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A More Challenging Hunting Sport - Compound Bow Hunting

Jul 3, 2008
Compound bow hunting can provide a new challenge to the avid hunter who is looking for something a little different. The hunter who has mastered the art of using a rifle will love the thrill of learning to hunt in an exciting new way.

The bow has long been used to hunt game all the way back to the Indians. It has been used successfully for hundreds of years, maybe even longer. But it has changed drastically over time as Man has discovered ways to make the bow stronger and more accurate, it's design sprouting in many different ways.

The modern compound bow has evolved to make the use of the weapon easier for the hunter. Engineering has advanced over the past few decades to make bows as functional as ergonomic as possible. They are easier to carry into the woods, and in many cases lighter than most rifles used today. Bow hunting brings back some of thrill that is lost after years of rifle hunting. A hunter must use skills that may not be necessary for hunting with rifle. You must be closer to your prey and probably use some of those stalking skills that you know. It gives some of the advantage back to the animal.

Think of the adrenaline rush you'll get! Slowly pulling back on that bow string, (which is much quieter than releasing the safety on a gun) tracking your prey, holding your breath, waiting for just the right moment, than whoosh! You got him! And with a compound bow!

Not a rifle.

Not everyone can hone the skill needed to use a compound bow right away. That's the challenge. Remember the fun you had when your were learning to hunt with your rifle? All that practicing. The excitement even when you didn't bring down your prey at first? The determination that you had when target shooting? Well, take a stab at hunting with a compound bow and you'll get all that back. Hunt the way they did in the past and you'll fall in love with hunting all over again!

Compound bows have their competitions too, with tradition ranging back all the way to the Middle Ages. Target contests are huge event around the country that are great places to meet new people and learn. Many bowhunters participate so they can place their man-made trophies (some very impressive looking) next to their animal trophies, giving an impressive environment to any hunter's home.

How To Choose The Best Compound Bow

There are many different types of bows on the market today, but choosing one is not an easy undertaking. The bow-manufacturing industry has been flooded with new innovations and developments in the last decade. Compound bows have gone through many alterations in appearance and architecture, with a number of drastic changes occurring in the past few years. Justifying the purchase of one bow over another these days requires more than just a large wallet filled with greenbacks and plastic. Fortunately, there are a few guidelines and procedures to follow that will help simplify the process.

Choosing the latest advancement in primitive weaponry begins with a decision to shoot a certain type and brand of bow. Draw length, draw weight, accuracy, wheel and cam design, reflex and deflex riser geometry, brace height, let-off, speed and price are all things to take into account when selecting a particular bow. Other factors to consider are its use. Will it be a hunting bow or a target bow? Will the majority of your shooting be indoors or out? Will it require a camouflage finish or not?

Once you have come to these conclusions, the next step is to visit a local pro shop or surf a favorite web site to obtain more information. A bow must "fit" its shooter. Having a qualified individual measure your draw length is the most important aspect of deciding to purchase a particular bow. Most bows offer multiple draw length options and adjustments.

Draw weight is yet another matter of importance. Draw weights are also adjustable and allow for various settings in 3- to 5-pound increasing and decreasing increments. Peak draw weights normally range between 45 and 90 pounds. Taking the time to shoot several bows will provide answers and can help determine the significance of each of the aforementioned considerations. It's wise to test shoot as many bows as possible before laying down your hard-earned cash.

The current trend in manufacturing designs is to create bows with short axle-to-axle dimensions, reduced mass weight, low brace heights and high let-offs. Many companies have shied away from producing bows that feature round wheels, moderate let-offs or measure over 40 inches from axle-to-axle. This is in direct result of the present demand for more compact bows that possess the ability to boost arrow velocities, increase kinetic energy levels and extend downrange efficiency.

Of all the different makes and models of bows in existence, compounds certainly offer the widest variety of choices for today's archer. Single-cam string and cable harness configurations, split limbs and ultramodern risers forged from high strength multi-composite alloys are just a few of the available upgrades in current production.

There are many advantages to owning a bow with a contemporary look and feel. As mentioned previously, split-limb and single-cam models significantly reduce mass weight. This quality is beneficial to those adventurous hunters who hike into remote backcountry in search of elk and mule deer. Also, in comparison to their two-cam and two-wheel counterparts, single-cam bows are relatively easier to tune and maintain.

In addition, the lightweight aluminum and carbon material used in the limbs, handles and risers, and the fabric used in the strings and cables of new age bows contribute to overall speed and weight reduction. If speed and weight reduction are the determining factors, choose your bow accordingly. These types of bows are better suited to those who utilize a release due to the sharp angle created in the string when a short-limbed bow is fully drawn.

On the other side of the equation, longer axle-to-axle bows are more accurate and forgiving, although this trend is starting to change with ongoing improvements in bow design. If the main concern is supreme accuracy, choose a bow that offers a longer brace height, a riser with deflex geometry, a moderate to low let-off and as long an axle-to-axle length as possible. Deflex risers generally reduce hand torque and are normally found on the most accurate bows. A low to moderate let-off will also yield more accuracy. Those who shoot with a finger tab or a glove require bows that create less of an angle in the string at full draw. This will greatly reduce accuracy problems associated with "string pinch," which occurs at full draw when an acute angle in the bowstring causes extreme tension on the arrow.

Compound bows have one distinct advantage over all other bows -- let-off. Let-off is measured by a percentage of the draw weight that is reduced when the wheels or cams roll over at or near full draw. During this process, a fraction of the peak draw weight is decreased or "let-off." The amount of let-off will not only affect accuracy, but also the personal satisfaction of the shooter, and quite possibly, trophy-book consideration. Much controversy has arisen from the limitations that the Pope and Young Club has placed on the amount of let-off a bow can possess. Sixty-five percent is the cut-off point. Any amount of let-off over 65 percent disqualifies an animal from being entered into the archery record book. Some bows offer higher let-offs in the 75- to 80-percent range. Be aware that a legitimately harvested trophy may not be eligible for record book recognition if the bow you choose has a let-off that is prohibited by the club.

Note: The Pope and Young Club currently lists animals taken with bows having a higher let-off than 65 percent. An asterisk is placed next to the name of the individual who harvested the animal. The asterisk denotes that a bow with a higher let-off than 65 percent was used to harvest the animal.

Limb selection is no longer limited to solid one-piece models. The appearance and performance of bows changed dramatically with the inception of split limbs. However, both types of limbs have advantages and disadvantages. Solid fiberglass and carbon limbs are inherently more durable than two-piece limbs. Nevertheless, split limbs not only reduce weight, but also transfer and distribute energy from the bow to the arrow more evenly. Some archers appreciate the appeal of a split-limb bow while others favor the traditional shape of solid limbs. The option of choosing straight limbs or recurved limbs is also available on most bows in production today. Straight limbs are generally faster while recurved limbs are more forgiving. With the overall differences minimal in comparison, personal preference normally plays the biggest role in limb selection.

These are just a few examples of what state-of-the-art engineering has to offer in bow design. It also illustrates the dilemma one will face when attempting to reach a final decision on which model to purchase. Only research and a healthy amount of leg and arm work will assist an archer in the quest for choosing the "right" bow.
About the Author
The author's web site http://discountcompoundbows.net/ provides information about discount compound bows , Golden Eagle Compound Bow , Youth Compound Bow and many others.
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