November 2, 2006 - Admin
How to Choose Your First Hunting Bow
There are a number of important factors to consider when choosing a hunting bow. By following these guidelines you’re sure to enjoy many hours of bow hunting.
First, consider your budget, the price for a good hunting bow can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Usually the high end bows are very specialized, meaning you probably won’t need such specialization to start. However, you will want to purchase the best bow you can reasonably afford for your purposes.
Consider your physical size and strength, a man of average size might comfortably have a pull of 60 lbs. or so, with a compound bow. Take an honest assessment of yourself, this is no time to be macho. Although there are hunting bows with a pull of up to 100 lbs., you certainly wouldn’t want to have to strain yourself while perched in a tree stand. It’s not worth taking a chance of losing your balance and falling.
Consider your purchasing source; although many department stores carry hunting bows try to steer clear of generic stores. Often times the staff isn’t knowledgeable enough to help you make a good purchasing decision. If you take your hunting seriously, as you should, you don’t want to hit the bargain basement or take advise from someone who has never bow hunted.
Search for an archery shop in your area. You may have to drive to find a well stocked store but the trip will be well worth it. In addition to an expert staff many outdoor stores have an archery range for practice. You’ll also appreciate the opportunity to meet other bow hunters in your area who can be good mentors and future friends.
Since these shops specialize in archery they will be passionate about assisting you to choose the right bow for your size, strength, budget, and needs. They’ll measure your draw length, or how far your arms are apart when the string is pulled back. They’ll set up the arrow rest so that it is true and also align the sights and set the nocks. All of this takes some time so be prepared to spend a few hours getting your bow dialed in to you. When you walk out of the shop with your new hunting bow you’ll be assured that it is custom fit to you and your abilities!
Unless of course you’re an experienced bow hunter, you won’t be able to shoot a bull’s eye right away. That comes with a lot of practice. Weather permitting; try to put in some practice time each day to keep you sharp and build your strength. Limit your practice sessions to 15to 20 minutes at a time so you don’t get fatigued. As your arm begins to get tired you’re likely to use poor form to compensate.
One final but important note: Please practice safety above all else. Make sure your range is clear and be aware of others in the area. It’s best to keep small children and pets indoors since they can be unpredictable and they might run onto the range unexpectedly.
Bow hunting can be a very rewarding hobby. Be safe and happy hunting!
Wesley Slade owns and operates the popular outdoor site, WWW.Slades.Biz. He writes about hunting, camping and outdoor gear.