TheBigCountry

Green Weenie
Full Member
Minuteman
Supporter+
  • Dec 9, 2013
    1,603
    1,493
    Where are all the bowhunters/archery guys at?

    I’m looking to get a bow after not having one for years, and get back into it.

    Any solid recs what to look at? I’m old school; grew up bow hunting with an old hand me down Oneida AeroForce and haven’t kept up with all the modern gizmos. There’s a shop local I’m gonna pop into to see what they have, but wanted to see if there are any brands to avoid like the plague?
     

    Bourbon_and_Bullets

    Pit Dweller
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 13, 2019
    391
    726
    Shoot a bunch of different bows and see what feels best for you. Bows all have different characteristics and you’ll be able to identify what is most natural to you and what you shoot best. Brand name not as important.

    With that said, Matthews, Hoyt, PSE, Bowtech would be my trusted list to check out. Shoot them all and see what works best.
     

    Fig

    Janitor of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 15, 2018
    8,286
    19,788
    The Most Dangerous City in the USA
    I’m 100% Mathews. I also took a decades hiatus and when I started bow hunting again I got a short, PSE “fast bow”. It was fast, for sure, but I couldn’t make it hold a group. Not critical for hunting, but frustrating when practicing. My buddy shoots a Bowtech and loves it.

    Now I shoot a Mathews 39”, V3 and it’s powerful and I can hit golf tees at 20 yards. I’m throwing 515 gr arrows at a little under 300 fps with pin point accuracy. The newer bows are easy to tune. I was going to get a target bow for 3D and Spots, but I got a really long target stabilizer, and I can’t imagine more control. It’s a golden age of archery IMO.
     

    Bourbon_and_Bullets

    Pit Dweller
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 13, 2019
    391
    726
    I also shoot a matthews 31” V3. Incredibly dead in the hand and quiet.

    i just didn’t want to cloud your judgement. Between it and the Hoyts, i liked the hoyt’s grip better but that was it.
     

    Mudburner

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 4, 2019
    269
    333
    I have some suggestions:

    Depending on your level of interest, the way I see it, a guy wanting to get (back) into archery today has several options, all of which are good.

    -compound bow
    -crossbow
    -traditional recurve/longbow
    -homemade selfbow

    For those of us who live in states where crossbow is legal to hunt with, the modern crossbow is a good choice. And there are several options, considering the cost/design/user abilities. I would never buy a brand new crossbow or compound bow, because they are expensive. One guy I talked to recently went to a sportsman's event and WON a compound bow, only to discover that it was the bow only, and he would've had to spend (in his words) "another thousand dollars" to equip it with sights, rest, quiver, etc. etc. I dont know if brand new crossbows/compounds come with all that or not, but he gave it back...

    So, if I wanted a crossbow or compound, I would do some research and then scour every pawn shop in the area. Pawn shops generally always have several used items like this, often including arrows, which we will get into in a bit.

    Traditional bows are still very popular. Longbows and recurves are in my opinion, the best compromise in modern archery. Simplicity itself. No sights, no gadgets, no expensive things you have to have. Just the bow, string, arrows, quiver. Guys think they need an 80lb pull but you can legally hunt and kill anything in North America with a 40lb bow. For women or younger teens, anything 25-40lb will be fun and easy to shoot. Guys who hunt often use anything from 40-65lb draw. Again, old recurves & longbows can often be found in 2nd hand shops, junk stores & pawn shops. New strings for these are very easily made.

    For those who are more do-it-yourself-ers, you can make your own longbow, recurve, selfbow, laminate bow, etc. Since 1998 I have made dozens of homemade bows, and hundreds of arrows. I live in the Ozarks, and Osage Orange/Bois D'arc/hedge is a common tree. I bought a couple dozen 10' corner posts a few years ago, split them, took off the bark & sapwood and the staves have been seasoning and are ready to make bows. A well-made homemade longbow/flatbow/stickbow/recurve will last a lifetime and provide many many years of shooting.

    Arrows.
    People nowadays just buy carbon fiber arrows & be done with it. But when I started, Port Orford Cedar was, and still is, an excellent material. Aluminum arrows seem to have gone away, but I still have dozens. I have made arrows from every kind of tree & sucker branch around here. My favorite is actually bamboo/river cane. A wooden bow shooting a wooden/bamboo arrow will be the quietest setup. A compound/crossbow makes a loud THUNK! but a traditional setup is extremely quiet.

    Fletching.
    Plastic, plastic, or plastic? Natural feathers have been used for thousands of years. They work. I like wild turkey feathers I get from local birds. I experimented with everything else I could think of, like duct tape, etc. Nothing works better than natural feathers. In the rain, I use plastic.

    My archery journey started with a $40 used compound bow from a flea market, aluminum arrows. Then I went to a recurve. Then I got into a local club and guys there introduced me to making selfbows. Well, then I had to make my own arrows, broadheads, target points. That lead to flintknapping. In 2002 season I took a deer with a homemade bow, cane arrow with a stone point. That lead to learning how to tan deerskins and a whole host of primitive skills. I taught this stuff at the local Boy Scout camp in 2018 -2019.
     

    Anb618

    In Valor, there is Hope.
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 18, 2017
    1,319
    2,792
    I dug back and found this thread I remembered.


    Everything I said there I still stand by.
    Buy used or new/last year’s model; Mathews, PSE, Hoyt, Bowtech, and Bear are the big 5. There hasn’t been a huge enough leap in compound bow technology to justify a new $1,000-1,400 bow over last year’s model marked down to $600-$800, or even a relatively recently produced used $400 bow IMO.

    I used to recommend a 7”+ brace height for new/returning shooters, but a quick look shows most of the new bows might be ~6” as industry standard these days (I’m still shooting the same old ~2010 Reflex Charger, generic Hoyt before they discontinued the brand). Don’t buy a short bow; 34”+ axle to axle length will usually mean a longer brace height. Look for a model with 80% let off or better; again it looks like that won’t be difficult to find these days. Keep your draw weight under 60lbs while you get back into it. Getting consistent archery form back to muscle memory for every shot is much tougher with a heavy draw weight.

    Edit to add; Crossbows are gay. I’ll shoot vertical bows until I’m too old/feeble/crippled to draw one back.
     

    Hybridhunternm

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
    Nov 1, 2018
    409
    51
    Texas
    I would also recommend shooting Hoyt, Mathews, bowtech, and probably elite. Go with what feels comfortable, those are probably the top bows right now. I also wouldn’t be afraid to go shoot new bows and then buy last years models on archery talk or eBay to save cash. Bows deprecate quick! Build a good relationship with your local pro shop and they take care of getting you fitted and back into the game!
     

    Heartstopper

    Play Stupid Games Win Stupid Prizes
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 6, 2009
    385
    306
    Tennessee
    I would agree with all replies above. I shoot a Matthews VXR and I love it. A lot of guys have to have a new bow every year. You can likely pick up a practically new bow for pennies compared to the cost of a new one. Technology has improved so much with archery that is amazing. I would definitely go shoot the Matthews , Hoyt and the Elite. All are very finely tuned machines. Decide for yourself and what fits you and your shooting style the best and dont get caught up in the I gotta have this bow or that bow. What works for me may not work for you and at the end of the day its your opinion that matters the most for your dollar being spent.
     

    mi223

    Full Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 14, 2017
    698
    322
    West Michigan
    I just got back into bow hunting and shooting late last summer and pretty heavily this summer. I have a 10-15 year old mathews DXT. I keep thinking about a new mathews but I can't justify the cost as good as my old bow shoots. I am definitely a mathews fan boy and would have a hard time looking elsewhere, but I think finding a lightly used bow is a good recommendation like others have said above.

    The biggest bummer about buying the latest and greatest new model is they change and update so rapidly that they depreciate quickly IMO.
     
    Last edited:

    BG94591

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jul 6, 2019
    655
    4,755
    83815
    I have a 27" Mathews V3, my first bow. Damn expensive (I went full retard) hobby to get involved in. You can’t go wrong with all the big names mentioned above. Due to a shoulder injury I haven’t shot it in about 10 months.
     

    zeroz

    3m ta3
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
    Feb 13, 2017
    927
    1,399
    South central, co
    Go to a well stocked shop, preferably when its not busy. With archery season only a couple weeks away (at least in CO) not the best time of year for a patient worker with no one else around. At any rate, pick two bows that either are in your budget or that look cool if you dont have one. Shoot a few arrows out of each. Ditch the one you like least and pick another one. Repeat this process until you have one that makes the cut for a few rounds. It was pretty easy for me, one just kept being the obvious choice that felt good. Buy it, and all the other shit. Leave feeling a bit ass raped but with cool new shit.
     

    Fig

    Janitor of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 15, 2018
    8,286
    19,788
    The Most Dangerous City in the USA
    That’s good advice. It’s also best to go to an actual archery shop because I’d rather have a crappy bow that was set up and fitted for me than to have a fancy bow that is wrong for me. Its like a pair of good pants that need tailoring before they fit right, and you definitely want it to fit your body.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Anb618

    Cameron Baucom

    Athlon Optic Dealer and Hunting Enthusiast
    Supporter
    Commercial Supporter
    Minuteman
    Where are all the bowhunters/archery guys at?

    I’m looking to get a bow after not having one for years, and get back into it.

    Any solid recs what to look at? I’m old school; grew up bow hunting with an old hand me down Oneida AeroForce and haven’t kept up with all the modern gizmos. There’s a shop local I’m gonna pop into to see what they have, but wanted to see if there are any brands to avoid like the plague?
    I have a complete Elite E 35 I would part with. Comes with everything pictured.
     

    Attachments

    • b.jpg
      b.jpg
      700.9 KB · Views: 23
    • b11.jpg
      b11.jpg
      362.9 KB · Views: 20
    • b10.jpg
      b10.jpg
      332.4 KB · Views: 15
    • b9.jpg
      b9.jpg
      414.6 KB · Views: 18
    • b8.jpg
      b8.jpg
      457.1 KB · Views: 16
    • b7.jpg
      b7.jpg
      404 KB · Views: 20
    • b6.jpg
      b6.jpg
      490.6 KB · Views: 20
    • b5.jpg
      b5.jpg
      389.7 KB · Views: 19
    • b4.jpg
      b4.jpg
      409.7 KB · Views: 18
    • b3.jpg
      b3.jpg
      491.3 KB · Views: 16
    • b2.jpg
      b2.jpg
      612.4 KB · Views: 15
    • b1.jpg
      b1.jpg
      432.2 KB · Views: 17
    • b0.jpg
      b0.jpg
      479 KB · Views: 22

    shields shtr

    Private
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 4, 2017
    693
    860
    Started with a recurve, switched to a compound (for 20 years), now back to a gem of a recurve I bought from an old farmer.

    Honestly, most modern compound bows are pretty frickin sweet. I was always a Hoyt guy, but I shot every other major brand as well. Practice a bunch early (enough to gain muscle memory) and then shoot a few arrows at varying ranges right before season starts. Shoot a little during the season as well to stay sharp. If possible, practice at really far ranges and see how good you can get. I practice out to about 100 yards(not with my recurve), but obviously do not hunt at those ranges. In my opinion, it makes the hunting range shots way easier, and inspires a lot of confidence when shooting at critters.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Anb618

    TX_Diver

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 15, 2017
    341
    61
    WI
    I killed my first elk with a $350 Bear Domain ready to hunt package that I bought on ebay like 3 years prior. I now have a "flagship" bow and it doesn't necessarily help me hunt more effectively but it's a bit nicer to shoot.

    Get something decent (almost any bow is now days) and then work on your form. If you can put the arrow where you want consistently and intentionally, then you'll be in good shape regardless of what brand of bow is in your hand. Some people aren't a fan but John Dudley puts out some extremely helpful instructional info on youtube. Start with school of Nock season 1 and go from there. Don't assume you're local pro shop knows how to do stuff well either. I've lived all over the country and there are some great shops (Hit or Miss in Albuquerque, RMS Gear in Denver stand out) that know their stuff and will treat you well. There are also some that can't even tie a safe D-loop on your bow...

    It's fun though and addicting. I'm way farther down the archery rabbit hole than I am the reloading/rifle shooting one over the past few years.
     

    missed

    nothing
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2013
    2,420
    1,732
    TEXAS
    We are mostly Elite shooters here, excellent shop support here. Local shop support is a big deal if you do not know how to work on the gear yourself. We work on all our stuff, too many bows here to be at the shop all the time getting stuff tuned on. Got one kid shooting a Rezult, I am still shooting a bit older Victory I have a Verdict on the way. The other kiddo is shooting a Terrain. It is convenant for us just to walk outside and shoot. Decent amount of 3D shoots in the area along with a good indoor and outdoor season. I have not hunted in a while, just target shooting. There was that picture in the bear pit of someone with an arrow through a hand. Double check your carbon arrows, I found one of mine cracked yesterday.
     

    BullGear

    Huckleberry Dillinger
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 29, 2017
    9,236
    17,867
    Hazzard County
    Where are all the bowhunters/archery guys at?

    I’m looking to get a bow after not having one for years, and get back into it.

    Any solid recs what to look at? I’m old school; grew up bow hunting with an old hand me down Oneida AeroForce and haven’t kept up with all the modern gizmos. There’s a shop local I’m gonna pop into to see what they have, but wanted to see if there are any brands to avoid like the plague?

    Go to Cabela's. They let you shoot bows to find one you like. Then after you decide, they will tune it for you.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: TheBigCountry

    rlsmith1

    Legalize Freedom
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    May 1, 2019
    1,365
    1,146
    Midwest
    Curious what you ended up with. I can’t help but give the Matthew’s guys a hard time but anymore any Matthew’s, Hoyt, Bowtech, PSE or Elite will be a solid bow.

    I’ve got a Bowtech from 2012 and haven’t bought anything newer because I haven’t felt the need too
     

    Anb618

    In Valor, there is Hope.
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 18, 2017
    1,319
    2,792
    Unrelated, but FYI for all you other archery enthusiasts.

    I picked up my bow a few weeks ago to start practicing for whitetail season. My QAD dropaway rest crapped out almost immediately and wouldn’t set, or it would set but it sagged so far forward/down it no longer captured the arrow. This rest is easily 10 years old, but I figured it was worth seeing if QAD can service them before I went to buy a new one (comparable current model being $130). A CS email led to the discovery that my old Pro Series rest, and all their new model rests come with a lifetime warranty. I was responsible for outbound shipping only, and they said it will be back to me ~three weeks. When I need to set up a bow(s) for my kids, they’ll be getting QAD dropaways.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: rlsmith1

    TheBigCountry

    Green Weenie
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Dec 9, 2013
    1,603
    1,493
    Haven’t made a decision yet, so
    I appreciate everyone’s insite.

    I’m gonna be going to an archery shop before the years out to test a couple things. Been way to busy with work and home life as of late.
     

    long range sponge

    Not quite OAF, more App-erator AF
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 31, 2013
    518
    278
    Springfield OH
    I will echo the suggestion of getting "last year's bow". I got my '21 Elite Enkore a few weeks ago for 20% off because they discontinued the camo pattern. If you don't plan on shooting it this season, maybe look at and shoot the bows in your price range AND one step up. By mid-spring to early summer those higher priced bows should be within reach.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: TheBigCountry

    BullGear

    Huckleberry Dillinger
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 29, 2017
    9,236
    17,867
    Hazzard County
    Right on que, my ginormous buck (along with all the other deer) goes south for the fall. Or goes somewhere else. I've baited, put out salt licks and just about everything else, including bird food which is like their favorite thing all year long, minus deer season. By September 1st, they all seem to go away.

    I do have about 400 acres behind my house. It's my house on one end and a railroad track on the other. It's so frustrating. Every year it's the same. I tried to heavily set out multiple things they like all year long, but to no avail. They just kinda go poof!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: TheBigCountry

    TheBigCountry

    Green Weenie
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Dec 9, 2013
    1,603
    1,493
    I will echo the suggestion of getting "last year's bow". I got my '21 Elite Enkore a few weeks ago for 20% off because they discontinued the camo pattern. If you don't plan on shooting it this season, maybe look at and shoot the bows in your price range AND one step up. By mid-spring to early summer those higher priced bows should be within reach.
    Exactly the plan. I’m in no rush.
     

    TheBigCountry

    Green Weenie
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Dec 9, 2013
    1,603
    1,493
    Right on que, my ginormous buck (along with all the other deer) goes south for the fall. Or goes somewhere else. I've baited, put out salt licks and just about everything else, including bird food which is like their favorite thing all year long, minus deer season. By September 1st, they all seem to go away.

    I do have about 400 acres behind my house. It's my house on one end and a railroad track on the other. It's so frustrating. Every year it's the same. I tried to heavily set out multiple things they like all year long, but to no avail. They just kinda go poof!
    I’ll come out there and help you pattern them, and set up food plots with that amount of land lol.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Anb618

    BullGear

    Huckleberry Dillinger
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 29, 2017
    9,236
    17,867
    Hazzard County
    I’ll come out there and help you pattern them, and set up food plots with that amount of land lol.

    I've got their pattern 80% of the year. They vanish like a Houdini assistant the first of September. I can track them and they go in and out of that 400 acres all year long. They come into my area to eat the sweet grass as well as the bird feed. They like corn a lot, so I spread bags all summer long. I still have about 4 bags still on the ground. Camera says they last ate there on August 24th.

    I'd do anything to get that BIG buck in my sights but I've only been able to get him on my camera.
     

    rlsmith1

    Legalize Freedom
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    May 1, 2019
    1,365
    1,146
    Midwest
    Have you tried planting turnips or soy beans? Turnips are great for us Oct. - Nov. and the beans are hard to beat late season (in Iowa)
     

    Anb618

    In Valor, there is Hope.
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 18, 2017
    1,319
    2,792
    Have you tried planting turnips or soy beans? Turnips are great for us Oct. - Nov. and the beans are hard to beat late season (in Iowa)
    ^This, mostly.

    @BullGear - Sounds like your food sources aren’t mid/late season appropriate. Beans are tough because unless you’re planting a huge food plot they usually get picked clean very early in summer, or at least they did the few times I tried. I thought because I live in a heavy Agricultural area I wouldn’t have early growth depredation issues, but my plot at the time was in a pretty secluded area. Does/fawns were using it for mid-day browse from bedding, and absolutely destroyed my plot. I’ve been using a plot filled with forage peas, oats, winter wheat, rye grain (not rye grass), and radish; all planted in early August (Northern IL). That mix might get you better results in late October and early November (again, these are my timelines based on my region’s requirements).

    Baiting is fine for pulling deer off a destination path for a quick snack, or pulling them from bedding for a meal or two, but it’s not sustainable. For what you’re spending on bagged corn, you could purchase plot seed and get a huge ROI comparably.

    If you want some more inspiration, check out Whitetail Habitat Solutions on YouTube. I started using some of his advice on food plot strategy and a few other property improvements, and it’s definitely improved my daytime buck sightings over the last 3-4 years from my bow stands.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: rlsmith1

    BullGear

    Huckleberry Dillinger
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 29, 2017
    9,236
    17,867
    Hazzard County
    ^This, mostly.

    @BullGear - Sounds like your food sources aren’t mid/late season appropriate. Beans are tough because unless you’re planting a huge food plot they usually get picked clean very early in summer, or at least they did the few times I tried. I thought because I live in a heavy Agricultural area I wouldn’t have early growth depredation issues, but my plot at the time was in a pretty secluded area. Does/fawns were using it for mid-day browse from bedding, and absolutely destroyed my plot. I’ve been using a plot filled with forage peas, oats, winter wheat, rye grain (not rye grass), and radish; all planted in early August (Northern IL). That mix might get you better results in late October and early November (again, these are my timelines based on my region’s requirements).

    Baiting is fine for pulling deer off a destination path for a quick snack, or pulling them from bedding for a meal or two, but it’s not sustainable. For what you’re spending on bagged corn, you could purchase plot seed and get a huge ROI comparably.

    If you want some more inspiration, check out Whitetail Habitat Solutions on YouTube. I started using some of his advice on food plot strategy and a few other property improvements, and it’s definitely improved my daytime buck sightings over the last 3-4 years from my bow stands.

    Thanks!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Anb618

    long range sponge

    Not quite OAF, more App-erator AF
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 31, 2013
    518
    278
    Springfield OH
    Definitely recommend an actual food plot. @Anb618 has some good advice. Winter wheat, cereal rye, radish, peas and oats work great in tandem or rotation. I'll also add that various types of clover are good options until later in the season.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Anb618

    BullGear

    Huckleberry Dillinger
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 29, 2017
    9,236
    17,867
    Hazzard County
    Definitely recommend an actual food plot. @Anb618 has some good advice. Winter wheat, cereal rye, radish, peas and oats work great in tandem or rotation. I'll also add that various types of clover are good options until later in the season.

    Most everything I plant is eaten by the end of August. I'll have to try some other things.