• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Dave Burton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Steve Thorn
  • Eric Hanson

Getting into bow hunting....

 
Posts: 5
Location: Midlands of South Carolina - 8a/7b
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My family and I have bought 38 acres of forested land in South Carolina and are in the process of building our home out there. We will be starting our homestead on the property hopefully next spring. As part of this I am looking into learning to hunt to provide food for my family. I would like to get into bow hunting but have no idea where to start. I have little to no hunting experience but am committed to learning this skill. I have thought about getting a rifle for hunting but something about the bow just appeals to me more. (I will probably still get a .22 rim fire rifle for general use around the homestead though).

Anyway any suggestion on where to get started and how to get smart on bow hunting would be appreciated.

General questions:
1. What kind of gear do I need?
2. Do I need a compound bow or can I hunt with a recurve? (Primarily white tail deer hunting, turkey hunting, and maybe some smaller game)

Thank you for your advice and thoughts.
 
Posts: 300
Location: CT zone 5b
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You can start with as little gear as just a bow. Here in Connecticut, we have to take a hunter safety course, which is also pretty informative for someone just starting out. It covers applicable state laws AND hunting tips and info usually, at least here.

I spent a lot of time stalking rabbits both with a bow and without. I'd see how close i could get without spooking it. Same works with squirrels. Go out into your woods and just sit. Don't move. See how long it takes for squirrels to start coming out. They won't notice you after a while. There is a lot of mental stuff that goes into hunting in regards to not spooking game and being patient. I'm not a patient person, but hunting has taught me a lot.

The name of the game with bow hunting is getting close, I like inside of 20 yards because I know I'm dead accurate at that distance.

I grew up shooting recurves but I shoot a compound now. I really love shooting whether I'm hunting or not. You owe it to the game you're pursuing to be as accurate as possible. Losing an animal you've shot is a HORRIBLE feeling.

I started out hunting with some basic cotton camo and my bow. As the season went on, I bought some heavier and warmer stuff. Don't get caught up in the commercialism of modern bow hunting. It'll drain you.
 
Posts: 697
Location: Porter, Indiana
50
trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Looking through the South Carolina DNR page, you might want to check out hunting hogs. They can be hunted day or night, 365 days a year and the conservation folks will thank you.
 
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
43
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You want some significant experience under your belt before you start bow hunting feral hogs, imo.
Hogs don't go down easy and they can and do fight back.
 
Posts: 43
Location: NH
1
forest garden hunting trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You will need a bow, and arrows obviously, the type of bow doesnt matter but you will need the draw weights required by your state (normally 50 lbs) also you will need arrows, you can spend as little or as much as you want.... once you get arrows you will need field points for target practice and then broadheads for deer (there is also a min cutting diameter, normally and inch and some change) they also make small game heads that are more blunt for rabbits and such, then you have turkey heads that normally are designed to kill the birds very quickly since its almost impossible to track a turkey, especially if it gets into the air.

after that practice, practice and practice some more, once you feel comfy at 20 yards start pushing the distance, and shoot further then you expect to shoot at a deer.

Then you need to start figuring out the deer and their habits. and then you can figure out how you want to hunt them either from the ground or a tree stand, and hopefully get close enough to put an arrow into one.
 
Posts: 52
Location: The dry side of Spokane, USDA zone 6ish, 2300' elevation.
1
chicken food preservation bike
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Look at the draw weight requirements for your state first. Try a recurve that is higher than that to see if you can even pull it. I have a 59Lb. recurve that I bought for hunting in AK, but I couldn't be consistently accurate with it. I was a member of a club in Anchorage that did 3D shoots in the winter when I lived there. I would recommend doing that to practice in a realistic setting, or go "stump shooting" to test yourself. One thing I learned doing that is that the cold really messes with a wooden bow. If it gets much below freezing in your area (and you actually want to hunt in those conditions) a compound bow would be easier to use. Having said that, I enjoy shooting a recurve much more. If you pick up a compound bow, don't be tempted to take long shots. I knew a guy who could hit a bag target at 200 yards consistently, but even he wouldn't take a shot over 50 yards while actually hunting. Also, don't get caught up in all the bells and whistles. Sights are nice, but I've never had them on my bow. Learn to shoot without them and you will be a better shot overall. Also check out bow fishing. My Dad had a 45lb. recurve that he used to fish for carp here in Washington. That was the bow I learned on. I never caught a fish with it, but that lighter bow was nice to learn with. If you're just after small game, check out judo tips. They are a blunt tip that has springs on them that will kill squirrel-sized game, but catch on brush so you don't lose them. I lost a ton of arrows before I found out about them.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
43
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Some thoughts: I shoot longbows, a 65 and a 70, and I have a 120 pound draw warbow as a challenge/goal. I much prefer traditional archery to compound bows. Entirely personal preference.

Learning to shoot a recurve or longbow with a draw weight over 50 pounds is a physical challenge above and beyond developing the skill of shooting.

For someone who wanted to get started in bow hunting for the purpose of putting meat on the table and who was starting without an archery background. I would recommend going with a compound bow. It is, frankly, easier to shoot with accuracy. Get a sight and learn to use it. It is a crutch, but it will get you to a level faster than without. Get a trigger release. Again, it is a crutch, but it lets you get better faster.

Practice with wood arrows, but spring for carbon fiber shafts when you stop losing bunches of arrows The carbon fiber arrows will have interchangeable tips, so you can shoot the identical arrow for target practice and hunting, with only the shape of the point changing. Get field tips and broadheads that have the same weight Learn to sharpen your broadheads.

There are lots of quiver options. Many bowhunters like a bow quiver that holds their arrows on the bow itself. Whatever quiver you go with, make sure it safely protects the broadheads - you are carrying razor blades around on sticks, be careful.

Once you have your deer down, there's a whole other set of issues and gear. How will you get the carcass out of the woods? What knife to use for field dressing? These are questions for an experienced hunter to answer, which I am not. An archer for over fifty years, but never yet a hunter.
 
gardener
Posts: 2844
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
589
cattle chicken bee sheep
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't rule out a crossbow. Mine came with a scope so it's no different than shooting a rifle except more bulky. We have deer blinds here so bulk is not an issue, but no way I'd take it through brush for small game.

Easiest is a compound bow. The tension drops once fully drawn. It has sites. You'll be on target after 5 minutes of practice
 
Posts: 37
Location: NW Iowa, zone 5a
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I find recurves very appealing too, but a compound bow is much easier for hunting. The let-off allows you to hold still when you inevitably have to. I recommend sights- a pin for 20 yards, a different colored one for 30, etc, but probably limit yourself to shots within 20 until you've practiced a lot. I second what Will Holland said- you'll feel HORRIBLE for only wounding an animal. Those 3D shoots are probably a great idea. One weakness of mine is that I've spoiled myself with a rangefinder, so I've screwed up a time or two when I took shots where I had to quickly estimate the distance...poorly.

Bowhunting is so damned fun that for me hunting with a gun is now just a utilitarian thing to do- I want more meat in my freezer and fewer deer eating my trees so I kill them in the gun seasons too. Even if a person isn't going to hunt, I recommend sitting motionless in the woods for hours up in a tree, to anyone.

Although the advertising and religiosity of the show can be annoying, I recommend midwestwhitetail.com for some inspiration/entertainment. Also, they're definitely good hunters and you can learn a lot about where and how to set up your stand and decoys, how to call them in, etc.

Oh, and definitely go after hogs. I'm jealous; wish we had wild hogs up here! Become a good shot and you'll never go hungry down there. You'll be "high on the hog."

Good luck! And a sarcastic "good luck" finding .22 ammo. :/
 
gardener
Posts: 6414
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1113
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Aaron White wrote:My family and I have bought 38 acres of forested land in South Carolina and are in the process of building our home out there. We will be starting our homestead on the property hopefully next spring. As part of this I am looking into learning to hunt to provide food for my family. I would like to get into bow hunting but have no idea where to start. I have little to no hunting experience but am committed to learning this skill. I have thought about getting a rifle for hunting but something about the bow just appeals to me more. (I will probably still get a .22 rim fire rifle for general use around the homestead though).

Anyway any suggestion on where to get started and how to get smart on bow hunting would be appreciated.

General questions:
1. What kind of gear do I need?
2. Do I need a compound bow or can I hunt with a recurve? (Primarily white tail deer hunting, turkey hunting, and maybe some smaller game)

Thank you for your advice and thoughts.



Find a good bow shop, the folks there will not only help you greatly with selecting the right gear for you but they should also have shooting courses so you learn how to correctly shoot the gear you have chosen.

What type of bow you choose should be based on how well you can hold a draw as well as how long you can hold a draw.
You need a bow you can hold at full draw long enough to get the arrow dead on target.
While you might not be able to hold for a long time at first, you will develop the shooting muscles with lots of practice, just remember, perfect practice is what makes perfect shooting.
At first you may only be strong enough for a few shots but you will get stronger the more often you practice.

Good Hunters spend lots of hours in the woods, during this time, you will learn to look for signs of where your prey likes to live, where the travel lanes are and with a good game camera you can also learn what time of day they do each activity (sleep, eat, travel, drink).

A good bow shop is your best friend when it comes to most of the above.
I can't state that one thing enough, a good shop will fit you to your bow, set up your arrows to the correct length, let you try different setups of bow, stabilizer, sight, release, etc.
Try before you buy is a great motto.

You are only ready to hunt when you can bulls eye arrows from 20, 30 and 40 yard markers.
This is the minimum, you do not want to injure your prey, you want a good, swift, kill shot.
One arrow is all you are going to get, it has to be dead on target!

You will also need to practice tracking skills, it is rare that a deer drops in its tracks from an arrow.
Learn how to spot blood drops on leaves and the ground, be ready to follow these signs until you locate your animal.
Wasting an animal is a hunting sin and disrespectful of your prey.
Learn how to properly "stick" the animal if you find it and it has not expired it is proper to swiftly end the misery it is in.
Also, always thank the animal for giving its life so you may have meat.
Use all of the animal, this shows your respect for the animal.

I have used long bow, recurve, compound and cross bows. Each one has good points and not so good points. This is where the bow shop comes in so handy.

I currently shoot a 32" compound bow, it is short, easy for me to get through the thick brush on our land and it has a 60 lb. draw weight.
I currently have it set to 56 lbs. draw weight and I can hold for 3 minutes.
my arrows are custom built, and cut to one inch over length (I use fixed broad heads for hunting and the little extra length means I won't accidently cut my hand).
I try to shoot for at least 30 minutes a day, every day and have set up my own practice ranges one for on ground shooting and one for tree stand practice.
Both of these have 20, 30, 40 and 50 yard target distances (I move back and each has a permanent marker in the ground for repeatability, the targets have backstops for bad shots).
When I practice I shoot until I can no longer hold the draw steadily for 30 seconds, at that point it is best for my muscles if I rest them.
I also use a rubber band exercise thing to help build the archery muscles up. I can use this thing indoors anytime.
 
Posts: 331
Location: S. Ontario Canada
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Aaron White wrote: We will be starting our homestead on the property hopefully next spring. As part of this I am looking into learning to hunt to provide food for my family.



I hunt with a crossbow because I don't have much time for practicing(or taking it to the shop for tuning, restringing and the like) . Neither will you once you get into all the other things you have planned.
Once they're set up and sighted in, it's just like a rifle as long as you keep your shots to a reasonable distance - 30 - 40 yards. They stay cocked all day with usually around 200lbs draw weight and are ready to shoot.
If you do consider one, don't go cheap. There's a lot of energy stored up in a crossbow and could result in serious injury if it breaks. Watch this test and see all the compound crossbows fail before 500 shots while the recurve is still going after 3000.
http://www.excaliburcrossbow.com/videos/player/499

As for other gear same as any archery, you have to be close and animals' scent and hearing can be amazing. Watch the wind, noise and your movements.

 
Posts: 36
Location: Queen Charlotte islands, PNW, Canada- zone 6 marine.53.6878° N
3
dog hunting woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hi Aaron,
wayne here new to the form, but certainly not new to archery and bow hunting.
a lot of very good points made above- many i agree with - some i dont- but hey thats cool!
when i started i went through all the growing pains- and really struggled to get help and guidance- so i vowed that i would try and prevent that happening to other folk.
this might be a bit "rambly"- but please bear with me- it also not my intent to be forceful or arrogant- so if that perception is created- please ignore it. and i wont bs you- only the truths.
also for everyone- this is just my opinion- i am not trying to impose my thoughts or ideas on anyone- just trying to pass on one perspective and some realistic information based on my experience

there is a lot of hype out there about bow hunting- shops will sell you all sorts of unnecessary gear- that they will tell you will up your chances and make you a better hunter- thats their business- lightening your wallet.
remember man has been doing this for 10 000 years - with no cabelas etc etc- in fact we owe our species survival partly to the simple bow and arrow.
first things first- your situation is ideally suited to bow hunting- bow hunting is a style of hunting that is best suited to ambush hunting, and to opportunistic hunting- more about that later.

i have used cross bows, compounds and traditional tackle( both glass and wood)- and these are my feelings- compounds are excessively heavy, cumbersome, and fiddly- prone to sight bumps, expensive tune up and parts etc etc
cross bows are also bulky and cumbersome
traditional bows- recurves and longbows are light, easy to pack around- cost almost nothing in maintenance- not dependent on sights and other gizmos. they are the ideal tool to pack around with you all day- whilst doing your chores or working around your place- just like primitive man did- and as a prey animal presents itself- you are ready

ACCURACY: as far as accuracy- everyone believes that they are so difficult to tune( set up) and shoot accurately- nothing could be further from the truth- sure trying to just figure it out yourself in your back yard- thats tough.
but with a little help from the right person- it really is very simple- if you can throw a ball you can shoot with a bow- WELL!!
i have started many people on my front lawn, and no kidding, within an hour i have them pretty consistently shooting hunting groupings out to 15 or 20 yards . some more practice on their own- and there is a marked improvement. now to transfer this to a hunting situation is where the trick lies- adrenaline, aiming under pressure, buck fever etc etc- but thats another topic- and that issue plagues all forms of hunting- not just trad archery.

the aiming process is instinctive- just the way you would toss a ball- no sights and gizmos to get bumped and cost more money- these bows weigh ounces- and not 10 plus pounds of a compound. to get to a good level of accuracy, with the right help is very quick and easy. obviously the more you practice and shoot the better you will become- but this does not take hours and hours every day- hunting is kind of a one shot deal- its the first arrow that counts- so you need to practice in a similar way- lots of single arrow practice. so this is how i practice exclusively- strolling around in the bush- chasing squirrels or grouse- or just out for a walk- take my bow with an arrow with a blunt on- walk along, pick a target- clump of dirt, a leaf on the ground, a piece of moss, a patch on an old punky log- dont worry about the distance- just pick up, draw- settle into the shot and smooth release with good follow through- BAM- dead leaf!!, collect your arrow- stroll along choose another target further down the trail as you go. so this is called "stump shooting" and it does multiple things. realistic practice at random distances- random positions and angles, single shots so that you dont fatigue your muscles- lose your form, and start to teach you body bad habits as you shoot- you need to be calm and relaxed, as you are trying to imprint your body and your brain with a consistent form- a form that your brain/body recalls without a conscious thought process.
the distance does not matter- your on board range finder and trigonometric sighting calculator( brain) will make all the adjustments and calculations that are needed- simply trust it.
been looking for many years- but still havent found a deer with a nice target painted over the kill zone- at the prescribed distance- that matches a sight pin-
random, unknown distances is the key here- thats how you will hunt- thats how you should practice- just sayin'

COSTS:
like every thing- you can spend as much or as little as you want- a custom bow for a thousand dollars- fancy carbon arrows, and a cart full of gizmos from cabelas.
or a few dollars - probably under 50 dollars to build your own bow, and to start shooting.
so either one can go with a glass laminated traditional bow, or a wooden self bow( made from a single stave , split or cut from a log), or a "board bow" built from a board of lumber purchased from a wood supplier- personally i like to build them all and to shoot them all, here i will try to lay out some pros and cons
PROS and CONS:
glass bows- cost you about $300 to buy a good bow, but probably about 100 in materials to build one- there are some tooling costs to get set up( forms etc). good reliable bows- can leave them strung for extended periods- weeks at a time- although i unstring mine when i am not using it. more robust, and can be more resilient than the other types- typically- slightly faster than most wooden bows- but not always the case
wooden self bows- i love building and shooting these- possibly the cheapest way to get a good bow- if you harvest your own staves- only basic tools needed- a hatchet, a rasp a chainsaw file and a cabinet scraper- these take a lot more skill and patience to build, but super rewarding!!!but you do need to look after all wooden bows- unstring them when you are not shooting them- can leave them strung all day - but unstring them at night., dont throw them around, but they are quiet and smooth bows to shoot- its this type of bow that has ensured our survival as a specie.
board bows- cheap way to learn the art of being a "bowyer" lumber is cheap- practice, learn , make mistakes- then move up to a self bow. but they are still very effective hunting weapons- nothing wrong with them.

i like to build and shoot them all- heres an offer- come up here- spend a week or two with me- i will help you build a bow or two, get you set up with arrows- make strings etc etc- and get you shooting- even do some hunting- show you some stuff, that you wont have to spend years trying to figure out on your own. send you away ready to wreak mayhem on the tree rats
thats a serious offer- we can chat about it- it wont cost you a cent other than whatever the materials might cost- just paying it forward!! people helped me!!

i am sure you will have many questions- so just fire away- i will answer to the best of my ability
this is a very brief overview- there is lots of things we can talk about
incidentally here is a great forum to go onto
http://tradgang.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=125;hardset=0;start_point=0;DaysPrune=0

its called tradgang- all traditional archery- so dont talk compounds etc- but a nicer bunch of archery enthusiasts you will not find- go onto the "bowyers bench" chapter- so much helpful info there.
stay in touch- and the very best of luck on your venture!!
regards
wayne

ps. if you decide to buy a bow- PLEASE dont overbow yourself- everyone makes that mistake- everyone wants the heaviest bow they can find- get a bow you acn shoot comforatbly with all day- so that you can make multiple shots and not fatigue- and in turn teach yourself bad form- get alight bow to learn with- then move on up to a hunting weight bow- that light bow will always be used- wife- kids new aspiring shooters. this is VERY IMPORTANT!! dont be tempted
DISCLAIMER- a word of warning- this is a rabbit hole- once you start you will not be able to stop- one bow will never be enough- and if you start building bows- well then you are hooped!!- done for!!
cheers mate
 
Posts: 42
Location: BC, Canada
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great post!

I bought a recurve a few years ago, took the sights off and have been learning instinctive shooting, it's hard, but sure is rewarding!

Not confident enough to hunt with it yet, but maybe this coming season.

 
wayne nicol
Posts: 36
Location: Queen Charlotte islands, PNW, Canada- zone 6 marine.53.6878° N
3
dog hunting woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hey Bob, where are you in BC.
archery is one of lifes greatest pursuits. good luck mate!
 
Rob Bouchard
Posts: 42
Location: BC, Canada
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

wayne nicol wrote:hey Bob, where are you in BC.
archery is one of lifes greatest pursuits. good luck mate!



Kamloops, I've been to sandspit once to look at a job.
 
wayne nicol
Posts: 36
Location: Queen Charlotte islands, PNW, Canada- zone 6 marine.53.6878° N
3
dog hunting woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
what do you do- better look me up , if youre ever in the area again,- maybe do some bow hunting or shooting at least- no other trad bow hunters here on island- at least not any i know of
cheers
 
Rob Bouchard
Posts: 42
Location: BC, Canada
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was quoting and designing a huge natural swim pond for sid dickens. He toured us around the island a bit, sure was cool!
 
Posts: 41
Location: under a foil hat
1
forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't hunt myself, but I love archery, and would side with those who have said go compound bow. I feel personally that it offers the best accuracy for beginners(once they're comfortable of course). I agree with the above comment about being wary of bow shops over selling things. Just a good bow and sight is all I would start with. Also I feel it very important to be 100% comfortable with the draw weight for long periods of time. I bought my bow when I was years younger and should have gone with a lighter weight. Speed and power are factors, but accuracy is what hits the mark. A comfortable draw is key.
 
Posts: 51
Location: SW Ohio, 6b, heavy clay prone to hardpan
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bow hunting is a challenge because your are dealing with a projectile that has a massively reduced range as compared to a firearm, as well and a much more pronounced trajectory. Range estimation becomes critical, as does the skill involved in getting much closer to the game. I mainly hunt with crossbows and shotguns. However, I also hunt muzzle loader, compound bow and pistol.

Due to the much lower hunting pressures during bow season, I fine it easier to hunt with a bow/crossbow. The deer aren't as skittish as when the woods sounds like a war zone, during gun season. However, I pass on many shots with a bow that I would have taken with a firearm. Be prepared to say "no, that's not an ethical shot".

As mentioned in earlier posts, tracking is also far more important when hunting with a bow. It is unlikely that a deer will drop on the spot from a broad head hit. Often a good hit will leave a massive blood trail, but not every shot is perfect, and I've had to track for over a mile, when my shot hit bone and deflected. That was my fault, and I refuse to leave a wounded animal to suffer, so I tracked it until I could dispatch it...and drag it to the nearest road for recovery. If you're not prepared, or capable, of tracking a wounded animal for a significant distance over typical wilderness terrain, and then recover the carcass, you may want to reconsider. I have hunted for 30 years, I practice regularly, and as hard as I try to make a perfect shot, sometimes I don't.

The skill, stamina, and practice required to ethically hunt with a bow is significantly greater than that required with a modern firearm. I love the sport of bow hunting, and don't wish to discourage anyone, but every year I see yet another "Bubba gun hunter" turned crossbow hunter, horribly wound another animal then leave it to suffer because it didn't drop it it's tracks. Often they blame the bow...rather than their lack of skill and willingness to track. Don't be that "Bubba". I've spent many "I should be hunting" days, trying to find a wounded deer that some hunter had abandoned. Very often I find them withing 50 yards of where they were hit. Seriously, walking 50 yards in the woods doesn't even burn off the Big Mac and fries that they had for lunch. But I rant.

If you are going to bow hunt, practice at random distances, practice tracking at every opportunity (get together with other hunters to help track, this is a great way to learn), and don't be afraid to pass, if you're not sure of the shot. Be the ethical hunter. Choose your shot and your deer carefully, and enjoy the rewards of mastering a challenging sport.
 
wayne nicol
Posts: 36
Location: Queen Charlotte islands, PNW, Canada- zone 6 marine.53.6878° N
3
dog hunting woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
great post steve- good points all round!
i let many deer walk- due to the shot not being perfect- and i now have a dedicated tracking dog- specifically for my bowhunting- really helps with recovery in our extre,ely dense bush and very wet climate- where poor blood trails are near impossible to follow.
i have spent a lot of time tracking in my life- having guided in africa etc - and tracking is one of those things , like archeryu- it takes continual practice- believe it or not. your eyes need to train to see the secret little signs!
cheers
 
Posts: 64
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been in archery for 50 years, and bowhunting since about 1980. The statement: "As part of this I am looking into learning to hunt to provide food for my family. I would like to get into bow hunting...." in many parts of the country would be contradictory. If you want to put food on the table get a rifle. The game will thank you, your family with thank you. Get a real muzzle loader if you want to add a little spice. Or a 3030. Archery and bowhunting are two of the hardest sports around. It is like saying you would like to feed your family by through mastery of golf and farming, it may take a while.

The biggest factor is availability of game, which in the US south is less of a problem than many places. So you may have that heavily in your favor depending on conditions.

Short range is not the big problem it is made out to be, it is largely a tactical problem. There are situations where it is hard to get within 500 yds of game with a rifle. But then a guy will do it in the same situation with a bow (crawling on his knees the whole time); or one hunts ambush situations that yield short shots. In some parts of the south one can hunt over bait, though that is not something I would do. You simply have to solve the problem of how you will get a short shot. Treestands, bait, dogs, calling, stalking, still hunting, whatever, there is always a way to get really close, well usually a way.

So with archery gear the next issue is how will you make that close shot. Given your premise, I would have to wonder why you want to shoot a recurve. For a while there they were cheap, but that is no longer the case. Old Bear bows that were 50 bucks are now 350. Customs are 700, and the store bought ones not much behind. I am mostly a longbow hunter, started out with recurves. I didn't care if I ever fed anyone, I was solely interested in the challenge. But if you want to get meat, buy a good compound off ebay, I recently bought a Mathews Solo cam I once paid 450 for , for 51 dollars. It is missing the stirng/cables, and a circlip. This is an awesome practical bow, easy to hit with out to 50 yards (not that I would shoot game at that distance).

The problem with doing this yourself, is that the compound world was always built around pro shops. Archery gear outside of crossbows (yuck) is made to measure all the parts are assembled in accordance with dozens of measurements and preferences. Unless you have a very experienced friend, you may well find you need a pro to guide you. Pros are not interested in selling cheap gear, which may not be an issue here, though even then it often takes a few kicks at the can to get comfortable with what you like. Normally you are lucky to find traditional pro shops, so you are ore on your own with youtube in the trad world. It is simpler, but more subtle.

There are a number of myths in archery around compounds and bows. Compounds do provide let-off whereby you do not have to hold full weight. But proper compound shooting very often requires a longer hold at full draw, and a far greater yank to get there. Generally most archers are overbowed with either gear. We see this today with the collapse of drawweights, in trad archery. 40 pound bows are now very common. At those levels most trad archers are still overbowed, but they are far less so than before.

There is a revolution in tradbow shooting taking place with many shooters going over to barebow techniques, instead of instinctive. This makes it about as easy to learn to hit a target as an archer with a stick as with a compound, at the shorter ranges. I would look into RangerB's youtube channel, as an example, not my style, but it is a great channel and will break down a lot of the mystery in barebow shooting with recurves and longbows.

It is a real advantage to know how to sharpen.

I taught myself everything, but these days the resources are so incredible, and you seem to live in a good area for game, so it is very doable, but it won't be all that easy, unless the game is very available and not easily spooked. And you can get a fast start with the gear.

Ethics are a big part of hunting. If you want challenge in hunting it should generally be in the hunting, not the shooting. Once you get out there, set up a situation, get a close shot with a bow or rifle should make no difference. We are not target shooting on living breathing game. When you loose the string or drop the hammer, the result should never be in doubt. There are cultures where a miss will cost you your right to hunt. American culture tends to be a little different for a variety of reasons. But if you look at hunting and shooting as separated disciplines, the weapon should not make much difference. It is up to you whether you want to get close to the game or not. If you impose the same limitations for whichever weapon the outcome should be the same.

 
gardener
Posts: 840
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
54
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

want to hunt with "guns and arrows"
rather than "bows and arrows"

well you're in luck

http://www.crosman.com/airbow

THE PIONEER AIRBOW™ is an all-new category of big game weapon featuring full length arrows and full weight broadheads, all driven by air. Based on Benjamin’s proven American-made PCP platform, the Pioneer can be cocked with two fingers (and decocked just as easily), fires 8 shots in the same amount of time it takes to fire three from a crossbow, all at a blazing 450 FPS.

only $899!!!

not an endorsement, just information

this is not legal for hunting everywhere
Most states, Pennsylvania for one, has specific rules for what you can use (so this "all-new category" isn't currently included)
so check with your state
 
Roy Hinkley
Posts: 331
Location: S. Ontario Canada
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow, that airbow is really a game changer.
It launches the arrow by pushing on the front of the arrow, not the rear. All the arrow twisting and flexing is probably eliminated or at least much less than traditional launchers.
Their claims of 50 yard shots make sense.

As for meat hunting ...
I use a bow because the season up here for deer is 3 months with a bow as opposed to 1 week for guns, sometimes another week for muzzle loaders. The woods are much quieter when the gun hunters are at home... deer like that.
I use a crossbow because it's repeatable accuracy every shot. Doesn't matter how cold your fingers are, how long you have to wait for the best shot (at full draw) and much less movement to get that shot off while a deer is standing very close.
You still have to be close, not quite as close as a vertical bow but you can make shots at 40 yards and be sure you'll hit where you aimed - every time.
Crossbow shots are almost always pass-throughs as well, plenty of power to break through ribs and shoulder blades and don't turn a quick kill into a long tracking session.


 
Posts: 25
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A bow has to fit the shooter in order to be accurate. A person's draw length is roughly measured by holding your fist against a wall while pretending to draw a bow. measure from the wall to the corner of your mouth. This will get you close enough because fine adjustments can be made as you shoot enough to feel what is right. Compound bows will have stickers showing the adjustable draw weights, draw length and string length. New archers should choose a bow that pulls easy and can be adjusted heavier as they get stronger.  Poor habits are learned from too heavy of draw or poorly fitted bows. The rule of thumb for a longbow length(tip to tip) to fit an archer is 2 x draw length plus 10%of the draw length. This allows the archer to draw the bow so that the string angle at the draw hand becomes 90deg at full draw. Drawing past 90deg will cause 'stacking' as mechanical advantage is lost. This is a good thing as a bow can be built to exactly fit a person and allow them to pull into 'the wall' which helps create a crisp release and a repeatable draw length. Arrows have to be matched to the force that the bow applies to them. They have to bend and recover correctly or they won't fly accurately. There are charts to help you choose the right arrows depending on type of bow, length of arrow and weight of arrow points or heads.   The thing about bow hunting is you need to get in effective range, or the distance you are confident in making an accurate shot and this. in my opinion. is what makes bow hunting special. I have made moccasins from polar fleece and stitched and glued shag carpet to the soles. By taking one slow motion step every 30 seconds and keeping all other movements to a minimum you can get past a deer's defenses as long as you hunt into or cross wind. Learning calls and habits can make all the difference. By passing through the woods slowly and silently and watching the wind direction you can call more effectively than clomping through the woods, making sounds only man makes and giving a toodleloo before clomping off again. One thing about calling, just watch some videos on calling elk and you will see what I mean. The scenario usually goes like this, the hunters hear a bugle, they set up and call and by and by here comes the bull. He stops out about 70yds and holds up looking for the other elk. This is where so many screw up by what they do and do't do. Elk are big and eat like pigs. When the bulls are doing their thing, fighting, bugling,etc the cows are doing what? feeding. When something alarms the herd they go silent, not feeding and that silence screams danger. So here is what I do to relax the animal, I either twist my foot on the ground to make a little noise or, if possible, I strip and crunch leaves to sound like a feeding elk. Those bulls in the videos might hold up untilthey snap their head around when they hear something else make a noise and then they go to check it out and you will see it happen more than once. The strip and crunching leaves is really a great way to get close when conditions are dry, you become a herbivore to any animal that hears you. I've had deer and elk go from alarm to back to feeding even while looking at me, it can work well. Good luck to my friend.

 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!