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Islander-11 06-16-2002 01:03

Bow setup for a beginner?
I'm thinking of taking the plunge into bow hunting this fall. What kind of setup would you folks suggest for a newbie? I'd like to order something soon so that I can get proficient with it before I'd ever take it in the field. Any other bowhunting related tips you might have would be appreciated as well. Thanks in advance!

heyTJ 06-16-2002 01:09

Are you planning on sticking a few of those pesky tourist?


Esox357 06-16-2002 01:20

My first bow was and is a PSE Fireflite II. I found it brand new and purchased around 140.00. Not the best bow but will work for anything. I use it primarily for bowfishing, but this year if everything comes together I will take off the bowfishing rig and have some arrows made up for deer hunting. I would check your local archery stores and internet to compare prices. You will be measured for a specific length. I would probably buy a combo deal in a PSE or comparable brand. Good Luck. Esox357

Islander-11 06-16-2002 02:35

Hey TJ - as the bumper sticker says, "If they call it tourist season, why can't we shoot them?".

Esox - thanks for the tips. I'm glad they'd be measuring for length and not width these days... ;e

mikescooling 06-16-2002 13:02

I know you'll love bow hunting words can't do it Justus.
It is probably the purest thing I have ever or will ever do.
You need someone to spend lots of time with you building a set up, not a jerk know it all sales men.
I would recommend a release, I use the tornaito.
definitely get a compound bow, at least 60Lbs pull.
Bow hunting is a living hobby, you learn more every year.
I like My bow much more than any gun I haveb

JohnDog 06-17-2002 04:24


Got started last summer, went deer hunting last fall. So much fun (even though I didn't get one) that I'm going elk hunting this year.

I found an archery club with a pro-shop, and they got me set-up with a PSE (can't remember model name) and other needed stuff. You can probably save alot of money by buying from a catalog, but the initial knowledge and setting up of your bow is a pretty steep jump. Plus there were a bunch of guys to show me little tricks and tips. We have a 3-d shoot every tuesday night with a barbeque during the summer - it's a hoot!

Hope this helps - good luck - JohnDog

jamieray 06-17-2002 20:08

be sure and get a bow that fits you even if ya have to spend a little extra money. reflex makes some real good bows for a reasonalbe price

Michigun 06-18-2002 00:55

Islander-11, if you start now you may be ready by season time!:)

It's a lot of fun.

Islander-11 06-18-2002 22:21

Michigun, I agree! Believe me, if I'm not at a high enough skill level I won't go out with a bow. Watching a wounded deer take off through the scrub oak would not make me feel too good...

Everyone I talk to says what JohnDog said - so much fun you can't stand waiting for the season to open. Thanks for your replies, folks.

Michigun 06-18-2002 22:26

Islander-11, it sounds like you'll make a fine bow hunter.;)

Skofnung 06-20-2002 12:53

I got my start about 3 years ago. I bought a used Bear 45lb recurve for 25 bucks, a dozen carbon fiber arrows for alot more money than the bow, and just started shooting everyday after class/work.

I think (YMMV) that if you learn with a traditional bow (recurve or longbow) you will be a much better archer in the long run, as the transition to a compound bow will be second nature. I prefer traditional bows to compound, but that is just me. If you do get a recurve or longbow, get a 45 or 50 lb draw first. 65lbs on a compound bow is NOTHING like 65lbs on a traditional bow.

Good luck.

ithaca_deerslayer 06-21-2002 03:19

Islander, just a note about being ready.

You will probably be ready to hunt with a bow fairly quickly. The trick is to know at what distance you are ready.

Can you shoot well within:
10 yards?
20 yards?
30 yards?
40 yards?
50 yards?
60 yards?

Pick the distance that you are good within. Mark that distance (either physically or mentally), and then limit yourself to shooting only at deer inside that range.

How good is good? Open to interpretation, but I'll say 5 out of 5 arrows inside a 3 or 4 inch diameter--if the distance is known.

Make sure you know the distance you are shooting at!

method 06-21-2002 09:54

Go to your local bookstore, if you have one, and look in the sports section. There's a couple good bowhunting books out. There's good instructions on tuning at You'll also be able to select a properly spined arrow shaft size there, which is crucial. Ithaca gave some good advise concerning distance. If you're able to attain good shooting form, you'll be deadly accurate at 20 yards in no time at all. Read up on archery and bowhunting all you can, try to go to a pro shop where you can shoot different bows, and select the best one in your price range. If you're gonna shoot fingers (which you should IMO) your choices of compounds is going to be severly limited.

Islander-11 06-21-2002 13:07

Thanks to all who have replied. Method - any specific book titles you would suggest?

Again, thanks.

method 06-25-2002 15:36

The one book I've relied on the most is The Bowhunter's Digest by Chuck Adams, lots of good info, but you might have trouble finding the book. Do a search for bowhunting at

RJ Schuknecht 06-26-2002 00:30


Originally posted by Islander-11
Watching a wounded deer take off through the scrub oak would not make me feel too good...
If that is how you feel then maybe bow hunting is not for you. The vast majority of deer shot with an arrow will not drop in their tracks. They will run until they bleed to death.

If you hit a deer you will get a chance to use your tracking skills.

badbilly429 06-26-2002 04:10

imo, if your new and your not sure your gonna stick with it, i would get something out of the pse line. up until a month ago when i got my new mathews solocam sq2, i have been using a pse polaris express for the past 6 years. excellent bow, very well built never had a problem with it. i see pse right now taking over the market in the area of good quality bows that are fast shooters, that dont cost an arm and a leg. if your absolutely sure your gonna be a bowhunter for life, mathews is the only way to fly imho.

Glock You! 06-26-2002 17:27

I've always shot Hoyt bows and have been very happy with them but I have to agree that the Mathews is a hell of a nice bow. I got a heck of a deal on a new Hoyt at the bow shop a couple of years ago and will probably stick with that for a few years as it shoots really well for me. I would say that if you have the money and are sure you plan on bow hunting for a while get a Matthews, if you aren't sure you want to start off with that big of an investment get a Hoyt or PSE. Any decent archery shop should be able to get you all set-up and ready to shoot, the rest is up to you. Like anything else it's practice, practice, practice.

BWR55 06-28-2002 12:50

Helpfull hints for a first bow set up would IMO be.

1. Buy a bow in the 36" to 38" range. (Forgiving yet still short enough for stand hunting)

2. Do not start with a bow that pulls to hard for you. You do not have to go with a 70 or 80 lb pull to kill deer.

3. Use a peep site or a kisser button so you know your anchor point isn't changing.

4. Use sights (these can be removed later if you want to try instinctive shooting)

5. A release aid is VERY helpfull to increase accuracy.

6. A removable bow mounted quiver is very handy making it easier to carry your equipment into the woods.

Last year I changed from a 47" overall, Aero Force Bow to a 31" axle to axle Buckmaster Generation 2 bow and am VERY happy with the shorter bow. I always had problems manuevering the longer bow between and around branches and tree stands while using it. Pick a quality bow from any of the big name manufacturers and you'll be sure to be happy.

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