If you’re interested in getting started in archery or bow hunting, choosing your first bow can be overwhelming to say the least. Wheels, cams, limbs, stabilizers. What does it all mean? With our easy to follow guide, we’ll show you how to choose a compound bow that will help you fill the freezer, or hit your target like a pro.
Not to mention the indignity of walking into your local archery shop and confessing that you don’t know anything. I’ve been to hundreds of archery shops across the country. I’m also a member of the ATA (Archery Trade Association). Trust me when I say that the men and women who own archery shops welcome new shooters with open arms.
My best advice is to walk in and tell them you know little to nothing about archery. They’ll be glad to help, I guarantee it.
But first things first. Let’s get you ready to buy a new bow!
How To Choose A Compound Bow
First, you need to determine your dominant eye. Your dominant eye is generally the same side as your writing hand. But it’s not uncommon to be right-handed and left-eye dominant, and visa versa. It’s easy to determine eye-dominance in three easy steps.
1. Place your hands at arm’s length, and press your thumbs and forefingers together to form a triangular opening.
2. Keeping both eyes open, look through the triangle and center it on something.
3. Now close one eye, then the other.
Notice how the object stays in place with one eye but “jumps” with the other eye? Your dominant eye keeps the object centered in the triangle. Archers who are right-eye dominant should shoot right-handed. Archers who are left-eye dominant should shoot left-handed.
Now, let’s determine your draw length. First, measure your wingspan. First, measure your wingspan. Stand up straight with both arms and hands extended to your sides, forming a “T.” Have a friend measure from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other middle finger in a straight line. Divide that number by 2.5 to estimate your draw length.
You don’t want to buy a bow with a draw length that’s too short or too long.
Axle to axle is the distance between the bow’s cams. The cams are the wheel-like mechanism attached to the limbs.
Why does axle length matter? It depends on the shooting you’ll be doing. A longer bow might make hunting in a ground-blind or a tight space difficult. Typically, the longer a how’s axle length, the more forgiving it will be when you take long shots.
Whether you’re choosing a compound bow; Two of the most unnatural motions a human arm and shoulder can make are pitching a baseball and shooting a bow. The human body isn’t designed to move in that way. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding on draw weight.
It seems that young shooters want to crank their bows up to a 70# draw and let arrows fly. Keep in mind that you want to be able to draw your bow back comfortably and slowly. If you need to strain to draw your bow, it’s not going to go well for you in the deer woods.
These days it’s easier than ever to find quality bows with adjustable draw lengths and draw weights. Today’s bows “grow” with you as you progress in the sport. This means you can easily change your draw length and draw weight as you develop your shooting skills and archery muscles.
Now you know how to choose a compound bow that fits you. Now go to your local shop and try them out for yourself.
“The Wand Chooses The Wizard”
Don’t let your friends or your favorite hunting show influence your choice of bow. Find the bow that fits your body. You’ll know it the first time you shoot it.
Good luck and happy hunting!
Read more about hunting here.