Starting out with a bow.
I have been thinking about starting bow hunting and would like to get a compound bow but I dont really know much about bows or what I should get or look for in a bow. Draw weight, draw length, axle to axle, brace height, let off, ect, are all pretty foreign terms to me. I want a bow I can use for deer and elk. Im not looking for a high end bow comparable to a $4000 custom gun, but I dont want something cheap that I will want to upgrade in a couple years either. Im not looking to make it my primary weapon, although anything could happen down the road, but mostly I want to hunt some general elk areas in Idaho and they have an archery season before the rifle season that I would like to hunt and if nothing else it would be a scouting trip and I would go back later for the rifle season. I have looked into Martin archery some because they are a local company about 90 miles away from me but I am certainly not committed to them. Any makes, models, features to look for/avoid would be very helpfull. Thanks!
Martin is just starting back up again. They had some issues and think they sold to a new owner last year.
Your best bet it going to a pro shop. You can get measured for your draw length, but everyone is different.
Draw weight, you're going to have to start probably around 40-50lbs. You can be a big strong guy, and 65-70 would be tough to draw. Just because it is utilizing different muscles, but if you shoot religiously, and a lot of arrows, you could jump up in weight pretty quickly.
Ata (axles that the cams rotate on, at the end of the limbs) is kind of going to be dependent on your draw length.
Brace height (distance from the throat of the grip to the string at rest): you are probably going to want to start out with a 7" or so. But do not get caught in the speed hype. It is nice, but you don't have to shoot 300+fps to kill an animal.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, just don't get addicted like me lol
The mission line has some good starting bows. Same with diamond archery. Pse mainline with the stinger and brute x are nice. Bowtech assasin. And sever companies have released new midline, start up bows.
I would also check into bowtech. They have some that are all setup for under 1000. I have heard good things about them but have never shot them. Mission bows are made by Mathews so they should be good and diamond bows are made by bowtech. I think elite and prime bows have some pretty affordable bows as well.
As far as what to look for... beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When I got my first bow about 5-6 years ago, I looked for something that was comfortable to hold when drawn back, had a high percentage of let off and had decent speed. I would also get a longer brace height because they are generally easier to shoot and help hide flaws in form.
I could literally talk for hours on this stuff... I love it!
I could too!!!
Originally Posted by tdcour
Definetly hit up a archery shop in your area. All this talk will lead to confusion. Hands on and a physical explanation of these terms you will pick up in less than an hour. When shopping for bows its like shopping for trucks. Chevy,ford,dodge is just like hoyt,mathews,bowtech. They will all fling a carbon stick with enough energy to kill but you need to test drive them to see what you like.
Thanks for all the input guys! I can go to Cabelas and look at bows. I just wanted to know something about them and what Im looking for before hand so I dont look like a complete idiot and to know if the guy there knows what he is talking about or is feeding me a line of bull. I generally dont have alot of faith in salesmen I dont know at stores.
I was shooting a mathews for several year and switched to a bowtech assassin. I personally wouldn't pay for a top of the line bow anymore as they depreciate very fast and become pretty much worthless at some point. The assassin comes ready to shoot so you don't have to buy the arrow rest, bow sight, or quiver. Check out the bow specs compared to others, then compare the prices. It is incredibly light, short axle to axle, shoots very fast, and is priced well below other bows in the same class. Those are all things I look for in a spot and stalk bow. I did change out the arrow rest for a QAD rest but you certainly wouldn't have to. I also had a salesman order me some more pins for the sight. Practicing out to 80 yards will make you better at all ranges closer and it never hurts to have a couple extra pins in case something happens in the field.
MM, another option... Have you thought about a longbow or recurve? I'm a muzzleloader hunter at heart but also have been bow hunting/ shooting for the last several years. I started with a Parker Hornet several years ago and my latest bow was a Mathews Helim. For whatever reason the whole compound bow thing never really excited me much. There's so much to it and it changes constantly. I was never a fan of all the technology and commercialization that is bow hunting. Bow hunting culture is something I never quite grasped either. I recently sold all my compound stuff and have went to a longbow. It's simplicity is refreshing. I like the idea of having the same bow for several years rather than replacing it all the time with the latest and greatest. It's more of a work of art, one to be used and cherished for years rather than another plastic thingy that you replace when the new shiny one comes out.
That being said... I'm probably the minority as most guy's really get into the compound bow thing. I would definitely be hitting the proshop if I was you. You learn so much in a short amount of time and they can really get you setup the way you should be. Bring your credit card though :o Good luck in your quest to find a bow!
I would definitely hit a pro shop, not Cabelas. I love cabelas but I do everything with my bow at a pro shop. Shoot as many bows as you can, you will then know which bow feels best for you. I bought my first bow used at my local pro shop, it worked great.