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Old 02-12-2015, 02:17 AM   #1
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Default Anybody into compound bows?

Been looking more and more into archery, any one into compound bows? I'm a complete newb so any info is welcome.
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:40 AM   #2
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My input is going to be interesting.
I bought a bow, lets say in 2009 from a guy a work. It's a 1988 Jennings Buckmaster. I paid $50 for it and it came with 5 arrows. I put a brand new rest on it. Also put brand new sights on it. Also bought broad heads for it and a trigger release.
Here's how I see it, (because this is the way it is). Can I kill a deer with it? Sure can.
What did it cost me? Under $300 total investment.
What is the draw weight? 65lbs.
I shot at a few targets with my neighbor once...he's got some $1,000+ Matthews Solocam hypo shizit. I hit everything he could hit. Maybe my arrows were a little slower, but I HIT EVERYTHING HE HIT.
To me the bow doesn't matter. It's the speed/ accuracy which starts at fitment and comfort. Similar to my handgun something that's comfortable. Don't buy what the latest hype is, buy what's comfortable to you and what YOU can hit stuff with. It doesn't matter to a deer if it cost $50 or $2500.
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:28 PM   #3
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My dad got into archery recently and I went shooting with him when I was back home. It's a pretty neat sport and I could see having fun with it as a sport but mostly for the social aspect (kinda like golfing).
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:43 PM   #4
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I've been wanting to get into it as well. I have a brother who does Renaissance fairs and competes. He took 2nd at the last one. Makes his own arrows, has a custom built bow.

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Old 02-12-2015, 09:48 PM   #5
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I'm about 15 months into it.

First, I bought a ready-to-shoot bow at cabela's on clearance for like $279 while not really knowing anything about bows.

After playing with it for awhile and reading up on it I found out that it was actually a very highly recommended bow. I guess I scored on the bow in the same way I scored on the miata and my SV650. Had no clue getting in that I was doing pretty good.

As far as the actual bow, it doesn't really matter what you get. If you're buying new, don't worry about the weight - they're all light - and the ones that advertise as being the lightest probably are the lightest - and you're going to double the price.

Get something with a whisker biscuit arrow rest. Why? Regardless of what rest is on the bow, you're either going to replace it, or else you're not. Whiskers are plenty good for deer hunting, and if it doesn't matter what comes on the bow, (you'll either replace it or you wont, regardless) the best value is a bow with whiskers. Just know that you won't be hitting quarters at 30 yards with them - Maybe 50 cent pieces, but not quarters.

Split vs. Solid limbs. It doesn't matter.

"Limb Parallelism", It matters a little bit. The more parallel limbs tend to be less shocking to the hand. Important to consider if you want to shoot often. Less important if you're "going to shoot a dozen arrows to sight 'er in, and then go huntin'"

Dual Cam vs. Hybrid vs. Single Cam. It doesn't matter.

Sights on the bow. Don't try to get a bow with an awesome sight. Your decision to replace the sight or not will not be based on the sight on the bow, regardless of if it's a POS or a decent sight. Just the same as the arrow rest.

Bow string. This is one place where you should have a good idea before getting into it. If you buy the really expensive bows, they're going to have a pretty badass bowstring. If you buy the value bows, they're going to have value strings. If you never replace the sight or the rest, you'll probably also never care about the string. The significance of the string is stretch. A quality string will allow for minimal stretch over the useful life of the string. String stretch affects twist of the string which is important if you're using a sight peep without the deadly rubber hose. Strings that stretch tend to twist the peep over time, which is why the rubber hose thing exists. Strings that don't stretch do a much better job holding the alignment of eye-safe peeps like the G5 Meta. Remember, the peep tubing is stretched to its maximum pull when your eyeball is steady on the back end of it. Equate it to someone shooting a rubber band into your eye when their forward finger is resting 1/4" away from your eye.

Draw weight - get something with a minimum draw weight that you feel you could pull at least 20-30 times in succession. You can shoot a bow with a low draw weight all day, but the fun will quickly fade if you can only fire 5 or 6 arrows in a session. Your accuracy will also go in the ******* if you're pulling too heavy.

Draw length - find a guide and read it to determine your draw length. Try to get a bow that allows you to pull exactly that draw length - many are adjustable within a range.

Arrows - find arrows that look pretty and don't break the bank. You're just going to break and/or lose them.

Arrow heads - no use in getting anything other than field points unless you already know what you want to kill. I've found that cheap broadheads do great on backyard raccoons and groundhogs, while the small game tips with 4 claw looking wires do a fantastic job pinning squirrels to the fencepost.

Stabilizer - You'll either replace it or else you wont. Many bows won't actually have a stabilizer - they'll have only a rubber damper that looks like a stabilizer. Stabilizers add weight, which looks bad when you hit the "compare" button on your favorite website.

What did I do?

I bought a previous year's PSE Brute X, ready to shoot. Then shot it several hundred times into a bag target.

I first replaced the whisker biscuit with a QAD Ultra-Rest. HDX ULTRAREST? - Quality Archery Designs

Then I swapped the lame-o-cheap 3-pin sight with a Trophy Ridge REACT sight. You adjust 2 pins and the sight automatically adjusts the rest for you. Probably a little less accurate than a sight where you adjust all of the pins manually, but I ain't got time to be adjusting all of the pins manually. This one also has an assload of fiber for the sights, and a sight light for when it gets too dark to legally hunt. (Great for taking out raccoons tearing up the back yard) React | Bow Sight | Bow and Hunting Accessories | Trophy Ridge

Soon after replacing the sight, I decided to replace the peep with a quality peep Meta G5 - which meant I also replaced the string with a non-value string - I even picked my string colors. $10 for the peep, $80 for the string, a few $ for the serving which ties the peep to the string.

Once I had all of that on, I decided I needed to tune the bow. This took 2 weeks of frustration before I finally tore the new string off, retwisted it to the manufacturers specified length, raised my nock height by 3 billionths of an inch and finally nailed the paper-tune A perfect hole with 3 fins sticking out of it.

Last summer I added a 7" stabilizer which tightened my groups up by 50% or so at range.

Once I had the right length arrows, and they were flying straight, and not contacting the drop-away rest, I found that I was destroying arrows. Like a dumbass, I was shooting 6 at a time at the same target on my bag, and with tuned stuff, each successive arrow was tearing the fletchings off of the previous. I'm not sure it's possible to "robin hood", but I definitely was pulling bundles of arrows out of the same enlarged holes in my cloth bag target. Not bad. Now like a more smarterer guy, I select different target circles on my bag target when I'm practicing - unless I'm shooting at 60 yards.

Then I bought a fancy bow case. I didn't tell my wife how much it cost.

All this, and I still "missed" the first time I released on a deer. I didn't really "miss", so much as I "fucked up". I don't imagine many guys release their first game arrow on an 8-point whitetail. I was all nervous and ****, I picked the 30 yard sight pin when he was 15 out. He was quartering toward me, and he was looking at me. I nailed him in the shoulder blade. Several hours later, the dog tracked down the bloody broken arrow shaft 300 yards away. But the deer was probably just pissed off that he had a festering broadhead sticking out of his shoulder. We never found him, and I'll never do that again. This year, we're going to build a heated elevated deer stand with a barrel feeder on the property. Bows sure do get expensive.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:55 PM   #6
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But seriously, it's an awesome comic.
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:00 AM   #7
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I've been shooting a hoyt trykon for years now. 70# 28" draw - it sits at about 330fps with some easton carbons. There's nothing like getting so close to an animal before letting the arrow fly.
I use a truball release, drop away rest, trophy ridge 5pin sight... blah, blah. Here's the 140" gross 8 I took this past fall

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Old 02-13-2015, 12:10 AM   #8
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Good post fooger.

Here's my setup:

It has a lot of fancy **** you don't need and probably doesn't make me any better of a shot. But that's never stopped me from spending money before.

This was my second adult bow after dusting my old teenager bow off some 6 years ago. Before this I picked up a used Bowtech Allegiance back when I thought speed was everything. It's not. Most modern bows are rated at 300+fps and the difference between a speed bow and something more gentle is very minimal. You won't notice the speed differential when shooting but you will notice the enjoyment factor. My Answer is (slightly) slower than the Allegiance was but is tons more fun to shoot. I feel the Allegiance was a flatter shooting (less arch in long range shots) bow but have zero proof. Nor do I care.

Cam design is more important than the type. The Allegiance had a very hard cam and was not very smooth to pull back. It also had a very small valley. Valley is the letoff area once you reach full draw. Letoff is the reduction in draw weight once full draw is reached. So if you have 70% letoff on a 70lb bow, at full draw you only have to exert 21lb of force to keep it drawn. The valley is how much "wiggle room" you have at full draw before it tries to rip your arm off and you're back at the full 70lbs. A bigger valley will make it easier to shoot while sacrificing speed. My Answer has more letoff and a bigger valley, it's much easier and more fun to shoot.

Any string on a new bow will be perfectly fine. You'll put many hundreds if not thousands of arrows down range before it needs replacing. Just make sure you take care of it with a little string wax.

Parallel, and more than parallel, limb bows will kick forward less than a more traditional design. The forward kick is caused by the limbs returning to resting position and reaching a sudden stop. Parallel limbs transmit more force up and down than they do forward, a more traditional design transmits most of the force forward.

Cabelas is a great source for arrows. Specifically the Stalker Extreme series. Very durable, straight, and consistent. They are a re-branded Beman ICS Hunter (very good arrow but slightly pricey). Not as cheap as they once were but still a good value at normal prices, and even better when on sale. You are going to lose and break arrows when first starting out so don't go crazy. Absolutely make sure you get the correct spine for your draw length and weight combo. For your first couple dozen it may even be worth stepping down another price range, they are going to get lost and broken.

If an arrow hits something, other than the target, but appears fine - give it a slight bend and listen for any noise that would indicate it's not up to snuff anymore. If it creaks or cracks, throw it out. Not worth a trip to the hospital for carbon fiber fragment removal from your hand just to save $5-$10

Don't waste your money on the cheaper aluminum arrows. They aren't as durable and will be wavy in short order from pulling them out of targets.

For your first bow get something comfortable to shoot and avoid speed bows. It's very important you have the correct draw length and I highly recommend getting measured at a shop. Measured myself at home when I bought the Allegiance and I shot it with too long of a draw for 3 years. I compensated unknowingly and had the dreaded arm slap on just about every outing. Haven't had it a single time since getting properly sized and shooting the correct draw length.

Try to find a bow shop for fitting and advice. Big box stores are like the auto repair chains, not as bad as Jiffy Lube but not much better. Occasionally they will have someone knowledgeable but most often it's just another teenager working a minimum wage job. You can probably find bow shop recommendations for your area on the forums.

Don't skimp on a release. The $30 ones suck. Expect to spend around $50 for a decent one.

Do not ever draw a compound bow back without an arrow nocked
A dry fire is very likely to severely damage your bow and has the potential to send you to the hospital. Yes some bows are advertised and guaranteed to survive a dry fire, but even then I wouldn't try it. There is a lot of energy stored up in these things and without an arrow to absorb it, it's going to go somewhere else. Probably going to bend a cam at the very least. I got very lucky on my one and only dry fire and it's not a mistake I will make again. Amazing how quickly that string can slip off your fingers.

You can practice at home with a bag target. Shooting from 3ft away may seem boring but it is good practice to find proper shooting form and all but removes any risk of missing the target. I frequently shoot in the basement from all of about 10ft just to remind the muscles how it all works.

You don't need a 70lb bow. You can turn a 70lb down to 60lb, and some even lower, but they are most efficient at their maximum setting. Mine is 65lb and set about 60lb. I can shoot longer at 60lbs before getting tired which makes it more fun. Don't get caught up in the speed ratings and more power is better. It's not.

It's an awesome hobby that can cost as much as you want it to. Arrows are reusable and will last a long time once you get the hang of it. Some outings cost me $0, others cost $30 if it's a bad day. We have a number of hiking archery trails with 10-15 targets scattered in the woods at various ranges. These are way more fun than static ranges and allow for including beers with this awesome hobby.

Anyway, sorry for such a long *** post. I really dig archery.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:10 AM   #9
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You'd be amazed at what you can find on CL, especially now that hunting season is over. I'll NEVER buy a new setup, but don't go into used blindly because it looks cool. Research your bows.

To start, you'll need to know if you're left eye or right eye dominant. Not all right handed people are also right eye dominant. Here's a short video

So, of your right eye dominant, you'll be shooting a right hand bow. That, or you learn to overcome cross dominance.
Next is draw length. That's best to do at an archery shop - you dint want your locking point of the string (full draw) way behind the ears, nor to far forward. You want it somewhere in the middle of your jaw. If you shoot with fingers, many anchor their index into the corner of their mouth at full draw - this acts like a rear sight of a gun, same with using a rear peep sight. Keeping your anchor point constant is critical. I shot fingers forever - still do with my recurve.
Not ever shooting a bow before, you will not have the muscle group to pull a 70# string - i promise. Ok, maybe one or twice, but it'll wear your *** out. Start at 50#, maybe even 45#. Just make sure you can adjust up to 60/65#.
I once shot a Martin at 85# - while hunting i came face to face with a huge buck but couldn't pull my bow back bc it i was cold AND the day before i spent most of it pulling a starter on a snowmobile (Before electric starters).
I guess to ask, what do you want to do with the bow?
Hunt, 3d tournaments, precision shooting? Each has significantly different setups - but you can do all with any bow as you find your niche, then upgrade and go from there.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:57 AM   #10
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Interesting timing, I was just considering getting rid of mine. Bought it used, used for target practice, and it's since sat idle since moving from farm country to suburbia.
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:29 AM   #11
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I appreciate the comments a lot guys, they definitely help. So much information almost feels overwhelming.

I've never been a hunter so that will probably never happen. Odds are for now i'll set up a target of some sort and shoot at it across the parking lot. Depending on how i like it i might go into precision.

Currently the plan is to go visit my local Cabelas and see what they offer and any hands on knowledge i can get.

Josh, feel free to pm me some info on that bow you got.
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