In previous articles, I have explained how to choose a bow for hunting as well as how to choose appropriate arrows and broadheads.
However, many people tend to get so caught up in contemplating these aspects of bowhunting that they fail to give their arrow rest the consideration it deserves.
It has been my experience that choosing the perfect arrow rest is every bit as important as choosing the right arrow and broadhead!
In fact, I clearly recall the first time that the importance of this point was driven home to me; I was deer hunting early one morning next to a small creek in the bottom of a deep valley and, because the sun had not yet risen above the ridge of the adjacent mountain, it was exceptionally cold.
When the sun finally began to penetrate to the valley's floor, I decided to move into a patch of sunlight to get warm. I stationed myself next to a large oak tree and continued to wait patiently for a deer to come along.
However, because the trail I was hunting on was covered in moss and the creek was gurgling behind me, I knew that I would not be able to hear the deer coming as I normally would and thus, I would have to extra vigilant in watching the trail.
At some point, I happened to look down at my bow and I noticed that the arrow I had nocked had fallen off my arrow rest. So, without thinking first, I reached down to place the arrow back on the rest but, just as I did so, I heard a deer snort and blow not 20 yards in front of me.
I looked up just in time to see the deer bound off down the trail. Had I been paying better attention, and had my arrow not fallen off of my arrow rest, I would have gone home with venison that day.
That little incident set me on a year long quest to find the perfect arrow rest. After careful consideration, I decided that my first criteria was that it must retain my arrow on the rest at all times with the bow held at any angle.
I tried numerous different designs, ranging from add-on accessories that worked with my conventional, two prong rest to a design that had three steel leaves.
But none of these rests met with my second criteria that it also be easy to load and unload. I kept on searching.
Then, one day I discovered the Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit (originally made by Carolina Archery Products) and suddenly, my prayers were answered!
Not only did it contain my arrow at any angle, it was very easy to load and unload. Consequently, I now have one on both of my hunting bows and I absolutely love them.
However, I have also discovered that because this design necessitates that the fletching pass through the stiff bristles that make up the "biscuit," it was a little hard on the feathers I was using as fletching at the time.
I found it necessary to change my fletching from feathers to vanes. However, I consider this to be a very minor inconvenience compared to the that which I experienced when using a conventional, two prong arrow rest.
When I am in the field, I can confidently nock an arrow and fully expect that it will be in place whenever I am ready to draw and shoot.
While this is not quite such a big deal when I am deer hunting from my treestand, I find that it is very important when I am stalking feral hogs. I often find myself pursuing them in heavy cover where I need to focus my entire attention on the animal and usually draw, aim, and shoot at a moment's notice.
With this type of arrow rest, I can nock an arrow before I begin my stalk or before I enter the heavy cover pigs like to bed in. That way, I am not forced to wait until I am within shooting range to do so.
I tip my hat to Carolina Archery Products (who was the original manufactures of this rest) for ending my quest for the perfect hunting arrow rest. In fact, this design has become so popular that Trophy Ridge (who is the present manufacturer) has expanded the design to include six different models of the Whisker Biscuit, raging from the original to several models with micro-adjustments to one designed specifically for bow fishing.
So, if you have ever had an experience similar to mine, then I urge you to give the Whisker Biscuit a try.
Last, if you have information or comments on this subject that you would like to pass along to other readers, then please feel free to post below.