Contributors to this thread:
WHY DID YOU CHANGE?
For those that have shifted from hunting with traditional to a compound bow what was your reason for making the switch
i tore my rotator cuff so it wouldn't let me draw and hold the weight. Plus shooting trad demands constant year round practice to stay proficient
Well to be honest, when i was like 7 i started shooting a recurve. At 11 i killed my first deer with a reurve. But i really sucked at shooting it. When i was like 14 or 15 my dad bought a bear polar 2 compound. I got what was called a Altier site and boy could i shoot that bow. I was able to keep 3 arrows inside a paper plate at 20 yds. That gave me confidence. With the recurve i killed the first deer i shot at. Then I pretty much missed all the rest. With the compound i started killing deer and i just felt like going hunting i had a chance, which made it more enjoyable.. I'm self taught bowhunter. I've hunted a dozen different states and 3 provinces. Other than hunting in Ny one time with a gun, I've never hunted outside my home state with a gun. Ed
I've been very successful with longbows and recurves, taking many trophy class animals of multiple species. But after a lifetime of shooting trad I started having elbow and shoulder issues in my mid-60s. Not serious, but enough that it was affecting my accuracy (and confidence) even with rehab. So I made a choice, put vanity aside, and switched. My style of hunting hasn't changed and my furthest shot with a compound has been 35 yards, closer than some stickbow shots. But it allows me to keep hunting ethically (by my standards).
Have them all, love them all.
I say I started in 1956 as that is when I bought my 1st "real" bow & joined a club. 20 years Longbows & recurves b/4 Compounds became the craze. I owned pro shop/lanes from 1964 thru 1982 so was very active at the time the changes came about. Releases, Compounds were it. I was in the business so "had" to make the change. Trust me, I had 200 recuves hanging & no one wanted them anymore.. I "wish" I had them now.. Anyway, that was why I made the change but I still have & use a Longbow too. I was pretty successful with recurves taking a few State Championships & NFAA Field sectionals + a varity of biggame (38 total). Now, I enjoy both. It's all archery.
I had shot recurve bow for about 20 yrs. When the Bear Whitetail Hunter compound bow was introduced and I shot it- that was it. I have been addicted to compound bow every since.
I keep 2 old recurves to remind me where I started. I occasionally shoot then at a target just for enjoyment.
The compound was invented. The first few years I shot with fingers. I keep trying to go back but I'm just not consistent enough to hunt.
I started with a compound in 1979, and switched to a stickbow in 1996. It fulfills my hunting needs better.
I dabbled with a compound for a couple years, after taking a job with a 25000 mile/year commute. 12.5 hrs a week behind the wheel takes a bite out of practice time.
Yes, I could pick it up after nine months off and put five arrows all touching at 20 yards right off the bat. That was nice.
But practically speaking.... I’m a lousy judge of distance.... So when I shot the 3D course, I didn’t score any better with the sights because I was scoring 5s or 0s high & low, where I would usually score an 8 with a stick. A rangefinder would have fixed that, but that was a line I didn’t care to cross.
And for hunting, the Contraption was a PITA to carry in the mtns. Snd the drop-away froze solid on me at the worst possible time. And on a really close shot at a whitetail, I ended up hitting higher than intended on a shot I could’ve made in my sleep with a stick....
So I’ve gone back to sticks.
I do have to give the thing credit for raising my expectations for what I could do with a bow, though. I had bought into too much of the “instinctive” BS and wasn’t shooting my bows anywhere near their potential. Shooting a lot better again..
if and when i do ill let you know.
I started out with trad as a kid. Because that’s what I had. Switched to compounds about 12. Back to trad bow until I was 19.
I shot my first deer with a bear recurve at around 18 I reckon. Went to compound following year. Stayed with it for 20 years. Back to trad for 7 years. Back to compound and trad the last 4 years.
I switch cause I get bored. With either type bow.
Had a Ben Pearson laminated recurve that I used up until about age 14, bought my first Compound (Jennings T II Hunter), with money from my paper route. Never looked back (that was 46 Years ago).
I still shoot the same way I started though (Bare Bow, Fingertab), except I need to wear glasses to hunt and shoot.
Started at 11 or 12 with a recurve, hunted a couple years then switched to a PSE. Hunted with wheels and killed loads of white tails through my 20’s into early 30’s. Sold the wheels and bought a Pittsley Predator and hunted with recurves until mid 40’s when my bad AC joint in the left shoulder and torn cuff w/2 Spurs in the right shoulder got so bad I couldn’t shoot more than 6-7 arrows a day. Confidence dropped and I wasn’t about being a flinger at something I respect so much. Been wheel bow hunting for last 6 years and just fine with my decision.
At age 68...I started with trad before it WAS trad. In the mid 70's I switched to compounds, had a lot of fun, killed my share of deer, but got bored with them, sold em off, and went back to recurve. I switched primarily to RD longbows a few years ago...love em! Giving in to the ravages of time, I've dropped from 70 to mid 50's in poundage, but if I ever (maybe when, not if) get too beat up to handle them I'll hang it up.
Same as Knifeman, started with compound and switched to recurve. Same years too, I think. When I can't shoot a recurve I doubt I'll be able to turn over the new cams.
What cracks me up is the many 'traditional shooters' who switch to a compound in the fall. Even funnier, the trad guys who flat suck on the 3D course, but "Well, my doctor signed off on my crossbow permit." Yeah, okay.
I’d be OK going back to cables again if I had to in order to draw the legal Min to plunk a whitetail, but honestly.... I think I’d probably sooner go back to the .54 RB shooter than a lighter compound.
I switched to a compound one year when I was a teen. Martin Cougar and I shot it barebow with fingers. Wasn't much different than shooting trad and I just liked the simplicity of trad bows so I switched back and stayed. Worked in the industry for quite a while and shot a lot of compounds at work but still hunted with trad bows. Never cared for the maintenance and tuning of compounds and just always loved launching arrows from trad bows. I have been fortunate to take enough game to keep me satisfied and not have regrets when I can't get close enough to a critter that would likely be in trouble if I could shoot farther. Not a snob, if the freezer is empty I enjoy an occasional rifle, muzzleloader or handgun hunt and have plenty of hunting buddies that shoot wheels.
Rick, I feel the same way when every 'gun' thread turns into a 'Let's hate on Biden' thread ;-)
I haven't shot compound in so long I'm always staggered by the weight of the new ones. I don't shoot a 'light' recurve, but some of these things weigh more than my deer rifle or my 20 gauge pump gun. Pretty sure my old left shoulder isn't gonna be happy with that. But I can see the day coming when pulling legal minimum for deer (40 pounds in MA) is going to be a no-go. Will I switch to x-bow? Or just go for a walk?
My first mentor took a pile of deer with recurve, but switched when his old shoulders gave him too much trouble. I reckon I should be proud to follow his example.
Dana, there are no gun threads that don’t start that way. You are just sensitive about your choices.
I did not change, stickbows since the mid 1960's. I will quit bow hunting when I no longer can draw a stickbow.
I've always hunted with a compound, Just not good enough to take a recurve out . I am working on it however. Its on the the short list.
Started with a Ben Pearson Gamester recurve in 1972 until they came out with a compound bow somewhere in the mid 70's. I remember it shot an arrow like a rocket! when compared to my experience of shooting a 47# recurve). I loved that bow and eventually worked my way up to a 98 pound Golden Eagle compound in the mid 80's. Then one day of of nowhere, I started thinking about the recurve bow again; and sold my compounds. Still shoot recurves today. Other than a brief period a few years ago when I gave the compound a brief mental consideration (spurred by a medical issue) I've never thought about the compounds again. I doubt I will ever go back. When I get too old for the stickbows....I likely will go fishing.
I have shot longbows since the 1950’s. I have never shot a compound or a carbon arrow. Always wood. I have shot the same Meigs bamboo longbow since 1985. I like flintlocks and longbows because of their simplicity and reliability. When this is all you use, it becomes easy, just keep it close. Everyone tells me I was born in the wrong century.
Started with homemade bows as a kid, hunted with recurves til the compounds came out, couldn't miss (during practice). Shot my share of deer in MN and WI. Switched back to recurve for 92-96. Then went back due to shoulder issues from Lymes and martial arts, hockey, etc.. Still drag out the recurves several times a season but only have confidence for shots 10-18 yds at most.
Started with homemade bows as a kid, hunted with recurves til the compounds came out, couldn't miss (during practice). Shot my share of deer in MN and WI. Switched back to recurve for 92-96. Then went back due to shoulder issues from Lymes and martial arts, hockey, etc.. Still drag out the recurves several times a season but only have confidence for shots 10-18 yds at most.
I shot recurves & longbows a long time. I was great on targets & stumps. I was not consistent on game & something had to change because I detest losing animals. I picked up a compound, put a single pin on it & limit my shots to my recurve distance. I'm not perfect but my "batting average" has gone up considerably. Only downside was losing what I thought was a good friend over it & being asked to leave my state's bowhunting organization which I had been a member of since inception. That's ok. My freezer is full.
I started with compound and switched to a recurve for a couple years back in the early 90's I believe. I filled several deer tags in Iowa and Missouri with it, killed a coyote and some other small game but in the end, I found it was just too easy and felt I wasn't spending enough money on accessories.
I went from recurves to a compound in the later 70's. Went back to a recurve a few years ago to get back to the enjoyment of shooting again, and the challenge and simplicity of hunting with a traditional bow. No sights, release, nothing mechanical to get bumped, break, etc. Me, the bow, and an arrow. Plus the cost of compounds and equipment and having the xguns crammed down our throats made me say screw all the tech and mechanical stuff.
At 72 I started before Trad existed, bought my first compound in about the early 70's and shot a deer the first morning, was too easy. Went back to recurve in 75 and then got convinced to go to a PSE in 76. Hunted Wyoming and shot a nice muley and Antelope at over 70 yards and said it's too easy. Went to longbows from 80-92 and back to recurves again. I enjoy "getting close" to my game, I want to see their eyelash's. With a compound it's all over at 40 yds, with my recurve it's just staring at 40 yds!
"For those that have shifted from hunting with traditional to a compound bow what was your reason for making the switch?"
I'm the opposite. I switched from a compound to a recurve a few years ago for my own personal reasons. I still have my compound, a Mathews Switchback XT, that my wife (she's pretty cool!) bought me when they first came out. I haven't shot it in several years but I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up again and hunt with it if I had to. I'm happy hunting with my recurves and hope to do so for as long as I'm able.
I went the opposite direction. I shot compounds for years and got a trad bow a couple years ago and barely even look at the compound anymore.
I shot traditional for 30 plus years. For one, my young son wanted a compound, and I knew literally nothing about them. So, I bought one so I could learn how to shoot one properly, how to set it up, etc. Also, I started getting pretty bad "tennis elbow" in my bow arm when I shot. This was really bad with Hill style longbows, which were my favorite to shoot. Any bow I had that had any amount of handshock, was like stabbing a knife into my elbow with each shot. It got really bad at one point, and I had to just shoot the compound. I've been shooting it for about 6 or so years now, and I enjoy shooting it, especially at 60 + yards. Its fun shooting the local 3D range and dropping heart shots out at those distances and knowing you are going to hit where you intend.
I refer to it as progression to better more accurate shooting, and that was the reason for my switch.....but you better not cross that line in the sand, or you're the devil lol. Yeah, that argument of achieving greater accuracy seems to only apply to the vertical bow though. Honestly, it's a line I haven't crossed myself, but if I cannot draw back a bow, I'll likely go there. I'm actually considering reverting back to the very rudimentary way, just to seek simpler times.
I’m progressing the other direction as well. Learned as a kid on recurves and longbows. First compound when I was about 11-12. Did that till my mid twenties then went back to a recurve till my early thirties. I sold it and went back to compounds because I was over bowed and had no time to master a stickbow again. 44 now and going traditional again soon. My kids all want to shoot traditional as well so that will help a lot. I’ll be ordering me a Stalker Coyote FXT soon and get my two oldest one as well. South has a nice grow with your bow program for kids.
I hunted with a recurve for a few years before going to a compound. Primarily because here, in NY, compounds weren't legal yet. Now...I got deer with my recurve but upon the legalization of compounds I found my shooting accuracy was far greater with the compound. Thus my transition.
Now...I'll jump out on a limb here. I attend traditional 3D shoots every year...and shoot my recurve because I really enjoy it. However, at these shoots, if the recurve guys were shooting against the compound guys it wouldn't even be a contest. Just my observations.
I started at 6 or 7 in the state park with an all fiberglass bow. Shooting arrows straight up to see how close we could get. Dad bought us recurves for christmas when we were about 10 or 11. Hunted rabbits and shot in the back yard. Figured out I was left eye dominant along the way. Got a too heavy 50 lb recurve and proceeded to develop terrible form but I could hit things. Started going to an archery club when we picked up some old Allen compounds. Bought a Bear polar LTD and forgot all about the recurves for 2 decades, all the while getting better and better compounds. I purchased a DH super Diablo made by Larry and tried my luck elk hunting. Close but no cigars. Continued hunting with compounds and still shot recurves for fun. Damn Ebay came along and I started collecting left hand recurves. You cant hardly find a used vintage LH recurve in this area. But you can find them everyday on the bay. I have bought some beauties over the years. At one time I had over 70 recurves and 5 long bows. I still continued to hunt with a compound because of the efficiency thing. I did manage to shoot 4 deer with a recurve and one with a longbow. I practice in my driveway with a recurve for fun but mainly hunt with a compound. Recurves make you really hunt and are quite deadly at ranges you are proficient at. I know you feel like you have accomplished more when you get it done that way. Sometimes after shooting a recurve for a few weeks and you pick up the compound, it feels like a dead piece of wood in your hand. How can you miss with this thing? But we all know it can be done. I enjoy both.
“ Wow this one went south real quick from what made you switch? TO why I haven't switched.”
Well.... what would you expect???
Lou offered probably the only reason why a committed & competent Stickbow shooter WOULD switch; it was that or probably give up Bowhunting entirely.
You either want to hunt with a Stick more than you want to fill a tag, or you don’t. You’re either comfortable with looking at Bowhunting as a short range endeavor or you’re not. And if that’s where you are, there’s just no reason whatsoever for a competent stickshooter to switch from Trad to modern until you’re forced to.
The bows aren’t more reliable; they’re not prettier; they’re not easier to carry; they’re no more satisfying to shoot; and if you forget your trigger, you’re SOL. What’s there to like? (Apart from long range capacity with a laser rangefinder, it’s pretty much zip.)
I hunt with a longbow almost exclusively, unless something pulls me toward a recurve. I don't own a compound. I'm definitely pro-compound and have no fundamental problem with their use. I have great friends who love their compound bow. I probably would only consider switching bow types if my stickbow accuracy reached a point to where I couldn't hunt with it in good conscience. I've handled a few modern compounds and the biggest problem for me is that they don't feel like a bow in my hands. I'm so used to a stickbow (grip and weight) that a compound just feels like a little machinery device to me. I'm not belittling them by that...it's just the best description for how they feel to me. I'm not sure I could ever make the switch from stick to wheels, mainly because I'm not sure the modern compound would allow me to feel like I'm used to feeling with a bow...my bow...in the woods. I'll probably retire from bowhunting when and if the day ever comes that I can't manage my longbow.
It's too bad more posters on here aren't as eloquent and classy as Kevin Dill.
Still hunting with a recurve/Lb since the early 60s even after several rotators surgeries and elbow reconstruction, bought an Elite last yr but just do not get the joy out of it even it is very effective. Just enjoy shooting and hunting simple even it has no doubt cost me some very big whitetails over the years but it is my choice and the hunt on the ground. Bowhunting is a personal hunt not meant to be competitive with others except with the game you hunt, ate more tag soup than back straps over the years- good hunting.
I shot my first compound at 63 yrs of age. Shoulder injury/surgery 20 years prior made my recurve/longbow impossible and I had just drawn my annual elk tag. Bought the compound in May and after two months of practice my shoulder got better so I was shooting the recurve again in August. I still shoot both. Bowhunting for me is all about being close to the animal whether I get a shot opportunity or not so the compound has not really extended my range but about 10 yards.
Coincidentally I feel like Kevin about a bow grip so I took some hickory wood from my selfbow supply and "customized" the compound grip to give me a more traditional feel.
There are many, many stickbow shooters who SHOULD switch to a compound if they switch from target shooting (missing) to bowhunting. JMO from shooting with, and watching, trad shooters for decades. Most I know who should hunt with compounds but stubbornly cling to their sticks do so from vanity.
At a big trad shoot once we were paired with a big bow shop "pro". This was back when my partner and I were very good competitive shooters. First seven targets we both drilled 10s (I think I had one 8), while he either had butt, neck or gut shots, or missed the whole thing. After scratching around for another arrow in the dirt, he shrugged and said, "Hey, that's traditional archery". He spoke for many with that statement.
When I started bowhunting, there was no such thing as a compound. After they came out, I bought a PSE with wheels about the size of a half dollar. The old PSE served me very well and I was really amazed at how accurate I became. I still shot with fingers at that time and was very resistant to using a release. As technology progressed, I moved on to newer compounds and used a release. Was just like a rifle in my opinion. After shooting the compounds for a few years, I went back to the recurves. I just get more satisfaction from shooting a recurve. I do realize my limitations which are considerable. 20 yards is about max for me. I still have a compound and I shoot it a couple of times a year but have not hunted with it in over 10 years. It still amazes me how deadly accurate it is. It really gets to me when I have an exceptional critter walk 30 yards or so away from me and I pass on the shot. I do realize my limitations.
“ Most I know who should hunt with compounds but stubbornly cling to their sticks do so from vanity.”
No disagreement there, unfortunately; if it’s not more important to a person to get RIGHT than to “get it done”; if they’re not passing on shots they know they could probably make... they’re not (JMO) in it for the right reasons. But I DID clearly state in the earlier post that no COMPETENT Stickbow shooter would change if he didn’t have to. Some achieve Competence through good shooting, ALL achieve Competence through good shot selection and self-discipline.
I’m pretty sure that I recall seeing it stated here that Pat himself started off shooting “trad” and quit after losing a couple of animals (and please forgive me if I have that wrong!!!).
But wanting clean kills and not getting them with a Stickbow is a damn good reason to switch, and one which maybe more should choose. You have to either change the shots you’re willing to take or change the gear/skillset that you take them with. No right or wrong answer; only Good outcomes matter.
Lou clearly has nothing to prove; JMO, those who DO have something they’re trying to prove by hunting with a stick should quit today. That’s a Crap reason to do it.
Only good reason to shoot Stickbow is that you simply PREFER it despite whatever limitations it imposes on you; but to me, that means that the only reason to switch (from what you sincerely prefer) is if you just can’t do it anymore.
A shoot somewhere in Florida. Early 80s?
A shoot somewhere in Florida. Early 80s?
This is the first time I went from traditional to a compound. A Bear whitetail 2. Not the best form. Note the string silencers. Almost to the nock. Man those things were loud. Then I went back to traditional and had good success with game and 3D shoots. Then started getting sloppy and not shooting enough and lost 2 deer in a short time span. Switched back to compound due to my competency with the longbow. Shot that way for 3 more decades
Switched back solely to traditional again and am having a ball. Switched to 3 under, changed my anchor, lowered the bow weight and By shooting all winter stumping and rabbit hunting I’m going into spring shooting well and really having fun.
BUT! I would grab a compound back in a heartbeat before I quit bow hunting.
my accuracy has suffered over the last 3 years. Mostly from not shooting enough. I love it though. I started actually in reverse. Got a xbow when they first came out. Never shot a deer with it. Then I got a compound and shot a few with it. Then a longbow and killed a couple. But Like said prior I really feel like a hunter with a stick in my hand. Even if I dont hunt , I will always shoot a stick (even if its 30 pound draw)
4-wheel compounds...shooting gloves...cars with vinyl tops...I miss the good old days!
To me the funniest thing is when compound shooters assume I __couldn't__ hit with a compound. ;-)
Dude, shooting without sights, and achieving _any_ level of competence is ALL about tuning and 'repeatable form'. We don't spend our hours wondering if our d-loop is whacked ;-)
Not saying I'd be a 300 shooter out of the gate, but, damn...
But anyway, judging from all the replies here, seems like the 'progression' is often NOT as assumed in the OP.
To me the funniest thing is when stick bow shooters assume I __couldn't__ hit with a stick bow. ;-)
Dude, shooting with sights, and achieving _any_ level of competence is ALL about tuning and 'repeatable form'.
I wasn’t assuming anything. I was asking for those that went from A to B why they did
The fact many in a different situational set wanted to talk about going from M to N was their choice.
Kevin, You left out the RayBan Wayfarers
Nick (Midwest) , I agree. It's funny how those in one group often can't see what the other group is about. I've shot both, and for long enough to know what good shooters in any discipline have in common. (And yeah, there are a lot of bow shooters who think a gun aims itself and controls it's own trigger ;-) )
I waffle back and forth. I like shooting both and each has their own individual place, for me. But... if I’m not putting in the time with my traditional bow, it sits. That’s my reasoning for changing.
Midwest... I caught that zinger at the end of your first post. You sneaky, man. :)
Lou... “ At a big trad shoot once we were paired with a big bow shop "pro". This was back when my partner and I were very good competitive shooters. First seven targets we both drilled 10s (I think I had one 8), while he either had butt, neck or gut shots, or missed the whole thing. After scratching around for another arrow in the dirt, he shrugged and said, "Hey, that's traditional archery". He spoke for many with that statement.”
I’ve been to very similar shoots, Lou. Some need to make the move.
Bou'Bound, I get that your original question kind'a got hijacked. Sorry! It's a 'passionate' issue, especially as a lot of us arthritic older guys are struggling to pull back our stickbows! Change is forced on us by age as much as preference. Or more. Hopefully we can all maintain a sense of humor. After all, shoulders ain't the only thing that don't work like they used to ;-)
I'm sure I'll play with a stick bow again one of these days. I still have my Black Widow but I'd like some lighter limbs. Right now, I just have no desire and I'm really enjoying trying to get as accurate as possible with my compound. I shoot most every day just like I did when I shot my recurve.
Thanks for noticing, Rick. ;-)
So Lou told you: Stickbows are more physically demanding to shoot well; enough so that not everybody who gets the itch to try it will ever approach mastery of it.... not that it wouldn’t help if they viewed it as more of a shooting sport than a Fashion Statement, but hey, “Sitka vs. Kuiu?”, right?
I changed to compound shortly after they first came out and shot them for 6-8 years then went back to Traditional (Recurve) and have never looked back since switching back 40+ years ago.
Even though I shot a compound extremely well, I could not judge distance and animals would not stick around for 2-3 shots while I figures out the yardage (this was prior to rangefinders). When I switched back it was just like throwing a baseball or football all instinctive and I started killing animals easily.
For some here, it seems they need to denounce the use of traditional equipment for those who choose that route. I agree that if you go that route, you need to research the correct way to shoot, tune, and hunt with a traditional bow. But, that is with any weapon you use. If you want to go traditional, that is great and you will never regret it. But, learn it and shoot, tune till it is working for you before you hunt with it.
I didn't see anyone denouncing the use of traditional equipment. My statements were directed toward those who choose it for hunting when they lack basic competency, even at 20 yards. That makes it an unethical choice.
When I made the switch I experienced some genuine anger and insulting derision from some diehard trad friends. A couple were guys who rarely kill anything and wound more than they kill, but By God, it's trad or nothing. One even walked away from a great private ranch for elk after the owner asked him to switch to a compound because he wounded some bulls. But on the target range he's deadly.
I tried to explain my decision to these guys, but it was if I had converted to Islam or announced my membership in NAMBLA. Now one of them has switched too, for physical reasons. He was the best trad shot I personally know, killed a ton of big animals too. But he finally accepted the same realization that I did.
Jaq, that kind of goes to another realm of the subject. It sounds like he has bad "Buck Fever" problems. That happens with compounds also.
Lou, sorry you had that experience with your "friends" when you made that switch, that's a bummer.
I shoot my recurve daily because I enjoy it and because I want to be the best I can be when I take it into the woods. I did the same thing when I hunted with my compound.
I stay in my own lane and worry about myself but I will agree that I have seen quite a few traditional shooters that should either practice more or choose another weapon to hunt with until they are proficient. I've seen a few compound shooters that fall into that category as well but not nearly as many.
Started in the early 70,s with a fiberglass recurve from the local hardware store. Next was a used Bear Super Kodiak & fiberglass arrows from an older neighbor. Made the switch to a Bear Whitetail when they came on the market. That’s when I began to have success deer hunting. Years later I had a beautiful custom takedown recurve made. Shot many deer & bear with it but felt limited by range. While I was shooting both recurve & compound I developed a horrible case of target panic. In my opinion snap shooting style of a recurve doesn’t pair well with compounds. Had to choose one over the other. Been shooting compound ever since.
Priority change is the main reason. After I retired from the Marine Corps I started a new civilian job. I dont have as much time as I used to and practicing became a lower priority. In 2019 I had plans to start again but I tore my left tricep tendon. Im just now starting to get the strength to try again.
If I take it back up Im going to shoot both. Ill elk hunt with a compound and whitetail with a recurve.
" My statements were directed toward those who choose it for hunting when they lack basic competency, even at 20 yards. That makes it an unethical choice. "
The ethical choice is to know your limit with ANY weapon. There are compound shooters, x-bowmen , muzzle-loaders and rifle hunters who have no business shooting as far as they THINK they can. Wounding loss happens during every season. If your lethal range with a longbow is 13 yards, and you limit yourself to that range, you're 'ethical.'
The truest thing Dirty Harry ever said was "A man's got to know his limitations." HIS. It's not 'the lethal range of this weapon' but 'how well do I shoot it?'
DanaC, I can attest to that from having guided rifle hunters. The difference being, the traditional bow is the most difficult legal hunting weapon to master proficiently enough to hunt with, no matter what the shot distance. When I had to qualify bowhunters for a special suburban bear hunt I was managing for the CDOW (first ever in the U.S.), I had to disqualify some guys who had been hunting with trad for decades because they couldnt put four arrows into the 8 ring of a McKenzie bear at 15 yards. The excuse is invariably, "I shoot better on animals".
Way too many insist on hunting with it from ego, vanity, pride, sense of "tradition" or superiority, whatever.
"The excuse is invariably, "I shoot better on animals". "
LMAO! yeah, I first heard that one back in the 80's. It was bullsnot then and it's bullsnot today ;-)
Shoulder injuries. Wish I could still do it. Now 50 lb compound is all I can handle.
here we go again with the ethics shaming, virtue signaling, and throwing other hunters under the bus. for gods sake when will we learn.
dana what are you hunting with this year???
I killed my first whitetail in 1977 with a recurve, hunted that way until the early 80's. Shot a compouund til 1993 and got back into traditional bows. Than back to compounds and trad bows in about 2000. I still hunt with my recurves now and than bit due to the physical nature of shooting them and having to shoot quite a bit to remain efficient I hunt mostly with a compound. I can still grab ny recurve and go kill a deer but I have to keep my shots under 15 yards as I do not practice at all anymore. One shoulder replacement 3 years so and another coming up on April 30th. I think when this one heals I will shoot the recurve more as I won't be in constant pain. Ethics to me don't come into play!! Why? Ethics are actually what you do when no one is watching and who am I to judge anyone. I know my son-in-law shot at 11 deer with his recurve before killing one. Hunt how ya want and with want ya want as long as you are not breaking the law!! Shawn
I lived and breathed the 'Trad' lifestyle in the 00's through my 20's. I tied a lot of my ego up in being a success trad hunter. I found success but it was hard fought and I would have to practice A LOT but I loved it. I live and hunt out west and while I had killed plenty of cow elk and small muley bucks I had never taken a large trophy animal. In 2010 I drew a good Colorado deer tag and went hunting with my recurve as I always had. After a few days of hard hunting I found a group of nice bucks bedded together. I made the best stalk of my life on those bucks--multi hour crawling and inching along like a ninja! Crawled up to 35 yards, a distance well within my effective range. I picked a big nice 4 point and proceeded to put the arrow right under him! They all bounded off.
I have missed but that hurt the worst and was the final straw. I think too much of my identity was tied to being a good trad guy and that incident gave me a great pause about what I wanted out of hunting and why I did what I did. I came to realize no one cares what ya hunt with--you're not a bada$$ to hunt with a stick anymore than someone with a rifle. Ya need to do what makes you happy and brings success to your mind.
I bought a compound when I got home and have really enjoyed it since. I even started hunting more with rifles and muzzleloaders and have enjoyed those as well. Then I got into bird hunting and bird dogs and man that is the ticket! I still shoot my stick in a field league in the summer and the occasional tournament and it is fun! But I think I was doing trad for the wrong reasons in my 20's--trying to prove myself to others that didn't care as apposed to finding the most enjoyment I could in the outdoors. This is just me and no bash on any trad guy at all so please don't take it that way.
Airborne, I'd say you're a pretty smart fella to do what makes you happy.
Dave, I'll be carrying my recurve during bow season.
LOL...TD is a tradgender!
wow..... I'd say I was triggered, but..... you know us trads and releases.... =D
I think its pretty funny that some seem to state that only stickbow guys wound or miss animals. Just reading here daily seems a whole lot of compounders should move to a rifle or a crossgun. I mean, its the only ethical choice:)
Chuck Adams made the switch. He referred to stickbows as "wounding machines". Back in my prime, I took great offense to that statement. Now I accept that it's accepted by many as "that's traditional archery". Whatever floats your boat.
And yes, many compounders should switch to a rifle. But it's about percentages. As a former lifelong successful trad hunter and 3-D shooter, rifle hunting guide, now compound shooter, merely making observations. Don't take it personally if you are an ass-kicker with trad bows. I know the serious trad guys on here get it.
What is an acceptable wounding percentage? Just curious.
I’m not going to argue with you, Lou, but I don’t believe that I agree about “whatever floats your boat”, and I will say that the idea of a Stickbow being a License To Wound makes me wanna puke.
Seems like in the late ‘80s, people figured 4” groups at 20 meant you were ready to hunt. Then “Instinctive Shooting” became a Thing, and suddenly 8”-10” groups at 20 yards became the “traditional “ Gold Standard. Then The Wall decided that Thou Shalt Not measure thine groups nor mark thine scorecards at any distance greater than 17.3 yards.
It’s (as someone said) BullSnot. And I mean fat, sloppy feed-lot bulls, not bull Elk. That would be an insult to all bulls with antlers.
But I’ve made a number of “friends” on the Wall by pointing out that the pie-plate standard leaves a boatload to be desired.
As does the BullSnot notion that ‘tis nobler to wound with a ______________ than to kill cleanly with a ______________.
“ What is an acceptable wounding percentage? Just curious.”
JMO? 1/2 of the average for Rifle season seems like a safe, upper limit... ;)
MB, it is more of a percieved "wounding perception". I truly believe ML wounding percentage is greater and rifle may be just as bad. But trad archers decide for themselves whether their choice of ARCHERY equipment is best for THEM.
And FWIW, some days I’m perfectly happy with an 8”-10” group. Brace height on this bow is just about exactly 8”, so that puts 7/10 into 8”, and 8/10 into about 10”. Shot #9 looked good but bounced out, so I can’t count it; Shot #10 sailed over the top of the backstop, so it’s hard to say. All In, 8/10 into 10”. Still some work to do... but I enjoy it.
I hear ya, Lou.
But ultimately, it’s not about the equipment you choose to use, its about the shots you choose to take. Or not.
JMO, people who are going to wound animals are going to wound animals regardless of the tools you place in their hands. Maybe they’ll do it from farther away, but the problem is not a function of range or technology.
That’s not to say that I think that Stickbow shooters should have to compete against compounders in a lottery for a tag, but I have way more respect for a Wheelie Guy who kills cleanly every time than for some Fred Wannabe who thinks a fedora is a get outta jail free card....
no such thing as an ethical weapon, only legal and illegal ones. ethics refer only to human behavior. no matter what legal weapon you pick, know your limitations with it and stay within them. even then, wounding can happen but then it isn't a matter of ethics.
GF, did you post the correct picture to match your post?
Are you talking an 8-10" group in a circumference or an 8-10" group just horizontally?
How far were you shooting?
Not being critical of your shooting, just curious.
GF, what the hell you trying to say there? This is how traditional shooters shoot and call good? I get pissed if at 15 yards I miss an arrow hole in the target with my recurve, how accurate are you expecting people to be or is your thought that all trad shooters are not capable of being in the woods hunting animals because they never hit anything? I hope your not that dense.
I agree with GF on this one. The use of any stickbow comes with an implied discipline for the user not to shoot beyond their own effective range....whether that is 40 yards or 5 yards. It's not for everyone and I find most folks give it up when they realize they are reducing their chances in the field. They make other weapons for those folks; and it is as it should be.
I am one of those 'trad are nothing' guys. Medically I've been challenged in the past and came to that stated conclusion. It's a personal decision and one that shouldn't be expected from anyone else.
GF's last post with photo kind of describes his thoughts on traditional shooters Stringwacker, and you agree with that? As stated above, those who wound a lot of animals probably would no matter what weapon and I truly believe that full inclusion of xguns today has lead to more wounding of animal by people taking stupid shots like they have a gun. It is not the traditional bow that causes the wounding, it is the person using the bow and a lot of times you can not stop what happens after that arrow is released.
As I said earlier, I agree with him. I read the post over and I can't see anything wrong with it. Please keep in mind that a 3-D shoot forces a traditional shooter to shoot further than he can. Practice in your backyard involves testing your skill level with shots you can't make consistently. It's all part of knowing what you can do... vs what you can't. In his photo post; he states he has more work to do. It's all a game and doesn't involve the moral gravity of responsibility in shooting at an animal.
As you pointed out, people who wound on a consistent basis do so due to the decisions they make and not the equipment being used.
one of the top compound shooters in our club has wounded more deer than any trad guy i know. he just cant seem to keep it together when there is a deer around.
Some people wound animals on a regular basis, some don't. I imagine it ends up happening to all of use once in a while though. I dove hunt a lot. Had MANY 15 bird = 15 shots days (very selective on shots). I've hunted with people who consistently shoot 3 boxes to get 10 birds, and spend most of their morning kicking the weeds looking for cripples. Doesn't matter what gauge shotgun they use. I know a guy who uses a .410 to goose hunt. I've seen him miss but have never seen him wound one. He aims for the head.
I can't contribute to the thread via traditional experience (I have a couple of longbows but haven't hunted with them). I did hunt for a long time with fingers and a very long A-to-A target bow. Switch to a release for one reason only; to extend my effective range. I turned to technology for the simple fact that I did not want to miss out on that buck of a lifetime by 5yds. When my comfortable range was 20yds with fingers, I did not take 25yd shots. Switching to a release let me have a comfortable range of 30yds. Huge increase in hunting odds!
If I shot that group(?) GF, I would most definitely switch to a different weapon. Any other weapon!
I think we all agree that wounding occurs with any weapon from selfbow to 300 Win mag. Sometimes it is due to a poor decision by the hunter, sometimes it's an animal moving at just the wrong time. I think most hunter errors occur due to self imposed pressure to kill something. If you are satisfied with a close encounter and going home empty handed you are probably less likely to take a shot outside your level of proficiency whether that is 5 yards or 50 yards.
@Supernaut - Those were at 70. That was my first time at that mark since I bumped up my point weight by 75 grains, so there was definitely a little experimenting going on there with the elevation ;)
I don’t have a hard gapping system - I just shoot split, with a single anchor point - so at that distance, I only really beat myself up over the windage, especially since I slowed them down a chunk. From 61, I can generally keep about 2/3 into a group that is shorter than that 65cm face by holding point-on on the tire strip up top, but there’s something I do then that pushes about 1/3 of my shots about a foot or so to the right. Nice, narrow group over there, usually, but the honest total width ends up at about 18”-20”. Overall, from 60+ I usually feel pretty good just hearing the arrow smack the cardboard, but once I’ve solved for that “second group” off to the right, I’m hoping to keep them all in the white part of the bull (or better).
The field archers from 50-some years ago would probably tell me I have a lot of work to do yet.... and that’s why I do the work. But if I can figure out how to shoot the line into 8”-10” from 70-80 yards, then I figure an “average trad bowhunter” might reasonably expect to do better than that from 17 or 18. Anyone who wants to hunt that close gets nothing but respect from me... unless he can’t shoot substantially better than a 10” group at that distance.
And FWIW, Grizz.... I’ve seen an AWFUL lot of people who can’t hold into 8” shooting off-hand at 50m with a scoped .22 with a 50m zero. For that matter, I’ve seen a good number of guys who can barely group into 8” at 100 yards with their centerfire rifles off of SANDBAGS.
So you take out the variance in elevation, and that’s not an all-bad group for off-hand at 70 with no sights at all. Work in progress.
GF, I figured you were shooting at a longer yardage and I totally understand wanting to shoot the line and good on you for pushing your boundaries.
I routinely shoot long range behind my house and really enjoy the field rounds at my local club. I'm hoping to participate this summer if it's a go with the virus. Those 80 yard faces can and will humble you quickly if you're not on your game.
I'm a hunter but I know my shooting at my hunting ranges has definitely improved by shooting and practicing those "long bombs". Makes my self-imposed 20 yard hunting limitation seem like a chip shot. Plus, it's fun to watch those arrows fly.
I agree, it is fun shooting targets at long ranges. I was not aware that was 70 yards and was not sure what the meaning was per the thread.
I never measured success by harvesting an animal, I measure it by adventure I find. I find it adventurous hunting with trad equipment so I've stuck with it. Never lost an animal either, but had a couple that were very hard to track and find. Part of the adventure too.
I say to each his own.
I can't say for sure why I changed. Going with the flow I guess. I'm in my 40's so a bit after archery's hayday but still got to shoot arrows in PE class, my dad had a recurve, and I had some kind of little fiberglass kids bow around. Around Jr. High or so a few of my buddies and their Dad's got into bowhunting with compounds. I followed along. Been shooting and hunting with bows since then off and on. In 2012 I ruined my bow on a hunt and recognized the need for a backup and decided to get a recurve bow. Been getting more and more addicted to that since then. Haven't even had my compound out of the case in over a year and shoot my recurves way more than I ever did my compound. I essentially fell in love with archery all over again. Haven't killed anything with a stickbow yet but someday with enough opportunities I will. Sometimes less is more, and that seems to be the case for me when it comes to comparing compound bows to trad bows and hunting.
You like this better? One shot from 30; same rig.
I shoot at old arrows all the time. I don’t hit them with every shot. I don’t get upset with myself if I don’t. But on EVERY shot, it IS my specific intention to snap that old shaft in half.... because that’s where I’m aiming.
Call it a one-eyed hog kind o’ thing ;)
Actually switched the other way. Compound for first 15 years, traditional last 25.
Frankly, I made the switch from trad bows to a compound bow simply because my accuracy and consistency with a recurve and longbow took a nosedive. I still practice with my stickbows but I now choose to hunt with my compound bow.
My friend switched to compound this year and he is really enjoying it. I would have no problem switching myself if need be but at this time I love shooting my bow every week and my accuracy for my hunting distance of twenty yards is consistent. I let a beautiful buck walk by me this year at 35 yards and it didn't bother me one bit. To me I'm still interested in the journey more than the buck lying on the ground. If and when that changes I'll have no problem picking up the compound although I've never shot one. Use whatever you enjoy, heck i love running and gunning turkeys with my shotgun a lot more than sitting in a blind with my recurve.
I started with stickbows and then in the 80's I switched to compound. It was a lot easier. It was like shooting a gun. It had a front sight, a rear sight and a trigger. After 13 years I got tired of it and went back to a recurve then to a longbow and this year I'll kill with a selfbow and work my way back up to a recurve. I do have a compound cased up and ready to hunt with. I wanted to give it to my grandson or son in law last year but they weren't interested in it. So it sits. Maybe one day they will be interested in it. I'm not.
I could never switch from a longbow: my compound toting hunting buddies would have a field day since I’ve been giving them the gears about their gadgets for the last 30 years. :)
Funny, reading through all these I'm impressed with how many are still hunting with longbows and recurves, that is great to see. This is probably why the custom bowyers can't keep up with orders, Bear is out of stock of trad bows, etc.
I shot a compound, an old Jennings Woody from the early 80's with fingers. 30% letoff maybe if that? Still have it. I killed a pile of deer with that thing. My coworker, who owned a bow shop, said I should stop using that old relic and talked me into a new High Country compound and all the goodies. It was 65% letoff. I hunted with it for a couple of years and it made things so easy, I was bored and almost quit altogether. How was that even possible? Bowhunting was my life! Lol. I felt desperate. I didn't want to quit, but couldn't keep using that thing. That's when I saw folks were making their own selfbows, longbows, and recurves. That's the direction I went and never looked back. Plenty of challenge now, and there's still more I haven't done yet if I want to crank it up a notch again. Been shooting nothing but my own bows, and hunting with nothing but selfbows for 23 years. Cut down a tree, make a bow, and go kill stuff. It's just bowhunting to me.
Oh and by the way, I took that High Country out of the closet after not laying a finger on it for almost three years, and put all 9 arrows I had in the sweet spot of my 3d target from 40 yards, first try. Backed up to 50 and did it again. All in the heart/lungs.... that's when I sold it.