Choosing a new bow? Here’s what to consider in your next purchase.
First, let me introduce myself to you. I’m Shane Renard and I was born to hunt but forced to work. I live in Green Bay, WI. I’m currently a pro staff member for BowTech Archery, TruBall Releases, QAD Rest, Danner & LaCrosse boots, Easton Arrows, Doinker Stabilizers , Field Logic., Altus Brands, LLC, Arizona Rim Country, Goat Tuff Products, Predator Innovations, Carolina North MFG and Mountaineer Sports.
I have been in the hunting industry for some time; I started hunting when I was 12 years old, the legal age for Wisconsin. I literally have sold hundreds of bows to family and friends in the field. The main question I always seem to get is asked is: what’s a good bow? That’s a double edge sword my friend. I have some questions for you to consider first. What are you looking for? What’s your budget? What type of hunting are you going to be doing or are you maybe a target shooter? To know these answers will help guide you to what kind of bow you’re looking for.
Here are a few key variables on what to consider. These are listed in order to which I believe are key for potential customers to take under advisement.
Axle to Axle
I’m sure you noticed I have placed speed at the end. I placed it there for a reason because speed should not be a variable to determine a bow sale. What sells bows are the price, accuracy and the feel. If the you can’t afford the bow it doesn’t matter how fast it is. If you don’t have forgiveness you won’t group arrows and if the bow doesn’t feel agreeable in your hand you won’t enjoy shooting it, regardless of how fast it shoots.
Axle to axle length comes into play when you are into target shooting and when stalking an animal. Target shooters love longer bows for the simple reason that they usually have longer brace heights which make the bow more forgiving. Now for stalking, you generally want to choose a lighter, shorter bow; but be careful, lighter doesn’t always mean better. With a heavier bow you can stabilizer yourself for the shot a little more.
Kinetic energy is an important factor. While archery kills by bleeding rather than knock down power, kinetic energy does play a role in penetration. Kinetic energy is crucial when selecting arrows and grain of broad heads. Case in point, if you’re going moose, elk or bear hunting, you’re going to want something heavier for greater penetration. For smaller animals, like an African Thomson Gazelle, you might not need such a heavy combination. I hunt whitetails a great deal so I like 100 grain broad heads with a heavier arrow, Easton Axis NFused carbon 340. For me, the more KE (Kinetic Energy) the better. Now if you’re just target shooting this is not so important in your decision process.
Vibration, is a factor with hand shock, this is derived from the string and limbs. When the string and limbs work collectively, the bow is going to produce vibration. Today’s bows are shooting excessively over 300 ft per second, therefore you will find vibration. But new technologies and innovative engineering are helping to eliminate produced vibrations. Bow torque is another variable, although it’s not as imperative as the other variables I have mentioned. BowTech’s new flex guard has approximately eliminated the bow torque issues.
Speed is the last key factor I look for in my purchase. Why? Like I always say, I don’t care how fast your bow is if you can’t hit anything! Speed does kill if you’re accurate but to achieve accuracy, you must start at the riser.
What’s the best solution for you? Get out and shoot some of the new bows that are offered. Go to a local pro shop express your budget and you’re hunting, or target style. This will give the experts at the shop a starting point to help you make the best decision for your money.