- 1 Bow Package Contents
- 2 Noise Level / Hand Shock Of The Barnett Vortex Hunter Compound Bow
- 3 Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Grip / String
- 4 Draw Cycle / Shootability
- 5 Shooting Speed Of The Barnett Vortex Hunter
- 6 Suitable For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)
- 7 Suitable For Bowfishing
- 8 Pricing
- 9 Pros & Cons
- 10 Summary
- 11 Videos
If you want to know if it really is a good option for young hunters I suggest you read the following in-depth review to the end and decide for yourself.
Bow Package Contents
The Barnett Vortex Hunter comes in a version for right-handed shooters only, this means the archer holds it in the left hand and pulls the string back with his or her right hand. If you don’t know what that means, I recommend you read my beginner’s guide here => Beginner’s Guide To Compound Bows.
|iGlow 30-55||SAS Scorpii 30-55||Leader 30-55||AW Pro|
|30 - 55 lbs||30 - 55 lbs||30 - 55 lbs||20 - 70 lbs|
|19" - 29"||19" - 29"||19" - 29"||17" - 29"|
|296 fps||260 fps||296 fps||320 fps|
The Barnett Vortex Hunter comes set to 60 lbs poundage and a draw length of 28″. As 60 lbs is quite a lot for young bowhunters, you probably have to lower it a bit for starting out. If your kid is already a seasoned pro, you can skip this step.
Along with the this one comes a Hostage Style arrow rest. This wore out pretty quickly, so I would suggest you don’t waste a lot of time with dialing it in and get a replacement rather sooner than later. Maybe take a look at the Trophy Ridge Full Capture Drop Away rest or a ‘brush styled’ rest like a Whisker Biscuit.
The 3-Pin Fiber Optic Sight is okay for starting out. The 3 pins are set to 20, 30 and 40 yards, but you may need to adjust it to your personal way of shooting. For sighting in a bowsight you simply need to follow the arrows. Always shoot a group of them and adjust the sight accordingly. So if you shoot too much to the left and up, you need to adjust the sight to the left and up. If you want to learn more about this process I have a guide about it here => How To Sight In A Compound Bow.
You can upgrade to a tru-glow sight or a Trophy Ridge single pin sight etc. too. Like I wrote above, this model is good for starting out, but sooner or later you will have to upgrade to a better one.
The 2 piece quiver can contain up to 3 arrows. Some customers had problems with this quiver, though. One complained that it could only hold two arrows as the bolt always pushed the third out of the grip, another one complained that the middle arrow’s position clashes with the sight. If that’s the case with your quiver too, you might need to upgrade to a different model, as a mounted quiver is important for hunting, as you don’t wan’t to mess around with a hip quiver or a back quiver when being out in the field.
The Barnett Vortex Hunter is available in a cool and well made high def camo finish, which supports its purpose well.
You will also get a 5 year warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. Dry firing or drilling additional holes into the riser won’t be covered, though; those things will void the warranty for sure. If you don’t know what dry firing means, I have an article about it here => Dry Firing A Compound Bow.
Moveable parts like accessories, cables and strings are usually not covered by warranties.
The package can be doubled and be used as a carry case. However, it is pretty flimsy, so if you transport it a lot to the shooting range etc., you might need to think about getting a real case for storage and transport. Such a case will protect your Barnett Vortex Hunter from extreme temperatures (hot car trunk, hot attic) and moisture (damp garage or cellar). You also can leave it in there for weeks, if necessary.
As there are no arrows included, you need to buy them on your own, but finding the right arrows that suit the compound and yourself is not always that easy to do. If you have problems with that I would suggest you go to a pro shop, because they might need to cut them to fit your personal draw length. If you want to know how to measure your draw length, I have a guide about doing it here => How To Determine Your Draw Length.
Customers went with the Rage 2 Blade Broadheads and Gold Tip Carbon Devastators.
There is a pre-drilled mounting hole for a standard 5 inch stabilizer. I would add one as it will balance the compound out overall and because it will get rid of vibrations while shooting it, which is very important for bowhunting, because sound travels faster than the arrow, which might warn the game before you can hit it.
In case you want to shoot with a peep sight served in – which you should – you need to buy one that fits you and the bowsight. It should not be too big so that it covers the pins of the sight when aiming, though. The position on the string needs to fit the shooter and therefore it needs to be adjusted specifically for him or her.
There are also a D-loop and a release aid missing. If you want to avoid twisting the string with your fingers at the release you should get one installed as soon as possible. Especially long distance shots will be affected by the slightest twist of your fingers – missing the game in the worst case, so in general, it is recommended to shoot compounds with release aids.
Noise Level / Hand Shock Of The Barnett Vortex Hunter Compound Bow
For getting rid of the noise you should add string silencers, a limb saver stabilizer and a standard stabilizer. With a lower poundage, the compound is pretty quiet, but starting at 50 lbs it gets louder and louder becuase of the increased vibrations, which is pretty bad for bowhunting.
A hand shock is not noticeable.
Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Grip / String
The Barnett Vortex Hunter is constructed after ATA / AMO standards, which stand for a high quality in materials and workmanship. It is durable, feels sturdy and looks well made overall.
Its aluminum riser is machined smoothly, its grip feels quite comfortable and is well designed to fit a lot of archers and bowhunters.
With an axle to axle length of 28.34″ it is not as bulky in a ground blind as an adult bow, which makes it a great option for female huntresses as well. To be honest, it is extremely compact and fairly lightweight (there is no info about the net weight out there, but a customer stated it is around 3 lbs).
Its durable split limbs sit tight in back pivoting limb pockets, which results in a great overall accuracy – provided that the shooter has some skills. The limbs are made from a modern composite material and feel like they can take a lot of beating before giving up.
The aggressive binary cam system can – in combination with the well made limbs – generate enough force to send an arrow downrange with around 280 fps and more (provided it is set to 60 lbs draw weight).
Draw Cycle / Shootability
The Barnett Vortex Hunter is – even at 60 lbs – pretty smooth to draw and shoots very accurately. 3″ groups at 40 yards are no problem, if you get better accessories. At 60 yard distances you will experience minor problems concerning accuracy. Up to 60 yards it is absolutely fantastic to shoot.
Its back wall is solid and therefore gives a great reference point that you can easily relate to when working on your form, which is a must for every serious bowhunter. If you want to learn more about shooting with proper form, I have an article about it here => Proper Form For Compound Bow Shooting.
The draw weight range is from 45 to 60 lbs. It can be adjusted with the included Allen wrench by tightening or loosening the limb bolts that attach the limbs to the riser. Clockwise increases, counter-clockwise decreases the poundage. Never ever do more than 3 full turns or the compound might fall apart rather violently, as those bows are under a lot of tension all the time. If you can’t remember the number of full turns, tighten to the max and start over from there. Also make sure that the number of full turns on each bolt is equal.
The draw length ranges from 26″ to 30″. For adjustment there is no bow press needed. You can loosen the screw that holds the module in place with the included Allen wrench, then adjust the draw length in small incremental steps. Just re-tighten the screw after adjusting and you are good to go. If your personal draw length is longer than 30″, this model is not for you. If you want to know how to measure your draw length, I have a guide about doing it here => How To Determine Your Draw Length.
The given let off of 60 – 70% is quite comfortable – as is the valley – and gives enough room for aiming while holding the string back at a full draw.
Shooting Speed Of The Barnett Vortex Hunter
There is no official data about speed out there because the Barnett Vortex Hunter is too weak for being measured after the requirements of the International Bowhunting Organization (IBO), but a customer stated he measured 320 fps (although he did not mention the arrow’s weight, so we cannot replicate that). In general, this compound breaks no speed records, but it is still fast enough to go bowhunting with.
Suitable For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)
As there is no reliable data available for its speed with a given arrow weight, we cannot dive into kinetic energy calculations (If you want to know more about that, read my article about it here => Kinetic Energy For Bowhunting.). But all in all, 280 fps should be enough to go after small and medium game. In case you use lighter arrows, deer should be doable as well (speed versus penetration, old discussion; read more about it in the article I mentioned a few lines above), but you need to hit the vital organs. That’s why practising a lot before going hunting makes makes sense. Every serious hunter should be an excellent shooter.
With 60 lbs the Barnett Vortex Hunter should meet most of the states’ legal requirements concerning bowhunting, but inform yourself before roaming the fields to make sure that it also meets the requirements of your state.
Suitable For Bowfishing
As there is a pre-drilled hole for a stabilizer, the Barnett Vortex Hunter should be possible to add a standard bowfishing reel to this model. Its poundage is also enough for penetrating the water and hitting the fish well, so yes, you can bowfish with it.
At around 175 bucks the Barnett Vortex Hunter is not a cheap shooter, but it is not very expensive either. Just look at the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro or the Apollo Tactical (and even those are not at the upper price range concerning top models). Although it is not that expensive, the Barnett Vortex Hunter can easily compete with models that cost twice as much, so it is a very good option to go bowhunting without breaking the bank completely. Alternatives you might want to check out are the Bear Archery Cruzer, the Highfive Scorcher or the SAS Rage.
Pros & Cons
– very well made
– very accurate
– can be used by adults as well
– bad accessories
The Barnett Vortex Hunter Compound Bow is advertised as being a youth model, but to be honest, it is used by adults as well. Seasoned bowhunters and especially females enjoy shooting it every day. As it is extremely compact, it is a good choice for small ground blinds or narrow tree stands or roaming areas with dense vegetation for hours.
So when you are looking for a good model for your son or for yourself, this model is a great option for entering the world of bowhunting without losing an arm and a leg. It is well made, durable and – provided you get better accessories – shoots really accurately up to 60 yards. And I think that is more than enough for some hunting trips together with your offspring or on your own. Apart from that, your son will love it!
Thanks for reading and shoot straight!