If you are just now entering the sport of bowhunting, choosing your first bow can be a daunting task.
Some people decide between a traditional long bow, a recurve bow, or a modern compound bow. But for hunting, I would strongly suggest a compound bow because they generate far more arrow speed per given draw weight than either of the other two types. With a compound bow in hand, you can enjoy all of the challenges of traditional bowhunting while also enjoying a significantly higher success rate.
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When choosing a compound bow, there are five aspects that you need to consider; the first of which is the axle-to-axle length. This measurement is the distance between the axles on each limb. It's important because shorter bows are easier to maneuver in thick cover, while longer bows are smoother and produce a more forgiving shot.
The second aspect to consider is the brace height. This measurement is the distance between the back of the bow and the bow string and, as a general rule, bows with shorter brace heights are faster while bows with longer brace heights are more forgiving.
The third thing to decide on is deflex vs. reflex risers. A deflex riser has limb pockets that are located behind the shooter's hand, while a reflex riser puts them in front of the shooter's hand. Deflex risers are slower but more forgiving because they have a longer brace height, and reflex risers are faster but less forgiving.
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Next you'll want to think about draw length. This measurement is the distance from the back of the bow to the apex of the bow string when you have the bow fully drawn. Most compound bow manufacturers offer each of their current models in numerous different draw lengths. Obviously, you'll want to purchase a compound bow with the correct draw length so that you can comfortably draw the bow to its maximum draw length (known as "the wall") each time.
The aspect aspect of choosing the correct compound bow is to go with the correct draw weight range (most compound bows are adjustable over a 10-pound range). I personally feel that you should draw as much weight as you comfortably can which, for most people, is between 50 and 70 pounds.
Keep your eyes open for an article on how each of the above mentioned aspects of a modern compound bow affects the other, and how to put it all together to choose the best bow for you.
Do you have any other tips for features to hone in on while choosing the ideal compound bow? Leave them in the comments.