So, you want to get into a bit of Archery but don’t have a clue where to start?
Well, lucky you’ve come to the right place then isn’t it.
By now you’ve probably searched all over the web and found so much conflicting information leaving your head spinning and craving for a beer to easy the stress.
That’s your first problem right there. KISS (keep it simple stupid). When it comes to being a beginner learning about archery most people completely over complicate things when really their’s only a few important steps that need to be taken in order to put you in the game. I’ll keep this short and sweet but you best grab that beer and keep on reading!
Decide what you want to do?
When it comes to archery there are so many categories it’s not funny. Maybe you want to shoot competition, or maybe you want to hunt, or maybe bow fishing. These are what I would call the main categories, but inside of that there are many sub categories. Take competition for example, you can shoot Field archery, 3D Archery, Flight Archery and these are just to name a few. Then hunting, well you could hunt with a compound, be a traditional hunter, or hunt with a modern recurve. Bow fishing, you could fish by recurve or by compound. These are just to name a few different disciplines and this barely touches the tip of the ice berg.
So as I said before, KISS. Many times you can pick one form of archery and still participate in many different disciplines.
Prepping to gear up
Once you’ve decided the disciplines you think you’ll be most active in, your going to need to start to gear up, and whatever you’ve decided will impact the next steps you take.
If you’ve decided buying a compound bow will suit you and your needs then your going to need to measure your draw length. Getting your compound bow to the correct draw length ensures a few things, but most notably it ensures the fact that you won’t have 70 pounds (or whatever poundage you choose) worth of string smashing into your arm or the side of your face. This isn’t one of those, “That step doesn’t seem that important” things. Correct draw length is an absolute must.
If on the other hand you’ve decided to shoot recurve or traditional, then I’ve got to tell you now, your in for one hell of a learning curve. On the contrary though, I was once told “A man who learnt to shoot a recurve bow well will always shoot a compound well, but it’s not always true the opposite way around”. I’m not going to lie, i’m still pretty average at shooting both to tell you the truth, but I sure as shit have a lot of fun. Anyway, that’s enough rambling on for now.
You should note that if you’ve decided to shoot recurve then draw length is not AS IMPORTANT. That’s not to say that it isn’t important, because it still is but not as important if you were shooting compound. Draw lengths for recurve serve more of a purpose in target shooting. Where maximum accuracy is achieved through an archers ability to draw back the string to a point where the limbs have enough stored energy to reach the designed poundage, while still ensuring the archer is not overloaded through the muscles to achieve correct and stable arrow release. That was a Feckin’ mouth full.
In redneck terms, if you just want to shoot the god damn thing, have some fun, knock over a few fury pests and not worry to much about draw lengths and all the technical jargon, then consider one like this Courage SAS Take Down.
Once you’ve got that sorted your going to need some accessories. Unless, you’ve decided to shoot completely traditional, in which case traditionally they didn’t use anything except for a bow, a good eye, and plenty of practice.
Compound bows by far take the most setting up and have the largest range of accessories. Some of the accessories you can consider are things like Sights, whisker biscuit, string silencer, limb dampeners, release aids, bow slings, stabilizers and whatever else the archery industry decides to bring out next week. It’s god damn hard keeping up with it all.
Recurves are much simpler, however they can have accessories added as well. Many of the above can be added to a recurve bow, however I would strongly advise against it especially if the bow is going to be for hunting purposes. I just believe it really takes away from the purpose of a recurve bow. Not to mention the fact that holding 50# steady on a recurve and 50# steady on a compound are two very very different things.
Almost ready to shoot, but I need arrows
That’s right, you not going to get far without arrows now are you. While I’m on this topic, I’m going to make it plain and clear right now. DO NOT EVER DRY FIRE A BOW. That’s right, I said it, and I capitalized it, and for damn good reason!
Let me give you a lil’ redneck sophistication here.
Red hot tip for young players!
As ol’ Sir Isaac Newton states “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. God bless your cotton socks Sir Isaac, you’ve earnt the title of a sophisticated Redneck.
What does this mean to you and me. It means don’t dry fire the feckin’ bow.
Any piece of equipment that uses high amounts of energy to produce some sort of motion MUST be directed somewhere, usually into the object of it’s intended use. If there is no where that energy can go, then guess where it’s going? That’s right folks, you guessed it.
It’s going straight into the limbs of that bow, which in most cases on a high poundage bow will result in catastrophic failure. Catastrophic failure meaning the limbs shatter, and your going to have to pay to get those limbs fixed, or buy a new bow, or in a best case scenario you might get away with just restringing the bow.
Morale of the story, please do not dry fire your bows.
Back to it, Arrows
Now we’ve got that out the way it’s time to talk arrows.
Arrows depend largely on the poundage and type of bow your using. I’ll delve deeper into this in future posts but for now have a look at this article to give your self a good indicator on what arrows will be best suited for your bow. Alternatively when you buy a bow majority of times the packaging will tell you what arrows are best suited to that bow.
I should note, the reason I will do a separate post on this is because arrows alone can be a huge learning curve. Many things get taken into consideration, such as draw length, poundage, spine, arrow point weight, target or broad heads and well thats just the beginning.
Practice makes perfect
That’s a very simple run down on some of the gear you’ll need to put yourself into the game. Once you’ve got that it’s time to practice. This is only the start, the real skill comes with practice. It does’t matter how good your bow is and if it’s got all the bell’s and whistles, it wont mean anything if you don’t practice. There are people out there who can shoot traditional bows off the shelf better then those who are shooting compound bows with all the gear. The best thing you can do is get your self a bow target, or make one and just practice. Many people will tell you different techniques and different accessories to use that will enhance your skill, but at the end of the day take it all with a grain of salt. If you stick with it over time you will develop your own little tricks and techniques that will separate you from the bunch.
As I said, practice makes perfect.
till next time, keep on Rednceckin’.
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