Jeffery BehringMemberJanuary 2, 2019 at 5:43 pmPost count: 1
I have been bow hunting for 25 years and shooting since 3 years old but I have always been a compound shooter. I have a overwhelming urge to learn traditional archery and start a new chapter in my hunting/archery journey. I am looking for any advice in making the switch. Thank you for any advice you can provide.
richard roopMemberJanuary 3, 2019 at 2:39 amPost count: 88
Greetings and congrats on starting the new year out by going single string !!!!
(1) If at all possible, go to a pro shop that speaks ‘traditional’ and get outfitted properly as to equipment and shooting instruction. If you need to travel a bit to do this, it’s time & coin well spent.
(2) Choose a low cost ‘learner’ bow to develop form and back muscles.
(3) Drop down in poundage to little more than half of your compound’s peak weight during the learning curve.
(4) If possible, join a club that has a few traditional shooters.
(5) Even on your bad days, don’t forget to have fun.
Stephen GrafMemberJanuary 3, 2019 at 5:08 amPost count: 2275
Well said Richard!
I would add that for a reader, traditional archery offers a LOT more meaningful reading than compound archery. Get yourself a copy of TJ’s book, and then start reading Don Thomas’s books. Branch out from there and you will never run out of good stuff.
Truly embracing traditional archery will change who you are, for the better I might add.
richard roopMemberJanuary 3, 2019 at 8:16 amPost count: 88
Ah yes, the reading !!
Traditional archery has a long and rich history that is well worth exploring. Current books, out of print books and archery magazines from the mid-60s to the early 70s are all great reading. We’ve improved the materials that we build our equipment out of but the basic concepts are still valid.
One more thing;
Once you get past the ‘learner bow’ stage, there are a lot of options for your next bow. I would suggest keeping an eye out for a used bow, not more than a 10 pound increase in weight, that calls out to you. You’ll know it when you see it.
Raymond CoffmanModeratorJanuary 3, 2019 at 10:19 amPost count: 782
Welcome to the forum and the trad bow journey —
Ditto Stefan and Richard’s comments. Especially the start out light in bow pull weight.
I would also recommend Mr Grafs book – The American Longbow. Ostensibly it’s about building longbows ( and it is an excellent primer for building a bow ), but it also has a lot of trad archery tackle and lifestyle info.
RalphModeratorJanuary 4, 2019 at 7:32 amPost count: 2494
There’s way more gratification when an arrow hits where the brain was pointed rather than where the sight pin was.
Good advice given above and a good article by G. Fred in the new TBM mag about bow draw weights.
I was/still am a victim of the “macho draw weight” 40 years ago and I still suffer from not always having a firm anchor point.
I wonder why it’s so much easier for the brain to grab hold of the wrong than the right of things? Maybe it’s cause what’s easiest ain’t necessarily the bestest :-))))) ???????????
Don’t overthink…….have fun….
JRWMemberJanuary 4, 2019 at 8:59 amPost count: 3
You’ve been given a lot of excellent advice above. Heeding it will take months, if not years, off your learning curve. If I may, I’d like to add a little to that advice.
Archery is archery; form is form. The biomechanics of shooting a bow do not change simply because your limbs no longer have cams. Stand up straight and use the same basic T form as you likely already do with your compound. There may be times in bowhunting when shooting from varying positions will be advantageous, but it’s best to establish a baseline of good form and fundamentals before learning how to divert from it.
With your compound you likely use a peep sight and anchor either with the back or your hand (handheld release, like a hinge) or base of your thumb (wrist strap release) at the base of your jaw. With a recurve or longbow you will have to establish an entirely different anchor. What you want is hard tissue contact, bone on bone. Something like the tip of your middle finger on the lower rear of your eye tooth (just an example). What you don’t want is soft tissue like just touching your finger to the corner of your mouth. Soft tissue (like the corner of the mouth) moves. Hard tissue does not. If your anchor is inconsistent, your accuracy will be as well.
Aiming is perhaps one of the most hotly debated topics in traditional archery. It’s also one of the first things people who switch from compounds want to know—“How do you aim that thing?”. There are many different ways to aim, and they all work well for different people. The trick is to find which one works best for you (and yes, sights are one of those options). Fred Asbel has some great material out there for instinctive shooting, and Jay Kidwell’s book is an exceptional resource as well (his two-step approach to learning instinctive aiming is really incredible).
If you want to learn conscious aiming, like what you’re used to, only without actual sight pins, then there are a ton of good resources out there for you. Masters of the Barebow 3 covers two different types of gap shooting by a pair of world champions (Rod Jenkins and Larry Yien). There’s a video on YouTube called “The Push” that details what’s called fixed crawl—an incredibly basic and high effective aiming style that’s gaining a lot of traction in traditional bowhunting (I use this myself). In addition, TBM has recently ran a pair of articles on gap shooting that you may want to look into. Back issues are available on this website, or, if Robin doesn’t object, I could always email the articles to you.
Above all, keep an open mind, don’t hesitate to change if something you’re doing isn’t working for you, and have fun.
Raymond CoffmanModeratorJanuary 4, 2019 at 9:16 amPost count: 782
Well done – very good explanation .
I always have trouble trying to help/explain to people how to switch from compounds to trad bow. Mostly because I havn’t done it myself (learned on tradbows pre compound, and have not owned a compound, or shot them much) . Hopefully jeffrey will keep us informed on how his trad adventure progresses.
JRWMemberJanuary 4, 2019 at 10:04 amPost count: 3
I think the biggest mistake folks make is thinking they have to start over from scratch, that everything they know about archery from shooting a compound no longer applies. The transition from compound to traditional is really not that big a jump. I suspect we in the traditional archery community end up making it more complicated than necessary.
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