Editors Blog

Archery: Best Bows, Arrows, Sights and Broadheads

I need to start this column by saying thanks to all of you loyal readers and Deer Talk Now viewers who have taken the time to write, call and email us over the past few weeks. The response to the new DTN format has been incredible.

Among the most-asked questions this year revolves around an interest in what I, personally, use while bowhunting. I’m flattered that people are interested, but I must preface all of this by stating that I am no archery geek. I’m a bowhunter, plain and simple. I love shooting new archery equipment, but I leave the tech stuff to my buddies. At the end of the day, I just want a no-nonsense setup that requires minimal tuning. I’m one of those “set it and forget it” kind of guys. I just want to climb in my stands and hunt.

The setup I’m using this year is hands-down the best I’ve had in the 18 years I’ve been here at Deer & Deer Hunting. For the next 7 days, I will go through the Top 7 most important facets of my rig, item by item, and explain what I’m using down to the smallest of items. Let’s start with the main piece of equipment, the bow.

Heli M bow

The Mathews Heli-M

1. Mathews Heli-M compound bow.

This sounds like a broken record, but where in the world does Matt McPherson come up with these ideas? I’ve been shooting Mathews bows for more than 15 years, and I’ve continually said that the newest, latest model leaves nothing left for innovation. And I’m continually proven wrong.

McPherson pulled out all of the stops when he designed the Hēlim (pronounced “heelie-em”). I’ve shot the Mathews MQ-32, the Q2, the Drenalin and the Reezen, but this new bow is head and shoulders above them all, if that’s even possible. It weighs a miniscule 3.5 pounds yet can shoot 332 feet per second. However, I have my Hēlim set at only 54 pounds. But even at that low weight, the bow produces enough energy for me to pack tight groups all the way out to 60 yards, using only four sight pins. Don’t ask me how this is possible. I’ll let the photos do that:

archery targets

Deer & Deer Hunting Editor Dan Schmidt used his Mathews Heli-M to stack this four-shot group from different angles at 60, 50, 40 and 30 yards.

The Hēlim features the new advanced GeoGrid™ riser, Harmonic Stabilizer Lite, and a lightweight Reverse Assist Roller Guard which results in a super smooth draw. The Hēlim also packs two decades’ worth of single-cam advancements into the all-new Hēlim Cam. I’m probably shooting so accurately because of the generous 7-inch brace height.

The Hēlim isn’t cheap. It retails for well over $900.

Can a bowhunter get by with less? Certainly. But this bow has got to be considered the Cadillac of its class.

Looking for accessories for you bow? Check out the wide selection in our online store.