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Compound vs. Traditional for hunting

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Compound vs. Traditional for hunting

Old 08-09-2013, 01:13 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: South Dakota
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Default Compound vs. Traditional for hunting

Hey all, thought this might be interesting... what style of bow to you prefer for hunting and why? Would you consider hunting with the other style?

The reasons will most likely be similar, but thought it would make for a good discussion.

I am hunting with a recurve this year after many years with the compound bow. The reason I've chose to go traditional is because I like the overall simplicity of the bow (no accessories, save a patch of pleather on the riser and some whiskers on the string). I feel like shooting sans sights and hitting the intended target is much more satisfying than lining up the pins with the peep and using a mechanical release. There's just no better feeling than getting a good group out of a bow that has no sights. The only downfall that I see as a significant one is that the overall height of a traditional bow is often much taller than a compound and could lead to maneuverability issues in the field, that otherwise wouldn't happen with a compound. That and zero let-off, but I haven't experienced any ill-effects from that yet, could happen afield.

Anyway, that's my .02, let's hear it.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:04 PM
Nontypical Buck
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To each their own. Each type has it's own attributes that individual hunters might find more alluring than the other.

I have hunted both traditional and modern/compound. I consider myself to shoot 'above average' with either bow style. I prefer modern/compound. Here's my breakdown:

  • Easier to ensure repeatability of aiming: peeps and pins are a better metric for aiming than 'feel' or sighting down your arrow
  • Easier to ensure repeatability of release: mechanical release vs fingers
  • Easier to ensure repeatability of draw/power: Solid backstop = same draw length every time
  • Easier to hold long draw longer with compound let off
  • Faster arrows for the same draw weight: cams enhance draw curve, trad limbs have approximately linear power curve, i.e. 70lbs at 28.5" is faster with the same arrow from a compound than a traditional with 70lb 28.5" draw.

  • Easier to use (draw and release)
  • Easier to set up
  • Higher degree of satisfaction for overcoming difficulty of use

Undeniably, it is easier to shoot better, at longer ranges with modern equipment. That's not a great excuse, but it does make a difference in which bow a hunter chooses. No Nascar driver wants to race in a car that handles like a big rig, and similarly, hunters that prefer traditional equipment are NOT doing so for quantitative, objective reasons.

So I shoot Modern/compound unless I'm looking for an 'experience' beyond that of the typical hunt. For example, taking a big buck with a compound is far more satisfying and rewarding TO ME than taking a 'meat in the pot' average doe with a compound, so to up the ante on a meat hunt after the trophy is already knocked down, I'll drag out the recurve.

Similarly, if I'm just going on a meat hunt during firearms season, I often take a revolver and leave my rifle at home. It'd be amazing if all of the stars would align and I'd drop a record class deer with a revolver or with a traditional bow, but leaving less to chance by taking a compound bow or a rifle when I might have a once in a lifetime shot at a huge buck helps me sleep better at night. More power, more range, and easier tendency for accuracy, that's what I'm looking for if I get a chance at something I may never see again. The heartwarming stuff (revolver, traditional bow, open sighted levergun, etc) is just a great way to turn 'average hunts' into a 'great hunting stories' in my book.

Last edited by Nomercy448; 08-09-2013 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:31 PM
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i like and have hunted with them both. i've got all of them with a compound though. I only hunt with my recurve off the ground. I'm not a pro with it, i need more practice. I could kill a deer at 10-15 yards but i won't shoot any further. I honestly don't have time to practice between school, work, and going out with friends and stuff. Every year i pull out my compound in the summer and shoot a little. i've been shooting a compound for about 5 years and i can always pull it out and shoot good. its like driving a car, you don't forget what to do, all muscle memory. confident enough to take one at 35 yards. I just can't do it with a recurve yet. So when ever i fill a tag or too and have some meat, i'll whip out the recurve just to get in the woods and hopefully get a deer one time. It would definitely be a good feeling taking one with a recurve.
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