bradW

Best BOW for a beginner

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I've drifted away from fishing over the past year or so due to increased responsibilities and a damn leg fracture. With that I have found the desire to find a different hobby as the fishing itch hasn't really come back. I listen to a lot of podcasts about the outdoors and one thing they talk about a lot is shooting bow. I am asking for recommendations for a start from scratch. I have zero experience shooting anything. The idea of shooting a bow is very appealing to me, and maybe one day to go bow hunting. 

 

Thanks in advance.

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I would recommend finding a good archery shop.  You will drastically cut down on your learning curve by spending time with people involved in the sport.

 

Reedys archery in Middleboro is worth the drive. They have the best range around (indoor/outdoor). The owner loves the sport and sharing all he knows.

 

Are you interested in modern compound bows or something more traditional?

 

 

There are  year round archery courses. The 3D circuit is a fun way to spend a Sunday morning. They are usually held at rod and gun clubs along with a breakfast. 

 

There are some cool FB groups as well.

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Reedy’s is your best bet. I’d recommend the Mission line of bows, as they aren’t going to set you back too much (in relative terms).

 

I’d recommend going in there and telling one of the guys exactly what you just told us. They’ll shoot with you a little bit and get you up to speed. You might have to pay for an hour of range time or something, but that’s well worth it.

 

If a new bow is out of the question, I’d recommend a Mathews Switchback XT or a Mathews Drenalin. You can probably get set up with a full package for about $350ish. The Switchback XT is definitely one of their best bows ever.

 

Just be aware that if you’re looking for a new bow, you’re probably looking at $1500-$2200 to get a full set up. And bows are like golf clubs, they only hold their value for a couple years. 

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I second/third the idea of going to a good archery shop.  You'll pay a smidge more (they have to keep their doors open ay?)  but the assistance and information you can get is more than worth it, especially for a beginner.    Many shops also offer free range time ( a couple hours or so) when you buy a new bow from them.

 

If you're coming from the cape, either Reedy's in Middleboro or Trader Jan's in Fall River can take good care of you.

 

Cost can vary greatly depending upon what you are looking to do and what your budget is.    A more than adequate recurve and set of arrows can be had for just a couple hundred.   A beginner level compound setup with arrows and accessories for a few hundred more.   Know this though, the "entry level" bows these days are technologically far advanced over even the top level bows of a couple decades ago when I got started.    

 

If you've got the $$$ anyhow, being a fan of both Matthews and longer bows, I would look at the Halon X or Traverse.  I think learning on a longer Axle to Axle (length) with a larger brace height (distance between handle and the string) makes for a more enjoyable experience and shorter learning curve to get in the X ring.

 

I think that my biggest three suggestions for a beginner would be that...

1. Go to a good pro shop that is local to you that you can visit repeatedly when getting started.

2. Choose a bow with a longer Axle to Axle length - the longer the ATA, the more stable the bow is.

3. choose a bow with a longer brace height, the longer the BH, the more forgiving it is to shoot 

Edited by pogie_boy
boiled down my post to three suggestions.

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thanks guys. appreciate the tips and advice. sounds like a good winter project after the craziness of the holidays is past. i'll keep you updated on what happens...

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First off.  Get the bow fitted to you.  Don't borrow a bow, even if the draw length is the same.  The rear sight has to be fitted to you.

 

Affordable bows work fine.   Get something around 50-60lb draw weight with a high let-off like 80%.   MAke it easy to hold steady before you release.

 

Mathews or Hoyt are great bows.  Get a relatively basic model.  Expensive ones a touch faster or quieter are great, but not needed.  Don't worry about the best camo on it.   A used bow can save money, but needs to be fitted to you.  Different draw lengths may require a new string or cam.  Could be 50-200 bucks...   

 

A new bow needs a sight, rest, and quiver.   It can add $200+ to the bill you see.  And you need arrows and a release for your hand.

 

Arrows are made for specific draw length and lb draw.  Make sure the spine matches what you're shooting.

 

I got a nice 6 year old hoyt that works fine.  I also got a new $300 bear combo, that does the job fine too.

 

Practice 20 and 30 yard shots, if you're looking good, you can hunt.   I rarely go pasr 30 yards.  I wait for one to get 20 yards away and I never have problems loosing or wounding.

 

Remember, shooting arrows even with field points is the same violation as shooting a rifle in many towns.  An uncool neighbor can get you butt in trouble.  

 

Also, pull back pointing down.  A flying up in the air arrow is suburbia can get you in a sling too.

Edited by salt deficient

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On 12/17/2018 at 3:56 PM, JTR said:

Just be aware that if you’re looking for a new bow, you’re probably looking at $1500-$2200 to get a full set up. And bows are like golf clubs, they only hold their value for a couple years. 

$1500-$2200 ?? :eek:

 

And bows are like golf clubs, they only hold their value for a couple years

Exactly, so go with something gently used

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And a beginner starting out should skip the training wheels and go with a recurve or longbow

Once you can shoot a wood bow accurately, going to a compound with peep and sights is like learning to cast with a squidder then moving to a magged Abu

It'll make you a better shooter / caster

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19 hours ago, Sudsy said:

And a beginner starting out should skip the training wheels and go with a recurve or longbow

Once you can shoot a wood bow accurately, going to a compound with peep and sights is like learning to cast with a squidder then moving to a magged Abu

It'll make you a better shooter / caster

 I just bought my first recurve. Just a cheap Ragim to mess around with. Shooting it for the first time the other day was the most fun I’ve had shooting a bow in a long time.Shooting it for the first time the other day was the most fun I’ve had shooting a bow in a long time.

Edited by JTR

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Buy a new “left over” bow. Save 40%. Bows don’t hold their value well at all. 

 

I shoot bowtech. Went to a Hoyt shop and expected to spend $2500. Found the Bowtech felt better to me. Still killing deer with my 2009 Bowtech Admiral. 

 

IMH Technology hasn’t improved much in parallel limb bows in the last decade. Not enough to justify buying another new bow. I shoot heavy arrows so speed is not important to me. 

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1 hour ago, ged said:

Buy a new “left over” bow. Save 40%. Bows don’t hold their value well at all. 

 

I shoot bowtech. Went to a Hoyt shop and expected to spend $2500. Found the Bowtech felt better to me. Still killing deer with my 2009 Bowtech Admiral. 

 

IMH Technology hasn’t improved much in parallel limb bows in the last decade. Not enough to justify buying another new bow. I shoot heavy arrows so speed is not important to me. 

I agree GED. The new bows are only a little bit faster and smoother   

I think Most people are not good enough archers to notice the difference. 

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If I had to do it all over again, I'd have started earlier in life with a recurve.


I wanted to get bowhunting right off the bat, so a compound made more sense.

 

If you have deep pockets, a couple grand is no big deal.  (I don't, and it is to me ;)  but I have friends that wouldn't blink at dropping $3k on a new toy.)

 

It's all about what you want to do and what things speak to you.

 

Trader Jan's actually rents recurves and lane time.  At least I think they still do.   that could be a fun afternoon outing to feel out what you're thinking.

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The best thing you can do, set a budget, then shoot a ton of bows.  Most of the bow manufacturers have "flagship" bows which usually cost $900.00 and up for a bare bow.  If you are on  a tight budget, Matthews makes another line of bows called Mission.  These are bows for people on a budget.  they have lifetime warranties like Matthews and they shoot extremely well.  Reedy's also has Layaway on bows, you can go to the shop and shoot it anytime you want too.  Chris hands down has the best customer service around.  They will teach how to shoot, and shoot properly., have you hitting a bullseye at 20 yards in 20 minutes.   Just be prepared to spend a few hours the day you go, because the shop gets bus

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