First Look: The Best New Hunting Bows Of 2020

More stable. Easier (and faster) to tune. If you can't find a new favorite in the class of 2020 hunting bows, you're not looking close enough.

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

More stable. Easier (and faster) to tune. If you can’t find a new favorite in the class of 2020 hunting bows, you’re not looking close enough.

MathewsVXR31Stone 900Mathews VXR 28 & VXR 31.5. Can you have a compact hunting bow that shoots like a much-longer target bow? With its new VXR hunting flagship Mathews says you can, and it all starts with this bow’s extended six-bridge riser. Available in both 28- ($1,099) and 31.5-inch ($1,199) axle-to-axle lengths, these bows are powered by the award-winning, efficient and accurate Crosscentric Cam system, producing speeds up to 344 fps. Its SwitchWeight Technology allows shooters to change peak draw length and draw weight in 5-pound increments via the cam’s module instead of changing limbs. Available in 60-, 65-, 70- and 75-pound peak weights, each set of mods is programmed for an incredibly smooth draw and maximum efficiency. Mods are available in 80- or 85-percent letoff for further customization. A cool new feature for 2020 is the option to add the new Silent Connect System (SCS). This optional kit enables hunters to attach Mathews’ new bow rope and bow sling in the field quickly and silently. You’ll also find a dovetail mounting system designed to attach the UltraRest Integrate MX by QAD, and a new Ambush Green finish option, along with seven other solid and camo options.

BowtechRevoltXwoodlands 900Bowtech Revolt X. Well known for the consistent performance of its award-winning flagship bows, for 2020 Bowtech has turned it up a notch with the new 33-inch axle-to-axle, 6.5-inch-brace height Revolt X ($1,199) that’s built to deliver an IBO speed of 340 fps. Maybe the biggest story is the patented new DeadLock Cam System designed for the ultimate in shot-to-shot precision, and the confidence that comes from knowing your bow is permanently tuned for peak accuracy. How does it work? Just move the cams left or right on the axles with a turn of a screw to position all the energy directly behind the arrow. Then lock it down for permanent, repeatable accuracy. You’ll also find Deadlock locking limb pockets and Deadlock cable containment, and your choice of 13 bow finishes that include new Woodland camo (shown).

PSEevoNXT33 900

PSE EVO NXT 33. Avid shooters spoke up, and PSE listened. The EVO NXT series is a direct response to shooter feedback and the result is bows typified by the 33-inch axle-to-axle, 7-inch-brace height EVO NXT 33 ($1,099.99; 314-322 fps) that delivers reduced hand shock, thanks to laid-back limbs that cancel excess energy, producing a true dead-in-hand feel. A longer riser gives you a steadier hold, and it’s built to be the quietest bow PSE has ever made. The all-new ComfortGrip System gives you the choice of the proven, PSE-engineered riser grip technology for lower torque, or the new molded grip overlay for greatest comfort. And the new lower stabilizer mount location increases the pendulum effect for a more accurate shot.

EliteKureninja-black 900
Elite KURE. Elite knows bowhunters can’t achieve ultimate accuracy without a well-tuned bow, and arguably, no company is making that easier to achieve in 2020 with its new S.E.T. (Simplified Exact Tuning) Technology found on the new flagship KURE compound ($999.99). It measures 31 13/16 inches axle to axle, weighs 4.6 pounds and delivers speeds to 335 fps. S.E.T. enables micro-adjustments to the cam attitude (at the limb pocket!) to achieve perfect arrow and broadhead flight. Paired with Elite’s new Vibe X limb dampeners, the KURE is built to deliver a smooth, quiet and shock-free shot. You’ll also find the all-new Elite ASYM Tri-Track Cams with Versa Mod System rotating modules, which offer Elite’s famous high letoff and smooth draw cycle, but now with the ability to adjust draw length, cable stops, and limb stops.

OB Evolution6 900Obsession Evolution 6. With a goal of catering to what its customers value most, the 2020 Obsession bow line received some serious adjustment/tuning upgrades, including the new Evolution 6 ($999.99) flagship that measures 33 inches axle to axle, with a 6-inch brace height. Maybe the most notable is the new 4-Track Cam system that delivers high speeds (to 338 fps) and a smooth draw cycle, while providing extreme (90 percent) letoff. The 4-Track Cam features an integrated yoke system to balance limb tip load and correct cam lean for easy tuning, while the one-piece limb pocket improves alignment for increased accuracy. Choose from 18 hunting riser finishes, with still more color options for limbs, strings, and cams. BearStatusEKOAlpine 900
Bear Status EKO. Sporting what Bear is calling its most-revolutionary and highest-letoff cam ever, the EKO Cam System, the new 33-inch axle-to-axle Status EKO ($999.99, 344 fps) is all about customizing the shooting experience to the individual. The user can customize the letoff to four different positions (75, 80, 85, or 90 percent) without sacrificing performance and maintaining draw length. The system also eliminates cam lean through the entire rotation for consistently accurate arrow flight using the EKO’s ground-breaking Spiral Cable Track. As the cable pay load goes up, the Spiral Cable Track moves the cable load closer to the center of the cam, preventing cam lean. The all-new Align Lok level is integrated directly into the riser to aid in the set-up process while working in conjunction with your bowsight to align second and third axis levels.XpedMX16 900

Xpedition MX-16. With a goal of “breaking the mold” for 2020, Xpedition has rolled out several new bows including its new MX-16 ($1,099) flagship, built with a goal of delivering maximum durability and the smoothest shot cycle on the market. It also features enhanced limb pockets, a forged riser, and cams that can customize the backwall. The newly designed HDS cam allows users to manipulate the feel and performance, with the ability to run limb or cable stops. The limb stop creates a rock-solid back wall and the cable stop allows for a more cushioned feel. The 6-inch brace height MX-16 measures 32.75 inches axle to axle, weighs 4.2 pounds and delivers speeds to 352 fps. Six available riser colors and three limb colors include Realtree Excape.

PrimeBlack 900
Prime Archery Black Series. Prime fans are smiling even wider in 2020. A big reason why is this all-new four-bow lineup that offers some fairly revolutionary adjustment features; Prime’s ground-breaking ROTO Cam technology features a rotating module on the cam that allows for easy and precise draw length adjustments, a huge upgrade from the line’s draw-length-specific cams. The new adjustability benefits both dealers and archers alike; users can adjust the bow to any draw length that the bow accommodates with nothing more than an allen wrench and minor adjustments to the rotating modules. Dealers won’t need to keep stock of additional cams or modules or spend any extra time in a bow press swapping cams or mods to fit their customers. The four new Black Series bows ($999-$1,199) include: The Black 1 (31 inches axle to axle, 7-inch brace ht., 332 fps), Black 3 (33 inches axle to axle, 6.5-inch brace ht., 337 fps), Black 5 (35 inches axle to axle, 6-inch brace ht., 343 fps) and Black 9 (39 inches axle to axle, 7-inch brace ht., 325 fps).HoytCarbonRX-4Alpha 900
Hoyt Carbon RX-4 Alpha. Enjoy shooting short bows that won’t weigh you down? For 2020 Hoyt’s got a few of the shortest premium bows it’s ever built, including the Carbon RX-4 Alpha ($1,699) that measures just 29.5 inches axle to axle and weighs just 3.9 pounds. As you might guess it’s built for tight spaces and stealthy maneuverability, and engineered for bowhunters who hunt from treestands, ground blinds and take on extreme backcountry hunts where every ounce counts. With its ZTR cams (the company is calling these the smoothest, hardest back wall, quietest cam it’s ever offered) paired with its 6 1/8-inch brace height, you should expect this bow to make speeds to 342 fps.



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