Mike Hopkins Shoots a PSE Vendetta XL for Tournament Archery and an AXE 6 While Hunting in 2010
Editor’s Note: Thirty seven year old Mike Hopkins of Junction City, Kansas, has been shooting a PSE bow since 2008. Hopkins is a classic example of how to become a better bowhunter. Mike decided to shoot 3D archery just before he took his first buck with a bow. As you’ll see, Mike consistently has been able to take more animals and a wider variety of animals, since he’s incorporated 3D archery into his bowhunting program.
Hopkins: Due to military educational requirements, I didn’t have the time to travel and compete in tournament archery as much as I would have liked to that year. I was able to shoot in the first three tournaments of the season, but then I had to restrict my tournament archery participation to local tournaments and state level tournaments. That summer I moved to Tennessee and didn’t have as much success deer hunting that fall as I’d had in the past. I only took one 5 point buck and didn’t even shoot a doe that year. Not many bowhunters that I talked to that year were very successful at taking deer. But even though I had a poor fall deer season, at the opening 3D archery tournament in Florida, I had a second place finish with a new bow, the Vendetta XL. I had decided to move up to this bow for tournament archery.
Hopkins: I liked the specifications of the bow. The Vendetta XL was somewhat longer axle to axle than the bow I’d been shooting the previous year and had a faster speed. I thought the bow would perform better in tournaments than my previous bow. I finished in the top 10 in several other tournaments that year and also did very well in shooting state level tournaments. For some reason, I can remember those state tournaments better than I can remember the national tournaments.
PSE: What hunting bow were you shooting in 2010?
Hopkins: I started shooting the Axe 6 in 2010, and it was faster than the PSE hunting bow I’d been using previously. I felt that the cams on the Axe 6 had a little bit better draw cycle than the Dream Season bow. But I really didn’t get to hunt with this bow very much, because the 2010 season was uncharacteristically slow for me. There had been an outbreak of Bluetongue two years earlier in the area I was hunting, and the deer herd was still trying to recover. That year it was down considerably from what it had been in past years.
Editor’s Note: Another big advantage to shooting tournament archery and being a bowhunter is that if you’re having a bad hunting season, you still have a chance to have a good tournament archery season. As we’ve seen so far, success in tournament archery , especially 3D archery, directly relates to bowhunting, and bowhunting success directly relates to tournament archery. For both sports, the more you practice, the more confidence you build, the more proficient you are with your equipment and the more successful you’ll be at the tournaments and in the woods. Besides that, both tournament archery and bowhunting are fun. So, why would you not want to have fun?