When Bigger Isn't Always Better

When it comes to hunting for a bow, I've come to realize that bigger isn't always better. Shorter bows are the way to go as they excel in both maneuverability and portability.

My very first bow had quite a long axle-to-axle length, which was great for target practice, but could be a challenge to shoot game in more cramped quarters like up in a tree or in a ground blind. Not that it was impossible, but it wasn't as easy to maneuver as a short axle-to-axle bow can be. While walking in the woods through brush and bramble, it seemed that something was always catching on my long bows' cams!

I bought one of those new "little bows" a couple years back. It was a short 30" axle-to-axle PSE Firestorm Lite. I immediately fell in love with it.

At first I got remarks on the archery range like, "That's just a toy!" and "That's a kids' bow, right?" But after letting them shoot my very grown-up "little bow", their laughing stopped, and they were also instantly impressed. It's a real "adult" shooter!

I was also excited when more bow companies began making shorter bows. In just these past couple of years, short axle-to-axle bows have become all the rage, and for good reason.

I've since acquired a little Mathews Outback (31.5") and I'm just as impressed with this "shorty"!

Following is a list of bow companies and their shortest axle-to-axle bows that they carry with links to their home page and particular bow mentioned:

Alpine Archery - Ravage @ 29"

Archery Research - AR-31 Ram & ? @ 31.25"

Ben Pearson - Pathfinder @ 30.25"

BowTech - Justice VFT @ 31.25"

Browning - Illusion, Micro Midas and Micro Adrenaline XS @ 32"

Custom Shooting Systems (CSS) - Swampmaster @ 30"

Darton - Ranger III @ 32"

Diamond Archery - Triumph @ 31.5"

Fred Bear - Buckmaster G2SL @ 30"

High Country - PL28 Mag @ 28"; Matrix @ 29 3/4"

Hoyt - Viper Tec @ 32.5"

Jennings - RackMaster Lite @ 31.25"

Martin - Tiger @ 31.5"

Mathews - Outback @ 31.5"

PSE - Firestorm Lite @ 30"

Parker - Extreme Ultra Lite @ 31"

ProLine Archery - Mountain @ 30"

Reflex - Buckskin @ 34"

Renegade - SBD and Alpha I @ 31.5"

Storm Archery - F6 @ 32"

Wheeler Archery - Arcodus and Predator @ 32.5"

High Country had the shortest axle-to-axle bow that I could find at 28", while the Reflex was on the higher short end at 34".

If you're in the market for a short bow, there are so many good bows out there these days that with a little research, you can surely find the perfect bow for you.

Just remember girls, when it comes to bows, bigger isn't always better.

Shoot straight and shoot often.



© February 2005