The perfect combination: A Mathews Z7 or Z7 Extreme bow and Big Sticky’s BBQ.

Posted by in Hunting

In October of 2011 my old Hoyt single cam bow needed a new stabilizer, so I took it to Big Creek Archery in Troy, MO. I’d driven past the shop a number of times, and it’s close to my farm. It’s a smaller full service shop with an attached shooting range. As they were helping me pick out a new stabilizer, I made the mistake of asking about a new Mathews bow. These guys know they have a product that sells itself, because their response was very low pressure. They simply suggested I run a few arrows through a new Mathews Z7.

I took a Z7 and a Z7 Extreme over to the shooting range and put a dozen arrows through each bow. Coming from a decent 12 year old single cam bow I was not expecting much difference. Wow, was I surprised. These were the smoothest shooting bows I had ever fired. I could tell very little difference between the Z7 and the Z7 Extreme. The Extreme is 2 inches shorter than the Z7, with a 28 inch axle-to-axle length. The slightly longer Z7 felt a fraction more comfortable, so I focused on it.

The key advantage of the Mathews system for me comes down to one key attribute – vibration. The Z7 eliminates vibration to an unbelievably low level. There are many design features that work toward this end.

The harmonic dampers are floating weights inside a wheel built into the riser of the bow to reduce vibration. The inclusion of a harmonic stabilizer adds to this reducing effect. This bow has monkey tails, which are small rubber string additions that further eliminate noise and vibration. The dead end string stop provides a solid stop to the bow string at the conclusion of the shot, also reducing noise and vibration. When you combine these features with the parallel limb design you end up with an incredibly smooth shooting bow with very minimal vibration.

With a 30 inch axle-to-axle length, the single cam Z7 is short enough to fire from the many different types of stands from which I hunt. And at 4 pounds it’s not a monster to hold up if you’re waiting on a perfect shot on that 10 pointer. The 7 inch brace height, which is the distance between the bow handle and the string, allows for adequate power, but also some forgiveness for a less than perfect shooting form. This bow is not lacking in speed. At a 62 # draw weight shooting 360 A/C/C arrows and 100 grain broad heads I’m shooting between 260 and 270 FPS.

In order fit the bow to my correct draw length, the cam needed changing. I also picked a new quick release quiver, fiber optic sight, hunter peep, and a whisker biscuit arrow rest. This created the perfect excuse to run over to Big Sticky’s BBQ in Troy, MO to kill an hour while they rigged my bow.

I’ve had BBQ in all kinds of places from Virginia to Texas, and this is my favorite so far. Big Sticky’s operates out of a metal shed building with a garage door on the end. But don’t let the building fool you. This is the real deal. My personal favorite is the brisket sandwich with Big Sticky’s famous BBQ sauce. If you want to serve a big get together you can also buy by the pound. Check them out on Facebook. /( You won’t be disappointed.

So after an excellent sandwich we returned to Big Creek Archery about an hour later and my bow was ready. I returned to the range and started working on sighting it in. They had paper tuned the bow and got the set-up very close for a 20 yard shot. In 15 minutes I was shooting arrows touching each other on the 20 yard pin. I’ll also admit it was helpful to have the guys in the shop give me a few good pointers on shooting form.

For you Mathew’s shoppers, let me just say these bows ain’t cheap. Having made it 12 years on my previous equipment, I’m sure I convinced myself the quality was worth the price. And thanks to smart phone technology I was able to price compare the Z7 right there while I shopped. The entire rig excluding arrows was right at $1,000, and you can certainly buy the base bow for less than the suggested retail price found on the website. After all, in Missouri I hunt with my bow many more weekends than my rifle, and it would not be unusual to spend a grand on a high quality rifle with high quality optics.

So next time you’re in Troy, Missouri, run by and check out Big Creek Archery and run some arrows through a new Mathews bow. And if shooting makes you hungry, give Big Sticky’s a try. It’s all good!