Hunting Bows – RainierArchery.com https://www.rainierarchery.com Your One-Stop Bowhunting Headquarters Sat, 06 Jan 2018 12:29:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 Beginner’s Guide to Compound Bows https://www.rainierarchery.com/beginners-guide-compound-bows/ https://www.rainierarchery.com/beginners-guide-compound-bows/#respond Tue, 29 Aug 2017 23:05:00 +0000 https://shop.rainierarchery.com/?p=317044 Today’s archery market consists of numerous compound bow manufacturers, making it difficult to know which bow is best for you. All compound bows, regardless of name and make, have similarities that you need to consider before buying. In this compound bow buyer’s guide for beginners, we’re going to look past the propaganda and consider the core aspects […]

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Today’s archery market consists of numerous compound bow manufacturers, making it difficult to know which bow is best for you. All compound bows, regardless of name and make, have similarities that you need to consider before buying. In this compound bow buyer’s guide for beginners, we’re going to look past the propaganda and consider the core aspects you need to know before buying a compound bow.

With anything that you buy, you must first consider application. Why are you buying a compound bow? Are you into hunting or target shooting? The application calls for different specifications. To start, we need to fit the bow to the shooter.

Let’s become familiar with a couple very important terms for fitting the bow to the shooter: draw length and draw weight.

Draw Length

Compound bows will draw only a certain distance before the string stops. This distance is the draw length. Most compound bows have a range for draw length and can be adjusted to fit the shooter for a comfortable shooting form. It’s very important that shooters find their appropriate draw length for multiple reasons.

  • If draw length is too short, it can hurt accuracy since maintaining reference points for aiming becomes more difficult. At full draw, shooters have an anchor point, and too short of a draw length leads to a floating anchor point and therefore inconsistency between shots. Too short of a draw length also can lead to increased torque on the bow which contributes to inaccuracy.

  • If draw length is too long, archers have the natural tendency to lean their head back in an attempt to see properly through the peep sight, a small device used for aiming. This will cause a host of other problems such as bad back posture and therefore shooting form. Improper shooting form can add tension and torque to the bow, leading to inaccuracy. To make matters worse, this will inevitably cause the shooter’s bow arm, or arm holding the bow, to extend more than it needs, putting the inner elbow right in the path of the string. Ouch!

  • Proper draw length. There are endless sources that explain how to predict or measure draw length. For the beginning archer, it’s smart to visit your local Bass Pro Shops archery department or other qualified archery shop to measure draw length. Having the correct draw length will help with form, consistency, accuracy and safety.

Draw weight is an important part of a selecting a bow, as hunters have to hold at full draw while taking aim at their game.

Bow Draw Weight

When it comes to draw weight, the most important thing to understand is matching your strength to the bows draw weight. Heavier draw weights produce faster speeds, but more important than speed is finding a weight that you can hold at full draw steadily without too much stress. Draw weight is the peak weight you pull as the string is being drawn back before let-off. Compound bows have what’s called let-off, which is a way to lessen the weight archers have to hold at full draw. So, when considering draw weight, also look for let off percentage.

Selecting draw weight— What archers need to consider, hunters especially, is the potential to be drawn back for long periods of time while waiting for an opportune shot. Or, drawing in adverse conditions, as draw weights that are too heavy are hard to hold for a long time and are even harder to draw after a long sit in a treestand on a cold winter day. So, match the weight to your strength. When testing bows, see if you can draw and hold the bow for a full 20-30 seconds without shaking. If you can, then the draw weight should be appropriate for you. Another important point is accuracy, having a draw weight that you can easily draw and hold will allow you to have a steadier and more accurate shot.

Bow Length

When choosing a bow, length is an important factor for maneuverability and stability. Again, what is the application? If hunting, shorter bows are more controllable in the field or in the treestand. If target shooting, many archers suggest that longer bows are more accurate. Bow length is measured from axle to axle, and while there is no set length, hunting bows are generally shorter, around 30 to 32 inches. Target shooting bows will be significantly longer. There’s no right or wrong answer, it comes down to personal preference and application for the end user.

Some compound bows come read-to-shoot in a package, while others require purchasing accessories separately.

Speed and Noise

Common among archers is talk about speed and noise. Modern bows are capable of shooting upwards of 350 feet-per-second or more. Arrow speed is important because it also translates to kinetic energy, or knock-down power. Bows able to shoot heavy arrows at fast speeds will provide greater penetration potential, which is desired when hunting. Faster arrows also shoot flatter, which aids in downrange accuracy.

Also important to archery hunters is noise. A quiet bow is generally desired over a loud bow. When a bow fires, energy stored in the bows working components is transferred to the arrow, but some of that energy isn’t transferred and is lost as vibration, which causes sound. Thanks to new innovative designs, energy loss is minimized and compound bow accessories called vibration dampeners can absorb leftover vibrations making for a quiet shot.

Bare vs. Ready-to-shoot

For the beginning archer, it is important to understand the difference between a bare bow and a ready-to-shoot bow. The compound bow is designed to use accessories when shooting an arrow. For example, an arrow rest, a sight and a quiver to start. Ready-to-shoot bows that come in packages have these necessary accessories already on the bow. However, if you buy a bare bow then you’ll have to outfit that bow with the required accessories. Either way is fine, but realize that a bare bow will require some additional work and money before going out and shooting. Overall, this buyer’s guide only touches on the basics that should be considered when purchasing a compound bow. Buyers can consider multiple other factors such as brace height, limb and riser design, cam types and much more when buying compound bows. However, having a basic understanding of the concepts described in this buyer’s guide will help you in buying your first, and hopefully not last, compound bow.

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Bow Buyer’s Guide for Women (and Youth) https://www.rainierarchery.com/bow-buyers-guide-women-youth/ https://www.rainierarchery.com/bow-buyers-guide-women-youth/#respond Mon, 14 Aug 2017 14:09:34 +0000 https://shop.rainierarchery.com/?p=317046 One of the great boons to bowhunting is the growing number of women joining its ranks. Archery manufacturers have been quick to respond, producing more bows and accessories expressly with women in mind. Before taking advantage of this, however, the new female archer needs to make a few choices.First Question: Traditional or Modern Bow?Those classic longbows and recurves seen in stores […]

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One of the great boons to bowhunting is the growing number of women joining its ranks. Archery manufacturers have been quick to respond, producing more bows and accessories expressly with women in mind. Before taking advantage of this, however, the new female archer needs to make a few choices.

First Question: Traditional or Modern Bow?

Those classic longbows and recurves seen in stores and catalogues are referred to as traditional bowsCompound bows, those shorter bows with wheels or cams at each tip, are their modern counterpart.

Before purchasing a bow, you need to decide which appeals to you.

Compound bows generally come with sights. Their cams or wheels help make their draw weight (the amount of weight the archer needs to exert to draw the bow) easier to handle. That’s because after the wheels or cams turn over during the initial phase of the draw, a let-off effect takes effect.

Many compound bows have up to 80 percent let-off. This means that the a bow with 40-pound draw weight and 80 percent let-off, only requires the archer to hold 20 percent of the weight, or 8 pounds (.2 x 40), at full draw. This makes it easier to hold the bow steady and at full draw for longer, which ultimately translates into better control and accuracy.

Compounds also have a flatter arrow trajectory because they fling arrows at almost double the speed of most recurves or longbows of equal draw weight. This means correct range estimation is less critical at shorter hunting ranges.

Traditional bows have their charms too. They are much lighter in hand and less costly at entry levels. Not much can go wrong with them. Generally speaking, recurve bows are the easiest traditional bows to shoot and put out faster arrow speeds. Both longbows and recurves are fun to shoot and possess a certain romance that their proponents truly enjoy.

But, while a compound bow user can become competent relatively quickly, it takes dedication and work to learn how to shoot a traditional bow well.

As a rule, traditional bows do not have sights, nor do they have mechanical advantages — if you are pulling a 40-pound traditional bow, that’s the weight you are holding throughout the draw. This makes it harder to draw a traditional bow and because of the weight a different, more fluid shooting style is used.

Their slower arrow speeds also produce arching trajectories. So while 30 yard accuracy is no real issue for the average compound bow shooter, it presents a challenge for the person using the longbow or recurve.

The Diamond Infinite Edge Compound Bow Package (left) is great for women archers, while the PSE Archery Razorback Recurve Bow (right) is optimal for all youth archers.

Let’s Talk About Draw Weight

For recreational archery, a draw weight between 25 and 35 pounds is a good place to start for most adult women. Young teens and pre-teen girls should start with even lighter draw weights. In either case, once the fundamentals are ingrained and shooting muscles are built, the archer can gradually step up to heavier draw weights, which provide faster arrow speeds, flatter trajectories and more penetration.

If hunting is the goal, check hunting regulations to determine the minimum draw weight required for the animals you plan on pursuing. Most jurisdictions require a 40-pound draw weight at 28 inches of draw for deer and 50 pounds for bear and moose.

Fortunately, many modern compound bows have a wide range of weight adjustment so that you can start shooting light poundage and work your way up to hunting weights. With traditional bows, however, you’re stuck with the draw weight you bought, unless that model allows for interchangeable limbs.

Whether for hunting or target shooting, before buying a bow, try drawing it to the corner of your mouth. If you can hold it there comfortably for a few seconds, it’s probably a weight you could handle. Otherwise go lighter.

Pulling too heavy a bow is a mistake that affects accuracy and causes muscle fatigue.

Finding a Bow that Fits Right

Bows designed expressly for women or youth are essentially scaled-down versions of men’s bows, made to suit the shorter average draw length of women, youth and smaller-framed men.

Draw length is the measurement from the back of the bow (the furthest edge away from the archer) to the point where you anchor the string. There are many ways of predicting draw length but the best method is get it measured at a reputable bow shop before buying.

Generally, women of average height have shorter draw lengths than men of average height. Not every compound bow is suited to shorter draw lengths so it’s important to purchase a bow that fits the female frame.

Also, make sure the bow’s grip is a comfortable fit for your hand. That connection point is the base that your shot is built upon.

Younger shooters, who are still growing, and want to buy a compound bow should buy one that has a wide range of draw length adjustment so the bow can grow with them.

With traditional bows, draw length is not as critical since you can simply pull it back further. However, that longer draw will also increase poundage.

Brace Height, Bow Length Considerations

Two other considerations, both for traditional and compound bows, are brace height and overall bow length. Brace height is the measurement from the nocking point to the belly of the bow (the inside edge).  All things being equal, a bow with a higher brace height is more forgiving of mistakes in shooting form and less temperamental. This is a characteristic a new shooter should look for.

Similarly, shorter bows from tip to tip or axle to axle, tend to be harder for the newcomer to shoot accurately, though they are handier in tree stands and ground blinds.

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