Compound Bows photo

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Photograph by Patrik Giardino

Morgan hunts with an Elite Energy 35. Just about everything he uses—right down to his socks—is backed by a sponsor, so you can take brand names with a grain of salt. He wouldn’t use any of the gear below if it didn’t help him win, he says. “But there’s lots of good stuff out there; get what you like.” And apply the general principles here.

1) Weight: 8½ pounds
“When your adrenaline is pumping, a heavier bow is better. It’s simply less affected by movement. On a mountain hunt, I might go as low as 7 pounds.”

2) Length: 35 inches axle to axle
“I’m not convinced that a longer bow is more forgiving, because I can shoot a short bow well. It’s more about comfort. A really short bow creates a steep string angle that can make it hard to get into your peep or maintain your anchor point.”

3) Brace Height: 7 inches
“But I’d be fine with shorter. I’ve never been able to tell that a long brace height is more forgiving,” he says. “For hunting, I’d rather have the speed.”

4) Stabilizers: Bee Stinger 12-inch front bar; 10-inch side bar
“This is what I use for hunting whitetails. On spot-and-stalk hunts, I’ll usually switch to a 15-inch front bar and tweak the position of the side bar to match. Either way, getting that perfect balance is well worth carrying the extra weight in the field.”

5) Sight: CBE five-pin slider
“I install my sight as close as possible to the riser. A lot of people think that running the sight out farther helps accuracy, but it doesn’t. Everyone torques the bow, period, and running the sight close reduces the effect of torque on aiming.”

6) Rest: QAD fallaway
“A fallaway gets me a little more speed, and it allows more leeway for nock tuning than, say, a Whisker Biscuit rest.”