By Nancy Jo Adams

In January each year, competitive archers and bowhunters across the nation anticipate news from the largest annual archery trade-show known as the Archery Trade Association Show (ATA). This show encompasses a massive venue where manufacturers of the newest archery gear and hunting accessories, along with the notable names of bow makers in the industry convene to share those new releases with retailers and the media.

The ATA trade show is not open to the general public so all eyes are on social media, blogs, forums and magazines to get first hand news of the unveiling of these products. Most are seeking the industry’s newest releases in product and gear and many are looking for their next hunting or competition bow. This year, there was a record high of new bow introductions and releases.

I spent the majority of my first day on the trade show floor in search of the newest bows to hit the market for 2016. I found a variety of compound and crossbows with some really neat features and designs. It would make for a long read to bring all of those I found and the details of each so I wanted to touch on a few crowd favorites that were introduced on the trade show floor; an array of bows to fit various archers and bowhunters from men, women and youth.

The largest unveiling of bows took place at the Bowtech Brands booth on the first morning of ATA. Bowtech Brands launched nine new bows and crossbows: Bowtech BT-X, Bowtech Fanatic 2.0, Excalibur Micro 355, Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400, Excalibur Micro 315, Excalibur Sapphire, Diamond Deploy SB, Diamond Prism and the Stryker Katana 385. The flagship bow that everyone was waiting anxiously to be unveiled is the Bowtech BT-X. The Bowtech BT-X features the all-new Micro Sync Dial for precise timing without a bow press. Speed, balance and strength in an ultra compact, lightweight design with the revolutionary skeletal riser, CarbonCore limbs, OverDrive binary cams, PowerShift Technology and FLX Guard to terminate riser torque for extreme accuracy. The Bowtech BT-Xweighs in at only 4.2 pounds. Available in a 28” and 31” Cam sets in a finish option of BlackOps and four camo patterns.

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Bowtech BT-X

The Bear Archery debut was much anticipated with the Escape, Escape SD and BR33 at this year’s show. The Escape is engineered for speed in a lightweight option. With the smooth drawing H15 Hybrid cams, a forgiving 6” brace height, Bear Hinge Guard designed to reduce lateral torque and the bi-dimensional adjustable top and bottom offset string suppressors, the Escape just may be the smoothest shooting bow in the Bear lineup. The 7075 aluminum riser and 32” axle-to-axle makes it the perfect bow for stalk, stand and blind hunting. The Bear Archery BR33 hybrid cam bow was designed with a 7” brace height, Bear Hinge Guard reduces lateral torque and EAZ hybrid cam offers a smooth draw cycle, speed and accuracy. All three models are available in Realtree Xtra green, shadow, sand and olive. Also available, the Escape SD featuring a specifically designed cam system for shorter draw lengths from 23-1/2” to 27-1/2”.

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Bear Archery Escape

TenPoint Crossbow Technologies displayed the first carbon reverse-draw crossbow on the market, the Carbon Nitro RDX. The custom RDX Reverse Draw Technology, DynaFLIGHT 97 string and cables with a 165-pound draw results in smoking speeds of 385 fps with the 370-grain Pro-Lite Arrow. The stock features an adjustable rubber butt plate and cheek piece for a perfect fit. Weighing in at 7.8 pounds with a 10” axle-to-axle when cocked, this crossbow should be one of the most convenient in TenPoint’s lineup to hunt with regardless if the hunter is stand or stalk hunting.

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TenPoint Carbon Nitro RDX

Dalton Archery introduced the Toxin Crossbow Series: the 135, 150 and 180. The Toxin 150 is a quiet shooting, well-balanced crossbow with a rated speed of 380 fps. The Toxin soft touch finish tactical stock is short with a high-energy, narrow limb system. The crossbow weighs 7.6 pounds with a Bullpup stock design, hi-energy cam system, anti dry fire safety, barrel dampener and Sims Limbsaver technology. The Toxin 150 is available in Next-G Vista with a standard forearm or in Carbon Black with a tactical forearm that includes an adjustable grip.

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Darton Archery Toxin 150

The patented Scorpyd reverse draw crossbows were all the rave on the floor and are currently rated as the fastest crossbow on the market at 440 fps. The Scorpyd Crossbow lineup includes the Orion Extreme, Ventilator Extreme and V-Tec Extreme. The anti-dry fire, patented reverse draw technology is available with a non-folding butt stock and the Acu-Draw crank cocking device in the Orion Extreme or with a folding stock for greater ease when’s sing a rope cocker on the Ventilator and V-Tec Extreme crossbow and each is available in 110, 135, 160 and 175 pound pull draw weights.

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Scorpyd Orion Extreme

For the short draw archers, Xpedition Archery unveiled the Xcentric SD. This bow allows those short draw archers to no longer settle for bows with lower draw weights. The Xcentric SD has a forgiving 6” brace height, dual limb stop hybrid XS cam system, a 32” axle-to-axle and weighs less than four pounds. The Xcentric SD is available in a combination of riser and limb colors.

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Xpedition Archery Xcentric SD

Hoyt introduced the Defiant Series and Defiant Carbon Series. The new DFX cam & ½, UltraFlex limb technology, Zero Torque cable guard system, with the 6”-7” brace heights and 31-34” axle-to-axle offers smooth draw, forgiveness and accuracy. The finish on the Defiant and Defiant Carbon is available in various finishes and camo patterns.

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Hoyt Defiant Carbon

Making a strong showing with the Phenix Series, Martin Archery unveiled the Hellfire 35 and Inferno 33. These bows are designed with the new Symmetry M4 Cams, 6 ½” brace height, the first ever Zero Lean Technology quad ring string system, Bridge Variant Wide Riser, and Gordon Glass limbs offering a smooth draw, quiet and vibration free release and fast speeds in a hunting bow. The Phenix Series is available in KolorFusion Kryptek Highlander and Black Smoke.

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Martin Archery Hellfire 35

Field & Stream’s 2015 “Best of Best” Machine Crossbow Award Winner, Killer Instinct, unleashed the Furious 370FRT crossbow with TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology and two-pound trigger for a fast 370 fps shot. The low creep BCY strings, Deadening Noise & Vibration Silencers, military-grade FRT combined with the Hogue over molded grip provides stealthy speed and accuracy. The ultra-compact Furious with a 13.5” loaded axle span and folding foot stirrup weighs in at just 7 pounds keeping is it in the lightweight class.

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Killer Instinct Furious 370FRT

The new Halon by Mathews Archery features the Crosscentric Cam inspired by Mathews NO CAM technology for a quiet, smooth draw and accuracy. The Advanced Vectoring System maintains cam synchronization and improves energy storage. The tough dual bridged riser design and torsional rigid limbs with the Flatback grip and true center nocking point allows the archer to make a smooth draw, straight, level nock travel and a powerful shot with speeds up to 353 fps. The Halon is available in the new Lost Camo HD, Lost Camo OT, black, tactical and stone finishes.

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Matthews Archery Halon

The Def-Con 6 by Obsession Bows received a lot of attention with the patented two tracks FX1 DS Cam with PerFX system and anti torque roller guard. Available to a wide range of archers with draw lengths from 23 ½” to 30” and draw weights ranging from 40-80 pounds. Weighing in at only 4.1 pounds and available in over 18 finishes, this bow is not only fast with speeds up to 360 fps, it is customizable to any archers’ liking.

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Obsession Bows Def-Con 6

These new releases are not, by far, the only bows introduced at ATA for 2016. Crossbows seemed to be very popular and several traditional bow makers announced new bows. All of the bows highlighted and the new releases can be viewed at the manufacturer’s websites. The technology and design never ceases to amaze the retailers and consumers as it seems every year a newer design, cam system, noise dampening system or some other tweak improves the draw, release, speed or overall appearance of bows. Just when you think a bow cannot be improved or designed any better, the designers and manufacturers prove that wrong.

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