Archery And Bowhunting Blog

The Essential Steps to Buying a Bow

Here's my 2 cents on buying a bow...

I have the opportunity to shoot a lot of different archery equipment each year and would definitely agree that there are differences between bows that make them more individually suited to each shooter. As a member of the Red Head prostaff, I bristle a little bit every time I hear someone talk about the "inexperience" of the professionals in the archery department of a big box retailer. I have found that they are as knowledgeable as and sometimes even more so than a local archery shop. They generally work on and sell a wider variety of equipment than a local guy that sells 1 or 2 brands. HOWEVER, there are shops out there that have true masters in their craft. The problem is finding one.

If someone will not let you test shoot a bow, DO NOT BUY it. It's that important. If you are anywhere near one of the great outdoor festivals, SHOT, or Eastern Sports Outdoors Shows that manufacturers display at, you should go and shoot several bows at the same time.

As far as the brand of bow to shoot, I believe that should be a personal decision. There are too many variables such as: 1. Anatomy - something as simple as the size of your hand can make a HUGE difference. 2. Bow performance at high or low draw weight- quite frankly, some bows and arrows companies perform better at lower draw weights, some better at higher draw weights. 3. Adjustability of draw length- does it require a press? is it as simple as moving a few screws or does it require the installation of a whole new cam? 4. Feel- this is the most difficult thing to judge. I tried one of the most popular and highly rated bows on the market and it just didn't "feel" right to me.

On Gear in general- I have actually given entire seminars and education sessions on this very topic. A great example of what not to do is to be like the guy that spends $500-$1000.00+ on a rifle and then tops it with a $99.00 scope. Remember, this is a piece of equipment that will last you many years and may very well mean the difference between the trophy of a lifetime and an exercise in frustration. It is always better to wait longer, save a little more, and buy the best equipment that you can afford rather than put something together that is less-than-optimal. The same goes for accessories like sights and quivers. Buy the best you can, because the worst time to have regrets is when you are on that trip of a lifetime!

The forums there can be a great resource. An option to save money--Shoot a bunch of bows, then buy a used one from gunbroker.com or other site. Just make sure you get a guaranteed return for 30 days so that you can take it in to be evaluated and shot by a pro. Best of luck, Ace

Ace Luciano has been a consummate outdoorsman for over 30 years and has travelled the globe in pursuit of both game and fish throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Africa, Europe, and Australia. He is a Read Head (Bass Pro Shops)and Mossy Oak hunting Pro and a member of the pro staff of or companies representing Leupold Optics, Traditions Muzzleloaders, Browning, Barnes Bullets, Magnum Research, and BLACKHAWK! tactical and hunting gear. Ace is also a partner in the adventure booking agency World Game Hunts, Ltd. . He is involved in numerous conservation organizations and youth projects and was a 2006 semifinalist in the Field and Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge.

Purchasing a Compound Bow Online

Part 1 - How to Determine Your Draw Length

 

 

Purchasing a compound bow online can seem to be a daunting task. There are several factors that you will need to have knowledge of when shopping for a bow. As you gain knowledge of each of these factors and how to determine your personal needs the bow picking process will become a lot easier.

One thing to take in to consideration when purchasing a compound bow is the draw length. The draw length is the distance from the nock on the string to the grip when the bow is at full draw. Determining the correct draw length is actually an easy task. It will take two people only a minute or two to determine the correct draw length and you will be one step closer to purchasing your bow!

A bow and arrow set at the proper draw length will enable you to have three solid anchor points at full draw. The anchor points being where your hand rests on your face neck area, where the string hits you at the corner of your mouth, and where your nose hits the string. Determining these anchor points is necessary so that you draw and hold the bow in the same position each time that you shoot your bow. Also, having a draw length that is too long may result in the string slapping your arm.

To obtain the draw length that you will need simply spread your arms straight out on each side so that they are fully extended. The measurement will need to be taken from finger tip to finger tip. This measurement will then need to be divided by 2.5. If you are going to shoot a D-Loop then one half an inch should be subtracted from the total. It's that easy!

Before you purchase your bow, take a few moments to follow the steps above to determine the draw length that you will need. It will then be time for the next critical step of the purchasing process...

 

Part 2 - Determining Draw Weight

 

Discount Archery Equipment can be just the answer to help keep you enjoying the sport of archery despite the difficult economy. Many times, with just a little planning, you can find deals that will help you get the gear you need regardless of the current recession. Here, are few tips to help you get started:

  1. Contact Sporting Good Stores for times of normal sales.
    Most retail businesses run in cycles where they offer their goods on sale at certain points in the year. Sporting goods stores are no different. By contacting these stores, you can find out when they are likely to put their archery equipment on sale. This can be very helpful in planning your spending habits as you can find quality discount archery equipment with just a simple phone call.
  2. Check online sites for archery supplies on clearance.
    The internet provides a great vehicle for finding access to all kinds of archery clearance items. These can normally be viewed on the various companies' websites by searching around for the terms clearance, sale, or discount. Since there are a wide number of different archery manufacturers and companies, you can easily find a wide variety ofdiscount archery equipment.
  3. Pool your resources and buy in bulk.
    Many archery supplies like arrows can be bought in bulk for reduced prices. If you know a few other archers, it may be a good idea to put your money together to get discounted prices for some equipment. This can be a great way for getting quality products that you would otherwise pass on if buying only by yourself. There is definitely a value in buying in bulk.

By using the above tips, you should be well on your way to finding discount archery equipment. Saving a few dollars on equipment can not only allow you to keep going, it can also give you the option of buying additional other equipment. There is certainly nothing wrong with that.

Techniques That Will Improve Your Shooting

Shooting a bow and arrow accurately and consistently takes practice, albeit gaining the ability to group arrows in tight groups takes more than just practice it takes proper practice. You can't just shoot arrow after arrow and become consistently accurate without implementing the proper techniques, form, and practice habits.

Concentrate on a tiny spot on the  target. The smaller the better! This helps because it requires you to concentrate more than if you were shooting at a  larger spot on the target. When shooting it is key to concentrate on the spot that you are wanting to hit. Nothing else should be on your mind. Keep your eyes on the spot while you draw, anchor, aim, release, and finally watch your arrow hit the target.

Shoot with both of your eyes open.  Shooting with both eyes open helps in low light conditions. It also helps watch the arrow as it finds or misses it's mark. While shooting with both eyes open, your eyes may battle for dominance while you begin to aim. If this happens, close your non-dominant eye for a second regroup and open it again.

Relax your fingers while holding your bow. You do not want to have pressure on the grip of the bow from your palm. But, instead you want to allow the bow to be held in place by the v between your thumb and index finger. This will help to prevent your from torquing your bow during the shot. Which is a common cause of inconsistency.

While aiming at the target, and ensuring that your pin is in the small tiny spot on the target, start squeezing your trigger on your archery release, but all the time concentrating on the tiny spot on the target. Keep squeezing slowly and concentrating. You do not want to know the exact time the bow is going to be released. Keep your bow in the same position while you watch your arrow find it's mark.

Shoot bright color vanes. My favorite color vanes is white. I prefer white because it really stands out against a dark target. They also make it easy to locate your arrow if you miss or shoot through the target. The only concern with white vanes is while hunting, especially during gun season. For safety, it is recommended to cover the white vanes with hunter's orange when walking through the woods.

Practice shooting your bow at long distances. Shoot at 45 yards or more! This will magnify any imperfections in your shooting form because the farther you shoot the more your imperfections will impact your arrow flight. Practicing at long distances will also make it seem simple to shoot the 20 to 30 yard shots!

Shooting a lighted arrow nock, such as a Lumenok is a great method at long distances to see imperfections in your form. With a lumenok attached to your arrow shoot your bow 45 plus yards and watch the arrow as it flys to the target. The lumenok will help you to see imperfections in your arrow flight. It will also make it easy to see where you hit the target and to recover your arrow in low light conditions.

The next time you decide to shoot your bow, be sure to consciously aim at a tiny spot on the target, clear your mind of everything but the tiny spot on the target, shoot with both eyes open, relax your fingers on the bow, squeeze the trigger on the release, keep your bow in the same position after the shot while watching your arrow hit the target,  shoot bright colored vanes, practice at long distances, and shoot lighted arrow nocks to discover imperfections in your form. I am confident that implementing these techniques will improve your archery shooting.

 

Archery For Beginners - 8 Tips For Better Shooting

Before you begin - Select a bow that fits you. It is best to get an experienced archer to help you select your first bow. No matter what type of bow you choose, you want one that is the correct draw length and draw weight for you.

I like to start people out with recurve bows. If you can shoot a recurve you can shoot a compound bow, but not necessarily the other way around. It's kind of like learning to ride a motorcycle. It helps if you already know how to ride a bicycle.

Here are 8 tips for better shooting:

  1. Grip (Bow Hand) - The main thing here is that you want a loose grip. If you are right handed, you will hold the bow in your left hand and vice versa. Form a V with your thumb and index finger. Now allow the bow handle to rest deep in the V and lightly wrap your thumb and fingers around the handle. Curve your fingers so they are not sticking out in the way of the arrow. You need a slight bend in the elbow of your grip hand. Do not lock your elbow.
  2. Grip (String Hand) - There is more than one grip that works, but I teach two fingers on the string below the arrow nock and one finger on the string above the knock. This is of course if you are shooting without the aid of a release. I do not recommend a release for beginners. Learn the basics first. Make sure your pinky stays back out of the way. You can use your thumb to hold it down. Look at your fingers...You will want the string to come across your fingers half way between the tips and the first joint. Many people use too much of their finger on the string which prevents a smooth release. As you begin to draw the bow, you will want to keep your fingers in the same position on the string. A common problem is that people curl their fingers as they draw the bow string. This causes the arrow to come off the rest.
  3. Drawing the Bow - As you draw the bowstring, your elbow on your string hand should be pointed directly out away from your body and parallel to the ground. I always take in a breath as I draw.
  4. Anchor Point - As you reach full draw, there will be a spot on your face where the string naturally comes to. I place my finger against the corner of my mouth. Every time I draw, I go to this same spot. This ensures consistency in my draw length. Find an anchor point that works for you. Once at my anchor point, I hold my breath momentarily.
  5. Relax - Try to relax as much as possible. The more uptight you are the more likely you are to jerk as you release. A smooth release is essential to accuracy.
  6. Aim - Again, there are different methods that work for different folks. I close one eye and look down the arrow at my target. Some people shoot with both eyes open. Either way, you should really focus on your target, mentally visualizing where you want the arrow to go. Pick out a specific spot and stare a hole through it. Once you are at full draw, do not hold your bows and arrows for more than about 3 seconds. The longer you hold your bow at full draw, the more you will shake and the less accurate you will be. One to two seconds is plenty of time to take aim. By the same token, do not rush your shot.
  7. Release - Allow your string fingers to relax. No sudden release is required. As you release, let out your breath. Relax.
  8. Follow Through - This is very important as with most sports. Do NOT drop your hand. It is a common tendency for archers to drop their bow hand in an effort to see over or around the bow to watch their arrow strike the target. Concentrate on the target and where you want the arrow to strike, not so much the flight of the arrow. Only after your arrow strikes the target should you drop your bow hand. If you drop your bow hand even slightly in an effort to watch your arrow, your arrow will miss the target low.

Make sure if you are shooting at a range or with other people that all is clear before you go retrieve your arrows. Have fun out there, and be safe!

Darryl Rodgers is a stay-at-home dad, author, and adventurer. He grew up in rural South Carolina hunting, fishing, and playing in the woods near his home for hours at a time. At the age of 19, Darryl started a career as a corporate pilot. He served as a medic in the Army National Guard and eventually became a Copilot/Gunner on the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

Darryl has owned several small businesses but has been most successful and had the most fun running an outdoor summer day camp for boys. He has also worked with at-risk boys through a non-profit program. Darryl is the proud father of two boys, ages 8 and 15. Through his years of practical experience in working with boys, Darryl has become an expert on what boys like, how they learn best, and what things they need to be taught that they are missing in school.

How to Locate a Good Archery Club

An archery club can make the life of a die hard archer easier than they ever imagined. When joining a club a person can learn new techniques for bow hunting, target archery, and even Japanese archery, which is an art all within itself. However, if a person is not sure how to locate their local club that is devoted to this activity they may need to resort to the internet which has an unlimited amount of information at one's fingertips in regards to finding the right club to join.

If one is looking for an archery club that specializes in archery hunting then "3DShoots" is definitely the spot to turn to. This is a one stop spot for those who live and hunt in the United States.

Simply put, this is a directory of clubs that offer hunters who use the bow the opportunity to locate a club in their state. Links to the actual club websites are also here if the club has a website available. This makes it easy for one to actually check out a club and what it has to offer its members.

Another great directory for archers is one that is international. A person can locate this site by clicking on "Archery Info" for a great place to locate not only international clubs but also makers of international products. If one is looking for an Italian made bow for example, then this is the site to check out.

Not only can one find links to special archery accessories makers but they can also locate clubs in countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and even Guatemala. This site also claims to be the "largest animal, hunting and archery information sites on the Internet". This is definitely one site that anyone interested in international archery clubs should not ignore.

If one is looking to join an archery club to become a better sport, then they are living in the right times. Thanks to the world of the internet a person can find a great club that focuses on this sport and helping to improve ones skills. After all, discussing one's talents with others can only help to improve them and make the skills as sharp as one's arrows.

A good club can also help on their search for the best archery arrows. Learning how to be a better archer or just s sportsman has never been simpler than it is today with the help of modern technology.

Strength Training For Archers

Did you know that as we age we tend to lose between five and 7 pounds of muscle during each 10 years of our adult life? This even happens when we are in our 20s! The result of this is that we lose a tremendous amount of muscle strength that will have a negative effect on our ability to shoot bow archery. Being able to hold your bow at a full draw, steadily, has a major impact on your aim and accuracy. If as science claims, we become weaker as we age then it is safe to assume that your aim and accuracy is going to suffer. Perhaps a pound or two does not seem like a lot but it really is a considerable amount of strength loss.

Many times when we are not shooting well we believe it to be either our technique or our bow hunting equipment. Rarely do we understand that our draw weight is becoming, gradually, too much for us to handle. Despite training for hours, our performance begins to suffer. Many times when we do not understand why our accuracy or shooting is poor, it can be very frustrating and lead to even worse performances.

Merely practicing drawing you bow, no matter how many times we do it, is just not enough to overcome the loss of strength and muscle in our upper body. Extra practice and training will do nothing to maintain the strength of the stabilizing muscles of our core, legs and lower back. Especially the muscles around our midsection, the core muscles, these along with our legs are as important if not more so than the muscles of the upper body.

Strength Training for Archers

A study performed for the Olympics back in 1984 discovered that leg strength was a major factor in determining your archery target success. As you probably know, your legs are the stable base from which you shoot your bow. If this base is not sturdy, you will not be accurate. This is especially true after a long day of competition shooting, as our muscles begins to tire. By strengthening these core muscles along with your legs and upper back, you will maintain a steady base, better accuracy and avoid back problems in the future.

Today, athletes know that strength training will solve the problem of age dependent strength and muscle loss. As an archer, strength loss will have a dramatic effect on our ability to shoot a bow. However, there is hope, with good strength training for archery program we can hold back the ravages of time and continue to enjoy the sport we love so much. Through continued strength training workouts, we will have more confidence in our physical ability, which will allow us to focus completely on the process of shooting and thus become an even better archer.

Unfortunately, strength loss happens to everyone. That is why in all sports today star athletes are utilizing strength training workouts to get and maintain a performance edge. Football has had strength and conditioning programs since the 1950s. In fact, the Green Bay Packers were one of the first teams to utilize strength training as part of their workouts. In addition, isometric exercise and training played a critical part in the success of the Green Bay Packers winning so many Super Bowl victories.

It is no longer enough to "just practice" your sport, to become the best you must include strength training for archery into your training schedule.

A Perception of Archery For Team Building Purposes

Archery is one of the most loved team building activities of the modern man. Humankind has known the sport since sometime and the popularity of archery as a team building event is increasing with the passage of each day. So what gives the unique status for archery, which cannot be found in any of the other common team building activities. For starters, anyone can be an archer if he is given ample training, training of 15 minutes is more than enough and you will be shooting targets accurately within no time. Secondly it is one of the least expensive form of team building, hence will be easier on the pockets of the team members too.

The equipments which are required for archery is a no brainer, a simple bow and arrow. Since the sport is relatively new to the team members, it is always better to seek the instructions of the event coordinators before starting to shoot off everything you might find in your way. A certain amount of pressure must be supplied to the bow's string so that the arrow is propelled speedily into the target.

The bow and the arrow must be placed at a certain inclination, holding them in a straight line will work out only when the target is close to the shooter, as the distance of the target is increased, the arrow tends to stop travelling in a straight line. These are some of the tips that the instructor might be explaining to the team members. So what makes the whole event worth remembering? The teams are in turn split into smaller groups and competitions are held among these groups. The team that strikes the target the most times will be entitled to win the competition. It may seem simple to read, but once you are out in the open things are going to much tougher.

The author had earlier mentioned that the event is much cheaper to organize than the other team building events. This is because the requirements are sparse. Some bows and arrows depending on the number of people participating in the team along with some practice targets. The targets can be mobile and transported to any venue according to the requirements of the team. The only expensive parts of the sport are the donning of expensive protective vests and thumb protection. However, they are most necessary because we are dealing with deadly equipments and there must not be any room for any sorts of mistakes.

If the climate is worse, the event can be held indoors too. This is one of the most attractive features of the activity. The team members will have to develop their own strategies to successfully hit the target and though it may seem tough initially, it may work out to be easier with the passage of time. A good eyesight coupled with the ability to judge the distance accurately are some of the important factors which are required to keep the shooter focused on the target archery.

Some Archery Tips For Beginners

Archery is a skill that has been used to provide food, wage war, and provide simple competition between individuals since prehistoric times. For a time, interest in archery waned to the point the art nearly died out. That changed in the early part of the twentieth century when archery was added back into the Olympic Games and many states began to offer special hunting seasons where archery tackle was the only legal means to take certain big game species. Here are a few archery tips for the beginner that could add to one's enjoyment of the sport.

Start out slowly. Bows are available in a wide range of draw weights and lengths. Choose a bow that you can pull comfortably and whose draw length is right for you. Choosing a bow that you cannot pull or one that has too long a draw for the length of your arms will certainly keep you from enjoying the sport to its fullest.

As you become stronger, you can upgrade your bow to one with a heavier draw. It is a good idea to do so as you progress in the sport and become more proficient. It may be a good idea to try bows of different types, the longbow, recurve, composite recurve, and compound bows each have their own advantages and attributes.

Take care to choose your arrows of a length to match the draw length of your bow. Arrows come in an assortment of lengths designed to accommodate the fact that some bows have a longer or short draw than others. Arrows that are too long will not fly properly and arrows that are too short will not allow you to draw the bow to its full length. This can cause you to either lose part of the power in the bow, or to not be able to take advantage of the let off quality of compound bows.

We hope that you will apply these tips to your approach to archery. Doing so will greatly improve your enjoyment of the sport.

Practice every day. It may sound cliche, but the importance of practice when using archery equipment can not be overstated. People who hunt with archery tackle during one season of the year and ignore their equipment the rest of the year are not very proficient or safe hunters. Of course if competition is your goal where a target is all you will be firing at, you will want to be the best shot possible. This takes massive amounts of practice to perfect one's form and aim.

Spend money on some safety equipment and mechanical aids. A special glove that only covers back to the first knuckle on the three fingers used to draw the bow string and a leather wrist guard on the other arm can prevent some very serious injuries caused by the bow string as it is pulled and released. Many hunters also prefer to use a mechanical aid to draw the string. These devices are a sort of handle that attaches to the string and is released by pulling a trigger inside it.

Spend some time caring for your archery equipment. Keep your bowstrings dry at all times and wipe any moisture off the bow after use. If you use a recurve bow, unstring it when not in use to release the tension off the bow and string to prevent stretching. Always check the limbs of the bow for signs of damage and cracks. A Serious injury could occur if the bow breaks when you draw the string.

Different Types of Arrows and Uses

Choosing the right bow and arrow for your shooting style is critical to getting your perfect shot. You could have the best bow in the world, but if you're arrows are cheap and badly matched to your bow, you will never see results. Also, you will want to take your discipline into consideration. If you're planning to hunt deer, you'll want an arrow that is different than if you were just doing some simple target-practice. Here are the different options you have when it comes to picking out your arrows:

Wood

Wood is the traditional material for bows and has been used for centuries. Today they are mostly used for beginners and for men's longbow competitions. They are not as popular in other disciplines because they tend to have slight inaccuracies in every bow, making it difficult to have really uniform results when shooting. They also tend to warp and break easily, but if you're looking to be frugal, wood arrows is the best bet.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is much more consistent and reliable than wood for arrows, making them suitable for hunting and informal uses. They are also easier to fit to different draw lengths required of individual archers. The downside to these is that they too tend to be brittle and break easily, requiring the archer to replace them constantly.

Aluminum

Aluminum arrows are manufactured with much more consistency and reliability than both fiberglass and wood arrows. They can also be made in a wide variety of sizes and types of aluminum alloys to suit everyone's needs. They are very durable and are engineered for interchangeable arrowheads. Because of the consistency of aluminum arrows, they are often used in hunting game and in tournaments. The only downside to these arrows is the higher cost, so they are not recommended for beginners who tend to lose arrows frequently.

Carbon

Carbon composite arrows tend to be the favorite among serious hunters and archers who value the speed, durability and efficiency that comes from this type of material. Because they come with an aluminum core and a carbon coat, they tend to fly faster and further than all aluminum bows arrows, without the brittleness of a fiberglass arrow. These are the most expensive arrows on the market, and are therefore only recommended for serious archers.

When picking out arrows it's also important to consider the other features that come with them like the fletching, stiffness of the spine and the arrow's point.

The Meaning of Brace Height in a Compound Bow

Just about all popular pursuits and hobbies are full of jargon and technical terms that are specific to it. People who are heavily involved in these pursuits often take the terms that are used daily for granted. Archery and bow-hunting is filled with these kinds of terms, particularly when discussing the bows. One of the phrases used to describe a bow is the brace height. For those trying to buy a compound bow for the first time, trying to work out it's significance might be very confusing.

The following is a brief description of the brace height, what it refers to in a compound bow and what the significance is in terms of the bow's performance.

In the simplest terms, the brace height is the distance between the string when it's at rest and the deepest part of the bow grip.

The reason this measurement is always quoted as part of a bow's specification details is that it indicates the potential speed the bow can shoot an arrow. If a bow has a short brace height and a long draw length (the furthest distance the string can be drawn back) it tells you that the string will be drawn a lot more tightly than a bow with one that is longer. The conclusion to that is that the bow will be capable of shooting arrows at a greater speed.

There is a trade off with the speed capabilities of bows with short brace heights. In general, it is more difficult to shoot accurately using a bow with a short brace height.

Although compound bows with longer brace heights are not quite as powerful as those that are shorter, they are still highly desirable. This is because these types of bows offer more forgiveness when they are fired. For the newcomer to the sport as well as the occasional shooter it is very likely that the technique that is used to fire the bow is going to be less than perfect. A bow that has a larger brace height will not punish the shooter quite so severely and this means it will still be possible to shoot relatively accurately.

If you are new to the sport of archery and you're looking for a new compound bow, try to resist the temptation to buy the fastest, most powerful bow possible. Err on the side of accuracy and learn how to shoot properly before moving up in power. A brace height that is over 7 inches might be a suitable place to start.

There are many compound bow models that cater for all levels of shooting experience. An experienced archery sales representative should be able to help you find a suitable bow. Make sure you test the bow to ensure it feels right in your hands.