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Got any advice for a 1st time bow hunter?

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09 September 2005, 06:57
Got any advice for a 1st time bow hunter?
I did my research, learned the terminology and ordered a Bow package from last week. By next Friday I should have a Storm F6 with all the goodies.

1st I plan on stalk hunting hogs with the bow. I hunt with my friend, named Cold here on AR.

In October we're going after Texas Dall sheep and I MIGHT try the bow on that.

October is also deer season here in TX, so I plan on deer hunting with it as well primarily for a doe, but if a huge Buck walks by I don't know if I'll be able to stand it and might throw a stick at him...

I bought a target today to practice on. I think I need more arrows though and plan on researching that now.

My draw weight will be 58# and my draw length was 28" I believe.

I'm curious about everything from when do you draw your bow when you're stalk hunting, to where do I aim with a bow on a pig? I'm assuming ribcage area, BEHIND the shoulder blade.

I'm an experienced and avid rifle/shotgun/handgun hunter but have decided to give this a go.

ETA: How do you choose arrows? There seems to be tons of choices. You have to choose material, weight, length etc... I have no idea. I understand I should choose something similar to what my bow will be sighted with, which will be what the bow comes with. The package includes 6 Gold Tip Carbon Arrows "Hunter-3555" I think is the model name.


09 September 2005, 07:35
Boss Kongoni
Marcus - Welcome to Bowhunting. Find a local pro-shop buy your hunting arrows from them to start building a realtionship with the guysthere, Yes, it will cist a few nore $$$ than mail order...but, right now you need some hands on type help so you can be sucessful.

Most shops have ranges. Tell the guys just what you told us and get a lesson. A little coach goes a long way.

You hunt is coming up fast....The best advice I can give would be find you personal distence and don't push it. If you can shoot a 3 inch group at 15 yrds...then hold to that range.(whatever it is)

Yes a boar's heart is about were the elbow is. Your best shot is when he steps forward. There are plenty of cut-a-way pics on the internet to show heart placement.

If you can't smell his breath, your're not close enough!

11 September 2005, 05:07
Welcome to the game!

I'm sure Boss gave you good advice.

One thing to look out for is that most of the pro-shops and magazine articles really stress speed. So they advocate light arrows.

I think a deer hunting arrow should weigh 9 grains per pound pull on the bow, up to 60#/540 grains, then stay with 540 grains for deer.

For pig hunting I'd go even heavier, and I'd be sure to use a good cut-on contact head.

The heavier arrows mean that you need to learn to judge distances very well since the arrows will be slower and arc more. But the heavier arrows tend to penetrate to the heart of the matter when stuff goes wrong!

You will find people who swear by mechanical broadheads. They do work fine on perfect broadside shots into the ribs. But they don't do well when things are not perfect. And deer in particular do not stand still to see where the arrow is going.

Get your gear right and your head right before you shoot at a critter!

Good luck!


...from Texas, by way of Mason, Ohio and Aurora, Colorado!
11 September 2005, 05:21
Practice Practice Practice. That's the biggest piece of advice i can give you. If i had more information on everything you have on the bow, i could narrow the ideas a little more, do you have a stabalizer coming with it? what kind of arrow rest are you going to have? is there a peep sight installed. what kind of sights do you have on it? these are all big questions that need to be addressed, also, have you ever shot a bow before? It's quite a bit different than handgun hunting. also, if the draw weight is too high, you won't be able to draw the bow back smoothly in other words, you won't be able to draw it straight back without raising the bow above your head and drawing down. I was told by a guy at the proshop i use that you need to be able to draw the bow smooth to get the best shots, also as far as shooting form, talking to the guys and gals at a proshop will help you alot. i personally have some bad habits as far as form, but i can no longer correct this as it will not conform to my muscle memory that i have built. As far as the arrows, Gold Tips are what i shoot, do you know if they're coming with Blazer style vanes(1 1/2"), 3", 4" or 5" vanes? if you are going to be shooting a whisker biscuit arrow rest I would personally suggest the 1 1/2" vanes as they are stiffer, and more durable when flying through the whiskers.

The chainsaw says: Run Kit Kitt Kitty
11 September 2005, 09:45
You want to make sure that you don't have your draw weight too high. I shoot 62# and the three deer I killed last year were pass through shots. My bow guy has his set at 58#. He took nine last year. No lost deer and I believe he also had full pass throughs on all of them. My take on draw weight is that you should be able to pull the string straight back with the arrow pointed at the target, from a sitting position.
Practice often but not for extended periods. Seek advice from a bow pro and ask him to observe your form for shooting flaws. Practice at least once or twice in your full hunting outfit, preferably from a tree stand if possible. Buy good arrows! You get what you pay for. I prefer the ACC, but they will set you back a good bit.
Get very, and I mean VERY, familiar with your treestand if your will be using one. This is a prime safety issue as you will be climbing and desending in the dark most of the time. Buy a high quality body harness. I prefer the Gorilla Harness sold by Cabelas. Once you set up in your stand, nock an arrow, pull the string back and let it back down. This will ensure that no Grimlin has attacked your equipment when your eyes were averted. You will detect if somthing is making noise or worse, damaged. Better now than before the fateful moment prior to a shot on a deer.
I use NAP Spitfire mechanical broadheads and have no complaints, but I sharpen them, (even the new ones) with a fine file. I can't stress enough that you have to have sharp broadheads. To test the sharpness, gently pull the broadhead across one of your fingernails. If it bites and stops on the nail, then it is sharp.

You will have to develope and refine your observations as to stand placement. Unlike rifle and even handgun hunting, you must set up where the deer will pass within 40yds of your stand and you have to have decent shooting lanes available. Now 40yds doesn't sound like much but you really can cover an 80yd circle. If you can isolate a tight funnel or food source then that shooting diameter will suffice. Don't be afraid to scout during the season either. I have made several stands while scouting during the season and hunted them that day, and deer were all over me. If you can locate a really well worn travel path, that can pay real dividends as well. I personally hunt very hard, meaning that if I am not on stand then I am scouting. To up your odds, spend the most time in woods you can, and don't let a little bad weather spoil your rendevous with nature and Lady Luck. Dress for success.

Good luck and welcome to Bowhunting


Congressional power is like a toddler with a hammer. There is no limit to the damage that can be done before it is taken away from them.
12 September 2005, 21:22
Hi guys,

Thanks for the advice so far. Just got back late last night from the lease. It's great to have the ability to make it out there every weekend.

As far as my bow, I got this package: STORM F6 BOW PACKAGE

Rather than tell you everything that it comes with I thought I'd just show you. It is supposed to be a "ready-to-hunt" package. The only difference is I got it with a Whisker Biscuit rest. It's going to be set at 58# draw weight, awit ha 28" draw length.

I plan on practicing at least 30 minutes a day starting at 15 yards and working my way out eventually. We have a right-of-way just outside my apt for high tension power lines, I'm going to use it as my range as its clear for 300 yards in one direction. I just hope some nosy old lady doesn't call the cops on me. I don't figure they would do anything other than tell me to go somewhere else though. sofa


13 September 2005, 23:42
Got it today! Just gotten to play with it, haven't gotten to shoot it yet. I can draw it sitting with my feet off the floor, just it ain't realy easy, but I get the feeling I'll get better at it as I get used to it. jump


14 September 2005, 00:08
ThellURider, that looks like a good starting package. One thing to focus on during your practice, is to not grip the bow with your bow hand (the one holding the bow not drawing the string) a good follow through let's the bow rock forward and you shouldn't have any gripping tension in your bow arm. Light grip pressure is ok but good shooters consistently let the bow sling catch the bow after the shot, as opposed to holding it in their hand.

Be careful with shooting groups with broadheads as you can destroy some arrows pretty easily if you are shooting the groups you should. I like to shoot at several different spots and adjust my sights to the average 'miss' of the shots. I do think it is important to shoot groups, but I try to minimize that with broadheads.

Remember to 'chase the miss' with your front pins, i.e. if you are missing to the right, you move your pin to the right, which will move your impact back to the left.

One last note, the most common miss on deer is to shoot over them. The two main reasons for this is being in a stand and therfore shooting from an elevated position, and not compensating appropriately. The second is that deer will often react to the noise of the bow/arrow by dropping down to load their leg muscles in order to bolt away. This is referred to as the deer 'jumping the string' and I did some research at the University of Georgia with Dr. Allen Ryan, which substantiated that deer were reacting in their typical way to an unfamiliar sound, dropping down and loading their muscles to move. Having said all that, hold low in the kill zone, especially when shooting from an elevated position!

Best Regards--Don
14 September 2005, 00:59
Put some Sharpie marks along the limbs on the cams where they are now, so you can tune back to this point when your string stretches with use.

Check out:

look for "tuning guide"

I'd check for fletching contact first, then do the "paper tuning", then practice a while (several hundred shots) to settle in the string.

After a few weeks you'll be ready to seriously tune the bow for hunting by redoing the paper tear and doing bareshaft grouping and walkback centershot tuning.


...from Texas, by way of Mason, Ohio and Aurora, Colorado!
14 September 2005, 07:35
Thanks for the tips guys.

I have 6 arrows now, all with practice tips. I got 3 broadheads in the package. Will they shoot very differently from the practice arrows?

Don: When you say: "Put some Sharpie marks along the limbs on the cams where they are now, so you can tune back to this point when your string stretches with use." I'm not sure exactly what you mean.

Thanks for the link, that'll make some good throne reading material. Big Grin


14 September 2005, 08:36
THellURider, at short distance, (under 20 yards) broadheads often hit pretty close to field points, but it is very common for them to hit significantly away from the field points. Remember you have a longer tipped point now --changing your overall projectile length-- and there are wings on there now. If you are serious about bowhunting you need to set your sights for broadheads only. If you are blessed enough to have your field tips hit at the same impact point across the distance ranges you will shoot at, then great, but that is less common than moreso.

All of my hunting rigs have a sight dedicated to broadheads only. I have several bows, so a few of them never shoot anything but broadheads and vice versa, but I used to be a sponsored shooter, so I have more archery gear (bows included) than is sane. If I was going to stick to one bow, and if my field points didn't hit with my broadheads, I would have two sights set up, one for the blades and one for the field points/nibbs.

See if you can find someone to show you how to 'tune' your broadheads, it basically entails spinning them and tweaking them to make sure they spin true, therby indicating they are aligned concentrically and straight with your arrow shaft. this can make a difference in consistent arrow placement with arrows otherwise matched perfectly. Keep working with it, you'll get the groove!

Straight shooting--Don
14 September 2005, 19:55
The strings will stretch as you shoot the bow.

You will eventually want to twist the strings to bring it back where it is now, or buy new strings.

In either case you may want to mark the cams by drawing the marker across the flat face of the cams now while dragging the marker up against the limbs. This lets you see how much they've moved, and where they ought to be. (The mark will move away from the edge of the limb as the string stretches.) Or you could take a closeup picture of both cams.


...from Texas, by way of Mason, Ohio and Aurora, Colorado!
16 September 2005, 16:41
Don G

His bow is a single cam so there are no timing issues. That looks like a great package, especially with the set-up and accuracy tuning. One of the biggest things i notice in archery is for a new person to not follow through with his shot. Once you release you should still hold on target, a lot of people have the tendency to drop the bow quickly to look at the shot, and this will pull the shot.

My biggest piece of advice is to be patient and stick with it, i killed my first deer with a bow and i wasnt even using sights! Although he was only a little scrub racked 7 point it may as well have been a 12point 200 class deer.Man was i excited, i can still remember like it was yesterday.

Another thing is to shoot for an exit, meaning try to picture where the arrow will exit the deer and shoot accordingly. Body angle is much more important in bow hunting than with a rifle.Good Luck, let us know how you do.
21 September 2005, 00:01
Frans Diepstraten
Originally posted by THellURider:
I have 6 arrows now, all with practice tips. I got 3 broadheads in the package. Will they shoot very differently from the practice arrows?

Might as well chime in, as another newbie. I received a very generous gift of a Fred Bear TXR 32 a little while ago, from a good friend. I chose broadheads that according to the archery shop owner would fly similar to the practice points, and as far as I've been able to assess, they do. They are the three-blade design, not mechanicals, all-steel... Montec I believe...

As for the marking of the position of the cams... without a bow in front of me, I haven't got a clue what you are talking about, Don. But I've been know to be very slow in understanding Big Grin

The issue is that the string stretches over time... so the cams would sit differently, OK, I can see that. How does that influence shooting and what can I do to correct that?

I'd better have a read at some of the sites mentioned, eh?

02 December 2005, 23:15
The best suggestion I can make is join a shooting league. It may be late for this season but you will improve your shooting tremendously and learn an awfull lot from other archers. Even if it is just an indoor target league or better still a 3-D league you will learn and improve more than just shooting on you own.
03 December 2005, 04:18
Hoyt Dude
A lot of very good advise here. Maybe you should print this thread for reference. Make no mistake about string stretch DOES effect a single cam bow. Both poundage and nocking point will be affected. In addition to witness marks on the cam, take an exact measurement from axle to axle. After some 100 to 200 shots, sometimes less you will need to reset these measurements because of string stretch.

Joining an archery club would be an excellent idea. If not available, seek out an experienced archer in your community. - Good luck.
23 June 2006, 20:37
Practice. Draw weights you can handle comfortably, sharp broadheads and shot placement. Did I mention practice?