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Old October 17, 2006, 07:42 AM   #1
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Join Date: July 28, 2005
Location: Pocono Mtns, PA
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help: atlatl or bow

Alright, I've got the 20guage, 16 guage, 22, 308 (and 2 other similar caliber rifles) the 50 cal inline and the 50 cal flintlock. But I want more deer seasons dammit! And after that I'm taking up trapping, icefishing and picking wild ginseng--my great uncle taught me to do that last one, I just stopped after he passed when I was about 15. Maybe that gives you a little insight into me.

But, first I need a weapon to use in archery season. I have no intention of climbing trees and sitting in a stand. Most of my rifle shots are taken inside of 30 yards either sitting on the ground or stalking. So, what do I opt for: a bow or an atlatl? If I get a bow I plan to spend about $400 and it's going to be one of those compound things that have a sight. But someone on here recently mentioned an atlatl and my interest peaked a bit. Fact is I can through and I gotta believe that with a little bit of time I could get pretty good with one of those things. However when I was a kid I had 20lb recurve bow (no sight) and made several maple sapling bows--I couldn't hit a friggin thing with any of them no matter how hard I tried. Would throwing with an atlatl be kinda the same as throwing anything else in terms of aim? How is it to aim a compound bow with sites?
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Last edited by chemist308; October 17, 2006 at 07:44 AM. Reason: clarify one thing
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Old October 17, 2006, 08:37 AM   #2
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Let me first tell you this, I don't bow hunt but... everyone I do hunt with do bow hunt. From the looks of it they're refined down to a science. I've watched them hit within an ich of bullseye evertime at 30 yards. Bows these days have fiberoptic sights and a peep sight. My friend just bought a beautiful setup at gander mt for around 400 dollars all said and done. It's deffinetly worth looking into, in northern NY we only get 6 days of muzzleloader but they give something like 3 weeks of bow. On top of that around my parts with a bow they let you take an antlerless deer... Oh not to mention bow season is before muzzleloader or regular. It's muzzleloader right now and the deer are already spooked, a couple weeks ago during bow I watched in a stand as 2 6pt bucks came through, but now they're in hiding ...
got me a little lady, the gun buying has come to an end, sigh
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Old October 17, 2006, 09:17 AM   #3
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A bow will give you a higher chance of success, if for no other reason then the final movement to release the projectile (letting go of the bowstring) is a much smaller movement than that with an atlatl, which requires the gross throwing motion that generates the energy, so the game can see this at the last second. With a bow, you can draw and create the energy while the game is looking another direction and hold then release at the right time (with a compound anyhow). I think atlatls worked well for centuries against the megafauna by the native americans after they populated the americas via the land bridge, because prior to that, all the megafauna, including bison and elk and moose, had to deal with was sabertoothed tiger and wolves and such, all of which attack in direct "hand to hand" combat. So the spear and atlatl, in the hands of this new predator called homo sapiens, were the first ranged weapons, and thus the game didn't really worry about you unless you were to get closer that 20 yards - which made them sitting ducks for the ranged weapons. But now, after 10K to 20K years of being hunted with ranged weapons by man, the game is now leery of any presence of man, and therefore, the bow is plenty challenging enough. Certainly a good hunter CAN take game with an atlatl, but taking leery game like ruminants is going to be *extremely* challenging, even to the best hunter, IMO.
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Old October 17, 2006, 02:56 PM   #4
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No kidding about the new bows being easy! I'm nothing short of amazed.
Here's the story: I went down to a local sporting goods shop (Dunkelbergers) because I hear they've got the one of the best archery shops in the area. They've even got an indoor archery range with 10 and 20 yard marks. I told them I didn't want to go too far over $400 and the guy there measure my arm and gave me a 50-60 lb bow to try. Within 15 - 20 minutes I was putting every arrow I let loose into an area the approximate size of a deer's boiler room (4 - 6 circle) from both 10 and 20 yards. Arrows, field tips, cutting broadheads, trigger and bow with peep sight and quiver came in just under $500. I bought it. I'm sure I overpaid but I doubt I'll ever regret the purchase or the money I spent.
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Old October 17, 2006, 03:44 PM   #5
moose fat
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In my neck of the woods spear throwers are still made and used.
Moose season is over and so a few guys are heading to the coast to hunt for seal and beluga whale. Spears and harpoons are still alive and well.

A bow would undoubtedly be better for deer. It would be fun to try tho. At the start of deer season, before the rut and before they get really spooky, if you can find a stupid deer that will stand and look at you it might work. My cousin makes spears and throwers and they do have the range and power.
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Old October 17, 2006, 05:02 PM   #6
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You are kidding right? Everyone knows you need a .300 win mag MINIMUM to take deer humanely.
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