There are really a lot of good bows on the market these days, and its a matter of personal preference and what it works for each of us. I have been shooting since 2011 PSE bows. I found the PSE bows very reliable and the results they have give them in the field are outstanding. The performance they can get from a smooth drawing bow, on a solid shooting platform its what I look for on a hunting bow. Most of my hunting is spot and stalk, and the speeds they get really help absorbing those distance guessing errors. Once you get use to having the first pin at 30 meters its hard to get back to a slower bow.
My set up is typically 70# @29”. I really like that most of the PSE bows have draw length adjustments. Its really important if you are starting, and makes it really easy to change in seconds the draw length. Every bow its a little different, and depending on the length and the release you are using you can move half inch your draw length to maintain a solid anchor point.
I prefer to stick with a little longer axle to axle bow since I shoot better, I love them around 34”. I have shoot some shorter bows at almost 31” and its true that its nice to move around with them, and they can still shoot sweet. Brace Height I like to move around 6”, good compromise between speed and shoot ability. Not a big fan of big let offs, I prefer to get to 70% or 75% in order to have to maintain the bow behind pulling to brake the shot properly.
Right know I am using the PSE EVO EVL 34″.
Archery accuracy it is a combination of not only the bow, but also a good projectile. I really believe that good arrows worth it, they shoot better and last longer. Its probably one of the most important parts of the equipment, and its not often consider. I am shooting a wide variety of weights depending on the prey. Things from 390gr to 450 gr arrows, found it a good balance between speed, accuracy and penetration for spot and stalk. Lighter arrows are more critical and achieve less penetration. Moving to something heavier gains penetration but slows them too much and I have less confidence on putting them on the mark. I only move to weights above 550 for dangerous game and for tree stand hunting, were I know I will not be shooting over 30 meters.
The arrow I am have started using are the Victory Archery Arrows. I wanted to play with smaller diameter arrows and higher Front Of Center setups. The reason for the change is to try to minimize the wind drag while maximizing penetration on a wide variety of game. I am typically using three setups. For small size game like roe deer or chamois total arrow weight is 390grs and I am shooting the RIP Xtreme Velocity Elite. For Bigger game like Red Deer, Caribou, African plains game, etc.. I go for the RIP TKO or VAP TKO with 50/60gr inserts. Total arrow weight is around 435 to 450gr. Finally for dangerous game I would use the VAP SS with heavy insert to get weight over 550gr.
I equip my arrows with different vane configuration depending if I am using fixed Broadheads or mechanicals, which is mostly the case. Right now my vanes are typically two options, 3 Bohning heat vanes helical or 4 Bohning X3 vanes helical. The whole idea is to minimize wind drag and noise, while maintaining great stabilization properties. I always add an arrow wrap to increase the visibility of the arrows.
On the opposite side of the arrow there is typically a mechanical broadhead. For long shots no matter how well you tune your bow there are always little differences, remarked in hunting situations by wind or poor shooting form. For accuracy, strength, penetration and performance I am using the Grim Reapers Razortip 1 3/8”. I try to avoid large cutting diameters than that, just in case it has to go trough some major bone. I also use the Fatal Steel 1 1/4″ for larger game.
Regarding rests after playing with many I am now using the QAD HDX Integrated rest. It is simple to use, reliable, and very little profile with micro adjustments. It is important for tuning purposes to be able to micro adjust the rest, if not the process can be super frustrating when you want to make tiny changes on your rest position.
I like using five pins, from 30m out to 70m. A wheel that moves the whole housing works great for extending the distance longer than that for practice and fun. Pins must be micro adjustable for fine running. I like 0.10 fiber optic size. Green is the brightest color, I combine it with red too. The sight must have second and third axis adjustments. I like the issue of having a extended arm, both for extending it farther for adjusting to the peep size, and also for quick disassembly. That quick disassembly makes me able to change one sight for spot and stalk, with one for tree stand hunting with just one pin and a heavier arrow. The auxiliary light must be focused on the fiber, and not to the whole housing. All this features are well covered by the Spot Hogg Father sight.
The range of a 10” stabilizer seems like a good balance for hunting. Its hard to move with longer stabilizers, and its makes harder to perform a quick shot with a long stabilizers which is torquing the bow until you settle. I use also a side shorter stabilizer at the bottom to balance the complete bow sideways, and also it helps balancing the bow during the shot reducing last second errors. Doinker Stabilizer have worked great for me since the first bow I had.
I do also set my bows with a Total Peep. This peep is not affected by light changes or peep rotation so it is really convenient for hunting.