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In an era of self-sufficiency, Bowhunting is growing in popularity. Some Hunters want a different thrill that you won't have with rifles while some, for instance, simply live where firearms are forbidden because it is too close to the cities.
Many reasons can explain why Bowhunting is increasing in popularity, but actually what makes a good hunting bow for beginners or even for more experienced hunters would be the question?
What specs should you look into to recognize a good entry-level hunting bow? Are high end or flagships bows necessary to experience a nice hunting or shooting experience?
The answer is arguably NO, many distributors now create an entry to mid-level bows with high-end features. It is your job to identify your needs and select the proper product accordingly. That being said, quality is no cheap but it doesn't have to be the most expansive to suit your purposes.
The fact that the popularity is increasing, it develops more competition among companies reducing prices for the customer. Isn't that great news!?
Before talking about gears, there are few elements to consider. Many people talk about high-end features that bring more speed to the bows (compound bows, recurve bows, and longbows) to explain their hunting success.
They are partially right, the fact that the bow will generate enough speed will have an impact on its flight trajectory.
That said, it also magnifies the error of precision, the faster the bow is, the wider the margin of error growths. Speed is not the only thing that makes the bows more lethal. The penetration caused by the momentum of your projectile is what really takes down your target.
Of course, I am not saying that speed isn't important, on the contrary, but I strongly believe it is more how you tune your bow that how fast it is. According to me, from 250 FPS to 350 FPS, you have plenty of energy to make an ethical kill within 40 yards.
Speed will have an impact on velocity and arrow elevation. If your arrows are properly tuned for the bow you have, there is no reason to lack kinetic energy and momentum even with an entry-level hunting bow.
Some of them are indeed quieter or lighter but not enough to consider these features valuable when its time to shoot at your target. Think it this way, in most cases, hunting is a one-shot deal.
In other words, you miss, your target is way too far to shot another arrow at it. If you intend to stalk your target, I would indeed consider the compactness, the quietness and the lightness of your weapon. It is your job to define properly your needs.
Which left us with an even more main element to begin bowhunting; PRECISION. Precision means ethical kills and also success while hunting. This means that one of the most important pieces of equipment you will own on your bow will be YOU! The second piece of equipment should be your sight.
The previous paragraph brings then a crucial aspect of hunting. How do you get better precision?
A simple question with a simple answer. You need to start with the right poundage to work your form. Archery form for a better precision form is your precision and combined with good sight, you will improve fast. The more you have a constant form, the lesser the bow you will use will determine your hunting success.
Think it this way, back in history, our ancestors were hunting with much simpler and rudimentary bows to hunt their prey. In other words, the strategy and the best shooters were considered the best hunters.
The more they were able to increase their efficiency, the more they improved their precision and hunting success.
TIP: Compound Bows have a slight advantage here because they are more tunable than other bows. You can modify their poundage without buying any other parts with a bow press.
So, once you achieve the basic learning for a better form, you are ready for the next step.
Practicing is the keystone of improving your hunting skills not necessarily the bow you will use. The bow itself will, of course, ease your life as an extension of your own precision and efficiency.
While you will browse on the Net or in a local archery shop, you must know that some of them come bare and others in packages.
I recommend starting with a ready-to-shoot package except if you already know what you are looking for. Most packages will keep you away from buying extra gear that you might not need at the beginning.
The main aspect to remember about the bow you will choose is the legal poundage allowed in your state for Hunting. To make a clean and ethical kill, in most of the States, depending on the type of the game, you will need a minimum draw weight to hunt.
For instance, 40 pounds is usually the minimum limb weight to hunt deer in most of the States. It means that into the specs of the bow you must be able to modify or change the weight of your bow. The more tunable the bow is, the more the bow will "grow" with you.
That is an important aspect while selecting a bow. Another aspect to consider when you are looking for a hunting bow is its capacity to accept many different types of accessories. If your bow is accessory friendly, you will be able to increase your precision and increase your hunting success.
Keep in mind that the tunability, it's accessory friendly aspect and the fact that it will "grow" with you would be, according to me, considered as a good hunting bow. However, always stay inside your budget, like I mentioned many times, the bow is the extension of your own precision. Take time to find the bow that suits your needs at a fair price.
All in all, the bow is clearly the main piece of equipment you will need but there are many accessories that will also facilitate your life and become essential to your hunting success.
Let's have a look at what you should pay attention to have the perfect hunting setup for beginners.
Hit the kill zone. Sights are a piece of equipment that everybody should have. Except if you are into more traditional hunting, sights are a must-have. Many different sights are on the market and to find the proper one for your setup might not be an easy job.
The main purpose of sight is to increase your precision without having the perfect form. It doesn't mean that you should neglect your form because you intend to purchase a sight, it means that the sights will correct the human margin of error while aiming at your target.
However, even with the best sight, if you don't reduce the factors that make you move while aiming, you will notice that sights have their limits to correct your lack of precision. A good form combined with a well sighted-in sight will be simply deadly and will generate repetitive bullseye hits.
Compound bow packages often include sight as a standard item into their packages. That being said, they are often basic sight and it will be your job to identify if it suits your needs. There are many aftermarket options concerning sights. One, three, five or seven pins are available on the market with many micro-adjustments to create the perfect setting at different yardage.
A perfectly aligned projectile is complementary to your bow. The fletching and the stiffness of the arrow shaft will influence the trajectory of your arrows.
As your poundage increases, your arrow spine should get stiffer. Tuning accordingly your arrows to your hunting setup will be capital to increase your precision and chances to take down any targets.
The tunability of your arrows is important to suit your setup and understanding the arrow penetration is even more important. , arrow spine, weight the arrow spine and its tunability,
Use the right broadhead for the right species. This sentence means everything. Every species has its specifics and using the right broadhead will increase your hunting success.
The basic elements to look for when you are browsing for broadheads are the weight, the sharpness of the blades and the wound channel generated by the blades.
There are two main categories of broadheads. The fixed blades and the mechanical broadheads. All coming with their pros and cons. One thing is essential concerning your broadhead and it is how sharp they are, take good care of your broadheads could be day and night when hunting.
I personally prefer cut on contact fixed blades broadheads for many reasons. One of them it's their bone-crushing abilities. Being fixed makes them stronger, more durable and more stable. However, mechanical broadheads offer a much larger wound channel. As I said, they both offer their pros and cons.
Bare hands are doable but not recommended. The more you are shooting the more it will be hard on your fingertips skin. Bow releases are meant for protecting your fingers and enhance your precision when properly used. Many types of releases are on the market and they have their own purposes. Most of them are made to simplify and increase your archery form.
Before hunting, the first step is to practice tons of times. Many DIY practice targets are doable and I personally recommend to do one if you feel comfortable with the concept. Otherwise, there is a type of target for each discipline of archery. Depending on which type of bow you are using, the type of material used in the target is really important to slow down and stop your projectile. For Hunting purposes, they created mimics of every species that you can hunt.
Binoculars are a must and mandatory in most countries. It is illegal and criminal to aim at anything with a weapon before identifying your target. This is why binoculars become most of the importance while hunting.
You must be able to identify your target not only to know if it is an animal but also to confirm the gender of the targeted species. Depending on the season, you are allowed to hunt a specific gender.
To recognize the best binoculars for your needs, you must consider a list of criteria before selecting yours.
Conditions in which you will use them is crucial to consider when you are looking for binoculars. Dawn and dusk are the two main periods of the day to hunt most of the animals. You will encounter low light conditions, fog, and darkness.
Magnification offered by the binoculars is capital. As you are watching a moving target, your binoculars must allow you to follow your target without blurring your vision.
Another aspect of binoculars is durability. Binoculars are an investment and the longer they last, the cheaper your investment becomes.
Field Dressing Kit:
Don't break the bank but don't go cheap with your field dressing kit. The sharper the blades are the easier skinning your game will be. Remember that, wrong tools or bad blades will increase the possibilities of injuries. There are minimum tools to have before leaving for hunting.
Cary and store safely your bow is important. I personally like soft bow cases because they do their job and are usually cheaper than hard cases. This is really a personal preference. As long as your case protects your bow and allows you to bring some accessories like your arrows, I would consider it a good bow case.
Beginning bowhunting might be overwhelming but this article gave you the perfect beginning setup. As long as you have a bow, arrows and good broadheads, you are ready to go. Other accessories are soon or later going to be on your shopping list.
All in all, remember that deer don't care how much you spend on your bows. You must feel comfortable and efficient (accurate) with your bow. These two elements are the keystone for hunting.
Stay tuned for the review of the best hunting bows for beginners in the next post.
Thank you for reading to us! Do not hesitate to leave any comments or questions below concerning Hunting Bows for Beginners: What to know.
Have a nice Hunt!