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Is it worth it?


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To buy the best?

I have been an outdoorman for my entire life thanks to my Dad.

Always had what I needed to be successful when it came to weapons, clothing, stands, etc.

Not always the "good" stuff but it got me by.

Even in the last decade or so I seemed to always buy low to middle end items to make me happy and to continue to get by.

Not saying the other stuff didn't do the job, but I started to wonder???????? confused

Is the expensive stuff really that much better?

As I have become older and still into the outdoors as much as ever I started upgrading to what I considered the best, lots of debate here I know.

Take for instance my new bow, flat shooting, quiet, great back wall, nice draw cycle and light.

We are looking at new safety harnesses and just trying the new ones on, they are so much lighter and comfortable.

The upper end climbing stands are quicker and easier to set-up and not to mention light.

Clothing instead of the normal "long johns" and layering to the hilt, moving to Under Armour.

The Muck boots (not bought yet), but tried them on on they will be purchased before archery season.

I could keep going, but I think the point is made.

If I could only recommend one thing, if you can wait and move to the top end on your purchase, do it.

So to answer my own question to "Is it worth it?"

I have to say "YES IT IS!"

Good hunting all and enjoy it, we do, but just alot lighter and more comfortable than ever before.

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A lot of this depends on your own personal budget and the specific product. Stands I geneally purchase high end and new. Bows I like to get high end but buy used to save some $$$. Arrows and broadheads I buy as cheap as I can find but still use some of the well known name brands. Boots I like to buy the good stuff, camo I go cheap. Bow accessories I use to buy high end but now the high end stuff is pretty darn expensive so if I ever upgrade it might be middle of the road. Base layers and warmth I kind of have a mix of spendy and cheap clothing. No doubt the high end stuff is nice but I have no problem dialing it back a little if I don't see the value.

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certain stuff i will spend the extra $$$ on and some i wont I've gone the cheap route a few times and ended up buying the more expensive stuff cause the cheap stuff was junk

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I have a bunch of pretty good gear. However, for much of it, I'd never spend the money on it if I didn't get a really good deal for it. I get 50% off of a lot of stuff and 30% off most everything else, so I get quite a few things for good prices.

For so much of the outdoor gear (not just archery), there's a point of diminishing returns. Are $200 boots that much better than $150 boots? Is a $1000 bow significantly better than an $800 bow?

For me, a lot of it has to do with what you want to accomplish with it- if all you hope to accomplish is to shoot a nice whitetail with it, you can get by just fine with a much less expensive bow IMO. The vast, vast majority of archery whitetails are killed inside of 20 yards and you don't need a Carbon Matrix to make that shot!

Also, IMO camo is about the biggest scam ever regarding this topic. People, me included, drop all kinds of money on new camo and I really believe I'd shoot every bit as many deer if I just wore grey or brown clothing. As long as they're quiet and keep me dry, they will work just as well as any camo pattern made. This is a place a lot of people could save themselves a ton of money IMO. I wish I'd have understood that a decade or more ago...

All that being said, there's also the "keep up with the Jones's" factor. Also, some people simply have plenty of money to burn, so it's no big deal for them to buy the top of the line.

Lastly, and for me the thing that really keeps this all in perspective, I've never had more fun bowhunting then when I wore my dad's old camo and hat and a pair of old brownish shoes and went out to the treestand as a kid. My bow was a used Fred Bear compound for a number of years and I was flinging my dad's old 2413's with hand sharpened (thanks Dad- he got those baby's razor sharp for me!) Bear broadheads. Very little money into all my gear and more fun than I ever deserved. No need to drop tons of money to have a great time. It's hard to keep that in perspective sometimes, but it sure is true for me...

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If I had to pick one piece of gear not to skimp on - it would be a quality stand for sure. If you do any amount of hunting in the cold months, you'll find out the inexpensive grate-on-tube style stands just don't cut it. Save up and get a LW, Summit, or comparable and you'll be much happier in the long run IMO.

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This is a great topic, and it applies to basically all the forums on this board. I'm really enjoying reading it. Thanks, Rippinlip.

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Good topic. I was exactly like that for many years (i.e. buying stuff to just get by with) but I've changed in the past 5 years or so. My #1 area to spend decent money is in clothing. Nothing is worse for me than being cold or wet on a hunting and fishing trip. I don't purchase name brand too often but keep my eyes out for sales and bargains. For example, I picked up a real nice Vexilar bib and jacket for ice fishing last year on closeout for like $175. That thing is awesome and makes me wonder how I got by without it before.

I will likely always be a middle of the road person when it comes to equipment. If I had to hunt with a climbing stand everywhere I went I know I'd have top of the line but I've had my summit for 10 years and only used it a handful of times. I think a person just has to pick their spots on where it makes sense to spend good money as there are certainly times where it makes sense to go top end.

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For so much of the outdoor gear (not just archery), there's a point of diminishing returns. Are $200 boots that much better than $150 boots? Is a $1000 bow significantly better than an $800 bow?

Your point is true, but what about is a $800 bow better than a $400 bow? Are the $150 boots better than the $50 boots? The converse can be true about cheap items becoming more expensive than the initially expensive item.

I think this is where most sportsmen get tripped up. When considering high dollar items vs budget priced items, the is a point where you will buy multiple cheap items before you would've replaced the higher quality item.

A buddy and I each bought the $39.99 rubber boots when we started bow hunting. They barely made it a year before cracking and leaking, they frequently gave me blisters and were generally uncomfortable.

Budget priced bows ($400-500) are just as good as the top of the line ones with lower quality parts or last years technology. You can place your own value on speed, anti-vibration, weight and design.

I personally spend on the high end for arrows and broadhead cause that's the part that actually does the killing. After spending more than $1000 on a complete bow setup I see little point in trying to skimp on the most critical part of the shot. The wrong arrow and broadhead combo will make an expensive bow perform like garbage and turn a garage sale special into a tack driver.

In hunting, and archery especially, more expensive is almost always better. Cut through the hype of NEW items and read the forums for reviews. There will always be people who have to have the newest and best so you will always be able to read about it first.

While it hurt to spend $1000 on a bow 4 years ago, I still have one of the best bows in the last decade. My Lone WOlf stand hurt the pocketbook alot, but I got it on sale. Its the lightest and quietest and easiest to hang stand I know of and aluminum doesn't rust. I need more underarmour clothes to replace my older hunt clothing. Quality arrows and broadheads break less, expensive boots are tougher and more comfortable, a good backpack fits just right, a safety vest is easier and more comfortable than a harness.....etc etc.

I will buy as money allows, but I'd rather wait than purchase something I'll regret. Anyone want to buy an Ameristep Doghouse blind?

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If you can drive tacks with it keep it. I'm not a scentlock clothing style fan save your money and hunt down wind. Shoot the best arrows and Broadhead on the market failer is not a option. Don't skimp on your clothing or boots if your hunting in the cold or rain they will keep you out there longer and hunting.

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Will I still look for deals? Of course I will.

After being in the outdoors alot like most of you, I enjoy it alot more when comfortable/dry and not worn out just trying to get to where I want to be.

Being able to wear lightweight under garments(1 layer and not having to layer), lightweight boots and carrying light stands by paying a little to sometimes alot more to me as I get older is well worth it.

There are still items that I will go to the lesser end on as long as the quality is still there, such as ladder stands, as long as they are safe.

Some things I still kind of laugh at is what PS said, some people spend ooodles of money on a set-up just to cheap out on the business end of things. WHY?

Speaking of camo, I don't and probably will not spend on anything that supposedly is scent controlled, I do look for the material for quietness and how it breathes, and protects from the weather, it must have a pretty cool design too.... wink

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I don't and probably will not spend on anything that supposedly is scent controlled, I do look for the material for quietness and how it breathes, and protects from the weather, it must have a pretty cool design too.... wink

I have been running the cheap Guide series fleece jacket and vest for 4 years and have been very happy with it.

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closing the gander mountain outlet in maplewood totally sucked. you could always get good deals on hunting clothes and boots there. I haven't bought anything new since that place closed as far as hunting clothes goes

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I still use my twenty year old camo jacket, still use alum arrows, spend money on good broadheads. Med price on stands. Bow is about ten years old and I think its still the cats meow. I like the new stuff I see but just dont need it, and I dont think it will put any more bucks on the wall.

All my extra doe goes into stands, stands and more stands.

I figure Ill cross over to carbon arrows next year, finally running out of my stock of alum arrows. I figured might as well use em while I got em.

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a good pair of boots is essential imo. walking miles in, and miles out while standing most of the time in between it is well worth 150 to me. a good pair will also last, and still be waterproof for many years. a guy at work has bought three of four pair of cheapies while i'm still on the same pair.

i primarily hunt public land so the treestand is another vital, as it is to be taken out daily (per the regs) or a good chance of being stolen. i bought a LW about five years ago and have never regreted it. easy to hang, and light. very important to me when carrying it miles a day and usually setting it up in the dark.

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I'm closer to bottomdweller. I upgraded my bow to a holdover Mathews from a really old Pearson probably 8 years ago, still very happy with that. I did spend the money for a LW climber, even though I don't use a climber a lot, because when I do, it's great to have a good one. I don't skimp on boots anymore. I have bad arches & my feet also have poor circulation. I have the 17 year-old camo coat & the 11 year-old coat. The hooded sweatshirts are like 20 & 10. I find I keep buying more camo T shirts though. You sweat them up & that way I don't have to wash camo every day or two.

I have not tried under armor yet, not sure I could get used to the tightness. I just HATE tight clothing.

Not sure how many stands is enough? 5 buddy ladders along with all my other portables & permanents seems like enough of those, but once the last two are set & I don't want to move them...

I would also spend some money on a good knife, at least if you kill a lot of deer. The cheap ones just don't cut it, no pun intended, well not much anyway...

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I like to "spend the money" on certain things but not everything myself.

I like my bow to be top of the line but I don't think it's necessary. I will then shoot the bow for at least 7-8 years before I upgrade. I've been debating an upgrade for the last 2 years, walk in and look at prices and decide to get another year out of my old one.....

I like to spend money on boots and high quality socks. I hate leaving the stand because my feet are frozen.

I used to buy all the scent-lok clothing. I still use what I have but I've kind of come full circle on this one. From what I've read it doesn't seem that there is anyway to truly recharge it as house dryer doesn't get hot enough.

I have one Lone wolf stand which I love and many other "cheap" portables. They cheap ones work and I put them up in places where I will leave them out much longer. But my Lone Wolf is very comfortable and has some great adjustments that the others just don't have.

My advice, don't overspend if you can't afford it. If you can afford it and it gives you more confidence then it is probably worth it.

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Interesting discussion, so I thought I'd throw my two cents' worth. The most important things in my mind are staying warm, being quiet, and not giving off a lot of scent.

Staying warm with lightweight clothing costs a little bit more, but it's the first place where I will spend more money to get quality items. Undergarments that are warm, light, and control scent are worth it. Outerwear has to be quiet, which can be acquired at a variety of price points. I agree with quality socks and quality boots. Like a lot of us that are older, keeping my feet warm is critical to stick it out especially on the morning hunts.

I'm not convinced that a $1000 bow is required to shoot a deer at 20-25 yards, but to scrimp on cheap arrows or cheap broadheads makes no sense.

A good safety vest is a no-brainer, no matter what the price.

There are so many things to spend our money on when it comes to bowhunting, and making the most of what we purchase is part of the enjoyment. Finding a good deal is almost as much fun as finding a nice shed.

They don't call it the Doghouse for nothing! grin It's a good lesson learned.

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Also, IMO camo is about the biggest scam ever regarding this topic. People, me included, drop all kinds of money on new camo and I really believe I'd shoot every bit as many deer if I just wore grey or brown clothing. As long as they're quiet and keep me dry, they will work just as well as any camo pattern made. This is a place a lot of people could save themselves a ton of money IMO. I wish I'd have understood that a decade or more ago...

I buy my hunting clothes at Goodwill or Salvation Army half the time. They have an awful lot of good brown and green fleece jackets and pants. Great for both base layers and outer layers

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