Sneak Peek: New Short Bow Excels in Blinds or Treestands

We were the first media group to get our hands on a new bow from PSE that is just hitting stores now, and found it has great potential for hunting in a blind or treestand.

The bow came to us for testing as we were wrapping up work on our annual archery gear review. If you’re not familiar with the MidWest Outdoors Gear Review series, it’s a bastion of objective, open-minded testing that produces true reviews you can trust.

The first of two parts will be published in the upcoming July, 2018 issue of MidWest Outdoors, but we want to give you a sneak peek now.

Here are the details on this bow, which you can get only through archery pro shops.

PSE Evolve 28: Our first impressions

In the bow manufacturing biz, summer is a quiet time. New bows typically release in October. PSE bucked the trend by premiering its newest flavor in the Evolve series. The Evolve 28 sports the increasingly popular Evolve Cam System (ECS), capable of 80 to 90 percent let-off and arrow speeds hovering around 330 fps.

What sets Evolve 28 apart from its predecessors is the shorter, 28-inch axle-to-axle distance. The idea was to create a more maneuverable bow for the blind or treestand that didn’t sacrifice accuracy. Often, shorter, lighter bows react faster to shooter input, making them jumpier and harder to hold steady. The 28 weighs in bare naked at 4.1 pounds, down two-tenths of a pound from its older brother, the Evolve 31. 

We took it to a backyard range. The bow came pre-rigged and took just three shots to dial in the sight. The next three arrows stacked in the ten ring on a 3D target at 20 yards. In a bustling chain restaurant parking lot at midday, right under the noses of the general public, we rendezvoused with a regional PSE rep for a handoff of the new bow before it had even been announced. Our archery review is becoming better known, and we were the first media group to test the Evolve 28.

We had hunted with an Evolve 31 last fall and early winter, and there were nuances we noticed when shooting the 28. Because the ECS is the same, the draw cycle was similar to the 31, but the backwall was even more distinct and pronounced. There was no creep. The Evolve 28 also got an updated roller guard.

Compared to the 31, the 28 did take a second to settle down after the cams rolled over and the bow was at full draw. Once there, however, holding a pin steady was simple and fun. Even more fun was the actual shot. It was quick and discreet, as if it never happened. The vibration dampener load-out on this rig is similar to other PSEs, so it must be the engineering that makes the Evolve 28 so dead in the hand and quick to recover after firing an arrow. This will make it easier to take a follow-up shot in the whitetail woods. Weight-conscious backcountry hunters will appreciate the lighter weight 28.

Comes in 60- and 70-pound max draw weights. Draw lengths from 24.5 to 30 inches.  Choose from Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, black, and Kryptek Highlander finishes. Lefties have to wait until October to get theirs, but right-handed models will be available right away.  $999, only at pro shops. PSE-archery.com