Contributors to this thread:
Weight .......+ , -, or =
How does the draw weight you are pulling today compare to what you were pulling ten years ago. Have you increased, decreased, or are you drawing the same as time passes?
Same, but not sure for how much longer?
The same, 70# @ 60 years old.
I vary the weight based on off vs. on season and also my target animal. It's fun to re sight in when a change us made.
Decreased by 6 pounds. I’m 68
10# less, at 60#. No more weight is necessary for any of the game I hunt.
Less. By about 12 pounds.
Shot 70# til about 5 or 6 years ago. 65# now for hunting. Shoot indoors all winter at 50# with a Hoyt Carbon Spyder set up exactly the same as the RX1 Ultra I'm using for hunting now. I'm 73. So far so good.
Same and same bow. now that I am retired I shoot everyday.
I think more than I was 10 years ago
I shoot 65 for elk. Whitetails 62.
I dropped as I got older. For year shot near 70 and slowly dropped to mid 60s. Last year at age 47 got a new bow and although I hoped it would max out at 62 it topped out at 58. It was so pleasant to shoot and I didn't notice a difference in performance.
I’m about the same 68lbs, age 44.
Same, I'm 64. I shoot multiple days per week.
10 years ago I shot 88#s now I shoot 75#’s. Mostly because I hated waiting for the heavy bows and I don’t shoot every day now.
10 years ago I was shooting 72#. Now it’s 61#, and some days even that’s a struggle.
10 years ago I was pulling my Pittsley recurve to 61#. Now with torn cuff and bad AC joint- my new Black 1 is set at 62#, but may bump up depending on how my 600 grain arrow build goes.
I cut back on draw weight because of shoulder pain.
59, went from 60 up to 65.. Feelin Good, Feelin strong.. Tryin to enjoy the ride.
10-12lb less. My 2020 bow at 50 lbs shoots the same arrow weight as fast as my 10-year-old bow. No longer necessary to pull heavy weight bow unless hunting dangerous game in my opinion... Your shoulder will thank you for it once you get older...
I use to pull 65# compound but reduced it to 62 # for all species. I still pull 55# on the recurve bow. Yea, 80 years old on March 7th. I work out at the gym and use the cable/weight pull to strengthen the arm and shoulder. Works. my best, Paul
This elk last year did not know the difference between 65# and 62# as the arrow zipped into him.
I've dropped from 70#, down to 65#, due to shoulder tears.
At 66, for the last 15 years I have been shooting 61# with my compound and 55# with my recurve.
65 lbs then and the same now!
14 pounds more. My drawlenght is also 3/4" longer, because my bow shop measured me wrong. I first bought a 31,5" bow @70# and it didn't work for me.
Less as I get older. Be 66 in May. Down from 57 to 53 with recurves, from 63 to 58 with compounds. Not because I have to, but because modern recurves and compounds make it possible. Funny, but the animals don't know the difference.
I know too many guys who've blown out their shoulders, including my longtime hunting partner, a great bowyer, who had to quit building bows because he couldn't draw one anymore.
Still the same. Love my D350. I've also added an SR6 to the family. At 70#, the SR6 draws slightly easier.
Same old boring 60 lbs, but the bows are much smoother!
10 yrs later- 10# less is most comfortable. Pulling 50#, may could pull more, but why strain?
I shot 65# recurves and 70# compounds. Now at 68 when I use my compound its set at 60#, and my recurves are between 47 and 52#.
I shot 70 pounds through 2007, bought my first 50-60 pound bow that year after season. I was having shoulder pain and found out that I had bad arthritis and bone spurs in my shoulders. Started doing shoulder stretching and PT for them and improved for the 2008 season. Shoulders were good shooting 60 pounds from 2008 through the 2017 season. During the summer of 2017 I switched things up in my workout and ended up with more shoulder pain as a result. Went to shoot my bow and felt a pop in my bow shoulder. Back to the doc and MRI etc. and shoulders were worse, especially the bow shoulder. Hunted with my 60 pound bows turned down a crank or two and that got me through the season. Bought my first 50 pound bow after the 2017 season. Killed two deer in 2018 with bows just above 50 pounds. In 2019 I bought another 50 pound bow so I have two 50s and one 60 pounder. I still hunt with the 60 in early season warm weather but once it cools down, I lug the 50s out. Shot my 2019 deer with a 50# Synergy. Interestingly, I'm still getting pass throughs with my 50#ers. 29.5" draw length helps, but I've also gone to fixed heads. So I'm down to the 50# range in the last 10 years.
Ten years ago, 70 lb. Now, 55/56 lb.
Started shooting 90# compounds in the late 80's. Than around 2000 went to 70# and shot that until a few years ago than shoulders were toast and went to 65 and now after total shoulder replacement I settled in at 62#s. So ten pound difference from 10 years ago. Shawn
Hey Shawn, bow shoulder or draw shoulder? I'm told I will eventually need shoulder replacements. Encouraging to hear you are able to draw over 60#s.
Same, 65# as a decade ago. I did buy a couple 60# bows 9 and 7 years ago but didn't like them. They were both short axle to axle bows which I've determined don't shoot as well for me under hunting conditions.
90# Shawn. A message in there. What did you kill with that that you would not have taken with 70#?
70 lbs since my first bow in 1997
70# when I was shooting a compound. 55# now with my recurve, I shoot everyday and I'm 47.
I'm down 10 from 10 years ago and 20 from 20 years ago. Currently at 45# and still getting pass-throughs.
I have dropped from 86# to 65 on compounds and from 72-78# with recurves to 58#.
A horse ran over me in 2006 and tore my rotator cuff. Had to drop the weight. I would still like to shoot that horse!
1974-80 - #60 1980-81 - #70 1981-2003 - #80 2003-2011 - #70 2011-present - #60
What can a young bowhunter/archer glean from this thread- heavy draw weights destroys shoulders. HELLO !
I’ve had rotator surgery in both shoulders.
Going to drop 10# this year and be shooting 60#.
Fred Eichler killed the Super Slam with recurves drawing 53-57#. What does that tell us?
Some Leatherwallers in the past have complained that my 57# longbow wasn't adequate to kill elk. A whole bunch of elk would disagree.
I know of many guys that when the IBO and ASA started, They where shooting bows in the 100-110 pound range. Ya, they did win many tournaments, but today, they can hardly lift their arms. Don't even shoot or if they do, they use a crossbow. The bows they shot, High Country and Martin. Me, I will be 63 in June and I shoot 66 lbs. But, like Paul, I do weights to stay up with my shoulder strength.
Buffalo1 says, "What can a young bowhunter/archer glean from this thread- heavy draw weights destroys shoulders."
Made me wonder if we are going down in poundage due to archery wearing out our shoulders or are we just getting older and not as strong??? In my case my shoulder issues are a genetic issue. Dysplasia in both. Not sure it was related to archery or if archery made it worse.
Same. 67#. 65 years old. Have been shooting bows for ~ 55 years, give or take. Many years ago, I drew 80# at 50% let off. Did that for likely 25 years. Now & then right shoulder issues occur, but nothing serious fortunately. And, I think that some of the shoulder thing is from running! Repetitive motion....
same for the last 20 years 63# and im almost 62 years old
For the guys still shooting heavy draw weights for (by today's standards) for NA game, what are your reasons?
I've never owned a compound bow with less than a 70lb draw weight. I'm 64 currently and my next bow, a retirement gift possibly to myself, will be 60lbs.
at 66 , still shooting 60 # for over 50 years with my wapiti recurve
10 years ago -70. Today-67.
1978-1990 - 80-90# (even more at times) 1990 - 2000 #80 plus 2010 - present 72# No shoulder issues different technology.
Wow. There’s a lot of old aging guys on here. ALOT.
I’m shooting a touch more than I did 10 years ago.....but it feels easier to draw and hold. I think that’s where Bou is going with this.......newer bows, better technology etc. will let you shoot a better bow at a lower draw weight and still keep your FPS up there to drive your arrow.
Had a Mathews Z7 topped out at 71lbs back then. Have a HOYT Carbon Spyder Turbo at 73lbs now. I hope I can always shoot around 70lbs till I can’t draw any more. Will that happen?? I don’t know. But I don’t plan on giving up easily. Have to train in the gym more I guess. ;)
I used to shoot upwards of 80 pounds......I now shoot 55 pounds and enjoy it much more. Today's bows allow me to do that, IMO.
Shot a 71# recurve for 10 yrs then switched to a 57/58# longbow the last 3.
Never changed draw weight. Got it tuned best for me as shooter and that is that. Get pass through some times, some times not. Accuracy is the MOST important factor once you are at or above an appropriate mv^2.
Old enough to retire and qualify for a cross and will do so when that becomes the more ethical manner. No apologies.
Let's say that a physically fit 240 pound man shoots an 80# bow, and a physically fit 165 pound man shoots a 55# bow. it's 33% of each man's body weight.....I suspect that poundage alone isn't always the culprit for shoulder damage. Yes….for 20 years I shot a high poundage bow. About 5-10 years ago, I started shooting between 78# and 81#. Why? Because I like a flat trajectory, and reasonably heavy weight arrows (...and 5-10 years ago, I had hoped to bowhunt Elephant and Cape Buffalo, which have KE and arrow weight minimums). I am 63 years old. I suspect that within the next 7 years, I'll probably buy a new, lower poundage bow as my body continues to age. With the increasing efficiency, hopefully I won't have to sacrifice the flat trajectory or a fairly heavy arrow.
Shot 72 for years.......just ordered a 60 pound bow.
Jake, I'm not sure that percentage of body weight is a good comparison because there are so many other variables. Old injuries, overall strength, genetics, arthritis, lifetime wear and tear, overall shoulder makeup all play a part. The tendons and ligaments of a 240 lb man aren't necessarily 33% stronger than those of a 160 pounder, and may even be weaker.
I've always believed in shooting the heaviest hunting weight you can shoot the most accurately. I truly believe a large proportion of bowhunters are overbowed and would be better shots, have greater longevity, if they dropped down in weight before being forced to by injury. Modern bows, whether trad or compound, enable that now.
Lou, An interesting observation.....you state that the percentage of body weight might not be a good comparison because there are so many other variables.....however, you also state that the tendons and ligaments of a 240 pound man aren't necessarily stronger than those of a 165 pounder.....but again, there are so many other variables, that doesn't confirm that the ratio is invalid. Make no mistake, I realize that the inexorable passage of time will diminish my ability to shoot the bow that I currently draw.....and when that day comes, I'll follow in the steps of many bowhunters in this thread that have elected to decrease poundage.....as I have already done once. However, since I may possess a higher body weight or increased leverage (different skeletal structure) than some others, I would submit that what might be "high poundage" for someone 60-80 pounds lighter than me, isn't necessarily high poundage for someone of my frame, weight, or size....especially for individuals that try to stay in shape.
Where I live in the eastern US, there isn't the variety of big game that you possess in Colorado. We have Whitetail deer, Turkey, and the occasional black bear....that's it. I usually hunt deer from a treestand. I usually hunt turkey from a ground blind (or no blind at all). Black bear are an extremely low probability event. As a result, at least for me, I don't frequently need to hold a bow at full draw for 2-3 minutes, while waiting for the bull elk of my dreams to appear. Most of the time, I have released an arrow within seconds of drawing the bow. I suspect that if I lived out west, that might be different. I have watched hundreds of elk videos on YouTube now, and there is no way that I could hold my bow as long as some of those archers have, and still make an accurate shot. Does holding a slightly lower poundage bow for long periods of time introduce the potential for increased risk of injury? I am no doctor (despite my moniker), I cannot answer that. What I observe from this thread, is that there are quite a few bowhunters that are quite successful and happy with bows in the 60-70 pound range....and yet as they age, they STILL have shoulder challenges, and as a result, need to reduce poundage with time. In this regard, the conclusion that I have drawn, is that I am thankful to possess some physical attributes that may have allowed me to consider using a bow poundage that may seem high to others. However, in reality, it may be nothing more than a matter of proportions..... Since much of hunting is subjective, quantification would prove difficult (for purposes of comparison)…..is a person that has been at full draw for 60-90 seconds less accurate than a person that is shooting more poundage than they can really handle? Like you said, there's an awful lot of variables, and trying to identify a single factor might not be possible. Bou'....my apologies for a long winded tangent to what was a simple question originally posed by you.
Shot 70 in the beginning in 1982 then 65, then 60 for all but the last 2 years doing 50 because of bad shoulder.
I used to buy 55-70 pound bows back in the day and set them up around 65#. I now buy 50-60# bows and lock the limbs down and get what I get
I am down from about 72, with a bump up specifically for moose and buffalo to about 74-75, down to 65 now for non-stand hunting and for standing hunting deer down to 63.
Based on the above 55% of guys are down, the balance are essentially the same. A couple guys said they had increased.
10 years ago, 70lbs. Last couple years, 66lbs. Just last night, 61lbs. My 48 year old elbow was screaming at me at 66. Was pleasantly surprised how noticeable just 5lbs was.
Jake, my observations weren't aimed toward you, but to the cross-section of bowhunters. I, too, have been physically lucky in many ways. I could still shoot the higher poundages I used to, and would if I hunted animals that required it.
My reasons for dropping down were three-fold. I started seeing more and more of my peers having shoulder problems that limited, or ended, their bowhunting. Including my lifelong hunting partner. He didn't have shoulder problems.....until he did. So for me its a bit of preventative maintenance as I age.
With recurves, I discovered that I was more accurate with a bit lighter weight.
Also, with modern technology, today's 60 lb compounds perform as well, or better, than the 70 lb bows of just a few years ago.
Even so, it often seems like heavy bows are more about ego than need. Especially for those who need to "reach for the sky" to draw. A couple years ago I helped a little five foot tall, 100 pound, sixty year old woman on a moose hunt. Her setup was a 46 lb longbow and 460 grain arrows. She killed her moose as quickly and as dead as someone shooting a 110 lb compound with 800 grain arrows.
At 66 years old I am shooting the same weight Recurve that I have been shooting for 30+ years 65#@28 which at my draw length is around 70#. My backup limbs are 62#@28 if I ever need them. In the early 80's when I shot a compound I shot as high as 95# but usually kept it to 83#, I shot it really good as long as I knew the yardage but I was no good at judging yardage. So when I switched to a Recurve I became a lot more successful on animals.
I should stress my shoulder issues are not archery related. I played football for 30 years and taking all those hits and dishing out all those hits took it's toll. I could still shoot 80#s but why. I don't hunt, water buff, or even moose for that matter. Shawn
Thanks to Allen and Jennings I am still able to participate in archery and bowhunting. After 30+ years of shooting compounds at 76 lbs., I have dropped down to a comfortable 58 lbs. over the last 10+ years. The interesting thing to me is that even though I increased my head weight by 25 grains my sightpins remain with the same gaps telling me my penetration is probably a little better than ever. I do find that as I age my shooting endurance has lessened. I also know that my shoulders are thankful for the reduced weight. As a noted bowsiter that happens to be posting on this thread told me " you can eat a sandwich while at full draw with a compound", I think that is still true for me. I am 81 years old ( am no Paul at the Fort) but still hanging in there). Good hunting......Bob
42 years old. 62lbs both then and now. I’ve had both shoulders re-engineered the last 10 years. With a 31 “ DL , I don’t need more lbs for most NA animals.
I wish my shoulders would let me shoot Jake’s poundage. Not everyone is created the same.
I think that the technology example used by many of 50# is as good as 70# used to be can also be used another way. My 2019 80# bow is easier to draw and hold than the 60# bow I started with, and it’s dang sure easier than my 48# recurve at least that’s how it all feels to me. Also I guess my reasoning for going back to 80# again is because I am capable of shooting it well, I really like flinging my heavy arse arrows pretty quick, and so many people like to tell me I can’t or shouldn’t I’m sorta a fan of being different.
I’ve been shooting compounds at 70 pounds since I was 18. I’m 47 now.
I'm running 68 lbs for the last 25 years. Still not really having any problems pulling it back.
With many of today's bows the draw force curve and let off make it easier draw and hold. Ed
I have no reason to doubt that a well placed, well balanced arrow from a properly set-up 60# bow could kill any North American big game animal......However, if that is the case, then why are so many people "over - bowed" with 65, 70, and 70+ pound draw weights (myself included)? I have a hard time believing that it is a ego related thing......for me personally, it is about mostly about trajectory, closely followed by significant arrow weight.
there is no reason in the world to shoot a lighter bow than you can handle easily and shoot with excellence. It is only upside in the event of a situation gone wrong. the reason people reduce is because they are better at less for whatever reason.
The media and retail outfits push the notion of “the last hour of the last day of the hunt and you see that animal walking over the hill at an extreme distance... do you want to kill it or go home empty handed.” That is a POWERFUL sales technique. The result is more power, straighter arrows, wind meters, more comfortable underpants and the like. It is big business and only makes a hair splitting difference in the big picture. You guys that have done a lot of hunting know it. When dealing with mule deer, antelope, moose and whitetail hunters, I’d like to see my guided hunters show up with a little less poundage rather than a little more poundage. 45-50 pounds would be more than enough to get the job done perfectly. The accuracy improvement would make my job a lot easier. I’ve yet to meet the man that can shoot a higher poundage as good as they can shoot a lower poundage. Multiply that by a LOT when I put the largest mule deer, whitetail or moose you’ve ever seen in your life in front of you, your tired, dust in your eyes, in a awkward shooting position, cold fingers, et cetera. When guys come to my camps with normal skills and reasonable mentality their success is fantastic compared to the guys that over-emphasize gear and gadgets. *I think the reason is the latter figures he only needs to get about so close for the shot while the first guy starts out planning to make a great shot on an animal at a closer distance. The long shooter ends up getting an unfortunate result and the normal guy gets a picture of himself posing behind a dead animal. I hope this helps guys that are self conscious about not being able to shoot as far as the big talkers at the campfire.
Even though I shot heavy bows, accuracy was and always will be #1. My goal when shooting 3D was to win as much as possible. And I shot 620-650 grain arrows. And I won about a third of the shoots I was in and rarely out of the top 5.
I learned that lesson from a group of guys from Topeka, KS. They shot heavy bows and arrows and shot them very well.
And sky drawing wasn't allowed unless you were in a bow pulling contest!!
I recently checked prices of some Mathews VXR bows. The price is the same for 60# and the 70# models, assuming all other parameters are constant. Not sure that more power affected sales in that regard.
67-70# for a few decades now... I go down a hair when not shooting much and nudge it to 70 over a few weeks mid summer. That difference is mostly in my head, it's just my ritual.
Have always shot around 70....till about 12 years ago and a shoulder surgery. I don't think it from was shooting higher poundage so much as a fall off a little cliff (the bow was fine, I protected it with my body.....) and WRT damage from shooting, my work the prior 30 years to that injury was a good deal more stress on the shoulders than archery. I used to shoot archery to relax after work....
Anywho.... I dropped down to 60 (and did considerable work with surgical tubing mounted to a "bow grip" to get to that...) Over a few more months I worked back to 70 again and felt great about it for several years. Until I broke my arm/ wrist a couple or three years ago..... back to the drawing board so to speak and was at 60 again for some time. Was just getting back up near 70 and another accident involving two dogs and my granddaughter's cat (very long story....) and a dislocated shoulder. Back down to 60..... but pretty much back up again, 67 or something now I think. Next couple months hoping to be back and bottomed out once more....
I really don't mind the full weight. I test myself all the time. Need to be able to draw with no extra motion, bow should not move, sitting flat on your butt on the ground with legs out in front of you. That's my test anyway.
Missing from this thread..... there is a great deal more to drawing a bow than just peak weight. Draw curve is yuge. Where is that peak weight in the cycle and how long does it stay a peak? There is also a "transition" in the draw IMO, where different muscles trade off the loads and at different leverage points or bio-metrics(?) of some sort. I've drawn 60 lb speed bows that were harsher than my 70. Muscle memory also comes into play. Even draw length.... is it too long?
One more factor.... how do you practice? IMO pounding 100-200 arrows every day at 60 is going to be harder on the body than 20-30 arrows 3 days a week at 70 would be.
I'm 64 in a month. But until I start struggling with the weight I like where I'm at, I'm with Jake, I like to shoot heavier arrows at a decent speed. I don't see any reason to lower it right now. But maybe after the next cat fight......
I used to shoot a compound in my 20's that was 70# and went back to a recurve when I was 30 that was 50#.
Now I'm 54 and I'm shooting a longbow that's about 55#ish but I need to stay with the upper body weights and practice ALOT to stay accurate.
As I get older I find that muscles I once had tend to atrophy if I don't use them so weight routines are necessary to keep me shooting what I did when I was younger.
I just wish that pro shops would carry a 50# bow or two. There even seems to be a shortage of 60# bows in some shops. Maybe guys would realize how adequate 60# was if they were to shoot one. I think a lot of guys would be surprised at how hard a 50# compound shoots nowdays.
My first compound was 70 lbs and that's what I still shoot 40 years later.
One reason I shoot 68 is to shoot flatter. I shoot 3D and use the same bow to hunt with.
90# at 20 years old ---85# at 25 years old-- 80# at 30 years old ---73# at 35 years old --- 73# at 55 years old
Same. Everything I've ever killed was with a 52lb bow. And the only reason I go 52 instead of 50 is because lots of states require 50 and I don't want to be right on the edge in case someone actually measures my bow and it loosens with time. 41 years old.
My recurves are 43 and 45, but I've never hunted with them.
I can actually shoot 5-10 higher than when I first started, but I've dropped from 67 to 64 because I've seen so many guys with shoulder injuries. They just don't go away.
Back 30 something years ago I started at 50 pounds by the time I was in my mid 20s I was shooting 80 pounds up until I was about 38 then I dropped down to 70 for my elk and moose bow and 60 for deer and bear, I find 70 hard on the shoulder after a long cold sit for deer and its not needed. I also dropped to a 6" bh and really lost no speed on my elk and moose bow
I went down cause sitting in a tree when it is 0 to 10 degrees out the muscles get stiff. I went from a 70lb bow to a 50 that shoots faster then that 70 ever did. I'm 65 and no shoulder problems, I work out everyday at the gym. Most guys I know with shoulder problems only develop muscles on one side of the shoulder which pushes the ball to rub one side of the socket. 1 shoulder is pushing and the other pulling, need to balance both out...
All the talk so far as been about bow weight. I believe the # of repetitive shots plays as much of a factor as bow weight. Are u shooting 10 shots a day or a 100? Over time that should play a big factor in shoulder injuries.