By Tracy Breen
-- If you are a diehard bowhunter, or a casual bowhunter for that matter, you have heard of Mathews Archery. In the last decade, Mathews has become the largest bow manufacturer in the world. There are a few things that helped Mathews climb to the top so quickly. For one, their bows are some of the most technologically advanced bows on the market. All Mathews bows come with a solo cam that makes them super-fast, super-quiet and super-efficient. Many of the high-end Mathews bows are priced at $800 or more.
Last year, Mathews introduced the Mission bow line, which are less expensive but feature many of the great features Mathews fans appreciate. Upon release, Mission bows were a huge hit with archery pro shops across the country. In 2007, there were three models to choose from: the X3, X4 and X5.
Now, the big news for 2008 is that Mission Archery and Buckmasters teamed up to create a Buckmasters-branded bow. This bow was designed and built with the whitetail hunter in mind. Jackie Bushman, Buckmasters founder and CEO, knows a few things about bowhunting for deer and shared his take on the new bow.
"The new Mission Buckmasters Bow is true performance," Bushman said. "It's a stable, smooth, fast and forgiving bow wrapped up in a lightweight package. The Buckmasters staff is proud to put the new bow to the test this season."
Like Mathews, Buckmasters has become a name that diehard white-tailed deer hunters know and trust. When hunters see the Buckmasters logo on a product, they know it is a piece of equipment they would be proud to bring into the woods. And the Mission Buckmasters Bow is no exception.
The wooden grip features the Buckmasters logo.
Most bowhunters who chase whitetails in the fall spend countless hours perched 20 feet above the ground. When hunting from a treestand, deer hunters need a bow that is easy to maneuver in tight spots and a bow that can be drawn regardless if the hunter is standing or sitting. At 31 inches axle to axle, the Buckmasters bow fits the bill, making it easy to handle whether hunters are perched in treestands or hunting from ground blinds.
Bowhunters have tried to stay away from shorter bows claiming they aren't as accurate as longer bows. I am here to tell you that after shooting the bow, it can hold tight groups at short and long ranges. The bow's accuracy is due in part to its generous 7 1/2-inch brace height, which makes it very forgiving. If you regularly find yourself taking longer than average shots at whitetails, a forgiving bow is vital.
Some hunters are fond of super thin bow grips. I lean toward a beefier bow grip like the one on the Buckmasters bow. The large wood grip helps to keep the bow steady and gives the bow a touch of class usually found only on much higher priced bows.
The string cushion quickly destroys noise and vibration.
The Mission Buckmasters bow also features a roller guard. At first glance, many hunters may wonder why a roller guard is needed. Roller guards produce a more efficient bow in terms of energy. A conventional slide creates more friction, which results in lost energy when shooting. A roller guard produces less overall friction, which results in more stored energy being given to the arrow instead of being lost to friction.
Most archers - especially deer hunters - worry about noise and vibration because deer are known for jumping or ducking the string. The Mission Buckmasters bow is extremely quiet and vibration-free for a few reasons. First, the bow comes stocked with string cushions. The string cushions are one of Matt McPherson's (Founder of Mathews), many inventions that make complete sense. Attached to the limb at each end of the bow is a rubber-like cushion that catches and stops the string dead in its tracks after the shot. These simple yet effective cushions stop the forward motion of the string, which eliminates noise and vibration. Second, the bow comes equipped with cable silencers that further destroy noise and vibration. Combined with the string cushions, the cable silencers make for a smooth-shooting bow.
Another touch found only on this bow is its cam. The perimeter-weighted cam is the power behind the bow and throws an arrow at 316 fps. With that much speed, most bowhunters should be able to use one sight pin out to 30 yards. The Mission Buckmasters bow is available with 80-percent let off, which will reduce the holding weight of the bow to only a few pounds so bowhunters can be patient when taking shots. Holding lots of weight can make remaining steady during the moment of truth a little difficult, especially when staring at a large rack on a trophy buck. Also, the bow only weighs 4 1/4 pounds, which makes it the perfect bow for hunters who hunt off the beaten path and count every ounce they carry.
The bow comes with a Zebra Hybrid bow string, which is regarded as one of the best, most reliable bow strings on the market today. The Zebra Hybrid bow string lasts a long time and doesn't stretch or wear out as quickly as other strings. To top it off, it is wrapped in Realtree's Max-4 camo pattern.
The Buckmasters cam is the power behind the bow.
The Mission Buckmasters bow is available in a variety of draw weights and draw lengths so almost everyone will be able to find a perfect fit. It comes in draw weights of 40-70 pounds in 10-pound increments and draw lengths between 25 and 30 inches in half-inch increments.
In addition to the features discussed, the Buckmasters bow comes with an aluminum riser and limbs that are durable, reliable and built to last a long time.
Like all Mathews bows, Mission bows are built in Sparta, Wis., by craftsmen who pay close attention to every detail and it shows.
After running a few arrows through the bow, I can tell you it shoots as well or better than many bows on the market today that cost more money and don't come with as many features. As you head to your local pro shop this summer to check out the latest and greatest bows, remember to pick up a Buckmasters bow and shoot it a few times. You will be pleasantly surprised at how smooth, fast and quiet it is. Better yet, you will also be pleased with the price tag.
Mission Archery - www.missionarchery.com
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