Compound or traditional bows?

Discussion in 'Archery' started by THRsucks, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. Poeschel

    Poeschel Scout

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    I wish more people had the mentality that, “I won’t hunt until I’m good enough to ethically kill animals.” I give props to the guys who will give up years of hunting to get good with a trad bow. I remember being in awe of this guy I was hunting with once, beautiful longbow, homemade arrows.....after a morning of not seeing anything, I set up a pop bottle 12 yards away cause I just wanted to see him shoot. He missed by 12 inches...I didn’t hunt with him anymore cause I had visions of long, unsuccessful tracking jobs. I know all bows should be practiced with, but trad gear really needs a dedicated shooter.
     
  2. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Traditional for me. I once picked up my brother in law's compound, having not touched a bow in about 20+ years, and put 3 arrows into a 5" group at 25 yards in his deer dummy. He was dumbfounded... But a trigger's a trigger, and his sights were dead on. To me, there is little challenge in this.

    I pretty much suck with a traditional bow. I do all my shooting at 10 yards, occasionally stretching it to 15. Some (few) days I can put 5 arrows, one each into the quarter sized spots on my target, at about 10 yards. Other days I can shoot 3 groups of 15 arrows and have 13/15 in an 8" group. Still other days I'll shoot a vertical group of 15 arrows 16" long with only about 2" of side deviation... and other days I miss the target entirely with my first arrow and can't put together a 15" group with 15 arrows. But every year I get better and better.
     
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  3. Plainsman

    Plainsman Scout

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    AGREED!

    Agree as well!

    I switched from compound to recurve completely back in 1990 and haven’t looked back since!
     
  4. trentu

    trentu Guide

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    Traditional. I like making them more than hunting with them though.
     
  5. cek

    cek Supporter Supporter

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    Made the switch in the '90's from compound to recurve.Used, Old Bear Kodiak , cedar arrows and zwickey broadheads. It was just what I liked better, things that are simple. It spoke to me my compound didn't.
     
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  6. Skuhzz

    Skuhzz Tracker

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    Hey guys, pretty new here so I'm just catching up on this thread. I shoot traditional as well, just started shooting a year ago. I have a recurve that I've been shooting since I started but I've got a nice longbow on order from Ron LaClair which should be here in a month or so, I'm super excited for it!

    I have the Jaguar, it shoots as good as you can! I just went on my first hunting trip this passed weekend but unfortunately didn't get to take a shot. Let me know if you still want some information on the bow, been shooting it for about a year now.

    Really love your bow man, I shoot with a guy that has a few Howard Hill's. Really nice bow, great pic!
     
  7. sidmand

    sidmand Bacon is food duct tape Supporter

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    Selfbows and stickbows, and I do have one Bear Supermag that I keep around because it was one of the last made in Grayling and conicidently was made the year I was born (I think, based on serial and markings). I make my own gear, and have a bucket list goal of sticking pointy sticks into deer, moose, sheep, and speed goats before I check out.
     
  8. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    I used to like compound bows, but if I got one today it would be a recurve or break down. I have an old Bear but special and I don't know if I want to use it.
     
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  9. clueless on the delaware

    clueless on the delaware Scout

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    Ditto
     
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  10. TentMonkey

    TentMonkey Scout

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    I have both, and I've hunted with both. I've been hunting deer with my Bear Crux cam bow. Good to 50 yards, fiberoptic sights, dropaway rest, carbon arrows with Rage Hypodermics. It's fast, compact, and accurate. It's wheel-to-wheel is 30 5/8", which means my string angles at the nock is pretty dang steep and I need a mechanical release to shoot it. It's not as forgiving as something like my old Golden Eagle and Pro-Line bows which were like 42-44" axle to axle, but its way faster and draws and shoots more quietly and smoothly.

    I've also got an old 45 pound bear recurve that I've hunted deer with (it was my grandpaps, using wooden arrows and glue on broadheads that he had a couple dozen of for it), and a 30 pound (I believe, its not clearly marked) Shakespeare recurve that I like to use for rabbits when there's snow on the ground and for shooting bullfrogs in my pond.
     
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  11. trad_bowhunter1965

    trad_bowhunter1965 Supporter Supporter

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    I hunted with a compound for 20+years then switch to a traditional bow a Bob Lee recurve and now I have two Pronghorn Longbow one is 52 pounds and one 51 pounds I ordered a Yellowstone Half Breed 45@28 all great bows. Like many other I like building my own arrows and gear and if I break a string I can make one out almost any type of cordage. I can make arrow out all kinds of wood arrow heads out of glass can use my bow string to tie up and pack all kinds of stuff I don't need a bow press to work on my bow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  12. gdpolk

    gdpolk Supporter Supporter

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    I'm a longbow guy. I tried the compound thing for a while but for my uses a traditional bow is actually the better choice of weapon and I enjoy it more. The only two advantages a compound offers a hunter is they are very compact making them easier to shoot from the ground or blind and they are more precise which lends itself to longer range shots. However, as a hunter I can accommodate for shorter ranges by being a better woodsman and set myself up to accommodate for the longer weapon. The advantages of traditional archery equipment for me include:
    1. The ability to be shot canted as I bend and contort myself around trees/brush
    2. Simplicity; there is less to go wrong
    3. Quietness and the sound QUALITY is less prone to scaring game
    4. Ease of shooting - while they require more practice to be proficient with, once you are proficient you can more easily hit moving targets and/or aerial targets
    5. Improved sight picture that doesn't rely on fiber pins allows you to shoot into the darkness a few minutes after I would have to hang up a compound due to loosing light through the peep sight and loosing sight pins on dark silhouettes
    6. Richness of the hunt that can only be obtained through a more intimate experience
    7. Ability to tune the bow in the field and replace a string if needed
    8. The extra "power" of a compound has NEVER been needed for anything I have shot. I get complete pass throughs. Penetration is more related to arrow build parameters and broadhead design than it is speed anyway. From actual testing my 50lb longbow shooting heavy arrows with a Grizzly single bevel head at a measured through my chronograph whopping 147fps average out penetrates my neighbors 80lb Matthews compound shooting his lightning fast whiz bang arrows with Rage broadheads at 283fps by 40%.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  13. Idabow

    Idabow Scout

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    Only because your neighbor is shooting lighter arrows. The buck I heart shot at 80 yds was hit with a 455 grn shaftdoing 285 fps at the “muzzle”. That’s 82 foot lbs at launch. Hit it with roughly 68 foot lbs. Used a 1 1/2” cut three blade mechanical.

    The only thing you have is silence. Then again my son’s compound at 50 lbs would give your bow a run for the money. Freakishly quiet.
     
  14. JasonJ

    JasonJ Guide

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    Well.. that and the fact that trad guys don't drop $800-$1000 on their bow, and certainly don't do it every couple years, repeatedly whenever a new compound is released.. touting 1-2fps more speed. Some of those compound shooters on archerytalk go nuts.. buying a new bow what seems like almost every other year, losing their butts on the resale of the "old" one.

    Look, we've said it before and all agreed, shoot what you like, shoot what you are skilled at, and shoot whatever the bloody heck you want. If anyone really gives a darn what someone else is shooting and is intent on focusing on that and berating us on it, then that is not the kind of person I'd typically want to be having discussions with anyhow.
     
  15. IndaTimber

    IndaTimber Tracker

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    Trad here. Longbows and soon, hopefully, a selfbow. Love making my wooden arrows, very relaxing for me!
     
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  16. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    Guys using traditionals for hunting - how often do you have to practice to maintain consistency? I was shooting a real nice 60lb recurve almost every day for about a year and was starting to get OK, but then I stopped for three years. Now I want to get into bow hunting and I'm thinking a compound might be the way to go for me because, let's be honest, it's easier. I just don't have time to practice every day right now in my life. Thoughts?
     
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  17. Idabow

    Idabow Scout

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    Actually I have friends that do drop 800-1000 dollars every year on trad bows. One friend has five Stryker reflex/deflecting longbows. He doesn’t even hunt. He just enjoys shooting them. I don’t by new bows every year either. I still have two UltraTec’s from 02 that i shoot.

    I love to tinker with my bows. I have my own bow shop in my garage. Archery talk is where I learned how to fletch arrows because the local shop needed two weeks to glue 2 vanes. Sorry, I’m not trying to beat anyone. However when people make ill informed, physics bending comments sometimes facts needed.

    And it’s reflex/deflex before the grammar nazis jump in. iPad isn’t cooperating right now.
     
  18. Not Sure

    Not Sure Supporter Supporter

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    Re-curve/Long Bowman here. I give the edge to Compound when hunting Big Game however, I believe
    Trad Archery has the win for small game. Snap shooting is more effective with Trad gear.
    Think Rabbits,Fish,Squirrels and other fast moving targets.
    I enjoy the ease that I can tune or make field repairs to my Trad Bows.
    I'm cool with either discipline,but for me its the old ways..............

    Martin Hatfield


    IMG_3240.JPG

    Mad Dog

    IMG_3957.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  19. Swampyankee101

    Swampyankee101 Scout

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    Going back to when wheel bows started. I recall guys at the club, shooting and then listening to them talk about tuning all the time, going back to the shop for this and that. I began to wonder how much this could cost. I shoot a browing 45lb recurve and a 50 lb takedown long bow. They don't cost me a dime.
     
  20. Eric Westbrook

    Eric Westbrook Supporter Supporter

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    You should love that bow, Ron's bows have always been top shelf regardless of who his bowyer has been over the years. His 60" Super Shrew is probably the best all around hunting bow on the market.

    Ron's longtime bowyer Gregg Coffey is also a good source for that style bow, Gregg's work brought the Shrew bows to their great popularity.
    http://www.javamanarchery.com/
     
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  21. Not Sure

    Not Sure Supporter Supporter

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    That Sweet-grass in a 66 inch would make me smile...............
     
  22. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    I've had a couple of compound bows, but I love my old Shakespeare recurves (50 lb Necedah and 40 lb Ocala). I have shot them and shot them for almost 50 yrs and other than needing strings occasionally, its seems they will never die. Everything about them is simple, rugged, reliable, and I can do anything they need myself with almost no tools. They are light and quiet, easy to carry, nothing to adjust or tweak on them. There's no question in my mind that a well rigged compound is a superior hunting weapon in terms of range, power and accuracy. But its weight, complexity (ie unreliability) and extra noise take a lot of points off its score as an overall hunting tool. If one is always close to a good bow shop, or is a skilled bow mechanic with the right spare parts, this may not be a serious concern. But if you are hundreds of miles from a big city and all its infrastructure, reliability becomes a much bigger issue. And what's the cost of using a recurve vs a compound? For me, and probably most people, it's a 30 yd max hunting range (recurve) vs a 45 yd range (compound). Sure, some people can shoot accurately much farther. But most people can't.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  23. hicountry

    hicountry Blue Granite Bushcraft Vendor

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    I'm trad bow. Though I've used compounds.
    Nicer compounds are heavy, trad bows are light.

    But if this were a total survival hunting situation and silence was part of the deal, not being able to use firearms,
    gotta be honest, compounds do reach out farther, crossbows even more, velocity is higher than trad bows.
    The complex moving parts and possible failure are slight weak points against them.

    For now I'll continue using my trad stuff, 60lb. T-D recurve, reflex-deflex, longbow.
     
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  24. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Still going Supporter

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    Back in the Boy Scouts I target shot recurves only. But when I started bow hunting I swithed to compounds bows. I have taken a lot of deer over the years with a bear white tail 2
     
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  25. Mitch Ray

    Mitch Ray Guide

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    I’m a compound guy. I just really enjoy shooting them. That said, I have a ton of respect for the trad guys. Practice with a compound is very important and sadly often overlooked.
     
  26. Idabow

    Idabow Scout

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    ^^^^ This in spades. Practice’ is everything. I don’t get to shoot near enough during bow season. It’s easy to miss even with wheel bows. I had a doe bird dog me at 40 yds. My first hunt at this farm. She took an hour to close 20 yds. Between last light, over estimating yardage, and frostbite hands I missed. Imagine that!

    I tell my Scouts everybody misses. I learned from it though. That’s the important part.

    Never use a right handed stand as lefty.
     
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  27. sammy

    sammy Tracker

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    Trad all the way. Shoot mostly recurve but play with a longbow from time to time
     
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  28. Swampyankee101

    Swampyankee101 Scout

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    I have a browning Nomad. 52" 45 lb. and a 55 lb take down long bow. When the compounds came into use, all I saw was guys bringing them back for service, tuning etc. I figured out quick I never had that with the traditionals.
     
  29. 'yote

    'yote Tracker

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    Traditional. I find compounds, and everything that goes along with them opposite of what I enjoy.

    My bow is a jk tradtions r/d bow, and it is awesome.

    I am average
     
  30. wingnuts

    wingnuts Hunter/Gatherer Provider/Protector Supporter

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    Good lookin bow
     
  31. wingnuts

    wingnuts Hunter/Gatherer Provider/Protector Supporter

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    Still a hunter but with a cross bow you’re barely a BOW HUNTER! No distespect but my issue is that Xbox’s don’t belong in bow season, better in ML season. Maybe different where you are but the cross bow hunters where I hunt have left an awful impression!
     
  32. wingnuts

    wingnuts Hunter/Gatherer Provider/Protector Supporter

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    Recurve, I shot a compound back in college and was pretty friggin good. Now it’s recurves without sights and 15-20 yard shots from the ground!!! I don’t mind the challenge as I often score later on ML season
     
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  33. Hillbilly stalker

    Hillbilly stalker Scout

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    I shoot all three....compound, longbow and recurve (glass and self bow)
    I find shooting a compound a chore..ie what's rattling, what's moved, what's new in gadgets ?
    I find shooting traditional or primitive to be relaxing and enjoyable. Simple...form and concentration.

    I just finished reading the books about Fred Bear. I found it interesting that he manufactured traditional and compound bows. When interviewed, he stated he picked up a compound from his factory "once", but didn't even shoot it. I have the dvds of his historical hunts also that I enjoy. Its all about what you enjoy.
     
  34. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Bushmaster

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    i shot recurves and long bows for many years, and could hit a 3-inch circle at 15 yards every time, and robin-hooded many an arrow until i learn to shoot at separate dots. i shot hundred of arrows a day for 3-4 times a week. really. but i could could NOT let an arrow loose at a deer, even at 10 FEET. so i quit bow hunting, and let my bows languish. gave my 62-pound martin long bow to my son (he shoots it BARE-FINGERED!) a 50-pound bear kodiak started splintering from misuse. i did pick up a 45-pound kodiak several years ago that i occassionally shoot. i hadn't shot it since fall because of heart issues and open heart surgery in december. i strung it and shot it yesterday, only four arrows to test my sternum (sternum is fine, upper back muscles not so much; weak). one at 5 yards and three at 10 yards, all four arrows would have hit a deer boiler room square. so, i'm going back to shooting, and intend to buy my first cedar arrows. but hunting next fall? hmmmmmmm ...
     
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  35. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    60# compound for big game
    Deadly accurate once pins are set its ready
    20# tradtional for small game
    Quick and light
    But harder to maintain accuracy
    Requires more practice than compound
     
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  36. Idabow

    Idabow Scout

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    Wingnuts slob hunters are slobs no matter the weapon. Second hunters had better learn to stick together. Anti’s outnumber hunters by a huge margin. You live in nj. You of all people should know about anti’s banning bear hunting for example.

    I live in Ohio. We’ve had crossbows during archery since about 1980 or so. Last time I checked our deer herds were among the best on the continent. The sky hasn’t fallen yet. Nj isn’t exactly known as a hunting destination. Why is that? I’d say your politicians have more pull than your sportsmen and bioligist. Or maybe the anti’s and politicians.
     
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  37. Mitch Ray

    Mitch Ray Guide

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    I appreciated that crossbows get folks out in the woods that would not be able too otherwise. They’re not for me, but nobody is twisting my arm to use one.

    Good compound archers still practice consistently. It is easier than trad archery, but nothing is easy if you don’t practice. Form ultimately trumps sights, speed, etc. you can never buy enough bow and gizmos to make up for a lack of practice.

    I respect Trad archers and crossbow hunters. We are all better off sticking together. Feel free to give me grief over cams and releases, but don’t expect me to put my compound down.
     
  38. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Bushmaster

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    used to have an old 50-pound bear compound with a single pin set-up that a nice fellow gave me. i could hit squirrels at will off the bird feeder at about 15 yards. probably should have tried deer hunting with it, but a city squirrel on a feeder ain't a deer in the woods. somebody stole the bow from the river shack ...
     
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  39. Benjamin Shoemaker

    Benjamin Shoemaker Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I shoot compound and have a recurve that I mess around with. I started with a early 90's Martin firecat. Heavy bow. Then a friend traded me a Mathews solo cam Q2XL for a bolt action. Then I bought a brand new Mathews chill x. Just recently got the recurve. Out of all these compound bows I have, never have I had to go to the shop to tune this or fix that or change this. Now a new string every few years, yeah. Why everyone talks about the "maintenance" and cost. If I break a Mathews that I bought brand new, I take it to my bow guy and tell him what happened, it is fixed free of charge. That's one of the reasons they are so high.i have nothing but respect for trad guys. It takes a lot more skill to use one. Maybe some of you trad guys would like shooting a compound with fingers or canted. Check out guy Fitzgerald on YouTube. His dad and him shoot compound bows traditional style. Pretty cool stuff. Shoot what you got. Practice is key to all regardless of how the bow is made.
     
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  40. Mitch Ray

    Mitch Ray Guide

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    Amen dude. Good compound archers still practice their butts off.
     
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  41. Styksnstryngs

    Styksnstryngs Tracker

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    I am, first and foremost, an archer. I'd rather shoot anything rather than nothing. However, I do prefer to leave the "training wheels," as we Olympic recurve shooters call compounds, off of my recurves and longbows. One huge factor is in the maintenance required for a compound, and I'm a pretty hands-on guy. I also shoot with bows I make, and I haven't made a good compound yet.
     
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  42. jasam

    jasam Scout

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    I shoot longbows,selfbows,and I have a recurve. I like making my own gear and when you harvest s bear or deer with a bow,string,shaft,and head you made yourself there’s a real sense of accomplishment no matter the range. I haven’t seen too many compounds or sights made in the field out of hickory trees and river cane.
     
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  43. ceb

    ceb Tracker

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    Traditional for me, why? Cause I've done it for 48yrs and it just works for me. Oh, and I'm too old to change now!!
     
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  44. sledjockey

    sledjockey Skookum's Bro Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have multiple of both. I like trad for small game so that I don't grind, gut and skin the critter with a single arrow from my compound. The compound is so accurate that I feel dumb not using it for big game.

    I look at it like guns. You don't usually shoot squirrels with a 300 Wby so out comes a .22....
     
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  45. rwmck

    rwmck Scout

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    I love bowhunting so i use both recurve for small game and the compound for Deer and hogs...
     
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  46. Headache

    Headache Scout Bushclass I

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    I shoot a compound, because I take hunting seriously.
    I want every odd stacked in my favor that I can possibly squeeze out of the situation.
    I have harvested many animals out past 60 and 70 yards that simply would not have been harvested without state of the art equipment, a a bajillion practice hours.
    Although I truly love the look and feel and heart of the traditional shooter, the love of the arc and the mystical flight of the arrow made by hand.... I would only get into that for target fun.
    When it comes to killing stuff, I want to give myself every advantage I can.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 9:49 AM
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  47. Mitch Ray

    Mitch Ray Guide

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    +1
     
  48. JasonJ

    JasonJ Guide

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    I wanted to reply to this thread again, as it's since generated a lot of good comments. Also to add that while I own 3 recurves that I love to shoot for recreation, I am not good enough to use them for hunting. 5-10yds, rabbits- probably. Anything appreciable that puts meat in the freezer, no.

    I have now two, compounds. An old Browning 55lb, and my uncle just gave me a late 80s PSE Jet Flite Express. That PSE is LOUD, like a 22 going off, but it is FAST as well. So super accurate and I don't even shoot the compounds much if at all. WIth brass pin sights, and I've been practicing with it for a few weeks, I could easily take heart/lung shots at a whitetail at 15 yds, hoping to improve that to 20 by fall.

    As far as a hunting weapon, both styles will do. But ignoring the complexity, things that can break or go wrong with it, and the tuning aspect, all things being equal a compound out-shoots a recurve all day long. Doesn't mean it will out hunt one though, that's on the archer.

    That's because trad bows of all sorts have a soul, compounds dont, like machines... think T-800 Terminators vs actual humans. lol.

    Good point. But in that case I think it's a matter of spending that much on trad gear for collecting and enjoyment. The compound shooters I see doing this are chasing speed. Speed that really doesn't mean diddly in terms of lethality or taking down typical game.

    A nice assessment. I think in an ideal survival hunting situation, say one where you decided to live off grid in the wilderness, I'd personally take both styles. A trad bow is light enough to sling to your back and carry as a backup while using the more accurate compound as a primary... or if close to cabin, go back and get trad bow if the compound explodes it's wheels and cables on ya.

    I think where crossbows really shine is for the disabled or elderly archer. Much less strength and form required to shoot one. A person can still hunt by arrow and string while not beating up their body to draw a bow.

    Absolutely. I shoot my recurves for fun, and if and when I get "good enough", I'll consider trying one on a hunt. But overall, because of the technology and the way they work, I am a much more efficient hunter with a compound. Despite the need to still practice with it (of course), shooting a compound and actually hitting vitals and making 3" or less groups at hunting ranges is much easier than with a recurve or longbow.
     
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  49. Sticks N' Stones

    Sticks N' Stones Scout

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    I used to be decent at shooting compounds, ever since I switched to trad and primitive when I was 12 I haven't even looked at my compound let alone touch it. I like my old recurves from the 60's, but primiitve bows are my favorite. (100# warbow, 70# reflexed longbow, 55# sinew backed shortbow.

    @Paul Foreman Your boy's gonna get some good hard fingers! get him a warbow when he get's bored of his recurve being too light, the pissing match will come sooner or later, happened to me at least. I shoot bare fingered btw.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018 at 10:48 PM
  50. Sticks N' Stones

    Sticks N' Stones Scout

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    May I ask where do you shoot from?
     

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