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Old October 17, 2013, 01:54 PM   #1
codyb1991
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New to Bow Hunting.

I've always been a rifle hunter since I was little, and it's not that I'm bored of it but for some reason I got the itch this year to get into bow hunting and archery. I need a decent bow able to take down deer and on a budget, any suggestions?
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Old October 17, 2013, 02:25 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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#1) Most Important Thing:

DO NOT OVER BOW YOURSELF!

You do not need a 70# bow to kill a deer, or an elk, or a moose.

Think about it. Folks hunted with 70# bows in 1985 and shot 185fps, if they were lucky. Most bows of that era generated MAYBE 1/2 a ft-lb of energy for every pound of draw weight. That means a 70# bow would make 35 or 40 ft-lbs of energy. Today's 40# bows make that much, a 50# will make upwards of 60 ft-lbs depending on the model.

I don't care how much you can or can't draw. A 50# bow is MORE than enough.

#2) If you want to shoot really well.

Find a local shop pro and ask them to teach you "back tension" shooting. If they don't know what it is or tell you you don't need it, go somewhere else.

At the very least, if you don't want to learn back tension, remember the name so you'll know what it is when you need it later.

#3)Buy a thumb release, not a trigger. Stanislawski Shoot-Off is one of the best. Preferably shoot it with back tension. At the least, it's better than a trigger even if you don't use back tension.

#4)The most accurate archery system ever produced, on average, is the Hybrid system patented by Darton. Most folks have never heard of Darton and know the system as "Cam and a 1/2" because, in today's world, their system is used by several other companies, most notably Hoyt and PSE. Possibly the most accurate bow in the world today is the PSE Money Maker with the hybrid cam.

Frankly though, you have to be almost a world-class shooter to know the difference.

Here's a key point.... Everybody's good shots turn out good. You want a system that forgives you for less than good shots. You know you have a good set-up when your less than good shots are better than they should be.

That means relatively long brace height (6 1/2 minimum) and a forgiving cam system, which means hybrid.


Long story short... a 40-50# PSE Money Maker would be an excellent choice. I can tell you more but I'll leave it at that for now.
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Old October 17, 2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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I agree with everything said above, but realistically what's the ratio of how many people stay with bow hunting to how many sell that bow in less than a year. Around here it's pretty high. 70 has a way higher resale value here. We don't know anything about you physically though. Just a thought. But I'd worry much more about the above advice, than mine.
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Old October 17, 2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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Some good advice has been given. One thing I might add, is it depends if you are planning on keeping your bow a while, and what distance you will be shooting. I started with a single cam PSE that I got new in 2001. It had a 60lb draw weight and was a perfect starter bow. With accessories, I don't think I had more that 350 in it. I shot that for 7 or 8 yrs.
A few years ago I upgraded to a mid level bow. It was a mission, and with accessories and half a dozen arrows, I had 800 in it. That was with pretty good accessories. I did go with a 70# simply because I am pretty stocky and have no trouble at all in pulling 70. I was really glad I did, because somewhere along the line I developed an addiction to long range shooting. I did a lot of shooting at 80 yards and even out to 100. I would feel quite comfortable taking a shot at 70 yards if conditions were good. By that I mean good lighting, relaxed deer,etc. I know some people would label me as a fool for that, but that's ok. I know what I can do. Also where I hunt, there are a lot of fields with drainage ditches running through. So a 50-70 yard shot is quite possible. With a 70 pound bow, I know I can take a deer cleanly at that distance. But I would not advise you to try that before you have a lot of practice shots at closer ranges.Just my $.02
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Old October 17, 2013, 05:57 PM   #5
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are you more drawn to a recurve or a compound?
If you like compounds look at the Hoyt Charger or Bowtech Assassin. Both come in a package deal. If your just starting out this is a huge benefit since you won't be able to tell the difference between anything just yet anyway. You can always upgrade but these will get you started.
look here
Depending on where you live this may be a viable option for you.

If your looking for traditional archery tackle, I would recommend you find a trad archery shop in your area. They usually have new and used bows for sale. With a used trad bow, again, starting out you won't notice the difference between new and use except on in your wallet.

Good luck!

Last edited by Ruger480; October 17, 2013 at 06:04 PM.
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Old October 17, 2013, 06:06 PM   #6
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Good advise all!!

For a first bow, I would try to find a decent used bow first, just to see if you are planning to stick with it. The bow shops like to hack it to guys like me with my "antique". lol

I'm using a Golden Eagle, Hawk Carbine. Bought it new in early 90's I guess. Got a new sight, and rest for it this year, and turned it from 70# to 60#. Through the chrono doing 242fps.

My buddy has a much newer PSE that is shooting 306fps, but with a 70# pull. He also spent wayyyy more money than I did. lol

This is my daughters first year with a bow. She just traded her Weatherby Vangard in on a Bowtech Infinite Edge. She is doing 45# pull, and going 215fps. She loves to shoot the videos!! And gives the old man a run for the money at 30, and 40 yards.
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Old October 17, 2013, 06:08 PM   #7
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Check out the Bear Archery bows, or some Diamond archery bows too. Most important to me is finding a bow that "feels right" when I hold it, pull it back, and shoot it.

I have a diamond I got a couple years ago, its not the nicest bow there is, compared to say, a mathews, but it just fits me perfectly. You've gotta be comfortable with what you've got.

As for arrows, the nicest wal mart arrows they have will do fine. Get them cut to the correct length at the local archery shop though.

You really don't have to have anything too fancy to get started. Good luck, practice, and have fun with it!
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Old October 17, 2013, 06:13 PM   #8
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New to Bow Hunting.

I gotta agree, back tensions are going to give you better accuracy. However, for bowhunting I can't imagine anything better than a regular trigger release. But that's just me, I've been at it 17 years and killed a pile of deer with a bow.

The new fad seems to be high speed dual cam bows, me personally I've stuck with single cams ( Bowtechs (after 3 sets of limbs i'll never buy another)and more recently Mathews). The draw cycle is much smoother and that in and of itself lends well to bowhunting scenarios.

Another thing is don't let anyone talk you into a high end Mathews, Hoyt, etc. there are plenty of lower cost options that will get the job done for you. If its something you end up liking you can always pick up barely used bows for much lower cost than new. I generally keep a bow 4-5 years and then move on, although I do still have my original Proline Mountain bow and a Hoyt Stiker that I've kept in pristine condition. Like guns, there will be bows you come across that you'll never sell. Sentimental or just it being a great setup.

Find a good arrow combination and if you get serious about it learn how to tune your bow. If you plan on using regular broadheads some sort of tuning will almost be a necessity unless the bow is just luckily set up perfectly from the get go ( if so go buy a lottery ticket)

Have someone who knows their stuff teach you the basics and help you to prevent forming any sort of target panic ( a back tension will exploit target panic, one great thing about them, trigger release are where a lot of target panic spawns from) I've struggled with target panic myself, and I imagine about everyone who shoots a lot has experienced a form of it at one time or another.

Also, practice at longer ranges than you'll hunt at. I regularly shoot 50-60 yards. Doing this forces you to concentrate on your form and follow through. It'll teach you a lot about how you're progressing. Obviously you'll want to get proficient at 20-30 before going further, but you get the idea. After shooting at longer distances a typical hunting shot of 20-30 yards will feel natural.


Broadheads can be mind numbing trying to pick one. Any good head is going to get it done no matter how many horror stories you hear. Just like with a gun you gotta put it in the right spot.

I've used muzzy, slick trick, thunderhead, razorbacks ( throw back, remember those old heads?) montecs etc... After all those my favorite heads are the Wasp Hammers and Wasp Jak Hammers. I've killed over 30 deer with the Jak Hammers and I can honestly say I've never had to track more than a few of them. They've always worked great and have taken many good bucks for me... Obviously you put a razor blade through the boiler room it'll kill them no matter the brand. Wasp certainly isn't smeared all over every hunting show or storefront, but they make good products and fully stand behind them.

Bowhunting is certainly a passion of mine and I've luckily been blessed with great access to properties to hunt. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.
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Old October 18, 2013, 08:54 PM   #9
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I have been bow hunting for whitetails for nearly 25 years in Iowa, a state with a great deer population and many great bucks. My biggest is a 152 5/8ths 10 point. I agree with most of the advice offered in this thread. I definitely prefer a wrist strap trigger release for hunting for a couple of reasons: when the release is strapped on my wrist there is no chance of dropping it; weather conditions are quite variable making it more difficult to make consistently accurate shots with a hand-held thumb trigger 3 or 4 finger release (although they are more accurate for target shooting in comfortable conditions). I started with a Hoyt bow and have bought three Mathews bows over the years (I still have all four bows). I prefer NAP broadheads and have used the Hellrazor for the last few years. I hunt using hang-on treestands - I have about 20 of them. I practice shooting up to 30 to 40 yards but never shoot at a deer beyond 20 yards. Observing deer behavior while bow hunting is a terrific experience. I live in a suburb with a "troublesome" deer population. Bow hunting is allowed in limited areas for does and, I believe, a buck license is available for one lucky hunter every year. I have had deer in my yard within 3 feet of the house. The deer eat our plants. I have watched two bucks fighting about 15 yards behind my house while a big 10 point waited to take on the winner. And I have seen deer walk through our yard during the day many times. My grandchildren love to watch the deer behind our home.
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Old October 19, 2013, 06:57 AM   #10
03Shadowbob
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Most important thing is to make sure you develop the right habits so find a good teacher. Bad habits are easy to develop. Get fitted for draw length.
Other than that a good singel cam bow that has a forgiving 7+ inch brace height and is adjustable in draw length and weight is a good start. You don't need 300+ fps either though new bows reach this easily.
A great beginner bow that will do everything the high dollar bows will dois the PSE stinger or Diamond Core.
I like a trigger release myself.
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Old October 19, 2013, 07:01 AM   #11
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Also get over to archerytalk.com. Easily the best source of archery knowledge on the net.
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Old October 19, 2013, 11:12 AM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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A few counter points...


I hate trigger releases. I like to have my release attached to my bow so I don't have to look at it to attach it when the deer arrive. If you attach a wrist strap release, your hand is locked to the bow. The thumb release attaches and just hangs there and you can grab it by feel, without looking. I've never dropped my thumb release (although I almost did a couple days ago) but I did once drop my wrist strap release trying to put it on after climbing.

Back tension... I don't know any shooter who does use it for targets and doesn't use it for hunting. They might use a different release, pure back tension for target and thumb for hunting, but they still use back tension. It's not as if you can't still "make the shot happen" if you have to, you already know how to do that. Back tension is better. Pure and simple. 97+% of the best shooters in the world use it and every one I know who uses it also uses it for hunting. The only people who can come close to competing with back tension shooters are the same people who are exceptional rifle shooters.

Single cam bows and adjustability.... generally they aren't. Matthew's, for example, has AT MOST about 1" of adjustment and sometimes it changes the let-off if you use it. Some of their bows have no adjustment at all. Bows that use the Hybrid/Cam and 1/2 system usually have 3" or so of adjustment.

Resale... Non-adjustable bows are harder to sell. The buyer must match you exactly (or almost) or buy a new cam. Lighter poundage bows are NOT hard to sell. Go to archery talk. The guys who are into target shooting don't want 70lb bows. They know better. You'll have no trouble selling it there.

Spending big money... No need. I know of few items that lose their value faster than compound bows. A bow that sold for $900 18 months ago can be bought for $350 now. Two years ago, I bought a Hoyt Katera XL that was 1 year old, included a sight/rest/peep/arrows and case that all together originally cost over $1,200... I paid $700. Check the archerytalk classifieds. Whatever you want is there.

Smoothness... today's Hybrid bows are smooth beyond belief. You can't even feel them "break over". Single or dual cam bows of whatever various model may be super smooth too (or may not) but there's no way they're smoother. Certainly not in any amount that matters. Once they're so smooth you can't feel the break, smoother is irrelevant.

Don't get caught up in the "big cut" fad with broadheads. Do a little math. What's the cutting difference between a 2" 2 blade and a 7/8" 4 blade? Hm... not much, eh? However, the small diameter 4 blade will penetrate MUCH better. Muuuuucccchhh better. For broadheads, look no further than Slick Trick. They may well be the most accurate broadhead ever made.
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Old October 19, 2013, 03:51 PM   #13
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To help get into the swing of things, find a local archery club that has 3D matches.
3D matches are excellent for learning archery, from the doing and from the other archers.
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Old October 19, 2013, 05:41 PM   #14
Kimber84
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A few thoughts related to Brian's post, all of which are good points.

If you use a trigger release it becomes second nature hooking up to your D loop on the string. Honestly I can't even remember hooking up before any deer I shot, as anything is, practice enough and its second nature.

Also, Brian is correct on Mathews, the ones that I know of are not adjustable, the cam design dictates the length. This really is no big deal though as any dealer that works on them generally has cams and they'll swap them for you in exchange for your old one. This is pretty typical of any bow manufacture. I do have an old Hoyt though that has a pivoting draw module you can adjust without even breaking the bow down in a press... Great idea, not sure why they decided to stray from it.

Draw lengths can also be tweaked slightly by putting more less twist in the cable/ string, but this should only be considered for small tweaks, not for going up and down 1/2". Changing the twist if not done correctly can mess up timing, even on single cams.

That said buying a fixed draw length bow is really of no worry.

Also, as Brian eluded don't let these hunting shows tell you what broadheads to use. Do some research online and make that decision yourself. These hunting shows are getting free products to make the endorsements, of course they're going to pump their fist for that brand.

Slick Tricks are some great heads, hands down the sharpest blades I've ever seen. The key in getting broadheads to fly is properly tuning your bow. Paper tuning is a great place to start, basically you shoot through paper and the resulting hole pattern will tell you what tweaks to make.

I highly recommend reading this tuning guide. This guide lays it all out in easy to understand terminology. I would start by paper tuning, a good paper tune will usually get you shooting broadheads pretty good. I've also done bare shaft tuning when I still had some flight issues. I could go on and on about tuning, but best thing to do is read up first and ask questions of you have any.

http://www.eastonarchery.com/img/dow...ning_guide.pdf
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Old October 19, 2013, 06:51 PM   #15
Brian Pfleuger
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New to Bow Hunting.

Some (if not all) of the Hoyt bows still have that time of module adjustment. My Katera does. Adjustable from 27-30 in about 5 minutes (if you're slow) no press required. Two small Allen screws is all you remove.

Many larger dealers will have cams but it's still a pain. Up to the end user. I prefer easy adjustability.
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Old October 19, 2013, 07:07 PM   #16
Kimber84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger View Post
Some (if not all) of the Hoyt bows still have that time of module adjustment. My Katera does. Adjustable from 27-30 in about 5 minutes (if you're slow) no press required. Two small Allen screws is all you remove.

Many larger dealers will have cams but it's still a pain. Up to the end user. I prefer easy adjustability.
I used to shoot hoyts, they just lost me when they went to the "tec" riser... I had a vortec and just never fell for it.

I bought my original striker back that I sold to my buddy... I offered him an AR for it and he wouldn't budge, he finally sold it back for $100.... That bow really had a lot of sentimental value to me.

I wish I still had my old Defiant too, nice shooting bow.

I got on the Bowtech bandwagon for about 5 years, after three sets of shattered lbs and one that lost all its camo dip ( all on the same rig) I said enough... Dumped it last year and bought a Mathews, and I truly love the way it shoots... Like you said, bows lose value quicker than anything on the market. Picked it up new, but was a year old for $300 cheaper than original MSRP. Bows definetly aren't investments, unless you're into high end recurves.
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Old October 19, 2013, 07:07 PM   #17
03Shadowbob
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There are only a few bow makers who have such limited adjustability, Mathews and Hoyt being the main two which for a new archer isn't the reasonable purchase which we have all said. Tuning a single cam is mucheasierthan a1.5 or dual cam bow. Again we are talking about a beginner.
As far as dropping your release, that's on you. That is not a flaw of a trigger release. I use a hook trigger release which I do not have to look at when I shoot.
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Old October 19, 2013, 08:09 PM   #18
codyb1991
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm gonna tag along with a buddy from work when archery season starts, he's a very experienced bow hunter. I've been practicing with him and his bow for the past couple days whenever I got a few hours to kill, I'm liking it so far. I just really want to find a used compound bow for around $200 and get into it.
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Old October 19, 2013, 09:32 PM   #19
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03Shadowbob View Post
There are only a few bow makers who have such limited adjustability, Mathews and Hoyt being the main two which for a new archer isn't the reasonable purchase which we have all said. Tuning a single cam is mucheasierthan a1.5 or dual cam bow. Again we are talking about a beginner.
As far as dropping your release, that's on you. That is not a flaw of a trigger release. I use a hook trigger release which I do not have to look at when I shoot.
I don't know where you get your information but it's almost flat backwards. Almost all Hoyt bows are as or more adjustable for draw length than any other brand. They typically have at least 2" and sometime 3 or more, usually with no change in parts. Some require cam changes, most do not.


As far as "tuning" a Cam 1/2 bow, I have no idea how hard it is because I've never once had to do it. Adjusting nock point, center shot, etc, yeah. Never once had to touch/"tune" the cams. They have a large range and marks for being tuned. I've never seen one outside the marks.

I don't know who in this thread besides you is the "we have all said" but other than price, Hoyt and PSE are the first bows I'd recommend to everybody. The price objection is simple... buy used. Problem solved.
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Old October 19, 2013, 10:09 PM   #20
Kimber84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codyb1991 View Post
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm gonna tag along with a buddy from work when archery season starts, he's a very experienced bow hunter. I've been practicing with him and his bow for the past couple days whenever I got a few hours to kill, I'm liking it so far. I just really want to find a used compound bow for around $200 and get into it.
You shouldn't have any trouble finding a used decent bow for that price, maybe a touch more.
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Old October 20, 2013, 11:36 AM   #21
codyb1991
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That's good to hear, I've never minded used guns so a used bow should be no different.
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Old October 20, 2013, 01:59 PM   #22
codyb1991
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I was actually just on cabelas.com and saw some Bear brand bows brand new in my price range. Gonna make a trip up there haha.
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Old October 21, 2013, 08:13 PM   #23
TMW89
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I've found most Bear bows are all set up ready to go with red, sight, stabilizer, etc.

I've never owned one, but they look nice. And Bear has been in this business for a long time
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Old October 21, 2013, 11:16 PM   #24
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Not to many years ago I shot a bow. 70# Browning Mirage w/ 4" over draw. I tweaked it to 64-lbs of draw weight which I could handle shot after shot. Mongoose 2-pin sight with a string peep. I shot 28" 2213s with carbon inserts 3" 3-feathered Easton XX 75 aluminum shafts. 100 gr. razor sharp NAP 3-blade Thunderhead broadheads were my slicing choice. The deer I harvested with my bow. I never had to go beyond 10 ft from where the deer was hit to retrieve the animal. Instant killer. _"Brown was down!!"
Could have sold my Mirage a few times but didn't. I still have my Mirage as a matter of fact.
Now a-days you no longer need a Over Draw as the bow cams are so fast and their newer designed riser's and limbs are made for speed Bud. If I were starting out my suggestion would be: Buy a Mathews Z7 Magnum. No doubt about it. But there is a problem guy. Mathew bows are indeed spendy. But its to be expected as you would be buying the best Name bow in the business IMHO. Yes, it is all about speed and poundage you can pull and handle Sir. If it weren't. The bow manufactures wouldn't make faster and faster bows with large draw weights available like (70 pounders) to get to those high end speeds. If you intend to challenge yourself with the use of a bow. Its all about target practice and more practice. Visually knowing yardage/distance to your game is a necessity in this sport. But you must also know your limits when it comes to your shooting capabilities also. As I was told once. If you have to take aim at the rising late afternoon moon to get your arrow on target at 30-yards. You Sir are under bowed._

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Old October 22, 2013, 02:26 AM   #25
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Pawn shops or friends who may want to sell. Alot of archery only shops sell used bows. Walmart or Academy if they have them there sell bear bows for about $200.00. Ted nugent shoots deer all the time with a 40 or 45 pull weight. Most always pass completely thru. Along time (20) years ago I use to shoot 70#. After years I started shooting 60 and 60 I could shoot faster because it thru me into a different arrow bracket for the arrows I shot. 95% of my deer go completely thru. It's where you hit them that matters everything. A good hit a deer will run about 45 yards and drop. A bad hit a deer will run to the next state. If you don't have a perfect shot don't shoot.
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