DONT give up on the bow hunting, recurves or longbows are very efficient weapons when used correctly and within their limitations.
they are a perfect weapon, when one is able to carry them with you all day everyday as primitive peoples did- and to hunt opportunistically. to only carry them that once a year during hunting season- when we go out a few days during that season- is reducing your chances of success further.
now that does not mean they dont work- i bow hunt exclusively during that "hunting season"- and i put meat on the table. for primitive folks it wasnt just about deer - it was everything and anything- the bow and arrow was merely a tool to extend their reach
- frogs, squirrels, rats/mice, fish, anything was fair game!
bow hunting has its own challenges and rewards- solitude , silence- close proximity to your prey- and one will inadvertently learn more about the bush and your prey- as everything has bearing on what you do and what you see. you will become a better tracker, a better observer- and will get closer to the land. dont get disheartened by your failures- remember a primitive soul might have had a bow of some sorts in his hands from as early as he could hold something. when we pick up these tools later in life- we have a steep learning curve ahead of us.
in my opinion- stay away from the crossbows and compounds- they are both bulky items to lug around all day- sights to get bumped- get hung up in the bush- i can throw my bows down the side of a mountain( well not really!!) pick them up- and they will still hit the same target.
get something that is comfortable and easy to shoot- find your effective killing range- the range where you can absolutely put every single arrow into a realistic kill zone sized target- reduce that distance somewhat- and keep that as your max- realistic hunting range- all situations and prey body positions will have an effect on that range- but thats just a good starting point.
our society is ( remnants of rifle ideology) so focused on small tight groupings- and i know when i started out- i wanted to be able to get 4" groupings out at 30 yards- my good mate taught me to understand- that was not important yet- and was just putting pressure on me, as the shooter- and was effecting my shooting- - he said if a whitetails kill zone is say12 to 14" diameter, find a distance that you can put all your arrows into say a 9" grouping( dinner plate size) without fail- increase your range to establish you maximum- now you have a max hunting range on whitetails- suddenly changed my whole focus- accuracy went up- confidence increased. i still limit my range to about 18 paces- but shoot most of my deer in between 5 and about 12 paces.
stay away from the paper punching target shooting- focus more on stump shooting https://survivalsherpa.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/stump-shooting-as-a-survival-skill/
- it will give you varying ranges- varied targets- varied positions- will make you a better hunter- and is way more fun- shooting at a target for hours on end- and a known range- unless you plan to be a target archer- is a waste of time- compared to effective stump shooting practice.- you can stump shoot in your own yard- i do most of mine on my front lawn! get some judo points and get started.
if you do shoot at targets shoot one arrow at a time- walk retrieve - shoot and so on- your brain needs that bit of time to process and store the data- your body needs a few seconds to recover from each shot- or as your body tires your form wll suffer- and that bad form is what will be imprinting in your brain. take it slow.
best advice i can give you- i find a mentor- a good mentor- and learn the skills right- or alternatively check this guy out- get his video- i have tried many different techniques in my hunting and shooting journey- and this guys system is the best i have ever come across- best of all attend one of his clinics- they are phenomenal!!!