Comparing Today’s Youth Hunting Bows

I gotta tell you, it can be stressful and overwhelming when looking at purchasing a hunting bow for your child’s first archery season.  Everything is new to you and your little Robin Hood, or in my case my little Artemis (Greek goddess of the Hunt…Seriously dude, read a book).

Anyway, this article boils down much of the research I did when selecting a youth bow for my daughter by comparing several youth hunting bows from several of the more popular bow manufacturers, and putting all of the information in one place.

Just to reiterate what I’ve stated in previous articles, I have not been sponsored by, nor have I been provided with any stuff from any bow manufacturer.  I purchased the equipment in this article with my own (very hard to come by) United States Federal Reserve Notes (aka Dollars).  The conclusions that I reached are based upon neuroelectric impulses from within my own skull, so you need to make your own call accordingly.

Without further ado, and in descending order are the bows taken into consideration:

(4) The Stoke by Mathews

Pros:

  • 80% let-off.

Cons:

  • At 3.78 lbs, it is heavier in the hand than the other bows compared.
  • According to Mathews’ website, it appears that it is only available in 40, 50, or 60 lbs.
  • Shorter 5 5/8″ brace height.
  • 21-27″ adjustability is less than the other bows in the comparison.
  • PRICE!!! The MSRP for this thing is a whopping $999.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!  Mr. Greatoutdoordinary’s out!

Conclusion: 

This bow is probably crafted quite well, being from Mathews.  This would probably make a better women’s bow than a child who is still growing, and new to archery.  That being said, the #1 problem I have with this bow is the price.  $1,000.00 for a bow that only goes up to 60lbs, is heavy in the hand, not as adjustable as the bows it has been compared to at adult-ish draw lengths of 21″-27″ of draw, it doesn’t have a very forgiving brace height at 5 5/8″, and only has a listed IBO speed of 314 after all of that? 

To quote one of the great philosophers of our time, Mr. Snoop D. Dogg, “drop it like it’s hot,” because there are better options out there at literally 1/3 of the price.  Therefore, the Stoke takes the #4 spot in our ranking.

(3) The Klash by Hoyt Archery

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 11.36.08 PM

Photograph from Hoyt.com

Pros:

  • Adjustability is great from 15-50 or 15-70 lbs, and from 18-29″
  • Long brace height of 7″, makes this bow very forgiving an comfortable to shoot.
  • Has a huge color selection, including blacked out with pink or purple highlights, which makes the bow appealing to your child.  This makes them want to shoot more, and in turn, makes them better shots.

    Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 7.12.24 AM.png

    Colors available for the Klash by Hoyt Archery

Cons:

  • It is nearly impossible to find the let-off of this bow, because it is not mentioned in any of the literature.  I had to contact a local Hoyt dealer, who informed me that it was 75%.
  • Not a lot of information out there about this bow.  Hoyt’s website did not provide the let-off, or the MRSP
  • Retail $399.99

Conclusion: 

The Adjustability seems to be pretty good, in addition to the 7″ brace height making this one of the more forgiving bows to shoot.  However, the $399.99 retail price tag was roughly $100.00 more than other bows in it’s class, that have 5% better let-off.  I’m out! The Klash takes the #3 spot.

(2) The Cruzer from Bear Archery:

Pros:

  • Adjustable draw weight, and length is great.  Weight from 5-70 lbs, and from 12″-30″.
  • Long brace height of 6.5″ should make it forgiving to shoot for a youth.
  • Comes in multiple colors.
  • Relatively easy to find in shops or in the internet with pretty good accessories (Trophy Ridge sight, Whisker Biscuit, Quiver, etc.)
  • It had a smooth draw, and was easy for my daughter to shoot.

Cons:

  • Having a let-off of 75% makes it 5% less than it’s competitors, and 5% more that my daughter has to hold at full draw.
  • MSRP $499.99-  Actual Retail is somewhere around $399.99, putting the Cruzer in the bruiser category for the wallet.

Conclusion: 

The Cruzer is a very comfortable bow to shoot, is very adjustable, and you get pretty good quality accessories with the bow package, but for $100 less, I could get the same things with the Diamond Prism.  However, if I wouldn’t have purchased the Prism, this would have been the bow I would have purchased.  Thus, the Cruzer takes the #2 spot in our assessment.

(1) The Prism by Diamond Archery

Pros:

  • Adjustability is great from 5-55 lbs, and from 18-30″
  • Long brace height of 7″, makes this bow very forgiving an comfortable to shoot.
  • Comes in multiple colors (we got ours blacked out)
  • Has 80% let-off.
  • Mass weight of only 3.2 lbs, makes it easy on the non-dominant hand.
  • Price point was right for me personally.  MSRP $349.00.  Actual Retail – $299.95.  This puts this bow in the top of the ranking for all of my important categories, and it is one of the least expensive.

Cons:

  • Did not come with quality accessories, and did not come with an arrow quiver at all.
  • Max speed is shown at 295 fps, but if she can hit what she’s aiming at, then we are good.  A dead deer never complained about a few feet per second.

Conclusion: 

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner.  This is the bow that my daughter and I chose for our first archery hunting season.  The bow can adjust with her as she grows, into adulthood.  She can start off at a draw weight that is comfortable for her, then work her way up to whatever she can handle for hunting season.  I doubt that she will ever shoot much higher poundage than 55lbs.  The best part is that the adjustments can be done at home with basic tools.  The weight is only 3.2 lbs, and the let-off is 80%, so it should be very comfortable to shoot.

I did not like that the bow did not come with a quiver, but I will probably not train her to shoot with the quiver on anyway, so any method of holding and transporting her arrows during a hunt will be fine.  The slower speed may be of concern for speed freaks, but being a traditional bow hunter myself, I know that shot placement is prime, and speed subordinate when it comes to legality. All that being said, the price point is fantastic for what you get with this bow.  All around, I believe it to be the best purchase for the money for my daughter & I.

Another great attribute of this bow is that it is nearly completely adjustable for a regular guy with basic tools.  To save some money, I plan on setting this bow up for her from the moment we open the box to the moment we watch the fletching disappear into a rib cage.

20170308_092752

My daughter’s Bringer of Death!

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Categories: archery, bowhunting, diy, hunting, Shooting

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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