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Thread: Tips on Buying a Bow?

  1. #1
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Default Tips on Buying a Bow?

    I plan to get into archery hunting to take advantage of some unique Alaskan bowhunting opportunities for moose and caribou. I have shot friends' bows over the years, but never took an interest in getting my own, until now.

    I have been bow shopping for the last few weeks and doing some internet research to familiarize myself with basic archery terminology. My price range is $750 or so, for a complete package, not including arrows. I have shot a Bowtech Tomcat and a Kodiak Outdoors Bow Logic 34. Between the two, I preferred the Kodiak. I plan to head back to the archery shop and shoot a Diamond Liberty and see what Mathews has to offer in my price range. Are there any others I should consider?

    Is there anything else I should know before making a bow purchase? The standard answer I seem to be getting is, "Shoot them, and buy the one you're most comfortable with." Anyone care to offer more specific advice? I don't know much about archery equipment, so I am more comfortable shopping for new bows. I wouldn't even know what to look for to assess a used bow's condition or quality.

    Thanks for helping an archery rookie.

  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Stay away from the box stores like Sportsmans and Freddies when it comes to shopping. Go to a reputable specialty shop (hopefully archery only) and talk with someone who knows more than what the brochure says about the bows. I HIGHLY recommend Fletchers Archery out in Wasilla. The staff out there really know bows and how to fit the archer.


    Good luck!
    AKmud
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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Mud, its would be worth your time.

  4. #4

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    Dan

    The truth is that even entry level bows today are far advanced from high dollar bows of just 10 years ago. Find a bow that feels right, accomodates your draw length and shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. On a side note, I have a Kodiak Bow Logic 34 and have been real happy with it, I almost bought a Mathews Outback when I bought my Kodiak and the Kodiak felt better to me. All the Archery companies make good bows these days for any level archer it just needs to feel right to you.

  5. #5

    Default Bow Buying

    Take a serious look at Mathews. I have shot Kodiak, Ross, BowTech, Hoyt, etc... and keep coming back to the Mathews. They are amazingly accurate, shock free and hold their value like no other.

    I know it is a bit scary doing the used thing but once you find something you like you should check out the archerytalk.com classifieds. You can buy just about any bow on there and save several hundred. You could easily find a "like new' Mathews Switchback w/ everything included for under $750.

    I know people get down on us Mathews nuts but there is a reason their is a bunch of addicted shooters babbling about their bows

  6. #6
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    I agree with Mud also about staying away from bix box stores if you can, but if you want to go in and shoot some bows, thats what I would do. When I bought my Parker, I shot the bowtech the mathews and others but the parker just "felt" better on the draw and most comfortable for myself. It doesn't matter what it says on the limbs as far as who makes it, get what feels right for you. Besides, most bows are shooting so fast these days it really doesn't matter that much brand to brand.

  7. #7
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    Smile my $.02

    i went out and shot every thing also. I own a bowtech and like it, it's blazing fast and accurate. I also think very highly of Mathews, as said above, ther is a reason there are so many out there, and that people babble about them.
    Be honest with yourself, how much are you going to practice? If you just like to pick up your bow and go hunt with just a few practice shots, then you need a forgiving bow, i.e. large brace height. Mathews has very forgiving bows. If you are going to practice alot, then you can look at other bows with a short brace height. Bowtech is super fast bow, but has a relatively short brace height, therefor I have to practice alot to be a consistantly good shot.
    I also agree fletchers is a good shop, very good, but he is very much a mathews guy. he likes my Bowtech only cause i have it tuned perfectly, he was amazed when i brought it in there to shoot indoors and pick up some more arrows, said it was the best shooting bowtech he'd seen. I just did what the guy told me to do when I bought it on how to keep it tuned, nothing more.
    Like was said above shoot what feels right, the good thing about mathews is there is a lifetime gareentee on the limbs I believe. Your already headed down the right road by doing alot of research ahead of time, this forum is awesome for that. Don't forget, a release will make a huge difference, and that in itself is wholenew research project!!
    tim

  8. #8
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Dan, go to Fletchers or Back country archery. Look at the bows they have and try them out. My 2 cents is as this is your first bow don't go and spend $$$$$$ and find out that you did not like it. Get a mid range bow in price. If you like it in a couple of years upgrade. I see way to often the many people spend allot of $$$ to find out they do not like archery. Many of us that hang out in the stores can help you if you come by.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  9. #9

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    I would suggest shooting everything you can get your hands on. Dont be set on just one brand. Buy whatever feels the best. I would also suggest fletchers or back country. Both great people.

    Good luck and welcometo the addiction

  10. #10
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    I shot the Diamond Black Ice side-by-side with the KO Bow Logic 34 yesterday. Holy crap! The Black Ice was smooth, fast, and QUIET. I think I'm in love!

    Backcountry Archery is getting a few more models in stock later this week, so I'll check them out. My wife and I are heading to Big Lake this weekend, so we'll make a stop at Fletchers on the way. More bows to shoot!

    I am enjoying the archery gig so far. I can see myself getting into it, and it's another activity to make the winters go by more quickly. I have a couple of friends that have dropped out of the archery scene for a while, but with all my archery questions, they are getting the bug to dig out their bows again. I think we can have some fun with this.

    Thanks for the pointers, guys. I appreciate the help. Anyone else? Feel free to chime in.

  11. #11
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    Buy New if your not worried about warranty. I know Mathews is orginal purchaser of the bow. Store owners have to send in Serial numbers with owners names on them for the warranty. So do not get mislead with lifetime warranty on mathews bows. It is lifetime if you bought the bow new, but if you bought the bow used there is no warranty at all.

  12. #12

    Default Bow

    Pick 3 or 4 bows you are interested in shoot 6 arrows out of each. Try to get a feel for the bows speed, consistancy, draw and accuracy. Reduce the selection to 2 bows and shoot 6 more arrows out of these 2 bows you'll have one bow out of this lot you like. In a couple of days repeat this performance with your first place choice from the last session and a new set of contenders,it may take 4 or 5 trips to the Pro shop to narrow your field enough to make a choice.
    When beginning archery, shooting too much can be detrimental to your long term goals. Many of the muscles you use shooting a bow are not normally used daily and can fatigue or stress. Starting off with 2-3 dozen arrows at a practice session will improve the final results. Just work on proper form and concentrate on consistency, that's what makes it all come together.
    As for the bow, choose one the shoots where you point; They're just like guns. If it don't shoot where you point you'll have to work a lot harder and hunting will be a lot less fun. Don't let someone tell you which one you gotta have, get the one that fits YOU. YOU'll be shooting and payng for it!
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  13. #13
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    Default Bow

    I went to the pro shop at first and fired a couple of different high end bows off the rack while researching for the best fit. I came away with more questions about differences between the high end and mid range priced bows. I ended up buying the Diamond Justice, a very good quality mid ranged priced bow IMO. Also, I do think that you can get quality advice from the Sportsman's Warehouse and a good value on their equipment. I had not picked up a bow since the early 70's and the quality and overall choices today out perform and out-class the choices of yesterday. If you bought on line it would present an issue of service as an outsider to any shop is so far as that "in house" relationship to a shop for service or repairs. Good luck and enjoy the process.

  14. #14
    Member AK145's Avatar
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    Wink I agree....

    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    Stay away from the box stores like Sportsmans and Freddies when it comes to shopping. Go to a reputable specialty shop (hopefully archery only) and talk with someone who knows more than what the brochure says about the bows. I HIGHLY recommend Fletchers Archery out in Wasilla. The staff out there really know bows and how to fit the archer.


    Good luck!

    You may pay a bit more, but in the end the service and knowledge will out weigh any price difference. I would also buy new and not used....kinda like buying a car in AK, you never really know what the previous owner did to it!

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