View Full Version : New bow for Christmas, now what?
I just found out that I'm getting a bow for Christmas, my first one actually. A friend of mine got married last weekend and was trying to sell it to me back in October to get money for the honeymoon. I didn't have the money at the time and when I went pay him for it last week he told me he had already sold it. Turns out he sold it to my father-in-law who's giving it to me as a Christmas present. It's a Mathews, not sure what model, and only a year or two old. It saw very little use as the draw wasn't right for him (he's a little guy.) Now that I have the bow, what's next? He included several nice arrows and broadheads but my f-i-l says I'll need some cheaper ones for practice. What's a good, inexpensive arrow/tip combo for practicing? My wife got me a block style target and case as well. Anything else I'll need? I'm not sure if it already has sights although I assume so. As you can tell I'm a novice bowhunter although I've been wanting to get into it for several seasons now. Any advise from the bowhunter crowd?
Suggestions -- as soon as you get it, take it to a professional bowshop in your area. They will make sure it fits you, and can give you instruction in basic shooting technique, as well as what length, type, and weight of arrows to use. If the bow fits you they should have you shooting on target in less than 20 minutes. Make sure you buy something from them, and form a relationship with the staff. Their advice will be very valuable to you.
You can also find out a good bit about arrows, broadheads, etc. on the Easton web site. There is a whole line of discussion revolving around what type and weight of arrows and broadheads / field points. If it's a Matthews it will be pretty fast and you probably will be shooting carbon arrows.
If you want to hunt with it, the key is practice consistently before the season and especially learn to judge yardages in the woods. A lot of guys can shoot reasonably well, but can't judge distance. They take a shot and miss completely -- later realizing they were off by 10 yards or so, makes a big difference.
Also try to find a archery club in your area -- get even more good advice and have some fun shooting.
Good luck -- it will all be worth it when that buck walks in front of you and your knees start knocking, you can't breathe, your bow is shaking -- doesn't get any better than that.
Pactice practice practice! Do all the above and find some 3-D shoots they will also help. Mathews is a great bow if you practice and practice some more. Have fun and you will if you practice.
Not sure what you mean by cheaper arrows but your target arrows should match your hunting arrows. Buy a dozen and designate six for target and 6 for hunting. Also make sure you shoot the same grain field tip as you do broadhead to get the closest results as possible.
It's just like guns. Everyone has a different theory or opinion. (heavy arrow vs. speed, cut on impact vs. expandables, 20 yd. shots vs. 50 yds., etc....) You get the point. badhunter123 gave you some real good advice. Hopefully there is a proshop near you. The one thing I would say is keep it simple and have fun. The more "gadgets" you throw on that bow, the more can go wrong. Be safe!!!
for practice, you should use the same arrows that you are going to hunt with.
i also practice with a set of the same broadheads that i hunt with and use this set solely for practice..
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I agree with what....f1b32oPTic said above.
(Quote )..for practice, you should use the same arrows that you are going to hunt with.
i also practice with a set of the same broadheads that i hunt with and use this set solely for practice.. ( end quote )..
Let me just add this:
And if you do not want to always practice with the broadheads, then 'at least' get field points of the same weight as the broadheads you will be using.
Have fun, and practice!
You've already heard it at least 3 times but I'll tell you again. Practice with the same arrows you will hunt with. Get a target that you can shoot broadheads into and use the same broadheads (different set of course) that you will use when hunting or at the very least practice heads that are the same weight.
Practice, Practice, Practice and then Practice. But don't practice until you are tired and letting your accuracy suffer during your practice sessions. Shoot 15 minutes a night at least 4-6 nights a week leading up to the season. Also, practice during the season. It not only rewards you when your prey comes under you but it serves them in the idea that you deliver a fatal shot and not a wounding one.
Originally posted by TJC
It not only rewards you when your prey comes under you but it serves them in the idea that you deliver a fatal shot and not a wounding one.
Thanks for all the advice everyone. The point about fatal shots brings up another good question. What about shot placement? I know where to aim with a firearm, in the vitals ideally or a head shot if it presents itself. But what about arrows? As I understand it the deer dies from mainly blood loss with an arrow wound. With a bullet the trauma from the shot can kill it long before it bleeds out. Espcially if its a good heart or lung shot. Is the same true for arrows?
I've taken 40 deer with a bow and arrow now. I've also stuck a few that I didn't recover. It's everyones nightmare, but if you bowhunt long enough, It's bound to happen to you. Practice a lot, keep your broadheads sharp, know your limitations, and just try to make conservative decisions. A broadhead kills an animal by massive blood loss. You really need to be in the heart, lungs, and/or liver. Of course, if you get lucky and get a big artery (femoral, aorta), this will also put the animal down fast. A solid gut shot, in my opinion, will kill a deer every time. If you gut shoot a deer, just let it go for 8 hours. Avoid the temptation to look for the deer right away. If the animal isn't pushed, it will usually only go 100 to 200 yds. and bed down. The deer will die right there if It's not pushed, but if you spook it, It'll run forever; and you probably won't have a bloodtrail to track it. Don't mis-understand me. You should't aim at the guts, I was just telling you what to do if that happens. An oldtimer told me something one time that is very valuable. "You're better off giving the animal too much time, rather than not enough. If It's dead, It'll be laying there dead a little later. If It's not dead, then you're just going to push it." I know that sounds simple and basic, but I can tell you story after story where guys(who knew better) got anxious and pushed deer too soon. My general rule for tracking is as follows: lung/heart=1/2hr. liver=1hr. gut=8hrs.
If you get a muscle hit, the animal will probably clot and not die. No matter what, though; you owe it to the animal to track it no matter what the hit. As long as you have blood, even if It's been going for 2 miles. If you can physically see blood, keep tracking. I know I'm rambling, I could write a book. One thing I've learned is that when you think you know something about this topic, it will contradict itself. There is nothing definite and you never stop learning. The biggest difference you'll have to deal with when shooting a bow at a deer is that they can duck or "jump the string". Even at 15 or 20 yds. I don't care how fast your bow is, or how good of a shot you are. I have video of an alert buck ducking an arrow at 15 yds.(280 fps and the animal dropped approx. 10") My point here is that you can take a responsible shot and the deer just move. That is how you can end up wounding one. However, the most awesome feeling is when you zip a broadhead through both lungs, and the deer runs 20 or 30 yds. and dies in 15 or 20 seconds. I hope I at least answered your question.
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