Laura BerkemeierMemberApril 26, 2020 at 1:12 pmPost count: 9
Hello folks! I thought I’d try and discuss with the Trad. Bow community a question I’ve been harboring for years now.
Here’s some backstory: I have had an old Browning Wasp for over 10 years now. It was a garage sale present from my Dad and just happened to have the perfect draw length for me. Only problem was its 50lb draw weight. As a 15 year old I wasn’t educated on much for shooting but I worked through it being a very athletic teenager.
Fast forward, I’m now 27 and work full time and have lost some upper body strength. I still shoot it regularly but never had success hunting with it. It may be lack of practice but I’m loathing to admit it may be that draw weight getting me. I have a compound bow as well but it doesn’t hold the same place in my heart as my Wasp. I still love shooting and hunting and will hopefully never lose that.
I contemplate doing a workout routine to strengthen and then keep using it; I don’t strain to pull it back and do ok with the targets, though my group is not what I’d like. Anytime I ask a local bow shop owner to watch me shoot they always say I’m shooting good form and (unfortunately in this case) I hit dead-on on the target. Problem is, my spectacular failure hunting with it.
New bows are very expensive and though this one I got for next to nothing, I don’t know if the investment will be worth it. Could it be target panic? I’m not sure since I always shoot better under pressure at the range. Maybe an easier draw weight is what I need most with a new shiny bow as a bonus to re-spark my interest?
What do you all think? Has anyone else hit this type of bump in the road?
Thank you for reading my thoughts I haven’t put into words until now. It may have helped me just to write this! 😀
Stephen GrafModeratorApril 27, 2020 at 5:11 amPost count: 2361
50 lbs is a fair amount of weight even for a male. You can shoot clean through a deer with a 40 lb bow all day long. You will never go wrong shooting a lighter bow.
Samick bows are economical in price and perform as well as most higher priced bows. I bought my daughter a samick one piece recurve a few years ago and am amazed by its quality function and appearance. I bought it off Amazon.
You didn’t elaborate on the circumstances of your “spectacular failure” at hunting with your wasp. Care to elaborate? If we can know the circumstances, we might be able to better commiserate.
Laura BerkemeierMemberMemberApril 27, 2020 at 6:50 amPost count: 9
Thanks Stephen, I’ll definitely look into Samick bows. I’ve never heard of them.
Well my failure is big to me but maybe not to everyone else. It’s just that I have hunted 6 years and every shot with my recurve has gone either high or low. I gave up hunting with it except to try and peg a few squirrels which I miss as well. My compound is another story and I end up using that all the time instead. I’m wondering if it’s all trust issues now haha
Raymond CoffmanModeratorApril 27, 2020 at 2:11 pmPost count: 1035
Welcome to the forum and ditto all Steve’s remarks. We trad bow folks always recommend a drop in poundage for people trying to developed or enhance their tradbow skills. It definitely speeds the learning curve.
I noticed in your remarks – your hunting with the recurve problem and if I understood you correctly, what could be occurring is as follows;
Since you have hunted for sometime and successfully with your Compound, my guess is you use a sight on it ( but not one on your Wasp?) If this is the case – when hunting your eye is focused on the deer till just before you shoot – with the compound your focus goes to the sight for the shot. Something you have now trained to do under stress ( hunting) . With the recurve ( instinctive) you need to focus on a little spot right in the center of the animals vitals, up to, including, and after the shot. If you shoot at the whole animal ( unfocused) we usually miss. Your thoughts ?
I liked a number of the Browning bows, the Wasp is a great bow and worth keeping.
Scout aka Ray
Laura BerkemeierMemberMemberApril 27, 2020 at 2:44 pmPost count: 9
You are correct in that I don’t use a sight on the recurve and do use one on the compound.
I want to get a lesser poundage and practice like crazy and maybe then I won’t want to use my compound bow crutch! Haha
I wonder if it could mess me up to use both interchangeably but I feel like many people do.
richard roopMemberApril 27, 2020 at 6:23 pmPost count: 250
For what it’s worth;
You might keep an eye out on EBay under ‘recurve bow’. Just might run across a Wasp in the weight range you’re interested in. If not, ………… there are a LOT of recurves on EBay and one of them might call out to you. A bows gotta have ‘the look’ before you can shoot it well and beauty, eye of the beholder, all of that. …………
Then …………………… once you get your new (to you) shooter, practice with it and once you’re warmed up, try a few shots with the 50#er, remembering form. Always form !! Then finish up with the lighter bow.
Good luck & keep us posted on how it goes.
Laura BerkemeierMemberMemberApril 27, 2020 at 6:35 pmPost count: 9
Thanks Richard! That is a good option I may look into.
The only thing is a used bow may have issues, like maybe they didn’t use a stringer (mine was that way and has an odd twist to the limbs) or dry fired or something..
Darn TradBow magazine sends me Stalker and Black Widow catalogs so I get my heart set on how awesome those ones look, if you know what I mean! haha
Stephen GrafModeratorApril 28, 2020 at 4:36 amPost count: 2361
If you must kill a deer, then the rifle or a compound are likely your best options. There are few among us who can claim (truly) to kill as many animals with a traditional bow as the more efficient weapons already mentioned.
Aside from commitment to perfecting form (a lifelong process), tuning gear, and sharp broadheads, the successful traditional hunter will find more satisfaction from the process of hunting than from the outcome. Killing a deer with a traditional bow is icing on the cake.
Shooting a longbow, for me, is a reminder that I should not take myself too seriously. This lesson is reinforced each time the deer bests me, or my arrow flies wild. Thankfully, the deer are enthusiastic teachers and never tire of reminding me of my place in the woods.
Part of the joy of traditional archery is the commitment to it. Once you commit to it, then the power of your choice will help you along the path. As long as you hear the siren call of your compound, your journey is at risk. If you feel the tug of the traditional bow, my best and simplest advice is to get rid of your compound and all its trimmings. Only then can you become a silvan archer.
Laura BerkemeierMemberMemberApril 28, 2020 at 6:58 amPost count: 9
Steve, you sure do have a way with words! That’s so true. I do want to get deer since I want to help our farm and it’s deer management and we give meat to people at the end of the season. But you’re right, I have guns for that.
I’m realizing there’s been a pressure I was putting myself under during bow season.
Huh. What a novel idea in this day and age… To just let it be what it is and enjoy bow season… lol
I definitely prefer that idea! If I’m to choose now from the 2 worlds of modern convenience vs. the hunt on more even ground I’m finding out I’d rather strive for the traditional. I’ve been collapsing under my own pressure and enjoyed hunting less in the last few years.
I’ve always felt this way but have had a very hard time putting it into words.. so thanks everyone!
Raymond CoffmanModeratorApril 28, 2020 at 8:04 amPost count: 1035
It looks like you sorted it out on your own.
In answer to your response to my last post. I know people who have the ability to go back and forth between trad and compound. Very few do it well. It is better to pick one and concentrate on that type. we here of course prefer trad. Please continue to update us on your progress.
Scout aka Ray
PS if the limb is not too ” twisted” sometimes it can be ” adjusted”. If you have Tradbow – Fixing twisted recurve limbs by Jason Wesbrock- is in the download library.
Laura BerkemeierMemberMemberApril 28, 2020 at 8:28 amPost count: 9
Yeah I was at a bit of a crossroads and I think I do have it sorted! Thank you for your replies, I needed a bit of encouragement and expertise and I feel I went to the right place 🙂
I’ll post back with updates at some point!
Laura BerkemeierMemberMemberMay 3, 2020 at 12:02 pmPost count: 9
Update: I was looking into my wasp today after a quick shooting session that I had my husband record for me. I think my form is ok, so I was looking into my draw length and bow size. The pictures showed a bow that was bending more than I was thinking it should, compared to when I watch YouTube shooters.
My bow length is 56″ and my draw length is 26.5″… I found a chart online that shows me what I’ve been suspecting.
So basically I’ve been using a recurve that’s 6 inches too short. Ugh.
Haha well at least I know now!
MetropolitantroutMemberMay 3, 2020 at 7:19 pmPost count: 6
The best tip I’ve heard and used for getting stronger and therefore handling a bow that might be on the heavy side is to hold your form at full draw. At the end of a shooting session, come to full draw and hold your aim for 5-10 seconds. Repeat up to a dozen shots. It’s exhausting and you’ll need to take a couple of days off but I have found no better way to build archery muscle strength. Pretty soon holding for 2-3 seconds will feel easy. -MT
Stephen GrafModeratorMay 4, 2020 at 4:11 amPost count: 2361
I second Mtrouts suggestion for building strength. Holding at full draw also helps a person focus on using the correct shoulder/back muscles and learning to relax muscles that should not be engaged. I would add to his suggestion that when performing this exercise, the archer do the following:
- Look at the bale and focus on a spot.
- Come to full draw while focusing on the spot
- Close your eyes, and count to 10
- Open your eyes, re-acquire focus on the spot and re-aim the arrow as needed
As Mtrout cautioned, it is important to build up to 10 seconds rather than starting at that time. You’re deltoid and trapezius muscles will be very sore in the beginning.
As to the bow length question… I think the chart you found is for straight end longbows. Recurves are a different matter. I know plenty of folks (with longer draw lengths than yours) that shoot well with bows that have 56 inch lengths. It is true that longer bows are more forgiving of form. But I doubt that your bow is unsuited to your draw length.
Raymond CoffmanModeratorMay 4, 2020 at 8:45 amPost count: 1035
I also am wondering about that chart?
My -go to- hunting bows which I shoot often, are both 54″. They are RD ( hybrid) cross between a recurve / short longbow. My draw is 26.5 and they shoot fine. Yes, they are more difficult to shoot than longer heavier bows but work fine within their parameters.
However if the limbs are twisted ( on your wasp) it could look funny at full draw and cause shooting / accuracy issues ? Plus learning to shoot trad with a short powerful bow is immensely more problematic — the bows I just mentioned and shoot now are not what I started with….. Shakespeare Ocalla 62″ 50lb large recurve ( still have it).
Scout aka Ray
Laura BerkemeierMemberMemberMay 4, 2020 at 8:59 amPost count: 9
MT and Steve, that is a great idea. I will definitely do that.
But yeah this chart I’ve seen on a few websites. I don’t know where the data came from initially. And I believe they were referring to recurves. They say it’s dangerous to shoot over those numbers on the chart but I’ve never had an issue with the bow itself (except my own accuracy over 10 yards) and people seem to use short bows with longer draw lengths, I’m reading in other places too.
With so much information online I’m beginning to realize that a lot of it contradicts itself! I will try to get my paws on a bow with 5-10 lbs less weight and with a longer length to try, before I believe what I read, I suppose!
Raymond CoffmanModeratorMay 4, 2020 at 2:22 pmPost count: 1035
Yes, on the internet’s ability to contradict itself. It truly can be a minefield of mis and or dis information. If you are looking for some reasonably priced new bows, you might browse Kustom King and 3 Rivers Archery Cos.
Scout aka Ray
RalphModeratorMay 8, 2020 at 10:21 amPost count: 2544
A friend of mine and his wife, an elderly couple, shoot the long range competition, 60 yd, 90 meter? stuff. He’s good enough that he was once Florida state champ.
He has helped me with some advice,….. draw bow to anchor, hold for the count of 5, close one eye and let down… it is amazing how your brain wants to shoot when you close the eye, more than likely your non dominant one, and you’re looking down the arrow to a dead on sight picture. Shoot instead of let down. Nope, let down.. It’s a good mind control thing….Also a good muscle tone builder…
It’s helping me to resist the “target acquired, shoot” thing that I have.
richard roopMemberMay 8, 2020 at 7:49 pmPost count: 250
I can’t wait to try that. !!!! I tend to do that ‘target acquired, shoot’ thing back around my point on distance and beyond. Thanx !!!
Not too sure about that chart. I just had a Bear Mag. 48″ arrive. According to the chart I should be drawing about 15 inches ???
FWIW; I’ve only shot the Bear 48 a bit after making a call to the expert dude at 3 Rivers to find out what the brace height should be and making a new string. (The 10 1/2 ” brace height seemed to be a wee bit excessive.) . Still getting to know my Lil’ Buddy but I gotta say ………….. the thing’s flat out fun to shoot.
Laura BerkemeierMemberMemberMay 9, 2020 at 9:10 amPost count: 9
The more i look into this with sources I trust (in particular Nusensei on YouTube), the more I see that hunting recurves really aren’t part of that chart. I suppose that’s more of a guideline for target bows. You guys are right, surprise, surprise. Lol
RalphModeratorMay 9, 2020 at 9:40 amPost count: 2544
I don’t understand what that chart has to do with the price of China in Peru………..A bow is designed to shoot with a given +/- brace height.
Shorter draw, longer draw??? Like you Bear Mag, info I found is an 8″ brace height. Now that’s a plus or minus some to tune to you…You start messing with shorter, longer strings you mess with the dynamics of the bow. If you shoot a shorter than 28″ draw, the bow still needs the correct string length for the bow to function properly. You have to make the arrows match your draw length and the corresponding bow weight that ensues.
Just my thinking.
richard roopMemberMay 9, 2020 at 7:06 pmPost count: 250
Just to be clear, the 10 & 1/2 inch brace height was the string that came with the bow. The 3 Rivers guy suggested 7 & 1/2 to 8 & 1/2. It’s shooting well at 8 & 1/8 but I still want to try somewhere about 7 & 3/4 just to see what happens.
richard roopMemberMay 9, 2020 at 9:08 pmPost count: 250
Laura, and All;
I picked up a book on eBay, “Shooting The Stickbow” by Anthony Camera. Have not had the chance to read it page by page but have thumbed thru it a couple of times and am very impressed. Seems to be a very well written reference manual that covers just about everything stickbow.
A fine book, well worth the coin. !!!! I recommend it highly.
Edward WeberMemberSeptember 12, 2020 at 7:24 amPost count: 1
I agree. I started on compounds at 16. Got into traditional at the urging of a friend who started the same way but at age 45. I have the same Wasp from a garage sale. $40. But I started w/a Texas Archery 27#, then a Ben Pearson stick now 35#, & finally my 40″s vintage Bear Grizzly 42#. I won’t use the Browning til I kill something with the Grizzly. You obviously felt the difference from a compound. I shot a 65# compound (Jennings Mag-T, 1983) but couldn’t jump into that 35# Pearson. Start lite work up to it & if you don’t or can’t you’ll probably find something you love along the way.
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