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Carbon Matrix vs. Carbon Matrix Plus: A Year in Review

Marc Smith


I could not believe the event that just unfolded before me.  I had dreamed of my hunt ending this way a zillion times.  Only moments ago I was sound asleep, catching up on some much needed sleep in the mid day sun in the high alpine boulder field. I had stalked in as close as I dared of two magnum-sized mule deer bucks I had glassed up the evening before.  I knew I should be just above them and decided to wait them out.  As I sat in my boulder perch, I drifted off to sleep.  After about an hour nap, I woke and decided to stand and stretch.  As I stood I sent a small rock into motion.  The rolling stone sounded like thunder in the quiet high country basin.  I immediately heard the sound of bounding deer below me.   The two bucks soon came into view.  The larger of the two – a big 30 inch wide 4x3 – never checked up. He simply drifted over the edge like smoke. The other buck – a 26 inch wide heavy 4x4 – stopped in classic mule deer fashion to see what caused the commotion.  I quickly ranged the buck, dialed in my sight and came to full draw.  I anchored and settled my bottom pin mid-rib and pulled through the release.  As the arrow struck the deer I knew it was a good hit.  The buck jumped straight up into the air and all four legs were churning as he burned a path through the willow patch.  I looked down at my bow in amazement.  This was the second mature mule deer buck I had harvested this week.  Just 4 days prior I harvested a gnarly old 29 inch wide 3x2 on a rugged hunt down in New Mexico. And now here I was standing over a great Colorado high country buck, two shots, two great bucks, one amazing bow!
When Hoyt introduced the Carbon Matrix in 2010, I knew this was the ultimate high country mule deer hunting bow. I ordered one and instantly it exceeded all expectations.  It aims better than it should, it’s faster than published and cosmetically there’s not a cooler bow on the planet. The Carbon Matrix is such a delight to shoot, that I found myself shooting almost every day throughout the summer of 2010.  I could not get enough of the bow.  I shot field rounds, 3D shoots and even shot some small game with it around my home.  I thought there would be no way Hoyt could ever top this bow! Enter the 2011 Carbon Matrix Plus.

When I saw the upgraded version of the Carbon Matrix in the 2011 Hoyt catalog – the Carbon Matrix Plus – I knew again I had to have one.  The upgraded version blows the doors off of last year’s model.  The added feature of the roller guard is a superior design of the traditional cable slide.  The inline roller guard keeps the cables more in-line with the riser, this means better vane clearance and delivers a smoother draw.  The removable grip is a feature I really like.  Perhaps it stems from my target shooting days but I have always found that the trimmest, smallest grip means better shot consistency.  I just simply removed the two screws and the factory grip and wrapped the grip with tennis racket tape and “voila!” I was in business.  The new Realtree AP pattern looks especially rich and appealing in contrast to the bronze limb pockets and cams.  Speaking of cams, the new FUEL cam is just as smooth as last years XTR cam, however the redesigned, beefier cable stop is superior to the former model.  The valley is comfortable and the shot is ultra smooth.

I set my Carbon Matrix Plus up tuned to shoot my Easton Flat Line 400 shafts at a whopping 318 feet per second.  At 64 pounds, the 340 grain arrows are 20 grains heavier than recommended by ATA standards, thus leaving my bow much faster than the ATA specs published by Hoyt.  The engineering and craftsmanship of the Hoyt Carbon Matrix Plus is an archery anomaly.  You have to shoot one for yourself to truly appreciate it.  If you were skeptical last year, forget about it.  Those doubts that crept in should be out of your mind.  The price point has dropped a bit making the Carbon Matrix Plus easier on your wallet and the results speak for themselves.  Visit your local Hoyt dealer today and shoot the Carbon Matrix Plus for yourself. It’ll make you a believer too.

I’ll see you on the mountain or down the trail.

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