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Recurve, Compound or Crossbow and Why?

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BTW, I ain't knocking crossbows or crossbow hunting....To each his own...


I shot a modern crossbow (a Ravin) that a friend had purchased several years ago and was amazed at how accurate I could shoot it out to 50 yards, and I was a first time try -er out -er.


I took the class that allows me to get a crossbow license just before this Covid crapola happened but I  haven't purchased a license yet nor have I purchased a crossbow....I probably will at some time, who knows? As it stands I have a lifetime archery license and I would have to purchase an additional license to hunt with a crossbow, that is, until I turn 70, then I think I am covered.


Also, I am a realist and I like to eat deer meat...as the season progresses if I haven't tagged out with a bow I usually revert to rifle hunting. This time of the year I just like sneaking around in the woods...I saw a moose in velvet the other day...a first for me....

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FWIW, I prescribe to the "Uncle Ted Methodology" of using low weight bows and aiming small and missing small.     In Maine the minimum legal weight for a hunting bow is 35 pounds and my trad

Here’s my approach to practice with heavy ( for me ) traditional bows   first thing to recognize is being exceptional at traditional shooting with no sights require a lot of focus  

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15 hours ago, Treerooster said:

Crossbow for the simple reason it is more accurate and easier to be accurate with. I am a bird hunter that likes venison a dabbles in big game, prefer it over beef or pork. 


I do think traditional archery is cool and shooting a longbow instinctively, with skill, is a joy. I just don't have the time to dedicate to being efficient with a longbow and prefer not to have to practice all that much with a compound either. I'd rather be hunting doves, or grouse, or quail...or fishing or gardening...etc.


Getting my rifle or crossbow or turkey gun sighted in is more like a chore to me. Just don't enjoy it. I think it is important tho and a long or compound bow is just a lot more "work" for me. 

+1 for me. I just don’t have time to practice, practice, practice, or really enjoy it. I got 2 jobs and a 10 acre property to take care of. What little leisure time I have, a few hours a week if I’m lucky, I like to spend fishing or hunting, not practicing. So I shoot an Xbow. I probably wouldn’t be doing that if my now 21yo son didn’t want to bow hunt when he was 10. He was a skinny kid, to little for a longbow, so I bought him a 90s era early 10 point for $100. It wasn’t even called a 10 Point then. It still is an excellent bow, very compact and light,  easy to cock by hand, and accurate. It’s not wicked fast like today’s bows, but we got plenty of opportunities at 25 yard or less and killed a lot of deer with it. Most being pass through. Now he’s into fast cars, working a lot, and a girlfriend. He doesn’t hunt much but I still do, with a cheap but fast newer crossbow made by Center Point. I killed a doe last weekend with it.  My son turned me onto a lifelong passion. And I’m keeping that old 10 Point around for my grandchildren. It’s an excellent starter Xbow, especially for a kid. 

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I don't bow hunt deer, but I do have a 40# Bear recurve set up for carp shooting. With my crummy shoulders it's been tough to use in the last few years. What I'd really like would be a low powered recurve 28-30# for recreational shooting. I love to plunk arrows at a target. 

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Here’s my approach to practice with heavy ( for me ) traditional bows


first thing to recognize is being exceptional at traditional shooting with no sights require a lot of focus


Most people can’t focus at the necessary level for more that 24-30 shots, I know I can’t .


when that level of focus starts to decline I begin lose form and accuracy 


so with that in mind I shoot just two arrows then I walk down and pull them 


10-15 groups and I end my practice session


i also never shoot two days in a row I treat it like a weight training exercise and give myself at least one full day to recover. If I shoot everyday I get sore and my shooting accuracy falls off.


Ive killed well over 100 whitetails, never lost one I’ve hit but I’ve probably missed 20 in my lifetime.

I’ve had to resort to my GSP’s finding some of them for me or that record probably wouldn’t of happened.


I haven’t missed one in probably 30 years, because I never take shots over 20 yards and most of my kills are under that. I’m deadly inside that range.

That’s how I do it FWIW I used to bow hunt about 90 days a year.


I use to shoot recurves moved to longbows about 30 years ago. I find them easier to shoot, more forgiving of form changes that are often required in hunting situations because most of my bow hunting is on the ground sitting at the base of a tree which requires a lot of bow cant.


I dropped bow weights to the low 60lb range about 10 years ago.  I turn 70 next year, been killing deer with traditional bows for over 50 years. We are absolutely covered up with deer where I live, it’s rare not to have a deer within bow range during an outing, way different than where I hunt in Wisconsin.


I tried the compound thing in the 70s it was extremely effective and I have no bias against them I just found them boring. Probably killed about 40 deer with them then gave mine to my best hunting buddy.


Any deer taken with any type of bow is a trophy to me


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Brad Eden
32 minutes ago, bobman said:


I tried the compound thing in the 70s it was extremely effective and I have no bias against them I just found them boring. Probably killed about 40 deer with them then gave mine to my best hunting buddy.


Any deer taken with any type of bow is a trophy to me


 It’s difficult to get bored killing deer in Maine. Hunting them, yes…With hours and hours spent on stands without seeing a single hair. It’s considered one of, if not the, hardest state to kill a deer in. Generally it’s been one legal deer and done for a long time. Certainly there are exceptions with doe permit lottery and an early Expanded/Management bow hunt in urban zones but few hunters kill more than one a year up here. Ive been hunting whitetails in Maine for 35 or so years and I don’t think I’ve killed 40. Maybe about that given extra bow kills when I started hunting that management zone bow hunt. 

if I had the opportunity to kill multiple deer a year and got to shop for deer over bait piles  and because they are so prolific, I might get bored with the Compound and try trad equipment. That’s just me, I know people and have a good friend who hunts Maine exclusively with a recurve. I like the right tool for the conditions that will increase my odds for success from dog type and breed to hunting equipment.


Im glad and appreciate that you mentioned that any deer killed with any type of bow is a trophy, that sentiment isn’t always the case. I’m not trying to be provocative, that’s simply my observation after moderating bow Topics for 20 years here. 

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A friend of mine told me if you use every optional hunt available in Georgia you can legally take 24 deer.

That was probably 10 years ago so this may not still be true, but Georgia is a great place to hunt deer. 

You won’t see many huge ones in the part of the state I live in but there are some and “nice” bucks are common throughout the state.


Because I’ve not been shooting lately with my moving and caring for my dad I’m going out this weekend with one of my Hawkens. Haven’t hunted deer with a rifle of any kind for a lot of years but I’m looking forward to it.


I keep seeing a group of 6 or 8 bucks running around together near my new home. Odd to see them together this late In the season, the rut should be coming on soon.

Unlimited Wild hogs, basic license is 12 deer tags, and a two bear limit makes Georgia a good big game hunting state.


I don’t think I’m going to get to go bird hunting this fall so I’m going to chase big game to try and maintain my sanity ( what little I have left)

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4 hours ago, bobman said:

I've killed well over 100 whitetails


and 12 deer tags!?  Holy Moly.....


Wow, I salute you...


I know guys that have done similar that live in Michigan.


However, I ain't one of them because I live in Maine.


I spent a couple weeks in Michigan in the 90's every year or so, hunting with my college roommate who had a farm he bought for hunting.  I'd take him duck hunting in Maine and he'd take me deer hunting in Michigan.. 


2 weeks in Michigan was like 10 years of hunting in Maine!


Sometimes I wish I lived in a "good" deer state...


but...if the weather today was a multiplier I'll stay right where I am.....


 I do live in  "good" partridge state but only an "okay" but actually a "pretty shitty" deer state..... but if I can get one in the freezer...I'm good....


Since I have already killed an expanded archery deer with my compound bow...the pressure is off.


So, I really don't "need" to kill another deer...but if I do? that's kuel...but that is why I can play "Robin Hood" for the season....



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I enjoy selfbows for the most part I’m a 15 and under guy.  I kill enough deer each year to be satisfied and can always revert to fire power in the January season if need be.  I have never killed a big buck mainly just a doe killer from Pennsylvania no matter where I live.

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I like my longbow.


I started out hunting with a compound but switched to a longbow.

Been shooting a longbow since 2003.

It was a tough first 2 years but I enjoyed the feeling of shooting the longbow and so stuck with it. It can definitely be challenging. I've often heard it said that the longbow is the fly rod of archery.

My first bow was a Cari-bow takedown longbow at 57 #.

Then I got a 53# Great Northern Bushbow 1 piece bow. Both bows are excellent. I stumbled onto a used Great Northern bushbow that is a takedown and 48 #. The deer dont know the difference in draw weight, or at least the ones I shot. 

In my opinion no reason to go more than 50#.

All my bows are 62" lenght.  If hunting from the ground need to be sitting on a stool.

I just got my son a 58 inch Great Northern lil Creep and boy it's a sweet little longbow.

I also dont think you'll find a friendlier bunch of guys than at a traditional bow shoot or show.



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If you ever come across a used Quillian bamboo longhunter buy it


fantastic Longbow shoots like it’s part of you


Dan’s dead I had several long conversations with him when he was still selling his bows


really interesting guy, he had this big full mount grizzly he took with his longbow that thing was impressive 

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I have a red elm and a bamboo.


I like the bamboo better but the red elm is a nice one as well.

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Brad Eden

Topic edited. It’s nice to finally have a Topic discussing and comparing different choices in equipment without the usual boorish and predictable trad condescension. Well it was. I’ll plan to keep it that way on this Topic at least. 

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Brad Eden

Moderation continues. This isn’t a snooty private Board where Members sit around nodding in agreement and smelling each other’s collective farts. I think those still exist, and I know they do on Facebook Groups. Good place to check that out. This Board has a somewhat blue collar tinge to it by design. It’s where a person traveling the country in a tour bus sized RV, enjoying a plethora of bird hunting opportunities, with fine doubles and pointing dogs, can sit down at the campfire with a person who takes time off from work to camp out in the bed of his ratty old pickup truck, with his lab, and a trusty and rusty old 870 to hunt big woods for grouse. And they treat each other with respect and without judgement.


I took a ground stand this morning close to where I shot the huge doe last fall with a rifle. I had trimmed out a hidey hole about 15-20 yards from a deer trail. Sat on a three legged stool. This trail is on an old skidder run in a funnel created by a couple deep bowls that have filled with all the rain and are now small ponds choked with blow downs. I have had a trail cam watching it pre-regular archery season and had a fair amount of photos of does, fawns and one buck. I was optimistic and have sat it three times including this morning. The photos have fallen way off and I don’t think it’s my presence causing it. Fall is falling down upon us in a hurry up here and I’m seeing a change in movement in several other cams at different spots, likely due to a change in diet. It’s always fascinating trying to figure out how wild critters behave. It was a nice crisp, still morning. The only action was a ruffed grouse that came into view 10 yards ahead of me. I kept perfectly still. It was mincing straight at me, but stopped and got nervous and that top knot popped up and it knew something was not right. It took a few steps back and jumped up on an old mossy pine tree stump. It telescoped its body and head. What a sight in the harsh morning light. Then it bid me farewell with a resounding duff blowing flush. Oh, incidentally I had my Crossbow in my lap….

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To each his own I guess.  Deer in many areas are overpopulated and they're in trouble in relatively few, so it's no shock that the different states seem to have very liberal limits and rules these days.   I've gone full circle several times with archery.  Started with cheap recurves as a kid because it's what my brothers had and what was available to me as hand me downs.  Got my first compound bow (a very simple/cheap looking thing) when I was 15 or 16, a Christmas gift from my father.  For most of my adult life I hunted with a Proline, Hoyt or Mathews compound bow and modern equipment.   Never really cared for crossbow gear, not because anything's inherently wrong with crossbows, but because my perspective was that it attracted too many inexperienced people to the sport who couldn't judge distance, who didn't put their time in practicing or setting things up, etc. (not to mention that my law enforcement experience has demonstrated that it IS a tool of the serious poacher, which rubs me the wrong way).   After killing dozens of deer with compounds, I went back to recurves and now have a collection of vintage Shakespeare and Bear bows as well as a custom Northwind Sage bow (which I'd like to add a lighter pair of limbs for at some point).   


I was visiting a buddy just the other day and he asked if I needed/wanted a good compound bow.  He explained that he got what he thought was state of the art equipment a few years back and found that between his immobile neck and his bad back, that he can't really shoot it well, so I'm likely to trade him something (probably muzzleloading gunstock blanks) for his bow and I'll have a newer compound again if and when I ever decide to bowhunt for deer again (I've mostly given it up).

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I used a compound for a while, but it proved difficult to keep up with practice and such, and I didn't deer hunt enough for it to make sense. I did enjoy it when I used the bow(s), but a man only has so much time to prioritize. 


I have a couple crossbows, one a recurve I picked up on here, and one a Barnett compound something or other that is like 400fps and super accurate that a family friend bought on a whim and sold me cheap a year later. Archery to me is strictly a season-extender and those two crossbows serve that purpose fine, accurate shooting is like riding a bike, unlike the compound where I needed to find my groove regularly. I hunt exactly two spots and do minimal scouting, just go for a cold (or buggy) sit and see what happens. 

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