Equipment Question - New Bowhunter

aws1963

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Nov 26, 2016
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Northern California
Greetings HT.

After 40 years of rifle hunting, I am diving into the world of Bowhunting. I have always been interested and as I am now older (55) I feel the need to take my hunting to a more challenging level. OnXhunt maps has opened a new world for me here in CA. I had no idea there were so many pockets of State and BLM lands near me in the foothills near Sacramento. Small pockets of under 100 acres that rifle hunting would be impractical.

So, I have a question for the Bowhunting members.

Would I be better served buying a higher end but older bow vs. a lower-mid level new bow?

Based on your opinion, what would be a bow I should consider?

I am RH, 28" draw.

My budget is $400 all in (RTH). I may be able to stretch for another $50. I suspect I will be "hooked" and can then consider a higher end bow that better suits my fancy and shooting style.

I do have some experience with Archery and compound bows, but not in a hunting application.


Appreciate all the input and opinions.

Andy
 
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LuketheDog

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Scout some archery shops and find a used high end bow that's less than 10 years old, you can get those for the price of a new low/mid-level bow. Shoot several bows before you buy though! For hunting I'd suggest shooting at least 50lbs and err on the heavy side for your arrow setup.
 

hardwoods

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Definitely hit up a few local archery shops near you verses buying one off craigslist etc... If they are like any around me they will have several used bows and will be happy to get it set up for you. They will be a great future reference for many aspects. Like LuketheDog said buy a quality used high end bow. Many very good manufacturers to pick from, shoot a few they have and go from there. A release is another important decision the shop can help with. Archery can get expensive but it is a blast and a great way to extend your hunting seasons. Good luck!
 

aws1963

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Thanks for the comments all. I will be joining a local archery club next month. They have a range and offer instructional clinics. I'll start there.
 

406LIFE

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Bitterroot Valley, MT
You can also try ebay and the sales going on. Historically Dec/Jan is the best time to buy bows. For $400, you would be hard pressed to find a high end bow RTH that is not several years old. I would recommend a newer bow that would be mid range. Then when you go all in, you will have a very nice back up bow, which you will need at some point, trust me.
I'm glad to see you going to a clinic. Get in with some individual lessons as well, far better to spend that $ now than to develop bad habits. Those are very hard to break.
 

ZackW

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Feb 16, 2018
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I'd been watching ebay for a Prime bow after shooting them at my local dealer. After several failed low-ball attempts, I finally managed to snag a NOS 2016 Prime Rize for $300 shipped. I would rather get a bow from the local dealer, but there was no way that I'd get this bow at that price. Just keep your eyes peeled on there and throw out some low bids, eventually you'll get a good bow at a good price.
 

kenton

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Ohio
Personally, I don't think finding a bow that fits your budget is the best approach. Rather, I suggest finding a bow that fits YOU. You might find a mid-ridge that fits you great and problem solved, or you might find that the higher end bows work better for you and then go bargain shopping. Just my 2 cents.
 

Bigjav

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For that budget I think you're going to be limited to a RTH kit from a big box store, they aren't bad but far from great. The plus is that they are really adjustable some going from 13-30 in draw length and from 10-70 lbs
 

cheeser

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cheeser

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aws1963

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Northern California
Here is a typical ebay package deal.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bear-Encounter-Compound-Bow-Right-Handed-With-Extras/202507862742?hash=item2f2668c2d6:g:unMAAOSwdr1b4zMB&LH_ItemCondition=3000&redirect=mobile

a decent beginner bow with some extras.

go to your local hunt club and have the folks there help you with recommendations, equipment, things to try out, get into a shooting league you will do fine.
Nice. I especially like the pink stabilizer and sling. :hump:

Seriously though, all great advice from my HT friends. I have purchased a nearly new Diamond Edge SB-1 locally for next to nothing and will be getting it set up, new string and cables and tuned at the local archery shop. They will get my proper draw length identified also. I have signed up for a newby class, and will be joining the local archery club this coming Tuesday at their monthly meeting.

Looking forward to a different hunting experience this coming season.
 

NYSKIER

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Jul 23, 2017
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Personally, I don't think finding a bow that fits your budget is the best approach. Rather, I suggest finding a bow that fits YOU. You might find a mid-ridge that fits you great and problem solved, or you might find that the higher end bows work better for you and then go bargain shopping. Just my 2 cents.
I 100% agree with this you need a bow that fits you and feels right. When I go looking for a bow I don't care what brand it is just how does it feel and shoot in my hand
 

OhHeyThereBen

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People can be fully persnickety about their bow purchase just like going through the firearm thread on this very forum. Everyone's going to say spend a bunch of money and get something perfect for you, but in reality, I think you'll be much better off with buying something (used or new) without too many bells and whistles and saving yourself an extra $100 to spend on range time. In all honesty, there's very little difference between a $300 bow and a $1000 bow as far as accuracy goes. Yes, you can probably get an extra 50 fps on your arrow, you can probably cut a couple of pounds off of your rig, and it may be slightly more convenient to operate. But in the archery world, those things don't matter as much as you practicing with it to be able to hit what you're aiming at.

One thing to be aware of that is different in the archery world from firearms is that you'll need a bunch of accessories if you buy a new bow (unless you buy a bow that includes them). You'll need at least a sight and an arrow rest, not to mention a quiver and a stabilizer. These things are necessary and expensive, so figure them into the cost of a new bow.

Lastly, unlike what people said above, it's my opinion that an archery shop can make nearly any bow (as long as it has the right draw length) fit you just fine. It's not a pair of boots. It's a bow.

The Bowtech package someone put above looks like a great deal. If you want to go new that one looks like it'll be great.
 
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Highly recommend going with a higher end bow. If you're budget conscious, I would go to your local archery range and shoot every bow that you can and decide which one you like best. Check out archerytalk.com and I'm sure you can find a slightly used one at a steep discount from shop prices. You can support your archery shop by picking up arrows and accessories from them. Good luck!
 

COEngineer

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To the guys posting the highly variable (15-70 lb) bows: Have you actually shot one of these? I thought they seemed like a great idea until I actually shot one. The 'valley' of the draw is so mushy I cannot recommend it to anyone. Maybe it was the brand I tried (Diamond?), but I doubt it. I am no expert, but from what I understand, consistency is the key to good shooting and a mushy valley will not be consistent.
 

OhHeyThereBen

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To the guys posting the highly variable (15-70 lb) bows: Have you actually shot one of these? I thought they seemed like a great idea until I actually shot one. The 'valley' of the draw is so mushy I cannot recommend it to anyone. Maybe it was the brand I tried (Diamond?), but I doubt it. I am no expert, but from what I understand, consistency is the key to good shooting and a mushy valley will not be consistent.
It probably is mushy. But it's also a $300 bow combo. For that price, if it flings arrows respectably I would be totally fine with the compromise.
 

BigHornTD

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May 29, 2017
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Verona, Wi
I would lean towards finding a reputable archery shop and shooting as many bows as possible before making a purchase. The other suggestion is to join a local archery club. The expertise you can gain within a club is extremely helpful. One last suggestion is to try the traditional method. I shoot both a compound and a recurve and enjoy them both
 

cheeser

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upper michigan
to the folks recommending high end equipment:
1)the gentleman is 55 yr old and has never hunted with a bow, you dont even know if he can pull 45# which is the usual low end or most bows, he is getting into a sport when most guys his age are getting out of it due to physical issues.
2) he clearly states he has a 400.00 budget, he needs the entire enchilada, i am guessing bow,sight,quiver,peep,release,arrows,case,broadheads etc
3)he states he has never archery hunted before, bearing this in mind, how do we know he will like it.

taking these points into consideration why would anything more than a suitable entry level bow, to first see if the person can draw a bow of adequate weight to hunt game.

next, see if his body can shoot 20 arrows/night for a month without pain.

then, see if he enjoys it.

lastly, see if he enjoys hunting with archery equipment.

you folks are assuming, he can draw a heavy bow, that he will enjoy shooting a bow,that his body will allow him to shoot enough arrows to get proficient without pain, and lastly that he will enjoy archery hunting.

start at the entry level, until you are comfortable that this is something you really wanna do.

if you like it like we do you will get big and better soon enough.
 
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