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by Daniel James Hendricks

The deer moved through the denuded forest, its thick grey coat warmly reflecting the first direct rays of sunlight that we’d seen in a week.  In spite of a full moon that would normally have had this animal in its bed by now, the creature seemed to be out enjoying the bright sunlight while it made a cameo appearance upon the wet, cold Minnesota landscape.  In spite of the long distance that separated the whitetail from my perch, I guessed that it was a doe as I could see no sign of antlers.  I was specifically hunting for what my friends and I call a “Poke `em Young”  buck and this animal looked to me like a big old doe, which would probably be as tough as shoe leather to chew on. 

While growing up on the farm in central Minnesota, not once when my mother pointed out that the family freezer was empty did my father go out and slay the herd bull.  Instead he chose a young animal that was tender, succulent and under two years old.  It was nothing but the best for his brood.  A “Poke `em Young” buck is a year and a half old and is usually about the size of a mature doe, but is as sweet and tender as the fatted yearling that it is.  In my humble opinion, it is the best meat animal in the forest and will provide many a fine meal as exceptionally tender table fare.  In fifty years of hunting, I have hung enough racks on the wall to satisfy my need to demonstrate my manliness, now I pretty much hunt for the best eating I can find.  Now don’t get me wrong, if a monster buck comes strolling by, my bow will be on full automatic in an attempt to turn it into sausage and beer sticks as the ultimate penalty for being careless enough to come into range of this old, deaf, blind guy. 

I watched as the animal meandered through the dense brush, disappearing occasionally only to reappear closer than it was before.  Suddenly I thought that I saw sun glinting off an antler.  I raised my crossbow to my shoulder, located the deer in the scope and was delighted to discover that the fat doe I had been watching was a “Poke `em Young” buck.  It was show time!  Immediately the context of the moment changed.  The first surge of adrenaline immediately swept over my system causing tremors to ripple through my body as an increase in blood pressure made my eyes feel like they were being squeezed in a vice.  Oh how I love the very instant the decision is made to shoot!  It is the point in time that all hunters work towards and live for, the moment of truth and ultimate test.  And as the buck continued to close the gap that separated us, I prepared for my final exam.

The nearer the animal came, the more it angled directly towards my position.  Straight out in front of me was a 4-wheeler trail that would give me a clear shot out to forty yards, but as the animal angled closer, I knew that it would probably be under twenty when the it cleared the brush.  As luck would have it, the whitetail stepped onto the trail right in front of my twenty-yard marker and then started to turn away from me.  I had been focused on the spot even before the fledgling buck entered the kill zone so when it began to turn, my finger quickly applied pressure to the trigger of my bow.  As the bow’s bark shattered the quiet landscape, the arrow was launched, entered the hapless whitetail at mid-body, just short of the rib cage, exiting behind the scapula on the opposite side of the animal and buried its head deeply into the rich, black soil. 

The buck moved away from the point of impact in a clumsy and unsure gait, its destiny already sealed by the mortal wound that had been inflicted by the Slick Trick broadhead and the exceptional performance of the SixPoint GT Flex crossbow.  My Minnesota whitetail hunt was over and I had bagged my “Poke `em Young” buck just three days before the state’s firearms season opener.  It was indeed a good day.

The SixPoint GT Flex is just one of the models from the very fine line of quality crossbows manufactured by TenPoint Crossbows.  I had been using my Flex for a couple of weeks and during that time we had become close, personal friends that work very well together.  The GT Flex is a recurve bow and I must admit that when I saw my very first one, I thought that it looked like a kid’s toy.  However, when we got to really know one another, I was pleased to discover that the GT Flex is a very serious crossbow for the earnest hunter.

The GT Flex has an variable power stroke that adjusts from 13.25 inches (180-lb draw weight) down to 7.75 inches (90-lb draw weight)  The middle position is 11.875 inch power stroke, which is good for a 125-pounds of draw weight.  The bow is light weight (just over 6 lbs), but still solidly constructed just like each and every crossbow manufactured by TenPoint Crossbows.  Naturally, I am hunting with my GT Flex set at 180-pounds so am currently getting approximately 300 feet/second with a respectable 70-pounds of kinetic energy. 

The TenPoint PowerTouch trigger is solid, dependable and very pleasing with easy pull and zero play.  The GT Flex is topped with TenPoint’s 3x Multi-Line Scope, which I have sighted in on my unit at 23 yards, 30 yards and 35 yards.  The top of the bottom post is a perfect 46 yard shot.  The package also includes a four arrow HX quiver with instant detach Lever Lock, a three pack of TenPoint Aluminum arrows with 100 grain field tips and a TenPoint Staff Shooter Field Cap.  There is an Owners Instructional DVD that not only takes you through assembly and safety instructions, but also contains some really exciting crossbow hunts by the Prostaff of TenPoint Crossbows.

Undeniably, the best facet of the GT Flex was the way it handled in the field.  It was light enough that I didn’t have to use a sling.  It was easy to maneuver in the heavy brush and extremely comfortable to carry even with one hand.  The high quality optics added precious minutes of shooting time at each end of the day and always provided a clear view that was easy to adjust to my eye.  The arrow flight from the Flex was consistent and deadly accurate conveniently relieving itself of any blame should the intended mark be missed.  And as with all recurve crossbows, the GT Flex is simple and dependable with very little that can go wrong.  My GT Flex is equipped with TenPoint’s legendary AccuDraw, which I used faithfully to cock the bow before I entered the field to hunt.  Once I had the scope’s windage set on the range, I cocked the bow manually to save time.  When I did however, I was predictably off the mark, either to the left or the right as I am unable to physically match the precise consistency obtained with the AccuDraw.

The SixPoint GT Flex is an extremely well engineered, pinpoint accurate, powerful and dependable crossbow that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.  The entire package is available for right around $500 and that includes the bow, scope, quiver, arrows, cap and DVD making it an extremely shrewd investment for such a high quality crossbow.  To learn more about the entire line of TenPoint Crossbows, visit the TenPoint Website at www.tenpointcrossbows.com or give them a call at 330-628-9245 and they will be happy to send you a catalog.  If you have any questions about my experience with the SixPoint GT Flex, give me a call.  I will be happy to share my personal thoughts with you about both bow and company.

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# Anonymous
Monday, January 25, 2010 9:42 PM

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