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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to buy a new compound bow in the $800-$900 range. Any recommendations on brand or models? Mostly for deer hunting in PA and if I ever get bold enough turkey.

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I went Xbow and love it. My eyes got to bad to use a compound. If Pa. allows crossbows, check out the Excalibur line.
 

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I'm a Hoyt guy but a friend of mine who was sponsored by PSA, Hoyt, and Matthews said High Country bows were the best bang for the buck. Same top quality and way cheaper price.
 

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If you elect to go with a crossbow, look at a Kodabow. I ruined two arrows with a Robin Hood at 40 yards on my first outing with it. My go to bow for years was a longbow, but my left rotator cuff is now messed up, so I moved to something more shoulder friendly.
 

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I would caution against the Havalon 6. Those short limbs are going to make a very difficult bow to shoot well and I suspect a touch loud. I shot one but did not like how it felt. Just wasn't dead in the hands. I would go to a shop and shoot one for a while before purchase.
 

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Ask 10 archers... Get 10 opinions...

Are you planning on hunting from a tree stand or blind? How much clearance do you need? Longer (axle-to-axle) bows are typically more forgiving, quieter, and easier to tune. Shorter bows are easier to handle in tight blinds, and while a bit tougher to tune can be just as quiet and as accurate as a longer bow (but, not necessarily more forgiving). How much do you figure you'll be drawing, and at what draw length? Lot's of guys forget to think of brace-height, but a 5" brace, while faster than a 6" or 7" brace, is also much less forgiving and can be a real booger to tune. Longer braces are always more accurate, and always slower...

As for bows... Pick your poison and test drive them at a range to see how the draw feels... The whole draw... From brace through the peak, the break-over, and the wall. How well does the grip center in your hand, and how well does the bow balance at rest, at full draw, and on the release?

My son was a Hoyt shooter for years... Then he test drove a Mathews Halon-32 - - game over for Hoyt's. My D.I.L. shot a lower end Bow-Tech, then went to Hoyt, and now she also owns a Mathews. I've had a few bows over the years, and never really put to much credence in brand loyalty. But, now I also shoot a Mathews - - a Halon-X... I found this one barely used, and picked it up for $400 less than retail. Even with that, it was $900... But, it is also the last compound bow I'll probably ever buy.

I assume you have shot compounds before, since you said you are looking at getting a new bow. If so, then you already know pretty much everything you need to make your decision.

If that assumption is incorrect, then slip into a good shop and see what shop bows they have that you can test drive. If they are pushing only one bow on you, and have nothing else for you to test drive, walk away and find another shop. If they are happy to set up two, three, or four of their shop bows for you to test drive, then this is probably a good shop that will let you shoot and help you to make a solid decision for yourself.

Won't say you need "this brand" or "that brand" or "this particular model" or "that particular model"... Too many personal differences between each of us for anyone to endorse a specific bow for anyone else... You just have to shoot a few of them and see for yourself. But, having said that, when it feels right, it will really feel right...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow great response! Definitely tree stand over blind, and I'm pretty diligent about taking a machete to create as much movement around myself as possible. To answer your bottom section it's a bit of yes and no haha. I'm borrowing a cheap-o used bow a hunting buddy of mine lent me to see if I liked it. Well I did and I'm a terrible bowman by my own admission (very, very green to it). Want to get better with a quality bow and plan on going to Lancaster Archery in PA to get suited up. You also hit the nail on the head with the price range. I want a better bow than I'm using but am not looking to spend to get the last bow I'll ever own. Thanks for the things to check. Excited to see what I end up getting.

For those suggesting a crossbow I would like to get one eventually, but want the sharper learning curve of a compound (glutton for punishment I suppose).


Ask 10 archers... Get 10 opinions...

Are you planning on hunting from a tree stand or blind? How much clearance do you need? Longer (axle-to-axle) bows are typically more forgiving, quieter, and easier to tune. Shorter bows are easier to handle in tight blinds, and while a bit tougher to tune can be just as quiet and as accurate as a longer bow (but, not necessarily more forgiving). How much do you figure you'll be drawing, and at what draw length? Lot's of guys forget to think of brace-height, but a 5" brace, while faster than a 6" or 7" brace, is also much less forgiving and can be a real booger to tune. Longer braces are always more accurate, and always slower...

As for bows... Pick your poison and test drive them at a range to see how the draw feels... The whole draw... From brace through the peak, the break-over, and the wall. How well does the grip center in your hand, and how well does the bow balance at rest, at full draw, and on the release?

My son was a Hoyt shooter for years... Then he test drove a Mathews Halon-32 - - game over for Hoyt's. My D.I.L. shot a lower end Bow-Tech, then went to Hoyt, and now she also owns a Mathews. I've had a few bows over the years, and never really put to much credence in brand loyalty. But, now I also shoot a Mathews - - a Halon-X... I found this one barely used, and picked it up for $400 less than retail. Even with that, it was $900... But, it is also the last compound bow I'll probably ever buy.

I assume you have shot compounds before, since you said you are looking at getting a new bow. If so, then you already know pretty much everything you need to make your decision.

If that assumption is incorrect, then slip into a good shop and see what shop bows they have that you can test drive. If they are pushing only one bow on you, and have nothing else for you to test drive, walk away and find another shop. If they are happy to set up two, three, or four of their shop bows for you to test drive, then this is probably a good shop that will let you shoot and help you to make a solid decision for yourself.

Won't say you need "this brand" or "that brand" or "this particular model" or "that particular model"... Too many personal differences between each of us for anyone to endorse a specific bow for anyone else... You just have to shoot a few of them and see for yourself. But, having said that, when it feels right, it will really feel right...
 
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Something else to think about - - with regard to hunting from a tree stand... Lot's of guys believe that they need a bow that is only 30-1/2" or 31" (axle-to-axle) to successfully hunt from a tree stand or blind.

Before the introduction of the parallel limb technology, what was considered a short axle-to-axle bow might have been 37" to 40". When I first started with a compound, it was 46" axle-to-axle, and weighed a ton (magnesium riser), but it was absolutely quiet, deadly accurate, extremely forgiving, and very easily tuned - - not to mention that it launched a 535 grain aluminum arrow at ~235 fps or so. It would penetrate purt near the whole way through the north end of a south bound elk though. Been down the path of a 31" axle-to-axle bow as well, and I even though I shot that bow with pretty fair accuracy, it didn't provide the forgiveness I wanted. If I torqued the riser slightly, or if it wasn't absolutely vertical my shooting went to crappola. Every shot had to be absolutely perfect with that bow, otherwise the fliers were frequent... That goes back to the forgiveness of a bow.

One day, I tried a No-Cam, a Halon-32, a used Halon-6, a couple different Hoyt's, and even an older Mathews model that I can't remember. Must have shot six or eight different bows in that shop over the course of two days... They let me try them all without any fuss at all... When I spied that used Halon-X (35" axle-to-axle, 7" brace), I asked to test drive it. Started with 29-1/2" draw module set, and weight dialed down to 60# or so. Had them tweak it to a 29" draw, and left the draw at 60#. Within 5-minutes, I went from shooting the 5-Ring to shooting X's. It just felt that right to me...

It will be the same for you if you do some homework, and get them to help set you up with some shop bows... When you find the right one, there won't be much doubt in your mind. Hope your journey takes you where you want to be, just don't be in too much of a hurry to try getting there. Take your time, get them to help you, and test drive as many as you want to find your bow.
 

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Ben,
Go to an actual archery shop. Skip the box stores.
An archery shop will be able to measure you out for proper draw length and set you up with a bow that will fit you, along with the proper accessories. They will want to earn your business not just sell a bow like an hourly employee at a box store.
As far as spending $900 on a first bow, it is seriously unnecessary. Most archery shops will have high quality used or trial bows for much less than what you are looking to spend.
Shoot as many as you can and let the bow pick you. You will know when you shoot the right one.

Andrew
 
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good advice above. but it is like marlinitis... addicting, my basement!!








My wife can officially never say anything again about my weapon purchases! That's awesome!
 

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Ha!! Wow! vt4ster, that is amazing! Now, THESE are the pics I show my wife and say "see honey! I'm not THAT bad! " :laugh:
 
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