Blue Collar Bows


Archery is a sport that the whole family should be able to participate in. However, in recent years, the prices of bows have increased so much that you might have to sell your favorite hunting dog in order to buy a bow for yourselves and your kids.  If you do a little research, you can find bows that won’t result in you sleeping in the garage for a week once your spouse discovers that you purchased it! Listed below are five bows that can be purchased for less than $500.  Some are for adults; others are for kids. 


 The big news in 2007 is…. Mathews Archery has introduced a new bow line called ‘Mission Archery.’  The Mission line was designed with blue-collar Americans in mind.  There are 3 bows in the Mission line: the X3, X4, and the X5.  The X4 is the bow that caught my attention.  The bow costs $449, which is music to every bowhunters’ ears.  The X4 offers several features for the price.  A machined riser that helps reduce the weight and adds eye appeal is at the core of the bow.  The string cushions are very impressive.  They quickly eliminate string vibration and noise after the shot, which helps reduce the chances of deer jumping the string.  The cables come complete with rubber X silencers, which help eliminate vibration and noise.  The bow is a popular 33 inches from axle to axle, making it the perfect bow for whitetail hunters.  It has a 7-inch brace height and weighs in at 3.84 pounds.  The bow throws an arrow about 310 feet per second IBO, thanks to a perimeter-weighted solo cam that delivers speed and easy tuning.  The X4 is available in 40, 50, 60, and 70-pound weights and draw lengths from 25 to 30 inches in half-inch increments.  The X4 is available in Advantage Max 4 camouflage. This bow is probably one of the smoothest shooting bows I’ve ever shot in this price range.  Check it out at

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Another bow that caught my eye for adults was the Bear Instinct. Dan Massimillo of Bear Archery describes the Instinct as short and sweet.   At $399, it is one of the most reasonably priced bows on the market for adults.  The compression-molded quad limbs of the Instinct are a patented limb unique to Bear Archery, which is said to be stronger than conventional limbs.  Other features include a perimeter-weighted single cam, handsome wood grips, and Sims Factory-installed dampeners and string leaches.  It doesn’t stop there.  The bow also has pivoting limb pockets that ensure a secure connection between the limbs and the riser.  The treestand friendly bow is only 30 inches, axle to axle.  It weighs 4.1 pounds.  It is available in draw weights from 50-70 pounds and draw lengths from 23-30 inches. The Instinct is available in Realtree Hardwoods Green. I liked the length of the bow.  After holding it in my hands, I realized it would make a nice bow for whitetails and to take out West and pack in on your back.  To learn more, visit


Oneida bows have been around for decades. They continue to make a smooth shooting line of bows that are fun to shoot. Although the pulley system on the Oneida bow line looks intimidating, it is reportedly easier to tune than bows with cams.  Timing issues are a rare occurrence – unlike on some two cam bow systems. One bow that Oneida Eagle makes for smaller shooters (like teenagers and women) is the Hawk. The Hawk is 40 inches tip to tip and is available in draw lengths between 22-25 inches. The bow can be purchased with 25-45 pound limbs or 35-55 pound limbs, giving shooters lots of room to increase weight if they are just getting started in archery. Most bows only allow for 10 pounds of weight adjustment. With the Hawk, you get 20 pounds. Another nice thing about the Hawk is the weights – only 3.2 pounds. The Hawk has a 6 3/8 inch brace height and is available in Realtree Hardwoods camo. The Hawk costs $500.

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Diamonds don’t make women drool any more than the Diamond Rapture bow makes guys drool and at $419, it is more reasonably priced than a diamond placed on a ring finger. Some of the features you have come to expect from Diamond can be found on the Rapture. The extreme limb angle on the Rapture was designed to cancel out vibration. Each limb comes with factory-installed rubber vibration dampeners that eliminate vibration and noise on an already quiet bow. The super efficient Solitaire single cam delivers a silky smooth draw and plenty of speed at 308 IBO. The Rapture keeps up with the trend to make bows shorter and shorter; it is only 31 ½ inches axle to axle and weighs 3.6 pounds. The Rapture has a long brace height of 8 inches that is sure to please the bowhunter looking for a forgiving setup. It is available in draw weights ranging from 60-70 pounds and draw lengths between 26-31 inches. The Diamond line is available in Mossy Oak Camo. To learn more about the Rapture, visit

 If you are on a tight budget, most bow companies offer bows that stretch your bowhunting dollars even further.  If you are looking for a bow with many of the features that can be found on today’s high end bows like parallel limbs, dampening devices, and single-cam technology, plan to spend at least $400.



Another trend in the mid-price range bows is package deals. Many bow companies now offer a bowhunting package that includes the bow, a sight, a rest, and a quiver.  Some even come with arrows.  Purchasing a package deal may eliminate your option of choosing what you want on your bow, but you will stretch your dollar because package pricing often includes discounts that are not otherwise available if everything was purchased separately. 
 If you have a handful of kids and can’t afford to buy each of them a bow, you may want to consider buying a one-size-fits-all bow like the Genesis. The Genesis bow is a single-cam bow that fits almost everyone. For a couple hundred dollars, the entire family can shoot one bow. Another option is to start your kids out with traditional archery equipment. You can often pick up a beginner’s recurve bow quite inexpensively. For 2007, Kinsey’s Archery is introducing a new line of traditional bows designed for youth shooters called October Mountain.  These bows are available in a variety of weights and sizes.  Some are small for young shooters; others are designed to be an entry-level hunting bow for youth hunters.

 As you can see, there are plenty of options available for bowhunters on a tight budget.  As archery becomes more popular thanks to programs like National Archery in the Schools Program, more companies recognize the need for a mid-grade bow for beginners and veterans to the sport who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a bow.  Today’s mid-range priced bows offer more features than ever before.  Many of the bows listed above are more technologically advanced than bows that were made a few years ago.
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