Question for bowhunters - and their kids


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UpTheIrons
October 4, 2010, 03:38 PM
Our kids (8 and 10) are itching to have their own bows, so "Santa" will likely bring them one this year. Any recommendations out there from the youth market? I saw these from Fuse http://www.fusearchery.com/youth/, but can't seem to find them anywhere for sale for less than $180. I'm looking for something that will grow with them, like the Freestyle, but I'd like to keep it under $150, if possible.

I have also seen the Mathew's Genesis http://mathewsinc.com/mathews-bows-11261-44-ViewProduct-1376-324.asp, but I have no idea what it is like, aside from Mathews being one of the top names in bows.

I want to avoid the cheap ones you see at Academy and Wal-Mart, but they aren't quite ready for a full-on hunting bow yet.

Thanks for any hints or direction!

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FLAvalanche
October 4, 2010, 03:46 PM
Last Christmas I bought my 13 year old daughter a Bear Apprentice from Bass Pro. It has a mile of draw adjustment and also ranged from 19 to 50 lbs or draw. She'll be able to enjoy this bow for many years and is more than enough to hunt with if she wants to.

desidog
October 4, 2010, 04:25 PM
I don't have any kids, but I'd start them off with recurve bows, not compound. That's just my opinion, there's no science behind it; but they are lower-tech than compound, and therefore easier to get the fundamentals. Most of us learned with recurves, since compound bows have only really evolved in the last two decades or so....pin sights and trigger releases are nice, and they can graduate into them eventually (when they're hitting the bull at 30yds and its time to go hunting), but it's good to have a solid grasp of arrow trajectory and range estimation before that point, and all that stuff just gets in the way to seeing the arrow in flight.

grubbylabs
October 4, 2010, 04:26 PM
Both PSE and Diamond make good youth bows that grow with them. The Mathews is good for teaching a class or for scouts but not really all that great if they want to shoot seriously. Unfortunately to get something that they could one day hunt with and use till they become adult sized you are going to have to pony up some more cash. The good news is that those bows are also for sale used at quite reasonable prices. If you have any questions please feel free to PM me and I can get you my number and talk with you and answer any questions you may have. I primarily archery hunt and I also teach Bow Hunter safety for the Fish and Game in our area so I am into it just a little. If you want to go the used rout to keep cost down I can help point you in the direction of a few places to buy good used bows.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
October 4, 2010, 07:35 PM
UpTheIrons, I have a couple of questions. Do you have an archery shop nearby? One with a range? Picking a bow is a big deal. Even a beginner bow for a kid that will out grow it pretty quick (they grow fast!) Fact is they need to be matched up to it and you will need a lot of adjustment range for them. PSE and Hoyt seem to have about the best value in youth bows I have seen lately.

As far as the comment for letting them learn on stick and string (traditional) that is actually a little bit of bad advise. It is pretty difficult to make the transition from traditional archery to proper form in compound. Yes it can be done, but it is pretty rough to do with youth. I was raised with Long Recurve and it took me almost a year to get really good with a compound. It's really 2 different worlds with completely different basics.

UpTheIrons
October 4, 2010, 11:04 PM
Freedom Fighter, I do have a shop that isn't real close, but close enough, and they do have a range. I learned on a compound, so I'm not so sure about desidog's suggestion of stick & string, either.

grubbylabs, you hit on what I had completely forgotten - the used market. I'll PM you in the next few days (I'm about to go out to slay the big one myself this weekend) and see what you can tell me.

Thanks for all the hints so far, everyone.

jbkebert
October 4, 2010, 11:22 PM
The Bear apprentice or Mission Menace are great bows with miles of adjustment. They however are a little higher than what your looking at.

nmlongbow
October 5, 2010, 01:02 PM
I like the idea of starting with a traditional bow also.

Basic form and alignment are the same with trad bows and compound and a switching from trad to compound is a lot easier than the reverse.

Trad bows also fit a wider range of people plus you don't have to carry around a tool box or take them to a shop if you need a new string or adjustment.

My son is 5 and shoots a little custom Maddog recurve with a tab. He's been shooting 3D with me for about a year and does great.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
October 5, 2010, 07:46 PM
Basic form and alignment are the same with trad bows and compound and a switching from trad to compound is a lot easier than the reverse.

Sorry XD but they are quite simply 2 completely different worlds. Traditional form is "canted" while compound is straight. You also have a different stance as well. That is if you are doing both properly.

As far as needing the "tool box", with todays bows that is not really a big deal anymore. Most bows are well constructed and have very few problems. I have a 7 or 8 year old Hoyt Vortec that I have never had a single problem out of. Just basic maintenance and it will serve you well.

All that being said, I do like traditional and do miss it since I was raised with it. Killed I dont know how many deer, coons, rabbits, squirrels,yotes, possum, lord knows what else with mine growing up. But I do love the extended range and effectiveness of the compound. If price is an issue UP I would say go with traditional and get them PROPER coaching and make the practice fun not a chore. While yes it is difficult to make the switch from Traditional to Compound, it is not insurmountable. In todays economy I do understand the difficulties in helping kids have the tools needed. You will have to make due with what you can afford. I did some looking after my first post and did see that most "usable" youth compounds are $180.00 and up. Sorry it has been a while since I bought one. My youngest is 6 and her little "compound" is getting too little for her so I guess I will have to upgrade myself soon.

grubbylabs
October 5, 2010, 09:19 PM
Not to mention that learning to anchor correctly is hard enough as a new archer let alone with a bow that does not have a solid draw stop. Up until this semester I taught bow hunters ED for the university as well as the fish and game and we used the Genesis bows that don't have a draw stop and some of the college age Kids had a hard time with learning to anchor, and keep track of their form. But when they would get to use a bow with a draw stop they shot much better. So bottom line is if your going to put a huge amount of time into them and shooting them then by all means go traditional it is some of the most fun you will have. But to be proficient enough to hunt with them take dedication and lots of hours to practice for most people. Not that a compound isn't a challenge but the training wheels give a beginner a huge advantage.

nmlongbow
October 5, 2010, 10:00 PM
freedom,

You're obviously very uneducated on archery if you think you have to cant a bow when shooting recurves or longbows. The stance doesn't have to change either.

Have you ever seen JOAD kids shoot? How about FITA? Olympic archers sure don't can't their bows I don't see wheels on them.

Some trad guys think they have to can't a bow but they usually cannot hit anything past 15 yards anyway. The purpose for canting a bow is to allow for a better sight picture and only helps on non centershot bows with a small sight window.

Trad bows definitely take more time to become proficient with but with a little coaching and a lot of practice they're very effective weapons. Developing a solid anchor comes with practice and with using a bow that you can comfortably hold at anchor.

My 5 year old already has a solid anchor, good follow through and even a decent release.

Also, what do you do if your compound jumps a cam, breaks a string or cable or get's out of time? Newer compounds have amazing performance but they require a bow mechanic with the right tools to set up and tune properly.

I've been bowhunting and shooting target archery for 30 years with wheels and no wheels but really prefer the challenge of a trad bow these days. They're also a lot more fun to shoot year round.

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