by Team Hoyt
Hoyt Pro Staffers Dave Cousins and Braden Gellenthien recently took time out during a whitetail hunt in northeastern Virginia to test the new Vantage Elite. Read their first impressions of Hoyt’s 2009 premiere target compound bow.
The day we got to the range to set up our Vantage Elites was the first day I had even seen one. After arriving at the club, I opened the box and pulled out a Blue Fusion bow complete with Cam ½ Plus and 50 lb. limbs. Before tuning my new bow, I took measurements off of my Pro Elite to get my draw length, draw weight, holding weight, and peep height to make my Vantage as similar as possible. Next, I installed my Hoyt arrow rest, CBE sight, peep, and began to set up my nock point. Out came the T-square as I carefully adjusted my d-loop to get my nock point parallel with the rest. With a few more adjustments to set the center-shot at ¾”, I was ready to go.
I walked up to paper tune at five feet: bullet-hole. I then walked back another five feet, and again, bullet-hole. I shot my last shot through paper at 15 feet, and after three perfect tears through paper, I was ready to shoot.
My first arrow landed high and left of the target, about eight inches from the center. I moved my sight to compensate, and the next arrow hit in the eight ring, straight left. The very next shot found the right side of the 10 ring. Click, click … and two more 10s quickly followed. I looked up at Dave and said, “Smoke.”
I started scoring with those three arrows and after four ends, had a 120. After four more ends, another 120. My round went just like that up until arrow 58 when I made a very, very weak shot that still half-shafted the big 10. Arrow 59: X. Arrow 60: X. My first 60 arrows out of my brand-new Vantage Elite scored a 599 FITA, 600 with 59x Vegas … with 2312s.
This bow is a complete smoke-show. The first thought that popped into my mind once I had it drawn was, “This is the best-aiming bow I’ve ever shot.” And at the end of those 60 arrows, I can honestly say that my pin never left the big 10. It just sat right in the middle the entire round. And to make things even better, not only did the bow aim like a dream, but it stuck the arrows right behind the pin. Every time. I’ve never been so excited about a bow - or a season - as I am right now after shooting this bow.
I’ve had my hands on the Vantage Elite for some time now, having received one during the last week of October just before the Big Sky Open in Mesquite, Nevada. Now, I’ve been a long time Ultra Elite fan, but the Vantage Elite has me rethinking that. It’s no secret that I put a lot of time and passion into my outdoor game and that I expect the same from a bow. Pressed with short time before the tournament and amidst preparations for a seminar, this bow was going to have to be something special right out of the box. And let me tell you, it was!
The Vantage Elite tuned right down the middle and shot bullet holes with every arrow I put through it. It was smooth on the draw with the Cam & ½ Plus and dead in the hand after the shot. The combination of Hoyt’s proven XT2000 limbs, long, super-ridged Elite style riser, rock solid locking limb pockets and proven Cam & ½ technology make this bow a wrench turner’s dream come true. But, again, I’ll be the first one to tell you that all the fit, feel, finish and tune-ability in the world doesn’t mean a thing if I can’t win with it.
So how did the Vantage Elite stack up in its first tournament outing? All I can say is: You have to see the results!! Dead calm shooting conditions on day one allowed me to cruise easily to a solid lead and crush the one day record for the Big Sky round. Day two brought some serious winds, 10-15mph with gusts in the 20-25mph range. The Vantage Elite never wavered and allowed me to blaze a trail to a double-digit lead and a podium topping finish.
With a solid outdoor performance under my belt it was time to get serious about setting up my indoor rig. I’ve taken to the Spiral X Cam & ½ for my indoor setup in order to get the holding weight I was looking for, along with the peak weight I want to shoot. Once again; zero tuning issues with this bow and my Easton 2712’s. Three shots, three bullet holes, and ready to rock.
After taking a few shots to zero in my Sure-Loc sight and Specialty Archery Pro Scope, I was drilling the middle and ready to hang a new face and see what I could do with this rig. Once again a stellar performance out of the Vantage Elite! Sixty arrows, 60 10s and 60 Xs on a Vegas face.
Thank you, Vantage Elite, and thank you, Hoyt!