Mathews Archery recently produced a short film titled, “Joel.” The film highlights the hunting accomplishments of Mathews Archery’s first employee, Joel Maxfield. Joel recently completed his archery super slam. He successfully killed all 29 big game animals in North America with a bow. The interesting thing about Joel’s story is that he didn’t set out to complete a super slam like many of the bowhunters that have done it before him. It happened almost by accident. “I never set out to complete a super slam, but over the course of many years as I traveled around hunting, I slowly started to check animals off the list.”
One day while having lunch with a friend who had completed the super slam, the friend convinced Joel to go after the super slam. “A buddy of mine started asking me about the different animals that I had killed and how many of the animals on the list I had left,” Maxfield said. “That got my wheels turning. Even at that point I wasn’t sure I would ever pull it off, but I decided to check certain species off the list. For instance, I had killed four out of five of the caribou subspecies at that point and I decided I would get the fifth one as soon as I could.”
Killing all 29 big game species with a bow requires diligence and perseverance. Killing a Canadian moose with a bow was a bit of a challenge for Maxfield. “I went on eight Canadian moose hunts before killing one,” Maxfield said. “For many hunters, a moose hunt is a one and done trip. For me, it took many years.”
Out of all the hunts Maxfield went on, his most memorable trips were the sheep hunts. “Hunting sheep with a bow is extremely challenging and the terrain where they live is rugged and beautiful.”
Over the years, I have hunted with Maxfield a few times and spent some time with him letting arrows fly. Maxfield is an amazing bowhunter and an amazing archer. While interviewing him, I asked him a few archery related questions. For starters, I asked him what is the weight of his hunting arrow. Because he kills a ton of big animals like moose and dangerous bears, some may assume he uses a super heavy arrow. That is not the case. “My hunting arrow typically weighs between 430-460 grains and most of the time I use a Rage broadhead. This setup has worked great for me.”
When it comes to Maxfield's practice regiment, he shoots his bow almost daily and regularly shoots at distances exceeding 100 yards. “I wouldn’t shoot a big game animal at 100 yards, but I like to fine tune my setup and my form so I can accurately shoot at 100 yards,” Maxfield explained. “If I can shoot well at a 100 yards, shooting an animal at 40 yards becomes much easier.”
Over three decades ago when Matt McPherson hired Joel Maxfield as the first employee of Mathews Archery, little did anyone know what an amazing bowhunter Joel Maxfield would become. Maxfield is a serious bowhunter, a hard worker, and doesn’t know the meaning of quit. This skill set has helped him stand out in the archery industry. Many, including me, consider him one of the best bowhunters alive.