Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Beginning bowhunting...

  1. #1
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,162

    Default Beginning bowhunting...

    fairly tough proposition it seems like - to work up to a hunting level bow; at least if sticking to compound bows. Do most people begin with a stickbow/recurve then move up?

    I happened to find end-of-year bows on sale at the factory while visiting Tucson. About all the PSE bows left were 70 pound draws. Definitely not the right entry bow for me. Whew.

    Best to begin with a used 50# compound bow, or look for a recurve in the 40# range? Any thoughts?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mile 102 Glenn Highway
    Posts
    335

    Default

    It all depends where you want to end up at. The compound with all the whistles and bells probably will you proficient faster. But if you are wanting to go traditional it will be another learning curve when you start shooting a recurve. I would go to the Archers Den in Eagle River and shoot some bows. That way you can see what you are comfortable with.

  3. #3
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,162

    Default Time to proficiency...

    I think that was the point the salesperson at the factory proshop was making; quicker to accuracy and proficiency with compounds versus traditional bows. She said compounds (because of the sights etc) would shoot more accurately and as a result lead to better lethal shots.

    I suppose most bowhunters just work their way up from 40/50 or so to 60/70 or so pounds as they become comfortable shooting each level?

  4. #4
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,162

    Default From Cabelas buyers guide

    Which Bow is For You
    Selecting the right bow is a personal thing, and the decision will depend a lot on what you will be doing with it... first ask yourself; will you be hunting from a treestand or ground hunting? How large of game are you going to pursue? At what distance will the average shot be made? How much weight can you effectively handle? How good of an archer are you (honestly)?

    Only after you answer all of these questions can you effectively narrow down the selection of bow. As an example, take a look at my buddy John. He is 6 feet tall with a normal build. He has shot a bow a bit, but this will be his first bow purchase. He is going to be hunting whitetails almost exclusively from a treestand, but wants to take a trip out west next year for a Rocky Mountain elk hunt. What bow would work best for his needs?

    To start with, he is going to need an easy-to-shoot bow. Being his first bow, he is going to have a learning curve to go through and the more forgiving the better; however he still needs power, relative speed and preferably in a small, lightweight package. Bows, like most things in life are a series of compromises. To get speed you often increase noise. Compact sizes usually decrease accuracy (specifically they are hard to shoot well) - but are a big advantage to treestand hunters.

    What I would recommend a reflex (to straight) riser design, coupled with a solo cam. He would want the power of a 70-pound bow for elk but could tune it down to the low 60's for practice and whitetail hunting. A short axle-to-axle length would be nice for treestand hunting and carrying up steep hills and through brushy draws, but it is not as necessary as accuracy and speed (especially for the walking and stalking elk hunt). If he could afford it I would suggest a machined riser over a cast riser to get the smaller grip and lighter weight. With it narrowed down that far it is now up to style, price and name brand.

    As you can see, by understanding the different features of a bow and applying them to your specific hunting conditions and need, selecting the right bow for the job is not that difficult.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    378

    Default new bow

    There are lots of resources out there, one I started with is www.huntersfriend.com. There is some good reading on bow selection. I started my research in Sept 2007, and bought a BowTech Guardian at the end of March 2008. This is my first bow. It was spendy, and you do not have to start high end. There are lots of good bows out there at about 1/2 the cost.

    If you have not shot a bow before, I discourage 70 pound draw. I had to lower the draw weight to about 60 lbs for practice. Once I got comfortable with the bow and got certified, I jacked it up to 70 pounds to get ready for hunting. I am comfortable shooting at 70 pounds now, I was not when I bought the bow.

    Look at the regs for what you are hunting, 40 lb min on smaller big game, and 50 lb min for larger big game in AK.

    I can ramble on and on, but after you read the bow selection guide in www.huntersfriend.com, it may help to narrow your search.

  6. #6
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    Martin Archery bows all have a 15# weight range and can be ordered in 65# maximum weights. That means they can be easily turned down to 45#. Pretty much every other bow on the market can be dropped 10lbs down from their maximum weight.

    I have been hunting and shooting all types of target archery for the last 10 years with bows that max out at 60#. There is no need for more poundage than that with modern compound bows.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Kenai
    Posts
    1,888

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    I think that was the point the salesperson at the factory proshop was making; quicker to accuracy and proficiency with compounds versus traditional bows. She said compounds (because of the sights etc) would shoot more accurately and as a result lead to better lethal shots.

    I suppose most bowhunters just work their way up from 40/50 or so to 60/70 or so pounds as they become comfortable shooting each level?
    As a trad shooter I resent her statement that the compound "leads to better lethal shots", implying that wounding & slow death would be more cmonplace with trad gear.
    From what I have seen that's simply not true. The compound can extend your range in some cases, but it's the shooter not the bow that makes ethical high percentage shots.

    As far as working up to 70ish# goes, the reality is that with todays trad bows there is really no need to go that high. Again, the flatter trajectory will increase range, but the greater weight isn't needed. Fred Eichler who hosts "Easton Bowhunting TV" on the outdoor channel used a Palmer recurve under 60# (about 58# I believe) to take the "North American Super Slam", 28 animals including brown bear. I believe he was the 2nd to do it with trad gear, but it points out that super heavy poundage isn't the fix all.
    I started with componds (nothing against them), but once I tried trad gear I wa hooked. It was just lot's more fun for me.
    I'm now shooting a Fedora recurve that's about 59# at my 27" draw.
    If you want to try trad you might find a nice takedown recurve that's in the 45# range & then get heavier limbs when you are ready. Better yet find a nice lower # bow you can borrow for a month or so to get started.
    Compounds are definetly easier to become proficient with, but the time investment in trad is worth it to me, & you'll be amazed how fast you can pick it up.
    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."

  8. #8
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wasilla, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    3,185

    Thumbs up

    +1 what Doug said. Get a bow with a 50-65# range and start with it as light as it will safely go. It won't take long and you will be up to 60# which is enough to kill anything in Alaska. Go see Paul at the Archers Den, he will hook you up.
    AKmud
    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j96/AKmud/213700RMK1-1.jpg


    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  9. #9
    Member Rick P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer Alaska
    Posts
    2,339

    Default

    +1 with Vance. I shoot right with the compound shooters with the bows I use regularly.

    Besides the whole argument is mute when you realise there isn't a north American game animal that hasn't been harvested with a 40# bow. Heck ADF&G only requires 50# for Moose, Mountain Goat, Brown Bear and Bison. I really don't get the whole gotta have a bow that heavy issue.
    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.

  10. #10
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,162

    Thumbs up Wise advice...

    Thanks for all the advice -experience/ wisdom. And thanks btw Akmud for this forum and all the experience/technical advice shared here. Excellent forum.

    The deals at the PSE factory included X-Force bows discounted 40%, which took pro series bows retailing for $850 down to $510! I was in Tucson long enough to consider buying a bow, but needed information quickly and just wasn't finding much on my own about draw weights for Alaska. Info from you guys assured me that passing on a bow now was the right thing - and taking my time, probably with Archers Den was the best route.

    Vance -no offense intended - by me or the rep at PSE. Definitely two different learning curves is all. Between reading Traditional Bowhunter magazine and having become friends with a guy who builds traditional bows this summer, it's plain to see the appeal of the traditional route. Maybe with time, I can work up to traditional bowhunting.

    Huntersfriend.com is a great site for basic information and education. Thanks, Big Daddy.

    Thanks again.

  11. #11
    Member Rich_in_AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Eagle River,AK
    Posts
    305

    Default Purchase problems

    I am just getting in to bowhunting and have done a lot of reading up and have shot a few different bows. I am looking at buying a Bowtech Sniper as my first bow. Problem is the local shops don't have any in yet and Hunter's Friend won't sell me one because I live too close to the dealers here. (within 30 miles). Any advice on how to get one and do you think it is a good bow for a beginner? I intend to use it for moose hunting.
    Rich

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    378

    Default Where do you live?

    Rich,
    Your profile shows you are in Eagle River. If that is the case, there are plenty of dealers around there. The BowTech website says Archer's Den is a dealer. (Lots of good has been said about them in this forum)

    This time last year, I too was in your shoes. I started at Hunter's Friend.com. I did entertain buying there, but I ended up buying at SW in Fairbanks. I live in Fairbanks. There are lots of perks buying locally, even though it might be a 25 mile drive. Heck, I was thinking about driving from Fairbanks to Eagle River (330 miles) to get different advice from Archer's Den. I didn't though.

    I suspect your initial investment will be about $1,200. When you drop that amount of money, your salesman will not forget you.

    So, my advice is don't be penny smart and dollar dumb. Spend the money on gas/fuel to get the local support. It is especially important since you are new to archery.

    I bought a BT Guardian in March. I have and continue learning from it. I do not regret my decision.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    378

    Default Bow Selection

    Rich,
    You probally have done a good bit of research, and hopefully you used huntersfriend.com. There is a good section about compound bow selection.

    On my BT Guardian purchase, I read lots of reviews, and look at factors that contribute to easy/accurate shooting, low noise and low recoil.

    Another thing I screwed up on, I bought a 60-70 lb bow. I started at 70 lbs, and I could not shoot that. I dialed it down to 58 pound for learning/practice. Once the hunting season was getting close, I dialed it up to 70 pounds, and tuned for hunting. After plenty of practice at 58 pounds, it is easy making the jump to 70 lbs.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •