My personal history with Hoyt stretches back to the mid-’90s when machined aluminum risers, fast flight cables, and aggressive dual cams were cutting edge. The first Hoyt I owned was long between the axles with recurved split limbs and a very short riser. That particular bow was used to kill my first spot & stalk spring black bear and a solo mountain goat, both very memorable hunts.

Hoyt Ventum 33

Fast forward to 2021; with a fondness of Hoyt etched in my memory, the new models were released. Of all the new models I was most eager to test the 33-inch Ventum.  New for this year is the HBX cam which is a major departure from Hoyt’s Cam & a Half eccentrics of the past. The new cam system is a three-track binary eccentric which uses two different modules to cover the spectrum of draw lengths. The tuning of these cams is completely different utilizing shim spacers on the axel vs. a split yoke to achieve level nock travel.

Specs and Set-up
  • The Hoyt Ventum 33 is the longer brother to the Ventum 30 with a 33.125” axle-to-axle length and a 6.375” brace height.
  • It is available in draw lengths of 26-31 inches and draw weights of 30-80 pounds.
  • The draw weight of my test Ventum 33 is 70 pounds and the draw length is 27″ (module 2 position “I”).
  • The color is Wilderness Green paired with Optifade Subalpine. The string and cables are factory with a Tru Peep installed and a short d-loop tied 1/16 of an inch nock high.
  • The factory cam spacers were left in the baseline position while the initial break-in shots settled the strings. Switching between the 80 and 85 percent let-off, I came to prefer the 85 percent setting due to the slightly longer valley it provides.

A QAD Integrate MX rest was mounted to the rear dovetail mount and centered at 11/16 of an inch from the riser. I utilized the picatinny mount that comes with the bow and attached an Axcel Accu-Hunter 5-pin sight. This allows mounting a Tight Spot quiver closer to the riser which balances well with an overall lower profile.

It’s a sharp-looking bow that comes in at 5.3 pounds with all the factory dampers and the included 2″ Short Stop stabilizer. Fully rigged with a 10” Shrewd stabilizer and a quiver full of arrows, it weighs 7.8 pounds.

Tuning and Performance

After the initial settling of the strings, the bow paper tuned to a perfect bullet hole within a few shots. I then proceeded to bare shaft tune at close range and worked out to longer yardage. I ended up moving the rest 1/32 of an inch outward: Both fletched and bare shafts were easily grouping at 60 yards.

To note, I’ve read where others on the Rokslide forum needed to move spacers around to achieve proper tune at center shot, but I had no such need. There is a tuning chart provided on Hoyt’s website here that shows different spacer configurations based on arrow flight feedback.

I had zero issues tuning and setting it up and it has not moved at all from the initial tune. There was no need to shim anything and had perfect holes in paper and the same result with bare shaft tuning. I’m still using the factory stings and they haven’t budged. I’ll be ordering a second set to shoot and tune and use the factory as a backup.

Hoyt Ventum 33 Speeds

I measured arrow speeds after the initial tune and was pleased with the results of my test arrows. Throughout this review (6 months) there has not been any change in speed nor a change in cam synchronization. The strings and cables have not seen any serving separation or premature wear on any of the contact points of the bow. The bow has been extremely accurate and forgiving. The extra heft seems to mute out fine movements of the bow arm and allows for a steady hold at full draw.

HBX Cam vs. ZT Pro Cam & a Half

My previous Hoyt hunting setup was an RX-3 Ultra with the ZT Pro cams set at 27 inches and 70-pound draw weight. Comparing the two, the new HBX cams seem to roll over smoother in the draw cycle due to the shape and size of the eccentric. Yet there seems to be less valley in the HBX but subsequently more speed. My test bow was 10 feet per second faster than the RX-3 and considerably quieter. The back wall is firm with the hefty mass of the bow. It’s rock-steady, and there is very little vibration at the shot.

Integrated Components

The QAD rests I’ve used in the past have not been integrated like this UltraRest version made for Hoyt. After 6 months of use, my thoughts are positive. It is really easy to install and it locks down solid. It has not moved or failed after many trips through the mountains this spring.

Picatinny Axcel Sight

The Axcel sight in the picatinny configuration was also able to withstand the rigors of mountain hunting. When the mounting option was first announced, I was curious to see how it would function in the real world. The sight is super simple to secure to the picatinny mount and has not moved or loosened. The side-to-side balance shift is really subtle but the shift forward has been noticeable. I added a little extra weight to my back bar to compensate. The Tight Spot can now be mounted closer to the riser. Which I prefer as it changes the center of gravity in a positive direction. Overall, the picatinny rail sight and the integrated rest make for a very clean and balanced setup.

Final Thoughts

The Hoyt Ventum 33 is a solid choice for a western hunting bow. The speed is zippy even with my short draw length and is incredibly quiet. At the shot, hand shock is non-existent due to a combination of the smooth cams and added vibration reduction components. The bow is on the heavy side when compared side-to-side with my RX-3. But, the extra heft aids in stability at full draw and follow-through after the shot. Its heavier weight hasn’t been noticeable in the field. While packing it in some rough country this spring I’ve not felt encumbered by it.

The integrated components don’t amount to much weight savings but do change how the weight is distributed on the bow. I really like having the different options and will definitely keep the sight and rest mounted on their integrated rails for the upcoming fall season.

Overall the Hoyt Ventum 33 is an accurate and well-balanced bow that suits my style of western big game hunting. A shorter version is available for those who prefer something in the 30” axle length. Check them out at your nearest Hoyt dealer to see what you prefer and learn more here.

Comment on this review or ask Josh questions here.

Check out Tony’s review of the Hoyt Carbon RX-5 here.

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Josh is a lifelong DIY backcountry hunter who enjoys the challenge of rugged and wild country. Preferring minimal equipment and support, his appetite for adventure has led to successful hunts of elk, mule deer, mountain goat, moose, antelope, black bear, and whitetails. As a freelance writer, Josh’s adventures have been documented in popular print media such Bowhunter Magazine, Bow & Arrow Hunting, Extreme Elk Magazine, and Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal as well as multiple articles on Rokslide.com.With over 200 days spent in the field every year in the mountains of Western Montana hunting, skiing, hiking, biking, and working, Josh is continually investigating and pushing the limits of the equipment. Josh works with the U.S. Forest Service specializing in watershed restoration, hydrologic data collection, and snowpack information, putting him in the backcountry in a variety of conditions throughout the year.