So You Want To Start Bow Hunting | Bow Hunting 101
Bow Hunting, an Introduction for Beginners
Bowhunting is a popular sport that has been around for centuries. It's a great way to get outdoors and enjoy nature while getting in some exercise. Bowhunting is popular in North America because of its proximity to large agricultural fields and wildlife corridors, which provide an easy escape route for the prey and relatively easy access to food sources. What's more, fewer people live in rural areas than in towns and cities, so less pressure from human interference.
Hunting with a bow is an art, and the more you practice, the better you'll get.
This article will introduce you to everything there is to know about hunting with a bow. We hope you enjoy it!
How to get into bowhunting if you don't know anyone who bow hunts
My dad archery hunted a bit in his early years, but that was long before I was around. I've only seen pictures of his adventures. As I grew older and got into rifle hunting, my dad decided to get back into it later in life. Naturally, as he got into it more, I built interest, and he started teaching me more and more until I was reasonably comfortable with his bow. Once that happened, my dad got me into an entry-level bow, and the rest is history: Zen and the art bow hunting.
I know not everyone has a dad that'll help you get into bow hunting or even hunting at all. Some future hunters might be in their mid to late 40s looking to get into bow hunting. These future bowhunters are starting from ground zero with little guidance and a lot of Google. Let's be honest: that can be both intimidating and overwhelming. Not only is archery hunting just plain hard, but finding out quality information to point you in the right direction can be equally tricky. So, I'm here to do my part and help in any way I can.
Choosing the Right Equipment for Bow Hunting
Bowhunting requires an assortment of equipment, the right of which depends on what type of bow you are using. A traditional bow can be made from wood, fiberglass, or aluminum. A recurve bow is a traditional design that relies on elasticity in the limbs to bend the bow when it is drawn- back. Compound bows are designed to have a reduced draw weight at full draw, making them more forgiving for beginners. These bows will have an elaborate pulley system designed to allow for maximum energy transfer. Compound bows are what most hunters use nowadays. They are highly accurate and require a lot less draw strength.
So you want to buy a compound bow.
Let's start with some expectation setting. You want your first bow to be solid and adjustable enough to grow with your experience, but also inexpensive so that:
a) You can get started quickly
b) You have enough money left to buy a higher-quality bow down the road
You should prefer shorter (less than 33″ axle to axle) and lighter (less than 4.3 lbs.) compound bows for hunting purposes. As you will need to carry the bow around in the field, maneuver it in a blind or tree stand, the compact size and low weight will come in handy.
Fundamental laws of physics govern compound bows. Despite their modern design and fancy technologies, they are no more than a slingshot with a somewhat fancier construction. As a result, there is a straightforward relationship to be aware of: The faster your bow shoots, the more aggressive the cams will feel and hence the more complex the bow is to draw.
As such, I strongly recommend that beginners stick to compound bows with an advertised IBO speed of below 330 FPS. Even 320 FPS is more speed than a beginner will ever need, and it can be used to hunt the most challenging game in the world successfully.
Some compound bows, such as the Apprentice 2 or the Diamond Infinite Edge, have a wide range of different draw weights you can choose from. With most other compounds, however, you'll need to decide on the peak draw weight before you make your purchase, typically having to choose either a 50, 60 or a 70 lbs. version.
Honestly, I'd suggest getting the Diamond Infinite Edge. It's a great choice to get into and grow in bowhunting.
Getting started with a bow
These days, archery is not just reserved for hunters. Archery has become a recreational activity for many people who enjoy the peacefulness of the outdoors, but we all know hunting is where it's at. Getting to a place where you feel comfortable taking down a whitetail deer or black bear with a bow takes time. Practice until your fingers bleed. Well, maybe not that much, but close. Bowhunting requires more concentration than hunting with a rifle, so put in that work to be the hunter you want to be.
Find Bow Friends
The most significant help in any endeavor is joining a community of like-minded people from which you can glean wisdom and experience. Bowhunting is no different. Get out there and find some bow hunting pals, and you'll be sure to cut down your learning curve in half.
At Archery pro shops
While it can be slightly intimidating walking into one of these as a beginner, I promise that it is worth it in the end. There is just something to be said about a good pro shop that you can count on. These are folks just like you and me. The only difference is that their expertise lies in archery and bowhunting. You learn from others who are more experienced than you, and a good pro shop can provide that.
At The archery range
Bowhunters from all around your area come to exercise their archery skills for the coming seasons — just like you. And there are all different skill levels, too. I think this is awesome because it gives you a chance to meet advanced archers and archers of the same skill level. These are folks who can sympathize with the learning process since they are well in it themselves.
On Facebook groups and online forums
Social media and forums are great places to find community. Sadly, both of these come with their fair share of drama, but that isn't all they're about, despite what some may say. Most of them are good, and people tend to help one another.
Good Luck and Have Fun Out There!
Hopefully, these tips help you choose the right entry-level bow for your needs and get going on your bowhunting journey. Stay safe and have fun!