Deer & Deer Hunting’s Top 20 New Bowhunting Products for 2018

The 2018 Archery Trade Association Trade Show was a whirlwind of new product reveals, gear tests, interviews, walking and talking to new and old friends – all revolving around bowhunting and bowhunting gear. There is really a whole lot to be excited about in the bowhunting world in 2018, with cool, high-performance gear available for every budget in every category.

Now that the show has ended and all of the new products unveiled for 2018, the editors here at Deer & Deer Hunting have been able to sort through our interviews, notes and videos, and have picked through all of the outstanding new bowhunting stuff to come up with our own best-of list.

We believe there is something for everyone on this list, in just about every category. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Now, without further ado, and in no particular order, are the 2018 Deer & Deer Hunting Top 20 Bowhunting Gear Awards:

 

1. TenPoint Stealth NXT Crossbow

Specifications: 

Standard Package Includes: TenPoint RangeMaster Pro Scope mounted on a machined aluminum 7/8-inch fixed-dovetail mount. Cocking device: ACUdraw PRO, ACUdraw, or ACUdraw 50 SLED cocking device. Quiver: 3-Arrow Instant Detach Quiver; ambidextrous side-mount quiver bracket
Arrows: Three Evo-X CenterPunch premium carbon arrows with 100-grain practice points
Noise Dampening: Integrated Sound Dampening System. Retail: $1,449.99.

 

Dan Schmidt says:

“When TenPoint Crossbow Technologies set out to make its narrowest and most accurate crossbow to date, they didn’t pull any punches. The Stealth NXT is only 6 inches axle-to-axle, shoots up to 410 feet per second, and packs 1-inch groups. Also, it’s much quieter than most other high-speed crossbows that I’ve ever shot.”

 

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2. Realtree Edge Camo

Specifications:

Warm grays and browns that are found in nature year-round. Strategically placed pockets of shadows. A variety of crisscrossing branches and limbs. Photo-realistic images.

Gordy Krahn says:

“Some camouflage designs blend in with the environment, while others use digital elements to disrupt the human form. This new pattern does both — very effectively. Realtree has hit another home run.”

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3. Mathews Triax Compound

Specifications:

Weight: 4.4 pounds. Crossentric® cam system. 75 and 85 percent let-off options. 50, 60 and 70 pound draw weight options. 24.5- to 30.5-inch draw length options. 28 inches from axle to axle. Retail: $1,099.

Dan Schmidt says:

“It’s almost impossible to believe how these compound bows get better each year, but they do. If you don’t believe me, just test-shoot one at your local archery shop. The new Triax is possibly the most compact, lightweight and quietest hunting bow I’ve shot right out of the box. I’m impressed with the new buit-in 3D Damping technology, and the fact that it has a 6-inch (forgiving) brace height. It’s fast, too, at 343 fps.”

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4. PSE Xpedite Compound

Specifications:

Weight: 4.4 lbs. Evolve Cam System with 65-75 percent or 80-90 percent let-off modules. 60-, 65- or 70-pound draw weight options. 24.5- to 30-inch draw length range. Four different color/camo schemes. 33-inch axle-to-axle length. Up to 360 fps. Retail: $1,099.

Chris Berens says: 

“After shooting the Xpedite three things really caught my attention. First, obviously, is how fast it is. Second, the bow is incredibly well balanced and stable without a stabilizer or extra weight. And along with that, it is an incredibly smooth bow to draw and shoot. There is no extreme valley or violent hand shock. For a bow capable of ripping an arrow at 350 to 360 fps, the Xpedite shoots like a dream.”

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5. NAP Mantis Blind

Specifications: 

50 percent lighter than traditional hub-style blinds.Durable 600 Denier oxford weave poly fabric resists rips and tears. Dragnet Window System offers adjustability and concealment. No roof hubs. Peaked areas are easier to conceal and snow/rain roll right off. Retail: $199.99

Dan Schmidt says:

“Don’t let the outward looks fool you. The unusual shape makes it perfect for unusual hunting situations, and its interior is huge — more than 38 square feet of floor space. Plus, the two-hub, sloped design will make it one of the best bowhunting blinds on the market.”

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6. RAGE X-TREME 4-BLADE BROADHEAD

Specifications:

100 grains. 2.3-inch cutting diameter. .030-inch thick wing blades. 7/8-inch cut-on-contact tip. For use with both compound bows and high-speed crossbows. Retail: $34.99 for pack of two.

Dan Schmidt says:

“This promises to be a stone-cold killer in the deer woods. If the original Rage X-treme wasn’t enough, Feradyne added a cut-on-contact feature to the already wicked performance of a 2.3-inch expandable. I just have a hunch that this one is going to leave a mark — and put deer down faster than before.”

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7. Garmin Xero Bow Sight

Specifications: 

Built-in laser rangefinder that compensates for elevation angle distances. Dual-color LED pins. Customizable bow/arrow profiles. Laser Locate waypoint feature. Silent button trigger. Retail: $999.

Gordy Krahn says:

“This is one of the most innovative bow sights I’ve ever seen. No more reaching for your rangefinder at the most inopportune time. With this range-finding sight you get two game-changing tools rolled up into one.”

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8. NAP KillZone SwingFire Broadhead

Specifications:

100 grains. Trophy tip. Rated for today’s fastest compounds and crossbows. $39.99 for three broadheads.

Dan Schmidt says:

“It appears that NAP has done it again with this first-ever broadhead that independently shifts four different and opposing cutting surfaces to reduce friction and drag. The blades on the Killzone Swingfire create less resistance, which improves penetration and helps momentum. Plus, it’s rated to 450 fps.”

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9. Bloodsport Justice Arrow

Specifications:

Straightness: .001-inch. Available in 500, 400, 350 and 300 splines. Outside diameters from .25- to .265-inch. Weights: 6.2 to 8.7 gpi. Rugged Wrap construction. Blood Ring Technology. Includes 32-grain Reliable Outsert Component System. Sold in packs of six. Retail: $79.99 

Chris Berens says:

“Bloodsport Archery continues its innovative designs with the all-new, small-diameter Justice arrow. As the lightest and fastest arrow in the company’s lineup, this arrow will surely turn heads and gain fans with not only its speed potential — but also its impressive straightness and tough, Rugged Wrap construction that will allow for field-point accuracy and deadly penetration.” 

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10. TenPoint Crossbow Technologies EVO-X Crossbow Bolt

Specifications:

Straightness: .001-inch. Grain-weight tolerance: +/- 1-grain per pack. Weight: 445 grains (including the 100-grain insert). FOC: 17 percent. Vanes: 3.5-inch Bohning X. Inside diameter: .297. Retail: $89.99 for six bolts.

Dan Schmidt says:

“This is just one of several new products under the EVO-X brand of accessories. This bolt is designed for the newer high-speed (400+ fps crossbows). It is constructed from modulus carbon fiber at 33 MSI and wrapped in an exclusive carbon weave for straightness to within .001. Each package of six bolts is weight-grain matched to within 1-grain per arrow.”

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11. Mission Sub-1 Crossbow

Specifications:

350 fps with a 400-grain bolt. 30.25 inches total length. 10.7 inches when cocked (13.8 inches uncocked). 80 percent let-off. Total weight: 7.5 pound. Draw weight: 200 pounds. Retail: Starting at $1,499.

Gordy Krahn says:

“This is one of the smoothest, most accurate crossbows I’ve ever shot. With its AR rifle style customizable fit and feel, it has all of the features that make horizontal bowhunters weak in the knees. But the thing I like the most about this bow is its patented Benchmark Fire Control system that allows the shooter to safely de-cock the bow without disengaging the safety, pulling the trigger or shooting a bolt. Want to go Medieval on the local whitetails this fall? This is the bow for you.”

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12. Double Bull SurroundView 360 Blind

Specifications:

Dimensions: 60-by-60-by 70 inches. Weight: 23 pounds (with bag). Silent-slide closure. 180-degree full-front shooting window. Five shoot-through ports. Retail: $299, $399 and $499, depending on version.

Dan Schmidt says:

“One of the most innovative new hunting products I’ve seen in years. Sitting in this bind is almost like looking through a one-way mirror — you can see everything in all directions, but if you stand on the outside, it looks like a regular blind. You just have to see it to believe it.”

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13. Ravin 20 Crossbow

Specifications:

430 fps. 13-inch power stroke. 164-ft./lbs of kinetic energy. 12-pound draw force. 6 inches axle to axle when cocked. 34.5 inches total length. Weight: 7.1 pounds. Retail: $2,649.99

Gordy Krahn says:

“The thing I really like about this crossbow is that it’s super compact, just 6 inches axle-to-axle when cocked. Great for those tight treestands and pop-up ground blinds, where space is a premium. But don’t let its small size fool you. This bow delivers arrows at a smokin’ 430 fps with 164 foot-pounds of energy.”

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14. Muzzy Trocar HB Ti Broadhead

Specifications:

100 grains. Titanium ferrule with chisel tip. Stainless steel retention collar. Serrated 1-inch fixed blades feature a single bevel to induce accuracy enhancing spin. Expandable blades add 1-5/8 inches of cutting diameter. Pack of three. Retail: $49.99

Chris Berens says:

“This broadhead looks nasty. Titanium. Serrated edges. Spin-inducing bevels. 2-5/8 inches of cutting diameter. The latest Muzzy is going to leave some massive blood trails in its wake come deer season this fall.”   

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15. Beman Defender Elite Arrow

Specifications:

Straightness: +/- .002 inch in 400, 340 and 300 splines. Adjustable S-nocks. Precision machined inserts. Retail: Not yet available.

Chris Berens says:

“Deer hunters have depended on Beman carbon arrows for many years, and the Defender Elite continues that legacy. This American-made arrow has the toughness and flat-shooting performance that hard-core bowhunters require.”

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16. Hawk Ladder Stand Hercules Cross Grip Safety System

Specifications:

Hercules Braided Steel Cable System applies 200 pounds of gripping force on the tree – before the top strap is attached. Dual ratchets help cables bite into the tree for safe installation and support. Available on four Hawk ladder stand models. 

Chris Berens says:

“This is a game changer for installing ladder stands on your deer hunting land. The strong, simple design of the Hawk Hercules System eliminates the shaky, unstable and downright dangerous part of putting up a stand until the top strap is attached. With this system, once that top strap is secure, this treestand will be rock solid.”

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17. IQ Bow Sight

Specificaitons:

OLED display with blue yardage and yellow battery indicator. 2 min scan mode. External trigger with adhesive. Separate red dot visible laser for calibration. Cr2 battery. Yardage displayed is always horizontal distance (angle compensation built-in). 5-pin model only. Retail: $349.99.

Gordy Krahn says:

“This bow sight is a great training tool for developing consistent shooting form. But it also provides quick reference in the field, when you need it the most. Its retina lock technology gives the shooter instant feedback that will identify even the slightest torque or anchor point change. Its micro adjustment knobs allow quick and simple elevation and windage adjustments.”

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18. Trophy Ridge React H4 Sight

Specifications:

Four bright, .019-inch pins designed for bows shooting 195 to 330 fps. Tool-less windage and elevation adjustments. Ballistix Copolymer construction. Adjustable rheostat light. React Technology provides automatic pin adjustments. Retail: $99.99

Chris Berens says:

“With just two sight pin adjustments, the React Technology will automatically set the remaining pins for spot-on bowhunting accuracy. And now available for bows that shoot a little slower – for only 99 bucks – Trophy Ridge nailed it with this bow sight.”

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19. Cuddeback CuddeLink Cell:

Specifications:

CuddeLink is not cell service or Wi-Fi. CuddeLink is a proprietary wireless mesh network that allows the cameras to communicate with each other. CuddeLink transmits images from remote cameras to a home image collection camera. No monthly fee, unless you elect to use cell service. Typical transmission distance is from a quarter- to a half-mile in wooded environments. Numerous camera options available, starting at $199.

Gordy Krahn says:

“What could be better than being able to collect images from up to 15 remote cameras on one strategically placed camera? The answer is having the ability to view all of those images on your mobile device. With Cuddeback’s new CuddeLink Cell system you can spy on deer without setting foot in the woods.”

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20. Bear Cruzer Compound

Specifications:

Peak draw weight range: 5 to 70 pounds. Draw length range: 12 to 30 inches. 70 percent let-off. Up to 315 fps. 30-inch axle-to-axle length. 6-inch brace height. Seven color/camo options. Retail: $399.99

Chris Berens says:

“Just an outstanding value for bowhunting gear. This really is literally a bow package that can grow with a bowhunter with such a wide range of adjustability, not only as they age and grow, but also as they become more confident and can handle accessory upgrades for higher performance. I just wish we had bows like this when I was getting started in archery and bowhunting.” 

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