November 10, 2021
With all due respect to the many great bow companies in today’s archery industry, if there’s a bowmaker with a better pedigree than Hoyt, we’re not aware of it. Started in 1931 by the St. Louis, Missouri, based father/son tandem of Earl Hoyt, Sr. and Jr., the start-up business quickly earned a reputation for building high-quality cedar arrows and remarkably straight-shooting stickbows.
By the mid-1940s, Hoyt Archery Company, driven by Earl Hoyt, Jr.’s pure engineering genius, had begun to incorporate the superb, dynamically balanced, equal-length bow limbs that would set their target bows apart. A decade later, semi-pistol and then full pistol grips, plus the first true bow stabilizer, would lead to the industry’s most successful line of competition bows in history — think gold-medal-winning recurves (they took their first Olympic gold in ’72) — and eventually to what would become a storied line of the toughest, most accurate hunting bows on the market — think about the compounds toted by Chuck Adams in the early days of his quest for the first Super Slam.
Given Earl Hoyt, Jr.’s ground-breaking design patents, which are now commonplace, it’s easy to see why he was inducted to the Archery Hall of Fame in 1977 (Earl Jr. also brought us the first micro-adjustable rest, a viable takedown system for recurves, as well as remarkable riser and bow-limb advancements). But amazingly, when Earl Hoyt Jr. entered the Hall, his wife, Ann Weber Hoyt, was already an AHOF inductee, having received the honor in ’72, a year after they were married. Widely considered one of the best field archers of all time, Ann dominated through the ’40s and ’50s and took the world championship in ’59. This true archery power couple — later awarded the Thompson Medal of Honor by the National Archery Association for their unmatched contributions to target archery — would spend the next three decades positively influencing their beloved archery industry with a dedication, kindness, and grace that is rarely seen.
But in many ways that is only the beginning of the story, because in 1983 Earl Hoyt, Jr. took up longtime friend Jim Easton’s offer to bring Hoyt Archery into the Jas. D. Easton family of companies. That partnership not only continued Hoyt’s impressive record of innovation, quality, and service, but the eventual relocation to a new 100,000+ square-foot manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, introduced the brand to a new level of resources, all under one roof, along with the design and manufacturing expertise that lead to unprecedented growth and placed Hoyt bows at the top of the rapidly expanding bowhunting market of the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s.
Hoyt brought the archery market many of the most popular flagship bows, with names like Gold Medalist, Pro Hunter, Pro Medalist, ProVantage, Pro Force, Super Slam, SuperStar, Defiant, Raptor, Tenacity, Stratus, Striker, Viper, Havoc, and AlphaTec, which lead to a long line of TEC riser and Cam & ½ Performance System bows with names like UltraTec, ProTec, VorTec, CyberTec, HavocTec, RazorTec, VTEC, Trykon, Vectrix, Katera, AlphaMax and more. And in 2010, Hoyt’s team revolutionized bow-building once more with their introduction of the 3.8-lb. hollow carbon tube riser Carbon Matrix, which lead to an ongoing series of carbon-riser bows. In 2018, Hoyt introduced their highly successful REDWRX series with the Carbon RX-1. This year’s 4.4-lb. Carbon RX-5, powered by the new HBX Cam and producing speeds up to 342 fps, is easily one of the most advanced bows to ever hit the market. The aluminum-riser Ventum 30 isn’t much heavier at 4.6 lbs., and it’s sending arrows down range at the same speed.
Suffice it to say that Hoyt’s archery engineers are at the top of their game, and in this brief column there isn’t room to document all the technological advances they’ve brought to market, nor to pay proper tribute to the industry contributions of other Hoyt leaders like recently retired Randy Walk.
This magazine’s relationship with Hoyt Archery began back in the early ’80s and has been growing ever since, and for that we’re truly grateful. We’re also thankful that Hoyt continues to build the most dependable bows on the market, and they’ve been doing it since 1931. For those doing the math, that’s 90 years, and it’s well worth a tip of the Bowhunter cap. Thank you, Hoyt!