How to get into Bow Hunting
How does a person get into bow hunting? First, you need a bow. There are a lot of choices on the market, and it can be overwhelming to a newbie off the street, but if you follow the guidelines below, it will help in your purchase.
Buying a Bow
I recommend that you start with a midrange bow that already has the necessary accessories to start shooting out of the box. My personal favorite was the Diamond Edge SB-1. I had read reviews and shot one in the store, and it seemed to be the best fit for me.
The main reason why I went with the Diamond Edge SB-1 was it had good accessories (arrow rest, sight, etc.) and it was not going to break the bank. Keep in mind I had never even shot a compound bow before and just wanted to see if this was going to be a sport that I was going to enjoy.
I have been shooting my Diamond Archery Edge SB-1 daily now for about six months, and I am hooked.
The main thing to realize is that if you are buying a bow package, the accessories are not the greatest but they do work. When I first started shooting, the bow accessories were not the limiting factor in my archery shot, but they allow you to shoot the bow out of the box and let you test out the archery world without breaking the bank.
Another way to test out the sport without spending a lot of money but getting more bow for your buck is to visit your local archery shop and talk to them about a used bow. Most used bows come with most of the accessories that you need to shoot (if not all the accessories), and because it is not the newest bow on the market, you can purchase a year or two old bows at a significant discount.
I did not go this way due to the limited used bows available at my local shop, but I highly recommend it. I plan to continue to shoot my Diamond Edge SB-1 until a used Bowtech Reign comes into my local store but I know I am hooked on the sport, and I am now willing to spend more money on a bow that I know will be used daily.
Arrows and Broadheads
Like the above, I would recommend buying a quality arrow to go with your first bow, but I wouldn’t buy the best arrows on the market matched with the latest and greatest broadheads.
I started out with Beman White Box arrows that were precut, nocked and had field tips preinstalled. I didn’t know a thing about arrow building, and these seemed to be good overall arrows, and they shoot excellent out of my Diamond Edge SB-1.
While the Beman White Box arrows are not the top of the line arrow on the market, they are still an amazing arrow and have already brought down small game. I am looking forward to using them this fall hunting mule deer.
I have only just recently purchased broadheads for by arrows. For small game, I went with the Muzzy Small Game Point. I haven’t bought any broadheads for my upcoming mule deer hunt, but I am leaning towards the QAD Exodus broadhead. The reviews look good, and a friend of mine has used them with great success.
I do highly recommend the Muzzy Small Game Point broadheads for small game. Small game hunting is an excellent way to experience bow hunting and allows you to hone your skills virtually year-round rather than waiting for deer season to come along once a year. The most fun I have had was bow hunting gophers. It was an incredible day, and I realized that my go-to recreation is now bow hunting and I will only be using a rifle on a limited basis.
Do I Need Camouflage Clothing?
Do you need it? No. Does it make you look cool? Absolutely!
There is a lot of research out there on if camouflage clothing is helpful or not while hunting. It does help in my opinion, but your success rate comes down to your stalking technique. If you go thundering through the bush, laughing at the top of your lungs, it is not going to matter if or what type of camo you have on your back.
I would recommend delaying your clothing purchase until you know if you will be going out bow hunting for sure. For myself, I cannot use camouflage for hunting other than during bow season so purchasing the clothing ahead of time seemed to be putting the cart before the horse.
A great tip to find cheap (or at least cheaper) camouflage clothing is to check out eBay or your local military surplus store. I refused to purchase the name branded camo from Cabela’s for the low price of my first-born child, so I did more research and stumbled onto military camo. I went with the U.S. Army ACU pattern, and I am happy with my purchase. The primary objective of camo is to break up your pattern, and the ACU pattern seems to be great. Plus, I now have a full wardrobe of camo for under $75. Will I ever upgrade to a name brand camo? Maybe… but hopefully only after I get sponsored so I can spend the other person's money on the new clothing line.
Do I need anything else?
Do you NEED anything else to go bow hunting? Not really but you will want a backpack to carry water and food for the long walks you will be going on (not a hunt from the truck kind of sport) and a good knife for after the shot. A rangefinder is helpful, especially when you are first learning distances, but not a requirement. Otherwise, go and have fun!
I highly recommend starting with small game. It is the most fun I have ever had and lets you experience bow hunting any day of the year.
Good luck and happy hunting!