Just as the bulk of bowhunters fall on opposite extremes in the fixed versus mechanical broadhead debate, most also hold strong opinions on arrow rests. Though drop-away style products reign supreme and continue to push the boundaries of new innovation, Whisker Biscuits still seem to have a place in the bowhunting world. You won't see many pros using these rests these days, though some still sing their praises.
These full-containment rests are incredibly reliable and simple and have garnered a loyal following since their debut two decades ago. Without any moving parts, they’re quiet and virtually foolproof in the field. Even when you’re trekking through tough terrain or drawing with less-than-perfect form, Whisker Biscuits and similar full-containment rests don't break and will keep arrows in place and ready to fly.
They’re low-maintenance, easy to set up, and much more affordable than high-end drop-away options. The concept is pretty basic, but designs that minimize drag and allow for windage and elevation adjustments are now available too. So, even though the Whisker Biscuit bristles may wear over time and the repeated contact might eventually require re-fletching arrows, this style of rest is economical and practical.
But you won’t find target archers like Levi Morgan competing with Whisker Biscuits. These rests do sacrifice some level of accuracy and speed. Drop-away rests eliminate fletching contact at the shot when installed and tuned correctly. They're also a bit faster and consistently accurate, which is why bowhunting legends such as Randy Ulmer and Bill Winke mount drop-aways on their hunting bows.
However, the more complex design of drop-away rests makes them more finicky and less forgiving of poor drawing form. Arrows can easily jump off many drop-away rests. These products also have the potential to fail in extreme conditions like rain or snow or hot weather. But most drop-away loyalists won’t even consider Whisker Biscuits, instead only arguing the merits of limb-driven versus cable-driven rests.
Although most compound archers are sold on the pinpoint precision of drop-away rests, some industry pros prefer the peace of mind Whisker Biscuits provide. Members of The Hunting Public, who frequently bowhunt whitetails from the ground and often ignore conventional scent control wisdom, swear by Whisker Biscuit-style full-containment rests.
“These things are tried and true,” the Hunting Public's Aaron Warbritton said. "They’ve been around for years. They are just an awesome hunting rest. You can put your arrow in that rest and you don’t have to worry about it falling off as you're moving the bow around and up and down, crawling around on game. They are an awesome all-around hunting rest, especially for whitetail hunters taking shots at deer inside of 40 yards.”
Zach Ferenbaugh of the Hunting Public also opts for full containment because an arrow rattling around in a drop-away rest could potentially cost him a hard-earned shot at a buck.
“On my bow, I always like to make sure that I have a full-capture arrow rest,” Ferenbaugh said. “I really like them because the arrow can’t come out of there. No matter what I do, no matter how I turn the bow, the arrow is in the rest."
He also appreciates how a Whisker Biscuit keeps the arrow level at all times.
"When I’m ready to draw and I level that bow out, it sits right in the shooting position," Ferenbaugh said. "That way when I have an arrow nocked and I'm moving through the woods, whether I'm going to and from a setup or still-hunting or hunting on the ground, you’re gonna be moving that bow around when you’re trying to get a shot. And if you have an arrow rest that doesn’t keep the arrow in place, it can be tough and make things difficult.”
Because they can be more foolproof and forgiving than drop-aways, Whisker Biscuits and similar full-containment rests can be beneficial for youth and new shooters as well as mobile deer hunters. While many bowhunters who only use drop-away rests tout their products' superior speed and accuracy, field tests have indicated the difference between Whisker Biscuits and drop-aways is minimal to negligible for most hunting scenarios, losing just a few feet per second and about an inch of drop at longer distances.
Bowhunters who are dead set on squeezing every last bit of speed and accuracy out of their rigs might appreciate the nominal advantage of a drop-away rest. But for bowhunters who are sticking to a budget, hunt from the ground, or just prefer dependable simplicity, the Whisker Biscuit is still a great option.
So is the Whisker Biscuit dead? Not by a long shot.