View Full Version : Wanting to start bow hunting...

August 11, 2006, 11:10 PM
Can anyone point me towards a good bow for a good price? I've never shot more than a recurve and thought it'd be a good skill to have.

Anthony Terry
August 12, 2006, 12:09 AM
Hoyt, mathews, bowtech.
Thats the "big three"
Hoyts new trykon is deadly fast and easy to shoot. Mathews has probably the quiestest and easiest to shoot bow in the switchback xt, and it's still very fast. I'm not really into bowtech, though most like them too. I'm going to get the switchback XT i think.

August 12, 2006, 12:45 AM
You really need to go out to the sporting goods stores (prefferably an archery store) and try them out to see which one you prefer. When I was searching for my first compound it took me weeks to find the right one. I had a lot of luck with the fact I have a large archery only store in my town and they are honest and recommend only what I needed not any extra "junk".

Add to the list Browning, PSE, BEAR. They make some great bows. Also picking out a release is a hassle as well, but getting a good one is important as the bow itself.

August 12, 2006, 01:01 AM
Check out your area for a Pro shop.. You will find they are very helpful.
They will set you up with many to try out, find one that fits your hand.
you will know right away it will just feal right...:D If you have more than one shop? Try them all out, shops tend to have differant Bows.
Once you know what you want, you can shop around for a good deal...e bay or Cabela's/bass pro etc.
altho you may just want the one they set up for you at the pro shop..:D
If you hit a shop at the end of season, they may have some nice sales on last years model...good luck to you and enjoy the new sport

August 12, 2006, 06:24 AM
Like ElkSlayer6x5, I too suggest you go to an archery pro shop for assistance. I do NOT recommend laying down $500+ for a bow, if you're just getting started. There's nothing wrong with purchasing a used bow, until you see if you're going to like the sport or not. ;) Plus, you need to find a bow that fits your hand, so physically putting your hands on them is very important.

Archery is full of personal choices and that's what attracts so many to it. Having said that, you'll find a miriad of accessories for your bow.....just don't get "drowned" in all the gadgets. Purchase what's necessary to hunt with, as anything extra can cause you problems in the field....either with an equipment failures or as a distraction from the basics of taking the shot.

Talk with these guys too. www.archerytalk.com/vb "Archers helping Archers"

Good hunting, Bowhunter57

August 12, 2006, 09:37 AM
A great beginner bow is a PSA Nova. I think you can find one fully outfitted for $300.

Mine is now 12 years old. Every time I think of getting the latest and greatest bow I take my PSE to the range, shave flechings at 40 yards and decide to keep it another year.

It's less about what bow you end up with and far more about practice.


August 12, 2006, 10:08 AM
Yes, find a pro shop and shoot some; they typically have indoor shooting ranges right in the pro shop; ask a lot of questions; if you have more than one pro shop, check a couple out to see which one you get better service at. Because you'll probably want to be going back year after year to have them check your bow out & tune it, etc., unless you really get into it and learn how to do that yourself and buy the necessary tools for tuning, re-stringing, etc.

And also, remember that on a lot of these new-fangled compound bows, though generally very good, generate a lot of their extra power (relative to pull weight) by having a low to very low brace height. Problem with that is that it's a tradeoff - the lower the brace height, the more magnified your errors in release are (affecting accuracy). So more of a medium to high brace height is probably preferred for beginners - such a bow is more forgiving on the release, and almost assuredly still has plenty of power to penetrate and kill your game easily. Have the pro shop gentlemen show you the brace height issue, and again, just shoot some to see which shoots well for you.

In the old days, it was Bear, Ben Pearson, Browning, & PSE (many moons ago). Now, a couple of these are still hanging in there, but Hoyt & Matthews are some of the most popular brands. Oneida, a few others too. Like most things, you're gonna get *generally* what you pay for. EXCEPT that a lot of bow guys are like motorcycle guys - they must have the latest & greatest every year. So the bows are numbered by model year, of course. The shops have a hard time selling the older years' models that are still hanging around in their stores, so they'll mark them down dramatically, especially if they're 2 years old or older. My current bow, for example, was brand "new" / never used when I bought it in the summer of 2004, but it's a 1999 model (Hoyt Aspen), so it was 5 years old at the time! So the price tag had been cut 50% twice, from $700 to $350 finally to $175.

August 13, 2006, 08:06 AM
Check out www.archerytalk.com, take the info with a grain of salt. There are a lot of know it all's on the site.

The Matthews XT is a very nice, quite bow. One of the few new bows that I think is worth the money.

I shoot a Hoyt MT Sport which used to be one of their lower end bows. You can still buy an entry level bow from Hoyt and have a very nice bow.

A 600.00 bow will not shoot better than a 300.00 bow for most beginners, but if you have the time to devote to practice, then you won't be a beginner long.

I have seen way too many shooters buy an entry level bow and hunt one year with it and they want to upgrade.

Archery is expensive, I spend way more on archery then I do on guns. New Arrows every year, new broadheads, new strings every couple years. New bow hunitng camo, new bow hunting deer stand, new bow hunting boots...

Just becareful that you don't get completely sucked in to the bow hunting craziness.

August 13, 2006, 09:57 AM
I don't really consider myself a gung-ho archer, although I've taken 7 deer with a bow. I bowhunt because I love hunting, not archery. I bought a used browning bow at a pawnshop, 8 years ago, for $100 bucks. I spent another $100 at the proshop getting it set up. Like another poster said, I'm hitting fletching at 40 yards so I can't really justify upgrading. I just kicked out $60 bucks for some carbon arrows. I could have bought lots of shells for that.
I pickup and play with a Matthews everytime I'm at the proshop. I've almost gotten it a couple of times. It's shorter and lighter and shoots faster. It's a great bow. It also costs as much as a new rifle and more than a ruger super blackhawk. I know which one I'm going to spend my money on this year.
I see lots of bows in pawnshops. I guess people try it a year or 2 and give up. There are some deals there, for sure. I'm left handed and had to look awhile. If you're right handed, I bet you can find one at the first or second stop. Your local classified is also a good bet.

Have Fun

August 13, 2006, 11:12 AM
You can get a good bow for around 200-400 fully setup. After you are in it for a while and know that you plan to stay with it, you then can upgrade to a top of the line bow. Thats just my $.02. :)

August 13, 2006, 11:15 AM
My only suggestion is to get the bow with the longest axle to axle you can find. If you are just learning, I would reccomend shooting with a tab or a glove for a while before you go to a release. The short bows are really hard on finger shooters (at least to me).

August 13, 2006, 11:16 AM
OK, one other suggestion - find a bow hunters education class in your area. Lots of great info, and you can talk with the instructors to pick their brains.

Wild Bill Bucks
August 13, 2006, 06:26 PM
+1 on finding a good bow shop that handles SEVERAL different companies. There are so many good bows out there anymore, that NO ONE can tell you what is the best one for you. Go to a shop that is knowledgable of their products and listen to what they tell you about each bow, pick them up for yourself, and feel them, get one that is comfortable to YOU. Everybody that owns a bow will tell you his is the best(and probably is for him) but that doesn't mean you will be happy with one. Bows are like girl freinds, you don't want to marry the first one you pick up, you want one that feels right to you.:D

Charles S
August 15, 2006, 09:21 PM
There is some excellent advice in this thread.

My total cost of set up (A Browning Mirage) was $200 from a local pawn shop. That is sights, rest, arrows ect. A quick trip to the local archery shop and a nominal set up fee and I was good to go. I killed a really nice 6 point my first year of bow hunting.

The one thing you need more than all of the other accessories mentioned is a good mentor. Try to find a successful bow hunter who is willing to teach. Learn all you can from your mentor. My hunting partner has saved me a great deal of time and money and I am still learning from him.

Good luck and have fun. I learned more about hunting in my first year of bow hunting than in most of my other years combined.


john in jax
August 16, 2006, 08:31 AM
Practice makes perfect. I didn't even manage to hit the 4'x8' backstop with my first few shots . . . with LOTS of regular practice sessions I got to where I could shoot coke cans at 30 & 40 yards all day long.