Bows for Beginning Archers
Choosing a first bow is exciting and often difficult. There are a number of factors involved in finding your first bow. Probably the most important thing is that the first bow will generally not be your last bow. You will outgrow your first bow both physically and in terms of skill level. This article discusses choosing bows for the beginning and young archer..
First let's start off with a few basics. The first factor is choosing a bow is the draw length. The draw length is the length from the bow to your holding point. Your holding point is the bottom of your cheek. On the cams or wheels on some of the bows you can adjust the length a few inches. Others bows have modules that you change when you change draw lengths. While you are young you can go through draw lengths very fast. It is a good idea to get a bow that you can adjust the draw length.
Another important factor is the draw weight. The draw weight is the amount of weight that you pull back from the string. It is important to choose a draw weight that is comfortable for you to hold. On a bow you can usually adjust the draw weight 10-15 pounds or more. Bows draw weights have letoffs. Letoff is the percentage of the weight that is let off when you are at full draw (when the string is pulled back to your cheek). The letoff is usually 60% or 65%. The higher the letoff the easier it is to hold the bow at full draw. If you have a letoff of more than 65% you could not enter a big buck into the Pope and Young Club.
Prehunting Bows are bows for the younger archer who is not old enough to hunt. These bows can come in kits that have everything you need to start bowhunting. Examples of kits are Golden Eagle Brave, PSE Bowhunting Set, and the Seneca Compound Bow Set. The Seneca comes with 3 arrows, a finger tab, armguard, and an archery book. The draw weights available are 15-30, 30-45, and 45-60. The Seneca draw length is 24-28 inches. This is everything you need to start out. Seneca also has many other bows that are good for a prehunting bow. There are some bows for the prebowhunter that just have the bow and you purchase the accessories. Examples of these would be the Hoyt Magic, PSE Bandit, Xi Vantage, and the Browning Micro Midas.
First Hunting Bows for a smaller archer is an inexpensive, easy to shoot, and short axle to axle bow. The bow must have enough power to kill a deer. A first hunting bow usually has two wheels, and a magnesium riser. The riser is the part of the bow between the two limbs. Your first bow should not be expensive, and you want to make sure you like the sport before you put a lot of money in it. I recommend staying in a price range of $120-$250. Around $200 would be my suggestion. Some examples include the Xi Silverhawk, Hoyt Mystic, PSE Nova, Browning Spectrum, and the Martin Jaguar.
When looking for your first bow it is a good idea to go to a local bowshop. The bowshop can help you check your draw length, and see how much weight you can pull back. The bowshop will have all the equipment you need to set up a bow. The shop can show you which bows they have for beginning archers, and they will probably let you try a few bows.
Buying a bow is a big decision. Make sure you have help from a knowledgeable friend or ask someone at a bowshop to help you when you purchase your first bow. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get a bow with a proper draw length and weight. This will increase your accuracy and make the bow much easier to shoot. If you look at and try a number of bows you are sure to find one that is right for you.
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