Editor’s note: Fishermen are often lumped into “bubba bait” or “sissy bait” category. A “bubba bait” fisherman uses big lures, heavy rods, heavy braided line, and brute force to snatch a monster-sized bass out of heavy cover. A “sissy bait” angler fishes with small lures, light line, and wimpy rods to try and get a bass to bite. When Hank Parker, whose three outdoors TV shows, Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine, Hank Parker 3D, and Hank Parker’s Flesh and Blood, which today air on the NBC Sports Channel, the Pursuit Channel, and the Outdoor Channel, began to bowhunt for deer, he wanted to use the same tactics he did in bass fishing for bowhunting.
“I want the fastest bow, the heaviest arrow, and the biggest broadhead I can shoot accurately when I go deer hunting,” says Parker, putting himself in the “bubba bowhunter” category. “I don’t want a little blood trail when my arrow hits the deer, I want a big blood trail, and I want to put the deer down quickly and efficiently. I’ve learned over the years that really fast bows, like my PSE Omen, enable me to shoot a heavy arrow and a heavy broadhead and shoot them much flatter than a wimpy bow with less speed can.” Parker made a dramatic change from a slow bow to a fast bow when he got a PSE X-Force bow several years ago.
Before I met Blake Shelby, the marketing director for PSE, I knew his dad, Cliff Shelby, when he was the marketing director for Ranger Boats. When his son went to PSE, Cliff called and asked me which bow I shot. I explained I always had shot PSE before and knew the company made a quality bow, but right then was shooting a different brand.
“If I got Blake to send you PSE’s new X-Force bow, would you try it out?” Cliff Shelby asked. I told Cliff I probably wouldn’t, because it would take too much time to put the sights on the bow and get it ready for me to shoot, especially during hunting season. Plus, I was accustomed to shooting the bow I already had.
“What draw length are you?” Shelby asked. I answered 27-1/2 inches. He asked, “Can you pull 70 pounds?” and I told him I could.
“That’s the type of bow my son Blake shoots,” Shelby said. “What if I have him set up a bow and send it to you. Would you shoot it then?”
“Sure, if you’ll have it set-up, I’ll shoot it,” I replied. So, PSE sent me the bow, and I put it out in the garage.
The brand I was shooting at the time sent me and my sons a new model to test. We set up chronographs and decided to sight-in and check the speed of these new bows. This bow company had been making bows for 10 years and really hadn’t improved on them. I was shooting a 30-inch draw at 74 pounds with a 470-grain arrow, which is a heavy arrow, at 273 feet per second with this new model of this company’s bow. Billy was only shooting 260 feet per second, and Hank Jr. was shooting 265. So, I went to the garage and unboxed the PSE bow Blake Shelby had sent me. I shot the bow, and the chronograph recorded 331 feet per second.
“There’s no way that bow is shooting that fast,” I said as I looked at that chronograph and then the PSE X-Force bow. I shot the PSE X-Force again with the same arrow, and the chronograph recorded 333 feet per second. I told my boys, “That’s unbelievable. I think there’s something wrong with the chronograph.” I was expecting the PSE to shoot maybe 10 feet-per-second faster than the other bow, but not 60.
I decided to test it another way. I dialed my 10-yard pin to shoot a life-size target at 40 yards and shot the other company’s bow. My arrow hit in the dirt about 1-1/2 feet in front of the target. Then I dialed my 10-yard pin on the PSE X-Force bow and shot at the same target, and my arrow only hit four inches low on the target. I still couldn’t believe there was that much difference in two bows of the same weight. I repeated the same shots several times and got the same results.
“I don’t know what you two will do, but this PSE bow is my new bow,” I said to my boys. Since that day, I’ve only shot PSE bows.
Right now I’m shooting the PSE Omen. The biggest obstacle a trophy deer hunter has is movement. When a five- or a six-year old buck steps into bow range, you probably won’t have time to pick up your rangefinder, range the distance, put it back down, clip your mechanical release on the string, and get to full draw before the deer sees you. Although I range distances I may have to shoot from my stand beforehand, when that monster buck comes in, I may not remember if I’ve ranged a particular tree at 30 or 35 yards. But with the PSE Omen, if that buck’s at 40 yards, and I think he’s at 20 yards, I’ll hit him two inches high. If the deer’s at 50 yards, and I think he’s at 40, I’ll only hit him two inches low. So, in any of the situations I’ve described, I’ll still double-lung the deer and put him down. Since I’ve made the switch to the PSE bows, I now can end a TV show by holding up the antlers of a nice buck I’ve taken, instead of holding up a dirty arrow because I missed the buck.
To get “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” by John E. Phillips, go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.
Image courtesy Hank Parker