Author Topic: Recurve or compound  (Read 11702 times)

Offline ublinkd

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Recurve or compound
« on: May 20, 2011, 09:11:24 PM »
So 15 years ago I used to be into archery and bow hunting. I was good at it and enjoyed it a lot. At that time I was shooting a compound bow. I also shot recurve some but the one I owned was a compound so I shot with it 95% of the time. So now that I want to get back into it I am trying to figure out which one, recurve or compound, to get. I like the primal feel of the recurve but I am fearful that over time I either will not be good at hunting with it or I will get tired of shooting traditional style. Has anyone made the switch from one to the other? Is so what are the pros and cons? Thanks for any help.

Art in VA
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Offline Ken325

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2011, 01:05:34 AM »
I shot a compound about 15 years ago and I switched to traditional archery.  I shoot both recurves and long bows.  My main reason for switching was that the compound bows from 15 years ago were heavy!  My favorite kind of hunting is walking through the woods and shooting at small game. The lighter bow was a pleasure to carry and I hated the compound bow after a few miles. I also found that wood arrows were a lot cheaper and I was less concerned if I lost an arrow.  This may not be true today.  Wood arrows have gone up a lot due to a shortage of the right kind of cedar tree.  Also, modern compound bows are a lot lighter.  I think it depends on the type of hunting you like, your budget, and your personality.  Do you like traditional things?  Would you prefer a classic double barrel shotgun with a beautiful wood stock or a black Benelli shotgun with rails for accessories?  I have to admit that the compound bow is more accurate and shoots further.  The advantage for a traditional bow is you can shoot a lot faster due to faster draw and aiming.  When I hunt with someone with a compound bow, I get a lot more shots because they are always messing with gear and because I can shoot twice as fast as them. 

One area where I would say you have to go with a recurve is bow-fishing.  This is a LOT of fun if you know where to look for carp and gar.  The recurve has a lot of advantages for bow-fishing. 

The best answer is to get both eventually.

Offline ublinkd

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 06:06:13 AM »
Ken325, wow that was some good advice! I think you are correct in saying that I should eventually get both. I am going to start out with the recurve first. I will let y'all know when I get it it! Thanks again!
Idleness brings want


Offline flyfisher66048

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2011, 07:09:59 AM »
It takes a lot of practice to get good with a traditional Bow.  The experts say you should shoot some arrows every day.  There are many ways of aiming with a trad bow to include instinctive shooting, using the point as an aiming reference.  A guy named Fred Asbell wrote a book one instinctive shooting.  Bryon furguson wrote a book on the method of using the point as an aiming reference called "be the arrow".  I tried the instinctive method for years, but could not get the hang of it much past 25 yards, which is probably good enough for hunting.  I switched to using the point as a aiming reference and got much more accurate and consistent.   

Here is the method I use to determine my max hunting range with a trad bow.  Pick a range you are comfortable hitting a 8 inch paper plate. If you hit the plate on the first shot of the day, take one step back the next day.  If you miss the plate move one step forward.  Over time you'll determine your max range.  It is also important to shoot from an elevated position if you are going to hunt from a tree stand.  Practice in clothing you will be wearing while you are hunting.  I didn't get to shoot at a nice fat doe because my new face mask covered up my eye when I tried to shoot.
 


It is much easier to get good enough to hunt with a compound, due to sights, release, and let off.

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 10:36:14 AM »
Did you shoot fingers or with a release? Choosing to shoot "fingers" with a compound bow will drastically reduce your choices of modern bows as the majority of modern high speed compounds have very compact frames thus a very tight string angle at full draw and not much room for the traditional 3 finger draw heck even a 2 finger draw would be pretty tough.

If I were to choose a bow to last me well into my golden years, I'd go with compound, holding full draw of a high draw weight hunting bow without the aid of a compounds let off ain't my idea of fun and will be even less fun as I creak and groan with age.

If you really want to go the recurve route, you might want to consider picking up some lower poundage limbs at the same time for future use.

Offline ublinkd

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 11:43:00 AM »
I have shot both ways. Good point on the tight angle of the string. The more I read and the more I think about it the more i am sure I am going to get the recurve first.
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Offline ublinkd

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2011, 01:33:12 PM »
That does it...when I go to SC next month I am going to stop by Jeffery Archery and see what recurve they can hook me up with.
Idleness brings want


Offline Steve Cover

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2011, 10:58:12 PM »
<<<SNIP>>>

It is much easier to get good enough to hunt with a compound, due to sights, release, and let off.
You forgot shoulder stock, laser sights, fully automatic trigger etc. .... Just like Robin Hood.

If you need all that crap, use a rifle.
























I prefer "Real" Archery

LOL

Steve
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 11:16:41 PM by Steve Cover »
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Offline RocketDog

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2011, 03:11:38 PM »
I shot recurves from the mid 1960's to about 1980.  Shot compounds from early '80's to mid '90's.  Back to recurves from mid '90's to now.  Compounds potentially have greater accuracy at longer yardage because of arrow speed and sights.  Well tuned compounds will easily shoot a hunting arrow more than 400 yards.  A well tuned recurve won't shoot quite 400 yards (unless you are really strong).  Either type bow, well tuned, is more than adequate in both speed and accuracy to harvest any game in North America at reasonable yardage.

The accuracy question is a personal thing.  Some people work with compounds enough that they can consistently shoot a 2" five shot group at 50 yards.  Some people shoot recurves enough that they can consistently shoot 5" five shot groups at 50 yards.  The question is, are you willing to do the practice necessary to master a recurve at that range.  Of course, the shorter the yardage, the more likely you are to hit the target.

At reasonable hunting yardages, say up to 40 yards, either bow is adequate.  At longer ranges, some lighter weight recurves might not have the energy to take down really big game.

The typical problems with compounds: (1) the never ending tinkering with accessories and addition of new or better gadgets/accessories -- always costs more money  (2) since it is easier to make accurate shots with sights and arrows shoot pretty flat from 20 to 60 yards, many hunters will take shots way longer than they should (3) if something on the bow, one of the gadgets or accessories comes loose or breaks, your hunt is probably over (4) requires special tools and presses to maintain (5) the primary skill you must master is pulling the string back to the same place every time -- everything else is the bow and gadgets.

Typical problems with recurves: (1) you have the stick and string, might change the serving on the string occasionally, might put a new shelf or strike plate carpet on occasionally, might put new silencers on the string occasionally -- most people son't shoot enough to wear out any of these things (2) many hunters don't practice enough to be very competent, so chances are most shots are out of their range -- practice with a recurve is absolutely necessary, and yes, every day is good (3) the only thing likely to ever go wrong is cutting your string (4)  a takedown requires an allen wrench, they all require a stringer (string with pockets on end) at some point (5) instinctive shooting requires practice, hand eye coordination and memory -- no help from mechanical aids.  Of course, you could put sights on a recurve or longbow.

If you just want to shoot good enough to hunt deer a few times each year, get a compound.  If you enjoy archery and want to have fun shooting every day, go with a recurve or longbow.  I personally prefer recurves.

You can't shoot wood arrows with a compound.  You can shoot pretty much anything with a recurve.  I personally haven't shot a wooden arrow since the 1970's.  Why in the world would you mess with wood when there are so many amazingly accurate and durable arrows availabe now.

People who don't practice enough with either type bow will probably tell you extreme accuracy is not possible.  People who attain extreme accuracy levels with either bow will probably not post in any accuracy blogs.

Offline Steve Cover

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2011, 03:25:13 PM »
Excellent post RocketDog.

I agree the key to accuracy truly is lots of practice.
I've been shooting bent sticks since 1951 (Ya, I be an old duff).
Never got comfortable with the idea of lugging around a block and tackle arrow flinger.
If I want a technology upgrade, I can hunt with my 300 Weatherby Magnum...
The romance of traditional archery keeps me using a recurve takedown instead of a compound.
(Mine is the old Bear that snaps together... no wrench... have four sets of limbs for it)
I do big game hunt with aluminum arrows but use wood for everything else...
(Been making wood arrows and strings since the early 1960s.)
As to RocketDog's question of why would anyone mess with wood arrows... Because they are fun to make and use.
By making my own, I can very closely match weight and spline to produce very accurate arrows... Hey, its a hobby.

Instinctive shooting is like throwing rocks. 
It takes constant practice to maintain a humane level of hunting accuracy.
However, The constant practice is an enjoyable part of the hobby.

Archery takes a certain commitment for practice... A couple of bales of straw in the back yard makes daily shooting practical.
A person can dabble in archery, but that will not make them a bow hunter.

I agree with RocketDog about getting a compound with all the bells and whistles, trigger release, laser range finding sights etc. for people who are not able to put the hours into practice.
But, I have reservations about someone without adequate skill with a bow out hunting.

So, it comes down to how much effort you can or are willing to commit to?
Are you interested in the romance of traditional archery or just interested in flinging arrows?

Having been in archery you know how much effort is involved.

I'd make my choice based on level of commitment.

Steve




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Offline arrowbreaker

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 02:54:58 AM »
Excellent post and responses guys!  I did archery at an international (American) highschool in South America in the mid to late 90's and briefly after - and have missed it since.  Where  I am in Australia is pretty restrictive and really over the top when it comes to anything they consider a weapon (I had my Australian bought airsoft pistol confiscated from me on return to the country because they then classed it 'a firearm' and I wasnt allowed to keep it... even though it was broken! if that gives you an idea on the thou shalt not have fun mentality here on all things weapon)

I should soon be moving far, far away from suburbia to a mining town where people hunt, shoot and have a good time the old fashioned way and archery and a rifle came quickly to mind.  Mostly archery because you dont need a license to do that/own a bow. 

This post has been a big help, I really want to get back to using a recurve and from what I've seen online and Dave Canterbury doing on Dual Survival I know I want to try bow-fishinmg, if I can find a spot!

Offline arrowbreaker

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2012, 07:08:08 AM »
Plan is to pick up a Martin Jaguar take down recurve when visiting the USA next month - can't wait!

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2012, 10:10:09 PM »
First off let me say I am not an archery guy yet.  I have no dog in this fight.  I've shot recurve twice, and compounds maybe 3 times.  I know less than nothing.

My stepsister's boyfriend shoots a recurve.  I've seen him knock a thrown 20 oz. soda bottle out of the air at 20 paces about 3/5 times.  The misses are always close shots.

My father used to shoot compound.  Had a 60# draw and shot with sights and a trigger release.  Practiced a few nights a week.  At 20 yards he regularly shot the knocks off a third of his quiver.

I'm not sure which way I plan to go, but my interest in archery was recently rekindled.  I'm leaning towards a recurve just because they are simpler.  No cams, it can shoot a sharpened stick with a nock in it, etc.  I'd just have to find time to shoot a quiver a day.  Not a problem during the summer, but with these short winter days it might be tricky.

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2012, 08:55:57 AM »
I grew up shooting a recurve. Chasing groundhogs, rabbits, and ringnecks. Later in life, I switched to a compound. I shot a lot... a whole lot. Over 500 arrows a day. I started shooting IBO, and went to IBO nationals a few times. At my best I was ranked 14th in the nation. I was the exception to the rule back then. I shot those competitions with a hunting bow. A Clearwater PowerMag. A few years ago I became very bored with hunting with a compound. I picked up a longbow at a yard sale, and never looked back. I have a few traditional bows. Even a few I have made. There is something magical about nothing but a stick and a string. Making my own arrows, much like reloading is meditative.

I highly recommend anyone who is new to archery learn instinctive shooting with a recurve or long bow before getting a compound.  You will be a much better shooter in the long run.

Offline arrowbreaker

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2012, 08:30:50 PM »
The Martin Jaguar I just got is great can't wait to get to a range
It came with a great Plano case that will take about 20 arrows, safety gear, bow fishing kit as well as the taken down bow.
The archery pro shop guy at Bass Pro in Orlando says he has a regular guy that lives the Jaguar 45 pound - took down on a 500 pound hog on his property recently - sounds great to me

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2012, 05:14:19 PM »
I think you'll be really happy with the Jaguar.
Hi.  My name is Tactical Badger, and I am a Preparedness Junky

Offline arrowbreaker

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2012, 11:08:29 PM »
I think you'll be really happy with the Jaguar.

Made it back to Australia (thank you for letting me contribute to your economy this past month ;) hehe) with bow all intact and no customs trouble at this end at all. 

TSA no trouble either

Now the fun can begin

Offline Loki

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2012, 04:50:54 AM »
Made it back to Australia (thank you for letting me contribute to your economy this past month ;) hehe) with bow all intact and no customs trouble at this end at all. 

TSA no trouble either

Now the fun can begin

It is beautifully funny. You can have a 60" compound bow with sights, stabilizer, string silencers, camouflage nets, and carbon arrows with massive hunting broadheads with no license at all... and a plastic gun-shaped toy that shoots little plastic pellets is outright banned. You know what they say...



Its all upside down. :)

Offline arrowbreaker

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2012, 09:15:51 AM »
hahaha thats about the size of it!
I think if we had critters apart from snakes that could kill you they wouldn't be so uptight on guns

Offline RobertG

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2012, 09:16:27 PM »
Personally I have hunted with both the compound and a recurve.
In my opinion the sport of hunting is much more enjoyed and challenging with the recurve. Mostly because the arrows do not fly as far and fast as with the compound, so you have to get closer to your game. Besides as most on here said there is something about a stick and string that makes you feel like a more accomplished hunter and woodsman using a traditional piece of weaponry.
I don't like the takedowns personally, I have a Bear Archery Super Kodiak with 45# @28" and I love every shot with it.
Instinctive shooting is an art for in itself.
My 7 year old has a junior compound, and he keeps asking me when he can graduate to a bow like dad's  ;D

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Recurve or compound
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2012, 07:54:38 PM »
I have a compound and do not feel the least bit bad for using gadgets' and not being traditional. A compound is light, has almost no recoil, dead quiet and super fast. It gives me a ton of confidence that I can humanely shoot an animal and get a solid, decent kill.

I shoot several times a week. The next two months, I will be shooting daily or very close to get ready for deer season.

I don't use a lighted sight, range finder or many gizmos. My bow needs 1 pin from 10-40 yards. As long as you check that your screws are tight, most accessories are bullet proof. I don't take a rifle hunting without checking the scope, etc - same with the bow.

For the record, I also shoot an in line muzzleloader. Guess a flint lock with an unrifled barrel would be more 'traditional'....