Is there such as thing as the ‘best bowhunting gear?’ In jest I’d like to say, it depends on whether you’re speaking as a manufacturer, retailer, pro-staffer, or consumer.
Okay, so that was a poor attempt at cynical humor. But, when recently asked for my interpretation of the ‘best bowhunting gear,’ the answer boiled down to four very simple points.
Just because someone gets paid a bundle of money to say a product is qualified to enter the realm of ‘best hunting gear’ doesn’t make it so. I determine what bowhunting gear I use based upon my personal needs and the quality of the product offered.
For instance, I’ve been using Havalon knives before Jim Shockey started promoting them. I would agree Jim has great taste in hunting gear, but the reason I chose Havalon knives is because they’re a quality product and meet my immediate needs. Furthermore, I’ve never had an issue with a Havalon product. I’ve found them to be of the utmost quality, so I’ll continue to use them even if Jim Shockey doesn’t.
Behind every brand is a team. A group of people that develop, manufacture, and market products. When choosing a product my entire hunt may depend on, I like to choose products manufactured by people who are hunters and have the utmost respect for other hunters. This is not a ‘deal breaker’ but is something I keep in mind when purchasing gear.
Let me illustrate. Just because there are optics companies making quality optics doesn’t mean they all understand the nuances of the bowhunter. One of the main reasons I use Vortex Optics is because the Vortex team is very passionate about hunting and the outdoors. This passion carries over into the products they offer and the service they provide.
While ‘quality’ trumps ‘company,’ knowing who is behind the product does influence my buying decision.
I also consider what type of warranty is offered with the product upon purchase. For example, besides being a reputable brand, another reason I use Badlands Packs is due to their unconditional warranty. The same goes for Vortex Optics VIP Warranty. How can you go wrong with a product that comes with an unlimited, unconditional, and lifetime warranty?
Drop it, tear it, break it—and it’s covered. That alone is worth… how much?
4. Customer Service
Everyone desires a hassle free experience should an issue arise with a piece of hunting equipment. While some might rank customer service higher on the list, the first three qualifications usually determine the quality of customer service offered by a manufacturer.
When switching bow companies, one of the things that made Elite Archery so attractive was their Elite Hunt Guarantee. If something happens to my bow while on the hunt of a lifetime, Elite Archery will ship me the exact bow so I can finish my hunt. Now that is customer service offered by a team who understands hunters.
Defining the ‘best bowhunting gear’ might seem subjective to say the least. But, this short list offers a few objective items to keep in mind and are what I consider to be the most important elements when choosing the ‘best bowhunting gear.’
I hope this helps to answer the question at hand and trust each of you has a safe and blessed hunting season.