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Thread: Thinking about taking up the bow

  1. #1
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    Default Thinking about taking up the bow

    Been thinking of taking up the bow a little. I know next to nothing about bow hunting.

    How hard would it be for me and the kids to get started? It would be something we could learn together and possibly go out and try some small game hunting once we get some skills down. The only range I know of is the one at Kincade park.

    How much cash would it take to outfit one adult and an 8 and 12 year old with stuff that would be good for target as well as small game hunting?

    Sorry for the complete newbie sound of this post, but like I said, I know nothing of bow hunting. Any tips or shops in Anchorage you would recommend would be appreciated.

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    Member akmac's Avatar
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    Smile Don't Do It!...it's A Sickness

    Before you know it you will have feathers all over the house and your house will stink of paint fumes from arrow making.

    You will be shooting bows inside the house with your kids when your wife is away. (Learn how to patch drywall) It starts out innocently enough, on a cold winter day with your new bow you dream and wonder how well it will shoot. "Just one little shot, we will opend the door to the garage and shoot through the kitchen into the garage" Then next thing you realize is there is a full blown archery tournament at your house and the whole neighborhood is invited...

    It is a great past time, the initial investment in equipment can be a little steep but it will provide a lifetime of healthy fun.

    I have purchased bows and arrows on Ebay with few problems. There are also archery clubs throughout the state that can assist you with getting set up. I am sure someone on this board can point you in the right direction for your area.

    Mac

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Take a drive out to Eagle River and talk to Paul at The Archer's Den. I recently bought a new bow there, and during the process of trying every bow in the shop I had the pleasure of watching him introduce many people including young children and adolescents to the sport. He's a patient and helpful teacher, but even more importantly, he's more interested in helping you get setup right instead of just making a buck. Personally, I would avoid the eBay route until you at least have a general idea of what you're looking at. The hands-on help at a pro shop is worth its weight in gold.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I have put my bow purchase on hold this year since I am focusing on flling my 1st sheep tag with a rifle but I spent a bunch of time trying them out over at archers den. He set up multiple bows for me to test and I know which one I am ging to get I just need to get a few other purchases out of the way so it can move to the front of the list. I have shot poorly tuned bows when I was a boy and it does not make for a fun shooting experiance. A big part of the higher prices you pay at a local shop is for the setup and tune. That is something you just can't get from the big box guys.

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    Thanks for the tips guys. Looks like I may head out to ER tomorrow and pay the Den a visit.

    I will not buy my first bow without holding it first. From what little I have read you have to find one that fits you right and seeing how I am a short and stubby kind of guy buying something online will probably not be a good thing.

    Last time I shot a bow was when I was a teenager (about 20 years). I am a short lefty and all they had were tall righties. Was not a fun experience and probably why I never had much interest. Hoping to change that.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Warning do not shoot the Bowtech 101st!! It can be a costly experiance!

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    Well I packed up the family and headed to Eagle River today. Stopped by the Archers Den and Paul gave us all some basic instruction and some time to fling some arrows down the range. Was very helpful, especially with my 8 year old, and as soon as we walked out the first thing the kids wanted to know was when we would be going back. Even my wife had fun.

    If their enthusiasm keeps up it looks like a dividend or two is going toward some bows this year.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Traditional bow hunting/shooting has really brought the excitement back too hunting and the fun back too target shooting for me and Tracy. We have a range set up in the yard, I shoot virtually daily and Tracy shoots about 3 times a week (we could never afford too shoot firearms that much and Tracy has allot more fun with a bow, me too). She's looking forward too her first hunting season as a hunter and I finally have a hunting partner I can live with........ at least for small game anyway.

    I've also really enjoyed doing historical and regional research on archery and hope to be building my second bow this winter.

    Lu Jon
    Keep your Bowtech whatcha jiggy I want a 40# Mongol horse bow!
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    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

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    I'm with Mac & Ricky.
    Mac's right, it is addictive. I'm a pastor & can shoot 32 yds in the church basement by shooting thru 4 rooms & 4 doorways (yes I block off all entrances for safety) into a storeroom. Knowing that I would have to explain a hole in sheetrock or split door jam increases the mental pressure to simulate hunting situations
    By the way Mac, I won't mention your "range" to Tracy

    Like Ricky, I love the trad bows. Nothing against compounds or compound shooters. I've done both, & the trad bows are just a ton more fun to me.
    Also as Ricky mentioned, once the investment is made the shooting is pretty cheap, expecially since I went to Grizzly Stick carbons. They just don't break under any reasonable (& most unreasonable) use. I love to shoot handguns, but even reloading I just can't afford to do it as much as I like.
    With the bow I can step into the basement or yard & shoot for a few minutes any time with virtually no cost.
    Your family will love it.
    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."

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    I have thought about traditional bows actually. I may end up there some day but for now I am looking to get into things as cheaply as possible. A used compound seems to go for a bargain, but a used trad bow can cost more than a new one.

    One question for you traditional users though. How does a short draw work out for traditional? I know there are some advantages and disadvantages with short draw on compounds, but unsure how it factors into the traditional bows.

    I did not get measured for draw the other day, but Paul guessed I was a 27. I did the measure arm span and divide method at home and came up with 26.

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    THE ONLY WAY DRAW LENGTH FIGURES IN TO TRAD IS PERFORMANCE. mOST TRAD BOWS HAVE THEIR DRAW WEIGHT LISTED (forgive caps lock please) at 28" draw length. If your draw is shorter the actual draw weight will be a bit less (most makers figure 2-3# of weight gained or lost per inch of draw added or subtracted from what's on the bow), longer a bit more. The average bow that's marked 60# @ 28" will give around 55# @ 26" or 65# at 30". It makes no practical difference in the shootability since there is nothing to "cam over". That's one of the nice things about trad bows. They are the "right" draw length for anybody as long as you can physically handle the draw weight.
    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."

  12. #12
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Great choice! Sounds like you've found a great sport for your family to enjoy, without a huge initial cost, and with great potential rewards! Becoming a bow shooter, then a hunter, will open doors in hunting you never knew existed. You will learn to get very close to game before closing the deal. In the process you will learn far more about yourself, the game you pursue, and the other wildlife around you, than you ever would had you stuck to rifle hunting alone.

    I now hunt with a compound, but I've hunted successfully with traditional as well. Here's my 2 cents on trad vs compound: Trad bow will require more devotion to practice than a compound; if you learn proficiency with traditional first, then compound shooting will be a breeze. If you learn with compound, however, there will still be a learning curve when and if you turn to traditional. Bow maintenance and tuning is far more simple with the trad, though. As to which is better? Successfully harvested game is going to fill the belly just as well regardless of method of take: missed game is going to leave the belly just as empty regardless of how its missed. Hunt with the weapon that you can successfully harvest an animal with. If you aren't confident that you can kill what you're hunting for, then hold off on hunting until you are. Cheers!

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    While out shopping today we stopped by Sportsmans Warehouse for a bit. While there we swung by the archery dept and met a guy there who was rather enthusiastic to answer any questions. Guess we got lucky as Monday is the only day he works. He is into traditional bows and had the kids try out the entry level recurve they have. He also gave us some tips for making cheap arrows and showed us how a jig works.

    One thing I had not considered is that the kids can share a trad bow more easily than a compound. This is making going the trad bow route more enticing to me from a budget standpoint. My wife liked the recurve better as well, says it was easier for her to shoot.

    Now we will be debating which way to go for the next couple of weeks.

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    You know it's interesting. As guys, a lot of us like the "stuff" that goes with shooting our toys. The "techno" stuff. When I first got into archery it was compounds & my wife & I both got one. She shot some & enjoyed it. Then I picked up a trad bow & tried it. She thought she'd like one so I found her a used one to try. She fell in love & said sell the compound. She enjoyed the simplicity of the trad bow much more.
    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."

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    Thanks for the advice so far!

    Another question for you all.

    Which books would you suggest? There are tons of bow hunting and archery books out there, which ones are the required reading?

  16. #16
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vance in AK View Post
    You know it's interesting. As guys, a lot of us like the "stuff" that goes with shooting our toys. The "techno" stuff. When I first got into archery it was compounds & my wife & I both got one. She shot some & enjoyed it. Then I picked up a trad bow & tried it. She thought she'd like one so I found her a used one to try. She fell in love & said sell the compound. She enjoyed the simplicity of the trad bow much more.
    Personally I agree with the wife, I'm not at all a tech person and like things simple. I prefer to work with hand tools, don't care for most of the modern "conveniences" we have today and some times think I was born 10,000 years after my time.

    PS Dude, I'm 41 years old don't call me Ricky!
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    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

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    Sorry RICK!
    I'm 48 though, so you are just a pup. Don't know why I've been reading your name wrong in my brain all this time!
    Like you I'm a simple kinda guy, & I'll be trad until my shoulders can't handle it. I do like handgun hunting also, especially revolvers. But give me just one choice & it will be a trad bow.
    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."

  18. #18
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    No worries Vance
    BHA Member
    Bowyer to the forces of light in the land of the midnight sun.
    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Warning do not shoot the Bowtech 101st!! It can be a costly experiance!
    I should have talked to you first.

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