There is no denying that in the past several years compound bows have been getting better than ever. We are going through a great era right now because there are so many amazing choices. With bow hunting gaining popularity, every year manufacturers have responded with faster, smoother, and more forgiving bows.

Each hunter and even hunting situation commands something different. As a hunter I demand a bow that will not only be easy to shoot but forgiving and fast. Since I shoot year round, a smooth drawing bow that drops into a nice valley and has a firm back wall is heaven. Combine those features with today’s speed and you have a winner.

Consumers like me are expecting more out of products today. Unless a company stands behind their product few will trust their craftsmanship. Only you can decide what is most important. Shoot as many bows as possible, buying a bow is a personal choice. What you like is often different then your neighbor.

Take the knowledge provided here on the greatest and latest bows for 2011 to help you decide what the right decision is.

Darton DS 3800

The DS 3800 virtually eliminates the need for a range finder. Blazing speeds of up to 350 fps make this the fastest, flattest bow in the market. Regardless of whether you are a bowhunter or 3D shooter this is the perfect bow. Hunters have been impressed with the smooth draw cycle that falls into a forgiving valley. These characteristics are often overlooked on paper but really make a bow more enjoyable for the archer.

Darton has developed a Progressive Torque Reduction cable guard rod which allows room for the new high profile vanes. The split limb technology is designed to have sound dampening on the bow limbs and dual string stops. This is a muscle bow that has many characteristics that hunters have been longing for. Many hunters cannot wait to get their hands on the DS 3800. It comes in Realtree Hardwoods Green HD or Shadow Black to accommodate both treestand and ground blind hunters.

Strothers SX-1

Michigan has a state full of bowhunters which has helped them produce a number of high end archery products. Strothers is one of those companies that have a growing fan group around their bows. This year the SX-1was built with high end speed that shoots great for the hunter. When drawing back this bow you will notice it loads up quickly and drops into a deep valley and a firm back wall. There is a small hump right before dropping into the valley which is very typical with binary cams. For most Midwest hunters this is another one pin bow. Heart racing 347 fps IBO speeds means business for the serious archer. The Hyper-S Cam System helped Strothers develop unmatched efficiency within its draw cycle.

This bow is so nice to shoot because the ergonomically fit grip literally eliminates the ability to bow torque. After pulling the trigger you will be hooked for life. The bow is dead in the hand, no hand shock. Strothers has taken it to a new level to eliminate the shock making it very pleasurable to shoot over and over again. The SX-1 is finished with a Predator Camo that appears to be three dimensional.

Hoyt Carbon Element

The Hoyt Carbon Element is a bow beyond advanced! For starters, the riser is built with carbon elements making it the strongest and lightest bow ever created. When the riser design was originally built in 2010 Hoyt drove a truck over the riser again and again to prove it the toughest. After this much torture the bow shot flawless. The riser has a hollow carbon tube. Because of the incredible strength the riser responds the same with each shoot. That means accuracy to the shooter.

This bow is built for stealth with many features that add up into a killing machine. Built into the shelf is a totally silent rubber shelf eliminating unwanted arrow noise. The in-line roller guard minimizes torque and friction. The Carbon Element can be perfectly stabilized for the hunter. Often after buying a bow we attach sights, rest, and a quiver to one side. Hoyt has offset the stabilizer to balance the bow for the added accessories. The Cam and ½ system make this easy to draw under high adrenaline situations.

PSE X-Force Dream Season EVO

PSE has been on the forefront of pushing the envelope of speed. This year the X-Force Dream Season EVO has unlocked the blazing speed of 345 fps. The faster speeds provide flatter trajectory at longer ranges.

PSE stands behind their products because of the fine craftsmanship. This cam and ½ system draws smoothly like a single cam bow. This is uncommon in many of the speed bows in the market today. The limbs are triple locked into the riser with center lock limb pockets. Solid connections and a new riser design make for an extremely accurate bow. Consumers love the ease of use; adjusting the length is done through the cams without a bow press. Included are limb dampeners to provide a quiet, nice shooting bow.

Elite Hunter

The Elite hunter is raising the bar by improving upon the 2010 Z28 in every aspect. Right away you will be impressed with the smooth drawing. This is one of the smoothest drawing bows in the market this year. It is hard to tell when it falls into the valley at the end of the draw cycle. When letting back down from full draw it falls smoothly back. If you get stuck having to stop drawing because of a wary buck this year, the Elite Hunter will allow you to stop partway back without causing you much pain.

Upon firing you will notice zero recoil – dead in the hand. It just sits in your hand with just a slight rock back towards you. Adding a stabilizer and gear makes it even better and doesn’t allow the bow to rock. At over 320 fps the smooth draw makes it feels like you are pulling much less. The short compact 31 ¾ axle to axle length is compact for both treestand and ground hunters. This bow will help you hang more bone on the wall during this fall season.

G5 Prime Centroid

Since 2000 G5 has been a Michigan company creating bone crushing broadheads. New this year G5 comes crashing into the market with the Prime Centroid bow. Refusing to follow G5 has vertically conquered cam lean in the new Prime bows. They have redesigned how the cams and cables are lined up. By changing the way this is engineered the cables pull nearly inline which eliminates cam lean.

The rest of the cam lean has been eliminated through their new cable guard. This is a spring rod Ti-Glide to pull the cams sideways while shooting to allow for fletching clearance. This is all brought together with an aluminum riser that is twice as strong reducing the shooter’s hand shock. The strings themselves are high performance materials. G5 promises that every bow is tuned upon arrival. The extra effort of cycling every bow 100 times to ensure the strings are stretched, and limbs and limb pockets have properly settled.

Bear Carnage

The new perfect killer is born combining speed, power and smoothness in the Carnage. This comes with a single cam which is known for smooth drawing. Longer design provides for a perfectly balanced and forgiving bow. Hunters are always looking for a forgiving bow that will help them shoot well under pressure.

Dual limbs are pre-loaded beyond parallel to give more energy stored for a blazing 345 fps. Stack that up with an 80% let-off, a smooth draw and it is perfect. Limb cups are designed to maintain a tight limb to riser fit. The bow falls into the valley very nicely and has a great back wall. Keeping those speeds under control takes perfect form that is easily accomplished with a new slimmer one piece grip. Built onto the riser are two dual arch string suppressers to help the bow stay deadly quiet.

BowTech Invasion CPX

This year BowTech refuses to follow the crowd. They have taken all the best features from prior bows and put them all into what they are calling the Invasion CPX including the binary cams, 7 inch brace height, and blazing speeds of 343 fps. This bow has everything included; smooth draw cycle, very fast, and no kick. All of these features come together making a nice shooting bow.

The CPX stands for “Center Pivot Extreme.” The riser is built with a deflex shape to prevent hand torque. A very nice slim grip on the bow aids in preventing bow torque. This comes out of the box ready to shoot. The yoke design makes it very easy to tune. Lastly the Fuse strings used are high end. The CPX technology has made this bow scary accurate, dead quiet and roaring fast.

Diamond Dead Eye

When everything comes together for that one shot you want to be holding onto this lightning fast single cam bow. Their power cam is called the “Throttle Cam” which is designed different than most other single cam bows. The center-lock pocket eliminates tolerance between the riser and limbs inside the limb pockets. A tighter fit means more dead on accuracy shot after shot.

New this year is the cable guard that flexes out of the way upon the shot. The design eliminates riser torque making this bow forgiving.

This bow has very little vibration. The bow combines the speed of 343 fps with unsurpassable accuracy. Diamond comes with a package of equipment; Diamond named this package \R.A.K. for Ready. Aim. Kill. Included are an ultra-lite quiver, apex sight, hostage XL arrow rest, stabilizer, wrist sling, peep, and string silencers. The Dead Eye can go straight from the archery shop to the field.

Winchester QuickSilver 34

Winchester is already known for its high quality guns and this year Winchester has entered the archery industry.

The QuickSilver 34 was revealed in January 2011 and will be a great bow to try out and shoot this year. Throwing a few arrows through this bow quickly had me interested. The draw cycle is very smooth. Upon coming to full draw there is a nice long valley with adjustable backstops. Before falling into the valley there is no hump in this bow. Some bows can tear off your arm while coming out of the valley, this is not the case with the QuickSilver 34. While letting down, it comes out of the valley very smooth.

The split limb design has added limb dampeners and is a quiet bow.

The two track cam system has an AST (Accu Speed Technology) cam which is the driving force for the speed of 343 fps. A couple additional features come with the Winchester QuickSilver 34 that makes it stand apart. First it comes with three different grips for the archer’s choice.

Secondly there is a center shot tool to help set up the rest. This has been proven to provide dead-on tuning. This bow will be like the grim reaper in the whitetail woods this fall. The finish comes in jet black or reaper woods. Look closely at the camo pattern and you will pick out a few skulls hidden among the tree branches.

Mathews Z7 Xtreme

In 2010 Mathews came out with the Z7 bow which was radically different than prior models. This bow received the Editors Choice award from Outdoor Life, Best of the Best from Field and Stream, and many others. Realizing this was a winning design, Mathews has come out with a Z-Series of bows. The most popular is the Z7 Xtreme that is extremely fast but forgiving with a 7 3/8 inch brace height and only 28 inch axle to axle.

The Z7 Magnum is designed for speed, providing 330 fps. The new designed riser is longer helping tighten the groups at all distances. The single cam design has earned Mathews the reputation for being the smoothest drawing bows around.

The dead end string stop, string grub, and harmonic damping system make this extremely quiet. The extreme hunter would love to have the Z7 Xtreme in their hands at the moment of truth.