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Thread: How to evaluate a recurve for caribou/moose?

  1. #1
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    Question How to evaluate a recurve for caribou/moose?

    I hunted whitetails many years ago with a 45# Indian archery recurve I inherited from my great-grandfather. However, once I found out what it is worth, I decided not to draw it again. I am looking for a recurve to hunt caribou on the Dalton and bull moose in the Fbks mgt. area. I would like to practice all summer and take the bowhunter ed. course to be ready for fall. I am familiar with the 50# requirement for moose, but I have never bought a recurve before. What should I look for in a solid, big game recurve? Is a take down worth the extra cost? Will this save me money at the airline counter if I ever fly with it? Any preferences on brand? value?

  2. #2

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    I'd go the inexpensive route first and find out if you really want to shoot a recurve. A Martin Hunter is about the best choice if you're buying new and keeping the price down. Black Widow makes the best recurves but they are very expensive. A take down is nice because you can buy an extra sets of limbs with different draw weights or to carry spares just in case you damage a limb on a hunt of a lifetime. Takedowns are heaver to carry on the hunt and usually more expensive. You can pickup good used bows from Tradbow.com classified or Craigs list. Don't leave out the longbow option. I usually hunt with a longbow because it's more forgiving to a bad release, easier to string in the field, easy to haul in a pvc pipe tube, and quiet on release. Longbows also allow me to shoot heavier arrows.

    Go to Tradbow.com or Stickbow.com and you will find all the answers on traditional bows. Good luck.

  3. #3

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    boy if that's not a loaded question shew .

    Well really dw hit a lot of good points. Stay cheap. You can find good deals on used bows (not junkers either) if you shop around. Know what you're buying first (do your research), and try and find one with as close specs as you'd want if you ordered the bow yourself.

    As for bows. Dw's close to what I consider the best all alround bow ever made. Mine would be the Damon Howatt Hunter by martin. Simliar to the current martin hunters however much much different. This just happened to be my first bow. Paid 175 bucks new for it off the showroom floor. Now you're lucky to find a new one for less then 3 or 400 bucks with used ones bringing in what I paid new prices for. They are worth it, and you can find them from time to time. There is a big difference between the martin hunter and the damon howatt hunter.

    blackwidow doesnt make the best bow...they make the most exspensive bow with high recognition and great customer service. To be honest I think there recurves stink. To heavy, to bulky, a noisy stickbow if there ever was one this is it. Their longbow, the old LAG and there current models are pretty nice. But again no better then the multitude of other bows out there. with a outragous price tag to go with it. It's kind of like a bmw or mercedes. People see the name and oogle over it. Is it any better then anything else made? You be the judge

    A checkmate hunter 2 wont break the bank and is a quality custom new takedown recurve (www.recurves.com) or if you can find it used even better though they dont sell very often.

    Takedowns are nice, for storing. Case in point, I just came back from a long trip to MN NE Wi and KS turkey hunting just a few days ago. I shot a 66" longbow, 2 piece takedown and am able to put it and all my arrows in my 1 checked bag without going over on weight. If you need two bags and carry a bow in a rod tube or other hard case, you're going to pay for it. 1 bag and 1 bow case you'll be fine for now. A lot of carriers are starting to go to ONE checked bag here soon. I dont remember which ones, it was in the news while I was home.

    A takedown is nice also when you kill something and need to pack out...say down a sheep mountain, or you're packing in on a long hard hunt or need both hands for whatever reason. I damaged a takedown longbow one year pretty bad because I was to lazy to take it down. A one piece the bow would have been dead and I wouldn't have had that option the only thing saving this bow was the phenolic in the riser (basically glorified laminated fiberglass). It's been more then a few times a bows been saved because it was stowed smartly in my pack. They are heavier, more exspensive, but worth the pricetag without question........IF you can afford it. Don't sweat it if you can't.

    A couple other sites to check out.

    outdoor to the core (Google this it'll pull the url up)

    www.archerytalk.com

    Not sure if this one works but it used to be the biggest stickbow classifieds after stickbow.com changed there format years back.
    www.women-outdoors.com/traditional

    There has even been a few stickbows here for sale. Just becareful of the homemade jobbys. There is a good bowyer in town...and then there are people who kinda wished they were good bowyers in town .

    You DO NOT need a 50lb or even 40 pound bow to take the course with. IF for now you can only shoot 30lbs and do it well....GO TAKE THE COURSE and get it over with. One less headache to deal with later in the summer when the salmon are running and you're getting ready for a hunt.


    The last thing is take the time to tune it and tune it well. Dont opt for ok or mediocre arrow flight. Not only does tuning the bow give you more consistent and better accuracy it's also going to give you better penetration. That and I really dispise going to the range, seeing one of the few stickbow guys in town, only to see him shooting arrows that might as well be flying end over end to the target, gives us a bad name for more reason then one. Tuning a stickbow is MUCH MUCH harder then tuning a set of wheels. You'll understand when you try. There is no bolts to move, no rests to adjust etc. There are small things you can do to a certain degree however they are minute almost fine tuning stuff. This means having a bunch of arrows at your disposal and having the time to go through them all to find what one is it.

    Good luck and enjoy it. May see you around this winter (sounded like you might be in the interior).

  4. #4
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    Hi Badfeather.

    I'll add my $00.01 here (probably overvalued if I said it was $00.02 worth)

    Right off I'll say welcome to the wonderful addictive world of trad archery.
    Then I'll say that what works for someone else may not work for you.
    In my opinion Black Widow makes a very nice bow. I had one of their recurves & really liked it, but the grip just didn't "fit" me. The best? Probably not (maybe for some), but I sure don't know who is either.
    I'm currently shooting a Fedora & love it. It's a short little 54" takedown that's 59# at my 27" draw & for me it's the most consistent recurve I've ever shot. I also love longbows, but I don't agree that you can shoot a heavier arrow with one. You can shoot a heavy arrow out of any bow.
    As for the take down option, I think it's worth the extra money for all the reason's Tradbow & DWlong stated. Unless money was holding me back, I would buy a takedown, whether I was buying a recurve ot longbow.
    As to specific brands, as I said I love this Fedore. I was a died in the wool longbow guy until I tried this bow. Fedoras aren't real expensive, but they aren't cheap.
    I would recomend you look at Quinn bows.
    http://www.quinnsarchery.com/quinn's_archery_003.htm
    I personally have never shot one, but I have a frien who has. This guy has had most of the top of the line bows. He shot Widows for years, messed with some others, & then started shooting the new Brackenberry Quest takedown recurves. He likes the Bracks so much that after he had the 1st one a while, he ordered another one identical to it for a backup (right at $1,000.00 each). He loves these bows. BUT, last year a mutual friend jokingly told him he was a "brand whore" & had to have expensive top-end stuff to kill anything.
    So... just for fun he ordered a Quinn. He'd heard good things about them, but was questionable about them due to the low price. Well long story short(kinda), the Quinn is what he's bringing for this years moose hunt. Says the finish isn't quite up to the Bracks, but the bow SHOOTS!
    Their most expensive & fancy bow seems to be the Longhorn Classic TD, at under $400. The Stallion looks to be a lot of bow but not fancy, & the takedown is under $300.
    Not sure what model my buddy has, but can find out if you like.
    If I was looking for a bow, I think I'd have to try that Longhorn for the money!
    Here's a Quinn dealer with some prices & pics.
    http://www.sureshotarchery.net/sureshot_1_009.htm
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  5. #5

    Default Recurve

    To get the best bow available, get the one that fits you. Go to a few pro shops and shoot the bows on the shelf/rack. Try to pick a bow that shhots where you point it, IT happens. Don't just say a Black Wiidow is a good bow that's what I want; it's useless if you can't shoot it.
    I shot maybe 40-50 bows of all descriptions before I got one that fit me the way I felt it should. I finally settled on a Great Plains "Wolf Creek" w/ zebra wood limbs. Remember the shorter the bow the more finger pinch it will have and the less forgiving it will be.
    A take-down bow isn't a requirement but it sure will fit in a cub better going out on a drop hunt or hauling in a canoe/kayak.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  6. #6
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    I would guess that no matter which bow you start off with you will end up wanting to "upgrade" or at least add to the bow rack. All of the suggestions posted here are good ones, but as far as the "best" bow, that will be for you to decide and it wil take some time. I've been shooting recurves and longbows for over 25 years and I still get the urge to try something new. If there is a club or range near to where you are, you might be able to meet some other stick shooters and try some different styles/brands of bows. I have taken to buying used bows and can usually save 30-50% off the cost of a new bow. The thing is alot of guys jump on the traditional archery bandwagon and are constantly searching for "THE" bow....the bow that will make them a better shooter and when that doesn't happen, they sell that bow and buy the same bow that the local shoot champion is shooting. Males for some good deals on some nice, barely used bows! You can learn to shoot almost any bow well if you are willing to take the time to practice and become familiar with your bow. I do prefer a takedown bow as I go to alot of bow shoots away from home and every 3-5 years try to do an out of state hunt. Good luck and beware, 'cause this stickbow stuff is addicting! Feel free to email or pm if you need some more websites for used bows. Mike mwb157@msn.com

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    Where you take your bowhunter ed class I would recommend using a compound with sights for the shooting part. You don't have to take the test with what you are going to hunt with.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by akdd View Post
    Where you take your bowhunter ed class I would recommend using a compound with sights for the shooting part. You don't have to take the test with what you are going to hunt with.
    Im sorry, but that has to be the worst advice I have seen in awhile!!!

    One of the objectives of the bowhunter ed course IS to test ones proficiency before taking part in special archery only hunts. No, since it is impossible to ensure that someone hunts with the same gear they tested with, it is not a requirement.

    HOWEVER, the poster said his intent was to practice all sumer and test in time to do the haul road. My hats off to him. If he is not confident by end of summer to take the test with traditional equipment, then he should not hunt with traditional equipment. If he decides to hunt with the compound, then he should test with it.

    The advice given sounds like you would have him circumvent the intent of the proficiency testing, just to get the card and then he can hunt the haul road whether proficent enough to pass the course with trad equipment or not.

    Whether one agrees with proficiency testing or not, it is a part of the priviledge to apply for, and hunt in, bow only hunts. We should both promote and follow both the letter and the intent of the laws of the land.

    I spent two days of one of my haul road hunts chasing down a bull moose that had an arrow sticking out of it's neck. The princess bus tour folks were taking pics of it alongside the road and we heard about it at Coldfoot.

    There are no guarantees, either way. Bad shots happen. But, we should be doing everything in our power to be responsible, follow the rules, and be ethical. Our sport depends upon it!!!!

  9. #9

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    As far as Black Widow, I have to agree with Tradbow. They arent the best, but they certainly are one of the most expensive. The problem is that they are production bows and the quality control isnt what it is with the bowyer that puts his name out there one bow at a time.

    With Black Widow, you pay a great price for the name. I know a guy from Soldotna that got a new Widow and there was a HUGE check in the riser. It was a gaping crack that was half-***** filled with puddy that didnt even color match. He called the company about it and was told that if they threw out every peice of riser wood that wasnt perfect, they would be out of business.

    Being a bowyer myself, I found this unconscionable. There is just no way I would send a peice of crap that this was, out the door of my shop.

    "custom" bow is really a joke anyway. What is custom about a bow. I can choose new socks according to color, materials and size. Are my socks "custom" socks? The bigger the name, the more production their bows seem to become. If you truly want to ensure that you get your monies worth, buy from a guy you can meet and shoot his bows.

    There are some incredibly talented bowyers out there, building bows in their garage for friends. They will give you their absolute best, because it's a labor of love for them. Talk to guys at shoots and shops in your area. The good ones get talked about!!

    My best to ya!!!

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    Default best bow for my money

    This might be out of budget for you. But if you want one traditional bow that does the job, is a takedown and is fast. Check out DAS Kinetics. It will run you approximately the same as a good compound. But it is almost is fast as one too. Plus it has the adjustments to tune the bow.

    Good Luck

  11. #11
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    The reason that I suggested taking the bow hunter ed course with a compound is that if he waits to late in the year then there will not be any bow hunter ed courses held before the fall season. I was not recommending hunting with the recurve if you are not proficient with it.

  12. #12

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    I could see that but AKDD...but really if you are one to wait and procrastinate, should you really be shooting a stickbow to begin with? Not looking for an answer...but it might be something you should be asking yourself. Just my 02.

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    what??????

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    I have a 50 lb greatree deerslayer recurve you could use to see if you like traditional archery, I started shooting it to see if I would like it and now i would rather shoot my recurve over my compund bow ( I happen to love my Black Widow take down recurve and have no bad experiences with the bow or the company). both bows shoot great and both are about 50 lbs + or - a pound.

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    Default How to make a 47# recurve into a 50# recurve

    You pull it back another inch.

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