ALASKA – PART 3 – EQUIPMENT
I gave a lot of thought to the equipment I would use on this hunt. My final choices are listed below.
First off was selecting the bow for the hunt. I have chosen the new BowTech Tribute. This is one of the new dual cam bows that BowTech introduced this year. The bow weighs a little over four pounds and measures 31 ½ inches axle to axle. Brace height is 7 ½ inches which I like. The higher brace height usually means a little slower bow, but that’s totally acceptable to me since I’m more concerned about accuracy than speed. Factory specs still put the bow at over 300 FPS. You can check out the bow at BowTech’s website bowtecharchery.com
I’ll be shooting around 60-62 pounds which I believe will be adequate. To shoot more poundage I would have to give up some accuracy and that’s not an option.
For the last couple of years I have been shooting Carbon Express all carbon arrows. Previously I shot aluminum carbon arrows and was reluctant to change but I have been very pleased with the switch. The woven carbon fiber arrow is extremely durable and straightness is very good. I like them so well that I don’t use any other type of arrow. I’ll tell you how I fletched them in another column.
Check out their products at carbonexpressarrows.com
New Archery Products have been making great broadheads and other archery products for many years. I have taken numerous animals with their Thunderhead but last year tried the new Crossfire. The Crossfire flies like a field point, the tip is very sharp and the blades are durable. The blades vary from .027” on the cutting surface to .040” at the base. Last year I killed a caribou with it and was impressed by its performance.
NAP’s Thunderhead is a work horse of a broadhead. I have used in for many years and have taken a lot of game with it. It’s been so reliable and effective that it’s hard to go against it for dependability. I like the cutting diameter of the head and a bear’s hide shouldn’t present a problem. I’ve used it on several black bear hunts.
So I will use one of these two broadheads. I’ll make my decision later as to which one.
BowTech now offers a four and six arrow two piece quiver that I really like. I’ll be using the four arrow quiver on this trip. I chose the four arrow model for its lighter weight and figured that if I need more shots than that I’m in trouble. The quiver is solid and noiseless, two very important qualities in a bow quiver.
A bow wouldn’t be properly equipped without Limbsavers string silencers, stabilizer and cable slide. The new X-Press stabilizer combines a mini-S coil stabilizer with a stem and module from the modular stabilizer. I used a coil stabilizer last year and really liked it but I’m anxious to try the new X-Press. Steve Sim’s company makes great products and has spent a lot to time and money promoting archery and bowhunting. He’s a true friend of those of us who enjoy hunting and he works to protect our rights.
The Venom Peep Sight (scorpyontechnologies.com) was something new for me last year. It is an unusual peep in that the tether is solid rather than the standard tubing and is made of a synthetic material that absorbs light and sends it through the peep. Of course, this makes early morning and late evening shots a lot more feasible. The one I used in 2005 lasted throughout the season and I shot several animals with this peep. Dr. Bill Connelly, the inventor, is an energetic, intelligent man who has a lot more things on the drawing board including a couple of new peeps. I met him at the ATA show and was impressed by his energy and commitment to archery. His Rotaflex has certainly helped me build my upper body in the time I have used it and will continue when I return from my hunt.
I’ll either use a Carolina Archery Whisker Biscuit or the NAP Quiktune 2100 drop away rest. This will depend on how I feel after shooting each. The Whisker Biscuit is probably more durable since it has no moving parts, therefore less chance of problems in the field. However, drop away rests usually give better arrow flight. I’ll hold off on this decision until later.
My old reliable is the Spot Hogg Real Deal sight. I have used it for many years and have had a couple of the fiber optics break but overall it has performed flawlessly. I have never had a sight adjustment come loose on it even after lugging it over the world and through a lot of airports. It’s my favorite sight and probably the best on the market. Their website is spot-hogg.com.
Since I practice year round with broadheads I am a little tough on targets and I need something that will stand up to this type of abuse. The Cube from American Whitetail, Inc. can do the job. It is easy to remove broadheads from the Cube and the outer shell keeps it from shedding little pieces of foam over your yard. It’s the best target I’ve found. Check them out at archerytargets.com.
I expect the weather to be cool, maybe cold, and wet. A relatively new company, I. D. I. (Innovative Designs, Inc.) http://www.idigear.com has introduced some truly innovative outer wear. The parka I will be using is very light weight and yet is designed to provide protection from rain, snow and cold. I also have a set of bibs made from the same material. The unbelievably light weight material is advertised to keep you warm in sub-zero temperatures. They told me to only wear shorts and t-shirt under the suit. That will be a welcome change from wearing multiple layers of clothing and then shedding them as I get warmer.
After following Roy Goodwins hunt for polar bear I can bet he will be wearing IDI Gear the next cold weather hunt he goes on.
The vice president of sales, Gene Domian of IDI told me they have supplied clothing to the Olympics for the last two winter games. That should say something about the quality of their products.
My guide has told me not to worry about hip boots, that’s a relief. I will be wearing all rubber Wolverine boots and a pair of their Mammoth insulated boots. Wolverine wolverine.com makes great footwear and I have not had any problems with my feet when wearing them. They are well constructed and keep your feet dry and warm. Break-in time is usually minimal or non-existent in a pair of Wolverines. They are as tough as their namesake.
NEXT: Roy Keefer goes to Alaska. CONTINUED…