Matching wits with a cagey, old bull is most likely found under the definition of an addictive pursuit. A wild animal, thriving from the open prairies to some of the highest peaks in the West, tends to captivate those who experience its’ magic. For Andrew Whitney and Zack Boughton, their journey as hunters led them to bowhunt elk from the initial stages. Like anything, progression brings new challenges, new ways to perfect your craft and find new complexities in a sport ripe with twists, turns, and more unknowns than a lifetime will ever uncover. To get better at any pursuit, a person must push their boundaries, finding the edge of their comfort zone and breaking through it. After years of successfully bowhunting elk, Andrew and Zack decided a test of their skills was in order. Having been friends for years, their bond revolved around hunting and a “always be your best” mindset. Zack had first hunted Idaho in 2016 and notched his bull tag on the third day of hunting. Conversation about future hunts, summers spent scouting, and a trip with Andrew carrying the bow and Zack the camera, naturally led to the two men deciding an elk season with a lofty goal was in order. What seemed simple in concept would obviously be harder in reality. For Andrew and Zack, their 2020 fall would be marked with the goal of killing two elk in Idaho with their bows and then return to Montana and repeat the feat. Four elk tags, two bordering states, a camera and hopefully a story not to be forgotten.

Elevating the Archery Experience

Each fall, the engineers at Mathews Archery get to send out a small number of prototype bows to a hand-selected team that will put them through the paces in the field. They do this to ensure that what was developed in a lab will fully translate to real-world conditions seen by the most avid hunters. This last fall, Andrew and Zack hit the hills with two of their new 2021 bows. Andrew carried the new V3 and Zack the Atlas.


2021 Bow Lineup - Our Thoughts

Andrew Whitney


"The Mathews V3 is a well-oiled machine. It is incredibly easy to tune and features easy to adjust draw lengths and draw weights. The one thing that truly separates this bow from the competition is the shootability without the compromise of a long axle-to-axle length. Mark Hayes and the team did a great job maximizing riser length in a compact package and it's a game changer. The V3 is quiet, repeatable and puts them down the center time and time again."




“Every year I think, can these bows really get any better? And every year when I pull the new bow out, get it setup, and shoot those first arrows, I think damn this is better! This year I shot the Atlas, a bow created with a longer ATA and the ability to fit those with longer than average draw lengths.  Things that struck me were the smooth draw cycle, an uncanny stability at full draw, and like always, minimal noise and hand shock on the shot.”


Know Where You Stand

How you navigate the landscape as a hunter is an essential part of determining whether or not you find success. From understanding land boundaries, determining topography and routes, marking key locations, and finding your way back to your truck, the ability to expertly navigate in the field will push the needle further to the side of success and punching tags. Back in 2013, Zack helped test the Beta Version of the OnX Hunt app. Since then, it’s been a key piece of gear that comes along on every hunt. Andrew has been an avid user for years and considers it an essential piece of gear that helps him punch more tags.


Zack's Feature Spotlight

Line tool

We've all taken the wrong route in the field and know that sometimes doing so can have a big impact on your hunt. For me the Line Tool allows me to do two things that can make a difference on my hunts.

The first is measuring the distance of a path. This would allow you to roughly determine hike in lengths and times before setting foot in a zone. This can be a big help in trying to determine if a multi-day backpack hunt in an area will actually pan out. Our eyes always underestimate scale when looking at maps on a screen, and the Line Tool can help you keep a realistic view on approaching an area.

Second, the Line Tool allows me to build out a path that I will hike to get to an area. Often I won't want to waste valuable time by waiting till light to hike into an area, and finding your way in the dark in a new spot can be a challenge. Often a little more time of close scrutiny on the maps will reveal the best path, and I will use the Line Tool to map it. I then save it and can reference the line I built while hiking in. Some areas require picking the right route through cliff areas, and creating a path ahead of time is an advantage in most scenarios.

Finally, this feature also now shows an elevation of the track, which I'm excited to try out this spring!

-Zack Boughton

"Growth grows out of failure, and failure only happens when you’re giving it your all" - Zack B