When it comes to tests of hunting and fishing gear, no one beats Outdoor Life. As one of our cornerstone tests, our annual compound bow shootout has helped solidify our position as the outdoor gear test leader.

Dr. Todd Kuhn’s crack team of compound bow experts has once again put the new bows for the coming season through the wringer. In addition to evaluating and scoring the bows on things like in-hand feel, smoothness of the draw cycle and general shootability, we also conduct various empirical tests to determine each bow’s true speed, noise and vibration readings. (You’re not going to believe this, but the advertised specs aren’t always accurate.)

Like the first robin sighting and the return of baseball, the Outdoor Life Bow Test is a highly anticipated rite of spring, but the wait is almost over. The 2011 Bow Test will appear in the May issue, which hits newsstands on April 19. In the meantime, check out exclusive footage on how we test and all the behind-the-scenes action.