There are two types of hunters, when it comes to gear; The 'try everything and gotta have the best' and the 'grandpa killed deer with it in the 80's and the deer aint changed, why would I?' types.
We like our gear. It's part of the fun. It gives us confidence that when we get in the tree, we are prepared and giving it everything we've got. There are a ton of great products out there that work. It's a personal choice; this is what we choose.
I have been a Realtree guy right from the day I started hunting. Wait. Thats a lie, I'm pretty sure I wore jeans and a blaze orange jacket my first ever time, but when I bought my first set of Camo it was Realtree and a game changer. I have confidence that they will keep me concealed in the woods and I have confidence in the people behind the brand. When a company aligns with what I believe, and makes great products, there is no reason for me to look elsewhere.
15 years ago I went to a local dealer with my 2 older brothers and we came home with our first ever hunting bows; a Hoyt MagnaTec, XT2000 and an UltraTec. In all that time, I have used another brand one season, and switched right back to Hoyt. They're tack drivers, feel great to shoot and are tough as nails.
I shoot the Defiant 34" in particular because it is smooth, stable, and forgiving. I want to shoot the most accurate and forgiving bow I can, period.
Arrows- Easton FMJ 5MM
Just like the first ever bow I bought 15 years ago, the first ever arrows I shot were Easton XX75 Aluminums. When Easton introduced the FMJ with the throwback camo like my original set of arrows, I had to try them. They are heavy, and carry a ton of energy, with a small diameter- a deadly combination.
I shot a buck in Ohio this year at 32 yards from a tree stand. I had a complete pass through with the Rage stuck in the dirt and the Nocturnal end sticking up and glowing. These things pack the heat.
Broadheads- Rage Trypan
One of the most passionately debated topics in all of bowhunting is 'fixed vs expandable'. I choose expandable for a very simple reason- accuracy. I have had great success with Rage on everything from deer to bear and moose, because they fly true and create huge wound channels. Some will claim that you get better penetration with a fixed than expandable, but I select my arrow for penetration and my broadhead for accuracy. It works for me.
What can you say about Browning that hasn't already been said? They're a well built, accurate American classic since 1878. I shoot the A5 Autoloader for birds and the x-bolt rifles. They shoulder great, are well balanced and to me, the most important part of any gun is the trigger. Oh that trigger...
Optics are hugely contextual. I grew up bowhunting hunting small thick properties with only a range-finder because you could rarely see further than you could shoot. When I started hunting more ag and open terrain, it quickly became apparent why good optics can make all the difference. I use the Nikon Monarch 7i VR range-finder and love the image stabilization. Get a little buck fever and you can have a hard time ranging the big lad. haha. Not with this. For Binos I have 2 sets; Monarch 7's and Laserforce Laser Range-Finding depending on the scenario. The Laserforce are a must when you need to range at far gun distances.
Packs- Alps Outdoorz
We may not be rocky mountain elk hunters, but a quality pack is still just as important. I look for something that is light, comfortable, reliable, and keeps me organized. There is nothing worse than getting into a tree, opening your pack and having an item squashing a water bottle. You might as well put a neon sign in your tree. Alps packs tick all the boxes, and keep us organized when we are sitting all day.
When selecting waterfowl ammo, I look for consistent patterns and knock down power. HeviShot delivers both. Not to brag, but... They call me sky blaster, because every once in a while I knock birds out of the sky that other guys don't even bother shooting at. Haha. We all know it's not the shooter ;).
Ring? haha yeah. I don't like shooting/hunting with a metal wedding ring. I never have. It feels bulky and I don't want it scratching my bow. Mike first starting wearing Qalo rings so he could have ring on in the gym and I followed suit, so I could could have something comfortable on my finger when shooting. If its on your body, and makes you feel comfortable while shooting, it's gear.
That's it. It's what we use. Send us a note if you have any questions, we love talkin gear.