Utah Elk

Mark Hayes

Building confidence

That’s what the Proving Ground is to us. It’s about making sure that the months of work in the lab translates to the real world in the hands of the best team in hunting and tournament archery. There’s a very limited run of prototype and testing bows that are built before launch, so being on the first line of the Proving Ground team is something we take very seriously as a design group. We are engineers with a deep passion for archery and the outdoors, and we demand excellence in the products we use. That makes us inevitably the hardest people on our equipment and causes us to be constantly evaluating our products while afield. This year, I got the chance to do my testing on the V3X in Utah pursuing my first bull elk.

We didn’t know it at the time, but this week of hunting would be a race against the clock. With the rut wrapping up, mature bulls started moving to open ground for migration. Our plan was to chase every bugle in search of a mature bull. On day two of the hunt we were still hunting our way up a large a canyon. All of a sudden we heard the unmistakable deep growl of an old bull. We quickly made the decision to close the distance and take a closer look. As we worked our way up the drainage we came up to an opening. Just as we were deciding what to do next, the bull let out a growl within 100 yards. I made a split second decision to sprint across ½ the opening to the next available cover. We let out a challenge bugle and within seconds the bull stepped out at 55 yards. One soft cow call stopped him and he turned to deliver what would be his last bugle. My arrow found its mark and the bull fell 10 yards in front of us never knowing what happened. Our emotions came next as we processed what just happened. A perfectly executed plan and a Proving Ground test accomplished.

The fully built bow was made to work together in a system free of distractions. Our opportunities afield happen in seconds. The V3X eliminates unnecessary obstacles and delivers an arrow as a complete unit in those intense moments.

Mark Hayes

Gear List

Additional Gear

  • Victory RIP TKO 350
  • Rage Trypan

Balance Perfected

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