Brand loyalty makes sense. If you plunk your money down for a bow and both it and its maker serve you well, you have every reason to buy products from that brand again. But in archery we have something more than mere loyalty; we have brand worship and its corollary, brand bashing.

In my experience, the brand most frequently bashed on is Mathews, which is insane of course because they make great bows. But it all comes out in the wash because Mathews seems to be the most worshipped, too. The John McEnroe of bow companies, I guess. I don’t know who is nuttier, though, the Mathews haters, who are so certain of the company’s impiety that they would never lower themselves to actually try one, or the Mathews worshipers, for whom the possibility of another company making a comparable bow causes such physical pain that they can’t even entertain the thought. Both are stark-raving mad.

I’m not picking on Mathews; this goes on with all the major brands. And the nuttiest thing about it is that the guy who says his Mathews or Hoyt or Bowtech or whatever is the BEST, to the exclusion of all other brands, has probably never actually compared his bow to anything else in a serious way.

But we have. And you may have noticed a different brand wins the F&S Best of the Best Award for bows, for example, just about every year. That is Bestul’s test, but I test a slew of bows head-to-head every year, too. Both of us have hunted with a wide variety of brands. What we have both found and marvel over regularly is that pretty much all the biggest players make a damn good bow, and that the practical differences between the brands’ top models are purdy dern small.

So shoot whatever you like. Doesn’t matter to me. But try not to fall into the strange abyss of brand worship.