There is nothing in the world to me like getting inside of a wild animal’s comfort zone, undetected. It is the ultimate predator accomplishment, short of making the actual kill, and very difficult. When I am that close, my preferred weapon of choice is bow and arrow, even in these modern times. About the only other method that requires getting closer is using a spear, but I digress. Archery hunting by either a recurve, longbow, or compound is a close in pursuit and requires dedicated practice.
By its very nature, shooting a bow is also a more physical style of hunting in lieu of firearms hunting. You don’t work the action as with a long gun, you use your chest and arm muscles pulling and pushing. You must develop the strength and muscle memory that only comes through continual practice. But to do that you obviously need a bow and there are many to choose from. Most people have shot recurves as kids in school at some point.
The recurve is a great place to start for kids and for schools. It’s easy to shoot and relatively inexpensive for schools to purchase in bulk. The recurve is shorter than the longbow so more can be stored in the same amount of space. Hunting with a recurve or longbow is referred to as a “traditional” method in bowhunting circles. But there are many more compound shooters than traditional for several reasons.
Modern compound bows are built with cams at each end of the limbs for the bowstring to travel through. These cams are designed into different shapes to provide what is known as “let-off” for ease of shooting. Defined as a percentage, let-off decreases the amount of weight you hold at full draw. You still draw back the full weight until you turn the cams over, right before you come to full draw. At full draw, the amount of weight your holding is then decreased to allow you to hold longer.
For example, shooting my 70 pound bow with 80% let-off at full draw I am only holding 14 pounds. This allows me to hold my bow at full draw longer based on what the animal is doing. Ideally you want to draw your bow when your quarry isn’t looking or can’t see you. But oftentimes they change positions for various reasons and it’s not advantageous to let down as they could see this. So, having the ability to hold your bow at full draw is an advantage.
Let-off also allows you more shooting/practicing time than traditional bows that don’t have this mechanical advantage. So how do we get you started? Go to your local archery shop where the professionals can determine your draw length, draw weight, and eye dominance. Compound bows are set up for you based on your individual measurements and capabilities. Like many weapons, there is a wide range in price points based on the bow’s construction, capabilities, and engineering.
High end bows when they first come out usually start out around $1,000 and go up from there. Normally these are bare bows also, meaning they lack arrow rests, sights, stabilizers, arrow quivers and the like. So, then the costs will go up even more once you start adding these accessories. My current bow with all its added gear is about $1400. Then you need arrows which have to be cut to the correct length for your bow set up.
Arrows also must have the correct spine stiffness for the length and weight you are shooting. The archery shop pros will help you with this as well. Now this may all sound like a lot of information and it may be. But here is where I’m going to help you with the bow and not break your bank. Until you know how much you’re going to like shooting a bow you shouldn’t spend a ton of money.
I highly recommend the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro compound bow and here is why. The draw length can be adjusted from 13” to 31” inches and the draw weight from 5 to 70 pounds. Add in that the let-off is 80% and you see what a highly adjustable and shootable bow it is. It comes as a package deal that includes arrow rest, stabilizer, string loop, wrist sling, arrow quiver, and peep sight. The bottom line is some of the best news as all of this retails for well under $400! (https://diamondarchery.com/bows/infinite-edge-pro-2)
Diamond Archery is a subsidiary of Bowtech Archery and proudly made in America. The Infinite Edge Pro weights just over three pounds as a bare bow. It has a very smooth draw cycle, especially for an entry level bow. Everyone that I have turned onto this bow has loved it without complaint. It is also a great bow to pass on to younger shooters as they get into the sport as well.
Support your local archery shop, buy American made, and pick you up a Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro. With a handful of arrows, you will be enjoying the great sport of archery and bowhunting in no time!