Going from modern to stick/recurve

StrutNut

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I'm thinking of making the switch to traditional archery gear. I have been shooting modern archery gear for years and it just isnt doing it for me anymore. I seem to want to get back to something simpler and more dependable. I started off with a recurve and then went modern but still shot instinctively for years. Finally late in my college years I started adding sites, and better rests and eventually a release. I have time to practice so I am thinking of giving my son my trusty Hoyt and going back to the basics. Has anyone done this with regrets or should I go for it?
 

jmez

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I started shooting a recurve but never gave up the compound. I enjoy both. I would recommend starting with a 45# recurve. I made the mistake of getting a heavier draw, 60#. Difficult to learn to shoot correctly with that kind of weight. I pull 70# with 0 issues on the compound, and 60# was way too much.
 

MT_Wyatt

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I'm thinking of making the switch to traditional archery gear. I have been shooting modern archery gear for years and it just isnt doing it for me anymore. I seem to want to get back to something simpler and more dependable. I started off with a recurve and then went modern but still shot instinctively for years. Finally late in my college years I started adding sites, and better rests and eventually a release. I have time to practice so I am thinking of giving my son my trusty Hoyt and going back to the basics. Has anyone done this with regrets or should I go for it?

I've been doing it for a couple months - my intent was never to fully get away from a compound, but I did sell mine and commit to a recurve for this year. It's a nice "gear" break and getting back to basics. It's also a ton of work to get proficient. If you're curious about it and have the time I say go for it. It's quite enjoyable and a different way to focus on creating a bullet proof shot sequence. Simplicity is nice.


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Beendare

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..... I seem to want to get back to something simpler and more dependable. ....

I wouldn't say simpler or more dependable. The equipment is simpler....but the shooting process is a much higher degree of difficulty- thus more complicated IMO.

I find hunting and shooting more satisfying with a stickbow. Harder to master for sure.

i had a big hog at 50 yds last weekend but of course couldn't shoot with my recurve. I had a great stalk but he zigged when I thought he would zag and never got the close shot I wanted. All good, its cool to have a big ole boar in close like that. Had a couple close encounters on that hunt and Its a rush with those big hogs that will charge your ass.

Some good resources for a beginner; youtube "The Push". Masters of the barebow vol 1 and 3 [on video] Book "Shooting the stickbow" by Anthony Camera
 
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StrutNut

StrutNut

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Great advice. I remember having my nock point higher on my cheek kind of at my jaw bone so I can see down the shaft to visualize the flight and focus on the target. I also remember having a longer draw length but thats about it and not sure if that was correct anyway, I know its more practice but I can take my old compound out and shoot well immediately and got pretty good out to 70 yards and kind of lost the fun and the challenge of it all. I still never shot at game beyond 30 yards anyway so just thinking a change/challenge would be satisfying.
 

2blade

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I started out as a kid shooting stick bows. Went to compounds in my early 20's and hunted with em for 8 yrs. Then went back to recurves and longbows, have taken my best deer and a few elk in those 12 yrs. Then, back to wheels because I was not able to practice enough, it takes commitment to be proficient for sure. The last couple yrs I've been able to shoot the recurves a few times a week but I just can't seem to get good enough, at least in my mind to go back to em, in spite of shooting better than ever. So for now, I'll stick with both and hopefully I eventually acquire enough confidence to hunt with em again before its to late... I sure would like to.
 

DWinVA

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I've been hunting/shooting with stickbows since the mid 90s. After a few years w/ a Hoyt compound I'm back to trad full time. The main reason I went to the compound was I felt my job, life, etc. didn't allow me enough time to shoot and stay proficient without the aide of sites and such. Thinks have changed some and I now have more time and I've shot my recurve almost everyday since late fall and am really enjoying it. The biggest tip I can give you is start out with a low poundage bow....35-45 would be ideal. I'm still trying to get over bad habits I developed years ago because I had to be manly and shoot 65 lb. stickbows. Good luck.

God Bless.
 

timekiller13

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I've toyed with an old Fred Bear 45lb recurve for years now. The biggest reason I haven't fully committed to trad gear only is because I feel like I don't have the time to dedicate to getting good with a trad bow. Personally, I've found that if I take even just a week off from shooting my recurve, it's almost like I am starting all over. A few years back when I was in nursing school, I had the entire summer off and I shot 5-6 days a week and got really good with it. I was deadly out to 30 yds. I then went back to school during the fall and took a few weeks off from shooting and went out in the back yard one day and it was like starting over, couldn't hit squat! With my compound I can take months off and still nail the bulls eye at 60 yds. Trad gear is way more fun IMO. But it takes a level of dedication that I just don't have time for yet in my life. Listen to the advice given to you here and start off light (35-45lbs) and really work on getting your form down. Get out there and shoot, shoot, shoot.
 

5MilesBack

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Just a month ago I bought my 10 year old daughter a 25lb recurve. After getting it all set up at the club, the club President took her out and showed her a few tips and showed her proper form. So she shoots her first arrow from 10 yards and absolutely pinwheels the bullseye. WTH?

I've always wanted to give one a try, but I'm afraid I'm too OCD to shoot one and I like shooting long range too much to give that up. I tried shooting her 62" bow, but it stops well short of my draw length.
 

sveltri

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Sold the compound a couple years ago and went all trad (I still hunt a little a rifle), I haven't missed or regretted it at all. I would like to shoot a compound again just to see if the work I've put in with the longbow would translate to better compound shooting. Go for it!
 

LostArra

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Some good resources for a beginner; youtube "The Push". Masters of the barebow vol 1 and 3 [on video] Book "Shooting the stickbow" by Anthony Camera

Also Jimmy Blackmon videos on Youtube

I bought my first compound at 63 yrs of age due to a nagging shoulder problem and drawing a Wyo elk tag. After a month of compound shooting, my shoulder got well and I hunted my longbow during elk season. I enjoy shooting both styles but the stick just requires more time for hunting accuracy. Fortunately the practice is still fun after all the years.
 

6mm Remington

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I shot a little fiberglass bow as a kid but never took up archery hunting as an adult until I was a little older. After researching extensively and asking many people very experienced in archery I ended up getting a Martin Damon Howatt Hunter recurve. I love that thing and it is just a lot of fun to shoot. I agree with lots of the comments here and don't get a bow with two much poundage. A 50# pull will serve you very well and kill anything just as dead as a 60# pull. I got a 60# bow and shoot it well, but if I had to do it again I would get a 50# bow. It will be all that you ever need!

Martin 62" Hunter Recurve Hunting Bow
Martin Damon Howatt Hunter

My son just graduated from college and he wanted a stickbow after shooting nothing but a compound since he was little. Again I researched this and found just exactly what he was looking for. A guy by the name of Dan Toelke who lives up in Ronan Montana makes longbows and recurves that are widely acclaimed. He and his son and his brother build them at their home. It's quite an operation they have and they are fantastic folks.

Toelke Traditional Archery: Inventory Longbows
Toelke Archery

I ended up getting him a Whip reflex deflex longbow. It is a 64" Whip one piece that is 52# at his 30" draw length. I've shot it a bunch and am shipping it off to him today, and I don't want to let it go! I'm afraid I need to get one for me as well! Darn that kid.

Since my son has not shot or used traditional gear before I asked Dan Toelke what book he might suggest I get him to read. He suggested one by ANTHONY CAMERA. Even though I've used nothing but traditional gear, a person can really learn a lot from this book. I'm amazed at all the details and information you can pick up from this book. I purchased one for me as well as my son Jeff. Really glad that I did.

SHOOTING THE STICKBOW - A Practical Approach to Classical Archery - 2nd Edition by ANTHONY CAMERA

This is well worth getting and reading before you even start shooting! Best of luck and I suggest going to many different archery shops and trying out lots of different bows and seeing what works and feels good for you. If you have questions Dan Toelke sure can help guide you.

David
 
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the big Mao

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several things to think about: less junk to haul around, your glove or tab isn't constantly getting in the way, no sights to get knocked out of alignment, and no cams to damage. I've also never found a compound as light as my Toelke Whip. These are the pluses. On the downside, takes a LOT more practice to get good, and because of the length, you can't just toss it on the back of your pack without hitting the limbs on something, either trying to sit on a log, or walking under low-hanging branches. Takedowns are heavier, and arrows-even basic supplies-are not readily available in most of the pro shops I've been in. I get my supplies from 3Rivers Archery simply because nobody between Wenatchee and Kalispell MT has a lot of supplies for trad guys.

I shoot both, but have had a longbow in my hands for over 60 years; there's nothing like the flight of an arrow released from a stick with a string, and a traditional archer (waxing "romantic" here) stands shoulder to shoulder with the archers of Crecy and Agincourt, the horse archers of the Great Khan, the Romans, Egyptians, the Asiatic peoples stretching back through time to Otzi and beyond. We are the People of the Bow (but we might use carbon arrows now.....)
 

the big Mao

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Oh, forgot one last thing: snapshooting a trad bow is LOTS easier than trying to sight in on a flusing grouse.....
KzwvCM4.jpg
 

Beendare

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No offense to Trad guys but most of the guys I see on the range with a stickbow don't have consistent form and they are overbowed.

Then there is aiming style....many guys have been sold on the instinctive style...."you just pull up and shoot"....which works if you spend years ingraining it into your brain but it is THE most inconsistent technique.

A couple key things most guys don't do;

Whatever style you choose, you benefit from having a high anchor with the arrow up near you eye.....so 3 under is the way to go unless you plan to shoot Olympic distances; 70, 90 meters. There is just less mental gymnastics with a smaller gap.

Start with a ridiculously light bow.[like 35#] Even a guy benching 300# doesn't have the fine motor control to develop good form with a bow that is too heavy. There is a big difference between pulling it for 3 shots....and holding perfect form, aiming and good release for the 50-100 shots per session to groove this form in.


And make no mistake, its all about form with a stickbow....MUCH more so than with a compound where you can punch a release and still shoot half way decent. The tiniest form error just scatters you arrows...and there are many of them. Grooving in your form...and working a blind bale to keep it is a crucial step to decent accuracy. I totally disagree with the guys claiming, its like throwing a ball. Well it is...kind of...but if you want good accuracy to where you can kill stuff or compete at tournaments...aiming is the way to go.

One only has to go to a couple tournaments to see who is winning them; the guys that have an aiming system. I have gravitated to a fixed crawl with my PO at 27 yds...this keeps me right in there on hunting shots from 15-30yds....then I can shift up under the arrow for a 35yd PO.
 

justinspicher

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Switched about 11yrs ago, don't regret a thing. You'll have good days, bad days and horrific days, but with practice you can be pretty good. I've missed out on animals because they weren't quite close enough, but I've enjoyed my hunts a lot more as well. I'll admit, I shoot a lot when hunting and that probably doesn't really help get an animal. I sure do have fun though.
 

the big Mao

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Beendare...YES, YES YES, and HELL YES!!! Practice doesn't make perfect=it makes "permanent". Way WAY too many get a bow they think they can hunt with, 50-65lbs, and try to learn to shoot with it. I've been shooting for about 60 years now, and even with that, i don't start a Spring routine with my hunting bows, ever! My target bow is 37lbs at my draw length. The reasons many new archers decide to go with the compound , are simple: first, it's easier to hold at full draw-no stacking; second, it's what's usually available; and third (most predominant), it's MUCH easier to dial in and be accurate at ranges beyond 15-20 yards. Given the frenetic pace of most peoples' lives today, time to practice, let alone the space issue, is hard to come by.
 

Felix40

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I would say that if you want to try it you might as well go all in. Get a decent bow to start with and you will enjoy it more. There are lots of good used bows out there that you could sell later and not lose any money. I would start at a weight that you can use for a while too. I see recommendations for lightweight cheap bows all the time but a grown man who shoots a 70-80# compound will be bored with a 35# sammick sage recurve in two weeks. Then you have to buy new arrows and a new bow and you still wont know what you like/dislike because all you have used is a childs toy. A 50# used custom will last years which will give you enough time to get good with it and take it hunting. Just take it slow. Dont shoot 50-100 arrows a session at first. Shoot 5-10 with good form and take a break. Thats just my opinion but Ive seen plenty of guys make the switch like that.

I will second the aiming method in the push video. I had been instictive shooting for 10 years but after I had a baby my shooting went to crap because I had no time to practice. I switched to the fixed crawl and now I stack arrows even after taking weeks off from shooting. Its personal preference but that method is very fast to learn.

Dont forget to bare shaft tune your arrows. Lots of videos online about how to do it.

And be prepared to miss out on a LOT of kills when you hunt with a trad bow. I hunted with a compound last season for the first time since I was 16. I killed the biggest buck of my life. Usually it is a struggle to kill ANYTHING all season with the recurve.
 
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