December 7, 2007, 05:01 PM
I did a lot of archery as a kid and was pretty good, but it's been well over 10 years since i've even HELD a bow. I'm wanting to get back into archery, and get into bow hunting, so I'm wanting some recommendations on good bows that won't break the bank. I'm looking to spend anywhere from $3-400 on just the bow, plus some more for various accessories and the like. Anything I should look for in the way of particular bows or extremely useful accessories?

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December 7, 2007, 05:09 PM
I got a Fred Bear Explorer and I LOVE it, it is the smoothest bow I have ever shot and with the right sights it can be VERY accurate. I out-shoot my father all the time and he has a target bow!! It was $300 and my son loves it just as much as I do. He shoots it and it is at 54Lbs and he is not "big" at all (120lbs) anyway, I would check that out as a consideration.

December 7, 2007, 06:34 PM
Your best bet is to visit an exclusive archery shop in your area.
The folks there will fit the bow and arrows to your individual needs.

December 7, 2007, 06:36 PM
traditional or compound? look on ebay. they have some deals on top of the line stuff, as well as cheaper brands

December 7, 2007, 06:45 PM
Lifetime archery enthusiast here. :)

If you want to be in the 3-400 range, and you haven't picked up a bow in 10 years, I would and always do recommend:

Start with a relatively light draw weight. For some reason, guys get all macho and buy 50, 60, 70, up to 100 lb draw weights for their first bow. They develop poor form and declare they can't shoot before long and totter off to find a new hobby. Buying a lower draw weight will help you go down your mental checklist for shooting form without worrying about holding the string back. This applies to stick and compound bows.

Learn proper shooting form from someone who knows what it is. Someone who owns a bow and says "This is what I do." is not someone who knows proper form. Proper form will help you be a better shooter, develop at a tachyon rate compared to those who don't, and ensure you can shoot just about any bow well that you get the opportunity to shoot.

Don't shop for a new bow. Shop for your bow. Get yourself measured by a pro and have the draw length, limb length, and arrow length sized appropriately for you and no one else. Once you're armed with the knowledge of what bow will fit you and why it fits, you can choose the right bow for you.

Shoot all different types of bows that fit you. Being all romantic about longbows, or geeky about outfitted compounds is nice, but the idea may not measure up to reality. Shoot everything and see what you really like.

I can recommend some american made bows, and some bowyers who craft superb bows, but really you have a lot of groundwork to lay before you buy one.

If you don't want to look before you leap, there are a lot of good bows out there in the 3-400 range. Choose one you like and shoot it.

Most of all: Have fun. Archery is a superb meditative and competitive tool.

Good luck.

December 7, 2007, 08:42 PM
Self Bow

Learn to gap shoot

Save your money for now.

December 7, 2007, 09:42 PM
Mission Archery makes a great single cam bow in the $3-400 range, it's very light and fast, and there's very minimal vibration. Set it up with a nice single pin fiber optic sight (better off learning to shoot without the peep and a bunch of pins imho, just a kisser button and a good single pin sight, keep it simple stupid) and a whisker biscuit arrow rest and your good to go. My friend just bought one and I've shot it a lot, really nice bow. I think it's the X3 model. It has a nice fully machined riser and it's really good for the money. I'd probably say it the best you can get for the money. They go for around $350-$375 around here.

December 8, 2007, 02:16 AM
If someone had told me years ago Archery is a blast , I would have called them crazy. however , my oldest son , 14 , got into it 5 months ago , and Christmas morning he will open a brand new Hoyt Gamemaster II.

plenty of good places online , but we went to the local pro shop and worked thru them. They took the time to let both my son and myself try many different bows on the range , where i thought he would pick a compound , he chose recurve.

Now the search begins for a bow for me :)

Good luck in the search.

Pax Jordana
December 8, 2007, 08:22 AM
I'd highly recommend the thunder ranch CQB bow course if you're doing it for SD.

ok so if it's been a while you'd be best off talking to an expert near where you live as far as getting it fit to you.. and from there you can order online and such.

cracked butt
December 8, 2007, 08:53 AM
Buy at an archery shop!
Nothing is worse or more frustrating than a bow that doesn't fit, arrows of the wrong length or spine, or having the wrong bow for your needs.
Bowshops will usually have a range and will let you try out different bows before you buy. They will also set the bow up correctly for you and give you the proper dimensioned arrows. A bow is a very personal weapon, it needs to be fitted to an individual to get the most out of it. You don't need to buy an expesive bow to shoot well, but you do need to pay someone or know someone knowledgeable enough to determine if a bow is correct for you, adjust it for you and tune it.

December 8, 2007, 09:00 AM
i agree with wheelgunslinger about looking around and get it fitted to you. moojpg2 has a good point too, i shoot with a single pin pendulum sight, so it lines up to the target, i also shoot a wiskerbiscuit and i love that too. my sights a good $100 or so and the wisker about $50. i also recomend the the $12 sims string leech or the cheaper $5 Tarantula string silencer. im personally shooting a PSE i have always shot a PSE and im happy with them. buy carbon arrows too

December 8, 2007, 08:39 PM
if you buy online , I have read good things about ( think that is the address ).
I may have to pay a bit more at the local shop but I think in service after the sale I will come out ahead.

December 9, 2007, 09:29 AM
Find a full service shop with a good reputation and let them guide you. You might reset your price bracket after shooting a few different bows.
I don't want to tell you about the $1k in archery hardware I carry into the woods.

December 9, 2007, 10:18 AM
I recently got back into archery as well. Some of it has already been said but I'd:

-Get fitted to your bow by people how know what they are doing, i.e. an archery shop or if you can find a chain like Sportsman's Warehouse that has people who know what they are doing. I'm lucky enough that my local SW does have a great archery staff.
-Start with a modest draw weight. I started with 55# which I can pull back 100 times in a practice session without getting any fatigue.
-You can find a bow that will serve you well in your price range. I was going to buy a Mathews, BowTech, or Hoyt but I actually decided on a Bear Instinct. Definitely check out the Bear line.
-Practice not only on the range, but also 3D shoots and definitely making shots from your treestand.

December 9, 2007, 10:20 AM
be careful....archery is a whole new way to spend lots of money. Like kingcreek, I have an expensive hunting set up. Not counting my arrow building/fletching supplies, targets, arrows, broadheads, etc.

December 10, 2007, 03:16 PM
$6 at Lowes.

That one is 40# @ 25". My personal favorite is 62# @ 29".

December 10, 2007, 10:46 PM
CQB bow course for SD? @ thunder ranch? Methinks I hear the sound of my leg being pulled ( grin ).

December 13, 2007, 12:47 AM
after watching my kid shoot for the past few months , tonight I started looking seriously at a bow for me. After the shop let me try out a few different bows , I found one I liked , he dialed in to me , sights and pull length and also the pull weight... after a few rounds I knew it was the one. It just felt so much smoother than the others. I settled on a Hoyt Avenger.
A bit more than I wanted to spend , but I will gladly sacrifice a rifle from the safe to pay for it :) good bye Tikka , hello Hoyt !
I also picked up a Hoyt GameMasterII recurve for my son for Christmas.

December 14, 2007, 10:08 PM
Recommending a bow is like recommending a car, the only perfect match is the one that works best for you and your needs. That being said, I wouldn't get too stuck on a particular price range. A good bow will last you for years and give you much enjoyment in the process. Personally, I shoot a Hoyt Enticer and I couldn't be happier with it. I bought my son a PSE a few years ago and he couldn't be happier with that. Try out lots of them at a reputable shop before you make up your mind.

December 17, 2007, 12:48 AM
double post. sorry

December 17, 2007, 12:50 AM
I own a Fred Bear "The Truth" Bow...which is the top of the line Fred Bear bow. It costs half as much as other big name brands and out performs many of them fairly easy. A new FB "the truth" bow cost less then $550 bow only here. They make many other models from 50-550 dollars. This time of year you can buy up the 2007 bows for 10 to 20 percent off at many pro shops. Most archery pro shops have bows lightly equipped and you can try each of them out a couple times to see what you like. Some pro shops sell used bows for pretty cheap too.

1. Get a price range (you did this, good job)
2. get your draw length measured properly and by a pro. (If you don't get your draw length correctly measured you will not enjoy your new bow as much as you would with a proper length.)
3. Deside what draw weight you are comfortable with(I use 70# with 80% let off and I'm might not be...but with practice anyone can be.)
4. Find bows that will fit steps 1, 2, 3 and then shot them
5. Pick the one that fits you and feels good to shoot.
6. Pick cheap accessories to start with until you know what you like, then buy the good stuff later/or as it breaks/fails. Many pro shops offer a "kit" that will cost 100-200 dollars for the whole accessory kabang. Do that and have them set it up for free if you like
7. buy good practice arrows from the same people whom you bought the bow.

Name brand bows arent always worth the $, many have the same technology and manufacturing techniques as the more costly brands. You pay extra for the advertising bow companies might put out to make it a "name brand".

Most Pro shop guys are cool and will be honest with you. Ask them whats good and what stinks. They fix alot of broken bows and know which bows break more then others or last longer then others.

Hope I didnt confuse you more.

I have over a grand in my hunting set up... bow hunting is a long term investmant and i practice a lot, and with quality 3-D targets costing 100-250 adds up quick.

December 17, 2007, 10:57 PM
excellent advice...

if you can buy the best you can get , dont let your equipment hold you back .
6 months ago my son and I were just getting started , it took us this long to decide on what we wanted. Tried everything we could at the pro shop , and they were more than patient.
Here we are 6 month later and I am close to $1800 poorer after buying 2 bows , 2 dozen arrows , accessories and a 2 foot x 2 foot practice target.

But $$ well spent for some father & son time :)

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