Author Topic: Getting Back to Archery  (Read 4255 times)

Offline InquiringMind

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Getting Back to Archery
« on: November 21, 2014, 09:55:05 AM »
I did a lot of archery from age 8-14 or so, going to JOAD classes and competitions almost every weekend. In those years, I shot both compound and recurve. All target shooting, never hunted. By high school, though, I just got too busy and gave it up.

Now, at age 29, I have the itch to get back to it. My wife and I just joined a field and stream club that has various archery ranges, and I can't wait to get out there. I plan to set up my wife with my old recurve, since it should fit her well, and I'm planning to get a new setup for myself.

My primary intended use will be target practice, but I would like to take up hunting. Jack's near-mystical descriptions of archery hunting have me very curious. The current plan is to get a compound with field-adjustable draw weight. This should give me a lot of flexibility as I build up that unique archery strength, and good versatility for both target practice and hunting.

A few questions for all you archers out there:

1) Does this seem like a good plan?

2) If so, what should I look for in this type of bow? Any particular features or brands I should look for or avoid? I don't need top of the line, but I do want something quality that will last.

3) If not, what would you recommend doing?

Thanks!
- InquiringMind
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Offline Mjolnir

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2014, 08:40:17 PM »
Hey there InquiringMind. I think it is awesome that you are getting back into archery. Quick question for you? What do you mean by a field-adjustable draw weight? Do you mean a compound that you can adjust the draw weight without the use of allen wrenches? Either way the flexibility that compounds offer is one of its greatest assets. I am a fan of Bear compound bows, they are reasonably priced and shoot well (at least in my experience) and I don't really have any brands that I can think to tell you to avoid. I would if possible go to a local shop and try a few out. Plus it would be helpful to have them measure your draw length. Hope this helps.

Offline InquiringMind

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2014, 08:59:38 AM »
Hey, Mjolnir - thanks for the feedback!

What do you mean by a field-adjustable draw weight? Do you mean a compound that you can adjust the draw weight without the use of allen wrenches?
I guess a more accurate term would've been 'user-adjustable'. Allen wrenches are fine, but I wouldn't want to have to take it into a shop. The more I look around, I'm realizing this is pretty common now.

I'm planning to go to Cabela's when they have a sale going and try out a few. From my online research, the Diamond Infinite Edge (made by Bowtech) seems to be a standout product with very high customer ratings. Draw weight 5-70 lbs, draw length 13-30", and good price point. If it feels good and shoots well, I might go with that.

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Offline ericksonrs

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2014, 10:07:51 AM »
I have two of the diamond infinite edge bows.  One for my 12 year old and one for me.  Its a great bow.  The draw length needs to be done in a shop but the draw weight can be adjusted at home.  I think its a great starter bow as I just got into archery last year and didn't want to spend a couple grand on something I wasn't sure I'd get into.  Its also nice to be able to loan it out.  I didn't have an archery tag this year so loaned mine to a neighber (14 year old girl) she had it adjusted to her and had a great hunt.  Two thumbs up so far.

Offline Mjolnir

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2014, 02:22:16 PM »
Good idea on going to Cabela's and trying out a few. And I will back up ericksonrs on bowtech's being a good product. If you like the fit and feel I wouldn't hesitate to own one. I am sure with the holidays and all that Cabela's stuff should be going on sale soon if it isn't already.

Offline strangetanks

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2014, 02:37:54 PM »
I would do some research and find a bow you like then buy one on ebay.  Best place I have found to get a good deal on them.

On a side note, if you are looking for a cheap target.  If you ask around it should be easy enough to find a retail place that will sell you a bale of cardboard for about $30 or $40 from their compactor.

Offline InquiringMind

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2014, 03:15:04 PM »
I would do some research and find a bow you like then buy one on ebay.  Best place I have found to get a good deal on them.

When buying a used bow, what problems should you look out for? With a compound, especially, I would be afraid there was damage you couldn't see from someone dry-firing it.
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Offline Perfesser

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2014, 11:06:11 AM »
No crossbows?
A  good recurve crossbow (by good I mean Excalibur) is as accurate as a rifle to beyond 40 yards, you never have to take it to a bow shop, no press needed for adjustments or string replacement.
It can stay cocked all day(always ready to shoot), doesn't require any extra stress on old shoulder joints, you can have optics for your old eyes,  and doesn't need regular practice to stay proficient. I'll never go back to a vertical bow.
Don't even look at compound crossbows, the parts don't last under the kind of stresses crossbows develop.
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Offline Mjolnir

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2014, 11:25:11 AM »
When buying a used bow, what problems should you look out for? With a compound, especially, I would be afraid there was damage you couldn't see from someone dry-firing it.
Usually anyone serious about selling a bow will provide good pictures of the limbs etc. The one thing I would look for or ask is if they lighten the draw weight when storing the bow for an extended period of time. This is good practice and also let's you know that the individual was concerned with keeping their equipment in good shape. Another good indicator of a individual who is taking good care of their bow is the condition of the string. If it looks good (isn't fraying and looks well waxed) they are probably taking good care of the bow in general. Beyond that I am not sure. Hopefully someone else will add some more things to look for. My father as bought several bows from eBay and hasn't had any issues.

Offline InquiringMind

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2014, 07:28:15 AM »
Just to follow up:

Went to Cabela's yesterday. I tried out the Infinite Edge and really liked it. As I mentioned in the original post, it's been years since I shot a bow, but it still felt natural. Bows and bikes, I guess. I had them set it up with a 45 lb draw weight as a starting point so I can get in lots of practice without tiring out. As I build that strength, it will be easy to up the weight.

I managed to line up a bunch of holiday season deals, and walked out of there with a bow (including quiver, rest, sight, & peep sight), arrows, and release for under $300. Quite pleased with my purchase and can't wait to put some arrows down range! Hopefully this weekend. I'll post some pictures and a review once I have some experience with it.
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Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2014, 11:48:19 AM »
My 16 yr. old just bought his first bow, and he is really enjoying it.
"I went down Virginia, seekin' shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder, still I wonder who'll stop the rain."

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Offline Mjolnir

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2014, 10:58:55 PM »
Just to follow up:

Went to Cabela's yesterday. I tried out the Infinite Edge and really liked it. As I mentioned in the original post, it's been years since I shot a bow, but it still felt natural. Bows and bikes, I guess. I had them set it up with a 45 lb draw weight as a starting point so I can get in lots of practice without tiring out. As I build that strength, it will be easy to up the weight.

I managed to line up a bunch of holiday season deals, and walked out of there with a bow (including quiver, rest, sight, & peep sight), arrows, and release for under $300. Quite pleased with my purchase and can't wait to put some arrows down range! Hopefully this weekend. I'll post some pictures and a review once I have some experience with it.

That's awesome bud. Keep us in the know and I hope you have years of enjoyment with it. Just curious what brand and kind of arrows did you get, I am assuming carbon.

Offline InquiringMind

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2014, 11:50:15 AM »
Well, I made it to the range for a couple hours yesterday. Left only after my fingers and toes were frozen from the cold and I ran out of daylight. It came right back to me, and I had a great time shooting. I'm already scheming about when I can get back out there.

I thought I'd post some initial impressions of the equipment, in case anyone is interested. Keep in mind - I haven't shot in about 15 years, so I don't have any recent experience with other equipment for comparison.

Diamond Infinite Edge:
The bow felt and shot great. Smooth draw, and the 75% let off meant I could easily hold at full draw. This made 45 lbs feel surprisingly light, so I will probably increase the weight soon, and with a max of 70 lbs, there's plenty of room to move up. The bow seems to be high quality construction, so I expect it will provide years of use. The only thing I don't like is that one spot on the handle rubs against my thumb knuckle. This is a minor ergonomic point that I can probably fix it with a small piece of moleskin.

The rest worked well. I don't have experience with this brush-type design they seem to use on compounds now, so I don't know how it will hold up. But if the brushes wear out, they should be cheap and easy to replace.

The sight is somewhat lacking. Pros: solid construction and the fiber optics are highly visible. Cons: the elevation adjustment is coarse at best, and it doesn't seem to have any windage adjustment. I'll probably stick with it for the time-being, but will likely upgrade at some point. This seems consistent with the other reviews I've read online.

Cabela's Carbon Hunter Arrows with Cabela's (100gr) 3-D Field Points :
When I last shot, carbon arrows were just coming on the market; now they seem to dominate. I can't say anything for or against these arrows. They seem to do the trick. However, I did manage to shoot through one of the fletchings, so I will need to learn how to repair that. I'm used to feathers, and haven't encountered this issue before, so I'm not sure if it's inherent to plastic or if these are particularly flimsy.

Cabela's E-Z Adjust Pro Caliper Release:
This worked great for me. Very comfortable, good ergonomics. There are much more expensive releases out there, but I can't yet see the need.



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Offline Mjolnir

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Re: Getting Back to Archery
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2014, 04:43:54 PM »
Well, I made it to the range for a couple hours yesterday. Left only after my fingers and toes were frozen from the cold and I ran out of daylight. It came right back to me, and I had a great time shooting. I'm already scheming about when I can get back out there.

I thought I'd post some initial impressions of the equipment, in case anyone is interested. Keep in mind - I haven't shot in about 15 years, so I don't have any recent experience with other equipment for comparison.

Diamond Infinite Edge:
The bow felt and shot great. Smooth draw, and the 75% let off meant I could easily hold at full draw. This made 45 lbs feel surprisingly light, so I will probably increase the weight soon, and with a max of 70 lbs, there's plenty of room to move up. The bow seems to be high quality construction, so I expect it will provide years of use. The only thing I don't like is that one spot on the handle rubs against my thumb knuckle. This is a minor ergonomic point that I can probably fix it with a small piece of moleskin.

The rest worked well. I don't have experience with this brush-type design they seem to use on compounds now, so I don't know how it will hold up. But if the brushes wear out, they should be cheap and easy to replace.

The sight is somewhat lacking. Pros: solid construction and the fiber optics are highly visible. Cons: the elevation adjustment is coarse at best, and it doesn't seem to have any windage adjustment. I'll probably stick with it for the time-being, but will likely upgrade at some point. This seems consistent with the other reviews I've read online.

Cabela's Carbon Hunter Arrows with Cabela's (100gr) 3-D Field Points :
When I last shot, carbon arrows were just coming on the market; now they seem to dominate. I can't say anything for or against these arrows. They seem to do the trick. However, I did manage to shoot through one of the fletchings, so I will need to learn how to repair that. I'm used to feathers, and haven't encountered this issue before, so I'm not sure if it's inherent to plastic or if these are particularly flimsy.

Cabela's E-Z Adjust Pro Caliper Release:
This worked great for me. Very comfortable, good ergonomics. There are much more expensive releases out there, but I can't yet see the need.




Glad you enjoyed the bow. The whisker biscuit rests typically hold up well for quite awhile. You may decide to check out a fall away rest in the future when it wears out. Compound sights are one of those pieces of equipment that you usually end up spending some money to get a decent set. Usually the stuff that comes with the bow is mediocre. As far as the carbon arrows and the plastic vanes, the vanes could be flimsy but a lot of times the arrows that are already fletched don't have the best glue to hold the fletching. Usually it's a easy fix. I like fletching my own arrows so I just buy the bear shafts. Glad that it all came back to you, and I hope you can get a chance to take it out hunting soon.