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#5074518 - 03/23/11 What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"?
Jesse Jaymes Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 1938
Loc: NE Washington
I am sorry this is almost a "What gun is good for deer" type question. But sooo much has changed in 20 years. I posted here a while back about target panic and had a lot of great comments. Seems more civil here than other topics as of late.

A huge problem is I am a lefty shooter. I know EVERYONE will say "Go shoot as many bows as you can and pick the one that feels the best". Not really an option. In past experience, it was not hard to get a LH bow, but it was always ordered. Not many on the shelves. And will the shops really throw a rest and sight on a bow and let you fling a few with a bow off the shelf anyhow???

I am going to wait until I find out if a drew the multi-season tag, which will ALLOW me to hunt all 3 weapons. Washington is such a backwards state.....whole different topic.

But I am starting to research now.

And I am Die-Hard rifle fanatic, so I am almost torn to even considering a bow. I feel like I am "cheating" on my true love even having thoughts about bows. And with soo many rifle projects I want to finish, appropriating funds to archery will be tough.

But conversly, I am going to get my 11 yr old son into it, and my wife shot a bow at a Outdoor Expo and loved it. She wants to get into it. So there is some good, family time to be gained.

I shot a ton as a kid. Had several bows.

But what I am reading now it that it's hard to get a BAD bow. Any truth to that? And the prices, honestly, are outrageous.

Can a decent bow be had in the $500 range? Seems every bow on the rack is plus or minus $10....they are all marked $899.

I think I would be fearful to try any small named brand. Seems any clown can make a bow and stick their own name on it.

I know Matthews has been popular and Hoyt has been the big name for years. Forgot PSE and Martin seems to have clung on for some time. Living in a rural area there are only a handful of Archery shops in a 100 mile radius, however, there is a Hoyt dealer just 3 miles from me, so that may be my answer right there.

I usually shop online for the best deal possible, but I think in Archery, it would pay bigger dividends on the back end to buy local and have the service on hand to back it up? Will need tuned, peeps, maint, etc? Thoughts?

So the overall question....what do I look for?

Without being uber-Macho, I am close to retard strong. But with my prior target panic issues and poor form, I think the last thing I want to do is try pulling max weight. Bows used to range 20 pounds or so. Now it looks like there is no range in draw weigh. A 60 is just a 60? Thoughts on this? I don't think I will ever hunt elk with a bow. Probably typical tree stand of white tails.

And from what I've gathered the longer axle to axle and more brace height, the easier it is to shoot or is more forgiving?

Opinions or thoughts on $500 bows?

Will appreciate any advice you all can give. Help me with somewhere to start and I will do additional research.
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#5074537 - 03/23/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: Jesse Jaymes]
Jesse Jaymes Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 1938
Loc: NE Washington
Wanted to add that most bow manufacturer internet sites do not list an MSRP, so I can't really tell which bows are mid-range in price.

There is also a BowTech Iceman in a local pawn shop. It's a LH with a 29" draw, which I think is pretty close to what I am. It's already set up with sights, level, high end stablizer, quiver, peep, 4 carbons of some kind. Priced at $650. Is this even worth looking into?
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#5074624 - 03/23/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: Jesse Jaymes]
ilikguns Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 115
Loc: Maryland
I bet you never thought you could buy a great rifle for what you would buy a bow for did you? I would seriously look into a used bow. Many people upgrade every year or so just because they want the latest and greatest. You can save money and typically used bows will come with all the essentials sight, rest, maybe even arrows, etc. at no extra cost. That stuff adds up quick. Modern bows are awesome! You won't believe the differance since you were a kid. Compounds with let off and paralell limbs have hardly any jump. Personally I don't think you need anything over 50lb. draw weight to kill a deer. Accuracy and shot placement is most important. Longer axle to axle length is best left for finger shooters. I don't think any company builds junk. A lot is personal preferance. Research a specific model and see what problems people have had with them. You certainly want to find your draw length and many bows now can adjust length. A great feature for kids that are still growing.

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#5074940 - 03/23/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: ilikguns]
Jesse Jaymes Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 1938
Loc: NE Washington
Researching the youth/women's bows also.

And yes, I could have a kick ass rifle for the cost of a nice bow, but the rifle will be around forever.

Each state also seems to have a HUGE amount of parameters on archery....minimum grain arrow weight, non barbed broadheads, no mechanicals, etc. I think there are even regs on let off???

But I can see where the advances in technology really help. An 80% let off was unheard of back when I was shooting. I think 50% was about the norm.
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Please God, give me some good tags this year....

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#5076334 - 03/24/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: Jesse Jaymes]
MontanaCreekHunter Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 7713
Loc: 99821/06810
Originally Posted By: Jesse Jaymes
And will the shops really throw a rest and sight on a bow and let you fling a few with a bow off the shelf anyhow???


Yes any good archery shop will absolutely let you fling some arrows.
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Eat Fish, Wear Grundens, Drink Alaskan.

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#5076390 - 03/24/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: MontanaCreekHunter]
kcnboise Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 980
Originally Posted By: MontanaCreekHunter
Originally Posted By: Jesse Jaymes
And will the shops really throw a rest and sight on a bow and let you fling a few with a bow off the shelf anyhow???


Yes any good archery shop will absolutely let you fling some arrows.


+1 - I've started looking at new bows, too. Went down to my local shop and the owner helped me; let me shoot a bunch of different bows, adjusted the draw weight on all of them, and even ran out to his truck and got his personal bow to let me try it because he didn't have one on the rack that day. All while helping other customers that wandered in, plus some that were shooting on his range.

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#5076528 - 03/24/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: Jesse Jaymes]
SpartanGunner Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 06/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Nikiski, AK
Congratulations on joining the ranks of archery hunters!

I agree with posters suggesting looking at used bows. Specifically something around 2-3 years old with adjustable draw length and 50-60lbs(i.e. Hoyt Katera XL w. adjustable cams, original PSE Bowmadness X-Force, Bowtech 101st Airborne even a Tomkat would do the job)

Buy it right. $400-500 Make sure you get something that has been maintained and comes with a few solid accessories that you want. Condition of strings and cables is important.

Another option is cruising outdoor shows. Stop at archery shop booths and many of them will be blowing out last year's bows at their cost or below. Excellent deals to be sure, especially if they are a local pro-shop that you can rely on for service as well.
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#5085020 - 03/26/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: Jesse Jaymes]
280Ackleyrized Online   content
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/16/03
Posts: 3611
Loc: Mt. Hermon, LA/Gulf of Mexico
Ebay and archerytalk.com are two good places to guage prices on bows with ebay being more of a realistic place. The other tends to dwell on full retail and I find most stuff is priced higher than most would be willing to pay. Go to the local(or as "local" as possible for where you live) bow shop. See what they have. Shoot as many as you can. See what works best for you. Then check ebay. See if you can find that same bow for less. Any pro shop worth their salt will gladly help you with your bow no matter where you get it. These days 60 lbs will work for most anything short of dangerous game here. True long axle to axle and generous brace height allow for not so perfect shooting form. I would reccomend something in the 32-35" axle to axle range with a 7" minimum brace height. Lots of folks here are on the mechanical bandwagon. I refuse to get on. A quality fixed blade head by slick trick or muzzy will do everything you need. Do some research and some looking and you will be surprised what you can find for $500 or less.
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#5088076 - 03/27/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: Jesse Jaymes]
JustDale Offline
New Member

Registered: 02/13/11
Posts: 3
Go to your local bowshop and see what they have. Be up front with them and tell them what you have to spend and see what they can do for you. If they have any bows that fit your financial window there should be no problem letting you try it out. If they do or make you feel unwelcome go somewhere else. I used to drive an extra hour one way to the bowshop because I didn't feel welcome at our local one.

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#5089467 - 03/28/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: JustDale]
Jesse Jaymes Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 1938
Loc: NE Washington
Stopped in just the other day. The only game in town is just 3 miles from home. Real nice crew. Was asking about a youth bow, since son is having an 11th BD. They have 3 Hoyt Ruckus bows in stock. So no ordering. Sound really willing to work with me.

I asked several questions. They certainly agreed that shooting all the bows you can is the best idea. They had a few lefties on the wall. I will get serious after I see if I drew the ability to hunt with 3 weapons this year, and get the boy set up 1st.

The shop owner stated that she shopped around for a while for a line to carry along with Hoyt. She was pretty impressed with G5 as a mid-priced line-up and is carrying some of them.

And they did have a few mid priced Hoyts in stock. Think the Rampage XT gets some great reviews for $599?

We spoke about weight. And I don't see how weight really makes a difference? If I am just a treestand or blind guy, isn't it OK to pay a bit less and sacrifice .3 pounds? I tote a 8+ pound rifle around several months of the year.
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Please God, give me some good tags this year....

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#5091466 - 03/28/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: Jesse Jaymes]
one horn Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 652
Loc: Custer,Mi
The G5 bows are a great value.
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#5094345 - 03/29/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: one horn]
ol_mike Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 3248
I went with a Hoyt powerhawk it came w/ all Fuse accessories priced at$580 w/a $50 rebate.
It shoots great and will last for many years.
I upgradedd to a QAD drop away rest ,and within an hour had it sighted in well enough to make would be kill shots on deer out to 35yds.
Were i you i'd stick with the local shop [hoyt] -get to know them etc. and USUALLY you will be treated great.
As with many things i have started out with the basics then upgrade -but the smart thing to do is buy the high end stuff to begin with .

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#5094390 - 03/29/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: Jesse Jaymes]
kcnboise Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 980
The Hoyt Rampage XT is the bow I'm getting. The bow shop owner thought it was probably the best value he had in the shop - same cams and specs as their top of the line bows, but with a cast and machined riser instead of machined from a solid billet. I shot the CRX 32 also, and could tell no difference.

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#5097922 - 03/30/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: kcnboise]
Jesse Jaymes Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 1938
Loc: NE Washington
Pretty much what the other OnLine reviews said of the Rampage vs CRX. Again, I think I can tote the extra 1/2 pound to save myself a few hundred bucks.

Thanks again for the assistance
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Please God, give me some good tags this year....

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#5103997 - 04/01/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: Jesse Jaymes]
kcnboise Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 980
It's not even that much:

CRX 32 = 3.95 lbs
Rampage XT = 4.0 lbs

Difference = 0.05 lbs, or 0.8 ounces, or $250/ounce...

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#5111245 - 04/03/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: kcnboise]
kcm270 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 1192
My local bow shop has last year's models on sale for a serious discount. I'm a lefty,too, and have the same problem. I generally, though, can get them to let me shoot a RH bow left handed, and can at least feel how it shoots and draws. There is a lot of good stuff out there in your price range. Take a look at the Bowtech Assassin, package bow.. not bad for the money. The Bear bows aren't bad, either.

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#5157322 - 04/18/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: kcm270]
TxGunslinger Offline
Member

Registered: 08/25/05
Posts: 38
Loc: EL Campo, Tx
Well Like you I am a avid rifle hunter and have successfully harvested whitetail, hogs and muledeer out to 700 yards. I recently decided to pick up bow hunting again after 29 years. When I went looking for a new bow , I was quite shocked by one, the sticker price and the look. I was not quite sure that I could even shoot a 29" ATA bow. SO I went looking.. I shot several of the Hoyt and Mathews bows. I like I said, shicker shock. Well I considered a very inportant issue. The new bow manufactured now are very advanced and I wanted service after the sale as well as someone who was close and could help me trouble shoot any problems. I eventually settled for a Mission Venture 29"Dl set at 60 lb. It draws very smooth and imho is fast enough to get the job done. It did not break my pocket book for the bow itself and I was able to add some top of the line accessories. I believe that package deals like they sell on huntersfriend.com very good but i worried that the hi tech bow of now days would require a bowsmith close by to help me figure it out. I suggest you find a bow shop close to you that you like and tell them what your looking for. Good Luck.

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#5159121 - 04/18/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: TxGunslinger]
ltppowell Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 10/12/04
Posts: 34892
Loc: SE Texas
I agree with others, the first thing you look for is a Pro-shop, and I've been a bowhunting addict for 35 years.
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#5194589 - 04/30/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: ltppowell]
Jesse Jaymes Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 1938
Loc: NE Washington
Ironically or pun intended....I pulled the trigger today. 2011 Hoyt Rampage XT. Got killer reviews by several sources.

I hit 2 pro shots. The local Pro shop is who I went through. Sweet people. None of the "staff" are paid, and are there to promote archery and the sport. Never haggled on price and would have probably paid more to be honest with you, knowing I will get top notch service.

She gave me an additional $25 off for no reason whatsoever. And a new Team Hoyt hat.

Ordered it Black Out to be different. Figure if the deer looks up into the tree I am screwed anyway.

Have met a good group of people in my last month of searching for bows. A lot like Harley/Biker people. Most look like less than desireables, but nearly all will go WAY out of their way for you. Very comforting.

Be a few weeks out to arrive, then I will need a few weeks to pony up the money for the goodies.

But agree, sticker shock X 10.

I drew a Multi Season tag here in WA. It's standard in most states to be able to hunt whatever season with whatever weapon you choose, until you tag out. Here, it's a "privilege", a competetive draw, as well as an extra $180 option.

Well, I drew it. And I would guess that I will be so amped up I will tip over the first dink or doe I have within range, though this tag would give me the option to hunt our really nice Rut Hunt with some gaggers taken in my county.

Now to get some coaching and battle the target panic issues and hopefully have a great time with it. Just got my 11 yr old a 2011 Hoyt Ruckus, and the wife is not far behind with another Rampage. So we are trying to do the Family Thing.
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Please God, give me some good tags this year....

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#5262736 - 05/23/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: Jesse Jaymes]
DanAdair Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 7190
Loc: NW Montucky
Jesse...

Food for thought...

You may be left handed, but which eye is dominant? I've never seen a cross-dominant shooter, that once switched to the dominant eye side, didn't shoot better.
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#5272287 - 05/26/11 Re: What to look for in a new bow if you are a "novice"? [Re: Jesse Jaymes]
rta48 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 872
Jesse, venture over to HuntersFriend.com - there you will find more info than you can imagine for the novice or seasoned bow hunter. Good Luck & Have Fun

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