Carbon Express Arrows
Help a trad guy choose a compond
Contributors to this thread:
Blind Dog 27-Sep-17
Franklin 27-Sep-17
razorhead 27-Sep-17
Russell 27-Sep-17
Bentstick81 27-Sep-17
Smtn10PT 27-Sep-17
Blind Dog 27-Sep-17
Russell 27-Sep-17
12yards 27-Sep-17
ohiohunter 27-Sep-17
Scoot 27-Sep-17
Jaquomo 27-Sep-17
GF 27-Sep-17
x-man 27-Sep-17
bad karma 27-Sep-17
Iowabowhunter 27-Sep-17
wildwilderness 27-Sep-17
SoDakSooner 27-Sep-17
MichaelArnette 27-Sep-17
Buglmin 27-Sep-17
Elksong 27-Sep-17
milnrick 27-Sep-17
BOX CALL 27-Sep-17
milnrick 27-Sep-17
Shawn 27-Sep-17
Jaquomo 27-Sep-17
Mike the Carpenter 28-Sep-17
DeerSpotter 28-Sep-17
Steve H. 01-Oct-17
Ermine 01-Oct-17
carcus 01-Oct-17
GF 01-Oct-17
ahunter55 01-Oct-17
Thunderflight 02-Oct-17
Jaquomo 02-Oct-17
elkstabber 02-Oct-17
Iowabowhunter 02-Oct-17
The hammer 02-Oct-17
sfiremedic 02-Oct-17
kellyharris 02-Oct-17
glunker 02-Oct-17
antlerman 02-Oct-17
GF 02-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 03-Oct-17
Wapitidung 03-Oct-17
tradmt 03-Oct-17
From: Blind Dog
I have been a die for all trad guy for 45 years. My only compound bow was a Bear Polar LTD. back in 1980. Now that I have completed my second season in Colorado I find shooting Midwestern white tails from a tree stand at 10 yards is vastly different from elk and mulies in the west. I need direction in the selection of a new bow as well the proper set up and accessories. One of the reasons for the change is shooting 80 pound longbows has taken its toll on my shoulders and a reduction in poundage is a given.

From: Franklin
IMO.....don`t buy new. Next to a car, a bow is next in line for depreciation....haha Accessories have also gone out of sight in price....they have $400 pin sights now....I would go for a year old fully outfitted gently used bow....make will be a personal choice.

From: razorhead
I understand where your coming from,,,,, however I could have never pulled a 80lb bow...... mine were in the 50's. Here is what I did,,,,, I went to a good archery shops, and I tried several bows,,,,,,, in Wisconsin, there are a lot of good shops,,,,,,

Made my shop choice, and selected a bow I liked, it was a Hoyt Carbon Spyder... I got over 300 off, since it was a year old model, and a lefty,,,,,,,, it was tuned and set up right, and chose a 3 pin site and release, from tru fire,,,,,,, I chose the right arrows, full metal jackets, and the bow was ready to go......

What I did not like at the shops, was their broad head choices, so I ordered those from the company, I chose the 125 grain 3 blade Wasp Boss SST,,,,,,,,, good luck in finding a bow,

Shops will stock bh's that they sell which makes sense, its a local thing I think,,,,,

From: Russell
Why not just shoot a 50# reflex/deflex longbow?

If you decide to go with wheels, I would only buy a compound that has adjustable yokes. Makes for tuning soooo much easier.

I will only own a compound that has these. Adjust the bow for center shot, arrow level, centered on burger hole. Yoke tune for lateral adjustments during broadhead tuning.

Visit a local pro shop. Shop around, find a good one. It's like finding a good auto mechanic. Many aren't all that good.

From: Bentstick81
Blind Dog. Sorry to hear about your shoulder. I will add that i bought a BowTech Fuel compound. I absolutely love that thing. The one thing to keep in mind is that the bow i bought is approx 32' long. The bad thing is, using yarn silencers, makes it tough sometimes, to see the pin at draw, due to the sharp angle of the string. I tried all other silencers, but none made that bow quieter, than yarn. I even have the yarn silencers all the way up as high as i can get them. You can see the pin well enough to get a shot off, just sometimes a strand of yarn might blur your vision a little. Another thing is, i used to be able to shoot my trad gear with any face mask, with my fingers, but with a release, that mask really affects my shooting. Really practice with mask on. Especially the cold weather, thicker masks. Good Luck.

From: Smtn10PT
The first thing you need to do is determine what you want to spend, from there much more help can be offered.

From: Blind Dog
I should explain, my current set up is a R/D longbow 57 lbs. The shoulders is only part of the problem. Seems the ranges here in CO are longer. I had several opportunities on mule deer this season but couldn't get closer than 35 yards. I found it difficult to accurately shoot a longbow at this range. I pull 30" with a LB I assume I would have a draw length at least that with wheels, correct? What about arrow weight and broad heads? Some things don't change as I refuse to use mechanical heads. Would a conventional head such as a Snuffer or Zwickey Delta perform well? What about releases? I have not used one in 35 years. I assume the technology has improved.

From: Russell
Converting from trad to modern, one's draw length typically shortens a bit.

A good pro shop is your best bet. Test drive all the gear including releases.

My go-to arrow is a Black Eagle Deep Impact, 250 and 350 (skinny arrows) tipped with a sharp 125 g. broadhead that shoots the same as fieldpoints. Total arrow weight of 425-450 g. Skinny arrows will drift less in windy conditions. My release is the Tru-Fire Hardcore Buckle Black Foldback Max Release. Folds back when not needed, US made, and the company offers a very good warranty.

Last year Pat did an interview about bow tuning. Good info that addresses broadhead choices for trad vs modern bows too.

From: 12yards
If western mountain hunting is the default for what type of bow you are looking for, I would probably choose a Hoyt Carbon Spyder 34 or Carbon Defiant 34. The lighter weight would be a blessing in the mountains IMO. The cams on these bows are smooth drawing and plenty fast. Would serve you well everywhere you hunt.

From: ohiohunter
First things first you need a budget and a bow shop. You will get a 1000 opinions here but the only one that matters is yours. Go shoot some bows and shoot every one that appeals to you, don't let the shop sell you on anything... you choose. ALSO let down every bow you try to determine how hazardous it is to your shoulder. If you happen to shoot over a chrono, don't get all giddy when a bow is screaming. I've seen shops use very light arrows to make bows more attractive, just beware.

As for accessories I wouldn't go too far outside the box, stick w/ the bigger reputable names. Easton or carbon express arrows. I personally fletch my own as all the bowshop fletching jobs are questionable in my experience, your shop may be different. I suggest a good offset or helical esp for fixed bh.

Rest, I'd stick w/ ripcord or qad (perhaps some other suggestions, IDK). Sights will be entirely up to you and you're preference.

Stabilizer, I would opt for something in the 8-10" range. If you go shorter you will find yourself upgrading before too long. Grab a wrist sling, I prefer a nylon strap w/ an adjustable buckle, I dislike the braided slings.. again personal preference.

Release, try a couple. I prefer scott caliper releases.

Try to get the right bow the 1st time and it could last you decades, accessories will sometimes come and go. Don't be hesitant to cross check prices on your smart phone. You may find bow shop prices are astronomical, but some prefer to keep their money local. Good luck!

From: Scoot
Good info above. Shoot a few bows and see what fits you and feels right. Choose from there. If you're on a budget, don't be afraid to buy used. You can save a lot of cash buying a used bow, but make sure you know what you're getting and what a new one would cost.

From: Jaquomo
My draw length increased by almost 2" when I made the switch to a compound. Unless you shoot your trad bows Olympic-style, you'll definitely increase draw length when switching to a vertical, upright form.

Try different ones and you'll find one that "feels right". I started with a Mathews, shot it ok, then traded for a used Bowtech for a backup. That Bowtech shoots much better for me and is now my primary bow.

From: GF
There's a guy who goes by Firewater who has my old compound and is looking to sell it (PM me if you want the whole story). I don't think he's sold it yet, anyway...

But first, decide how you're going to use the bow - I chose one that was pretty fast, but very forgiving - long ATA and all that. Shot it like Da Bomb, because it was basically a target bow in camo duds. And mostly (out here) I sit in trees waiting for whities to come by. Then I tried a week of hauling it up from 8600 to around 11,000 feet every day, and I'll never do that again - even if the drop-away HADN'T frozen up in a snowstorm and cost me an Elk. It was fine in a tree, but way too heavy for a ridge.

If I had to replace one of my bows with another wheelie...

I'd be looking for something on the light/compact end of the scale;

The point about being able to let down without aggravating your shoulder is a really good one - those fast cams are HARSH.

But speed probably isn't your be-all, end-all, anyway, and if you laser it, the trajectory doesn't matter - your arrow will still get there quicker than a longbow, and that's what 30 and 40-yard pins are for....

Last thought - Magnus Stinger 100s flew PERFECTLY out of that rig.

From: x-man
Don't guess what you draw length should be. Have it measured accurately, wingspan divided by 2.5 gives us pro-shop guys a place to start. We usually end up slightly shorter than that number when all is said and done.

Most long-time trad guys feel right at home shooting a T-Handle thumb release. There just aren't many "bad" releases out there right now.

Best advise I can give is to buy from your local pro-shop, whatever brand that may be. Most pro-shops will treat you better if you buy there stuff verses buying on-line and then asking the pro-shop for help setting it up.

From: bad karma
Blind Dog, where do you live? There are several fine bowshops along the Front Range.

And I second the "go shoot some bows" advice. Every time I've done that, I'd gone home with a different bow than I expected to buy when I walked in, and been happier for it.

I haven't tried the "traditional" broadheads out of my setup, as they are just too heavy for the spine of arrows that I shoot. I believe Chuck Adams took his Super Slam with Zwickey Eskimo's (course bows were quite a bit slower back then) but with a tuned bow, I can't see why they wouldn't work for ya. Good luck!

You will need a longer bow with a 30" DL. They are more stable and shoot better anyway. I have a Hoyt Carbon Defiant 34. really smooth shooter but not the fastest.

I would really recommend Easton Axis arrows, blazer vanes, with a 125gr BH. For a fixed blade at longer distances look at a wac'em triton if you can't get others to fly well.

From: SoDakSooner
if you can find a long ata bow anymore you can still shoot fingers if you want. Don't know if you can even find a 39"+ compound any more. I don't know why you couldn't shoot trad broadheads. Just shoot a heavy arrow 500+ grains and keep the speed down. Just got to shoot a bunch of them and the bow will pick you. I agree on light. I have been carting my 10+ lb prime alloy around for several years and I think I am finally tired of the weight. It is basically a full on 3d hunter rig with long stab and sidebar plus a quiver and heavy sight and rest. Bow itself is ok, but the rest of it....hmm. Talked to another guy at the trailhead from colorado springs that had just converted to a compound this year just to get longer range. I do love carrying a trad rig, just wish i could shoot one better.

Since I haven't had experience with a compound since the early 2000's here's my thinking on the issue. I missed a giant of a mule deer buck this year with my recurve at about 40 yards, like 200+ ....Then I hiked down the canyon and passed another hunter who shot one at 70 yards. I thought to myself, if more hunters used recurves/longbows for mule deer we all might be able to hunt them over the counter! Chew on that one a couple years from now when you finally get a hard to draw tag that might not have to be so tough to draw if we would stop the technology bus somewhere before it's too late. Just my 2 of luck whatever you decide to use.

From: Buglmin
I dunno Michael, but I know it got very discouraging to be within 60 yards of four bucks that always hung out together six different times and not be able to close the distance cause I was out of cover. Many times I thought of the Prime centergy sitting on the porch in the case, but the next morning, is grab the Tribe Halo. I did miss the small 150" buck that was with them twice... I shoot a lot of stick bows, and actually found the prime bows to hold their claims, easier to draw and to keep the pin on the target longer then you can with most bows. I had five Hoyt pro shooters tell me they almost went with Prime this year, and two Mathew's shooter did switch to Prime.

Lots of guys are shooting Treesharks, Muzzy Phantoms, Kudu Points out of their compounds. It's no biggie if that's what you want to do. I was gonna shoot Kudu Points out of my Prime this year.

From: Elksong
I have a Hoyt Carbon Matrix I am wanting to trade for a Traditional bow?

From: milnrick
I'd find a reputable, and we'll stocked Archery Shop and shoot several bows, especially Mathews, Hoyt, and Prime (especially the Prime Centergy) before making any decisions on what to purchase. I'd go as far as suggest shooting an Elite too.

If possible, meaning the shop has several of these brands in stock, shoot them blindfolded. Then select the bow that feels BEST for you.

I wouldn't be surprised if you end up with PRIME, they're in class of their own.

Good luck.

My compounds are old school laminated limb two wheelers.finger shooters.PSE,Jennings,martins.still get the job done.

From: milnrick
I forgot to add that yoir shoulders will appreciate the high let off on today's compounds, as well as you won't need more than 50-60# to successfully take MOST of today's big game animals.

From: Shawn
I have shot both for 40 plus years. If you still want to shoot fingers and set the bow up somewhat like a LB or recurve look for a Mathews Conquest that is 4 or 5 years old. Great finger bows and you will get the let-off and good performance. I anchor a bit differert then most with a compound so I draw over 28"s with my recurves and only 27.5"s with a compound. I shoot my compound with a release as well. Any good broadhead will be fine as long as the bow is tuned. I shoot 175 grain VPA out of both my recurves and compounds. I should also add both my shoulders are shot and I still kill a lot of critters with my recurves that are 42-46#s and I am confident out to 40 yards or so with my recurves but can stretch that to 60 yards with my compound. As has been said go to a local shop and shoot a few bows and see what ya like and what feels good to you. Shawn

From: Jaquomo
I have a Mathews Ovation 40" ATA that would be great for finger shooting. Its in excellent condition. If you're interested shoot me a PM.

All the above replies are the reason I'm glad I shoot a longbow. There is just way to much "stuff" to buy and could go wrong. Plus, I like getting within 25 yards of what I'm hunting, if I wasn't able to do that, I'd opt for a gun.

From: DeerSpotter
If you have bad shoulders ! I would look for a single wheel with a cam. Something similar to bowTech diamonds Black Ice. The black ice is probably a hard one to fine now. But I have had for them and they are the easiest on the shoulders. I have two bad shoulders and I'm still able to shoot the black ice. There's a lot of bows out there that are used and in the category of one wheel. Best thing is to go to a bow shop and try out a some. It's going to be a change from Trad gear, you're not going to find a pound and a half to 2 pound bow. And carring that compound bow might give your shoulder just as much troubles. Being a Trad Archer, you are ready know you don't have to have that much speed to make a pass-through. And if you pick the right compound bow, you may still be able to shoot instinctively. But if you get too shorter of one there may be way too much pinch on the fingers.


From: Steve H.
Oh the humanity.

From: Ermine

From: carcus
Don't understand why anybody would want to skip the compound and go right to a gun, I hate guns, but you can always post all your kills here, seems its a gunsite as well!lol

From: GF
"I forgot to add that yoir shoulders will appreciate the high let off on today's compounds, as well as you won't need more than 50-60# to successfully take MOST of today's big game animals."

Glad to see that compounds are finally catching up!

'Cuz a #60 recurve has been borderline overkill since long before my time....

Funny how sometimes people Just Don't Get It: One guy makes the point that tags would be easier to draw if Hunters had to hunt longer and harder for their shots (and that those opportunities should be expected to become harder to draw as technology allows for longer and longer shots, especially since more people will judge themselves capable of making those shots and more animals will be wounded and lost, owing to all those things that happen more often as range is extended).... and the next guy says "I dunno, brother - when I couldn't get into range with a lower tech weapon, I sure couldn't help but wish I'd had something more up to date so that I could have closed the deal."

"Trad" guys want to close the deal as much as anybody else; they're just generally interested in making the hunt more about hunting skills than shooting prowess.

Not that that has anything to do with the OP, of course....

I don't follow such things at all, but has Hoyt dropped the Reflex line? Seems like they always kept one finger-shooter model in the line-up because of Chuck Adams and his (last I knew) iron-willed commitment to keeping his fingers on the string.

Maybe the OP could find one o' those?

From: ahunter55
Shop & shop used. I bought two used $800 Darton Ex Vegas bows for $75 (2012 & is my hunter now) & $150 that is my 18 yr old G-sons all around bow. My son & other 20 yr old G-son bought Hoyts, new, last year models for $300 each normally 800+. Find a bow model you like & start looking classifieds & Ebay.. Oh, I also shoot a 50# Longbow with my 60# Dartons.

A few years back I bought a Hoyt Carbon Element. It was a 2013 model and I got it on craigslist for 800 w/site and drop away rest. There were three reasons I bought it. 1. I wanted the additional range for my out West hunts. 2. My shoulders, hands, and elbows where giving me issues. Shooting my recurve only made it worse. 3. I was so busy/distracted with other life issues that I didn't have the desire to put the time into shooting my recurve.

I chose the Carbon Element because IMO it had the smoothest draw. I made some life changes that helped reduce some of my physical issues and plan on shooting my recurve for whitetails. That said, I used my Hoyt for my recent Idaho elk hunt.

Another option, is look at Onieda bows? I have a Strike Eagle I set up for bowfishing. It's almost like shooting a recurve, super smooth, and forgiving.

From: Jaquomo
MichaelArnett, glad you missed that buck. You flung an arrow beyond your effective range with your stickbow. Common trad sin, yet trad guys love to poke at modern bow shooters who do the same.

If your dream came true and everybody was required to hunt with longbows and recurves, we'd end up with a whole lot more wounded animals running around because most don't have the ability and dedication (and time) to become proficient with stick bows. And they'd still fling wild arrows at long ranges.

I truly respect folks who can put their egos and vanity aside and switch to modern bows if life changes affect their ability to confidently hunt with a stick. Blind dog, PM sent. I'm working on a feature article on this very topic.

From: elkstabber
I've been hunting with recurves exclusively for the last 15 years or so but will soon be mixing it up with a compound. Like the OP I am interested in the opinions of others and appreciate the constructive feedback. Keep the advice coming. Thanks!

I shoot both, hunt with both and enjoy both. Really like my Hoyt compound

I got professional coaching with the trad bow, Rod Jenkins, helped out tremendously. I don't have the time or space (recently moved into an apartment) to stay as dialed in with my trad bow as I'd like, so when hunting with that I limit myself to 15 yards. To each their own!

From: The hammer
I hunt with both my go to compound is a Oneida black eagle. And my go to recurve is my PCH widow. You can shoot the Oneida with fingers and is the best shooting compound that has ever been made. And all the deer I have taken with it didn't mind the noise it made.

From: sfiremedic
I agree with others. Shoot a few and see what you like. Personally I shoot a hoyt defiant. Also, I shoot a single fixed pin set at 25yds, a release, no peep or kisser. I try to keep it simple and think a trad guy might like that as well.

From: kellyharris
I love my Mathews Creed

From: glunker
I have been in your shoes. Shoot a heavy arrow like a pile driver, 150 grain broadhead, find a proshop to help with draw length, tuning. Your range should increase to 60 yards but not as much fun. With heavy arrows you will have big time penetration. Embrace the change, you have little choice. Seems odd to use a compound at 5 yards. Good luck.

From: antlerman
Blind Dog long time no see. No pun intended click on the handle.

Just got back from MT with several 40-50yrd opportunities on good bulls just couldn't make myself take the shot even though I practice though's all the time. My buddy shooting wheels had no opps at any bulls and he is a great shot at 50yrds. My bud just can't understand why I won't switch to wheels. I told him stick bows make ya hunt like a cat and wheeled bows you hunt like a coyote. There is a difference and truly feel that's why I had though's opportunities and he didn't. Go with lighter poundage man and get the shoulder fixed. Dad has dropped to 49#'s and still going strong everyday.

Good to see ya on here. Take care and by the way there are some good crop's here around the house this year. Couple really good one's if ya get back this way.

From: GF
Not to hijack a thoroughly side-tracked thread, but... LOL

As mentioned earlier, I dabbled with a compound for a few seasons - same reason(s) that many give - busy job, long hours, 2 1/2 hour/day commute, 2 kids, a wife and basically nowhere to practice once I had to let my club membership lapse.

Funny thing, though - my set-up let me hold on "zero" out to about 23-24 yards and never get outside the standard +/- 3" trajectory window that riflemen use. And without a range finder, I found myself missing high and low on the 3Ds at about the same ranges where I lost confidence in my group size with a recurve - actually got a lower score with the compound because at ranges were I started getting a lot of 5s, I was getting perfectly aligned zeroes. Lost 3 or 4 brand-new carbons that day, to boot and decided that I probably can't afford to shoot 3D with a compound without a rangefinder and I'm just not interested.

Anyway, for all the TradGuy complaints about the "huge" effective range advantage of a modern bow, I never actually saw it, myself. Without a good rangefinder reading I don't know how people figure they can shoot any farther than a good hand with a recurve or LB.....

Oh, yeah - Oneida - if it's trad enough for the Wensel brothers...

Lots of good compounds out there. I took four deer/elk hunters this year, everyone of them had 60 yard pins and shot very well at 60 yards, and beyond. Huge advantage over my selfbow.

From: Wapitidung
I'm in the same boat. Draw shoulder is shot. A fella could switch to lefty trad but I've about decided to go to a 50# compound. Gonna check a few out this afternoon before the AL Wildcard game. Thought about going to a rifle but I've shot a bow so long I'm afraid the change would be to much. Getting old pretty much sucks but I suppose there's good stuff somewhere that goes along with that.


From: tradmt
If it were me, I would shoot some and choose a good compromise between weight and noise of all the bows that fit me well. 60# max with about a 8-9 gpp arrow of at least 29" with 4" fletching , keeping the speed down a bit and the use of 4" vanes or feathers will eliminate most all of any tuning and stability issues that fill bowsite every year.

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