Sitka Mountain Gear
Went to the darkside..trying a recurve
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
Whocares 11-Jun-19
Jaquomo 11-Jun-19
Bowbaker 11-Jun-19
Jaquomo 11-Jun-19
kadbow 11-Jun-19
ground hunter 11-Jun-19
Woods Walker 11-Jun-19
Jaquomo 11-Jun-19
bw2019 11-Jun-19
yooper89 11-Jun-19
Jaquomo 11-Jun-19
Treeline 11-Jun-19
Shawn 11-Jun-19
msinc 11-Jun-19
Glunt@work 11-Jun-19
oldgoat 11-Jun-19
Whocares 12-Jun-19
DanaC 12-Jun-19
Kevin Dill 12-Jun-19
Missouribreaks 12-Jun-19
neuse 12-Jun-19
SBH 12-Jun-19
Ollie 12-Jun-19
Shawn 12-Jun-19
Dale06 12-Jun-19
fn 12-Jun-19
duvall 12-Jun-19
Redheadtwo 12-Jun-19
Buglmin 12-Jun-19
Jaquomo 12-Jun-19
Whocares 12-Jun-19
Shawn 12-Jun-19
The last savage 12-Jun-19
Buglmin 12-Jun-19
76aggie 12-Jun-19
lamb 12-Jun-19
Jaquomo 12-Jun-19
Treeline 12-Jun-19
timex 12-Jun-19
bowbender77 12-Jun-19
WHOCARES 12-Jun-19
Jaquomo 12-Jun-19
Kevin Dill 13-Jun-19
timex 13-Jun-19
dm/wolfskin 13-Jun-19
timex 13-Jun-19
Lost Arra 13-Jun-19
duvall 13-Jun-19
stealthycat 13-Jun-19
Basil 13-Jun-19
Buglmin 13-Jun-19
Jaquomo 13-Jun-19
hawkeye in PA 13-Jun-19
Linecutter 13-Jun-19
Jaquomo 13-Jun-19
Single bevel 13-Jun-19
David A. 13-Jun-19
David A. 13-Jun-19
WV Mountaineer 13-Jun-19
Jaquomo 13-Jun-19
David A. 13-Jun-19
David A. 13-Jun-19
Treeline 13-Jun-19
WV Mountaineer 13-Jun-19
David A. 14-Jun-19
elkster 14-Jun-19
Basinboy 14-Jun-19
Buglmin 14-Jun-19
Shawn 14-Jun-19
Buglmin 14-Jun-19
Franklin 14-Jun-19
South Farm 14-Jun-19
Thornton 14-Jun-19
South Farm 14-Jun-19
Jaquomo 14-Jun-19
timex 14-Jun-19
Thornton 14-Jun-19
timex 14-Jun-19
Franklin 14-Jun-19
David A. 15-Jun-19
WV Mountaineer 15-Jun-19
Basinboy 16-Jun-19
South Farm 18-Jun-19
Whocares 18-Jun-19
Hookedspur 18-Jun-19
pipe 18-Jun-19
The last savage 18-Jun-19
LBshooter 18-Jun-19
Elkpacker1 18-Jun-19
David A. 19-Jun-19
timex 19-Jun-19
Grey Ghost 19-Jun-19
David A. 19-Jun-19
From: Whocares
11-Jun-19
Picked up a 1970 model Ben Pearson recurve, 40#, 62" in April. Took a couple lessons from a level 4 coach. Was shooting a friends 35# to get the hang of it and now shooting the 40# and getting nice groups at 20 yds, and OK at 30 yds. Thinking of getting a new model and looked at a few at the shop. Kind of wondering what # draw I should consider if I want to hunt deer and maybe elk. The new challenge is fun. May choose to get a custom made from a local guy. Thoughts or comments?

From: Jaquomo
11-Jun-19
Any modern recurve over 45 lbs will work for elk. The 63 year old gal I helped on a moose hunt killed hers deader than a stone with a 46# longbow (at her draw weight) and a 460 grain arrow.

Don't get hunt up on shooting "groups". That's a compound thing. Trad shooting is about shooting one arrow at a time at unknown distances and consistently hitting the spots.

From: Bowbaker
11-Jun-19
Don't get too much weight to start with maybe go up to 45 with another inexpensive used one. When you have you custom built 50 pounds or so for use on elk and deer.

From: Jaquomo
11-Jun-19
The best practice you can do, once you get your form and follow through down, is roving with a Judo point and shooting at weed tops, spots on stumps, etc, at unknown distances.

From: kadbow
11-Jun-19
My hunting bows are around 53-55#, I use them for deer and elk. You can get away with less. I personally would not use less for elk.

11-Jun-19
I have shot stick for a long time... I hate the old stuff,,,,, lots of good bows to try out there,,,,, why is it the dark side? its all archery,,,,, good luck,,,, its all fun

From: Woods Walker
11-Jun-19
"The best practice you can do, once you get your form and follow through down, is roving with a Judo point and shooting at weed tops, spots on stumps, etc, at unknown distances."

THIS!!! ^^^^ SO true, it really does help, and it's CHEAP! And also fun. In fact, as I get older I get just as pumped up going to my hunting grounds in the off season to rove like this as I do to hunt. That's probably because I get to do a LOT more shooting when I rove.

From: Jaquomo
11-Jun-19
Kadbow, I tend to agree with you. Mine are all 53-57#. Funny thing is that when I was killing elk every year with 56-57# bows, some of the wizards on the LW were saying that was too light to kill elk.

There is a big difference in performance between a 50# production bow from the 70s and a modern custom recurve from a good Bowyer who has developed improved limb design and material combinations.

From: bw2019
11-Jun-19
Groups ARE good practice for any style of archery..its not a "compound thing", its a consistency thing. Thats coming from someone who is ashamed to shoot a wheel bow in public....

From: yooper89
11-Jun-19
I am making the switch back to a recurve. Haven’t hunted with one since high school. Had been shooting for a couple months then fell off when my son was born in May. Feels like I’m starting over again. Good luck my man

From: Jaquomo
11-Jun-19
Bw, I never said it wasn't good practice. Its great for developing form. But laying arrow after arrow into a ring at known 20 yards (or whatever) doesn't do much good when you need to make one shot at an unknown distance. I shoot with guys who can stack arrows on the range but consistently miss or wound animals in the woods.

In my backyard butt practice I pretty much shoot every arrow at a different distance on each shot. My buddy Freddy Eichler only shoots one arrow in each practice session, from an unknown distance.

From: Treeline
11-Jun-19
Definitely good advice above.

Guess I started on the dark side and have been stuck there now for over 40 years.

Yes, shooting groups is good, if you have the patience. I get bored. Tons of fun just stump shooting.

I like a little more weight for elk and flatter trajectory and have been shooting bows from 57-62#.

There are some really good takedown bows made in China that you cam pick up for under $100 online. They actually are well made. Look up “black hunter longbows”. Quite a few guys on the leather wall were raving about them so I just picked a 60# one up for my son. He draws 26 1/2 so it ought to be just over 55# at his draw.

From: Shawn
11-Jun-19
I hunted with 80 plus pound recuves for a lot of years. I than setteled at 60-64#a for a lot of years. Now after 40 plus years I shoot between 42-46#s at my shortened draw of 27.5"s and kill stuff just as dead. A brand new shoulder will be keeping me at that weight with my recurves and 60#s with my compound and I can kill anything in NA with either of them. Shawn

From: msinc
11-Jun-19
It's true, a heavier pull weight bow will shoot flatter and make hitting the mark a little bit easier over different unknown ranges, but you want to guard against trying to just go up in weight before your muscles have built up to it. You can easily develop a "floating" anchor, which is failure to get the draw hand all the way back into position before release. It slips up on you and before you know it you are shooting like you don't know how and wondering what's wrong with the bow or arrows!! Trust me, it can be a very hard bad habit to break. Seen a lot of guys give up over it and it all started with them believing they needed to go heavier. I will say this, I would much rather hunt with a bow that is 10 pounds under my pull weight of 50 with a razor sharp, hair popping broad head than a 65-70 pound bow with dull broad heads.

From: Glunt@work
11-Jun-19
Not the dark side...you have seen the light! ;^)

Check out Rocky Mountain Specialty Gear. They have huge on-line collection of used custom bows for sale. Stay light. 45# is fine, 50# if you are worried about power but only if its comfortable. Like Jaquomo's story, my friend who is 30 years older than me and had rotator cuff issues killed his moose with a bow in the low 40s. 4 blade head entrance and exit.

From: oldgoat
11-Jun-19
I agree 100% with Lou!

From: Whocares
12-Jun-19
Great comments. Thanks. Nearly all the trad shooters at the club where I shoot in the winter are target shooters, not hunters. But they got me interested. So good to hear from hunters. I'm still working on form and consistency. Like the idea of one shot variations, stump shooting, etc. I've been told the newer bows at heavier weights draw better but haven't tried any yet. It is fun and challenging.

From: DanaC
12-Jun-19
Join us over on the 'Leatherwall' section of Bowsite.

"I've been told the newer bows at heavier weights draw better ..." Yeah, save up your $$ and look at 'super curves' down the road. You can get a lot more performance at a given draw weight. But they ain't cheap! Meanwhile look at what grip best suits you, try as many bows as you can. Most recurve shooters will happily let you try theirs at the butts. It ain't like a compound with a hard wall.

From: Kevin Dill
12-Jun-19
Just for discussion I'll be the contrarian....

Shooting groups isn't outside the realm of a good archer using a recurve or longbow. Plenty of guys can do it...shoot fairly tight groups at 20 - 30 yards. I've seen and done plenty of nock-hitting at the target butt. Then again, I've seen (and done!) plenty of "what the hell do you call that?" bad group shooting. I'm willing to bet most of the good barebow shooters can relate.

The point made that I definitely agree with is this: For a bowhunter, it comes down to first arrow accuracy. It's a lot easier to be accurate once on the first arrow, versus accurate x 5 consecutive shots with 5 opportunities to blow form or focus in some way. Speaking of focus, it's far easier for me to focus on a dandelion top in the lawn versus the beat-up kill zone on a deer target. One of the most enjoyable (and trying) things I shoot at is a bright tennis ball or solo cup (red of course) sitting atop an old arrow shaft stuck in the ground. This really challenges my perspective of distance as I'm basically shooting at a relatively small spot in space.

And I've consistently advocated that physical strength is an important component of accuracy. If you can't completely master the bow with full control (no violent shaking or trembling) you need to get stronger....or get a lower poundage bow. I personally still hunt with bows from 55-65 pounds as I love how they feel at full draw. I also love the trajectory advantage I get, even if it's not necessary.

12-Jun-19
Lots of good advice.

For me it has simply been about shooting within my comfortable distance limit. I have killed literally hundreds and hundreds of deer, bear, turkeys and other animals within 30 yards, many inside 20 yards. This over 50 years and in multiple states with mostly a selfbow and cedar arrows, some with a recurve early on.

All my best to you. Comptons is a good traditional organization.

From: neuse
12-Jun-19
Recurve is where the light is, great fun to be had.

From: SBH
12-Jun-19

SBH's embedded Photo
SBH's embedded Photo
Enjoy the process man! I am at the beginning of doing the same thing. I decided to switch to a long bow in February. I had a custom bow made for me last summer but didn't really commit to it until after my january coues hunt in AZ. Shot pretty much everyday since then. Still looking forward to shooting everyday and it doesn't feel like something I have to do. Harvested my first animal with it last week in Saskatchewan, 54lbs complete pass through. I'm too new to the game to give any advice other than encourage you to stick with it. It's totally different than a compound so you'll have to work through that stuff that is ingrained in you. Good luck and keep us posted! Lots of killers above with solid advice.

From: Ollie
12-Jun-19
While lots of elk have been killed with lighter bows, I think 50# draw weight is a good starting point. Go up or down a few pounds depending on what you can shoot accurately and what is comfortable to draw. Your arrow design (weight, FOC, broadhead used, etc.) is just as important and the bow that flings it.

Welcome to the dark side. You have finally seen the light!

From: Shawn
12-Jun-19
Please do not spread things that are not fact. It is not true that a heavier draw weight will give a flatter trajectory. All being equal a 40# bow will shoot every bit as fast or flat as a 60# bow. In other words two bows of the exact same design, one 40#s and one 60#s shooting an arrow that weighs 8gpp. of draw weight so 320 grain arrow for the 40 pounder and a 480 grain arrow for the 60 pounder when both drawn to say the same 28"s will launch the arrow at the same speed and give the same trajectory to a certain point and at stickbow range you will not notice a difference until 40 yards or so. I say shoot what you can shoot accurately and comfortably. You may be just as accurate with say 60#s as 50#s but when its 10 degrees and you have been sitting still for 4 hrs. the 50# bow may very well be the best choice! Shawn

From: Dale06
12-Jun-19
Tried a recurve a few years back. Went with 65 pounds. That was about 15 pounds too heavy. I’d recommend staying around 50 pounds at your draw length.

From: fn
12-Jun-19
45#-50# recurve is good for almost all game in the USA. If it were me I would go with a takedn bow. You can get all the weight you need and can work up in poundage. Lots of good bows at good prices these days. Good arrow tuning and sharp broadheads are as important if not more than poundage. Frank

From: duvall
12-Jun-19
bow weight doesn't really mean anything...its the efficiency of the bow. For example, most modern day custom recurves will shoot the same arrow at the same speed at #45 pounds that a straight limb longbow needs 55-60# to match. I talked to a traditional shooter from Colorado years back about traditional bow requirements for elk. He told me that he currently was shooting a old bear grizzly recurve (#45). He was shooting a 650 grain arrow and getting about 145 FPS out of it. Shot a cow at 40 yrds and broke her leg bone. So, I use his setup as my goal. I use a 600-650 grain arrow and as long as I'm getting 145+ fps out of the bow, I know I'm good. Again, that might be a #45 recurve or a #60 longbow. Bow weight doesn't mean that much to me...the performance does. However, for deer, don't sweat it. Deer skin is thin and the ribs are easy to get through. anything #40 with a 400 grain arrow will get the job done no problem if the shot is good and arrows are tuned well. Largest buck of mine to date was shot with a #42 recurve I made.

From: Redheadtwo
12-Jun-19
Glad to see you left the dark side for the light! Unless you get your hands on a recurve like a Black Widow the performance isn't going to be that significant over an older bow at the same poundage. There is a difference between 40# and 60# as far as speed and cast are concerned. Thete is a point of no return if you go too heavy on arrow weight. Recurves and longbows work better with a heavier weight arrow such as 8-10 gpp. A longbow even a modern R/D won't have the speed a recurve will. A very sharp two blade head is what you need to hunt with. Don't be afraid to use wood or aluminum shafts. Nothing wrong with carbon but there's not as much physical weight. Carbons aren't the be-all/end-all of arrow shafts. Deer and elk can be killed with a 45# recurve. Look for a Wing Red Wing Hunter (but not an AMF owned bow) between 45-50 pounds. This bow is one of the best vintage bows out there and they can be bought at a very reasonable price. Bob Lee made the Wing bows up to a certain period. Don't be persuaded older bows aren't any good. Now you can buy a Bob Lee bow since he started making them again.

From: Buglmin
12-Jun-19
Geez, a guy comes on here talking of maybe getting a newer heavier recurve and he gets the whole thing about heavier verses lighter and bow weight. Any bow in the 50's and arrows in the 450 grain weight will kill an elk. Build an arrow with a decent foc, use sharp heads, and practice with the heads. I shoot my Van Dieman's almost year round at sticks and flowers. I don't shoot judos much anymore.

Everyone here will have advice on what to do and not to do. Just wait till you ask about building an arrow or tuning. Then the experts all come out with their opinion.

From: Jaquomo
12-Jun-19
Black Widows are very nice bows, way overpriced and not the fastest compared to some other modern custom bows. Their customer service is very good. Carbon arrows are faster (quicker recovery out of the bow) more forgiving for tuning across a wider bow weight range, can be weighted to whatever weight you want, and get better penetration than wood or aluminum due to the smaller diameter. You don't "need" to hunt with a 2 blade head. All my and my partner's elk (only 67) have been killed with 3 and 4 blade heads. Mostly 4 blade. "Sharp" is a big part of the equation, and another big part is perfect arrow flight. A great flying carbon out of a 50# bow will outperform a wobbly wood arrow out of a 70# bow.

12-Jun-19
hey....we can't be having stick bow discussion here......what if they find out over at the leatherwall.

From: Whocares
12-Jun-19
hey... I'm likin this discussion! Getting a lot out of it. I'm enthused!

From: Shawn
12-Jun-19
Widows have great customer service and are built very well for being plywood but as far as performance they are very average. A lot of older bows from the 60's and 70's out perform them. My suggestion would be to look for an older Red Wing Hunter around 50#s and have at it. They can be had for under 200 bucks and perform very well. Shawn

12-Jun-19
Kevin dills comments are 100% correct as well as some other excellent advice, ill add. Make sure you shoot every now that you consider.EVERY bow has a different feel and grip,WHEN it feels like it's a root growing as a new part of your hand,almost like ....there isn't even a bow there feeling....that's what your looking for..good luck brother,,I personally have a different feeling when I have my assenhimer versus my z7,,,can't explain it well...just a good feeling

From: Buglmin
12-Jun-19
Shop around and you can find customs at low weights for sale everywhere. Lots of Widows for sale on the Facebook pages, as well as a few other bows. Personally, I would recommend an ilf set up. With rises like the Optimus from John's archery and custom limbs from South at Stalker Recurves, you'd have a heck of a rig that is 5% weight adjustable and will flat out out perform many of the custom bows on today's market for under 650.00. Buying a used older bow, like some have suggested, don't perform like many bows of today. And I'm sorry, but a Red Wing just won't perform or even feel like a Bob Lee recurve, even though they were both made by Bob. Even Bob will tell you that.

From: 76aggie
12-Jun-19
It is all still archery guys. Comes down to a straight stick and a sharp point. Chuck, I am not an expert but I do have a lot of fun shooting recurves and even kill a critter from time to time. Try out as many different bows as you can. Find out what is right for you. It does not have to be a custom bow to shoot well. Most of them do but a lot of "off the rack" older bows that can be purchased inexpensively can be great shooters as well. I bought a used 93 model Howatt Hunter earlier this year that shoots as good as any I have ever shot. I paid $225.00 for it. More expensive is not necessarily better.

From: lamb
12-Jun-19
shawn why would you tell anybody to shoot a 58'' bow???? shoot a longer recurve 64 to 68 you'll like it much better and be way more accurate

From: Jaquomo
12-Jun-19
Because a 58" bow is way more efficient at delivering stored energy at the same poundage, and a well-built one will have just as smooth a draw as a 64-68".

The OP said he wanted to hunt elk. No way would I want to manage a 64-68" recurve in the Colorado elk woods where Chuck hunts (I hunt the same area). Even my longbows are only 60".

From: Treeline
12-Jun-19
The shorter recurves and longbows work better for hunting. Heck, my favorite longbow is 58”!

Longer is probably better for shooting targets, but shorter is much better for hunting. To a point. Have had several Bear Kodak Magnums that I couldn’t shoot well and got rid of.

From: timex
12-Jun-19
don't get all cought up in the it has to be one or the other the light or dark depending on which side of the fence your on ... generally I use compounds stand hunting & trad bows ground hunting. if your determined to kill a deer or whatever with a trad bow go for it but I just consider the different designs for different situations the same can be said about guns & fishing equipment. good luck

From: bowbender77
12-Jun-19
I would advocate the lower pound selections just for the sake of your shoulders health. That's from a guy who has had a complete shoulder rotator cuff rebuild. Enjoy !

From: WHOCARES
12-Jun-19
Comments on shorter lengths are interesting. I was told to shoot a 62* or longer. This was particularly from target guys. So lots for me to think about. Sounds like I need to try a lot of different bows to see what works for me. Getting pretty involved.

From: Jaquomo
12-Jun-19
Chuck, everyone raves about the "simplicity" of traditional. That is, until you ask a simple question, lol! There are people who shoot traditional bows at targets and might occasionally climb up in a tree in Uncle Wilbur's woodlot, hoping a whitetail will come along. There are people who seriously hunt multiple species of big game in varied terrain with traditional bows. There are people who are stuck in the 50s and 60s for the sake of nostalgia, while others want the most efficient package available for hunting and don't care about Fedoras, checkered wool shirts and crooked wooden arrows.

It's all about what YOU want to do, how you will use it, and what are your goals.

From: Kevin Dill
13-Jun-19
I stay in bow lengths from 60" to 64" and have no issues with those lengths. I'm a 100% hunter and can't tell you how many years it's been since I shot a 3D course or (even longer) target round. I shoot to hunt and that's the end of it. I can't advocate for a shorter or longer bow, but my advice to a new recurve or longbow shooter...who is all about hunting...would be to avoid the extremes of length and stay in the accepted middle. I personally don't shoot the short bows well due to string angle (finger pinch) and somewhat less stability for me at full draw. Your results may be different. In the final analysis, the #1 thing is accuracy and everything else means nothing without it.

From: timex
13-Jun-19
jaquomo said it well the simple stick & string takes a rather complex amount of human input to consistently put arrows on the mark. your buddy s are target shooters so I'm sure your familiar with ilf rigs perhaps the interchangeably of them would be a good start

From: dm/wolfskin
13-Jun-19
You have come in from the Dark side. Not the other way. The compound is the evil dark side. Feel the force of the recurve.lol

From: timex
13-Jun-19
my next bow is most definitely gonna be a Oneida Phoenix due to 40 years of psyicle work & psoriatic arthritis in shoulders & wrists I'm down to 40 #s or less with my trad bows but can easily handle 60# with a compound so to me the Oneida is a compromise between the two. quess ill be on the GREY side

From: Lost Arra
13-Jun-19
ILF bows add a level of tuning complexity that some converts from compounds might like along with the option of a metal riser that could provide a grip similar to the compound. ILF does not necessarily provide additional performance. A 5-10% weight adjustment has not been enough of a benefit for me to go that direction since I already have too many bows with weights varying by 20# and lengths from 58" to 64". I owned a 54" Shrew for a while and it was a good shooter but just not a keeper for me since over the years I've found I prefer a longer bow even in a treestand. The shorter bows are nice for those who can tolerate hunting from a pop-up blind (which are not for me!)

From: duvall
13-Jun-19
"Chuck, everyone raves about the "simplicity" of traditional. That is, until you ask a simple question, lol!".....very true..but I will add one caveat here. its simpler once you figure it out. What I mean is that someone who is making a switch like I did straight from compound world into the trad world can get frustrated very easily (i did) because you go from shooting tight groups to spraying all over the place because you think simple is grabbing some arrows out of a bin, gripping and ripping. I tell people who are thinking of trying it out to get with someone who does shoot just to get some of the basics down first and have a setup that works. I was in a local archery shop one day when a guy walked in to get some arrows for his "new" recurve. the people behind the counter had no clue other than they knew the arrows needed feathers. They went to the Easton chart (remember that thing?) and sold him a dozen Easton shafts that you would have needed a #80 bow to shoot those things out of. I remember thinking...good luck just being able to hit the hay bales.

like others said, don't think of it as I have to shoot one or the other...enjoy both. maybe you will end up picking one over the other but don't feel like you have to. I still shoot both and enjoy both. I will say this though, nothing compares to having an "on" day with the longbow. those days when it just seems like everything is working perfect and those arrows have homing devices in them. If I could replicate that every time I shoot, I would probably be a one bow guy.

From: stealthycat
13-Jun-19
congratulations - you're now bowhunting !

I miss it sometimes

From: Basil
13-Jun-19
I shot both recurve & compound for a few years. The styles are so different I had to choose after developing a nasty case of target panic. Hung up the recurve after taking quite a few critters with it.

From: Buglmin
13-Jun-19
In all reality, your true draw will decide what length bow to shoot. Oh, I know, guys will come on here saying they draw 30" and shoot 58" bows with no issue. I was told by several bowyers that with my long, 29 1/2" draw, I was over stressing the limbs on short 58" and 60" bows. I went to 62" takedowns and see no difference in performance or arrow speed. Most bows of today will be within a few fps of each other. The important thing is feel. If a bow doesn't feel good in your hands, you'll never shoot it good enough to be happy with it. My custom bows have very small grips and almost round throats, medium wrist that's flat on the back. It causes consistent hand placement. You've had your coaching, know what you want, so just start looking and building.

From: Jaquomo
13-Jun-19
Great posts, Kevin and Buglmin. I shoot my 58-62" bows well because I lean in a little and tuck my chin into my shoulder for solid head position, and my draw length is only 28 1/2. My favorite recurves are 60".

But it's different for everyone. That's why trying a number of different bows with different grips, lengths, is critical. One will jump out of the pack and become "your" bow. The grip style I love may not work for you.

Many converts from compounds try to shoot with a more upright target stance, which naturally results in a longer draw and finger pinch on a shorter bow. While shorter bows are more efficient (look at flight bows..) they cause problems with stability and finger pinch. My hunting partner-bowyer built a blazing fast 52" recurve he shoots really, really well. Not for me. I shoot his RD longbows really well and have killed some giant animals with them. He can't shoot a RD longbow worth squat, and he's one of the best recurve shooters around.

So take your time and find what is right for you, not what someone else thinks is right for you.

13-Jun-19
Enjoy the journey, and for the most part there is no " magical" bow. Although some bows will be a good fit and some not. Going up in poundage to fast is more detrimental than with A compound. A lot of good information has been given here.

From: Linecutter
13-Jun-19
The older bows work just as well as the newer ones. The newer ones have the advantage of having the limb tips reinforced with micarta to be able to shoot the High Performance String Materials out there to help with performance and feel at the shot. There are those who will tell you, you can shoot the High Performance String Materials off the old bows with padded loops. You can but at a risk in a dryfire situation, arrow nock blows, or the nock comes part way off of the string before you release. There are Customs out there that really preform, but others not as much. Someone mentioned bow design and that is very true. I have an Assenheimer Recurve that is 55#@28 inches I draw 30, shot against a guy shooting a 80#@28" Jeffery's Recurve he had a 30inch draw. We both shot the same 700gr arrow, both bows shot bullet holes in paper. Both bows chrono graphed the exact same speed 178fps so no difference in energy, even if looking at Foot Pounds or Momentum both are the same. My bow shot a higher grain/pound of draw weight, than his bow. My bow is pulling roughly 61#'s at my draw, his bow was shooting roughly 88#'s at his draw. Accuracy, perfect arrow flight, a cut on contact broadhead, 8-9grain/pound of arrow weight and up, will make all the difference in penetration. There have been recently discussions on the Leatherwall about similar. Many have had complete pass throughs with a 35# bow on deer. Minnesota now has a 35# minimum and so do some other states. The lightest bow you should shoot, is no lighter than what is legal in the state you live or a state you plan to hunt, at your draw length for the largest game animal you are planning on hunting. There has been No One who can answer the question how much energy does it really take to put an arrow with a cut on contact broadhead through a deer's chest cavity/ I will tell you it is a lot less than what most think.

Years ago on the Leatherwall there was a thread where a guy spined a deer. "I believe" he was shooting a 50#@28" recurve, don't quote me. He walked up to the deer to finish it off, within 10-15 feet, drew the bow "6" inches and BURIED the broadhead in the dirt, AFTER it went through the deer's chest with a cut on contact broadhead. People on the Leatherwall at that time, they gave him all kind of flack, saying he should have come to full draw (Why? Broadhead was buried in the dirt with the 6 inches of draw) and how irresponsible he was. After reading that I really started to reconsider how much energy does it really take to penetrate a deer's chest cavity. I WAS a strong proponent of heavy bows till I read that. To bury a broadhead into the dirt, with ONLY 6 inches of draw out of 50#@28 inch bow after going through a deer's chest cavity, should make one take a step back and rethink that Urban Legend. Many of us have Howard Hill syndrome, I was one. Yes heavier bows do give us a flatter trajectory (most of the time) when shooting distance, so less margin of error at the longer distance. That heavier poundage though is not needed to push a cut on contact broadhead through the deer's chest cavity and kill it. DANNY

From: Jaquomo
13-Jun-19
Danny, great post. I learned a similar lesson back when I used to shoot 66 and 68# clunker Asbell Bighorns. Then one day I shot a friend's 58# Palmer with carbon cores, shot the same weight arrow, and I was blown away at the performance from a bow 10 lbs lighter and with no end-draw stack. Ordered a Palmer the next day and couldn't sell those Bighorns fast enough.

From: Single bevel
13-Jun-19
There is nothing dark about trad. Its just the opposite. Trad is real. High tech is nuts, and bolts, and its designed by non hunter computer geeks with access to machine shops.

From: David A.
13-Jun-19
The most important goal is bow hunting accuracy. A greate resource is the YouTube movie, The Push, a traditional archery movie. Find their podcast and website and invest in their courses...it will save you years of frustration. Ya, I think my methods are even better, but I only teach in person for now and am almost inaccessible.

As far as bows go I would recommend a heavy mass riser recurve because steadiness is an important part of what I call the accuracy formula. Lighter mass bows can be held fairly steady with proper form and lower draw wts. but mass is your friend...

From: David A.
13-Jun-19
The best riser material I have found is G10, but it’s not for everyone...Second is micarta, then epoxy impregnated wood or other heavy woods such as ebony. Bob Lee bows makes some heavy risers but there are others as well.

13-Jun-19
Remember this name and investigate it. You'l know why after doing so. "Tom Clum".

I've shot trad off and on since I was a kid. I've always been a good shot. And, truly find it easier to hunt with. I just grow bored easily and switch back and forth regularly. But, watching Tom on video and, implementing his advice on building a better shot sequence has improved my first shot consistency on long shots, tremendously. It is a game changer.

From: Jaquomo
13-Jun-19
+1 WV. Tom's shop is in Denver and I know you come this way fairly regularly. He has a TON of used bows that you can shoot in his shop, Rocky Mountain Specialty Gear. If you aren't in a rush to get a bow, might be worth the wait.

From: David A.
13-Jun-19
Tom ‘s course and others are available thru the push archery site...all good.

WV it’s not a game changer per se, he teaches basic archery methods, although yes it may change poor form very quickly. The real game changer will be better overall methods than heretofore...I.e., new methods. Joel Turner also has an excellent course, but again the methods are not new per se.

Objectively speaking only new methods can be a true game changer. Anyway, I recommend these expert’s courses.

From: David A.
13-Jun-19
Thepusharchery.teachable.com

From: Treeline
13-Jun-19
Come join us up in the high country at the CTAS shoot next week. Guarantee you will have a blast!!!

13-Jun-19
David A, basic archery techniques is all that is needed to be game changing deadly. It's not what you shoot, its how you shoot it. If the man fundamentally builds a great shot sequence, it is all down hill from there. That is all there is to any bow being shot. Cause they only shoot where you point and shoot it.

Please excuse me for saying the next part here but, frankly there is no need for you to turn this thread into something it isn't.

From: David A.
14-Jun-19
What you are calling game changing is basic archery technique that has been around for a long time. The main problem is few trad bow hunters are using it. Too bad Tom And Joel’s courses aren’t more widely used. While the methods aren’t new, they are just as valid as ever. And let me again mentioned the Push Archery movie on YouTube is also a valuable resource, particularly with regard to the fixed crawl aiming method.

But if by game changer you really mean changing the game from the typical short drawing snap shooting that is the dominant style in actual use, I’m entirely in agreement.

From: elkster
14-Jun-19
Another advocate for The Push, Tom Clum, Joel Turner here. The info presented is not new regarding form, but like David said, "few bowhunters use it" including me for the first 20 yrs. Once I took the course it was a "game changer" as Justin states it, because it is presented in an all inclusive, comprehensive, format (yes, that's redundant on purpose). No more piecing together this column, that video and random tips. Chuck, you've read good advice in this thread.

From: Basinboy
14-Jun-19
Lots of good advice! I shoot a 64” Longbow out treestands all the time with no trouble. For me a longer bow is more forgiving. Some folks can shoot short bows well though. Just enjoy the journey

From: Buglmin
14-Jun-19
Lou, You lean in and tuck your chin cause of old age!! Soon you'll be telling us you're bending over and canting your bow to help shoot when we all know it's cause you can't hold your bow up and you need it to clear your walker!!

I shoot ilf bows, love the small thin grips, mass weight, and the ability to change limbs and limb lengths and limb materials whenever I want. And the way you can tune an ilf to match your shooting style. That being said, for years I shoot 58" Bob Lee's with short 15" solid micarta risers. Loved them. Only 62" inch bow I owned was a Hoyt Gamemaster I with the angel wing grip, with W&W Winex limbs Dave Sosa set up for me. After talking with Sid from Border, I was told with my 29 1/2" true draw, I was over stressing the limbs. Was told to start using long limbs instead of mediums. I switched and shot a 62" bow with no noticeable loss to arrow speed. Again, after talking to Sid, he told me as long as I used long xl limbs, I'd be fine with 15" risers. I'm now back to shooting a 60" bow, and wondering how I'd like a small 13" riser.

Shooting a stickbow is what you make it. Everyone has different form, but it must be consistent. I shoot an almost verticle bow. I use back tension, learned from shooting a compound and back tension releases, but I don't pop my chest out and fling my arm back upon release. You've already had coaching, got the foundation right, but now comes the hard part, finding the perfect bow that fits you and your style. I've got one bow set up for fixed crawl, and another set up for split. After shooting fixed crawl for a few days, I'm deadly shooting split.

From: Shawn
14-Jun-19
You folks are funny, I have shot many short bows, RER Arroyo, Wings, Caribows, Stalkers that all handle 30" draws with no finger pinch or stack. The OP is not gonna develop a 30" draw all of a sudden. Most any if not all well built bows at 58"s will handle 28"s easily and again 29"s as well. I have owned well over 100 custom bows in the last 20 plus years and 100% agree that one does not have to invest in a custom to kill critters, hell lots of folks kill plenty with self bows and stone points. That is why I recommended a Red Wing hunter, performs as well as most custom bows(unless talking the super curves) and definitely as well as a Widow, Schaffer or Robertson and they can be had for 200 bucks or under. A howatt hunter or a Mamba as well. Shawn

From: Buglmin
14-Jun-19
Shawn, Nothing I said was funny. You guys are always pushing used bows. And if you think your Red Wing Hunter can perform as well as my Rampart, or my ilf bow, I wanna see it. I've nothing against the Red Wing bows, Bob built a heck of a bow in the red wing. I've either owned or shot most of the customs made, know a good stable great performing bow when I shoot it. But there is a reason why I don't own old bows, they can't match the performance of my customs, don't have the grips of my customs. And the op can pick up a bow from Sammic or Bear Paw that will be new, has a warranty, and perform as good as the old used bows.

From: Franklin
14-Jun-19
Why do we as bowhunters always go back to our roots when we get too old to really enjoy it....lol. After all the shoulder and neck surgeries are done we decide to go back to the basics.

I`m dabbling also....picked up about 6 great used bows to see what style and size works. I must admit it`s exciting.

From: South Farm
14-Jun-19
Don't be alarmed if you think you suddenly have lost your hearing when you don't hear all the twangs, buzzing screws, and plastic rattling after each shot;) Oh, yea, and you didn't suddenly get stronger; it's just that your new bow weighs 1/3 of your old one! Have fun and welcome to the "dark side"!

From: Thornton
14-Jun-19
It will make you realize that compounds require little practice.

From: South Farm
14-Jun-19
Oh oh...you did it now Thornton!

From: Jaquomo
14-Jun-19
I went the other way and just bought a Bowtech RealmX with a single pin sight. Having a blast with it!

From: timex
14-Jun-19
yep I'm gonna sell a few longbows to help fund an Oneida Phoenix looking forward to it gonna shoot it with fingers and with & without sights.

From: Thornton
14-Jun-19
It's true. The last three bucks I killed with a compound died in seconds and I practiced for ten minutes total all year.

From: timex
14-Jun-19
I agree I offshore fish all summer right up to & sometimes during October & basically don't shoot a bow during that time. it takes me a minimum of 2 weeks practice with a trad bow to get even close to first arrow hunt ready accuracy @ 20 yards & 30 minutes with the compound & I'm good to 40 yards that said I still use both & don't get all cought up it the one or the other nonsense just 2 different types of a weapon. no different than different types of firearms or fishing gear

From: Franklin
14-Jun-19
Thornton....truer words couldn`t be spoken. I was rebuilding a bridge due to the flooding this fall and didn`t have time to do anything. I finally got a chance to get out and hunt. I got my compound out shot 2 arrows at 20 yards that touched each other and I got dressed and went out.

From: David A.
15-Jun-19
I don’t need to practice more than with a compound to be hunt ready. Basically because I’m using the same method..sight and a release. But not the type of sight or release people are familiar with. Anyone could do it, too. And have.

15-Jun-19
Like Clockwork, a thread about traditional archery is posted and, here we go.

From: Basinboy
16-Jun-19
Lots of good advice! I shoot a 64” Longbow out treestands all the time with no trouble. For me a longer bow is more forgiving. Some folks can shoot short bows well though. Just enjoy the journey

From: South Farm
18-Jun-19
I ain't saying I doubt ya, just that you might hurt someone's feelings around here;)

From: Whocares
18-Jun-19
A lot of useful input here. Thanks guys. Give me something to sort through and think about. Won't be just going out and buying a bow now. Will look at a bunch and try them out. Would like to check out RMS Gear in Denver next time out. If I hadn't just got back from Canada last night would be fun to go to the CTAS shoot and learn a lot but no time. Once I get another bow I'll likely be looking for arrow and broadhead advice. That should be fun, too!

From: Hookedspur
18-Jun-19
I’ll add my $.02 if it’s wort that much. I’ve been shooting and hunting with recurved for 30 years after 10 years with a compound. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE “BEST BOW!”!! As Barry Wensel said to me once....”some ass’s like a Ford, some a Dodge, others a Chevy....you just need to find what your ass likes”, or something like that. Point is, you need to find a bow that you can shoot comfortably and accurately. Go to the Leatherwall and find out if there are any traditional shoots or clubs in your area. Most guys will be more than happy to let you handle their bows. Ive done ALOT of trial and error. No matter what any advice was offered, I still had to see what worked for me. Good luck in your quest.

From: pipe
18-Jun-19
That's great! Shooting with honed instincts helps out in the field when the target is not walking by at the precise pin setting ;) I enjoy both styles but my recurve made from local wood is special. Now for the arrows.... Enjoy

18-Jun-19
Right on hh,,...YOU'LL FEEL ALIVE!!!!! Go dark baby...haaaa

From: LBshooter
18-Jun-19
There is something special and different about taking big game with a trad bow, no doubt. And for those who say they don't have the time to practice, your wrong. If you have a basement or yard or a hallway you can shoot. I shoot in the basement almost daily and it's about 10 yards. So get a recurve or longbow and get at it, you won't know the feeling until you try it.

From: Elkpacker1
18-Jun-19
Been Shooting a recurve since I was a kid. started out with a kodiac magnum. Because it said magum I thought it was more powerfull/fast. It was not. It was good enough. then went to a 60inch bear takedown. Loved it . Then a Bighhorns in the 60/62 inch lenght. Well 62 now and just got my last bow. 62in 56@28,. hitting 57.5 at my draw. Its another blacktail where they shortened the riser by an inch and using 15 strand FF. It is magical.

From: David A.
19-Jun-19
WV Mountaineer, the general topic was a guy deciding to shoot a recurve. No need to interject negativity or some implied/constrained definition of trad. archery. I'm not your opponent...We all here to enjoy bows/shooting.

From: timex
19-Jun-19
lb shooter I thouroly enjoy shooting trad bows & do practice almost every day during hunting season but I live on the coast & offshore fish all summer which is a very time demanding sport. boat maintenance tackle & gear upkeep. I literally don't touch a bow from April till Oct & I absolutely need a minimum of 2 weeks practice with a trad bow to be hunt ready

From: Grey Ghost
19-Jun-19
I went all in on the "dark side" about a decade ago. I purchased (2) 60" Bocote Black Widows. One is 49# the other is 60# @ 28" draw. I developed my form and muscles with the 49#, then switched over to the 60#.

On my first elk hunt with the 60#, I yanked a 20 yard chip shot, and hit the bull square in the shoulder bone. I never found him. That soured me on the "dark side", and my recurves collected dust until I recently started shooting the lighter one to rehab 5 broken ribs. Suddenly I re-discovered what a joy the "dark side" is.

I even arrowed my first animal with a recurve about a month ago...a nice mature tom turkey. I plan to keep practicing, and hope to give the "dark side" another chance this fall on deer and elk.

Matt

From: David A.
19-Jun-19

David A.'s Link
Recurves and longbows are extremely accurate, probably as accurate and possibly even more accurate than compounds. So what's the problem? The problems are: 1) imprecise aiming, imprecise releasing, and physical effort. Each problem can be solved albeit not quite as well as with the compound, yet far better than the dominant paradigm which is instinctive shooting/snap shooting/grip it and rip it type of "methods" which are used by the vast majority of recurve/longbow shooters.

The whole difficulty is achieving simple unobtrusive solutions, e.g solutions which are simple, preferably beautiful, and yet work well. For example, very few trad. archers desire to put compound type of sights on their bows or use mechanical releases. That's another topic, but the point is the bows themselves are very accurate so the problem lies in ourselves. Not in the insufficiency of the average archer or bowhunter, but rather to a very large extent methods which are simply not human friendly.

The most glaring example is tryin to achieve repeatable high level accuracy w/o conscious aiming. Yet, this method is most commonly touted as the method to use with traditional bows. I'm not using the "argument of extremes", by the way...instinctive shooting can work well in certain hunting scenarios and for some bowhunters.

Yes, I have my own methods, but pls. note I have promoted the methods of others in above posts. E.g. the fixed crawl aiming method as well described in the "Push" archery film.

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