The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 15, 2008, 08:57 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: August 4, 2007
Posts: 861
Off topic compound bow draw length

I realize this is a gun board but I was wondering if I can ask a bow hunting question. I have been told my draw length is 31" but I see many well known bow brands, often expensive that don't offer 31" draw lengths or the majority of lengths are much less than 31". I guess my question is do I have to get a bow with a 31" draw length or can I adapt to one with a shorter length. I know very little about compound bows and I am thinking of making a purchase and from what I see my choices, models and prices are limited if I am limited to a 31" draw length. Anyone have any advise? Thanks.
dalegribble is offline  
Old September 15, 2008, 09:05 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: July 5, 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,719
The best thing to do is go to a local archery shop and have them measure you for correct draw and they could recommend the best bow for your needs. I have a very short draw of 24.5" and had a hard time finding a bow to fit but a local shop in NC helped me out and fitted me with a Hoyt SierraTec and I couldn't be happier with it.
"Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul."
hoytinak is offline  
Old September 15, 2008, 09:08 PM   #3
Join Date: February 28, 2008
Posts: 55
31" draw

Dale 31” is fine jest get a overdraw rest should be able to go down to a 29” arrow

Longun is offline  
Old September 15, 2008, 09:22 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: January 12, 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,728
I think the problem is he's having trouble finding a 31" draw bow.

I have never seen one either of that length. I'd go get measured to confirm that. How tall are you? For a 31" draw you must have some pretty long arms.
rantingredneck is offline  
Old September 15, 2008, 09:36 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: Florida, east coast
Posts: 2,106
I'm 6-2 with long arms and have the same problem. On a bowhunting site my estimated draw is 32 or 32.5 depending on the method used.
NRA Patron Member
Swampghost is offline  
Old September 15, 2008, 09:50 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 281
I'm a Monkey Arms myself... I'm 6-6, and have a 37/38 sleeve length. My bow draw is a 32. The bows that I use have been PSE bows. There are others, but not with the features I wanted at the time.

You can sneak a half inch out of the draw length by the setup of the nock loop and release aid (basically make them long).

Good Luck.
My $0.02
nass is offline  
Old September 15, 2008, 09:56 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: January 28, 2006
Posts: 1,381
Here's what you really need to do.
1. Go to a local archery pro shop. If possible, find a shop that just does bows and not somewhere that dabbles in everything. Not that shops like that aren't good, but you will tend to find more experienced archery shooters in bow pro shops.
2. Get your draw length measured. Most have a special setup that looks like a long bow with a marked arrow attached to the string that goes through an eyelet above the grip of the bow.
3. Select a bow with that draw length. 31" is not abnormal, but I have not seen anything longer in a while.

If you have a problem getting a bow with a long enough draw length, there are some mitigators for you.
1. Have a loop installed on your bow string. This will protect the serving where you will be knocking your arrow, reduce the pressure your release will place on the arrow (if the release was clipped straight to the string), and make up for that missing length. It normally adds about 1/2" to the draw length.
2. Get an adjustable release. My Scott Pro Caliper is as old as the hills, but still shoots well and is adjustable in length, allowing shooters to make up for that missing length.

Getting the draw length right is important since form is important. Shooting a bow with too short of a length can be uncomfortable since you break over the peak, but you are not at full draw. Being at full draw in the valley is important because it allows you to relax in the full draw and hold position longer. Being relaxed while at full draw will improve your aim and your form through the release.

The overdraw does NOT adjust your length of pull! It just allows you to shorten your arrow length and increase velocity. With carbon arrows these days and IBO speeds in the 315-320 range, they really aren't needed.

If you have any more questions about it, pm me and I can get as detailed as you need. Archery hunting adds a new dimension to the experience.

Last edited by globemaster3; September 17, 2008 at 01:08 PM. Reason: typos
globemaster3 is offline  
Old September 16, 2008, 08:25 AM   #9
Jack O'Conner
Senior Member
Join Date: July 11, 2005
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,795
My draw length is also 31 inches. I bought a Bear compound bow at CABELA's sometime ago that was advertised for my draw length.

I agree that your local Bow Pro can be quite helpful for set-up and tuning.

BEST deals are on eBay!! Browning X-cellerator was the TOP bow in 1980's yet lightly used bows are available for under $50. These are great bows that are "out of style" with today's speed conscious archers but they're very well made and accurate.

Martin Warthog is famous for use by Dukes of Hazzard in 1970's. Again, a great bow that is available for under $100.

Bear has always used mass production process to build quality for bargain pricing. Whitetail II went out of production in early 1990's but they're very good bows for accurasy and durability. This is the model I've owned since 1994.

PSE and Hoyt are a little pricer - even used but many hunters including some famous authors have endorsed these compound bows.

Hoping this is helpful.
Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
Jack O'Conner is offline  
Old September 16, 2008, 04:44 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: August 4, 2007
Posts: 861
Thanks for all the answers. Let me explain a little more. I have a brand new Browning Deerslayer compound bow my wife bought me in 1989.....never used. It is preset at 31" and 50# from the factory. It is adjustable from 28 to 31" draw length and 45 to 70#. I never used the bow because I was told I needed to take it into an archery shop and have it tuned and set up specifically for me. I just never did...until this week.

This week I took it to a bow shop for help, setup and advice. The person was very helpful, he measured my draw length by having me stand against a wall that was measured and spread my arms. He determined my draw length was actually 31 1/2". He checked my bow (I was afraid 20 years of sitting in a closet may have weaked the bow somehow). My bow was determined to be safe, he left the draw length at 31" and added a draw loop, added a kisser button, checked my sights and made sure everything was square, cut my original aluminum arrows down to the correct length and gave me some advise and shooting tips. He probably spent over an hour with me and didn't charge me a dime. He did say my bow was outdated and the new bows are better, faster and easier to use and had me look at a few of the new ones.
The ones he showed me of course were fairly expensive I thought. i intend to use what I have until I feel I need to upgrade if in fact I ever do. He gave me a dozen brochures from different makers, that is where I discovered there are very few bows that even come close to a 31" draw length. Some bows that I seemed to like were 28" or less, some were much less. So if I did upgrade and my draw length is 31" it seems my model choices and even bow makers seem kinda limited. Unless I am somehow misinformed are my choices actually that limited?
dalegribble is offline  
Old September 16, 2008, 04:55 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: June 4, 2007
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 1,943
I'm 6'2" and have a 32" draw with a standard arrow. I shoot a Jennings. If you can't find the right draw length, have your local archery shop order what you need. My arrows are $7 a shaft, and I may go to an overdraw next year.
If you want your children to follow in your footsteps, be careful where you walk.
Beware the man that only owns one gun; he probably knows how to use it.
I just hope my ship comes in before my dock rots.
crowbeaner is offline  
Old September 16, 2008, 05:18 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: February 28, 2008
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 791
Most of todays bows are only advertised to 30" draw or what ever. But most of the larger companies produce Cams that will accommodate shooters with longer arms.

I wanted to be able to tell you I just called Mathews, but alas, they are closed. I'll call tomorrow if I think about it in time.

But all you would have to do before making a purchase, is call the company and see if they offer any Cams for longer draw lengths, for that bow.

I called Mathews, they said that it depends on the bow. Some bow designs will not shoot right with a longer draw. So I guess they a limiting somewhat the types of bows the can sell.
When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.
- Thomas Jefferson

Last edited by wpcexpert; September 17, 2008 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Called Mathews, New Info
wpcexpert is offline  
Old September 16, 2008, 06:03 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: December 22, 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,222
Question on draw length for bow:

Let me tell you that draw length is probably the most important factor in setting up and shooting (or) hunting with a bow, period!.
I have been hunting with a bow for many years and over those years, I have found out, that no matter the mfg of archery gear (proper draw length for each individual is paramount to accurate shooting).
A 31" draw length is pretty long for most folks. I am 6'1" and thats what they started me out with years ago. As time went on, I found out that every time I shortened the draw length (I was more accurate) until I finally setteled on a 28.5" draw length. Most competitive archery competitors usually shoot a little shorter draw length. Of course, when you shorten draw length, you decrease your arrow speed. You can up the poundage on your bow to compensate for lost arrow speed.
Bottom line is see your local proshop as others have suggested. The new compound bows, like Mathews, Bowtech, Bear, PSE, etc., all have great top of the line archery equipment.
I now shoot a Mathews Drenalin bow at only 63 lbs and a 28.5" draw. I get good pass through shots when hunting, (even a hog I recently shot).
Don't settle on a cheap price system if you can help it. Get a quality bow set up and have your pro shop set it up for you. They will make sure you get the proper length, which is the most important factor in my humble opinion. Good luck. Rick
skydiver3346 is offline  
Old September 16, 2008, 11:32 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: September 8, 2005
Location: South Texas
Posts: 805
I would stick with the bow that you have for the mean time before forking out the money for a new one. You've already had that one for 20 yrs and haven't used it. If you start shooting on a regular basis and really like it and decide to stick with it, then go ahead and upgrade. Last thing you want to do is spend a $1,000 on a new set up and a month later put it in the closet for another 20 yrs.
I hadn't shot a bow in 15 yrs. When I was younger, I got real interested in it. My parents bought me a Browning Bow and all the set up. I shot it and hunted with it for a couple of years and never even got a shot at an animal. Anyway, I got burned out and put it away. This summer, I finally broke down and bought another. When I started looking around and shooting different bows, I was amazed how much better the bows, arrows, sights and everything else had became. Within a couple of days, I was already shooting better than I had ever shot back when I shot a bow everyday. I had the bow not even a month and I had already shot a 240 lbs hog at 26 yds. Hog did not even run 15 yds. So I guess I'm hooked again.
Back to your question, I'm 6-5 and have long arms as well. My draw length is also 31 in. I shot quite a few bows and settled on a Diamond Black Ice. It has adjustable cams that adjust out to 31 in. I had mine set at 30 in. The loop and release add about another 1/2 to 1 in length to it.
trooper3385 is offline  
Old January 31, 2011, 10:23 PM   #15
Junior Member
Join Date: January 31, 2011
Posts: 1
I am brand new to bow hunting and thought I would get a great deal on craigslist for a bow. I unfortunately did not do my research and bought a great bow that is entirely too big for me. It is a Hoyt Ultratec that is set to a 32" draw. I was under the assumption that it could be adjusted, but after taking it to the local shop, I found that if I was to have the bow adjusted to my length (28 1/2") would cost almost what I have into the bow and would reduce the max weight by 5 lbs. The cams and the string would have to be replaced. So it's really not worth my money or degrading to bow to make it fit me. I think it would be best for me to sell it for what I have into it and hopefully learn my lesson. The guys at the shop tell me it's a great bow and that I did get it for a great price, but unfortunately, it is pretty much useless to me unless I want to throw a beating to my forearm. I have it for sale in their shop, but they let me know that finding someone that is 6'3" or taller that is looking for a bow is pretty rare and the bow might be sitting there for a while. They suggested that I jump on a forum such as this one and search for somebody that might be looking for something that is apparently kind of rare to find. If you havn't found a bow yet, and you are looking for one that has the 32" draw length already set, shoot me an email and I will do what I can to give you any information about the bow. It looks really nice and I am pretty bummed that I can't shoot it. It has fiber optic sights, a quiver, and 4 arrows. It also came with a release.
Lance61650 is offline  
Old February 1, 2011, 11:31 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: February 27, 2006
Location: Lane County Oregon
Posts: 2,547
The person was very helpful, he measured my draw length by having me stand against a wall that was measured and spread my arms.
While this may be a perfectly "normal" way to determine draw length, I have never seen it done at a pro shop!!!

They have always had a bow set up just to measure draw length. It has an arrow in a special dampener tube that is fixed to the bow.

Too many variables to just measure your arms. I anchor against the back of my jaw bone, my buddy anchors corner of mouth. If we are both set up the same, I have a longer draw length than him.

Personally, I would have reservations about a shop that did that.
U.S Army, Retired

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. -Potter Stewart
davlandrum is offline  
Old February 2, 2011, 02:05 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 5,976
draw length

Draw length is critical. Set up to long, you will not be drawing and anchoring in the "valley" of your bow and not gaining full benefit of the cams. Plus with no sure "backwall" to anchor against, you will likely have fluctuating velocity.

To short and you may not be able to find a firm anchor point at all, the bowstring wandering around out in the front of your face somewhere different every shot.

Sounds like you got a set up going, shoot for a bit, get some consistency, then go back to bow shop and look some more.
bamaranger is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:11 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.17656 seconds with 9 queries