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Long bows and recurves
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
DConcrete 24-May-24
fdp 24-May-24
Brotsky 24-May-24
dhaverstick 24-May-24
DanaC 24-May-24
greg simon 24-May-24
midwest 24-May-24
Tody 24-May-24
NailCreek 24-May-24
DConcrete 24-May-24
sawtooth 24-May-24
Thornton 24-May-24
buckeye 24-May-24
kennym 24-May-24
Supernaut 24-May-24
Old School 24-May-24
gil_wy 24-May-24
Zbone 24-May-24
Basil 24-May-24
scentman 24-May-24
Zbone 24-May-24
fdp 24-May-24
Tilzbow 24-May-24
Dale Hajas 24-May-24
RonP 24-May-24
Paul@thefort 24-May-24
Corax_latrans 24-May-24
dnovo 24-May-24
Treeline 25-May-24
mgmicky 25-May-24
Dale06 25-May-24
Jeff Holchin 25-May-24
Jeff Holchin 25-May-24
Supernaut 25-May-24
Buglmin 25-May-24
Phil Magistro 25-May-24
Jeff Durnell 25-May-24
Beendare 25-May-24
Zbone 25-May-24
DConcrete 25-May-24
caribou77 25-May-24
Beendare 25-May-24
PECO2 25-May-24
Jaquomo 25-May-24
JakeBrake 25-May-24
Treeline 25-May-24
sawtooth 26-May-24
keepemsharp 26-May-24
Buskill 26-May-24
Groundhunter 26-May-24
Zbone 26-May-24
DanaC 26-May-24
Recurve Man 26-May-24
Jaquomo 26-May-24
Zbone 26-May-24
fdp 26-May-24
Two dogs mobile 26-May-24
wooddamon1 26-May-24
wooddamon1 26-May-24
Corax_latrans 26-May-24
Live2Hunt 28-May-24
Mint 05-Jun-24
TonyBear 05-Jun-24
Al Dente Laptop 05-Jun-24
LBshooter 06-Jun-24
shade mt 07-Jun-24
WV Mountaineer 07-Jun-24
From: DConcrete
24-May-24
All of you long bow and recurve shooters, I’m looking for opinions.

Who prefers a long bow and why? Who prefers a recurve and why? What about carbon arrows versus cedar shafts? What’s the preference on either and why?

What do you feel like Optimal poundage’s are?

I have been wanting to scratch this itch for awhile. I am leaning towards long bow with cedar shafts.

Thanks for all input.

From: fdp
24-May-24
One of the first things you need to do is define "longbow". That takes in a lot of different types these days and there is considerable difference between a true "Hill" style longbow and a hot rod deflex/reflex longbow. As for arrows....wood arrows will never be as consistent as carbon, but they can still be plenty accurate. I like, own, and shoot recurves and longbows as well as selfbows. I can find pro's and con's with all of them.

From: Brotsky
24-May-24
I prefer my longbow to my recurve simply because I shoot it better. I use carbon arrows because of consistency and durability. I picked both of my trad bows up at auctions for about $50 a piece. I've got a Bear Super Kodiak and a Bear Montana. Neither one is fancy but they are fun to monkey around with. The recurve hasn't been on any hunts but the longbow is a killer!

From: dhaverstick
24-May-24
I prefer a longbow over a recurve because I think they are quieter, in general, and I just like shooting them more than recurves. I shoot woodies exclusively for no other reason than I enjoy making them and killing game with them.

Darren

From: DanaC
24-May-24
Recurve. Longbow grips totally do not work for my grip style, which is a preference reinforced by an old injury. Also not a fan of too-light bows (mass-wise.)

From: greg simon
24-May-24
I shoot a Hoyt Buffalo. It's a takedown recurve. Super portable and shoots good for me. I use Easton FMJ arrows with feather fletching. It's my doe hunter after buck tags are filled.

From: midwest
24-May-24
I'd start with a recurve. Definitely easier to shoot in my experience. Don't overbow yourself. I'd start at around 45 lbs. I haven't hunted with one in several years, but I've killed a good handful of animals with my Black Widow MAII.

From: Tody
24-May-24
I shoot both and like them all. I really like my 2 piece hybrid longbow since I can take it apart without any tools (great for backpacking). However my 3 piece takedowns like a BW or Bighorn are also nice and shoot well, just heavier which isn't always bad. Try a few and see what you like. Many guys end up with multiple bows. Only know one trad shooter that has one bow, he is a great shot. I've tried wood arrow but prefer carbon, more durable and easier tuning.

From: NailCreek
24-May-24
Recurve or longbow? That is a really difficult question to answer, and you will get as many different answers as there are shooters.

In my opinion, both have advantages and disadvantages. I have hunted with both. I prefer a recurve. But, at the same time, there is nothing more beautiful than a longbow.

Two suggestions. 1) If possible, shoot as many different makes and models of both styles of bow as possible, BEFORE making a decision. I know, that is easier said than done. Perhaps you can attend a traditional 3D shoot and test drive a bunch of bows. One style/make/model will fit you better and feel better than the others. 2) If you are just starting to scratch that itch, please DO NOT overbow yourself. Start with a light-weight bow. Say, about 30# at your draw length so that you can develop a biomechanically sound and repeatable form. If you start too heavy, congrats, you are the proud new owner of a struggle-stick, and it will suck. Work your way up to a heavier bow. Ignore the macho BS.

Enjoy the journey of pure archery. Good luck!

From: DConcrete
24-May-24
Thanks to all so far.

I am Looking for multiple opinions too. Thanks guys

From: sawtooth
24-May-24
I shoot and hunt with both, with wood arrows. Been doing it for about 6 decades. All will work, all are fun. I will say it is much easier if you are totally committed to stick bows, practice often, and avoid the mental malfunctions which plague so many shooters.

From: Thornton
24-May-24
I shoot instinctively with the bow canted, and I still hit my stand with a longbow. Shorter recurves work better for me out of a tree.

From: buckeye
24-May-24
I really like a hybrid. Best of both worlds in my opinion. I just got a big Jim thunderchild , 58" 45# @ 28" ,last year and love it. I shoot cedars cuz I like the feel and I like making them. Recurves are generally faster however. Can't go wrong with either one. Post pics when you decide! It's addictive and way more fun than a compound.

From: kennym
24-May-24
I can only tell you what I like, I've been shooting a D/R TD longbow for about 8 years. I make my own so I can make the grip that fits me best. Have 2 back up bows just like my hunting bow... 47@ 28 with 530 grain arrows and usually arrow stuck in dirt on whitetail. I would go to a trad get together or shoot and see if you can try a few out. If the grip fits you , you will shoot better...

From: Supernaut
24-May-24

Supernaut's embedded Photo
Supernaut's embedded Photo
I like recurves and am very fond of my vintage Bear recurves in particular. I was lucky enough to kill both these deer this past season with my old 70's Bear Grizzly.

Don't overlook aluminum arrows. They are excellent in my opinion.

My best advice would be try to shoot as many different recurves and longbows as you can and see what you like best. Find a local shoot or club with some "trad" guys. They are usually happy to let someone try their bow, they aren't all grouchy old guys either LOL. Just don't over bow yourself or you won't get much but frustrated.

Good luck and shoot arrows!

From: Old School
24-May-24
Longbow vs recurve is the equivalent of asking which boot do you like best. Different folks like different boots. I have a recurve and a longbow and don’t prefer one over the other.

Best advice I can give is go to a trad shoot - whichever one is closest to you and shoot a variety of styles of longbows and also recurves and find what feels the best to you and what you shoot best.

If you are hunting whitetail sized game, don’t overbow on poundage. I shoot 45# and pass thru on my deer.

From: gil_wy
24-May-24
I built a recurve about 25 years ago and I’m finally going to hunt with it this year… never shot a longbow so I guess I’m voting for the recurve. If I remember n the brace height at 8”+ it’s super quiet. Below tgat and it’s louder than my compound by a lot!

From: Zbone
24-May-24

Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Yeah, I like a reflex/deflex hybrid too... Have shot and hunted with lots of different bows through the years and probably have around 20 stickbows now in my collection but been hunting exclusively with this Chaparral Kaibab for nearly 20 years now... It's 62" and 51# at my draw and also have a Chaparral Kaibab Take Down Deluxe, but had it crafted it's a little heavier for Alaska but it's still like new...

I met the Bowyer "Bruce" at a bow shoot years ago... He was from the Southwest (Arizona/New Mexico) and built really fine bows, but from what I've heard he has since passed...

For arrows, I'll shoot all three, carbons, aluminums and woodies... Usually traditional colored carbons for hunting with 3-blades: Snuffers/Woodsmans/VPAs....

BTW, I have a Black Widow SAV for sale if anybody is interested PM me, I need money for stud dog service...8^)

From: Basil
24-May-24
I’ve never owned a longbow but several recurves. I enjoyed it & killed quite a few deer & bears with them. Eventually a terrible case of target panic forced me to choose compound over traditional. I feel the instinctive/snap shooting style contributed to the target panic with my compound. I felt limited with traditional even though I’ve shot only a handful of animals over 30 yards so I went back to compounds exclusively.

From: scentman
24-May-24
My dad left me his 60# Ben Pearson recurve... too much for me the dude had hulk arms and sausage thick fingers, mason by trade. I do want to hunt whitetail with a recurve next season. My question what pound and arrow type should I start out with? Hope I didn't hijack, just thought it fit in this thread. scentman

From: Zbone
24-May-24
scentman - That is a way broad question... For 60#, 600-700 grain arrow would be the norm... 10 -12 grains per pound, although you can go lighter or heaver as long as you get the spine right...

From: fdp
24-May-24
If you are going to buy a new bow I would suggest something in the 45'ish pound range at your draw length. An arrow in the 450 or so grain range with a good sharp broadhead and as mentioned above your arrows will likely be in the ground on the far side of the deer with a good shot.

From: Tilzbow
24-May-24
I’ve got 3 longbows and 2 recurves. The only bows I shoot out of the 5 are my two Habu Vyperkahn “longbows”. They’re longbows only because the strings don’t touch the limbs but they have recurve style handles and recurve performance but with the quietness of a longbow.

From: Dale Hajas
24-May-24
From a Ford guy. I have had all 4 types. Love em all but I LOVE my PAW Teton hybrid.

Selfbows are like a model T very slow and extremely quiet but maybe the biggest attention getter. Successful selfbow guys need a bucket for their testes:) Longbows are like ‘57 Tbirds, classical lines n cult like following, forgiving with form issues. Recurves are like new Mustangs, edgy and faster, less forgiving, Modern Hybrid longbows w/double carbon and double bamboo limbs are like GT 40’s- quick and responsive, way tooo much fun to shoot:)

Good Luck. I miss The Wasatch Front, Electric lake, Potters Ponds etc etc

From: RonP
24-May-24
i have owned and hunted with both for a few decades. my favorite is a 3-piece longbow like the yellowstone half breed, kota prairie nomad, or the pronghorn.

they are just the right amount of weight and mass, and with a locator grip work best for me.

i am not a wood arrow fan, too finicky and inconsistent in my experience. they are fun to make though and i have made many dozens over the years. i prefer aluminum or carbon.

From: Paul@thefort
24-May-24

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I killed my very first wt deer in 1962, with a recurve bow, cedar arrows and 61 years later, I killed my last bull elk, 2023, with a recurve bow with carbon arrows. Never have shot a long bow but I do believe that are quieter to shoot as their in no limb slap of the string. I now shoot a Great Plain recurve bow, at 55# draw weight. Fun bow to shoot and when I have that bow in hand, I feel like a "real bow hunter".

24-May-24

Corax_latrans's embedded Photo
Meet the girls- 64”, #50@28”, 62”, #62@27” and 62”, #55@28” (nets #52 @ my DL
Corax_latrans's embedded Photo
Meet the girls- 64”, #50@28”, 62”, #62@27” and 62”, #55@28” (nets #52 @ my DL
Well, the OP said he wanted a lot of opinions, so here’s a pile of mine….

“I prefer a longbow over a recurve because I think they are quieter, in general, and I just like shooting them more than recurves. ”

That about sums me up as well… And mine are various flavors of reflex-deflex, so they’re pretty quick. One is a 64” version of a 66” bow which set a world record in broadhead Flight shooting. None are the broomstick grips that you see on Hill-stylebows, so there was really Zero conscious adjustment as I moved over from my recurves. Come to think of it, the first shot I ever took with one would have drilled a bottle-cap…

Arrows: Woodies are wonderful; I’ve blown up a truckload of ‘em. And you really need to understand that good ones are not cheap, cheap ones are not good, and none of them are what you might call durable unless you have access to hickory or ash… and I’d hate to contemplate the price tag on those….. The one exception to that rule (in my experience) has been a six-fletched cedar flu-flu from Nirk, which (tipped with a Judo) lasted a ridiculous length of time. The big fletchings can compensate for a lot of tuning and straightness issues, and seemed to take off just enough steam to make the impacts survivable….

Aluminum arrows are wonderful. They’re consistent as can be, they’re not expensive, they’re easy to tune, and they will last nigh on to forever if you have a reasonably forgiving target/backstop. The thick-walled ones will tolerate considerable abuse, with 16 thousandths the happy medium for TAW and durability. You can get lighter with the thin walls, but (sad experience) they don’t last long in a 3D application…

Mostly, I shoot carbons, for durability, and I foot GT Trad 500s and Black Eagle Vintage (also 500s) with a few inches of 2117. Rocky course, so every little bit helps. I THINK I can foot Easton Legacy 340s with 2216 tubing… ID of a 2219 is a little snug. Have not yet found a fit for Legacy 500 or 600….

Poundage for starting out is highly variable by user, but we have a full-time coach on LW who favors #35-#40, to prevent formation of bad habits. Worth noting that a tuned, #40 recurve is legal pretty much everywhere and will blow through deer all day long unless you cripple it with poor tuning or an inefficient broadhead… And not-for-nothin’, but I knew one guy who shot Compound at #80 and said that a #35 absolutely abused him.

Arrow Mass: I will cheerfully disagree with zbone about 10-12 GPP. 9GPP has been the Official Happy Medium going back at least as far as Fred Bear, and while I would go 10GPP to hunt Elk with a #45, the only reasons I can offer for exceeding 9 GPP at appreciably >#45 are that your bow is noisy or you just need to ratchet up your point weight to get a good tune with the shafts at your disposal. Some Wallers disagree with me on that, but most are limiting themselves to hunting shots 15 yards or less, while I routinely shoot out to 80 yards and more…. I may yet tune my #62 down to 8 GPP (500 gr TAW) just to stretch my reach a little, but it seems like a lot of work and probably wouldn’t extend my range on live targets anyway…. During tuning last Summer, I was grouping 545 grains about 3” wide @ 45 yards, so why mess with it?

And as a final thought…. You can set yourself up for a lifetime of frustration by buying into the whole Instinctive mythology. While there are a precious few folks around who do have unbelievably good hand-eye coordination, 99% of the population will learn faster and better by taking a quick glance down the shaft to ensure that the entire length of their arrow is in the same plane as their dominant eye and the target, and using a vertical line as their mark for training purposes. You do that with a reasonably tuned arrow, and if you miss the line, it’s because of a form error which you can set about fixing. If you DON’T know right where the arrow was pointing when you released, you won’t know why you missed. Sorta complicates fixing your problem.

EVENTUALLY, ingrained form will get you to a place where it seems “instinctive”, but that’s where you END UP after practicing correctly for as long as your personal gifts require. JMO, most people who advocate just gripping-and-ripping are not real serious about hitting very consistently….

24-May-24
i enjoy shooting some r/d longbows...semi recurves...but not hill style bows. i just like my teeth too much. as far as what i shoot best...metal riser ilf bows with some mass weight to them.

i dont care what weight you are shooting with your compound...start light...very light...with your recurve or longbow. holding at anchor with 15 or 20 lbs is nothing like holding at anchor with a hunting weight recurve or longbow. in my opinion...90% of all bad shooting habits can be traced directly back to shooting too much weight. once you develop bad habits...they are very hard to break. ask a thousand recurve or longbow shooters and i doubt you ever hear one say "i wish i hadnt started out so light"... but youll hear a whole bunch of them say the opposite.

one of the nice things about ilf is that you can start with a very inexpensive set of light limbs...like 30 or 35 lbs...until you get your form and whatever aiming system you choose locked down. as you progress...you can just plug in heavier limbs as you go.

From: dnovo
24-May-24
I'm a longbow guy. I prefer the simple lines and lightweight, although I do put a bow quiver on mine. I've been shooting a longbow exclusively for 44 years now. I do have quite a few recurves also but only use one for bowfishing and quite a few are lightweight for the different kids that come around. It's quite a fun journey to shoot a few bows and decide what you like best. I shoot cedar arrows but I'm not one to worry about how durable wood arrows are. I like to make arrows so when I break a few I just get to make more. And they do last better than some make out.

From: Treeline
25-May-24
Lots of great advice from guys here!

I prefer a hybrid (modern) longbow with good reflex-deflex that takes out the hand shock. They are lighter in the hand and quieter on the shot than a recurve and, with the right limb design, very comparable for speed. I am really liking the bows South Cox is building these days with the ACS limbs. Amazing performance!

A 2-piece longbow is my go-to for traveling as I can get the bow and arrows in a very small space and not worry about losing any limb bolts or tools.

From: mgmicky
25-May-24
I have 15 longbows and 3 recurves. When I moved from compound to trad a few years ago,I thought I wanted recurves. After buying, selling, trading a ton of bows, I realized I’m more of a longbow guy. Both Hill and D/R. I would suggest you go into it with an open mind, buy used, and try as many bows in the mid 40’s you as you can. And be aware it’s an addiction.

From: Dale06
25-May-24
What Ricky said re poundage is spot on. After shooting a 70 pound compound for a few years, I bought a 65 pound recurve. Terrible mistake and I sold it after a few months.

From: Jeff Holchin
25-May-24

Jeff Holchin's embedded Photo
Jeff Holchin's embedded Photo
I shoot my recurves when I want to be more deadly and accurate; this is a Black Widow PSA2 w/ 61# limbs. Its a $1000 custom bow that won with a $20 raffle ticket at a PBS banquet

From: Jeff Holchin
25-May-24

Jeff Holchin's embedded Photo
Jeff Holchin's embedded Photo
I shoot my longbows when I want to have more fun. Both of these particular bows shoot the same carbon arrow and head well…this is a $100 65# Shawnee long bow that I won at a PBS banquet, 50 years old one piece

From: Supernaut
25-May-24
Great pics Paul and Jeff!

A person that puts the time in with a longbow or recurve can be the deadliest thing in the woods.

As mentioned above, it's addicting!

From: Buglmin
25-May-24
I've shot a lot of longbows and recurves, own several custom longbows, and own a lot of custom recurves. I prefer my recurves over longbows. Reasons? The grips on several longbows are just hard to find consistency with, recurves are just faster then most longbows, and most custom recurves are cut past center, allowing easier tuning, and recurves are heavier and can be built to be heavier then a longbow. I shot wood arrows again 3 years ago, had Ron French build me some beautiful arrows. But, because of the arrow weight, was very limited in shot distance that I felt comfortable with. And hunting out west, you don't want to be limited to 15 or 20 yards. Back east, from stands or blinds, they work great because of limited yardage. Because of that, I shoot carbon arrows. Been shooting carbon since 1988. I see no real reason to shoot aluminums or wood arrows. I loose too much switching over. And those that say aluminum arrows are straighter or more spine consistent then carbon, I suggest they buy a better quality carbon shaft.

25-May-24
Aside from a few years with shoulder issues, I've shot recurves and longbows for 60 years. I prefer recurves because of the performance and shorter length but there is something magical about carrying a longbow through the woods. Howard Hill once said he shot a longbow because he wasn't good enough to shoot a recurve. I've never found a recurve difficult to shoot. I have found some longbows difficult because of the handshock but newer models have fixed that problem.

It usually comes down to personal preference. When I started every archery shop had racks of recurves but not many longbows. So that's what I chose. Today there are so many excellent choices in bows to choose from.

I like carbons because they tune easier than aluminum for me. Aluminum is overall straighter and has better spine consistency. Even Easton admits this in their videos. But I doubt most of us are capable of seeing the difference in our shooting.

From: Jeff Durnell
25-May-24
I make laminated longbows, recurves, selfbows and bows backed with bamboo, sinew, rawhide, other woods, etc. Though I enjoy some variation in construction and occasional shooting, I'm a diehard selfbow guy... they're all I've hunted with all these years, except for an occasional sinew backed bow. I prefer them because selfbows are unique, require more personal investment, and heighten the challenges and rewards for me. I take my time. Making a bow might take me a month or more. Just something about the connection made while bringing a bow to life from a tree, and then using it to hunt and make meat. There have been seasons I was skunked, seasons of moderate success, and seasons when I filled every tag I had with a selfbow. I enjoyed em all and never felt handicapped by the bow I carried.

I use hickory arrows from trees I cut and season with wild turkey feathers, so virtually no cost for arrows... and hickories are TOUGH.

I agree with those who said you should try to shoot as many longbows and recurves as possible and then decide for yourself. There's some big differences between some of them and it's mostly about personal preference. Good luck.

From: Beendare
25-May-24

Beendare's embedded Photo
Beendare's embedded Photo
Trad archery brought back my love for archery. A compound was getting too automatic.

Recurve is a little bit more forgiving than a longbow. Heavier riser section and longer trad bows are generally easier to shoot.

The highest degree of difficulty is a Hill style longbow.

Start light- 30-35# to develop the feel you need. A cheap ILF recurve is a good way to start- about $200, then you can get heavier limbs as you get better

From: Zbone
25-May-24

Zbone's embedded Photo
Last Hour Of Season, Feb 4th 2018, Super Bow Sunday
Zbone's embedded Photo
Last Hour Of Season, Feb 4th 2018, Super Bow Sunday
Zbone's embedded Photo
Arrowed Christmas Day Evening 2018, Recovered Next Morning
Zbone's embedded Photo
Arrowed Christmas Day Evening 2018, Recovered Next Morning
Zbone's embedded Photo
Nov 4th, 2021
Zbone's embedded Photo
Nov 4th, 2021
Yeah good advise Beendare, get a light weight stickbow and learn to shoot one and it will build up the right muscles... It'll do the two things at once...

Although not the best shot I shoot stickbows instinctive but was pretty deadly under 20 yards... There are some great instinctive shooters out there... Due to aging eyesight and health I embarrassed myself at a bowshoot last summer, and have now setup an lightweight ILF (International Limb Fitting) recurve with a single sight pin...

I converted from recurve to compound in the mid-seventies during the craze but after about 10 years shooting compounds decided to convert back to stickbows in the mid-eighties and order a custom T/D Bighorn, 60# at my compound draw length... With almost a year wait for the Bighorn to be crafted was able to obtain an old Bear 45# @ 28" recurve from a coworker friend... It had a twisted upper limb and at that time didn't know anything could be done to straightened it... Anyhow if I didn't get a clean release the string would flip off to the side and the bow whacking me like it exploded almost giving me a heart attack ever time... But I got pretty proficient shooting it daily and when the day the Bighorn arrived in the mail in early November I strung it up, checked the brace height, set a nock and out the door to the woods I went... First shot I picked out a leaf on a bank at about 15 yards away and the Judo point drilled it... Off to a tree stand I went, and within a week killed a small buck with it...

The difference between shooting that old twisted limb Bear and the new custom was like difference between a VW Bug and a Cadillac... The custom was a dream to shoot, so different stickbows have a different feel, and finding one you REALLY like can be challenging, but that is part of the fun... My advise would be as Beendare mentioned, buy a cheap lightweight ILF recurve... You can order one on Amazon for like $130... Then as Jeff and others mentioned, shoot as many different stickbows that you can get your hands on from friends or shops or bowshoots to find what you like... Something to think about is you'll will likely loose and inch or two draw length depending on the bow when converting from compound to stickbows... Start lightweight and build up, but wouldn't advise twisting a limb to achieve good form...8^)

From: DConcrete
25-May-24
I love seeing the kills with these bows.

Out in my neck of the woods, Utah, it isn’t exactly a plethora of recurves and long bows. There’s only a handful of people here who use them at all.

I do have one good friend that does. And I’ll be trying all his stuff out.

I love this thread. Thanks so much guys.

From: caribou77
25-May-24
I’ve owned several recurves including Bob Lee, bear, and Wes Wallace. I’ve tried one long bow and that was a bear Montana. I enjoy the recurves more and was more accurate. All were in the 45-50# range. Even taken a deer with one. Someday I’ll do it more. It is fun.

From: Beendare
25-May-24
@Dconcrete, Yeah, western hunting isn't as conducive as is eastern whitetail hunting with a stick bow. Many areas of central and eastern US whitetails are short range anyway...and a guy can set up for a short 20y or under shot. Whitetails can be patterned easier that the Bears, Elk and deer out west.

It can be done....and the difference is much the same as going from Rifle hunting to a Compound. Stickbow close requires more patience...and a finer skillset.

There are animals out west that are just tailor made for bowhunting; Wild hogs and Javelina. I shot that Javi in my monstrous photo above [not sure why it is so big] after spotting them from almost a mile away and stalking in to 15y. I have shot those at 6 feet....by calling and stalking- which is actually a tougher shot than at 15-20y.

I've killed a number of wild hogs inside 15y....those become a memorable stalk when you can smell their musk and hear them crunching on acorns.

Good shooting form and an aiming system can greatly increase your accuracy at longer range. When I'm shooting well I'm deadly at right around my point on distance which -depending on my setup- is anywhere from 37-45y.

If you follow guys like Jake Kaminsky [excellent free info- thanks Jake] it's not hard to develop good accuracy at 30-40y or more.

Some guys just grip and rip a stick bow shooting instinctively and then only shoot 15y shots. I know a guy that used to write for the magazines that shot that G&R instinctive style that used to shoot our clubs 3D bouncing arrows through the woods. All good, on hunts he limited himself to 8y shots.

No matter what equipment you use or aiming style...the key is to have fun. Problem is, I know a lot of guys that got frustrated and dumped stick bows because it's only fun if you are accurate and killing critters.

Thus I would recommend advice from guys like Kaminsky, Jimmy Blackmon, Rod Jenkins- etc vs the bend over Fred Asbel style that is more of a short range instinctive way of shooting.

Recurves and Longbows are magical....give them a shot. Feel free to Ping me if I can help.

From: PECO2
25-May-24
I didn't read all of the comments, and this may have been covered. Start with an inexpensive, low draw weight bow. Maybe 35-40# draw weight. The spine charts seem to be way off, so I would recommend a 600 spine arrow, and tip weights up to 200 gr. to see how the bow tunes. Samick Sage is a good bow to start with for a recurve. Black hunter with either recurve or longbow limbs also good. Or get an old Bear off of ebay, that's how I started. Learn the basics. You will not learn the basics if you are over bowed. I prefer a recurve, 60-62" around 45# draw. I do have an old Browning that is 56" and I shoot it pretty good. I'm down to about 8 recurves that I shoot. Range from 35# for hunting rabbits and working on my form, to a 50# bow for hunting. I have some 45# bows that I hunt with also. I like carbon or aluminum arrows. I've killed many rabbits, a mule deer and a lot of time with a recurve. It's a good time.

From: Jaquomo
25-May-24
For a few decades I preferred a takedown RD longbow. Then when I needed to drop weight I had my partner build a 53# recurve speed bow. But I shot longbows better. My hunting partner and bowyer, one of the best trad shooters I've ever shot with, is killer with a recurve but can't manage a longbow consistently. Go figure.

I shoot carbon for all the reasons listed above. They make tuning a dream.

From: JakeBrake
25-May-24
Longbows (hybrids) with recurve grips Forgiving, fast enough, quiet, easy to string, less to hang up on, sleaker profile…the list goes on and on

From: Treeline
25-May-24
Jeff,

Not sure where you are at in Utah, but the Colorado Traditional Archers Society (CTAS) shoot is coming up in June. June 21-23. It has to be my favorite bow shoot of all time. Typically several vendors there with bows for sale and lots of guys with bows that they are looking to sell or trade. You could get the opportunity to shoot a lot of traditional bows and really get a good idea of what fits you best. Plus, Tom Clum will give a seminar on shooting traditional bows that is always amazing. Usually more than a few of the best traditional bowhunters in the world there…

Look it up on the CTAS website or ping me with questions.

Tavis

26-May-24
if i might add one more suggestion...

if this is your first foray into recurves or longbows...dont be seduced into spending money on an expensive custom (or even anything expensive on the production side). as nice as they might be...until you learn how to shoot properly...get your form down...and learn the ins and outs of shooting a single string bow...you have no idea what you like or dislike...or what does or does not work for you.

a friend of mine recently received a $1500 custom bow that he has been waiting on for over a year. it is beautiful and the craftsmanship is amazing. he shoots it quite well. when i tried it...the way the palm swell on the high wrist grip hit my thumb pad was actually painful. it would never work for me.

little things like that can be the difference between a a very positive or a very negative experience.

From: sawtooth
26-May-24
The Fred Bear hunting recurves from the 1960's are relatively inexpensive to acquire and seem to get the job done without all the expense, bells and whistles, and fancy grips. The Grizzly and Kodiak are a couple examples of fairly basic bows still widely used today for hunting purposes. I have hunted with these bows for over 60 years. Two to 400 dollars will get you in the game, arrows extra. There are many other excellent stickbow choices.

From: keepemsharp
26-May-24
Shooting two custom made takedowns, one 60# one 50#, still using Graphex shafts and Zwickey Eskimos.

From: Buskill
26-May-24
Consider going to a meet of some sort or tracking down 3-4 shooters in your area and trying out their bows. Most will have a few different ones and I’d say most stick shooters would LOVE to see a new shooter get started. To the question at hand: I prefer a recurve cause it’s easier to move around with in my opinion. I shoot aluminum out of mine.

From: Groundhunter
26-May-24
Due to a accident had to sell alot of bows, the last few years, and gave some away, to young shooters. Recurve pleases the eye, but I shot the long bow better.

My only regret was never having a Silver Tip...... Best recurve for me was a Master Express by Bruin bows Best long bow, my Big River by John McDonald..... In Wis, there is alot of rummage sales and flea markets, plus Trad shoots. Good buys out there.

When you go Trad, you will need more than one, ha ha

From: Zbone
26-May-24
Yeah Ricky, it's all about the grip for me too if I like it or not...

From: DanaC
26-May-24
Yup. 'Performance' comes from the limbs but 'shootability' comes from the grip/riser. You _may_ find a one-piece bow that fits well but it's easy to change grips on an alloy ILF riser.

From: Recurve Man
26-May-24
I shoot recurves “recurve man”.

I tried long bows year ago and didn’t care for the hand shock and the overall length of them back then. I can pick up a recurve and just hit with it in a few shots.

My suggestion is find a bow you like and can shoot several shots through without fatigue. Then just shoot the crap out of it and when you’ve done that, shoot the crap out of it some more. My advice is don’t run through bows every other month. I have a few buddies who are always picking up a good deal on a bow and switching to a different bow. They take time to learn each bow are different. Enjoy your journey.

Shane

From: Jaquomo
26-May-24
One advantage to living near your bowyer is the ability to fine tune the grip during the process. I've shot some custom recurves that were literally painful at the thumb joint after a few shots. I also find the straight-grip "Hill" style longbows uncomfortable and have my longbows built with a slight angle and locator, but not enough that the purists would stick their noses in the air and declare, "THAT'S A RECURVE!".

Ok, maybe a few, but those guys need counseling..

From: Zbone
26-May-24
Black Widow used to allow potential customers to tryout their bows, but wouldn't know if that program is still an option...

From: fdp
26-May-24
Black Widow does still have a test drive program as do some others.

26-May-24
I have killed deer and turkey with both. As I have gotten older I find it difficult to sho noot a longbow from a ladder stand. I now use a short recurve of about 55 lbs from a ladder stand when using traditional. Carbon arrows seem to fly a little better, but there is just something and wood arrows. All of my kills have been with wood arrows. You should try both recurves and longbows and pick what you like.

From: wooddamon1
26-May-24
Good that you have a buddy with some gear to try out. Like guys mentioned above, get to a shoot or RMSGear by Denver and try out some different stuff. I've enjoyed everything I've shot, a lot of it is the archer, not the bow. Of course over time everyone develops preferences. As for myself, I've been making Osage bows for a couple years and can't see myself using anything else. Wood arrows for hunting, cedar or Doug fir. I'm regressing from my roots with a fiberglass sammich bow and beer can arrows ; ) Good luck, I hope you fall in love with it like most of us do!

From: wooddamon1
26-May-24

wooddamon1's embedded Photo
wooddamon1's embedded Photo

26-May-24
Just one more thought… When I got my first “real” bow (Howatt Hunter), I had shot just a few different recurves; didn’t notice a lot of difference in grips. Didn’t worry about it. Shot the stock grip on that bow and owned only one bow for the first…. 15 years? And I have never had any difficulty whatsoever picking up any other bow and shooting it just as well as I can shoot. A lot of people will go on and on about grips, but “factory bow” grips don’t try too hard and they work just fine. Learn to shoot one and JMO, you can shoot them all. I do have one grip that I shoot BEST, but have yet to meet one that I can’t work with…..

I think a lot of guys get caught up in this ridiculous quest for The Holy Grail of Bows… and it just doesn’t exist. Work on You.

From: Live2Hunt
28-May-24
I started with a recurve many years ago, went to a compound for many years, then back to a recurve. Thoughts on this? Should have never set the recurve down. I went back around 10 years ago and what I found is, I now love shooting my bow. I shot my compound pretty frequent, but my recurve is something else. I shoot it non-stop, stump shooting in and out of a stand, grilling, an extra half hour here and there, full out hours long shooting, etc. It, as stated, is addicting, especially when you start shooting good. Bows? to many types and kinds. I like my recurves, may get a reflex deflex longbow hybrid just because. Try what you like, or sample all. Arrows, again try them all, I have primarily went to carbons because they last longer. Woodies are fun, but temperamental. Aluminum is good, but for me the lengths they offer are too short for my draw and bow weight range. Again, addictive is the big word.

From: Mint
05-Jun-24
Since you are starting out I would recommend a recurve with carbon shafts even though I started with a d shaped longbow with wood arrows. The recurve will be center shot and with the carbon arrows you can easily change the point weight to correctly spine the shaft to get them flying perfectly. Once you get everything to where you like it then you can get a longbow. Pick up a used bow, there are plenty for sale. I would see if there is a traditional shoot close by and talk to some of the guys there, I'm sure they will let you try their bows.

From: TonyBear
05-Jun-24
Whatever shoots comfortably and accurately for you.

Still shooting a newer Samick takedown as well as several old bows made in the 60s and 70s by Bear, Ben Pearson, Howatt and a hickory self bow I made from a kit.

Wood, aluminum, carbon can be used in the set-up but I always prefer feathers.

05-Jun-24
As others have mentioned, start with a lighter weight bow, there is no let off with traditional archery tackle. You can work up to a heavier weight. Where I live and hunt, New York State, there is a minimum poundage of 35# to hunt with archery tackle. Be consistent in everything, every time you draw, that is a big part of the "success" equation.

From: LBshooter
06-Jun-24
Well all I’ll say is be prepared to own at least a few lol. Shooting trad is addictive and both longbow and recurves are fun to shoot. You’ll try this one and that one and end up buying them. I shoot both and hunt with bith too. I’ll switch up for each hunt or once I blood one I’ll use the other. Either way yiu go you’ll enjoy the ride and just know you’ll end up with a few more bows u the collection than you thought . Also, hunting trad gear will make you a better hunter.

From: shade mt
07-Jun-24
I have and use both, depends on the year and the mood. I rarely buy other bow makers bows anymore although i will occasionally buy a vintage production bow.

It pretty much is up to you.....but i can give you a little advice.

for sure as mentioned, don't over bow, while some can "grow into" a bow without any problems, heavy poundage is a recipe for bad habits for many.

longbows are generally lighter, however there are exceptions depending on riser design ect...Straight limbed hill style are the lightest, i have made numerous hill style that weigh less than 2 lbs. They are also probably the finickiest bows to shoot due to the fact that most are cut before center. That being said for hunting?.....i love em.

A R/D longbow can give you the best of both worlds....good speed, quiet, and riser and grip design from recurve style to straight grip.

Recurves are probably over all, day in day out easier to shoot..

But if there was one bit of advice i would give you it's this...... get the basics down, and use your own head, find what YOU like, find what works for YOU.....To many guys get hung up on what everyone else is doing or saying...and they never really settle in, because they are constantly switching, shooting styles, bows etc...

Good form......is good form, regardless of what bow you shoot, guys get all hung up on things like stance, shot sequence etc....If your standing on a podium shooting 3 arrows at a target...yea ......But in a treestand? hey.....sometimes you got to adjust to the circumstance, But good form NEVER hurts you.....

Now.....when it comes to instinctive VS.....gap shooting?.......Again do what works for you, but i have a hunch, if you never really shot a stickbow without sights, you will probably be more accurate using your arrow to aim. (gasp) here comes the "trad police" unless you are a rarity and have a natural talent for instinctive......ignore them.

I started with a ben pearson recurve in 1977.....a gap shooter. frankly i was a "gap shooter" before the word "trad" was even invented.....But i been doing this so long, that now i'm "gap" when i want to be, and instinctive when i want to be.......depending on the circumstance.....hill style longbow.....backquiver.....buck coming in range.....focus.....pick a spot....arrow is gone.....while gutting you think....huh, that happened so quick, i don't remember, thinking , aiming nothing....it kinda just happened.

That's stickbow hunting.......just let it happen.

07-Jun-24
I prefer a shorter 58” hybrid longbow. I want it to be cut and 1/8th past center. I want it to have a tall sight window. And, I want a recurve grip on it.

prefer the hybrid as it is going to shoot as hard as the recurve but, the limbs won’t when stringing it like a recurve will. Plus, the profile of your bow is better for getting around obstacle then a recurve.

I often shoot arrows from all material tuned off the same bow. Cutting it past center makes it a dream to tune and makes it possible. As far as wood shafting, sure wood Douglas fir has proven to be at the top for wood.

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