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Old August 3, 2007, 09:58 AM   #1
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Drew into traditional hunt / need a recurve

Guys, I lucked out and drew into a controlled hunt at the McAlester AAP (Army Ammunition Plant) property - read about it here:

Anyhow, it's traditional only, no sights etc. Just like the Indians shot a bow.

So I've got to learn to shoot instintive by Nov 2. I've got a long bow and an aluminum recurve dedicated to fishing, but I want to get a wooden/laminated recurve to have a little more oomph and a little less length than the long bow.

But I don't want to spend too terribly much on it - preferably less than $175. I want at least 45 lbs @ 28", but preferably 50-55 lbs.

So, are bows like the Italian-made PSE Impala any good ($170 at a local store), or just a waste of money? What do you suggest? Any good sources online for used recurves, besides ebay?

If anyone comes across a good deal on a used recurve, a heads up would be appreciated. I am reluctant to buy used online though, with no chance for inspection.

Last edited by FirstFreedom; August 3, 2007 at 07:10 PM.
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Old August 3, 2007, 10:29 AM   #2
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FF - congrats on the draw! I, as always, have my $.02...

I took a quick glance at your link, but did not see the info about equipment rules (other than the list of 9,000 things you can't bring in). Does it specifically state you may not use sights? If not, you can mount sights on a traditional recurve, in fact most already have the inserts ready for it.

If I were doing it on short notice, since I have not shot a recurve for 7-8 years, I would emply a little trick taught to me by a devious soul. Take a wooden match stick and some tape. Tape the match stick on the bow so it looks like a sight pin. Sight in normally, only worrying about distance - not left right. Your left-right should be straight down the arrow. Once you get 20 yards figured out with the match stick, carefully mark the back of your bow with a sharpie, repeat for other yardages. I was never confident of my recurve shooting to go above 35 yards.

Only warning on this is to make sure you have the arrows set up exactly the way you are going to hunt, so you will need a broadhead target and either expect to resharpen fixed blades or replace replaceable blades (minor expense).

Are you going wood arrows or "modern". Best source I ever found for wood arrows when I was shooting soley a recurve was 3 Rivers Archery

They will match spines and fletch them up, cut them and install field points (and even broadheads, I think).

Last thing, especially with little time to spare, is get the lightest poundage allowed for the hunt. One idea, if you think this is more than a 1 time thing is to get a take-down recurve and then you can get different limbs later if you want to increase poundage. I shot a 70# Martin Hatfield Take-down for years and always planned on gettnig a set of lighter limbs, just never got around to it.

I love heavy pull bows as much as the next guy, but with broadhead and arrow technology, it is just not neccesary. A traditional native american bow made with traditional materials and techniques is hard to get over 30#, and it worked fine for them.

Lastly - just fling a lot of arrows before you go. I have my bow and practice arrows hanging out back where I can grab it and shoot everytime I go outside. Keeps me from finding excuses not to get it out and shoot.

Sorry - I don't have a lot to say regarding buying a bow. You could check your local pro-shop for any used deals, and I have seen shops that had a lot of hunting recurves, but more the exception than the rule. Again, it really depends on if this a one-year thing or possibly a on-again-off-again thing for several years. If you think you might do it again in the future, I would really recommend a take-down model from a reputable maker (Bear/Martin/etc). If it is not getting shot often, you can take the limbs off, get a nice compact case for it, and store it without worrying about limb damage.

Good hunting!

Last edited by davlandrum; August 3, 2007 at 10:52 AM. Reason: Answered OP question
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Old August 3, 2007, 02:12 PM   #3
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Check out the Fred Bear Grizzly it's considered a "working mans bow". You just may have to work a little harder for the price increase, but htey are nice. A friend of mine bought one and came around pretty quik with it. I learned on a recurve, and shot recurves alot when I was younger. I remimber the first time I shot the Grizzly off the front porch at a liter coke jug. The porch on that cabin was atleast 10-15 feet off the ground and the target was about 20 yards out. I hadnt shot instinctivly in years, but I was nailing the coke jug about every time. Im looking at buying a grizzly this year myself to compete with my buddy.

I think these folks have a pretty fair price on that bow, and they sell alot of archery equipment. Also go to a pro shop and have arrows tuned for your bow. If you cant do that just go by a chart and order some aluminum arrows.

good luck!
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Old August 3, 2007, 04:44 PM   #4
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I bought a recurve through Cabelas a few years back.

It is called the Ragim hunter mangart. great bow.

I would go a little heavier than 45lbs. especially if you are a bowhunter already.
My suggestion would be 55lbs. maybe 60 if you can handle it.

I would also suggest you use aluminum instead of carbon arrows.
When I got my recurve I had a very tough time with arrow wobble no matter what length and spine carbon shaft I used.

The archery pro suggested I switch to aluminum and voila, problem solved.

Also use a 125gr. up to 145gr. non expanding head.
I use a 2 blade 125gr head made by Magnus.

I shoot fingers and use a little rubber finger dealie that slips onto the string, this little thing really helps in the (FEEL) of the shot if you know what I mean.

Do yourself a big favor and get the rope bowstringer also.

Have fun and good luck, remember to keep us updated with the hunt.
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Old August 3, 2007, 05:04 PM   #5
Join Date: June 15, 2007
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PM me.i can help you with any ?'s you might have about trad. archery.i build recurves and arrows.and no,don't go to aluminum arrows.go with carbon.i can help you with tuning and spine.most of todays archery shops don't know there ass from a hole in the ground about traditional archery.also you can not have sights on your bow.maccallaster is awesome,i got drawn in 2001 but then came 911 and no one was allowed on bases(sucks).you'll see huge bucks.
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Old August 3, 2007, 05:27 PM   #6
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Go wood arrows and feathers - all the way!
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Old August 3, 2007, 07:14 PM   #7
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Thanks and keep it coming; more comment later; here's some more on the rules:

"Hunt" Rules and Regulations

You may harvest 2 deer (only 1 buck)
You may harvest 1 tom turkey (not a bearded hen).
Make sure to purchase deer & turkey tags before you harvest them. They can be purchased when you check-in or through the ODWC when you pay your user fees.
You can also harvest hogs and coyotes (no bag limit or tag required).
Don’t shoot the fallow deer.
All state laws apply except you don’t have to tag your deer in the field.
This is a bonus hunt and doesn’t count towards your state bag limit.
There are a few collared bucks left and they are fare [sic] game.
Sheds and Skulls are property of the Govt. and cannot be taken off the installation. You may bring them in to the check station.
You can use cell phones in the hunt areas (not camera phones).
You must stay in the area that you are drawn for.
There are field phones in the areas if you need to call in, dial 6611. If you are using a cell phone, dial 918-420-6611.
Turn in badges before you leave the hunt.
NO Cigarette Lighters or Matches of any kind.
NO Spark producing devices.
NO Cigarettes or Cigars.
NO Cameras in the hunt areas.
NO Binoculars.
NO Range Finders.
NO Two-Way radios.
NO Alcoholic beverages in the hunt areas.
NO Firearms (Except during the shotgun hunt).
NO Ammunition.
NO Black powder, Percussion caps, Primers.
NO Compound bows.
NO Plastic gas containers.
NO Strike anywhere matches.
NO Deer decoy’s.
Q1. Can I bring my family with me to the hunt?
A1. No, Only the hunters who have a valid draw permit can enter the installation. The only exception is during the physically challenged hunt when the hunters can bring a helper.

Q2. Can I bring/use my range finder?
A2. No, range finders, binoculars, GPS’s, and 2 way radios are prohibited.
Q3. Can I bring/use my cell phone?
Q3. Yes, you can use your cell phone as long as it’s not a camera cell phone.

Q4. Can I bring my alcoholic beverages?
A4. Yes, alcoholic beverages are only allowed in the campgrounds.

(Back to Top)

Q5. Is deer the only animal that I can harvest?
A5. No, you can harvest a “Tom” Turkey (if you have a tag), coyotes, and hogs.

Q6. Is the quality pass incentive program still in affect?
A6. Maybe, quality pass incentive can be changed at a moments notice. You will find out at the briefing before your hunt.

Q7. Does the deer or turkey that I harvest apply to my state bag limit?
A7. No, this is considered a bonus hunt; therefore they don’t count against your state bag limit.

Q8. When is the hunt briefing?
A8. The briefing is on the Thursday before your hunt @ 10:00 A.M.

(Back to Top)

Q9. Who do I contact about reserving a cabin or trailer?
A9. Contact MWR @ 918-420-7484.

Q10. Can I purchase additional deer & turkey tags when I arrive?
A10. Yes, you can purchase additional tags at the hunt.

Q11. Can I use my compound bow?
A11. No, only recurve & longbows are allowed. Except for the physically challenged hunt where crossbows are allowed.

Q12. Can I have sights on my bow?
A12. No, sites are not allowed except during the physically challenged hunt.

Q13. How many deer can I harvest?
Q13. Currently you can harvest 2 deer (only 1 buck), but that can be changed at the hunter briefing before your hunt.

(Back to Top)

Q14. When can I bring my camper/trailer?
A14. Trailers & campers can enter the campgrounds between 12:00 P.M (Noon) – 10:00 P.M. on the Wednesday before your hunt.
Q15. Can I smoke in the hunt areas?
A15. No, cigarettes, matches, or spark producing devices are not allowed outside the camp grounds.

Q16. Can I keep the shed antlers that I find?
A16. No, sheds antlers & skulls are property on the Federal Government and should not be taken from the installation.
Q17. Can I bring a photo/digital camera?
A17. Yes, Camera’s are allowed in the campgrounds but not in the hunt areas.

Q18. Can I bring a tree strand?
A18. Yes, you can bring tree stands, screw in steps, and hand saws.

(Back to Top)

Q19. Is there a practice range?
A19. Yes, there is a practice ranged located behind the deer check station.

Q20. Is there food and ice available?
A20. Yes, there will be food and ice available during the hunts (Hours TBD).

Q21. Can I build a fire in the campground?
A21. No camp fires but you can use a grill or char coaler.

Q22. Can I leave the installation once I get there
(Wal-Mart, McDonalds, etc)?
A22. Yes, you can go on/off the installation once you’ve officially checked-in. When you leave for good, be sure to check out and turn in your permit.
(Back to Top)

*****All vehicles and hunters are subject to being searched at any given time!!!!!

*****All rules & regulations are subject to change!!!!!
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Old August 3, 2007, 08:02 PM   #8
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Too bad you live so far away or I'd loan you my Drake or Bear recurve.
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Old August 4, 2007, 10:34 PM   #9
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I missed the sight thing again until I read it for the third time. I wonder what the point of that is???

I would think the line on the back of the bow would be OK - even just one at 25 yards. Hard to call that a sight.

If you can get enough arrows down range, I think you can do it instinctive anyway.

Borrowing one, if you have someone you can borrow from might be the best solution.

Sounds like a cool hunt - completely level playing field.
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Old August 8, 2007, 12:53 PM   #10
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I just happen to have one of these

52" amo 40 lbs @ 26", 45 lbs @28"
nice bow...short, light..

I don't shoot it as much as my compound though..(old bear super kodiak)
it just has the shelf, needs a rug rest on it.

had'nt thought about bowfishing with the rebel.. would be ideal for that as it is short.. for a primitive hunt, I'd take it as well..

(may even be willing to swap for something I could use more)
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Old August 8, 2007, 02:24 PM   #11
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recurve aren't for wimps

I hapen to have a
bear 52 lb. recurve but I'm to wimppy to pull it and hold it for any length of time ,its in great shape. Letme know if interested I asume you can ship a bow without any problem.
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Old August 8, 2007, 03:03 PM   #12
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Ken K - 52lbs ?? PM me with details if you are interested in selling.
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Old August 9, 2007, 09:31 AM   #13
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Surveyor, I would have been very interested in that, had I not gotten a wild hair an bought a PSE Impala a few days back. Thanks again all. The Impala is not too great of a bow, but it will work for my purposes, for this hunt, this year. I have further comment in the companion thread on arrows for this bow.
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Old August 9, 2007, 10:52 AM   #14
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nothing wrong with a PSE,
my daughter has a buckeye....

I wasn't knocking your choice, just mentioning that I had one..
too good a deal for me to pass up on not buying it several years ago..

recurves are more of a challenge to me to shoot than compounds
mainly becuase the draw length is variable, harder to get the same anchor point, they shoot diffrent off the rest than off the shelf, and have no let off to reduce strain..

while the draw weight is more on my compound (58 lbs as I have it set now)
it lets off to about 30-35..

the recurve is 45 lbs+ and does not let off.. so when you get ready to take a shot it is more immediate with the recurve than could be with the compound..

it will take a little time to get sorted out.. but worthwhile..
a little diffrent skill set & variables..for sure.
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Old August 9, 2007, 12:44 PM   #15
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The hardest part of shooting traditional gear after learning on a compound was getting past the habit of "pull and hold". The guys that are really good at instinctive shooting (not me, by a long shot) do it in one smooth motion - pull/anchorpoint/release. When I would pull and hold, I would start looking for something to line up and aim with, rather than just trust the shot.
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Old August 9, 2007, 12:47 PM   #16
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davlandrum, you actually describe my problem exactly. I am glad I am not the only one with that problem!
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Old August 10, 2007, 12:02 AM   #17
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FF congrats on being drawn. I will be there as well. I was lucky enough to be drawn for the same hunt. I have been shooting a PSE Coyote take-down recurve. I recommend you learn to string walk if you do not have the instinctive practice time. String walking is very effective and for the most part, just what the doctor ordered for you.

I hope to see you there, grinning behind a 180 inch set of antlers in the truck.
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Old August 10, 2007, 12:02 PM   #18
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Desert fox & FF,

The base is a pretty wild place to hunt, but I will tell you a few things that I have noticed.

One of the guys on my deer lease, works the base hunt, and last year they took everyones bow string from them on arrival.(This is to keep anyone from being accidentally hurt, they say) They will put you on a bus, and take you to your hunting area, and pick you up when you are through.

Funniest thing to watch is herds of deer that will be standing around your campers, almost as soon as the buses leave to take the hunters to the field. It's like they know you are going to the woods, so it is time for them to go to the campers, where there is no hunting allowed.

Sometimes when I am driving through the base early in the morning, I will see 50 to 100 deer standing along side the road maybe 25 or 30 feet away.
I guess, since they see 100s of people every day, they just don't seem to be very leary of them.

There are a lot of really trophy bucks on the base, that I have seen, but not very many of them get shot. I guess thats why they are trophies, is because they get smart.

Base is loaded with wild hogs, because there is no hunting season for them on the base, and I don't know if it is possible to harvest one while you are there or not.

I have never had the chance to hunt the base, and because I live so close to it, I have never really had a desire to, but I hope both you guys get a REAL Trophy.

They may be hard to get, but there are plenty of really big bucks on the property.
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Old August 10, 2007, 01:37 PM   #19
Jack O'Conner
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I have a Wing Archery recurve bow I'll sell for $50. plus shipping. Draw weight is 50lbs. I killed several coastal blacktails with it when we lived in Northern California.

Let me know if interested; I'll send digital photos.

Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
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Old August 10, 2007, 03:01 PM   #20
T. O'Heir
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Go to a dedicated bow shop(sigfreak has a point, but up here at least, traditional archery is alive and well in the bow shops) and get fitted for it. And start exercising your upper body, especially your back and shoulders. Recurves aren't like compounds. Practice shooting at a 9" pie plate, starting at 10 yards, until you can hit it every time. Then move out to 20 and repeat. Then to 30 and repeat. Thirty yards is plenty.
When shooting, get into the habit of pushing the bow away and pulling the string while drawing. This is easier on your back and shoulders. You should be at full draw by the time you've raised the bow to eye level.
There's no reason not to draw and aim(use the broadhead as a front sight. Your eye is the rear), but instinctive shooting involves keeping your eye on the target(the kill zone, not the whole beastie) while you draw and release.
Once you're on site and, if they'll let you, set up shooting lanes in several directions from your stand with range markers. Bambi won't notice or care about a bit of ribbon tied to a tree or bush.
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Old August 10, 2007, 03:42 PM   #21
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Jack - PM sent
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