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Please help my son to pick a bow

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Please help my son to pick a bow

Old 08-31-2003, 04:27 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
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Default Please help my son to pick a bow

First off, I do not bow hunt nor do I know anything about them. My 12 yr. old son has decided he would like to try bowhunting. So, I was wondering if you bowhunters out there would care to pass on your advice with beginners. He is 4ft11" , 98lbs, has a 58" arm spread with a 25" reach. He is quite small for his age but is very active and healthy( a regular 12 yr old). Any help from you folks would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou.

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Old 08-31-2003, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Default RE: Please help my son to pick a bow

The first step is to find a good archery shop to deal with.

Go in and explain exactly what you need for your son. Pay for a few lessons for yourself and him if they can offer that with shop bows. Then buy a bow for BOTH of you. I doubt he will stick with it if he doesn' t have a partner to shoot with. My 7 y.o. is now at the point that he shoots more than I do. He was out this morning in a POURING rain and I couldn' t be convinced to go out. This is the greatest father/daughter/son sport around. Now if I could just get my wife to shoot.
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Old 08-31-2003, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Sunbury Ohio USA
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Default RE: Please help my son to pick a bow

There are two youth hunting bow I would recomend they are the Jennings spiritmaster and the PSE Spyder there are both good bows, but dont let him hunt until he consistently hits a 6 in circle at the designated shotting yardage.
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Old 08-31-2003, 11:13 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Default RE: Please help my son to pick a bow

Compounds are easy to learn to shoot. That' s about the only thing I think they' ve got going for them as kids' bows.

Compounds have a fixed draw length, some more adjustable than others, but he will likely outgrow it in just a few years.

Compounds require a variety of tools for simple home maintenance and there is also maintenance above and beyond what he can do himself and require the occasional service of a pro shop. And of course that means parts and labor charges. There is a lot of work to do with them, getting them adjusted (what we call tuned) to shoot arrows straight, and that' s something that has to be done at least once a year. More often if he winds up shooting a lot. Since you are not an experienced archer, that will be a difficult problem for him.

Compounds over 6 years old, you can' t hardly give them away. They might still shoot as well as ever, but they' re obsolete. Most of them are gathering dust in the closet or taking up space in the landfill.

I' d think a 40-45 pound recurve in 58" length would be just the ticket. That' s basically what I had for my first store bought bow when I was his age. That bow accounted for many rabbits and squirrels, as well as a deer and a few wild hogs, and was a faithful companion all the way through college.

A recurve is very basic. Only two adjustments: nock height and brace height, both of which are easy to do himself. Set him up with arrows that are the correct stiffness and he' ll be in business. The only special tools required are a bow square and a bow stringer, very inexpensive items.

Unlike a compound, he can shoot that one recurve for many years. There are many recurves made in the 60' s that still shoot every bit as well today as they did when they were new. They never become obsolete (at least, not in the sense compounds do, with increases in performance each year), so they also retain their value very well. If it weren' t for a tornado that decided it needed my old bow worse than I did, I' d probably still have it.

One more thing, when he' s not using it, you just might wind up sneaking it out to shoot an arrow or two yourself. That' s something that would be very difficult to do with a compound.

Arthur P is offline  
Old 09-01-2003, 01:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 50
Default RE: Please help my son to pick a bow

Like AKdoug said step number one is to find a good pro shop.Most of the top bow makers make quality youth bows these days.The one I got for my son a couple of years ago was by Browning.It had a wide range of adjustment for draw length and poundage so that the bow could " grow" along with him. He did start out shooting traditional (aka; stickbows) at the young age of 3.Last year at the age of 10 he took his fist and second whitetails with a bow. I also aggree that it would be a good idea for you to get a bow and become his shooting partner.The worst thing that could happen is that both of you become addicted to the wonderful sport of archery, even if you never draw back on an animal of any kind.
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Old 09-01-2003, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Kilauea Hawaii Hawaii, USA
Posts: 155
Default RE: Please help my son to pick a bow

If your gonna get a compound, you' ll want a round wheel (two cam) bow. They have a much better range of adjustability for draw length. That way, it will take a little longer to out grow it. I think I was alot shorter when I was 12.

Or like Arthur P said, you could get him a recurve. But the recurves take a little while to get good with. But that' s not a problem if you get him plenty arrows and judo and rubber blunt points for stump and small game shooting. A kid can have loads of fun with a bow in a woods and plenty of arrows. Get some flu-flu arrows and he can shoot at squirels even in the trees. You can do the same thing with compounds too.

With a compound, for a kid starting out, I suggest he shoot with a finger tab and a simple shelf-style arrow rest. That way he can shoot instinctively with out sights or with sights. When shooting with fingers, your not gonna want a longer axle to axle bow because the shorter bows will pinch the fingers because the angle is too steep. For a kid that small, a 35 inch A-to-A would be perfect. 38 is also good. Any bigger and the bow will get heavy.

You can actually order bows right out of a catalog or off the internet. Cabelas and Bass pro shops both have good selections of top of the line youth compounds. All you need to know is his propper draw length and weight.

There are a few ways to get draw length. I' m gonna suggest he use a yard stick and draw it back resting it on his left hand (if he' s right handed) and draw it back just like it was an arrow to the right corner of his mouth. from the corner of his mouth to the opposite side of his left hand should be close to his draw length. Choos a bow where he has plenty of room to grow. Make sure you got it right tho cause a draw too short, he will be not nearly as accurate as he is capable. Too long and he won' t be as accurate and the string might also hit his arm. But there is a good one to two inch margin of error.

Draw weight is a little harder to figure and you usually need to draw another bow to give you and idea of what your draw weight is. Compounds are much easier to pull than recurves and longbows so you can pull 5 - 10 pounds more with a compound. You want the weight to be about 10 pounds less than the maximum he can posibly pull. You want as much weight as he can comforably and easily draw and hold. Should be able to hold it for 2 minutes. Or he should be able to shoot many shots without betting tired.

When choosing draw weight and legths, because he still has alot to grow, you want to choose the bow with lots of room for him to grow into. If his draw weight is 30# then get a bow with a 30 - 40# draw. Same with draw length.

With a shelf-style arrow rest, there is no way to get perfect fletching clearence, so feathered arrows are best. Plastic fletching arrows, even tho they will fly half decently, will bump into the rest when you shoot and fish tail and or porpoise. With field points, it doesn' t make much difference in accuracy but if you tried them with broadheads, they might fly way off. But feathers are sometimes hard to find these days. You might be able to find feathered wood arrows at archery shop or wall mart but if you want alluminum arrows, they might be hard to get in the sizes that would be good for a small bow. 1916 and 1816s are the smallest alluminums that are easy to find. They usually come with plastic vanes tho. You can use bigger arrows tho. In fact, it' s probably better. Their more durrable and easier to get flying accurately.

And I need to go to bed. See yah!
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Old 09-01-2003, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: North Central KY
Posts: 86
Default RE: Please help my son to pick a bow

A couple of years ago my then 6 and 9 year old sons wanted to start shooting " real" bows with their father and I we got both of them the PSE Spyder. If the Genesis bow had been available then we probrably would have started with it.There is a lot more adjustments with it.The web address for it is www.genesisbows.com The boys like their PSE but it cost us over $400 to get each one set up and my now 11 year old is too big for his PSE.
I do agree that going to a good pro shop in your area is the best place to start.
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Old 09-02-2003, 01:10 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Please help my son to pick a bow

Thankyou everyone for your answers. It`s true about the knowledgable people in here. It`s off to the pro shop now. Thanks again.

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