New Season, Old Bow!

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Joel Spring
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New Season, Old Bow!

Postby Joel Spring » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:35 am

A few years ago, I bought a bow after many years of hunting with my old bow. Nothing wrong with the old bow: It was accurate, fast, but also very long axle-to-axle and very heavy. With that old bow I shot 5 bucks, 7 does, 2 turkeys, and my first archery black-bear. If I hadn't had extreme confidence in the bow, I wouldn't have taken it bear hunting!

Sometime after the bear-kill, I wanted a new bow. I wanted a shorter, lighter, more modern bow. So I bought one. I set it up like the old bow. Same rest. Same basic sight. Same basic peep-sight. Same draw weight. Yadda yadda yadda.

I immediately felt like I wasn't "bonding" with the bow. It is accurate, but -- as some old timers warned me, it was definitely "less forgiving". I felt like I couldn't hold it as steady as my old bow, making acquiring the target more difficult. I also felt like the "hump" in the draw was harder to get past, despite having the same draw weight as my old bow. The first DAY hunting with it, I killed a doe. The last 4 years, I've killed 4 deer with it. But I also had bad experiences, like having a harder time drawing it in colder weather, which cost me a buck. And I felt like I constantly had to keep my form PERFECT, by practicing every single day during bow season with it. I'm all for shooting during the season, but this bow required constant attention to stay up to speed with my shooting. This summer, I began practicing in the backyard, as always, and found myself fiddling with the sights, fiddling with the peep sight, fiddling with the rest, and it was still all I could do to get a group.

In frustration, I pulled my old Bear Grizzly Supreme out of the closet recently. I knocked an arrow, pulled the bow back for the first time in four years and BANG. Bullseye. Arrow number TWO was touching arrow number one. This was after FOUR YEARS. Now I remember why my confidence used to be so high in that bow. That evening I shot dozens more times from 10-25 yards and each shot was damn near perfect. I hadn't had that much fun shooting the bow in.......four years.

Guess which bow I'm hunting with this year. I'm not too proud.
Joel Spring
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Re: New Season, Old Bow!

Postby bobow » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:41 am

I have an older PSE bow (mid 90s I think) that was handed down to me that is 43.5" axle length. I have had success and am comfortable with it.

I have heard stories of the shorter bows not being as forgiving especially as you are saying with holding steady. Even if I had the money I don't think I would change at this point in time.

Good luck this year.
Thomas Jefferson, 1774 July. "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."

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Re: New Season, Old Bow!

Postby Proline » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:55 am

Mine isnt real old but I am shooting a '08 Bowtech General. I have wanted to buy a new lighter bow with shorter A to A but I love the General and dont want to give it up so why spend the money. Not sure I will move away from it for a long time.

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Re: New Season, Old Bow!

Postby kellory » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:23 pm

I have been shooting the same compound now for 30 years. And it is a short , cheap, no frills bow. Look it up, if you can find one. Mine is an Indian Stalker 45-55 compound. molded in pin sights have been removed, designed with a one piece cable from end to end, mine has been reworked by a bowsmith with two cables and a replacable standard lenth bow string between. It has a mount for a stabilizer I have never owned. We know eachother. I know there are faster, better, quieter, smoother shooting machines on the market, I just don't have a need for one. My deer is just as dead as your's. And being short from end to end, it moves easily in the woods, or the blind. I will use what I have until I have a need to move on.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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Re: New Season, Old Bow!

Postby rmontez » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:43 pm

I had just the opposite experience. I went from a 5 or 6 year old Hoyt to a Mathews Z7xtreme and I have noticed I have tighter groupings and the bow feels lighter and more steady in my hands. I also went from 55lbs draw to a 70lbs draw and to me there is very little increase in the amount ot strength I need to pull the bow back. I haven't taken any animals with it yet but that is coming soon.

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Re: New Season, Old Bow!

Postby pgchambers » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:03 am

Old or new, the key is to find the bow that is best for you. I'm not a competition shooter, just a hunter, so if it is sufficient to ethically kill my quarry, it is the right bow. I too love my new Z7, but it has a long way to go to catch up with my old Switchback. I'm going to have a blast making it happen.
Respect - don't take it, unless you are willing to give it.
Responsibility - don't give it, unless you are willing to take it.

Joel Spring
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Re: New Season, Old Bow!

Postby Joel Spring » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:23 am

Just an update. I made the final pick for which will be my number 1 arrow as I always do a week before the season. This time, it was very difficult because all 6 of my practice arrows consistently hit exactly where I want them to...I can't get over how much more comfortable I am with this bow than I was with the newer, more modern bow. I can walk out in the back yard, shoot one arrow from any distance from 10-30 yards, and be sure it's going to be in the kill zone. I just never got to that point with my newer bow. I'm looking more forward to bowhunting this year than I have in a long time, just because my shooting confidence is back where it should be.

71 lb draw, 6075 Carbon Express Terminator arrows, and Rage 100 broadheads. Very accurate combination.

(I used to shoot the bow at 80lbs, with aluminum arrows that look like small tree trunks and Thunderhead 125's and that's what I killed my bear with....lowering the poundage made me more steady in drawing the bow and, with the carbon arrows and lighter broadheads, it didn't change the impact point at all when lowering the poundage 9 pounds...)

Incidentally, I've had good luck with the Rage. I've heard mixed results but a couple of the guys I hunt with as well as my own experiences show that with a well placed shot (nothing can make up for a poorly placed shot), the broadheads are devastating. I used to be somewhat anti-mechanicals (helped track some bad experiences with older Rocket broadheads that weren't very cold weather friendly and resulted in some large deer with very small holes poked through the vitals...), but I am a believer now, especially in terms of accuracy and huge blood trail if used correctly...
Joel Spring
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Re: New Season, Old Bow!

Postby danesdad » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:28 pm

If it aint broke, dont fix it.
Hunting: 10% skill and 90% location.

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