Before the archery season opener last year I got a new scope from Hawke Optics that has some pretty cool bells and whistles. First let me same that I am a firm believer that there is an upward limit on how much “tech” is actually useful and how much is just selling points. I took that attitude with me when I mounted this scope onto my Ten Point crossbow, replacing the stock three dot scope which had served me well.
After mounting the scope and getting it sighted in there was one feature that I could not use because of the speed (or lack thereof) of my bow. Let me explain one of the big features of this series of scopes, it has a speed magnification/calibration ring. Like any scope you sight it in at a measured 20 yards, using the top and side turrets with the scope set at the lowest speed setting. Once you are happy with your 20 yard groups you move back to a measured 30 yards and shoot again to see if you are hitting high or low. Now most bows these days shoot faster than mine so you should be hitting high, to adjust you turn the calibration ring NOT THE TURRET RING to move your shot up and down. This ring acts as a calibration adjustment for the speed of your bow to fine tune shots to your bow and bolt weight. Once you have the bow hitting at 30 yards you simply leave everything alone, meaning you DO NOT turn the calibration ring while you are hunting to a higher magnification, you do not turn it at all. This is the part many people can’t seem to get past, the calibration ring is only turned to adjust your point of impact while you sight in, once that is done the bow is ready just point and shoot. It should be calibrated out to 100 yards and has crosshairs and posts for those shots.
Here was my problem; my bow set up was shooting too slowly to take advantage of the calibration settings of the scope. This was partly my fault because I was shooting bolts that were heavier (longer) than I needed but it was hunting season so I just left it alone. It worked fine and I took a nice 7 pointer with it but I wanted more out of the bow and scope. The fix was simple I dropped back from a 22” bolt to a 20” bolt and sighted everything in again. Now if you are wondering how much difference the change makes in point of impact, it was 4” higher at 20 yards. Yep and you could hear the difference in the time it took between pulling the trigger and the bolt hitting. The shorter bolts were moving much faster. I followed the steps above to get the bow driving tacks again and I hope to get it out this weekend to see if I can take my first deer of the year.
Let me say something about my favorite feature on this scope, it has lighted reticles which many other scopes have but when not lit you still have regular crosshairs. For someone that is used to hunting with a 3 dot scope or holo sight you know if you run out of battery you aren’t going to be using your sights but with the Hawke you are still in business even if you can’t light the sights up.
Now back to the too much tech thoughts I have, I will say for what is packed into this scope I was glad each feature was there. Yes you could use a scope without the extra calibration but that is a cool feature especially with fine tuning a bow to really be a tack driver with today’s fast bows. The lighted reticles are something I personally love and these go from black to red to green with the turn of a side mounted dial. The scope also comes with flip up lens covers which are another nice touch since if they were just slip on see thru I would have long since gotten rid of them.
After a year of shooting this scope I am still more than happy with it and it will be going to the woods with me for a long time. Hawke Optics simply does it right, folks, and at price points that other companies can’t meet for the quality. Thanks again to everyone at Hawke for the chance to share some of their great products with my friends.
Good luck and be safe, wear your harness.