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Columnists : Art Champoux
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

So You Want to be a Bowhunter?
By Art Champoux
Jun 24, 2006, 15:29

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Art Champoux,    PSE Dealers Shooting Staff

Well now is the time to look for new gear and/or replace other gear.  There are a lot of things you must do to prepare for the season that starts on September 15. Which is less then 3 months to do it in. How to pick a bow and gear.......let me help in telling you how.

The bow.... First you MUST get a compound that fits you.

Not just any compound but one that fits you. Not many box stores measure you for the proper draw length. How do you determine your draw length?  There are two ways to tell. One is to stand  near a wall with your feet facing 90 degrees, out stretch your arm while looking at the wall.  Now measure from your fist on the wall to the corner of your mouth. Measure that. That is the length of the draw length you need....It is important to get it right. If you feel more comfortable or unsure go to a pro shop they should do it for you.   It is not in your best interest to go to a “box” store to get fitted for a bow.

If you go to any store and they do not offer to measure you for a bow.......walk out.. It is important to get the bow to fit you properly. Everything depends on it.

Your arrows need to be “spined” for your draw length and the pounds you shoot.

Each person is different. Do not think you need heavy poundage....40-50 lbs is all you need for deer sized game. Fast is not a criteria for a bow. You must be able to draw slow, quietly and with little or no motion so the game does not see you pulling it back. If you can not pull it back easily and with limited motion find a bow you can do it with. I have shot several different animals at 47 lbs out to and including 35 yards, although I prefer it closer. The average deer taken in the USA from a tree stand is under 15 yards!!!! So find a bow that fits you and you can draw smoothly and you have a good start on your way to bow hunt. The grip on the bow should be comfortable. Not feel to big nor to small. Like buying shoes, try a few bows until you find one that is comfortable in your hand. When you do ....that is the bow for you. DO NOT let a salesman tell you that is the bow for you if it does not “feel right”

Arrows. There are several to choose from: Wood, Aluminum or carbon.

Let the person explain which one is best for you...If they do not take you to a chart to help you determine which arrow is best for you......walk out!  Depending on your draw length and pounds you are shooting and the length of your arrow there will be an arrow that will work for you. If you are just starting out it is not a bad thing to get your arrow sticking out from your bow one inch when you are anchoring at full draw.  Wood arrows should, as a rule, NOT BE SHOT FROM A COMPOUND.

They are made for recurves and longbows only!!!!! Again it is the sign of a good Pro Shop.

If they have a range tell them you want to try the bow before you buy it.  Again if they have a range and tell you that you do not have to try it....walk out!

Accessories :   There some you need and some you do not depending on what you want to do.

Bow mounted quivers are common place and really the preferred way to go. Although there are back quivers and side quivers that can be used to hunt with. In all sincerity get one that covers your broad heads up entirely!!  If they do not cover your broadheads do not buy the quiver. If you trip or fall you want a quiver that has no broadhead exposure to get cut on. Also as a second point you want a quiver that is rugged and dependable that can take abuse and not break or let the arrows fall out.

Another accessory that 99 percent of compound shooters use is bow sight.

This is sighted in at various distances. One pin at 20 yards another at 30 yards and if you want one at 40 yards. But As I stated earlier, concentrate on the 20 and 30 yard pin. String silencers are a must for taking out the twang of the bow string. The fastest bow goes about 325 feet per second. They average now around 260 fps which is far more then you need but sound travels at about 1127 feet per second so the sound get there about four times faster then the fastest bow made!

Another consideration is type of release.

Do you want to shoot  a trigger or your fingers. A trigger is inherently more accurate but you still need advice and instruction on how to use it....there is a right and wrong way. If you choose a finger tab or glove it is a little harder but many people over thousands of years have used them and still do. A good Pro Shop should and

can show you how to use either method. As you release the arrow another unforseen thing can occur. The string hitting you arm. That can make your shot go wild. So, in my humble opinion, get an arm guard. It can save you pain or a poor shot on an animal.

The last but not least of equipment on your bow should be a stabilizer.

What does it do? Takes out noise, shock and balance your bow. All three attributes can and will give you better odds at harvesting your animal in a safe and ethical way.

Broadheads.....There are so many out on the market today it is maddening as to which one to purchase.

Importantly it should match the weight of your field tip. Now with the advent of the expandable broadheads they fly almost the same as your field points.  But practicing with one is always a great idea. Fixed blades fly very well for me. Again it is personal choice. I have used Muzzys for years...putting them on my arrows for 20 years now it feels like putting on my socks every morning.......but there are about 30-50 companies that make broadheads so try to look around and find one you prefer and practice with one of them.

Camo that works is as important as the rest of the items.

I have said it before and I will say it again.....YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF THE WOODS, not in the woods.  You want to blend in and also to melt in to the flora and fauna of where you are....Match you camoflauge to what is in BACK of you.  Break up your image and be part of the world around you.

Now this is just a primer of what you need. There are several other items that you might like to look at and decide upon. Scents, cover scents, bath wash, clothes wash, and deer lures etc.

One thing you MUST bring with you is FUN, Safety and a sense of pride in being a BOWHUNTER.  It is not in taking an animal that makes you a great bowhunter, it is in the mind set of enjoying the day, nature as the Creator made it and if everything goes well, harvesting the game that GOD put here for us to eat. How do I know?   The Bible tells me so!!!


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