View Full Version : Bow hunting

October 17, 2007, 10:46 AM
I want to get into bow hunting whitetail - Never tried it before - something new that I would like to accomplish - Need info on what I need to know - which is alot, because I know nothing about it - I do know that I need a left handed bow but that is about it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!:):)

October 17, 2007, 11:13 AM
You need to go to a good pro shop and shoot a lot of bows. I don't mean one or two, I mean a lot. Find one that you like. Don't worry about how modern it looks or what sales gimmicks-oops i mean features-it has, just find what feels comfortable to you. They will help set you up with sights, a rest, and a release. Remember, most expensive is not always best. Start very light, 40 lbs is good because even if you're strong, you'll be using different muscles and you want to focus on proper technique without struggleing. Then start close-5 yards to 10 yards from the target. Get a feel and have fun. Too late for this year, but practice for a year and you'll be ready for next season.

Don't just listen to someone who says Mathews is the best, or Hoyt is the best, or you need a PSE, shoot them and decide for yourself.

FWIW, I shot a doe on sunday with my 15 year old Browning bow set at 55# and got a complete pass through. You don't need the fastest most expensive bow out there to hunt whitetails.

October 17, 2007, 11:13 AM
Best advice you can get is probably at an archery pro shop. Find one that has a range and shooting classes, and will let you try out the bows you like. Once you're there you will meet many folks who will share their experience with you. You will find bowhunting to be very addictive.

October 17, 2007, 11:20 AM
HB - There are other threads about getting into a great sport with lots of tips.

I have been a bowhunting education instructor in 2 states, and am presently working on gettting my certification in Oregon (little more involved, since I also have to be a rifle instructor here, which threw me for a loop).

Check your state's hunter ed page and see if you can get into a Bow Hunter education class. Lots of good info and lots of good people, both instructors and students. As I have mentioned before, many states do not require seperate bow hunter education, so a lot of the people attending the class are already bowhunters getting ready to go on a trip to a state that does require it (most of the big elk states now do, as well as Alaska).

Check out the local archery shops. Find one that is helpful without being condescending. There you should be able to shoot a variety of bows and figure out what you want. Fair warning, lefty bows may make your selection a little harder.

Check your state game laws - many (all ??) have a minimum pound pull for specific species (Oregon is 40# for deer, 50# for elk), so that lets you know at least what you will need to get to for pull.

One more pitch for local shops versus mail order/internet is they will get it set up correctly and get you set up with the correct arrows. Also, they have trade-ins, which might be a great way to go IF they have any leftys.

Archery is about a lot of range time. I admit I don't shoot my rifle "enough", but it is dialed in, I have the ammo it loves, etc. I can go shoot a few at the range and confirm, but it is almost take it out of the safe and go hunt. My bows all have to get shot a lot each year in order for me to be accurate and confident.

October 17, 2007, 01:11 PM
Davlandrum,your first paragraph reminded me that in MT.you have to buy an archery tag.You either have to bring a past MT.license with an archery tag or a certificate of completion of a safety course.On the other hand ,if you rifle hunt,no certification is needed.Always thought that was curious.

As for the original question,I think a local bow shop is important.I took mine back to the shop I bought it from several years ago to get a new serving.And they put one on FREE.I bought 4 or 5 from them over the years and they helped me through all my problems.Something you can't get mail order.

October 17, 2007, 01:34 PM
The other benefit to going to a proshop is they will set you up with a bow of the proper draw length. Which is critical to developing good consistent skills. You can shoot a bow of the wrong draw length, but I wouldn't recommend it. You'll develop bad shooting habits and form quickly from doing that.

and like others have already covered, don't feel like you gotta have the most recent Matthews Switchback model to hunt properly.

I've got about 200.00 total in my PSE Nova setup (I set it up myself cuz I know how), and I take 2-3deer with it every year.

October 17, 2007, 02:45 PM
+1 on avoiding the "sales pitch". To hear it now, there is no way you could ever kill anything if you aren't shooting 325 fps with carbon arrows and using the newest whiz-bang mechanical broadhead.

Guess the deer were just a lot stupider and easier to kill "back in the day".:rolleyes:

October 18, 2007, 04:17 PM
Don't go to wal-mart, or any other chain store and buy any bow off the rack. Like all the other guys say, go to the pro shop. You need to get fitted for your bow. You can spend $1000.00+ and if it doesn't fit you, You'll never shoot good. You can buy one for $250.00, and if it fits you, you will shoot it far better than the $1000+ bow that does not. You'll also get taught about arrow selection. The spine of the arrow must match your draw length and draw weight. If the spine is too stiff, or too flimsy, it won't shoot straight. then there is the whole technique thing. You can learn that by shooting a league. Most of the time, the guys & gals in leagues really like to help the beginners, and get them going right. If they see you doing something funky, they'll politely tell you what's going on, and teach you how to do whatever it was that was wrong, right. That's the best way to learn, i.m.o...That's how I learned, and I wound up winning a state championship, both indoor and outdoor many years ago....After shooting 100 arrows a day for many years is also why my shoulders are shot...:eek: So don't take it to extremes. Have fun.

October 18, 2007, 08:15 PM
Once you have a bow picked out and your sighted it in.........the next biggest thing will do is to make sure you practice guessing yardage. A firearm is much more forgiving then shooting a bow. 5 yards off could be a missed shot. Just my .02

Just some info, I have a PSE fireflite 33 that I have about $200 including the case(it was a year old model) and I have as much fun as my friend who is sponsered by Bowtech. Just get what fits your budget and make sure you have fun. Make sure the draw length is set up for you!!!!!

October 18, 2007, 11:52 PM
You don't sound hooked yet...man oh man, the world is definitely about the change for you...