Sitka Mountain Gear
Contributors to this thread:
Russ Koon 07-Feb-20
keepemsharp 07-Feb-20
buckeye 07-Feb-20
x-man 07-Feb-20
casekiska 07-Feb-20
Grey Ghost 07-Feb-20
bluedog 07-Feb-20
Scrappy 07-Feb-20
Russ Koon 09-Feb-20
Bou'bound 09-Feb-20
Scooby-doo 09-Feb-20
Dale06 09-Feb-20
Rgiesey 09-Feb-20
rodb 09-Feb-20
JTreeman 09-Feb-20
badbull 09-Feb-20
Russ Koon 09-Feb-20
x-man 10-Feb-20
Rut Nut 10-Feb-20
Tonybear61 10-Feb-20
Russ Koon 11-Feb-20
From: Russ Koon
Anyone else trying to stay in bowhunting by using a draw -lock device rather than going to x-bow?

My rehab has been showing some promise with practice sessions about three times a week all through the rest of the year, but this season was my second one in 58 years of bowhunting to sit out and not even make an attempt when season got here.

I seemed to be getting better during practice sessions, but it was warm weather and my accuracy was still not consistent, but would be there for a few shots most sessions, then would get iffy after a half dozen or so arrows. Just never enough to give me the confidence to go sit in a stand and make a shot on a deer.

I'll be continuing the practices again this year, but at 75, I'm beginning to have real doubts about eventually betting back to hunting with the compound.

Looked again some of the ads and website for the Draw-lock conversion device that bolt onto a compound. Looks like it would let me keep using the old Mathews or another bow if the device works out OK.

I've got the old LX turned down to 50# draw now, and it doesn't feel like that's the real problem as much as shoulder stability.

Anyway, wondering if anyone here has had any experience with the draw-lock system. TIA for any help.

From: keepemsharp
One problem with them is the lack of tension when at full draw, the bow arm just waves around by itself.

From: buckeye

Never used one but a quick google search turned up this product

From: x-man
I had a customer several years ago who was in a bad accident. As a result he couldn't draw his bow anymore so he bought a draw-loc. I put it on for him and he was able to keep hunting with it. I, however had a hard time holding it steady when shooting it after my initial setup. I think I would swallow my pride and buy a crossbow if that happened to me now. I know my odds of making a clean, ethical shot would be much greater that way. It's a little like cheating but, at least it's still hunting.

From: casekiska
Another suggestion that may work...this is not for everyone but works for did for me. (BTW, age 75)

I had shoulder problems and surgery three years ago. By mid-October that year I still (after rehab & PT) could not shoot my bow in my normal manner, i.e., "right handed."

I switched to left handed, taught myself to shoot as a "lefty" and was successful later that fall in the woods. Got a doe & a buck.

This may be something you could consider. It is tough, but a lot of guys have done it. With perseverance and dedication it can be done. I wish you well & hope you are able to find a solution to your problem. Stay in there my friend!

From: Grey Ghost
When I busted up my shoulder in a mountain bike crash 2 weeks before a sheep hunt, I was granted a special permit to use a draw lock for the hunt. I shot with it a handful of times, with reasonable accuracy. But I could not get used to carrying a fully drawn bow around. It just seemed like a bad accident ready to happen. I didn't use the contraption on my hunt, instead I just reduced the poundage on my bow, and gutted thru the pain of drawing it.


From: bluedog
Russ.... If it was me I'd get a set of 40# limbs from Mathews. Should still be available.

I still have my old pair of Mathews . A FeatherMax ( my mini Conquest )and an UltraMax. Everything interchanges between the 2 risers. I have a set of 60#, 50# and a light 40#. (multiple cams of course ) Used the 40# for when my wife shot 3d with a mini max cam setup. Had it set up at 31# for her. I had my left shoulder and biceps tendon surgically repaired and used the 40# limbs with one of my regular cams during recovery. Can set it anywhere from 31# to 43#. I would not hesitate to hunt deer with it at under 40#. Bet it will outperform a recurve that's at 55#

You just cannot believe how effortless it is to draw. Use a high let off cam of course. I'm old school and still like the Solo Cams for sure. I"m right behind you on age you probably know. Be 73 in May.

I'm with Matt on using a draw experience but it sure sounds shaky.

From: Scrappy
I agree with bluedog, if your able to shoot 50 pounds some. Then you will be shooting lights out with a 40 pound setup. As well as a 40 pound compound is more than enough to kill.

From: Russ Koon
Thanks, guys.

Good points on trying reduced draw weight again before making any drastic decision. I did check the old Mathews on a chrono back when I first got back to drawing 40#, and I was still getting just over 200 fps with 430 gr arrows, so I would still have decent capability at that level if I can get back to a more reliable steadiness.

I'll crank her back down to 40# again and get some more shots in to see if I can still gain any more reliable control back. I should do that now and practice in the semi-heated garage. The instant loss of strength and control when cooler weather came this fall was a surprise. I'd experienced a little of that when it was really cold a few times before, but age has REALLY increased the effect it has on my shooting now. Maybe more reps will help overcome that, and at least bring back my October hunting. I still feel comfortable enough to stay out there when I try to shoot in moderately cool weather, but there's a sneaky loss of both strength and control when it's needed.

From: Bou'bound
I’d go crossbow before that jury-rigged contraption. WhAt an awkward set up

Why go today route. it is not like you are truly shooting a compound if it is pre drawn and cocked. At that point you may as well just us the crossbow and be safe and legit.

From: Scooby-doo
I agree with Bou, if you want to stay in the game and you cannot shoot a compound comfotably and accurately than a crossbow keeps you hunting! Shawn

From: Dale06
Wonder if those draw locks are legal for hunting?

From: Rgiesey
Hopefully the lighter weight works for you. Staying out there seems valuable to me. By whatever means necessary. Good Luck!

From: rodb
In Minnesota it is illegal.

From: JTreeman
Most states I’m familiar with draw locks are illegal. Obviously special permits can be issued as seen fit, but in the regulations I generally see them specifically banned.


From: badbull
Russ, I own a drawlock that I mounted on my 1999 Mathews as a spare just in case I get to where I can no longer pull my compound. I agree with some of the problems stated. If I ever use mine to hunt, I would use something like a shooting stick to steady it at the shot. I do not think that I can ever bring myself to the point of hunting with a crossbow which is where you may be. I would try to go to the lighter weights first as others have said.......,Bob

From: Russ Koon
Jim, I'm kind of expecting to also need the same thing or something similar to get a steady hold. Hard to tell for sure until I get it in my hands and spend some time on the range.

Tried some offhand shooting with the crossbow, and it doesn't feel like it's going to work with the weak shoulder on that side. I was shooting it off a shooting bench at the range, and got it sighted in at twenty yards and shot some pretty nice groups, getting the feel of the trigger and all, but the offhand hold was pretty shaky. Might get better with practice, just shot a few times that way at the end of a session. I did try a hold using a hiking stick as a bow arm rest, and that felt like it would probably work with some practice.

I saw in some of the draw-lock videos how some guys were shooting and hunting with it using just the one arm and resting the stabilizer on a camera tripod. Figured if needed, I could even go that far, but I've also seen a guy shooting regular compound with a "steady eddy" device that helps get a solid hold by just bracing the one end of a rod against your body and the other end supports the bow arm enough to aim and shoot well. I'd heard of them before but had never used one or seen one in person.

I'll get back into the reg's here to make sure, but I'm pretty sure the draw-lock devices were legalized here a year or so after the crossbows were. Guess I better check that first, won't need it if I can't hunt with it.

Both devices have pro's and con's, but I favor the compound and DL if it works as well for me as I hope. I've mostly hunted from tree stand the last forty years or so, and am getting used to brush blinds and pop-ups now, as that's probably going to be about my limit in my "golden " years.

Whatever works is gonna beat sitting in the Lazy Boy watching the idiot box or even sitting here at the computer and talking hunting.

From: x-man
It is perfectly legal here in Minnesota with a dr note. Same as a crossbow.

From: Rut Nut
From: Russ Koon 09-Feb-20 I still feel comfortable enough to stay out there when I try to shoot in moderately cool weather, but there's a sneaky loss of both strength and control when it's needed.

I experienced something similar last season Russ. I fell and hurt my shoulder this summer. I rested it for many weeks and then resumed shooting. It is my bow arm and due to pain and loss of strength it was hard to draw, but I could(barely). I decided the best thing to do was to limit my shooting and refrain from lifting weights to let it better heal. So I just shot one arrow and a couple times per week to keep accuracy. My accuracy did not suffer, but it didn't get any easier to draw my bow. I worked thru the pain and was actually able to harvest 2 doe in our early Sept. season. However, when I got to the cold days of November I found out with extra clothing I could not pull my bow. Imagine being in a blind in the second week of November at 17 degrees and NOT being able to pull the bow! I actually stopped my hunt and turned down my bow all the way to 55 lbs and still could not draw. ANd unfortunately, I do not have a lighter weight bow I could use.

I have been VERY anti-crossbow over the years(for able bodied hunters), so it was VERY ironic when I walked into the Sport SHop in January and bought my first crossbow! ;-) But I knew if I wanted to continue hunting in the late season, it was my only alternative. I took a nice mature doe on the last evening of the late season and I have absolutely no regret!

I plan on doing everything in my power in the offseason to get shooting again(with my compound), but it is nice to know I have a backup if all else fails. I always said if I ever got to the point that it was a crossbow OR quit hunting, that I would hunt with a crossbow. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be at THIS age! (54)

From: Tonybear61
When my Dad was in his later years having trouble shooting his bow I bought his something special to shoot with. It was a Dynabo. This bow is a contraption that is a combination of a recurve and solo-cam compound. Basically it has one and 1/2 moving limbs. The thing feels awkward at first but really slings and arrow, even though it was set at only 37-38 lbs. The company Graham, York and finally Martin(1978-1991??) went out of business toped making them long ago but you still may be able to find some on eBay, collectors sites. etc. I still have it and used it while my back and shoulder was injured about 25 years ago.

From: Russ Koon
Checked our reg's. and they do indeed allow "bows drawn or held by other than hand" as being legal archery gear, with no need for a note from your doctor.

Rut nut, don't know what bow you have, but I've cranked a number of them down over the years for myself or others, for various reasons, and they've all shot just fine at the reduced draw weights, some well beyond the "recommended maximum" reductions.

Not sure whether those recommended minimum draw weights are because the company fears some customers would somehow hurt themselves or because they would rather you buy another bow or at least another set of limbs to rehab, but I'm pretty sure you'd be safe and so would your bow to take it down another 15# or so.

I cranked my 70# Mathews LX down to 29# early in my rehabbing from the stroke I had ten years ago, and it shot smoothly and reliably. Had to make a small sight adjustment at 20 yards and a little bigger one at thirty, but not as much as I had expected, and when I got it back up to 40# and was at an archery shoot where there was a chrono set up, it still was getting a whisker over 200 fps with my 425 gr arrows. Pretty sure my 48# Bear Kodiak I started out with back in '65 wasn't slinging my cheap cedars that fast 8^)

I was hesitant to try it cranked down that much at first, and I had an older single cam Browning back-up bow that cranked down until the string began jumping off the cam sometimes because it didn't have enough tension left to hold it in the groove at rest. It was easy to fix, though, just slid it back in there manually.

All the forces are so reduced that I think all anyone would have to worry about is being sure they didn't crank the limb bolts out so far they would come completely out, and I doubt even that would be anything very traumatic. I did put a magic marker line on the limb bolts to easily check them to make sure they weren't backing o\out even more without my notice, but they never moved at all.

Most of the supposed loss of efficiency of the limbs when cranked down is not true with modern bows, or at least is not so much as it was in the days of wood-core limbs and higher loss rigging that dragged down the efficiency and was more noticeable as it became a higher percentage of the reduced energy available. Bows of the last couple generations are so efficient in their rigging and energy retention that there is very little if any loss of actual efficiency, just a loss of speed that's proportionate to the reduced energy stored.

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