Home Forums Bows and Equipment Newbie looking for first longbow

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    • Rambler
      Post count: 2

      Howdy folks. I am currently a compound shooter but grew tired of all the bells and whistles etc so I sold my compound. I shot my friends Bear Montana longbow which got me wanting a longbow.

      I have a budget of about 500, but obviously the less the better. I am looking for a decent quality longbow that will last a nice long time, 40-45lb range at 28.5in. I plan to target shoot and hunt deer and small game. I spot stalk or still hunt primarily but will sometimes use a blind. I hate tree stands. Any input, recommendations, or advice is welcome! Ideally for my 500$ I can get a bow, back quiver and some arrows. So bearing this in mind would like to stay in the 350-400 range for the longbow itself if possible.

      Thanks!

    • skifrk
      Post count: 387

      I have not tried maddog bows but have heard good things about them. They are one option, I got lucky and bob lee was having a sale so I got nice bow for half price, you might want to try them, there are others but can’t think of them right off hand.

    • woodchuck
      Member
      Post count: 40

      I’m new as well to trad scene. My compound went to my nephew to get him out in the woods more.

      After reading on this site, and spending some time in the not-so-local archery store, I walked out with a Bear Montana 45#, and have loved it since. Nicely made bow, from a well-known company, shoots great!

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      I would go with the Montana. It is a quality bow and falls into your price range. I have owned two over the years, one right handed and one left, and never had a problem with either.

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      Rambler,

      Have you considered something pre-owned? You mention longbow. Bear has several options right around your price range. I shoot recurve, so I don’t have much experience with the longbow, but search online and you may find a good deal out there. For example, my recurve is an InterNature 58” 45#. I got it from an online auction. I paid under $150 with shipping. I figured if it was horrible, I was only out a bit. Turns out it is a great dependable take-down bow. Doesn’t mean every online deal is a good one, but do some research. I’m sure you will find something that will keep you in the woods for years to come. Oh, I almost forgot. Someone gave me this advice on one of my posts, so I am passing it on. Have you considered MAKING instead of buying? Just a thought.

      Hope it helps,

      Alex

      🙂

    • Rambler
      Post count: 2

      I am definitely not against buying used as long as I am able to return it, because I have read alot of horror stories lately about buying used bows that have twisted limbs etc when they arrive.

      I was at Cabelas today and shot the Montana. I shot a few recurves also. I am torn between which one I like more, or shall I say will I like more after shooting awhile. I saw the sammick sage takedown in their catalog and based on the glowing reviews all over the web this seems like a very good starter bow.

      The price of the sage is very appealing at 129$. If I got the sage and then later decided to get a longbow would I have much trouble or are they fairly similar to shoot once your form is solid?

      I liked the Montana but am leaning towards the sage because of the price, takedown(I am a backpacker), ability to upgrade to higher limbs.

      thoughts?

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      Rambler,

      You seem to have a situation similar to mine. In the campfire forum I have a post about recurve or longbow. I have received some good advice. The main thing I was told is to slow down. It actually makes sense. Here is my input and I hope that some more experienced hunters will correct me if I am mistaken.

      Recurve – Advantage is the shorter length and more power from the shape of the limbs. You are also shooting more center (inline with the string) so arrow spine is not AS critical. Disadvantage is that it is usually shot in a vertical position. It also doesn’t have the “versatility” of a longbow.

      Longbow – Advantage is the versatility. By this I mean that shots can be taken from all different positions once you are comfortable and get lots of practice. Get some insight on instinctive shooting. It will help. To me, a longbow seems more durable as well. The limbs are thicker and can take a bit more punishment as compared to a recurve. Disadvantage is that you are not shooting midline so arrow spine becomes more critical. Also, you adjust windage by canting the bow. This adds another element to your aim. It is not critical, and can be picked up through repeated shooting, but it adds an element of technicality. Also, the added length can make crawling through brush for a stalk a bit more difficult, but then again, it can be shot faster as you don’t have to wait for a spot to turn your bow vertical.

      Both are available in takedown. You also have a good point that you can get a riser and start with a lower poundage, then upgrade the limbs while keeping pretty much the same bow.

      While I think Cabela’s has become too commercialized, it does have the advantage of letting you try the bow out. No matter what you choose, take your time in making a decision and you will have many years of happy shooting.

      I hope this helps, and I hope any of the more experienced shooters out there can correct anything I may have inadvertently mislead you on.

      Alex

      🙂

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      Rambler,

      One more thing I forgot to mention to give you even more to think about is the hybrid. There are some bow makers that put enough curves on a longbow that it picks up some of the advantages of a recurve, while still being a longbow. Just some more food for thought. I don’t think you can go wrong with the sage you described. Just remember that going from compound to traditional you may want to drop you dra weight a bit. There is no let off, so it will feel a bit different.

      Alex

      🙂

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Rambler — You get what you pay for in bows, thus I advise you strongly against buying a cheap factory bow simply because it’s cheap and readily available. One of the special joys of the traditional community is the close personal relationship between shooters and the folks who make our bows, arrows, etc., which overwhelmingly are small, often mom-pop outfits. I advise, first, to turn your back on Cabelas and anything they sell, as they’re only out for profit. Plan to spend more than $129 if you want a bow that will encourage your enthusiasm for trad shooting rather than discourage it. Buy a reputable custom brand, even if used. I have bought and sold many bows via the classifieds on this site and (years ago) others, and have never once been disappointed much less felt I was cheated. Generally, we trust one another so much that the buyer mails the check at the same time the seller mails the bow, so that both are taking a chance. Forget e-bay until you get some experience in bow-trading. Look real hard to try and find a trad bowyer or dedicated trad dealer in your area, or within driving range, as it’s always best to shoot a bow before buying (though once you get experience this isn’t always necessary, esp. if you’re familiar with a particular brand bow, as I am with Shrew and vintage Bears). Many sellers will let you return a bow so long as you pay the postage and haven’t damaged it or kept it too long–just ask. For most of my life I couldn’t afford to own more than one bow, and it always was a less than top-end factory job. I shot them, competed with them, and hunted with them… and never knew what a huge handicap I was operating under until I bought my first custom bow. And still today, I buy two used for every one new (I’m still far from rich). While I’d avoid the straight “Hill style” longbows for now, whether you go for recurve or deflex-reflex longbow doesn’t matter much compared to the quality of bow you get. Right now, for example, there are two vintage Bears on the classifieds here for $275 (one is mine and I’m not trying to sell it to you). Though neither of these meets your specs, if you check across the various trad websites I’ll bet you’ll find some that do. Don’t go too short or too long first time out. That’s all I have to say about it. :P:

    • Robin ConradsRobin Conrads
      Admin
      Post count: 907

      You might also check Rocky Mtn. Specialty Gear and Archery Past. I’m sure there are other magazine advertisers who sell used bows, but those are the first two that come to mind. Both are reputable businesses.

    • Ripforce
      Post count: 225

      I have 3 straight limbed longbows and I have a 62in Reflex/Deflex Bama Expedition and I have to say I was never a Hybrid guy but now I shoot my hybrid about 90% of the time its smooth and fast its a lobngbow but does react a lot like a recurve, you may want to try out some differant models before you decide, the Montana is a great bow for the money but as stated there are a lot of goods used longbows on many of the bow forums! You can get a Bama Hunter custom made longbow for $389 I have one its a great shooter!

    • codger
      Member
      Post count: 131

      you can find some great deals on longbows on Ebay. just be sure not to overbow! you may out grow it resonably soon but it depends it appears the trend is towards lower poundage bows ive spent my whole life as an archer working upwards in draw weight but that only cover aboutt he last 522 years. there are so many great used bows out there you cant go wrong with a little research. Any bow you get interested in will probabaly have a former owner of that model or a member here will know some one who had one and can tell you about them.

      so dont be locked into new when you may be able to find a really sweet used bow for even less money.

    • mikelee
      Post count: 86

      I second Robin. You wont go wrong buying a second hand bow from RMSG . These guys are hunters and know their stuff . One of the best shooting bows I own I bought from them for $500.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Thirded. I bought a used bow from RMSG a while back too, and they were great to deal with.

      On another occasion, they mistakenly sent me the wrong feathers. We had a laugh about it on the phone, and I assured them it was no big deal. Even so – they sent me out the correct feathers, along with a nice custom leather armguard. I was floored.

    • nigermk
      Post count: 5

      I’d side with Ripforce and suggest looking at a BamaBow Hunter model. I haven’t shot one, but I’m looking to move from recurve to longbow and have heard nothing but good things about them in my research. I’m saving up for one of my own. To be able to get a custom bow for under $400 is a wonderful thing.

    • gobbler716
      Member
      Post count: 41

      I was lucky in that I found a Bear Kodiak on Ebay, in 55# and excellent condition. Including shipping it was about $225.00. I am in love with this thing and it makes me wish I had gotten 55# instead of the 65# monster that I did buy in 1982. Never thought about growing older. I am now looking for a perfect 40-45# Bear Bow, if the wife will let me.

      I have purchased plans to build a longbow from Bingham Projects.

    • gobbler716
      Member
      Post count: 41

      Regarding versatility, I don’t shoot the recurve vertically , I have practiced for many year canting a good bit….practice sitting down, as in a ground blind, Asian style, on my knees, squating on the back of my legs….any weird position for which hunting presents.

      I am too doggoned fat to use a tree stand so I hunt from the ground too.

    • Swamp Rat
      Post count: 29

      Look at Don Dow Stikbow. For about $350 he will give you a bow that is beyond any I have shot for the money. I curently have a 62″ that is smoother than both of my 66″ bows and my 68″ and I have a 32″ draw if that tells you anything.

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