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Product Reviews

Hoyt Carbon Element [PRODUCT REVIEW]

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Hoyt Raises the Bar with the 2012 Hoyt Carbon Element

BOW SPECIFICATIONS

ATA Speed (fps) 323

Axle to Axle 32″

Mass Weight 3.6 lbs.

Wheel Fuel Cam

Brace Height 7″

Limbs XTS Pro ARC

Draw Lengths 24.5-30″

Draw Weight 40-80#

Let-off 75%


NYB Rating: 4.8 out of 5
PROS:

 Quiet, maneuverable in tight quarters, smooth drawing, silent shelf, improved string stopper, Hoyt Series Pro Grip, Offset Stabilizer, accepts Hoyt’s Pro-Series 2 piece quiver.
CONS: Fuel Cam – no real noticeable improvement over the XTR cam. The #2 cam has a harsher wall than the #3 cam when setting at 29″. Speed – I personally would have liked to see Hoyt push the envelope with the speed of this bow and get it in the 335 fps to 340 fps range. Let-off – a lot of bows have at least 80% let-off and it would be nice to see Hoyt improve in this area.

MSRP$1,199

FEATURES

Each year I get the pleasure of shooting several new bows from the top manufacturers and there’s nothing I enjoy more than shooting the latest bows and seeing how manufacturers have improved on last year’s design.

After purchasing a Carbon Matrix earlier this year, I was excited to see what Hoyt would come up with for their next generation of carbon bows. This year Hoyt released the Carbon Element and the Carbon Matrix Plus which both bring several welcome upgrades and design tweaks.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Carbon Element is it’s shorter riser with an axle-to-axle length of 32″. My very first bow was had an ATA of 32″, but this was in the time before parallel limbs so my riser was extremely small making the bow feel tiny and erratic. With the longer and stiffer riser on the Hoyt Carbon Element, you don’t even realize that you’re shooting a short axle bow – this is a plus for taller archers like myself that would typically shoot a longer axle-to-axle bow.

While similar to the Carbon Matrix at first glance, when you really start to look at the Carbon Element you’ll notice a few more features like the offset stabilizer which helps to balance the accessories on the bow. This is an important piece on the Carbon Element. What’s unique about the carbon bows is their perfect balance bare. As soon as you start to add accessories you now begin to take away from the natural balance of the bow. Having the stabilizer mount set away from the center of the riser helps keep the bow balanced.

I was excited to see Hoyt’s Pro Fit 180 grip on this year’s carbon bows. The grip has a soft feel, and while it’s not super thin, it does have a thin enough throat which I like for consistent hand placement and a torqueless shot. With the Pro Fit grip system you can switch out the grip to fit your style. The grip on my Carbon Matrix that I purchased last year was glued on and I had to heat my grip to remove it to put side plates onto the bow. When I removed the grip some of the finish also came off the bow and to install the side plates I had to glue them to the riser. It wasn’t an easy process and I really would have liked to simply unscrew one grip and bolt on another. I’m glad to see that Hoyt fixed this issue and now allows archers to customize this bow to their liking.

One thing that I heard a lot about with these carbon bows, but never really paid much attention to, was how a carbon riser is warmer to the touch than an aluminum riser when hunting on cold days. It wasn’t until I actually spent a few days hunting with my Carbon Matrix in the high teens and low twenties that I really got to appreciate this bit of info. If you find yourself hunting late into the season like me, then you will appreciate the  Carbon Element’s riser.

There will be many happy Hoyt fans when they see that changes were finally made to the string stopper. This year Hoyt used a softer material for its string stopper and got rid of the groove down the middle. The new string stopper with its flat face and softer material make it quieter than its predecessor and also allows it to better absorb energy from the string.

Cams and limbs have been updated for 2011 and the Hoyt Carbon Element is outfitted with the new Fuel Cam and XTS Pro ARC limbs. I must admit that I wasn’t impressed with the new Fuel Cam. To me, the new Fuel cam has almost the same draw cycle as the XTR Cam. Some would argue the feel, but this is the impression I get from shooting it.

Another one of the noticeable differences on the cam is a larger draw stop peg and a brown anodized finish instead of last year’s black finish.

One of my issues with last year’s Carbon Matrix was that it would not accept a 2-piece quiver without purchasing additional hardware for the bow. This year Hoyt has modified the Carbon Element to accept Hoyt’s Pro Series 2-piece quiver without the need for additional hardware. This is a plus for those who like to hunt with their quiver fixed to their bow.

Another welcomed upgrade was the addition of Hoyt’s silent shelf, a molded rubber insert that eliminates any sound from the arrow coming in contact with the riser shelf. This also prevents any unwanted noise from drop away rests that come in contact with the riser shelf.

SHOOTING THE CARBON ELEMENT

By this point I’m sure you’re ready to hear about how this bow shoots! When you pick up the Carbon Element the first things you will notice are it’s light weight and how it balances in your hand. The feel of Hoyt’s carbon bows continues to impress me and the Carbon Element is should be a pleasure to take in the field and carry all day long.

The bow I was using was set at 70 pounds and had a 29″ draw. As you draw the bow back, the weight steadily builds until you reach the valley and drop off to a solid wall. The cam has a harsher draw cycle than I like, but is acceptable, and doesn’t take away from the shootability of this bow.

At full draw, the Pro ARC Limbs are past parallel distributing energy evenly and eliminating hot spots found on solid limbs. Like all Hoyt limbs, these are build in-house at Hoyt’s factory in Salt Lake City, Utah and put through the 1,000 dry fire test. The 5-layer laminated limbs store a massive amount of energy giving your arrow more speed and kinetic energy down range. As an added benefit, the past parallel limbs also cancel vibration leaving the bow dead in your hand. Some of Hoyt’s past limbs were known to splinter on the side of the limb. It does not hinder the performance of the bow, it’s more cosmetic, but Hoyt backs their limb and will replace them if this occurs. The new Pro ARC Limbs have supposedly remedied the problem.

The Carbon Element is enjoyable to shoot and should be well received from Hoyt fans. With the new upgrades from the Carbon Matrix to the carbon bows this year, I’m already excited to see what comes out of the engineering team at Hoyt for next year.

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Product Reviews

Glider Gloves for Bowhunting Deer [PRODUCT REVIEW]

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PROS: touch screen smartphones (tested on iPhone) function with high degree of accuracy, comfortable lightweight material, long cuffs, 10 finger touch screen capability

CONS: fit was slightly off, fingers were a bit short on my pair, not durable enough for use as an active hunting glove, grip material on glove palm creates torque on the bow hand

MSRP: $24.99

Last season I was contacted by Glider Gloves to field test a pair of their Urban Style Touchscreen Gloves. I had previously reviewed a pair of similar gloves by a company called A glove so I welcomed the chance to review these.

Compared to the Agloves, these gloves were higher quality and had a much longer cuff which is something I always look for in a hunting glove. As social media becomes a larger part of hunting and a growing part of NYBowhunter.com I welcomed the chance to be able to easily send updated to my Facebook fans from the tree stand. The Glider Gloves made it easy to text and check email while keeping my hands warm and concealed from the eyes of any nearby whitetail deer.

One thing bowhunters should note is the gloves have a grip on the palm. Some bowhunters, including myself, prefer not to have any grip on their gloves as it helps create torque which lead to less accurate shooting.

These gloves are great at what they were designed to do – be a comfortable touchscreen glove. However, for hunting purposes, you have to remember what these gloves were designed to do. If you plan on wearing these in the field and climbing up to your tree stand day in and day out you’ll rip through these knit gloves in about a month. If you want these gloves to last as a hunting glove you’re better off waiting until you’re settled in the stand before putting them on so there’s less wear and tear on the gloves.

Overall, I’d recommend these gloves if you’re looking for a true touch screen glove. They’re way nicer to use than similar hunting gloves with a silver pad on the pointer finger and thumb. Just remember, they’re not made for hunting, so don’t expect them to last you for several seasons if you’re rough with them.

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Product Reviews

Fuse Mossy Oak Rugged iPhone Case [PRODUCT REVIEW]

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Last spring I was contacted by Paul at Fuse to try out a new case they had for the iPhone called the Mossy Oak Rugged Orange iPhone 4/4S Shell Case. It combined my two favorite colors – hunter orange and camo – so I gave the case a try.

The case is made up of an inner soft rubber case that acts as a shock absorber and a rigid polycarbonate frame on the out side for added protection.

What I really liked about this case was the fact that it wasn’t covered in a sticky rubber like some of my other iPhone cases so it didn’t pull my pocket out of my pants every time I reached for my phone. Another nice feature is the size of the case, it’s not oversized so you still feel like you have a slim smartphone.

My only complaint about the case was that it didn’t come with a screen protector. It wasn’t hard to find a stick on screen protector online, but it would have been nice if the case included one for 360 degree protection.

This iPhone case travelled with me on scouting missions, spring turkey hunts and fall deer hunts. I really liked the phone case and never had any issues with it coming apart on me, in fact I was really impressed on how well it stayed together. One of my previous cases from another manufacturer used to come apart all the time, but the Fuse case just stayed together.

So how did the case hold up? My phone survived a few drops off of the counter top in my kitchen, it slipped out of my hand and dropped on the floor outside several times and I dropped it in the woods more times than I care to remember, but the case took the brunt of all of the hits and the phone didn’t get a scratch. Had I dropped the phone out of the tree stand it would have been a different story, I think only a fully enclosed phone case would really protect in the event of a 20 foot fall (which I’ve done with a previous case and my phone survived).

Overall this is a quality case for the iPhone. Add a clear antiglare screen protector and you’re set. If you’re looking for a stylish phone case give the Fuse Mossy Oak Rugged iPhone Case a try.

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Product Reviews

Bowtech Releases its First Carbon Riser Bow the Carbon Knight

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Bowtech Archery has released it’s first carbon riser bow – the Carbon Knight. Following the lead of Hoyt with the Carbon Matrix back in 2010, the new Carbon Knight from Bowtech weighs in at just 3.2 pounds (compared to 3.6 pounds for Hoyt’s Carbon Element G3).

Most manufacturers launch their new bows in the early fall (Bowtech usually launches their new bows at the ATA Show), but this one was “just too good to hold any longer,” says Samuel Coalson, Director of Marketing for Bowtech.

The Carbon Knight is said to have a smooth draw and plenty of speed at 330 feet per second. The Carbon Knight features Bowtech’s binary cam design, the Knight Riser constructed from durable carbon, a 7-inch brace height for forgiveness and a 32-inch axle-to-axle length. Draw lengths range from 26.5″ to 30.5″ and draw weights from 50 to 70 pounds in ten pound increments.

The bow is available in Black Ops and retails for $849 (Hoyt’s carbon bows are in the $1,200 range).

The new Carbon Knight definitely looks like an interesting bow and it’s a bow I’d like to try out and compare to some of the other carbon bows currently on the market. If you get a chance to shoot one leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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