Parallel limbs. Carbon cable guards with rollers. Short axle-to-axle length. Large cams. Single-cam systems.
Pick up any compound bow made in the last decade from any manufacturer and you’ll find at least one of those technologies. That also means you’ll find some of Matt Mcpherson’s influence.
Mcpherson, the founder of Mathews Inc., has changed bows and bowhunting in a way that few besides Fred Bear himself can claim. And it all started because of his mom.
“My mom was afraid of guns. My dad wanted to go deer hunting. So he went out and bought a bow,” Mcpherson says. “I grew up in a very poor family. If I wanted something, I had to make it. So I started making bows when I was 6, 7, 8 years old. I built my first compound around 1970. In 1985, I launched Mcpherson Archery.”
Eventually he sold that company. In 1992, he got back into the world of bow building with the launch of Mathews Inc.
“I was driving and had this idea about a new type of bow. I ran home and strung up a prototype that would tell me the concept was at least viable. After a little messing around I was convinced it would work.”
The idea? A bow made with a single cam on the bottom limb and a round idler wheel on top. The concept was simple: Eliminate all the hassle of timing cams and, perhaps more important, create a bow with a rock-solid back wall.
“At the time, folks were taught to shoot in the valley,” Mcpherson says. “That made no sense because you can have slight variations in speed depending on where you release. I knew it was more consistent to release against a very solid wall. And as soon as we started to show the accuracy and consistency that came from the solo-cam setup, and the lack of sync issues, that was it. Everyone had to have one.”
“I WAS DRIVING AND HAD AN IDEA ABOUT A new type of bow. I RAN HOME AND STRUNG UP A prototype. ”