjoy shooting it now as much as the day I got it. If you’re curious to see a professional opinion on the Vector 32 you can check out a review from Petersen’s Bowhunting Magazine by clicking here.
Despite the enormous temptation to go try out and perhaps buy one of the latest and greatest new bows on the market, I know that my Vector 32 will serve me quite well for many years to come. I’ve attached a photo below. This is my bow, there are many like it but this one is mine!