by Dave Hurteau

Today’s compound bows are so good, so vastly improved from just a few years ago that even low-end models are a joy to shoot–and in many cases as good or better than yesterday’s best.

Earlier this year, I tested several 2010 models retailing under $550. Bear Archery sent me two bows to test, the Assault ($549) and the Charge ($299). I did not include the Charge in the article because the Attack was the better bow. But let me just tell you, the Charge faired quite well among bows costing an average of $200 more.

I remember saying to my bow-shop pro, “I can’t believe how good a bow this is for under $300.” He shot it and agreed. I normally hunt with a top-end bow, so when I said I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to hunt with the Charge, he basically said, “Prove it.”

So we set it up and I’ve been hunting with it all season. (You may have notice it in the picture I recently posted of the small buck I took around home).

Of course it’s not as good as today’s top-end bows. But it costs $600 to $700 less.

It’s a little loud at the shot and not quite as forgiving as some. But it’s all anyone needs to kill deer–and an absolute steal at $299.