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kwiggy

Newbie Bow

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kwiggy

I suppose I am opening a can of worms here, but here goes... I have access to some awesome bow hunting land (father-inlaws-property) and have recently helped my 10 yr old purchase a Parker Buckshot bow to learn on. I have never bow hunted, but always dreamed of it. Now that I have some awesome land and a kid to mentor, I want to get in to archery. I know nothing about the equipment.

My game plan is to monitor craigslist for used bows, so my question is... what do you look for in a used bow? What brands should you stay away from? Which ones are good bets? How old do you go before you are buying old technology/design? I don't think I need to go ultimate equipment right away because I'm not sure how hooked I'll get in this sport. The hunting property is 4 hours away although I do have access to some private property within 10 miles.

Thanks for any advice.

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Deitz Dittrich

kwiggy- Very good questions.. and I hope I can help out.

First thing you need to know.. Go to a reputable bow shop. Get fitted, its important to know what size bow to get. You buy buy the best most expensive bow, but if it doesn't fit, its no good.

These are my opinions, so please take them as just that.. Opinions.

I think the big 4 bow companies are Hoyt, Mathews, Martin, Bowtech. And not nessisarily in that order. The second tier of bows, in my opinion that also make a very quality bow would be Browning, parker, pse, diamond, reflex.

All those companies make a very quality bow.

as for how old? Thats really hard to say. Center shot bows, which are easier to tune, limb pocket design really made bows quiter, and more parallel design which took care of quite a bit of hand shock, took quite a bit of change about 2003-2004. I'm not saying that bows made before 2003 are bad, there are a ton of good bows that are older than that. But right around that time, bows I felt made a big change.

Each year, bows make changes. The companies seems to pinch a little more speed and get a little quieter each year. where it will stop? Who knows.

So... get fitted, keep your eyes out on a good deal, get a bow and start to practice. I think the sooner you get a bow in your hands and start to practice. the more you will enjoy this season.

Congrats on the choice land, and being able to spend time with you son enjoying the outdoors.

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harvey lee

Dietz nailed it as far as what to look for a beginner in the archery field. As Dietz mentioned, one needs to have a bow that fits the archer. Sometimes one can find a great deal online or anywhere else but, make sure it is a bow that will fit you.

Looks like you will have many years of memories from hunting and teaching or learning from your son. I have hunted with my son for years and its great.

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Powerstroke

I agree with Dietz comments. There was a large change in technology a couple years ago, but there was also another change roughly 10-12yrs ago. Thats when the modern cam designs started and better limbs too. I would definately stay in the newer 10yrs or so.

My current bow is a Darton Yukon. I bought it used 3 years ago, but it is now 8yrs old. It didn't fit exactly, but some bows area adjustable and some require a different "module" in the cam to be adjusted. My bow needed a new module for about $15 and I was set. Its been a great bow to learn on.

Remember that there are extras that are somewhat necessary on a modern bow, such as a rest, sight, a release and a quiver. These of course cost more money if they are not included in the sale, so plan for that. You will also need arrows that fit your draw weight and draw length.

Once you know your size you can start searching. Try to do research on bows that are adjustable and maybe you can find a deal on a bow that needs some minor changes to fit you.

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96trigger

All of the above posts are accurate.

Go to a proshop and get fitted. Ask tons of questions. Learn about let off, speed, and draw weight. You will want to about all of these things and determine what is most important to you.

The nice part is that you can take your time and develop your skills until fall. You won't have any preconcieved notions about your bow as you haven't had one before. I think its tougher to swtich from one to another than it is to start new. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but I hope it helps.

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gonecribbin

Be careful!!!! Getting into bow hunting can become more addicting than fishing...

Like fishing there is alot of practice and techniques to learn, but putting a game plan together that works is more than rewarding...

In my opinion the 2 most important parts of bowhunting is Practice & Shot placement, you dont need to go spend $1000 on a bow, if you have a fine tuned bow, and confidance in making a clean kill shot, you will be fine...

Dont get me wrong, if you can afford to buy a $1000 bow set-up, do it.. But starting out you might want to start out a little cheaper until you find out if you even like it. There is alot of quality name brand bows that wont break the bank, Mathews expanded their line of bows with the Mission bows, they made these for archers that didnt need all the bells and whistles and they wont break the bank. Sporting goods stores have quality bows for less $ as well, Gander/Cabelas for example carry diamond bows (bowtech) great shooter, half the price tag.

As stated before, get fitted for a bow and go from there. Purchase a set-up, make sure the arrows are right for the bow you are shooting, practice, practice, practice, broadheads need to be sharp (practice with these also), while hunting, play the wind, stay safe, make a good shot..

After your first season, you will know what upgrades you will want to make to improve your game...

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kwiggy

Thanks everybody for the advice. All of this is very informative to a guy who doesn't know one brand from the other. Is there a way to save this thread so I may reference it at a later date? I can't afford to buy a bow until I get my taxes back. I won't get my taxes back until I actually do them. So that means I will be bow shopping in May.

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Duncan7709

I have an Idea you can make you own longbow for really cheap. Very fun and very rewarding if harvest any animal with it. You can just skip training wheels(compound bow) and go straight to the stick.

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kwiggy

 Originally Posted By: Duncan7709
I have an Idea you can make you own longbow for really cheap. Very fun and very rewarding if harvest any animal with it. You can just skip training wheels(compound bow) and go straight to the stick.

That does sound interesting, but if I know next to nothing about archery... what do you suppose I know about Longbow? I haven't even heard about longbow until I started reading this forum. It does sound intriguing and I bet it would be VERY rewarding, but if anybody needs "training wheels"... I'm the guy! blush.gif I'm afraid I would be wounding animals and not harvesting them.

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archerystud

kwiggy,

It's much tougher to shoot the longbow. The longbow is more difficult to shoot and will probably limit your effective kill range.

One other note when getting fitted for a bow. If you are in between draw lengths I would recommend the shorter draw length. The longer draw length will give you more speed but you may sacrifice accuracy.

With a shorter draw you can have more bend in your elbow which will reduce the tension on your arm as well as make you less likely to hit it during a shot.

Having the string hit your arm becomes much more likely during the deer season when you have layers of clothes on.

Practice and have fun.

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Duncan7709

Shooting a longbow is no doubt harder and you dont have as far of an effective kill range. It just takes more practice with the longbow.

If you dont want to shoot a longbow I would suggest getting a Fred Bear Truth. My brother has one and it was amazing seeing him shoot that for the first time. Very fast and whisper quiet with no hand shock (I have shot it a few times). Its price is cheaper only $550 I think brand new. Being able to get a very consistent group at 20 yards the first arrows he shot out of his truth. I was really jealous considering it took me probably 200-300 shots to start getting a good group and it only took him 6.

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kwiggy

Martin was mentioned as a quality bow earlier by Deitz. Is the Jaguar a good model? I see a jaguar with many accessories for sale on Craigslist for $450. Whattya think?

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Deitz Dittrich

Kwiggy- The Jag was a great bow.. A very forgiving brace hight of 7" and pretty fast with an IBO of 295fps..I am not sure when Martin stopped making them I want to say late 90's?.. Other than that I am not all that familiar with the bow.. for some reason I think its a two cam bow... which may take more tuning issues to deal with. At one point I think this was the top of the line bow for Martin..but like I said, not sure how many years ago that was.

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96trigger

Kwiggy, you could get real nice Matthews Outback, possibly switchback all set up for that kind of money. If you want you can keep checking back and asking if its a good deal. Have you figured out your draw length yet? Have you shot any yet?

A year ago I got a Matthews Switchback XT with everything but the arrows for $600. It was one year old, and used very little, basically brand new. (With everything on it it retailed at almost $1200). Keep looking, I would think that for around $500 you could get a nice, high end, used bow that is pretty well set up and under 5 years old. I'd keep looking.

If I was going used, I'd look for a really high end bow less than 5 years old. I just think the technology has come a long way in ten years, heck 5 years, in terms of hand shock, smoothness, and quietness. I think the cheaper new versions, like the Mission from matthews or any of the Fred Bear bows, will be as good as the older top of the line bows, and you'll know what your getting buying new. Some might disagree with this statement, but I had a top of the line Hoyt that was over 10 years old, and it was nothing compared to the new second tier bows.

BTW, I am in no way saying the Martin is junk, just old, and I think high priced, maybe if he wanted half that it would be a good deal.

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frummybear

I bought a Bowtech Tomkat and was a newbie like you this Christmas. It cost about $550 with tax and I really like it. It was fairly easy to get started shooting. I had the shop give me a run down(lesson) on how to shoot and make adjustments on the bow. I love it and will be going javelena hunting soon. I would suggest the Tomkat to anyone, great starter package.

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96trigger

Just did a quick search on a ebay, tons of bows for sale. Looks like you could pick up a used switchback or switchback XT (excellet bows) set up for the price of the Martin. One thing to remember is that the warranty usually doesn't transfer for used bows. Once you determine your drawlength and preferred let off, its just a matter of waiting for the right bow to come around. Good luck, keep us posted.

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kwiggy

Thanks everybody for your input. It is nice to know how much to save to get a good bow and it looks like $500-$600 will get me a good used bow. My problem is... do I start with a medium quality bow in case I don't get involved in the sport as much as I hoped. Or, do you try to buy top-o'-line to begin. When I buy tools, I always buy top of the line, but I have a lot of tools I don't use that often. Unless, any of you have some compelling advice, I am sure I will save my money for a high end system. Thank you all for the information on what are good brands and what is the middle road. Comments regarding age and technology of the bow are very helpful.

When getting fitted for a bow, I saw opposing limbs on some bows. That seemed really logical to me as it would make the let-off seem much lighter. Does this have any negative effect on the shot?

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96trigger

Last year when I was looking for a new bow, I shot a lot of them. I went to the proshop and shot the Fred Bear bows. They were nice. The guy then told me I had to shoot the Mission Bow by Matthews. I liked that better and the price was really good, under $400 for a machined aluminum riser and fully camoed, $300 for a flat black one. I thought I was done shooting until he brought out the switchback XT, after shooting that a few times, my decision was easily made.

You sound a lot like me when buying tools. As for not using it much and not bing sure you'll like it. I don't think that will be a problem. You wil get to spend quality time with your son just practicing. It is something that you can do daily, and is really inexpensive. Bow hunting is seriously addicting. Pretty soon it consumes your thoughts.

I don't know much about opposing limbs or what you mean by that. However, the length of the bow can play a role in accuracy. I am not little, and I hunt in ladder stands. I wanted a short axle length, with a high let off. The shorter the axle length, the less accuracy as distance increases (as I have heard). I guess longer axle bows are supposedly more forgiving. I think my old hoyt must have been kind of a piece, because I am much more confident at 30 yards with the Matthews then I ever was with the Hoyt, which was much longer. Again, it comes down to new technology. I I haven't taken a 30 yard shot as most of my shots are usually withing 20 yards, and I am 100% confident within that range. The more you practice, the more confident you will get.

With the money you are willing to spend, you can get a very nice set up, used 2-3 years old nicely equipped, or a new quality second tier bow, where you can determine what bells and whistles you want on it. Thats kind of a preference choice you will have to make.

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giwoyna5

For a newbie I'd stay away from used bows to avoid being swindled and getting in over your head with more than you need. Go to a pro shop and find a good package deal. Most of these will have the latest up to date technology and won't break the bank. A pro can fit it to you while teaching you a lot in the process. Then after a year if you decide you don't like it, your bow is only a year old and still worth something to sell. Unlike a used bow, it won't be easy selling a 5 year old 3rd owner bow.

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paceman

I bought a Mission bow last August. Completely decked it was just under 600. I shot a couple deer with it. I loved it. Pretty fast at 315 fps, whisper quiet, smoth, compact - 32" axle to axle. It is made by Mathews so the quality is great. I would recommend it to anyone..... That being said there are a ton of bows out there both new and used that would work for you very well. I would go to a pro shop and get fitted and go from there.

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Powerstroke

I wouldn't say that used bows are a bad deal. I think the majority of people who dislike the used bow arguement know someone or have been taken because they bought over the internet.

Many bow shops sell used bows on consignment. This allows you to see and handle the bow and know what you're getting into because you can get an expert opinion while you're in the pro shop.

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96trigger

I'll admit I took a pretty big risk buying the bow on ebay. I new what I wanted to buy, I bought it without even looking at photos, at the time, it was going for about $200 less than all the others. I could have gotten taken real easily. But I did contact the guy through email and he sounded legit, turns out he was.

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Deitz Dittrich

 Originally Posted By: giwoyna5
For a newbie I'd stay away from used bows to avoid being swindled and getting in over your head with more than you need.

I respectfully disagree. To this day, I have never owned a "new" boat, or a "New" car or truck... Yet I feel I have never been swindled. Yes, like anything people do need to do their research.

Proshops do however have pretty good package deals.

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giwoyna5

One thing though, he's completely new to the sport. While I agree that used bows can work just fine, I still would go to a pro shop of some sort and get set-up there, be it new or used. Sorry I forgot about consignment bows and such, guess I was thinking he was looking at ebay or news paper want ads. I don't think you can really compare this to a used car or boat though. Most people have owned a car b4 and have some idea of what they're getting into and what to look for. (he has never owned a bow) You're lucky if you've never got stuck with a lemon in any used purchase. Just my $.02.

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Powerstroke

I would be more likely to buy from Cragslist or the paper before i bought on ebay. At elast you can try to stay local where you can meet someone, try the bow and take the bow to a shop together to get it inspected.

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