As one of the leading bow manufacturers in the world, it’s always big news when Mathews announces its newest bows for the next year. This year it’s no different, as Mathews welcomes two new items, the Monster Chill R and the Creed XS.
Bowhunter editor Curt Wells got his hands on the Monster Chill R for an exclusive first look at this hot new offering from Mathews. He recently took a break from deer hunting to bring you his field report on the Chill R.
Editor’s Report From the Field
Few things can pull me away from my treestand when the whitetail rut is on, but a chance to shoot a new bow is one of them. Last week, my new 2014 Mathews Monster Chill R showed up at the door, so I took a break from hunting to set it up and do some shooting.
Longer Axle-to-Axle Length
As I slipped my new Monster Chill R out of the box, the first thing I noticed was the longer axle-to-axle length, which is a welcome change from my 2013 Monster Chill. The only thing I would have changed in that bow was the 30.5-inch axle-to-axle length. Since I shoot a 30-inch draw, I feared the bow might be a bit too short for my draw length. That concern turned out to be unfounded, however, as last year’s Monster Chill shot very well for me and was responsible for a muskox and a caribou in August.
Even then, the engineers at Mathews must have been reading my mind, because the new Chill R is 33 inches from axle-to-axle. The riser is about the same length, but the limbs are a bit longer and the angle of the limb pockets has changed. This extra length softens the extreme string angle for long-draw archers like myself. While most bowhunters would do just fine with the 30.5-inch Chill, the new Chill R is perfect for my size and style of bowhunting.
Another feature that separates the Chill R from its predecessor is brace height. It has been shortened from 7 inches on the Chill to 6 1/8 inches on the Chill R. That longer power stroke translates into more arrow speed, and with an IBO speed rating up to 342 fps, the Chill R is definitely a speed bow.
Of course that rating is achieved using a 70-pound bow with a 350-grain arrow and nothing on the string but a nock set. To test the fps rating, I set my Chill R to 70 pounds and shot a 350-grain arrow through my chronograph. Three consecutive shots came in at 337 fps. That’s only 5 fps off the IBO rating—and I had a peep, string loop and Monkey Tails on my string. There’s no doubt the Chill R is as fast as advertised.
The next thing I did was set up the Chill R for whitetail hunting. I chose a draw weight of 64 pounds—for those cold days—and shot my regular 451-grain hunting arrow through the chronograph. That arrow—a full 100 grains heavier than the IBO standard—was still zipping along at 305 fps. Now that’s excellent arrow speed for real world bowhunting.
One thing that did not change is what I consider the greatest attribute of the Chill R—it has one of the smoothest draw cycles I’ve experienced in years. I’m not a fan of harsh, jerky draw cycles common on other speed bows. It may seem counterintuitive, but the draw cycle on my new Chill R is silky smooth. There is no jerking as it descends softly into an 80-percent letoff, which ends at a solid back wall. When a big-game animal is ultra-close and I have to execute the most important move in bowhunting—the draw—it has to be effortless. This bow allows that.
The great qualities in the Chill R don’t stop there. At the release this bow barely moves in your hand, and it’s as quiet as the bleat of a fawn. That’s the genius of the DYAD AVS (Advanced Vectoring System) Cam, which can be defined in three words—smooth, silent, speed. Sealed bearings on the cams and the Reverse Assist Roller Guard also contribute to the silky draw cycle.
A Great Grip
Another feature I love—which is standard on both versions of the Chill—is the Focus Grip. The thinner profile helps reduce hand torque, and the “Focus Ridge” helps center the pressure of your hand. The rubber texture is also warm to the touch—perfect for those times when you have to wait out a stationary buck on a cold November morning.
Speaking of November whitetails, it’s time for me to get back in my treestand. I have one week to fine-tune my Chill R between sits before I’m off to Kansas, then Eastern Colorado, to hunt western whitetails for Bowhunter TV. You can bet my new, blazing fast, ultra-smooth “Blue Ice” Chill R will be packed and ready for its first audition.