Uncut with Jay Cutler: Cam Hanes Talks Bowhunting, Improvements to Modern Compound Bows

by TK Sanders

World-class athlete and author Cam Hanes talked all things bowhunting on a special bonus episode of Uncut with Jay Cutler Friday. Hanes is an endurance athlete, backcountry bowhunter, author, entrepreneur, and podcast host — in addition to still holding the same utility job for nearly a quarter-century. As his media star has risen, Hanes has publicly attributed the discipline and work ethic required to become a good hunter as the primary driver behind his burgeoning success.

For Hanes, bowhunting appears to take on qualities of a meditative practice: an intense, focused passion that requires daily care, attention, and respect. As a result, he’s become one of the country’s preeminent voices in the hunting community, and his opinion holds weight amongst the best and brightest self-development circles our country has to offer.

Just a few minutes into their conversation, Jay asked about the improvements in bow technology over the years.

“When did compound bows really start getting good?” Jay asked. “I remember my dad had a PSE or something like that when I was young. They were still loud, and they were 80 or 90 pounds back then. The arrows were going.”

“Back then, speed was the name of the game,” Hanes said. “But bows have been slightly evolving and getting better every year. Every year they’re just a little bit better. So over 30 years, that’s a night and day difference.”

Cam Hanes said bowhunting became more efficient on Uncut with Jay Cutler

Hanes then described how hunters once found value in lightweight arrows for their speed. But now, he said, efficiency in technology means everything for a bowhunter.

“Back then, the big thing was an overdraw, so you could shoot a shorter arrow that was lighter. And you’d crank that bow up to 80 or 90 pounds, shoot a super light arrow, and that’s why the bow was so loud. Because it was basically a dry fire every time. So what would happen is that the arrows would go fast but the sound was pretty crazy,” he continued.

Hanes also explained how heavier arrows actually make for a better hunting experience.

“So now, they’ve made it where the bows are more efficient, where you shoot a heavier arrow that still gets pretty good speed. But because the arrow’s heavier it absorbs that energy, and since the bow’s quieter, the animals can’t hear the arrow coming. Boom, you hit them, much better,” he said.

So like any evolving passion or technology, bowhunting experienced a significant improvement over time thanks to small, dedicated enhancements. Sounds a lot like Hanes’ philosophy towards all aspects of his life.

“But to answer your question, it’s just been small improvements every year and over time it’s made a big change.”