Bow Hunters, a question please [Archive] - Glock Talk


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12-14-2004, 19:45
I've been thinking of getting a bow. I don't know any bow hunters, and I don't have any archery shops in my town, so I was hoping that you guys could help me out with some basic info. I know these questions will seem stupid, but I've never done this before, and I was hoping you guys could answer some newbie questions.
I'm right handed, so I would draw with my right hand. Does that make my bow a 'right handed' bow, or a 'left handed' bow, since I'm holding it in my left hand?
Also, I see 60# bows, and 70# bows. Is that the number of foot pounds it takes to draw it? Is one preferable over the other?
And finally, what does a "80% let-off" mean to me practically?
Thanks for any help you can give.

12-14-2004, 20:26
First, let me say I am not expert at bow hunting. However, I will offer my comments and suggestions.

You need to find a professional bow shop. You need to get the equipment match and fitted so it works with you. Buying a set out of the Cabalas catalog is probably not the way to go about this.

The pull weight of the bow should be as heavy as you can manage comfortable in all conditions and situations. So, it is one thing to be standing there in the shop at 70 degree in comfortable clothing and feet firmly planted in a fighter's stance. It is another to do so in some of the ackward positions required during hunting and in some of the environmental conditions you hunt in. Imagine being cold, tired and sleep deprived. One exercise they had us do in my bow class was shoot the bow from a seated position with both feet off the ground. A pro shop can help you figure this out.

Due to the cams and mechanical advantage of the bow, the force required to pull and hold the bowstring in place will change throughout the pull stroke. So although it may require 80lbs to pull the bowstring to its ready position, the let-off (from the way the bow is designed) may allow you to hold it in that position with much less pull. For example, once the bow string is pulled back, it may only require 20lbs of pull to keep it there. This is a nice feature when you are holding that position for a while waiting for a shot.

Also realize your arrows have to be matched to your bow's pull-weight and your length of pull. Realize your bow needs to be set up differently if you are going to be pulling your bow with a mechnical release vs. your fingers. Once again something a pro shop can help you with.

I would suggest you attend some of the bow hunter education classes prior to buying a bow. The International Bowhunter Education Program is quite inexpesive and often taught by very knowledgeable people. Here is a link for you: You can search this link for classes near you.

This will give you good background and experience with many of the issues involved. Also, more and more states are requiring certification for bow hunters. I expect this trend to continue.

12-14-2004, 22:12
Great advice above. You really need to find a pro-shop to get set up properly. Also the archery world's Glock Talk, is a great place.

I just got back into archery after a 12 year break and am loving it. Am also loving the 80% let off ;f Much better then my old 50% let off.

12-15-2004, 00:55
The letopff is how much you hold back on a Bow.

i.e 50% let on a 60lb bow, would require you holding down 30lbs. 75% would be 15lbs and so on.

as far as left hand right, the LH /RH designation is pertaining to the hand that actual draws the bow.


I'm a RH bower and buy bows specified for RH.

Your best best is to find a bow shop or experience bow hunter and get experience and suggestion from them. Also read Bow Hunting magazione or Trraditional Bow Magazine ( if you perfer a non compound ) to get some information on bow hunting and such.

12-15-2004, 08:08
Thanks for the info.
I know it would be best to find a bow shop, but as I stated in the original post, there aren't any around my little country town. We have to do EVERYTHING by mail, or take a vacation to the city.
I'll study up on everything before I do anything.
I appreciate everyones advice.

12-15-2004, 13:22
Modern bows have a lot of ajustability built into them. Most bows have an ajustable draw weight range of about 10 pounds and an ajustable draw length range of about 3". Unless you are very tall or short your draw length should be in the common 28" to 30" range. Another thing to consider in regard to draw length is whether or not you will be using a string loop. Loops add up to nearly an inch of draw length to what the bow is set at. Releases also have this effect.

As for what draw weight to go with, I feel it is best to have slightly too little draw weight than slightly too much (for deer hunting I assume). Newer bows are very fast even at low pull weights and I have personally missed a chance at an amazing 3 beamed buck because I had my draw weight too high for the conditions (very cold!!) and spooked the buck while drawing.

As has already been mentioned, going to a pro shop is the best but if you just can't, ordering a bow should work out fine as long as you get one that can be ajusted over a good range.

12-15-2004, 14:55
Originally posted by hendrick
. . . using a string loop. Loops add up to nearly an inch of draw length to what the bow is set at. Releases also have this effect. . .

Sorry for the ignorance but what is a string loop?

12-15-2004, 15:24
It's a metal or string tied loop that attaches to the string that's used with mechanical releases. This helps in allowing for a smoother release and less wear on the string serving from the metal jaws of the mechanical release.

this is what he is talking about;

very common with compounders

12-15-2004, 15:29
Get a right handed bow. Also, you don't need 70 lbs for a deer. Most people prefer 50-60 lbs because it's easier to draw and will send an arrow clean through both lungs. Some good brands are Browning, Jennings, Bear, PSE, High Country, Mathews, but there are others. Lighter bows are better becaues they are easier to hold for long periods. Try to get at least 65% let-off, but more makes it easier to keep drawn for minutes waiting for your shot. Last I heard though, books like Pope and Young only allow shots taken with bows having a 65% let-off or less. This doesn't matter to me because I can't seem to find the deer those books are interested in recording, but some trophy people care.

One further recommendation is to get a whisker biscuit arrow rest. They make it much easier to sit in stand with an arrow already knocked because it can't bounce around and make noise, and the draw is completely silent.

Also, make sure you get a rangefinder. Without it, you are limiting your accuracy significantly. It is very difficult to guess exact range and even 1 yard makes a difference.

12-15-2004, 16:32
Originally posted by noway
It's a metal or string tied loop that attaches to the string that's used with mechanical releases. This helps in allowing for a smoother release and less wear on the string serving from the metal jaws of the mechanical release.

this is what he is talking about;

very common with compounders

I know exactly what you are talking about but did not know the name of them. Thanks.

12-15-2004, 20:15
If I am not mistaken, recently Pope and Young changed their long standing policy on let-off to allow entries of game shot with bows of greater than 65% let-off. In the official listing, they put an asterisk by the entry denoting it has been shot with a bow with >65% let-off. Either way, get at least 65% and probably go with 75% as it make a big difference.

As for the suggestion to get a Whisker Biscuit rest, I second that idea. Myself and four of my bowhunting friends have recently switched to them from all manner of rests including fall-aways and couldn't be happier.

Another thing to definitly consider is brace height. Brace height is the distance from the back of the riser to the string when not drawn. Since this is your first bow and greater brace height is more forgiving, get a bow with at least a 7" brace height, 7 1/2" being all the better. Finally, consider the axle to axle length of the bow before you buy. The shorter the bow, the easier it is to handle in tight spots but shorter bows are also less forgiving of poor form. I personally perfer a bow with an axle to axle of about 34-36" but I know guys who love em really short.

12-16-2004, 08:40
Or if you want to bypass all of the hassle get a traditional bow. String it and set your brace height and off you go. No sights ( unless you want to ) ,no cams issues, no axle-to-axle,no rest issues, screws to get loose and fall out on the way to the stand. Basic a stick and string.

Some call compounds " training wheels" and 100% letoff ( what you pull you how back ). ;f

12-17-2004, 22:48
I'll third the Whisker Biscuit. Went to one this year and love it. Though I will recommend the second generation B2 rest, it has quiter bristles. Plus the quick load feature is awesome.

12-20-2004, 14:48
If you are deer hunting, you want accurate, quiet, and easy to shoot from a variety of positions.

Target accurate? No. Just accurate enough to hit the same 4" diameter every time at 25 yards. Every time. Some bows are very finicky and may have hair splitting accuracy, but if you don't hold it just right you may be 2 feet off. One thing that helps with easy accuracy is a good solid "wall" where you pull the string back and it stops there. So, when you have drawn back and are waiting to get the good view on a deer, and that string creaps because the weight is pulling back against you, you have to know where the wall is and where you are supposed to be holding the string when you finally release.

Too much weight, and it won't be easy to shoot, and won't be easy to "break". Breaking is when you pull back past the let off point. Untill you reach the break point, you are pulling the full weight. Breaking a 70 pound bow may be manly, but it may also cause a lot of shake and rattle in a hunting situation, especially if your body is contorted. You want a bow you can pull back easily, and if that means 45 pounds, then so be it.

The let off is the reduction in weight after you draw past the break point. The higher the percentage, the less weight you hold. Some states have laws against too high a percentage, so check your hunting laws first.

Drawlength is very important. You will have to find your anchor point, the place on your chin/face/wherever that you pull the string back to and your hand touches on your face to know you are at the right spot. The length the bow draws for you to reach that point is the draw length. Your bow needs to reach the "wall" at your anchor point, not before it, not after it.

The overall height of the bow is important. The more compact the bow is, the easier it is to shoot from a variety of positions and the less likely tree limbs will be in your way.

Sound complicated? That's why it would be nice for you to find a good bow shop to get help picking out a bow as well as to get some shooting instruction.

The main advantage to a heavier draw weight is that it will shoot a little flatter than a lower weight bow. That advantage comes into play when you are unsure of the distance. In bowhunting, you've got to know the distance. The arrow will likely hit in different spots when you go from 20 to 30 yards, but the faster the arrow goes then less that difference will be. However, increased draw weight does not mean you will increase accuracy, and you may actually decrease accuracy. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is only get as heavy a draw weight you are comfortable, then know the distance your bow shoots relatively flat, and limit your shots to that distance. If your arrows start to drop beyond 30 yards then don't shoot beyond 30 yards, and know how far 30 yards is when you are in the woods. Yes, you could simply raise the bow up some to compensate, but that means you've really got to know what you are doing, and exactly how far the target is away. Taking 50 yard shots sounds impressive, and some guys will tell you about their kills at that distance, but they won't tell you about their misses and lost wounded deer. The bowsights with multiple pins are very misleading, making you think you should be shooting at multiple distances. Instead, I argue you have just 1 pin and shoot only as far out as that pin is still on target for your bow. Ok, if you are good, maybe two pins (one for 20 yards, one for 35 yards), but don't get carried away having pins set out for 40, 50, and 75 yard shots.