Parker Buck Hunter Review
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Editors' reviewDesigned with the beginner in mind, Parker's Buck Hunter is a lot of bow for such a small price tag. This compound is very lightweight, easy to adjust, and has a smooth dual cam system with cable stops for a changeable back wall. Rated at speeds up to 286 fps, this bow is not deemed very fast in today's world, but as many know, speed helps, but is not a deciding factor in most cases. The fact it is available from 40 to 70 lbs in adjustable increments of ten pounds, plus a large brace height and axle-to-axle measurement make this bow the perfect one to get you into the sport of Archery!
FinishThis bow is only available in Trebark's Big Woods Camouflage. It would be nice to have at least one more finish option, but there are very few bows in this category that have this option. There are no finish turning marks noticeable, flaws in the camo film finish, or burs in the machining process; it is a solidly built shooting machine. The factory strings are surprisingly well constructed, lasting upwards of four years if taken care of meticulously. For a low-priced bow targeted for beginners, you will not be disappointed with the overall fit and finish.
RiserThis bow is CNC machined out of a solid piece of 6061 aluminum. Compared to other models being produced with three separate pieces, this style is much more dependable and includes less room for error in the manufacturing process. It includes a common straight cable rod with a plastic cable slide, but can be replaced with an angled rod to nearly reduce all horizontal torque created at full draw. Although there are not many cutouts in the riser itself, this bow is still efficiently designed to be around half the weight of higher end models. This bow is available in right or left handed models, perfect for the unsure of his shooting style at the moment.
LimbsThe Parker Buck Hunter includes a redesigned version of their Power-Tuff composite limbs made by Gordon. Coming in three different styles for coordinating weight ranges of 40-50#, 50-60#, and 60-70#, this bow is adjustable for the average teenager as well as the beginner adult hunter. The Buck Hunter may not be the most compact at 35 1/2" ATA, however that large measurement creates a generous buffer of shootability and forgiveness found normally in expensive target shooting rigs. The rotating module with 6" of draw length adjustability is an invaluable asset, changeable with the simple act of rotating a module on both cams with an allen wrench. As with most other bows on the market, the draw weight can be easily adjusted without a press with a simple turn of the limb bolts equally on each side with an allen wrench. There are no vibration reducers of any sort factory installed, and doing so might decrease the overall vibration output of the limb system.
GripParker's low-wrist Kraton grip incorporates an in-line technology to keep your hand from applying unnecessary torque to the bow. Made out of their Synprene rubber, it is very comfortable and warm to the touch compared to metal grips or sideplates. The grip may be a little larger than most, but the overall thickness is on the low end of the spectrum, so it is perfect for beginning archers to get used to.
Eccentric SystemParker's dual cam design that comes with the Buck Hunter is rated to 286 fps IBO, and is comfortable to hold at any draw weight due to its 80% letoff measurement. This bow is known for that being a true IBO speed, however the 60# and 50# lb max versions will not come close to the speed the 70# lb version will. The cam system utilizes a rotational mod system, as well as dual yokes for the ability to fine tune and sync the cams efficiently. They also incorporate a somewhat softer cable stop at each cam and external spacers matched to create a perfect centershot situation.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe Parker Buck Hunter's draw cycle is extremely smooth, due to the soft, round shape of the cams and the pre-flexion of the limbs. Peaking about half way to the back wall, it contains an extremely generous valley. A forgiving 7" brace height allows for more accuracy, even though it may deduct from some speed noticeable in bows with shorter brace heights. Similarly, this bow stands out from the rest with a 35.5" axle-to-axle measurement. Long enough to be ideal for target shooters, it utilizes this design for maximum shootability. At full draw, the solid limbs, large valley, dual cable stops, and slim grip create an easy to hold shooting platform. Although it is very minimal, the bow does have a little jump due to its low weight and lack of factory-included string stop, but it is nothing an inexpensive stabilizer won't remediate.
Silencing PackageThe only stabilizing or dampening accessory included on this quality bow is the synprene grip. Since there aren't any cutouts engineered into the riser itself, the vibration created has a lot of room to work with, but it can be remedied. The addition of a string stop, string silencers, limb dampeners, or even a cable rod dampener would surely do this bow justice.
|Bow||Parker Buck Hunter|
|Brace Height||7.25 "|
|AtA Length||32.25 "|
|Draw Length||26 " - 31 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||286 fps|
| Where to buy |
Best prices online
Compared to the Parker Phoenix EZ Draw, the Parker Buck Hunter is faster, lighter, and a more inexpensive shooting machine. Although they are similar, the Phoenix has an IBO of 285, likely due to the fact of its shorter 34" ATA. The Phoenix is heavier and more expensive, at 3.9 lbs bare bow and $619 respectively. The only advantages to the nearly $350 "upgrade" are a 3/4" increase in brace height and inch longer of draw length adjustment. Overall, at $289 new for the bare bow, it is very difficult to find a better bow for the money in Parker's lineup, as well as many other manufacturers'.