We receive numerous enquiries from beginners and newcomers to the sport, as they are not sure what to buy and obviously they don’t want to spend too much money to start off with.
They often start talking to friends and sales people at the various bow shops, read articles in magazines, watch videos, join online communities. Advice is freely available and everyone likes to give advice!
But for the beginner, it just adds to the confusion and the ever growing list of acronyms and technical terms...
Well, here is my opinion regarding this whole issue.
I believe at present there is no such thing as a good or a bad bow or brand. Sure there are some bows with a easier draw-cycle, some are faster etc. But they can be deadly accurate if the archer does his bit properly and correctly.
In the end it is a very personal decision, the most important part is that the bow you have chosen is comfortable to shoot. Before you rush out and buy the first and best, "test drive" a few bows in your price range and before long - the right bow will choose you. I believe the bow is as accurate as you want it to be, rather spend more time perfecting your shooting style, form and study shot placements if you are going to use your bow for hunting.
There are a lot off packages (Ready to Shoot packages) available from various brands at the moment. The disadvantages of most of these packages are that the accessories and equipment are all pretty basic and entry level. The kits normally include a sight, rest, stabilizer and a quiver.
We recommend buying a bare bow that suits your budget. Find a bow that you are comfortable with and that you find pleasant and comfortable to shoot with. To this base you can then add and later upgrade the accessories as your requirements and experience levels change.
The Arrow Rest
Concentrate first on the arrow rest as this is the most critical part of the setup. There are a few options like drop-away and shoot through rests. Try to get a rest that can easily be adjusted\tuned as this will become critical when setting your bow up to accurately shoot the broad-heads of your choice.
Sights are all about preference. There are multi pin sights and single pin sights available and even hybrid sights that incorporate an adjustable pin and fixed pins in the same housing.
Previously the multi pin sights where the way to go from a hunting perspective, single pin sights were mostly for the target and competition archers.
Multi pin sights give you the advantage of adjusting your range continuously when your target is moving around. The major disadvantage of this sight is that it appears clustered when you aim, especially when shooting slightly longer distances.
Single pin sights on the other hand give you a lot more perspective when you aim simply because there is only one pin to focus on. The major disadvantage of this sight is that your range must be preset every time. When shooting at a moving target the sight should be adjusted every time for the specific distance.
The Release Aids...
I recommend you get the best you can afford. As far as I am concerned this is the one part of your set-up that you will need to get very familiar with. With time you will upgrade your bow or other accessories - but not the trigger, I always say you will marry your trigger.
The more you shoot the more you will develop a feel for your trigger, you will know just when the shot will go. Just be aware of the fact that the calipers on some of the triggers tend to wear out the D-loop on the string a bit faster than others.
To start out with, don’t buy the most expensive arrows. In the beginning you will destroy a few arrows until you get used to your setup. Once you are familiar with your setup and shooting ability you can move on to better quality arrows.
One thing though, make sure your arrows have the correct spine for the set-up you are shooting. If the spine is wrong you will have a nightmare tuning your bow.
A good reference can be found here : Easton Arrow Selection Charts
Now that you have the package that you like you need to tune your set-up. There is nothing more frustrating to shoot with a bow that is not set-up correctly. In the beginning don’t blame everything on the bow concentrate on your style and anchor points.
Shoot with other people if possible, ask, look and learn until you develop a shooting style that you are confident with.
Here at Stealth Adventures we will help you make sure that all the odds and ends come toghter to make you a proficient archer\hunter. With all the basics in place good shooting form will develop fairly fast.
Now it is all about:
- practice practice practice...
- make sure before you go on a hunt that your broad-heads shoot the same as your field-points...
- study shot placements - you can shoot hundreds of arrows at a target but nothing can prepare you for the moment of truth...
We shall discuss the moment of truth next time.
Article by Kobus van der Merwe