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Old November 16, 2012, 12:06 AM   #1
EdInk
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Compound Bow (or maybe Crossbow)

I am looking into maybe getting a compound bow (or maybe a crossbow). I plan to shoot it in the backyard and once proficient with it possibly use it for hunting.

Anyway, I was looking for suggestions of make/model (pics are always great too.) I don't want to spend a fortune but still am willing to spend some money to get something that's good quality and respectable. Arrow (or crossbow bolt) recommendations are obviously welcome too.

Lastly, it needs to be available in a left handed set up.

Thank you.
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Old November 16, 2012, 12:45 AM   #2
EdInk
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FWIW my price range is about $300-500. I'm think about a Bear Encounter model based on some positive reviews. PLEASE help me out.
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Old November 16, 2012, 04:20 AM   #3
bamaranger
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which

You will shoot a crossbow well and much more easily than you will any compound. There are those who shoot compounds very well, but it ususally reflects dedication and time (alot of time) spent. I have spent alot of time with a bow, and do not consider myself any sort of archer hardly at all. Setups kill deer for me. Even a duffer (like me) can make 10 yd shots. Ususally.

Despite the ease of shooting well, a compounds light bolt does not have any more effective range than a typical compound bow full length arrow. Trajectories past 30 yds are very arcing, and range estimation becomes critical.

An avid bowhunter, I used to disdain crossbows and did not welcome them into archery season. But I have mellowed and become more tolerant. The trick is to get deer in arrow/bolt range. That is considerably more easliy said than done. When AL legalized crossbows for deer, there was a rush to purchase them. They appeared in the field for a few years. MOst guys could not consistently get deer in range and quit, and a lot of crossbows went up for sale. I have not seen one afield in some time. Saw one in a truck about a week ago. The slight increase in "bowhunter" pressure has receded and things are back to normal.

Were I to buy a crossbow I would look hard at the Excaliber line. The classic prod (bow) is appealing and light weight. The multilimbed and pulleyed compound crossbows are powerful, but they weigh a ton and are bulky.

As far as compounds go, I was a fan of the Martin Archery Co for many years.
I have an old, round wheeled Martin Cougar Mag that is as deadly now as it was when I bought it 25 years ago. It is just a bit slower , as the laminated limbs have compressed and max draw weight is no longer 75 lbs. All those years, THOUSANDS of arrows, up and down (even dropped) from hundreds of treestands, same pulleys, cables, no problems with the limbs. The quality of materials and workmanship was outstanding. I did have to restring it, once. I would look at Martin Archery for that reason, though I cannot advise on their current product line.

But the old Cougar Mag is retired and I now shoot a Mathews FX. That is there entry level meat and potatoes bow, I think they still make it, maybe not. Comparing the old Martin to the Mathews is like comparing a P51 to an F16. Mathews seems a good company, and I hunt their bow hard and again have had no problems. I do have to do cables and string almost every season, but you pay a price for an additional 100 fps in the archery world.

You kill a few deer with a bow....., and gun hunting begins to pale.
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Old November 16, 2012, 08:21 AM   #4
Jack O'Conner
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Crossbows are easy to master with just a little practise. Great fun, too.

Parker is a USA company that has a full line of quality crossbows. Sometimes their discont'd models are available NEW on eBay for very fair pricing. Look for this model:
- Spartan

PSE is a USA company that has a line of quality crossbows. Sometimes their discont'd models are available NEW on eBay for very fair pricing. Look for these models:
- Viper
- Copperhead

Good shooting to you.
Jack
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Old November 16, 2012, 08:42 AM   #5
Doyle
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For deer hunting, the effective range on a crossbow is actually less than for a good compound. Crossbows are LOUD. Loud enough for a deer to "jump the string" on a long shot. An expert archer can reach out to 50 yds and beyond with a good compound. By the time a crossbow shot bolt reaches past about 30 yds, the deer has heard the shot and started to crouch for running away.

That being said, most archery shots are less than 30 yds anyway. And, like has already been mentioned, gaining a minimal degree of proficiency takes less time with a crossbow than a compound.

If you do decide on a compound, there are several things you must keep in mind. First is bow fit. Bows are like golf clubs in that they need to fit the user. What works for one shooter will not work for the next guy. You can't just order one off the internet an hope that it will work unless you've done some advance work to determine your drawlength requirements. Your best bet is a good archery proshop. Then, after you purchase the bow, there is a whole lot of adjustment to be made. Again, a good proshop will be your best friend.

Finally, there is technique. It is REALLY easy to start with bad form. Once you develop those bad habits they will be hard to break. For your first few hours of practice, you really do need a good mentor to get your form correct.
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Old November 16, 2012, 12:16 PM   #6
EdInk
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Thanks for the advice. I am STILL leaning toward the compound bow because of the price and the noise especially. I plan to practice in my backyard and don't want to annoy the neighbors. (I think what I am going to do is go to Bass Pro and see if I can try out a compound bow and a crossbow.) I was also toying with the idea of a recurve bow but I don't really see them ever used for hunting (at least not in the past 20years in the US) and would imagine they are just as hard or worse to master master than a compound bow.
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Old November 16, 2012, 01:09 PM   #7
math teacher
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A recurve requires a lot of practice, way more than a compound. With either, practice for a year before trying to hunt with it. You need to be on auto pilot when shooting at game. Mr. Murphy has a way of raising his ugly head whenever you shoot at game, so keep your equipment simple. You don't need micro adjustable sights for instance. The more nuts, bolts, and dodads, the more likely something will go wrong. Change peep sight tubing often. Keep your bowstring waxed. Shoot some 3-D, a lot of fun. And practice, practice, practice.
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Old November 16, 2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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Good advice being given. A compound will definitely be more difficult to start out on, but will also give the most satisfaction IMO once you're used to it. Crossbows are very deadly and extremely accurate, but you really have to know the range your target it at. A 5 yard estimation error can mean bad things. A properly set up compound bow will be able to stretch that margin of error out a lot more. But a compound requires a lot of practice, and a consistent shooting form in order to be accurate.

I've been a very devout compound bow hunter over the past 4 years (when I first started bow hunting), but am now looking to move exclusively to crossbows. My back just can't handle all the practice that the compound bow requires and my Diamond is just sits there in the case.

Recurve and long bows are tons of fun, but require an amazing amount of dedication and practice time.
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Old November 17, 2012, 05:38 AM   #9
rcase1234
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Look at Mathews bows. They are IMO the best compound bows out there! However, they are expensive but a good investment! If you are firm on your budget then look at a used Mathews or Mathews' Mission line of bows. Made by Mathews just cheaper and called a "Mission".
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Old November 17, 2012, 09:10 AM   #10
EdInk
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I think I may hold off on getting a bow for a little while. It is still definitely something I want to pursuit BUT I want to do it properly. I am going to go to a store and try shooting both a compound bow and a crossbow. There are some. box stores and a small archery specialty shop in town. I plan to get some more hands-on knowledge before spending any money on this venture.
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Old November 17, 2012, 09:21 AM   #11
12GaugeShuggoth
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Not a bad idea. Taking up either the compound or crossbow requires a fair amount of time and practice. Better to be sure before you drop the money down on one.
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Old November 17, 2012, 10:21 AM   #12
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I can't suggest a crossbow or compound bow. I remember how hard it was for me to find a left handed bow when i was a child but I am sure a left handed bow is easier to find in an adult model.

I thought this was pretty cool the first time I saw it. Its called a slingbow, and its a modified slingshot that shoots arrows. They have been used to take everything from fish to wild hogs. If you get one, buy a well made one. My diy attempt worked but broke after a while. Really fun novel primitive weapon that has a lot more punch than a typical slingshot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av2p...eature=related
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Old November 17, 2012, 06:57 PM   #13
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I have a Bear TRX 300 compound bow that is getting some age on it now. I bought it as a package deal and have to say that the bow itself is a good unit. I have changed most of the accessories over the years (went to a drop away rest, brighter fiber optic sights etc. ) but the bow itself was a solid platform to build with and was more than useable the way it came from the store. I can shoot 4-6" groups out to 40 yards with it, and I've only killed one deer with it but it give a complete pass through at 15 yards.

The new Bear package bows appear to come with whisker biscuit rests and some other accessories that are nicer than what was included with mine. I think they are probably a pretty good value.

My recommendation is to buy a mid range quality package like one of the ones offered by Bear and then shoot the heck out of it. Learn to tune it, change accessories here and there and figure out what you like. You will learn alot and may find that you don't need, or aren't interested in some of the high priced high tech gear that everyone is raving about. More than likely you can keep the arrow rest, sights etc. you end up with off of that bow and install them on a new one if you decide to upgrade.

I wouldn't mind having a lighter weight, faster shooting bow, and I may buy a better one some day. I don't think I ever would have been able to pick stuff out and put one together without already having some experience though. I think its better to spend $500 and start getting experience than trying to spend a grand and choose equipment without ever having tried it before.
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