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Dominate the World With the Dominator 3D Max!


2013 PSE Dominator 3D Max

2013 PSE Dominator 3D Max

Pre-Order Now From Your Local PSE Dealer!Pre-Order from your local dealer now!

What happens when you combine the revolutionary design and technology of the Dominator™ MAX with a shorter axle-to-axle geometry? You get the hottest 3D bow on the planet! The Dominator™ 3D MAX has all the features of the Dominator™ MAX: super stable shoot through riser, revolutionary Centerlock 2™ Limb Pocket system, Symmetric Raptor™ grip, Backstop 2™, FleX™ Cable Slide, fourth generation X-Tech split limbs and the Mini EVO™ Hybrid cams. The result is a 36 ¼” axle-to-axle target bow that is sure to dominate the 3D trail in 2013!

To find your local PSE Dealer, click here!

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


A Bow You Have to Shoot to Believe!


2013 PSE Vendetta DC

2013 PSE Vendetta DC

Pre-Order Now From Your Local PSE Dealer!Pre-Order from your local dealer now!

The Vendetta™ has developed a cult like following due to its ultra-smooth draw and amazing speed. Those fans will not be disappointed with the Vendetta™ DC. Designed with a 34” axle-to-axle length and a generous 7 inch brace height, this bow is fast and forgiving. Powered by the Drive™ cam, the Vendetta™ DC allows for 6-½ inches of draw length adjustment with the posi-lock inner-cam system that is exceptionally smooth to draw. But don’t take our word for it, shoot the Vendetta™ DC against our competitors’ bow and we think you’ll be joining the PSE family.

To find your local PSE Dealer, click here!

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush BowHunting,”It’s What I do”


By Albert Quackenbush
SoCalBowhunter.com

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush’s DIY Hunter

If you ask anyone who knows me what my passion is I can guarantee their answer will be ‘bow hunting’. Quite honestly, they are right on. When it comes down to it my passion is do-it-yourself bow hunting, or DIY. I enjoy a challenge. I love the hard work that goes into a DIY hunt because the payoff is that much greater.

Take for example hunting deer in Southern California. Sure, there is plenty of public forest land to hunt. You just have to make the effort to get there. Then again, there are also many hunters who like to get out and enjoy the same forest lands I do. In order to steer clear of the other hunters I do my homework. My homework for a DIY hunt starts with scouring over maps to find areas of interest. Sure, I can just hop on a forum and get some details where to go, but where is the adventure in that? I like to find hard to reach areas on a map and see what I can find.

Practicing year round is something I now take great pride in. For me, it is a great way to stay on top of my game. It’s also probably the #1 stress reliever I can think of after a hard work week. I am constantly at the range keeping my body in tune and sending arrows down range.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush’s Passion

I also like to put the boots to the ground and find my own way. That’s where the scouting comes in. The great thing about SoCal scouting is that there is almost always something to hunt… year round! My trusty PSE Bow Madness always goes with me in case I run across a coyote, a wild hog or a jack rabbit, as they can be hunted year round.

I am as passionate about my family as I am bow hunting. Even still, my wife will attest that no matter what I am doing I can relate it to bow hunting and that I probably mention it far too often for her taste. I’ll be the first to admit that it is a challenge to be a good husband, father, work a full-time job and hunt as often as I get to. If I am not out bow hunting I most assuredly thinking about it or sharing information with someone through a hunting story or seminar. I am a bow hunter and it’s what I do.

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 28 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, SoCalBowhunter.com, and also writes for Bow Adventures e-magazine. He is a Pro Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com, Piranha Custom Bowstrings and Field Logic. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.

Albert was born and raised in New York State where he learned to hunt everything from squirrels to whitetail deer. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and daughter and hunts year round.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


2013 PSE Custom Colors are here!


DESIGN YOUR OWN CUSTOM BOW!

2013 PSE Custom Bow Colors

2013 PSE Custom Bow Colors

Monday, October 1st, we are launching our 2013 PSE Product line! Pre-order from your local PSE Dealer! Here are our custom colors for the year! Lots of surprises to come! :)

Jon Shepley and the engineers at PSE spend a great deal of time designing our bow line each year. They do everything possible to offer a wide selection of bow options that will satisfy the needs of most archers. But, there are customers who need or want something a little different. What if you want a special color that we don’t offer in our catalog? That’s why we created the PSE Special Service Custom Shop. Through our Custom Shop you can let your imagination run wild. Using the multitude of existing components, the Custom Shop can possibly make a one of a kind bow,  just for you.

Important Note:  Not all desired configurations will be possible and always remember our catalog offerings are designed by our engineers for optimal performance.

Are you looking for that special color for your compound bows? We now have many colors to choose from.  Colors will vary from run to run and are available only for Compound bows.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Will Jenkins- Make the Shot


By Will Jenkins
 TheWilltoHunt.com 

Will Jenkins

PSE’s Will Jenkins Tree Stand Practice

With the season fast approaching many folks are focusing on broadhead tuning and putting lots of holes in foam. While this is all good and necessary one thing I find myself and many others lacking as we get close to season is practicing how you’ll be hunting. This means putting arrows through foam while you are in situations similar to how you will be hunting.

Most people hunt from tree stands and of course this is extremely different from standing on flat ground and making an easy shot. Not only that you’re wearing different clothes and a safety harness but you’re also standing on an 18″ x 24″ platform 20 feet up a tree. I’d suggest when setting or checking stands bring your bow and a small target and put a few arrows in the target through each of your shooting lanes. Making sure you have adequate room to move and draw is just as important as practicing from that height and angle. It’s critical to make sure you’re comfortable to draw and bend at the waist to make the shot. I usually go in with a friend and we take turns pulling arrows and sending them backup a quiver hooked to a pull rope and moving the target. This not only makes you better prepared to make the shot it’s a great boost to your confidence. When that big buck walks out into your shooting lane and you know you’ve made that shot before it feels good!

Will Jenkins

PSE’s Will Jenkins Bow Hunting Practice

Lately it seems more people are hunting from ground blinds. Practicing sitting down is key but it’s also key to practice sitting down and out of your blind. If you’ve ever tried shooting out of a blind understanding you clearance is huge. If you aren’t careful while your sight might be aimed just out the window your arrow could be pointed right at the wall of the blind. The good news with this is its way easier to practice. You can throw up your blind and a stool most anywhere you’d normally shoot to get used to shooting out of it.

With the season drawing nearer, in weeks or days be sure you’ve had some practical bow hunting practice and you’re confident you can make the shot when it counts!

Will Jenkins is creator of TheWilltoHunt.com and Harnesses For Hunters. He’s an avid outdoorsman who enjoys sharing his experiences through his blog. He also writes for Bow Adventures e-Magazine and is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association.

Will lives in Central Virginia with his wife and two kids. He hunts in Virginia and Maryland but has dreams of heading west to hunt Elk and Mule Deer.

 

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush – Proud Bow Hunter


By Albert Quackenbush
SoCalBowhunter.com

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Target Practice

Hunting has been in my family for as long as I remember. My dad and brother are the two best hunting partners a guy could ask for. We would spend all year discussing the previous year, the weather, where to place stands and when October would arrive so we could get in the woods. Sure, we hunted for small game and turkey, but the animal we most desired was the whitetail deer. I took it for granted, until I moved 3,000 miles away.

Where I grew up in New York State everyone hunted. When I moved to California that all changed. It was a new place with new friends who didn’t understand hunting. Then married a woman who doesn’t care for hunting, but she appreciates the passion I have for it. I am a proud bow hunter and I am not afraid to share it.

I have actually made some great new friends through bow hunting in California. Some of the guys are my new bow hunting partners. Every week we hit the archery range to practice and talk about the upcoming archery seasons and what we can hunt. I look forward to it each and every week.

Now that my daughter is three and a half, I have started sharing more and more of the outdoors with her. I have never hidden the fact that I hunt, nor will I be ashamed of it. Sometimes, when I am watching a hunting show on television, she’ll hop on my lap and point out the animals onscreen. It makes me proud to know she knows the animals and sees the hunters in pursuit of wild game.

When I get home wearing camouflage face paint, she often jokingly asks me if I am wearing makeup. Of course I reply that indeed I am!

Al Quackenbush

PSE’s Al Quackenbush Teaching his Daughter to Shoot

Just recently, my daughter and I ventured to a sporting goods retailer and we picked out her very first bow. While I was introduced to archery when I was nine, I figured she could start earlier if she wanted to. Sure, she’s not going want to focus on it for more than five minutes, but she should have fun and shoot some arrows like her dad if she wants to. Enthusiastically, she said that she wanted the bow and also loved seeing all of the taxidermy around.

The next day, we got her bow out of the package and she shot for the first time. Like most kids, she was frustrated at first. With a little patience and coaxing, she was shooting arrows and smiling in no time. You can bet that I will be sharing more bow hunting tips and techniques as we both age gracefully.

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 28 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, SoCalBowhunter.com, and also writes for Bow Adventures e-magazine. He is a Pro Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com, Piranha Custom Bowstrings and Field Logic. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.

Albert was born and raised in New York State where he learned to hunt everything from squirrels to whitetail deer. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and daughter and hunts year round.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Dustin Jones – An Unforgettable Moment


By Dustin Jones
HighCountryBowhunter.com

PSE  Dustin Jones

PSE’s Dustin Jones & Son

Sharing my love for bowhunting is something that I truly enjoy. When my wife and I were dating, she didn’t know very much about hunting. In fact when she would come over and we would watch old hunting tapes or watch hunting shows, she couldn’t stand watching. I made sure not to force it on her but to share why I enjoy it so much. To show her how much fun it could be, I gave her a bow and we started shooting the 3-D range in the evenings whenever we could. Her comment to me was that she could shoot targets but not a real animal. This was perfectly fine with me. I get to take her out and practice and share my love for archery with my wife.

I get to share it even more now with my son. He just turned 3 and taking him to archery shoots to teach him just as my dad did is an experience that I will never forget. I got him his first bow not too long ago and seeing his face light up and how excited he got is an unforgettable moment. I knew the excitement he felt and I know now how my dad felt.

Dustin Jones

PSE’s Dustin Jones’ Son

I got to take my son to a 3-D archery shoot and start teaching him how to shoot his bow. This was truly a memorable experience. He loved to see all the animal targets and of course he had to carry his “noculars” (binoculars) just like his dad. We pretended we were hunting and had to look for the animal and then sneak up to make the shot. His first archery experience was a success! Spending that time passing on what I have learned from my dad onto my son was a moment I’ll never forget.

Dustin Jones is a passionate outdoorsman who loves to hunt, especially bowhunt. He created his blog, HighCountryBowhunter.com, to share his experiences with others. He is a Field Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com and Adventure Team member for MINOX Hunting Optics.

Dustin was born and raised in Eastern Idaho where he currently resides with his wife and two sons.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush’s Hunting Roots


By Albert Quackenbush
SoCalBowhunter.com

Albert Q

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush

My bow hunting roots were set at an early age in Western New York State. It should come as no surprise that I chose to become a bow hunter because of my dad. I loved being outdoors and so did he. When he would go hunting, he’d take my brother and me along with him, and often we’d get a chance to shoot at a squirrel or two. He taught me to shoot a bow when I was nine years old with an old fiberglass longbow with wooden arrows. He taught me how to shoot, care for my equipment and the safe practices that must be maintained as an archer.

My brother and I were extremely fortunate growing up. Being raised on a farm, we would always have an ample supply of straw bale to hold our targets and we would constantly make up different games to improve our shooting and have fun. Whether it be saving a train from robbers or pretending we were Robin Hood, we would always have fun.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’S Albert Quackenbush The Early Days

The first shot I ever took on an animal with a bow was when I was 10 years old. My dad had been in the fields and had seen a buck meander into our overgrown orchard. He came back to the house, had me get my bow and he gave me an arrow tipped with a broadhead. With his equipment in hand, we hopped in the truck and drove to the edge of the field. He explained that he was going to circle around the deer and stalk up through the orchard. He posted me at the very top of the orchard, near the field in case the buck doubled back. A short time later, I peered around the apple tree I was using as cover and there he was! He was on a path to walk right by my tree. So I waited what seemed like an eternity and drew my bow thinking he’d be right there. Sure enough he came walking by and I let the arrow fly… right over his back. I was shaking like a leaf in a tornado and he bolted like nobody’s business. When I checked the yardage I was heartbroken. I had missed the deer at three yards! It was a lesson learned and it showed me how much buck fever can take over!

A couple years later, on a walk with my brother on the farm, we spotted antlers sticking up above the swale on the edge of a field. We quietly scooted back to the house and told my dad. Figuring this would be a good lesson for us, he told me to grab my bow and to go put a stalk on the buck to see if I could get him. My brother and I played the wind perfectly and got to within ten yards of this massive buck when the wind swirled and gave us up. He bolted away as our hearts were about to pound out of our chests. It’s hard to describe the excitement and thrill we both felt. Even without shooting an arrow, we had stalked very close to one of the most skittish animals on the planet. We were forever hooked on bow hunting!

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 28 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, SoCalBowhunter.com, and also writes for Bow Adventures e-magazine. He is a Pro Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com, Piranha Custom Bowstrings and Field Logic. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.

Albert was born and raised in New York State where he learned to hunt everything from squirrels to whitetail deer. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and daughter and hunts year round.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Choosing equipment for ASA and ISO Tournaments – Q&A with PSE’s Bobby V ft Nathan Brooks


Elite TEAM PSE Pro Staff Nathan Brooks talks with Bobby about his bow setup for the ASA and IBO Tournaments.

Come and visit us at www.pse-archery.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OfficialPSEArchery.


How PSE’s Spook Spann Chooses Tree Stand Sites


Spook Spann PSE

PSE’S Spook Spann

Editor’s Note: To be consistently successful at taking bucks and especially older age class bucks, you have to know the best places to put your stand. You can be in the best area to hunt, where you’ve found the highest concentrations of deer, but if you pick the wrong stand site you’ll go home empty handed. PSE has asked Spook Spann how he picks his tree stand sites.

Every hunting area is different, and each state is different. However, I can give you some tips that may help, regardless of where you hunt. I like to hunt from evergreen trees, especially cedars or pines, for several reasons. These evergreen trees really help to break up the hunter’s silhouette, and when you’re trimming limbs in evergreens, they generally give off a fairly pungent odor that acts as a cover scent to prevent the deer from smelling you. However, if I can’t find an evergreen, I’ll look for a tree with a lot of limbs that can help break up my silhouette.

If I’m hunting over a high-quality food source like a green field, a soybean field or a corn field, and deer are coming out into that field early enough to hunt them, I’ll set-up on the edge of that field. Any time I’ve got a food source like those, I’ll usually set-up three or four different tree stands I can hunt from, depending on the wind conditions. If I see the deer aren’t coming to the field during shooting hours, I may back off 100 or 200-yards from the field and look for a travel trail the deer are using to get to the field. My favorite places to set-up tree stands are between prominent bedding areas and high-quality food sources. For instance, the deer may be coming into a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) field and waiting in the tall grass before moving to the food source after dark. If I can locate a place where the deer are comfortable waiting for night to fall before they move in to the food source, that kind of site usually produces best for me.

Pro Staff Shooter Spook Spann

PSE’S Pro Staff Shooter Spook Spann

I’ll be looking for a tree stand close to that CRP field that will allow me to look down into the field and see deer, and give me an opportunity to take a shot. If I see a nice buck that’s too far away for me to take from my tree stand, I may try to come out of that stand and make a stalk on him. I usually like to climb 20-25 feet high in the tree. Sometimes there may be a need to get higher. If I don’t have any back cover, I may not climb that high, but this is a good average height for me. Also, any time I’m in a tree stand, I use a Muddy Safeguard Harness. I like this harness because it’s quick and easy to put on and take off, and it doesn’t restrict me when I’m trying to shoot my bow.

One of the most-difficult shots for most tree stand hunters to make is when a deer is right under the tree. Here’s what I do:

  • I don’t try to draw and aim at the deer with my bow pointed at the deer. I make my draw when I’m standing or seated, and then bring the bow down to aim at the deer. When a deer is close, I aim a little lower than I normally do.
  • You can make a better shot by waiting on the deer to walk past you. Then you’ll get a shot that enters behind the vitals and travels up through the heart and lung areas.
  • You can make a close in shot best by remembering to bend at the waist.
  • I start hunting the first day I arrive at the property, and here’s why: I’ve done all my scouting, and I’ve seen all the pictures from the trail cameras in that area. Too, this region may be somewhere I’ve hunted before. So, the first time I go into that area I want to leave as little scent as possible and not disturb the woods. I believe the first day of that hunt will be the best day to try and take the buck I’ve been seeing on my trail cameras.

To learn more about Spook Spann, visit his website at www.spookspann.com, or email him at spookspann@yahoo.com.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


How to Prepare for an Archery Tournament – Q & A with PSE’s Bobby V


PSE Pro Staff Scott Starnes drops in and talks about preparing for archery tournaments.

Come and visit us at www.pse-archery.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OfficialPSEArchery.


John Vozzy Wins the 2012 NYFAB Outdoor Championship!


John Vozzy

John Vozzy

Congrats to Team PSE Pro Staff member John A. Vozzy of Mechanicville, NY for winning the 2012 NYFAB Outdoor Championship!
Rochester Bowhunters, Bergen New York
August 18 & 19 2012

Great Shooting John!

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Why Curtis Goettsch Came Back To PSE


Curtis G

PSE’S Curtis Goettsch

Editor’s Note: Curtis Goettsch of Elkader, Iowa, has several reasons for loving PSE.

By 2006, I had evolved as a bowhunter and had started shooting tournament archery. I changed bows, because another manufacturer was producing a bow that I hoped would not only be a better bow to hunt with but also be better for tournaments. I was shooting in the Bowhunter Class and had become a Mossy Oak Pro. During that time, Mossy Oak and PSE had partnered on several different projects, and I was ready to change bows again. I didn’t really care which bow I shot, as long as the bow could help me be a better bowhunter and a better tournament archer. So, I tested a lot of different bows that were on the market in 2011.

The dealer at the archery shop where I worked had a PSE Dream Season EVO and asked me to try it. I really didn’t like duo-cam bows, since they all had a hard break-over when you hit the let-off point in the draw. However, the EVO had a smooth draw, almost like a single-cam bow. I really couldn’t believe how smooth the draw was. I was also excited about moving up to a faster power performance bow, so the speed and the smooth draw of the PSE Dream Season EVO really got my attention. I was shooting a lot of 3D archery at that time, and I felt that to be competitive, I needed a faster and a better performing bow.

PSE's Curtis Goettsch Bows

Precision Shooting Archery – Compound Bows

I had talked to a lot of people in the bowhunting industry. I also talked to the guy who owned the bow shop, who had shot the PSE Dream Season EVO all winter long and had decided that it was the best bow PSE ever had made. So, with that kind of recommendation, and having shot the bow, I made the decision to go with the PSE Dream Season EVO. During the summer of 2011, I shot my PSE Dream Season EVO in the Bowhunter Class at 3D-archery tournaments before the hunting season arrived. I really feel that’s one of the best ways to break in a new bow – participating in 3-D archery tournaments – so when bow season comes in, you and your new bow are the best you possibly can be. I won my first 3D-archery tournament with the PSE Dream Season EVO. That was really exciting for me, because I never dreamed I could shoot well enough to win a tournament. At the tournament I won, there were 186 archers in the bowhunter class. When I won that tournament, I was feeling really good about my decision to shoot PSE, and I was really excited about the performance of my PSE Dream Season EVO.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Eric Grippa Wins the 2012 IBO World Championship with his PSE Omen Pro!


Eric Grippa – 2012 IBO World Championship Winner MBR Class

My name is Eric Grippa, and I am a PSE Pro-Staffer from a little town just east of Cincinnati OH.  I have been competing in the IBO for the past 16 years, and this year at the World Championships in Seven Spring PA, it all finally came together for me.

The bow I shoot 3-D with is the Omen Pro.  I shoot it for one reason, sheer speed.  The Omen Pro is hands down the fastest bow I have ever shot.  I shoot a 29” draw at 58 lbs of draw weight.  With that set up, my Omen Pro sends my 300 grain arrow down range at 349 fps.  Needless to say, that makes yardage estimation much easier to call.  The class I shoot in is Male Bowhunter Release, which means I shoot fixed pins.  At almost 350 fps, I no longer have to hold a pin high or low on the target.  I judge the target for the top, middle, or bottom pin, hold the pin of my choice on the 11 ring, and let her rip.  That tactic enabled me to take first place this year at the IBO Worlds.  My Omen Pro and I made it to the finals with a comfortable lead.  I maintained my lead through the finals and came off the mountain as a World Champ.

Eric Grippa with his PSE Omen Pro

Eric Grippa with his PSE Omen Pro

I hear a lot of people comment on how they think the Omen Pro has to be very critical or hard to shoot.  In my 2 years of experience with the Omen Pro, I simply don’t find that to be the case.  As long as I maintain good form and follow through, which should be done with any bow, it shoots very well.   And I now have the belt buckle to prove it.

Thanks PSE for making such a fast, great shooting bow.

Eric Grippa
PSE Pro Staff


Mike Hopkins Shoots a PSE Supra HP for Tournament Archery and a Dream Season EVO When Hunting


Mike Hopkins Archery

Mike Hopkins Tournament Archery

Editor’s Note: Thirty seven year old Mike Hopkins of Junction City, Kansas, has been shooting a PSE bow since 2008. Hopkins is a classic example of how to become a better bowhunter. Mike decided to shoot 3D archery just before he took his first buck with a bow. As you’ll see, Mike consistently has been able to take more animals and a wider variety of animals, since he’s incorporated 3D archery into his bowhunting program.

PSE: What bow were you shooting in 2011?
Hopkins: I was shooting a PSE Supra HP. My PSE rep had told me how great the Supra was, and he encouraged me to try one. He let me take his bow home for a few days to practice with, so I’d have a better understanding and a better feel for the bow. He allowed me to set his bow up with my equipment, and I was really impressed with that bow. After shooting the bow, I decided that the Supra was one of the best bows a person could shoot in tournament archery, and in five out of seven national tournaments, I was on the podium to receive an award and a check. I won the Augusta, Georgia, shoot for my division, and I finished second in the Shooter of the Year competition in the Known 45 division. I gave the rep back his bow, but he helped me get one of my own.

PSE: What bow were you hunting with in 2011?
Hopkins: Last hunting season, I decided to try the Dream Season EVO. There had been a redesigning of the risers on this bow, and the improved design of the riser and the improved design of the limb pockets in this new bow made it a step up bow in the Dream Season line.

PSE: Why is it so important to you to shoot the newest PSE bows on the market?
Hopkins: I don’t necessarily have to shoot the latest and the greatest bow that PSE comes out with every year. When I choose a bow for tournament archery or for bowhunting, my first concern is, “Am I comfortable shooting this bow?” Just because a new bow comes on the market doesn’t mean that new bow is suited for every archer in America. That’s why PSE brings out so many new bows each year, and even has a custom shop if you want a custom bow built. Because PSE knows that different people like various types of bow configurations, the company offers a wide variety of bows that can fit almost anyone and will be comfortable for almost anyone to shoot. But since I’m on the PSE Pro Staff, I feel I have a certain responsibility to at least try the new bows that are brought on the market, and if they fit me and my style of shooting, I step up.

As a tournament archer, I’ve got to make sure that if I step up to a newer bow, it actually helps me shoot better than the bow I’ve been using. If it doesn’t, I’ll stay with the bow I feel most consistent with, and the same is true when I choose a hunting bow. I’ve got to make sure if I’m shooting a new hunting bow that it fits me, I feel comfortable shooting it, and that I have confidence shooting it. So, I don’t just shoot the latest and greatest, because it’s the latest and greatest. The new bows have to help me improve in both tournament archery and bowhunting, and if they do that, then I have no problem laying my old bow down and picking up my new bow. I feel that if I don’t have confidence in the new bows that PSE brings to the marketplace, then I can’t tell other bowhunters why they should consider one of PSE’s new bows if they want to step up. I really believe that I need to be shooting the bows that I’m talking about and promoting. I’m not going to shoot a bow or promote a bow that I don’t have confidence in and haven’t tested to know how it performs and why it performs the way it does. That’s the reason I shot my PSE rep’s Supra before I committed to owning one. There was no point in me getting a Supra, until I had tested it and knew it would help me shoot more accurately. The same is true of the Dream Season EVO.

Mike Hopkins Pro Staff

PSE Pro Staff Shooter Mike Hopkins

PSE: Where did you hunt last season?
Hopkins: Last year I moved to Augusta, Georgia, to go to military school. I didn’t move until October, but I went to Florida in September, and my boy and I got to do some hog hunting. We each took a hog in Florida with our PSE bows. My son’s hog weighed right at 100 pounds, and I shot three hogs, two that were 50 60 pounds and one that we didn’t find the last day we were hunting. The fella we were hunting with found it a day or two after our hunt, and he said it weighed 180 185 pounds. I was experimenting with a couple of different broadheads, while we were hunting in Florida. I used the G3, the Grim Reaper and the Spitfire. I felt, for my type of shooting, the Spitfire was best for me. I like the Spitfires because they’re very simple. By that I mean, those broadheads don’t have as many moving parts. They’re expandable, with a good cutting diameter, and when I’ve shot animals with the Spitfires, the blades haven’t broken nor the arrows. The blades deployed on impact, and one of the other broadheads’ blades didn’t deploy. The reason I mention the hog hunt is because I didn’t take a whitetail with my bow last year.

PSE: Mike, let’s recap for a minute. The only reason you started shooting 3D archery was because you’d gone 4 years without taking a buck deer, and you’d missed several. You were a hunter who was using the sport of 3D archery to become a better bowhunter. Now, you’re primarily a 3D archery shooter and go hunting when you can. How did this change take place?
Hopkins: I really like the competitive aspect of 3D archery. I can’t really say that I hunt any more or less than I used to, but I have drastically increased the amount of tournament archery I shoot, mainly because I have more opportunities all year long to shoot tournament archery. Bow season has a very limited time frame. The law stops me from bowhunting all year long, but no one can prevent me from shooting tournament archery all year long. So, I discovered that I had a lot more opportunity to shoot my bow by both bowhunting and shooting 3D archery than I had when I only bowhunted.

PSE: If you have to make a choice of whether to go to a 3D archery tournament or bowhunt, which do you pick?
Hopkins: Fortunately, I haven’t had to make that choice yet. If I had to make that decision, the animal I had the opportunity to hunt, and where I had the opportunity to hunt would be a major factor in which way I would go. To me, part of the excitement of bowhunting is visiting different parts of the country, seeing various types of terrain and hunting under different bowhunting conditions. I’ve hunted in the swamps of Louisiana, the deserts of Texas and the hills of Tennessee and many other areas. The opportunity to go to a new place, a new state and a different type of terrain will make choosing to go to a tournament really tough.

PSE: What types of tournaments are you shooting right now?
Hopkins: I’ve just moved out to Kansas, and I’m primarily shooting state tournaments right now. I haven’t shot any national tournaments since I’ve moved here, and I’m primarily shooting the Known 50 class. I’ll only be here for a year or two, so I may not be able to shoot the national circuit, but I’m not giving up tournament archery. When I move again, if I can get back to the southeast, I’ll be right back into shooting national tournaments.

PSE: What’s a major reason that you advise bowhunters to shoot tournament archery?
Hopkins: A bowhunter who’s been shooting tournament archery knows his limitations and his equipment’s limitations, because of how well he’s been able to shoot in tournaments. There’s no question of, “Can I make the shot, or should I not take the shot?” If you’re honest with yourself, you find out for sure what those limitations are through tournament archery. So, when a deer comes in and presents a shot, you already know whether or not you can make that shot.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Mike Hopkins Shoots a PSE Vendetta XL for Tournament Archery and an AXE 6 While Hunting in 2010


M.Hopkins

PSE’S Mike Hopkins

Editor’s Note: Thirty seven year old Mike Hopkins of Junction City, Kansas, has been shooting a PSE bow since 2008. Hopkins is a classic example of how to become a better bowhunter. Mike decided to shoot 3D archery just before he took his first buck with a bow. As you’ll see, Mike consistently has been able to take more animals and a wider variety of animals, since he’s incorporated 3D archery into his bowhunting program.

PSE: Tell us about your 2010 bow season and tournament archery season.

Hopkins: Due to military educational requirements, I didn’t have the time to travel and compete in tournament archery as much as I would have liked to that year. I was able to shoot in the first three tournaments of the season, but then I had to restrict my tournament archery participation to local tournaments and state level tournaments. That summer I moved to Tennessee and didn’t have as much success deer hunting that fall as I’d had in the past. I only took one 5 point buck and didn’t even shoot a doe that year. Not many bowhunters that I talked to that year were very successful at taking deer. But even though I had a poor fall deer season, at the opening 3D archery tournament in Florida, I had a second place finish with a new bow, the Vendetta XL. I had decided to move up to this bow for tournament archery.

PSE: Why did you decide to start shooting the Vendetta XL?

Hopkins: I liked the specifications of the bow. The Vendetta XL was somewhat longer axle to axle than the bow I’d been shooting the previous year and had a faster speed. I thought the bow would perform better in tournaments than my previous bow. I finished in the top 10 in several other tournaments that year and also did very well in shooting state level tournaments. For some reason, I can remember those state tournaments better than I can remember the national tournaments.

PSE's Mike Hopkins

PSE Bows

PSE: What hunting bow were you shooting in 2010?

Hopkins: I started shooting the Axe 6 in 2010, and it was faster than the PSE hunting bow I’d been using previously. I felt that the cams on the Axe 6 had a little bit better draw cycle than the Dream Season bow. But I really didn’t get to hunt with this bow very much, because the 2010 season was uncharacteristically slow for me. There had been an outbreak of Bluetongue two years earlier in the area I was hunting, and the deer herd was still trying to recover. That year it was down considerably from what it had been in past years.

Editor’s Note: Another big advantage to shooting tournament archery and being a bowhunter is that if you’re having a bad hunting season, you still have a chance to have a good tournament archery season. As we’ve seen so far, success in tournament archery , especially 3D archery, directly relates to bowhunting, and bowhunting success directly relates to tournament archery. For both sports, the more you practice, the more confidence you build, the more proficient you are with your equipment and the more successful you’ll be at the tournaments and in the woods. Besides that, both tournament archery and bowhunting are fun. So, why would you not want to have fun?

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Mike Hopkins Takes His First Buck with a PSE X-Force 7


PSE's Mike

PSE’s Mike Hopkins

Editor’s Note: Thirty seven year old of Junction City, Kansas, has been shooting a PSE bow since 2008. Hopkins is a classic example of how to become a better bow hunter. Mike decided to shoot 3D archery just before he took his first buck with a bow. As you’ll see, Mike consistently has been able to take more animals and a wider variety of animals, since he’s incorporated 3D archery into his bow-hunting program.

PSE: Mike, why did you decide to start shooting PSE?

Hopkins: PSE bows have a reputation for being quality bows and demonstrating some of the latest technology in bow design. I also like the way they feel in my hands. When I decided to buy a new bow in 2008, I shot four or five different bows at the archery shop. I wanted to find out which bow felt the best to me, and which bow shot the best for me. Back then I chose the original X Force 7. I guess one of the main reasons I bought the bow was because of the grip. To me, that bow had the best and most comfortable grip of any bow I’d picked up and tested.

PSE's Mike Hopkins

Deer Hunting

The first buck I took with that bow was a little 6 point in Louisiana. The day was a typical bowhunting day. I wasn’t spotting many deer, but I did see a lot of squirrels. Off to my right and a little behind me, I heard a tree shaking, and I thought to myself, “That’s a bunch of squirrels in a tree. I’m really getting tired of seeing and hearing squirrels.” Then I got to thinking, “That tree’s a little too big around for squirrels to be making that much noise in it.” I had done my pre season scouting in this area and seen a lot of deer and signs of deer. This region had everything a deer needed and had all the indications of being a productive bow hunting spot. It was an oak flat with plenty of acorns and a little pond, and I found a trail where a lot of deer were crossing on one corner of the pond. I’d been bow hunting for a while and had shot several different bows, but when this buck showed up and walked out to within 20 yards of my stand, I drew my PSE X Force 7, released the arrow made a good hit and took my first buck. Although I’d been bow hunting for 4 years, I hadn’t had the opportunity to make a shot at a buck. I had taken a couple of shots at bucks with other bows but I’d never connected. One of the things I like about bow hunting is that just when you think you know everything there is to know about the sport, you learn something new. When you think you’ve got a deer figured out and know what he’ll do, he does the exact opposite of what you’ve guessed.

In my opinion, one of the misconceptions about bow hunting is caused by sitting at home and watching all the hunting shows. There you see the hosts on the TV shows always taking big bucks. But that’s not the way hunting happens for the average guy. Before I took this buck, I’d taken four or five other shots that I felt really confident about, and I’d never shot at a deer at more than 35 yards. I try to never take a shot at a distance further than I think I can be successful. I shoot a lot of 3D archery, and I believe that practice and experience with 3D archery helped me tremendously when I had an opportunity to take this buck. Shooting 3D archery, in my opinion, will help anyone be a better bow hunter. You get a lot of great practice time when you start shooting 3D archery.

PSE: Tell us what happened when you released the arrow on that first buck.

Hopkins: I was shooting downhill. The shot hit the deer in the spine, just above the shoulder blade, and took out one lung. The deer dropped where it stood, rolled down into a ditch and stopped 30 yards away from me. This buck wasn’t the most spectacular one I’d ever seen, but he was my first bow buck. I got him mounted. In my opinion, he was the best buck I ever took.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Georgianna Braden Says Women Archers Are Welcome in Hunting Camps


Ladies in Archery

PSE’S Georgianna Braden

Editor’s Note: Georgianna Braden of Houston, Texas, is a petite, pixie like lady. You’d never consider her as one of the top female archers, if you saw her on the street or in the courtroom. She is not only a tournament archer, but also an avid bowhunter and an advocate for women’s archery. Georgianna, who’s been shooting a bow for 7 years, and her husband Michael are both members of the PSE Pro Staff.

Georgianna, how are you accepted when you go into a hunting camp with all men or maybe only one or two ladies?
Braden: All the guys are super friendly. They understand that I’m serious about bowhunting, and they’re very welcoming. I get the impression that in most bowhunting camps, guys would like to see more women in the sport. They’d like ladies to understand what hunting is all about, and why they have such a passion for bowhunting.

Georgianna, how do you feel about you and your husband hunting together?
Braden: Many times Michael and I hunt in a pop up blind. We take turns hunting and running the video camera, because we try to film all our hunts. This way we can hunt together and still be in the same blind together. We can get excited for each other, share the hunt and both be successful. One of us can take the animal, and the other can get the hunt on the video, so we both go home with a trophy, a great video and a great animal. This way we can be together in the outdoors and participate in a sport that we truly enjoy. Michael and I enjoy being with each other.

Why do you film all your hunts?
Braden: We like to share our hunts with other people, and we think a video is a much better keepsake of the hunt than just a picture with the animal we’ve harvested. We’ve found that the video allows us to relive our hunt anytime we want to, with whomever we want to share that experience.

 

Couple Hunters

PSE’S Michael Braden

How did you learn to become a videographer?
Braden: Two days before we were leaving for our honeymoon, we received a video camera. We were going to South Africa for a bowhunt. Michael spent the entire plane ride reading the manual and learning about the camera, and when we arrived at our hunting camp, Michael gave me a quick lesson on how to use it. We both learned to run the camera through trial and error. We really like hunting together, because we have the opportunity to share the same experiences. We get to watch the animals come in, and we get to share in the process of what happens before, during and after the shot. Another advantage that we have is that with two of us in a blind, we have another pair of eyes looking for game. We also can notice things that the other hunter may not see.

Michael and I are each others biggest fans. We go through the joy of a successful hunt together and the depression of a missed opportunity with each other. When I’m in the blind running the camera, I am focusing on the animal just like he is. As I look at that animal, I feel like I am aiming the bow for him. I go through this same range of emotions when Michael is in a shoot off in an archery tournament. My stomach gets in knots and I try to focus on the target, focus on Michael and mentally aim for him. When I won the Indoor Nationals, Michael was the first person to get to me and give me a hug. That’s a great feeling for us to share. We go through the same emotions that any family does if a husband, a wife, a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, a mother or a dad is a competitive athlete. Because we both compete, we understand how much time, energy and effort we put into practicing and trying to get better. When one of us is on the line in a major competition, we understand the number of hours and sweat equity that person has expended to get to that position, and we can cheer for them.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Georgianna Braden Explains How to Choose the Right Bow to Shoot


PSE'S Archer Georgianna Braden

PSE’S Georgianna Braden

Editor’s Note: Georgianna Braden of Houston, Texas, is a petite, pixie like lady. If you saw her on the street or in the courtroom, you’d never consider her as one of the top female archers. She is not only a tournament archer, but also an avid bowhunter and an advocate for women’s archery. Georgianna, who’s been shooting a bow for 7 years, and her husband Michael are both members of the PSE Pro Staff.

Georgianna Braden’s bow of choice is the PSE Bow Madness. “This bow is very stable, forgiving, and fast,” Braden explains. “This is my competition bow. Many archers choose the Bow Madness as their hunting bow, but I like the Bow Madness for shooting competition archery. I like its axle-to-axle length. Because of the shape of the riser, if my form isn’t perfect every time, the bow is forgiving enough that you don’t see a huge variation of the impact of the arrow when I shoot. I shoot 52 pounds, but the first bow I ever purchased was 27 pounds. As my muscles have become stronger, I’ve been able to increase the weight of the bow I’m pulling by 1 to 2 pounds, and within a couple of months, I was shooting 35 pounds comfortably.

PSE Georgianna

Georgianna Braden Shooting PSE

“After a year in competition, I knew that I wanted to try out hunting. So, I wanted to get my strength up to the point that I could pull a bow heavy enough to hunt with, which was 40 pounds, to legally hunt in the State of Texas. Often ladies think that shooting archery is like bodybuilding, and they say, ‘I don’t want to build up muscles, so that I’ll look like a bodybuilder,’ but with archery, this concern is not even an issue. I feel physically stronger when I shoot archery, but I don’t feel muscular. Archery just helps improve a lady’s upper body strength. I do feel sleeker. I feel like my arms aren’t so weak, and they’re not flabby.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Georgianna Braden Says Archery Isn’t a Man Only World


Target Shooters

PSE’S Georgianna Braden

Editor’s Note: Georgianna Braden of Houston, Texas, is a petite, pixie like lady. If you saw her on the street or in the courtroom, you’d never consider her as one of the top female archers. She is not only a tournament archer, but also an avid bowhunter and an advocate for women’s archery. Georgianna, who’s been shooting a bow for 7 years, and her husband Michael are both members of the PSE Pro Staff.

Georgianna, how did being a woman in a sport that has in the past been viewed as a man’s sport feel?
Braden: One of the things I learned from the first tournament that I attended was when I explained I never had shot tournament archery before, the guys, as well as the ladies, were willing to help me and show me not only what tournament archery was about but how to improve. Guys as well as women told me, “Okay, this is what this part of the tournament is all about, and this is what you are supposed to do. Make sure you check out your bow, and remember these tips and suggestions.” The impression I got from the first archery tournament I ever attended, to the latest tournament I went to, was that all the competitors wanted me to come back and shoot another tournament with them. They did everything they could to make that tournament fun for me. Unlike many other sports, the participants wanted me to come back and compete with them.

Georgianna Braden Shooting PSE

PSE’S Georgianna Braden

Today some of my best friends are archers, both guys and girls. One of the things I believe is different about archery from any other sport is that even though you’re competing against other archers, the competition is never you against them. You compete to improve your own score and to improve your proficiency with a bow. Everyone I know who shoots competitive archery is really trying to help everyone else do the best they can. In a tournament, technically, I understand that we are all competing for first, second, or third place in the competition. But, my main concern at the tournaments that I attend, and also for the archers I know is that we are all there to try and improve on the scores we’ve shot at the last tournament. So, archery competition is more about you competing with yourself than it is about competing against the other archers. At the end of every tournament, I’m thinking, “How can I get better?” Really and truly I believe that when a lady comes into competitive archery, that’s the mindset she should adopt. If you focus on what you can do to improve your archery score, then you can be really successful.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


The Vacation that Changed PSE’s Georgianna Braden’s Life


Women Archers

PSE’s Georgianna Braden

Editor’s Note: Georgianna Braden of Houston, Texas, is a petite, pixie like lady. If you saw her on the street or in the courtroom, you’d never consider her as one of the top female archers. She is not only a tournament archer, but also an avid bowhunter and an advocate for women’s archery. Georgianna, who’s been shooting a bow for 7 years, and her husband Michael are both members of the PSE Pro Staff.

Outdoorsmen are seeing a tremendous increase in the number of women who are shooting tournament archery and hunting with their bows. When PSE wondered why, Georgianna Braden said, “I think many women are now beginning to understand that you don’t have to be super strong or highly competitive to shoot tournament archery. You make a lot of friends in the sport, and I’ve noticed since the time I started shooting archery 7 years ago, that everyone was very friendly and welcomed me into the sport. I also noticed that at first there were only a few women coming to the sport of archery to be with their husbands or boyfriends, but I have seen a real change. Today a growing number of women are shooting bows just because they like the sport. At a field tournament for the National Field Archery Association (NFAA), you’ll often have 200 lady shooters or more. In 3D archery, like ASA or IBO, you’ll also have several hundred women competing in different divisions.

“The vast majority of women who shoot archery do become interested in hunting and actually pursue bowhunting. They all find that bowhunting is a great complement to tournament archery. I believe the reason that more women aren’t involved in archery is that they have no knowledge of it, and they never have had an opportunity to shoot a bow. I guess I’m a classic example. I went on a vacation one summer to a nice resort, which was much like a Club Med. This resort had a wide variety of activities in which its guests could participate – like boating, tennis and archery. I’d never shot archery before, so I tried it and was amazed at how well I could shoot. I almost seemed to have magnetic arrows – I couldn’t miss. So, I spent the whole weekend shooting a bow. I couldn’t believe I could do it, and I really couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it. As soon as I got back home, I looked up the address of a local archery shop. I went down to the shop and bought my very first bow and arrows. Six weeks later I entered my first local competition. That’s where I met Michael Braden, who later become my coach, and still later became my husband.”

tournament archery

PSE’s Georgianna Braden Archery Tournament

One of the elements of archery that hooked Braden was that she didn’t have to be really strong to shoot the bow. The second most important factor was that she was successful in a short time. Because of the new designs and developments that have been made in bows, most women who come into the sport are amazed at how fast they can learn to shoot accurately. But, the real deciding factor that caused Georgianna Braden to dive into archery wholeheartedly was that she discovered she was good at it, and that she could improve and get better. “I have friends who run marathons, but I don’t have a desire to do that,” Braden explains. “I have friends who can exercise and lift a lot of weights, but I can’t do that. However, I do have the ability to pull my bow back, release the arrow and be competitive in archery. I’ve discovered that shooting a bow is an awful lot of fun.”

While Georgianna was having fun with competitive archery, she was also moving up in her ranking. She won first place in the NFAA Indoor Nationals, first place in the NFAA Outdoor National Field Championship twice, first place in the NFAA Marked 3D National Championship and won an ASA championship in the Known 40 division. So, in 7 years, Georgianna Braden has gone from being a woman on vacation with no experience with a bow, to winning national championships. “What I have noticed not only for myself but with other ladies who come into the sport of archery is that the sport almost becomes an addiction, because it’s so much fun, and you can make so many new friends. You want to practice and go to tournaments – both to visit with your friends and to compete. When people are having a good time and enjoying a sport, there’s a natural desire to do more of it. Also, I found a great coach (grin) who helped me improve my scores and talked me into competing in national tournaments. I learned that a lady could do more things and accomplish more in the sport of archery than she ever may have imagined.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Michael Braden Chooses Bowhunters First Bow


PSE Archery Compound Bow

PSE’S Michael Braden

Editor’s Note: Michael Braden of Houston, Texas, started shooting with PSE in the early 1990s, turned pro, shooting a PSE bow, in 1996, and won the ASA Rookie of the Year. Then in 2009, he came back to be a part of the PSE Pro Staff and has been shooting for PSE ever since, besides coaching shooters.

Michael, for a person who will start bowhunting this season, what bow do you recommend and why? I know that we have to consider the draw length and the weight that this new bowhunter can pull, but generally, what’s a good bow for a beginning bowhunter?

Braden: I really like the PSE EVO and believe it’s probably the best bow for most people getting into the sport of bowhunting. Its draw length is adjustable, and you can get the poundage light enough to start with so the individual can shoot the bow comfortably. You have to consider that when an archer first starts pulling a bow, he or she will not be using muscles that are used daily. But, as they begin to use those muscles, they’ll build that muscle strength fairly quickly. For that reason, buying a bow that’s light enough for you to start with and shoot accurately with is important. As your muscles get stronger, you don’t want to have to buy a new bow to compensate for your added strength. For instance, if you can only pull 50 pounds comfortably when you first start shooting your bow, within a few months, if you practice, you’ll build your strength up and be able to shoot a 60 or 65 pound bow. That’s the reason I like the EVO – it allows the hunter to dial the weight down, so he or she can pull the bow, shoot accurately and begin to build his or her muscles. Then by the time bow season comes in, the archer should be stronger than he or she was at the beginning and may want to increase the poundage. The EVO has the adjustments to let the archer do this. This bow will take an archer from being a beginner to being a top flight bowhunter without ever having to buy another bow. You can get a bow that maxes out at 60 pounds, but you can turn it down to start with to 47 or 49 pounds. There’s about a 10 to 12 pound range of adjustment.

PSE Hunts

PSE Bow Hunting

How much weight does a person really have to be able to pull in order to efficiently harvest a white tailed deer?

Braden: With the bows we have today, you could take a deer with a 40 pound bow. We don’t have to pull those heavy draw weights of 60-80 pounds like we did in the old days to be efficient as a hunter. Many men feel they have to pull the biggest, heaviest bows that are made, but you can harvest any animal on the North American continent with a 60 pound PSE bow. You just have to make sure what the laws require in each state where you will be hunting, as far as the bow weights that a hunter can use.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Michael Braden on Teaching Shooters


PSE Compound Bows

PSE’S Michael Braden

Editor’s Note: Michael Braden of Houston, Texas, started shooting with PSE in the early 1990s, turned pro, shooting a PSE bow, in 1996, and won the ASA Rookie of the Year. Then in 2009, he came back to be a part of the PSE Pro Staff and has been shooting for PSE ever since, besides coaching shooters.

Michael, when a bowhunter comes to you and says, “I’ve been bowhunting for several years, and I want you to check me and my bow out to help me learn to shoot better this year,” how do you coach this person?

Braden: Each piece of the puzzle on how to shoot better is just as important as any other piece of the puzzle. Shooting better is not only about your equipment, but your form and all the elements that go into shooting accurately. I always start with the archer first. I want the archer to understand his or her shot sequence, his form and the execution of a good shot. Next, I want to help strengthen his ability to hold the bow at full draw and aim correctly. Archery is an individual sport, so you have to make sure that the individual is married to a bow that fits his or her individual needs. For me, the first considerations are draw weight and draw length. I start out by making sure that the archer can pull the bow easily and comfortably, and that the draw length is matched perfectly to the individual. The archer is the core part of shooting accurately. Therefore, the equipment has to fit that individual as perfectly as possible. If the archer feels good about his form, shot sequence, bow mechanics and execution, he’ll feel much better about releasing the arrow when an animal presents a shot. Once the archer is in good shape for bow season, then we start considering different equipment and why the archer may shoot better with certain types of equipment rather than other kinds of equipment. We match the arrow and the broadhead to each bow and each archer.

We’re seeing a lot of women coming into the sport of archery, and especially into the sport of bowhunting. One of the most limiting factors seems to be the ladies’ concern about the strength required to pull bows. How do you usually start a lady in the sports of archery and bowhunting and convince her that she can become proficient enough to be a bowhunter?

Braden: Women, like men, come in different shapes, sizes and strength levels. I feel that the most important consideration when teaching a lady to shoot a bow is to start out shooting very light poundage, so she instantly sees that she can draw and hold a bow. She doesn’t have to be a super strong athlete. We have to make sure that the bow is not intimidating to a lady interested in the sport of archery. I want a lady to be able to draw the bow really comfortably, even if I need to start her out on a very low draw weight. As new archers begin to shoot their bows, they will build muscle strength very quickly. If they shoot and practice regularly, they will build muscles they don’t use every day. Through practice and repetition, they will strengthen and hone those muscles, so they can move up in poundage relatively quickly. I think their shooting enough arrows in practice sessions to learn something new every time they practice is very important. If they only can draw the bow back five times before they’re fatigued, they won’t be able to shoot enough arrows to progress quickly as archers. A beginner who only can get off 3-5 shots in a practice session will be very intimidated.

If you had a lady come to you and say, “I want you to teach me to shoot the bow,” and you didn’t know her already or know how strong she is, what weight of bow will you start her with, and how many arrows will you want her to shoot in a practice session?

Braden: I’d start her pulling a bow weight in the mid  to the upper 20 pound range and know that the lady make sure she could draw this weight comfortably. Hypothetically, I’d like to have a lady shooting 25-30 pounds and possibly shooting 30-40 arrows in a practice session, if she can shoot that poundage and that many arrows comfortably. From that baseline, we’ll begin to build her skill, muscle memory and the amount of weight she pulls.

How fast can you take this new lady, who never has shot a bow before, and have her hitting the target at 20 yards?

Braden: Within hours. Learning to shoot accurately, even for a beginner who’s never shot before, doesn’t take nearly as long now as it did several years ago. Today we have better equipment, better targets and better teaching methods. One of the big improvements in the speed at which a beginner learns is our ability to get the newcomer fitted correctly with the right bow. In past years, many newcomers would just buy a bow and try to learn to shoot it. Today, we teach, “Let’s see which bow you can shoot most comfortably and enjoy shooting, and then make the buying decision.” If the student is fitted properly with the right bow, he or she can be proficient enough to hunt in an extremely short time.

How many coaching sessions do you think would be required to take a person who’s never shot a bow before to a level of proficiency that allows that person to bowhunt?

Braden: I think 2-4 months of consistent practice and building up strength, understanding and knowledge of the sport, is enough time for anyone who really wanted to learn to bowhunt to become proficient enough to go into the field and take game when bow season arrives.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Michael Braden Discusses Young and Old Archers – PSE Has a Bow For Everyone


PSE Archery Bows

PSE’S Michael Braden

Editor’s Note: Michael Braden of Houston, Texas, started shooting with PSE in the early 1990s, turned pro, shooting a PSE bow, in 1996, and won the ASA Rookie of the Year. Then in 2009, he came back to be a part of the PSE Pro Staff and has been shooting for PSE ever since, besides coaching shooters.

Michael, you shoot almost all the disciplines of competitive archery, and you also coach almost all the disciplines. Why do you like competitive archery so much?
Braden: I guess it’s because archery fits everyone. There are categories of archery for every age, gender and skill level. There’s no reason that anyone can’t shoot competitive archery. We’ve even proven this with our physically impaired athletes – many of them compete in the Paralympic Games. So, there are no physical or age barriers that prevent anyone from coming into the sport.

Say you know a +65 year old man who’s retired, has bowhunted most of his life and wants to consider the possibility of shooting 3D archery now that he’s got some time on his hands. How are you going to teach him to shoot target archery?
Braden: The first step is to identify his draw length, and how much poundage he can pull comfortably. By using different cams, we can test some different draw cycles to find the one with which he’s most comfortable. If this gentleman can pull 55-60 pounds comfortably, that will open a number of doors to different types of bows and setups that he may enjoy shooting. He can buy a bow with a moderate draw cycle and use a faster cam. I think draw length and poundage that the person is comfortable with are the first and most important factors to consider when getting anyone into competitive archery. Then, we need to determine how harsh a cam he can draw comfortably. If he has a longer draw length and can pull fairly heavy poundages, he has the option of shooting almost any PSE bow. If he has a shorter draw length and can’t pull a lot of weight comfortably, we’ll look at some shorter axle to axle bows with lower brace heights, to help him get some speed out of his bow that he may need to be competitive. When we’re talking about target archery, one of the most critical factors is making sure that the bow fits the archer, and not trying to make the archer fit the bow.

Hunting at any Age

PSE Bow Hunting

As an archery coach, who is the oldest person you’ve ever coached to shoot competitive archery?
Braden: I had an older doctor friend of mine, and his objective was to be a proficient bowhunter. Money and time were no objects. He asked me to help him become the best bowhunter he could be, and I spent time preparing him for several different hunts. He went on his first grizzly bear bowhunt when he was in his mid-70s, and he had a successful hunt. He also took a moose with his bow on that hunt. At that time, he was pulling about 60 pounds.

Let’s look at the opposite end of the spectrum. How early do you start working with young archers?
Braden: I start with a youngster whenever he or she is old enough to pay attention and learn. I taught a youngster for several years, who is now 16 or 17, and she’s doing really well in FETA and NAA competitions. She also made the United States Junior Archery Team and will represent the United States at the Olympics in London. I also have my nieces shooting archery in their schools. I started them shooting when they were 10-12 years old, what I believe that 10-12 years old is a really good age to start a youngster shooting bows, They’re old enough to understand what you’re trying to teach them, and they learn quickly. They pay attention. Too, that’s the age when they’re exploring a lot of different sports.

With what bow would you start a youngster?
Braden: Both my nieces are shooting the PSE Chaos. PSE has this bow in a one cam or a two cam, so the youngster, coach or parent can choose which one of these two setups the youngster is prefers. I like the Chaos for youngsters, because it’s lightweight, the draw cycle is not very harsh, and the poundages go down very low. It also has modules that allow you to adjust the draw length as the youngster grows, a very important element for a bow to have when you’re starting children at 11-12 years old. They’ll hit growth spurts at different times and may grow a foot in a year, so you may have to change their draw lengths every 2 months when they’re in one of those growth spurts. Therefore, being able to adjust the bow as the child grows is important for several reasons. By adjusting the bow, you don’t have to buy a new bow, and the child doesn’t have to learn to shoot a different bow, since you can just adjust the one with which he or she is already comfortable.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


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