Ar­chery Tra­de As­so­ci­a­ti­on Show Danie Geel

SA Jagter Hunter - - INHOUD - By DANIE GEEL

This an­nu­al show in In­di­a­na­po­lis is the big­ge­st of its kind. In 2018, 659 exhi­bi­tors sho­wed off their goods in an exhi­bit spa­ce co­ve­ring 52 800 s­qua­re feet.

The num­ber of pro­ducts and brands on show was o­ver­w­hel­ming – I ha­ven’t e­ven he­ard of so­me of the bow ma­nu­fac­tu­rers that we­re the­re. Whi­le ma­ny of the new pro­ducts are practi­cal and han­dy so­me are not and we saw stuff that would de­fi­ni­te­ly not be suit­a­ble for the A­fri­can mar­ket.

Ho­we­ver, the­re we­re pro­ducts that stood out for me and he­re is a short sum­me­ry of so­me of them: THE GAR­MIN XE­RO BOW­SIG­HT

This in­cre­di­ble pie­ce of e­quip­ment was one of the main at­tracti­ons at the show. The Xe­ro A1 and A1i sig­hts are au­to­ran­ging bow­sig­hts that au­to­ma­ti­cal­ly me­a­su­re the dis­tan­ce to a tar­get and pro­vi­de a pre­ci­se, vir­tu­al lig­h­ted sig­ht-pin for the shot.

The­se sig­hts ma­ke the use of a ran­ge­fin­der re­dun­dant as t­hey ran­ge the dis­tan­ce and then au­to­ma­ti­cal­ly ad­just the sig­ht­pin for that dis­tan­ce. It weighs al­most no­thing and does not dis­turb the ba­lan­ce or feel of the bow. This s­mart sig­ht al­so won’t ad­just the vir­tu­al sig­ht-pin for a dis­tan­ce that you ha­ve not u­sed be­fo­re. Let’s say your max­i­mum dis­tan­ce w­hen practi­cing was 50m, then the sig­ht will on­ly ran­ge and ma­ke ad­jus­t­ments to the sig­ht-pin for 50m.

The A1i has ex­tra fe­a­tu­res, such as Gar­min’s La­ser Lo­ca­te. This functi­on sa­ves the lo­ca­ti­on w­hen you ta­ke a shot – to help you re­turn to the spot if ne­ces­sa­ry.

The Gar­min Xe­ro Bow­sig­ht is so­mething that all spot-andstalk hun­ters would find u­se­ful.


With the slo­gan “Meet your next rifle” this com­pa­ny ma­kes qui­te a bold sta­te­ment, ho­we­ver the p­roof of the pud­ding is in the e­a­ting, or should I say cross- bow? With Ra­vin’s He­liCoil techno­lo­gy, groups me­a­su­ring three in­ches at 100 y­ards are pos­si­ble. It is in­cre­di­ble accu­ra­cy from a cross­bow and the pro­duct is so­mething I am de­fi­ni­te­ly going to field test this y­e­ar. Ca­pa­ble of laun­ching ar­rows up to 430fps, this com­pact cross­bow is ex­tre­me­ly let­hal.

Tho­se who re­gu­lar­ly hunt in bushveld con­di­ti­ons w­he­re 100m is a long shot (and pe­op­le who are ti­red of going through the schlep of trying to li­cen­se a fi­re­arm) should look at this cross­bow. Re­mem­ber that no li­cen­ses are re­qui­red to own and use cross­bows.


The Ra­ven Re­co­ve­ry Sy­stem is de­sig­ned to e­thi­cal­ly re­co­ver ga­me and is the first in-ar­row, long-ran­ge tracking sy­stem. It con­sis­ts of a trans­mit­ter fit­ted to the ar­row that al­lows the bow hunter to “fol­low” and re­co­ver the ar­row at dis­tan­ces up to 7km. It will not on­ly help you to re­co­ver your ar­row but al­so the ga­me you ha­ve shot.

This lig­ht­weig­ht sy­stem works with a bat­te­ry that will last for 24 hours. I think this can be a ga­me chan­ger for ga­me farms as well as se­ri­ous bow hun­ters that go af­ter hip­po and cro­co­di­le. Nor­mal­ly the­se a­ni­mals retre­at to dee­per wa­ter af­ter being hit and the tracking sy­stem will thus ma­ke re­co­ve­ry much e­a­sier. In my o­pi­ni­on this will al­so ma­ke hun­ting buf­fa­lo with a bow much sa­fer, es­pe­ci­al­ly if the hunter’s first shot was a bad one and the ar­row is still stuck in the a­ni­mal. Kno­wing w­he­re that a­ni­mal is will gi­ve the hunter/PH an ad­van­ta­ge to de­li­ver the coup de grâ­ce.


The le­a­ding brands such as Hoyt, E­li­te, Be­ar and Mat­hews, just to na­me a few, had their 2018 li­ne-ups re­a­dy for e­ver­yo­ne to test at the show. It is in­cre­di­ble how the bow ma­nu­fac­tu­rers just keep on im­pro­ving their bows each y­e­ar.

For me the big­ge­st sur­pri­se was to shoot the new Ri­tu­al from E­li­te Ar­chery. This bow was a lot of fun to shoot! The draw cy­cle is very smooth and o­ver­all it just per­for­med a­bo­ve my ex­pec­ta­ti­ons. In my o­pi­ni­on this is a per­fect bow for the hunter who doe­sn’t get ti­me to shoot on a dai­ly or e­ven a week­ly ba­sis. My dad, for ex­am­ple, would lo­ve this bow as he on­ly starts practi­cing a few weeks be­fo­re a hunt.

Hoyt Ar­chery on the ot­her »

» hand is well kno­wn for their in­cre­di­ble car­bon bows. In my o­pi­ni­on t­hey are the mar­ket le­a­ders. This y­e­ar’s REDWRX li­ne-up is no dif­fe­rent – the­se bows are ex­tre­me­ly well en­gi­nee­red and the­re is a dis­tincti­ve dif­fe­ren­ce in “feel” be­t­ween them and ot­her bows ma­de from a­lu­mi­ni­um.


This fat-ti­re e­lec­tri­call­ly dri­ven bi­cy­cle is so­mething I wish we had in SA. This will ma­ke com­mu­ting from the lod­ge to the hi­de or e­ven the spot w­he­re you want to hunt qui­e­ter and mo­re ef­fi­cient. The­se bi­kes are cur­rent­ly doing very well in the US, but un­for­tu­na­te­ly no South A­fri­can com­pa­ny is im­por­ting them yet.


NAP’s new Man­tis Ground Blind is one of the be­st de­sig­ned pop ups I ha­ve seen so far. The a­sym­me­tri­cal de­sign of this ground blind al­ong with a pea­ked roof and ex­clu­si­ve ca­mo de­sign, spe­ci­fi­cal­ly for ground blind use, pro­vi­des the ul­ti­ma­te con­ce­al­ment.

This lig­ht­weig­ht blind will ma­ke it e­a­sier to “brush in” and I think it will be very sta­ble in win­dy con­di­ti­ons. I ha­ve he­ard ma­ny sto­ries of blinds col­laps­ing or b­re­a­king du­ring win­dy or rai­ny we­at­her. The stur­dy Man­tis can ta­ke a lot of weig­ht (from wa­ter) and en­d­u­re a lot of a­bu­se from the wind.


IQ Ar­chery al­so laun­ched a bow­sig­ht with a build-in ran­ge­fin­der. It works li­ke a charm and spot-and-stalk hun­ters will al­so find it u­se­ful. It is well built but a litt­le on the he­a­vy si­de. This is lucki­ly e­a­si­ly fix­a­ble by u­sing a he­a­vy sta­bi­li­zer on your bow.


Tac­ta­cam has been on the mar­ket for a cou­ple of y­e­ars, and ha­ve ma­de sig­ni­fi­cant im­pro­vements to the qua­li­ty of their pro­ducts. This ca­me­ra can be u­sed on bows, cross­bows or rifles. It’s a lig­ht­weig­ht u­nit that co­mes with a va­ri­e­ty of mounts, e­na­bling hun­ters to use the­se ca­me­ras on dif­fe­rent we­a­pons as well as in dif­fe­rent lo­ca­ti­ons on each we­a­pon.

The 4th ver­si­on has a 5x zoom and cap­tu­res the foota­ge in Ul­tra-HD at 2.7K at 30fps and 1 080p at 60fps. Fit­ted with on­ly one o­pe­ra­ting but­ton, this is a u­ser-friend­ly pro­duct.


The AccuBow is an a­we­so­me trai­ning de­vi­ce. It helps buil­ding form and strength in the com­fort of your own ho­me. The com­pa­ny laun­ched the wor­ld’s first aug­men­ted re­a­li­ty ar­chery trai­ning app du­ring the show. The app e­na­bles you to ‘shoot’ an ar­row at a tar­get and e­ven an a­ni­mal (w­hen set to “hun­ting mo­de”). The app ma­kes it mo­re re­a­lis­tic and a lot of fun – a group of friends to­get­her will quick­ly get com­pe­ti­ti­ve with it.

The AccuBow is so­mething that will help wo­men and e­ven young child­ren to build ar­cheryspe­ci­fic muscles that will help to in­cre­a­se their a­bi­li­ty to draw high poun­dage bows. It is a very han­dy trai­ning de­vi­ce.


In ad­di­ti­on to the bows and bow acces­so­ries, clo­thing brands such as Un­der Ar­mour Hunt, Sit­ka, No­mad and Re­al­tree had big boot­hs at the show and it is a­ma­zing to see that t­hey are still ca­pa­ble of co­ming up with new pro­ducts e­very y­e­ar.

Com­pa­nies that ma­nu­fac­tu­re and/or dis­tri­bu­te bro­ad­he­ads dis­play­ed their wa­res as well. My fa­vou­ri­tes are the Muz­zy Tro­car Hy­brid Ti­ta­ni­um (I per­so­nal­ly ha­ve hun­ted a lot of a­ni­mals with this bro­ad­he­ad’s pre­de­ces­sor) as well as G5’s De­ad­me­at Bro­ad­he­ad.

S­te­alth Cam from GSM Out­door al­so ca­me up with a­ma­zing new trail ca­me­ras which will be a­vai­la­ble in the RSA very soon. The be­st part of the trail ca­me­ra in­du­stry is that pri­ces are co­ming do­wn. S­te­alth Cam by GSM Out­doors is a wel­l­pri­ced pro­duct.

On the acces­so­ries si­de of t­hings, com­pa­nies such as Spot Hogg, S­cott, Ax­cel, TruFi­re and Car­ter broug­ht a lot of new and ex­ci­ting pro­ducts to the ta­ble that will al­so soon be a­vai­la­ble in South A­fri­ca.

Meeting so­me of my ro­le mo­dels and heroes was a big pri­vi­le­ge – guys such as A­dam G­reen­tree, Ca­me­ron Ha­nes and John Dud­ley. Meeting Jim S­hoc­key and tal­king a­bout his ad­ven­tu­res was sur­re­al, he’s tru­ly a li­ving le­gend (and yes, I did ta­ke a pic­tu­re with his daug­h­ter, Eva). The guys from the Bo­ne Col­lec­tors are su­per ni­ce. The list just g­oes on and on...

At­ten­ding the 2018 ATA show was a re­al eye-o­pe­ner for me. It ma­de me re­a­li­ze that ar­chery and bow hun­ting ha­ve a lot of po­ten­ti­al to grow in South A­fri­ca. We are sit­ting in the midd­le of one of the wor­ld’s pri­me hun­ting a­re­as, so­mething I think we ta­ke for gran­ted at ti­mes. All of the pe­op­le w­hom I ha­ve met ha­ve an A­fri­can vi­sit on their buc­ket lis­ts.

If you ha­ven’t tried bow hun­ting yet, gi­ve it a shot. We ha­ve top-class shops in South A­fri­ca that will be mo­re than wil­ling to as­sist. If com­pounds or tra­di­ti­o­nal bows do not ex­ci­te you, try out a cross­bow. Ta­king up ar­chery and/or bow hun­ting is an ex­ci­ting jour­ney – I still le­arn new t­hings e­very day and I re­al­ly lo­ve the st­rug­gle to be success­ful on a hunt.

Be ca­re­ful though, bow hun­ting is very ad­dicti­ve...

The Gar­min Xe­ro Bow­sig­ht. The new Ra­vin R20 Cross­bow. IQ Bow­sig­hts – Ran­ge­fin­der sig­ht.

Tac­ta­cam. Ram­bo E­lec­tric Bi­ke. AccuBow.

New Ar­chery Pro­ducts’ pop-up blind.

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