Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Bows and Arrows

first Bow

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I just bought a PSE Stalker with a 50 pound draw its my first bow I also bough a youth bow for my girl friend with either an 18 or 20 pound draw should i use hers first or should i try to learn on mine is the pse stalker a good bow?

Steve Cover:
In my opinion 50 pounds is too much draw weight for a learning bow.
Archery skills require lots of practice and your archery muscles need to be developed.
To develop the correct technique you need a bow light enough to draw consistently lots of times.
This will develop your "muscle memory" and develop your unused archery muscles.

If you haven't done so, I suggest that you read all of the previous threads on the subject.
There is a lot of good information there and several differing opinions for you to consider.

Personally, I recommend that you don't shoot your 50 pounder (and develop any early learning bad habits due to fighting the weight) until you have about 500 arrows down range from the light weight bow.
By then you should have a consistent technique learned and be in better "archery" shape.
Shooting a half dozen arrows from the heavier bow at a session then will now allow you to build up to the heavier weight without losing your technique.


Congrats on the new bow, you'll have lots of fun with it.

I guess it depends how strong you are to start with.  If you are a cross fit/P90x animal, go ahead and start with the 50 lb bow.  I would recommend you get a book/video/instruction on how to shoot a traditional bow.  My favorite book is called "Be the Arrow" by Bryon ferguson.  Bryon teaches a method of using the arrow point as a reference for aiming.  It has worked well for me.   I tried to shoot instinctive for 3 years as taught by Fred Ashbel in his books.  It did not work for me even though I was shooting 3-4 times a week.  I could not get good past 20-25 yards.  (No need to flame me if it works for you, I know this is my shortcoming.)

It is better to shoot a few arrows (10-15) every day,rather than trying to shoot 50 arrows once a week.  You will develop bad habbits doing this.  When you start, shoot at close range 7-10 yards with a big target.  You want to focus on form first, and doing everything the same way for every shot.  This is getting the feel for shooting.  You should start mentally calling your shots.  That was a good one or that one is to the right.  Once you can do this, you can figure out what is causing those good and bad shots.  I also recommend you initially shoot from one distance rather than shooting a shot at 10, 15, 20, 25.  This will allow you to develop a mental picture of what you need to see to make a 20 yards shot.  Once you get better you can start mixing it up for fun.  A little focused training goes a long way.

 There is a device called a clicker you can attach to your bow for practice.  One end is sticky and goes on the bow, and a sting is tied on the bow string.  Once set, it clicks when you have reached full draw.  This teaches you to come to full draw lengh for every shot which is critical for accurate shooting.  You'll have to take if off for hunting:-)

If you are planning on hunting you have to determine your effective range.  Here is how I do that; place a paper plate on your target from a known distance, say 15 yards.  If you hit the target with your first arrow, you take one step back for your first shot the next time you shoot.  It you miss, you take a step forward the next time.  This will give you a good idea over time of your effective range based on accuracy.   I will not shoot at a deer past 30 yards due to arrow speed, and the chance of a deer jumping the string.  This is just me, not saying that anyone else should.

Good luck with the new bow!

Thanks for the advice guys I ordered them on amazon and the youth bow came in first good thing too considering your advice ill try to get about 3 or 4 hundred shots down range before i even attempt the 50

Steve Cover:
Addenda reminder:

The two bows will require different arrows.

Always match arrow stiffness to the weight of your bow.

A properly splined arrow will curve around the bow giving a true accurate flight

Too limp an arrow can break when shot in a heavy bow.

Here is a short video showing the importance of matching stiffness to bow weight.
Notice what happens when he goes to lighter and lighter arrow stiffness.

Too stiff an arrow will slap the side of the bow and fly way wide when shot in a light bow.



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