When it come to hot times in the field with vampish crossbows, TenPoint Crossbow Technologies has hooked me up with some very fine hunting companions. I often hear TenPoint referred to as the “Cadillac of Crossbows” because of the stoutly built, deadly and consistently accurate bows they build, all constructed to provide years of dependable and problem free service. Superb crossbows that are backed with comprehensive warranties and as fine and quick service that is offered by any crossbowyer in the world.
Each year, I look forward to reviewing their latest offering to see what new standards this fine company is setting. The 2015 “hottie” that they placed in my eager hands proved to be a delightful match as she and I became acquainted and then escaped together into the serenity of the Canadian bush where we successfully teamed up together to terminate a wily, wascally, black bear.
When the Stealth FX4 arrived at my doorstep, I swooped her up and took her to my office where I unpacked the box, laid out all of her components and then began to carefully assemble my new girl-friend. I was pleased to quickly discover that TenPoint is packing a general, Crossbow-use Safety Manual with each bow they sell. It is comprehensive, thorough and one that should be read from cover to cover, especially by those that are purchasing their very first crossbow.
Ms. Fox (my pet name for the FX4) assembled quickly and I couldn’t help but notice how solidly she went together. This one came equipped with the famous ACU-Draw cocking device which is built right into the stock and is, in my humble opinion, the finest crossbow cocking device in the industry. The built in storage slot for the crank on the bottom side of the stock keeps it securely stowed within easy reach and at your finger tips at all times… it is very nice feature, indeed. Also included with this bow was a Bow-Jax noise dampening package and all I can say after seeing how this affects the performance is that if your new TenPoint does not come with this kit, make sure you pick one up… it is definitely worth the extra cost.
As is usual in the case of a TenPoint Crossbow, the first impressions left when bow is matched to the riser is one of a solid unification that faithfully promises problem free service and outstanding longevity. There is not even a shadow of doubt that what you hold in your hands is as good as money can buy, and a sure value when it comes to crossbow options.
The FX4 is yet another contemporary entry from TenPoint that is light, compact and bursting at the seams with power and speed, while still maintaining a very conservative draw weight of 185 lbs. The petite structure of the FX4 is confined to a 34.4″ length and a narrow 17.6″ width (axel to axel) when uncocked and 13.3″ when cocked. She weighs in at just 6.8 lbs and launches a 20″, 370 grain arrow at 370 fps, all-the-while maintaining 113 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.
My Ms. Fox came packaged together with a 3X Pro-View 2 Scope, an Instant Detach 3-Arrow Quiver, Ambidextrous Side-Mount Quiver Bracket, 3-pack of TenPoint Pro Elite carbon fiber arrows with 100-grain practice points’, Owner’s Instructional DVD, a TenPoint vehicle window sticker, and as I mentioned earlier, a Bowjax Crossbow Noise Dampening Kit.
The compactness of Ms. Fox made for a comfortable, very steady and well-heeled fit in my arms. In every way, I am average… average height, average weight, average appearance and average intelligence. The way the FX4 nestles comfortably into my arms, however, I consider to be far above average… it’s like this bow has been made to order just to fit my body. When snapped to the shoulder, Ms. Fox is exactly where she is supposed to be, ready for action and loaded for bear. The way this bow and I fit together feels good… very good.
Once I had the Ms. Fox together, I headed for my backyard range to see just how much tinkering it would take to zero her in… it took zero tinkering! The first arrow was loosened at twenty yards using the top reticule of the scope and it buried itself right between the eyes of my center smiley face which had been designated to be ground zero. Surprised and very impressed, I retrieved my arrow, which had blown so far through the target it had to be removed from the backside.
Then I ranged and moved back to thirty yards. I used the second reticule from the top and my next shot went directly into the hole created by the first arrow, enlarging the gaping wound in the forehead of the smiley face. Looking at the damage and the asinine grin on the silly face of my bulls-eye, I failed terribly to see what was so darned hilarious. Then the irony of it all hit me and I smiled too. Two shots right out of the box, one at twenty yards and one at thirty, both right between the eyes of a 1 1/2″ high zero that could only smile at its helpless, but extremely effective demise. I was going like this new little lady that nestled so comfortably into my arms.
After another dozen shots or so, a confident bond had been formed between Ms. Fox and me. There was not the trace of doubt in my mind that our first outing together would end in a dramatic climax if we could just find a black bear that could be duped into coming close enough to provide a reasonable opportunity to bloody an arrow.
As with the past three spring bear hunts, this year’s quest was scheduled for Buffalo Point, Manitoba just over the Minnesota border on the shores of historic Lake of the Woods. Drew Thunder, Gamekeeper and Head guide at Buffalo Point, was anxiously awaiting our arrival and urged us to our cabins to quickly unpack and prepare for the evening’s hunt. Once again, I had requested to hunt from a ground blind as that is my favorite way to hunt for black bears.
Once we were ready to hunt, we climbed into the truck and headed for the field. My post was a ground blind on the edge of an small clearing deep in the bush. All of the baits had been getting hit by nice bears, all were getting hit by multiple bears as documented by trail cams. I settled into my blind which bore scars of a bear attack that happened several nights earlier. The curious bruin had torn it up pretty good, but Drew had managed to piece it back together for use even though it was impossible to hide all of the damage.
Settling into my hide, I loaded Ms. Fox for bear using a 20″ LumenArrow tipped with a 100 grain, fixed blade, Grim Reaper broadhead, and then settled in for the long wait until sunset after leaning the bow against the wall of the blind. The usual forest creatures, ravens, rodents and birds, kept me occupied during the wait as I quietly snapped photos of them going about their daily routine of survival in the harsh Canadian jungle. Without warning a large bear appeared catching me with my camera in my hand. Making the best of the situation, I snapped pictures until the bear moved up to the barrel and began to dine. When I slowly set down my camera and reached for my bow, the bear sensed my presence and bolted as I sat helplessly and watched the bruins big fat butt disappear into the thick timber.
It has been my experience that when this happens, especially with a large bear like this one, you aren’t going to see it again. Still, I got Ms. Fox set up on my shooting stick and waited patiently hoping that past experience would be proven wrong. Twenty minutes later and large bear came walking in on the same trail we had approached the blind from. It was a good bear and was moving left to right not thirty feet in front of the my chair. When it stopped, I placed the lighted reticule of the scope on it rib cage and squeezed the trigger. Ms. Fox gave a loud grunt, followed by the bear’s loud grunt as it exploded into action and in the blink of an eye disappeared into the thick Canadian bush. It was over.
As luck would have it, the bear I shot was not the bear that I had photographed earlier. It wasn’t as big, but it was still a nice bear. The important part is that Ms. Fox and I had successfully teamed up to close the deal on the hapless bruin which was recovered with 60 yards of where the arrow had found its mark.
The bottom line of this report is that the TenPoint FX4 is an excellent crossbow that will deliver years of dependable, service-free performance as long as the owner properly maintains it and follows commonsense use of it in the field and on the range. She is a real sweetie and you will do good things with her once you become one with your bow. For more information about the TenPoint FX4, visit the TenPoint website at: www.tenpointcrossbows.com