Does A Longer Axle-To-Axle Bow Hinder Maneuverability?
“You going to take that log into the backcountry?” The words startled me. It was 3 a.m. and I assumed I had the public-access trailhead to myself. Consumed with last-minute gear checks, I failed to take notice of another hunter creeping up behind me.
He was a nice guy, and after a quick exchange it was clear he was a savvy elk addict. Most of our conversation, however, wasn’t about wallows, rubs or big bulls. It was about his amazement that I was toting a bow that measured 34 inches from axle to axle into the elk woods. When I explained I also used the rig for treestand whitetails and ground blind turkeys, his jaw nearly hit the ground.
His last words before disappearing into the darkness of the mountainside were, “That bow’s gonna hurt your maneuverability, and one of these days it’s going to cost you an animal.”
Less than 24 hours later I was back at my truck with my last load of tasty elk meat. It had been a quick and eventful hunt, and after crawling up on an unsuspecting cow, I made the decision to loose an arrow. The stalk was long — across an open meadow and through a heavy patch of timber on hands and knees. Not once did I question the maneuverability of my bow. Later that fall, I skewered a pair of Pope & Young whitetails from a treestand. Come spring, a number of toms and jakes fell victim to my 34-inch axle-to-axle tack driver.
I tell you this not to boast about my harvests but to make a point. I like longer axle-to-axle bows. I love their steadiness at full draw. I love their downrange accuracy. I love the shooting confidence they provide.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve received a number of emails about 2019’s crop of new bows. Most of the questions go something like this: “I’ve noticed many manufacturers are offering longer axle-to-axle bow models this year. I’ve always shot a longer bow better. I love them for spot-and-stalk hunting, 3-D shooting and target archery. Is it true, though, that they hinder your ability out of a treestand or ground blind?”
Here’s the deal: Archery is a very personal sport. The bow you choose for your in-the-field, 3-D or target archery pursuits should be the one that provides the best feel and function for you. If a longer axle-to-axle bow gives you goosebumps and creates an ear-to-ear grin each time you trigger your release, then that’s the bow for you. Archery is meant to be fun.
As for a longer axle-to-axle bow hindering your in-the-field maneuverability, I say don’t worry about it. I’ve hunted with a number of bows between 34 and 36 inches, and not once has it cost me an opportunity.
Recently, I’ve been putting Prime’s new-for-2019 Logic CT5 through its paces, and I can tell you without hesitation that it’s a tack driver. Measuring 35 inches between the axles, this rig tips the scales at 4.5 pounds without attached accessories and hits speeds up to 340 fps.
The coolest thing about this bow, though, is that it was designed for one purpose: to make you more accurate. After all, accuracy is the difference between whether or not you put backstraps on the grill.
And while we will get into the specifics of what makes this bow so accurate in a future article, I can tell you without hesitation that it will not at all hinder your ability to execute shots from a treestand or ground blind. How do I know?
Late in December, with only one tag remaining in my pocket, I made the five-hour drive to the Sooner State to hunt a fall turkey. I hung a treestand in a patch of woods littered with turkey sign. The tree I chose was a tangled locust with a massive cedar behind it. The eyeballs of a turkey miss nothing, and I wanted a tree with good cover. Plus, I wanted to see how my Logic CT5 would perform out of a compact treestand. On the hunt’s second evening, I skewered a bearded hen from a distance of 26 yards.
In the weeks that followed, I continued my testing. I shot 3-D targets from inside a ground blind and out of a treestand. I tried to put the bow in situations where maneuverability would be a problem, and I simply couldn’t find one.
Remember this: The difference in length between a 32-inch axle-to-axle bow and a 35-inch axle-to-axle bow is the length of credit card. When you stop and think about it that way, a 35-inch bow doesn’t seem like such a log to be carrying around.
Be sure to check out the video that further debunks this longer-axle-to-axle myth.