Archery equipment comes in many shapes and sizes. Some are gimmicks and some will stand the test of time. For example my drop away arrow rest is a Trophy Taker. I purchased it many years ago but it still performs very well. It does not have total arrow containment so you have to be careful when you draw so the arrow doesn’t fall off the arrow rest. That rest has been on my bow and taken many deer over the years. The old adage, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.
Each piece is pretty much personal preference and most equipment can perform as long as you understand its limitations. I have tried a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest. It did not work for me at all. I could not get my bow to tune no matter what I did. With my setup the Biscuit just wasn’t right for me.
When it comes to equipment its pretty much try something and if it doesn’t work try something else. Of course there are certain things that usually just work. String loops are one such example.
Bow types even can be customized. Archery is one of the most customizable sports. You can shoot a recurve or you could shoot a compound bow. Fundamentally they do the same thing. You pull back the string with an arrow attached and when you release the string, it fires the arrow forward.
Most bows have sights to help aim but most recurves do not. Instinct shooting is what most people call shooting a recurve without sights. It takes tons of practice to get good at it, but can be very rewarding when you connect with a whitetail.
Recurve bows are pretty much a wooden or metal shaft with a string attached to both ends. The shaft bends when you pull on the string. The harder you pull the more energy is stored up and the faster the arrow will fly. That being said the harder you pull the harder it is to hold the bow with all the stored energy.
Recurve bows can shoot any of the modern arrows but many people will shoot wooden arrows out of them in a style called traditional archery. The broad heads are usually made out of a single blade or can even be made out of stone.
A person shooting a recurve bow will look down the arrow to help aim. The more you practice the better you will get. This type of bow takes a lot of time to master.
Compond bows have wheels on the end of the bow limbs. The wheels are called cams and as they rotate they take a lot of the pressure off holding the string. Many compound bows have an 85% let off rating. This means that the bow holds 85% of the stored up energy and you have to hold the other 15%.
Sights can be mounted on the bow to help with aiming. With sights a compound is extremely accurate, provided that the bow is tuned correctly. I’ll add post on tuning in the future as that topic is fairly extensive. Basically tuning a bow get the arrow to leave the bow as straight as possible, with as little wiggle in the arrow shaft as possible.
Combine this with modern carbon arrows and modern broad heads and a compound bow is a deadly weapon. This style of bow does take practice to get the muscle memory and to get it sighted in properly but no where near as much practice as required by a recurve bow.
This style of bow is the most popular around. When I started hunting I started with a recurve and moved into a compound shortly afterwards. I currently hunt with a Diamond bow.
Crossbows are one of the newest bows used in hunting. A crossbow is the cross between a gun and a bow. The main part of a crossbow resembles a gun with a bow turned sideway.
Where I live, crossbows have just recently become legal to hunt with. It used be require a disabled permit. Now you just pay for the extra license and you can hunt just like any other bow.
A crossbow takes most of the human elements out of the process. The string is cocked and held. An arrow is knocked and ready to fire. The shooter just aims, and squeeze the trigger and off the arrow goes. There is not much form that needs to be mastered in this style other than being able to squeeze the trigger and not pull.
Arrows come in many varieties. Carbon, aluminum, wood, carbon wrapped in aluminum are the usual arrow materials. Carbon is becoming the standard due to its ease of use and rigidity. They can take a beating and keep on shooting.
Aluminum is usually lighter weight than carbon but also bend easier. I started hunting with aluminum as carbon really wasn’t an option. Once carbon came out and become affordable, I switched. Aluminum does have to strengths however. They fly good and are cheaper to replace.
Wood arrows can be purchased fairly inexpensively but I strongly recommend not shooting a wooden arrow out of anything other than a recurve. Most modern compounds and crossbows will shatter the arrow on release.
Each arrow type has its place and when used correctly compliments a hunters bow nicely. Used incorrectly they can become dangerous projectiles.
I suggest that you check your arrows after each shot. They can fail. I had a carbon arrow basically blow up on release. The arrow ended up in two main pieces and many tiny shards.
The only thing that happened to me was string burn where the string rubbed across my holding arm. I was very lucky that I didn’t get hurt worse.
I currently use Gold Tip carbon arrows. They fly the best out of my particular bow.
Wrapping it up
Archery hunting can be very rewarding. This sport requires patience and lots of trial and error. Tuning a bow can be a long tedious process but one that should be taken if you want to become a “good shot”.
Equipment choice is one of personal preference for the most part as well as what performs for you the best. There are reviews on products all over the internet. I suggest taking the time to read some reviews on each product before you purchase it.
I wish you the best of luck if you choose to enter this rewarding sport. Hopefully I will to see you out there in the woods. If you happen to see me don’t hesitate to stop in and say hi.
I look forward to seeing any comments that you may have. I’ll respond to them the best that I can.