Home Forums Bows and Equipment Questions About Arrows

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  • Kristin Fleetwood
    Member
    Post count: 10

    Hello, all,

    I am brand new to both traditional archery and hunting. I have been learning and practicing the basics and my form with a 22 lb Snake recurve bow since the fall of 2018 and recently bought a 32 lb takedown recurve bow so I can slowly work my way up to the 40 lb draw weight minimum for hunting deer in NC. I’ve taken the hunter’s ed course and gotten my hunting license, but I don’t think I’ll be ready for my first hunts until the fall/winter of 2019. I’m planning on starting with hunting small game and then go on from there.

    I have been doing some reading about traditional bowhunting and I was lucky enough to find an excellent traditional bowhunting mentor through another forum, but I have so many questions as a newbie. I’m a bit confused about some of the information concerning arrows. What do the different grains mean? How do you know what kind of arrow (as in length/size) is right for your bow? What should you keep in mind when choosing arrows or, if you want to build your own arrows, in choosing shafts and broadheads and fletchings and knocks? Is a field point or a blunt better for hunting squirrels or is it just a matter of preference?

    I’ve also heard that carbon arrows are good to start with as a new bowhunter since they are so tough and durable and all that and I have some carbon arrows that I practice with, but I have lost a few in the woods sometimes and they are not cheap at my local archery store (and the kind I bought are the cheapest there). Are there any resources out there for buying more affordable arrows or is it best to just build your own arrows? I’m also very curious about wood arrows. What kind of wood do you like to use if you shoot wood arrows and why?

    Looking forward to continuing up the learning curve! 🙂

  • Robin ConradsRobin Conrads
    Admin
    Post count: 871

    Hi Kristin! Welcome to the site. You’ll find a wealth of information here and the other members are very helpful. The journey into traditional bowhunting can seem confusing, but remember to keep it simple and have fun. Don’t overthink this stuff all at once.

    I also suggest that you get a copy of The Traditional Bowhunter’s Handbook. I have to tell you, my husband wrote the book, but others here will attest to the useful information and answers to many of your questions. We sell it here or you can get it from your favorite traditional archery supplier. There are several of those advertised in our magazine but you could start with 3Rivers Archery, Kustom King Traditional Archery, Lost Nation Archery, or The Nocking Point, just to name a few. Most sporting goods stores don’t carry supplies for traditional archery, so a lot of it is purchased online or at traditional shoots and shows. Every one of these stores has knowledgable staff who are passionate about traditional archery.

    Didn’t mean to get so wordy. Enjoy your new journey!

    Robin (aka Webmother)

     

  • richard roop
    Member
    Post count: 38

    Wow !!!!

    It sounds like you’re on the right track starting out.

    As far as arrows for a newcomer; I would recommend that you contact Three Rivers Archery for information on the goodies you’ll need.  There are a number of other reputable suppliers but I’ve had good luck with 3 Rivers. Making your own arrows is rewarding but can be addictive.  How carried away do you want to get ??

     

     

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2275

    Robin is right!  There is no better way to get it figured out than to read THE handbook.  Before getting too far into your gear purchases, I would encourage you to read the book.  It will answer most of your questions and give you a good basic understanding, which will help you evaluate all the free advice you are going to get.  It is an investment that will save you much money in the future.

    Your instinct about carbon arrows is correct.  While they are strong, they are expensive.  It is hard to shoot an expensive arrow as well as a cheap arrow.  And if you have a creative (or crafty) bent, then wood arrows will scratch that itch way better than anything else.

  • Kristin Fleetwood
    Member
    Post count: 10

    Thank you all for the great advice! I ordered The Traditional Bowhunter’s Handbook earlier today, per your suggestions. Looking forward to it coming in the mail! 🙂

  • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
    Moderator
    Post count: 731

    Kristin

    Welcome to traditional Archery and the forum. It looks like you have plenty of good info already. TJs book is a must have. I also think Stephen Grafs book would enlighten you on all things archery and tradbow lifestyle ways —

    Welcome, I hope you enjoy traditional Archery as much as I have and we hope to see you here often.

    Scout

     

  • RalphRalph
    Member
    Post count: 2455

    Welcome and have fun.

    I agree whole wholeheartedly with Robin (our web mom) about keeping it simple and don’t overthink it..

    One thing to make things really simple sometimes……………….a little bit of something under the rest or behind the side plate can be a world saver…  :-))

    Maybe not the world but a pocket full of pennies saved instead of buying a dozen new arrows.

    R2

  • NevenNeven
    Member
    Post count: 6

    As far as your arrow questions, I’d like to say that for me keeping it simple means wood arrows. I have shot all types but making arrows myself from purchesed wood shafts is rewarding and lets you customize them how you want. You don’t need much to get started. Cedar shafts are very easily found and I usually stain them, but not always. Put a clear coat of some type on them. You will need a fletcher to lay the feathers on but not much more. Every year I make a dozen and hunt with the new and target shoot the old. Wood arrows are quieter in a back quiver and they don’t seem to have issues like nocks popping out of inserts when you hit a hard stump. You can cut them yourself to lenght without a special saw. Wood is simple and quiet.

  • aeronut
    Member
    Post count: 155

    Wood arrows are all I have shot for many years.  To me it seems unnatural to shoot anything else from a trad bow.

    You may already be aware of this but there are several factors to look at before buying shafts.  You say your bow is 32#.

    What is your actual draw length?  That will be the starting point for determining spine weight.

    Next is the weight of the point.  125gr is the standard weight.  If you put a heavier point on the arrow it will reduce the spine.  If you put a lighter weight point on it will strengthen the spine.

    Here is what my setup is.  My bow that I am shooting is 45#@28″.  I have a draw length around 26″.  Since I am not drawing the full 28″ I will not be reaching 45# so I need a shaft with a lighter weight spine.  I shoot 125gr points so I picked  a spine weight of 36-42#’s for my arrows.  They work fine for my shooting and I am currently making two dozen 5/16″ Hickory shafts for hunting coyotes.

    One thing that really goofed up the equation was when I made some shafts for some guys in California who shot the Japanese form of Kyudo.  They wanted the shafts to be 48″ long.  Wood shafts are spined at 28″ and the longer you get over the 32″ mark the weaker the spine gets.  Their bows were 30# or less so we guessed at a spine of about 35-38#’s with a 100gr point.  They said they shot fine.  The thing with Kyudo is you get points for your shooting style.  Hitting the target doesn’t really matter.

    • Kristin Fleetwood
      Member
      Post count: 10

      aeronaut,

      Sorry to take so long to reply. I did not see your post until now. I just measured my draw length and it looks like it is 23 and 1/4″. I’m short (5′ feet tall). What spine arrows would be good for that? The recurve I am practicing with now to get my form down is only 22#. But it was suggested to me to shoot a little everyday with the 32# to build up my muscles as I work towards drawing at 40 lbs. But I must say that even though it’s only a 10 lb jump, it is difficult for me to maintain good form when drawing the 32#. Should I try to find limbs that weigh 5 lbs less or just keep at building up my strength with the 32#?

  • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
    Moderator
    Post count: 731

    Hi Kristin

    Ah yes, the working up to a heavier bow conundrum.  Need to strengthen the muscles ( back mostly, although it also takes grip strength) but if you use the heavier bow you lose form. What you are doing will probably work. When you have the strength to handle the heavier bow emphasize polishing your form again. If you have the funds, going up in increments of 5 lbs is better – .

    Another method is to shoot the weight of bow you can handle now . Leave the heavier bows alone for awhile – till you build up your strength thru other exercises.  If no gym around- pushups and pull ups – grip exercises ” wood cutting ” etc. If you have access to one of the home gyms that use pulleys or stretch “cables” tubes would be helpful. 3Rivers etc have bowfit ( and strengthening videos) and similar tools which allow you to pull against surgical tubing in different weights. I have one – it works well. When you feel that pulling the 32lber is like the 22 used to feel – start shooting it regularly.

    I hope this helps, maybe one of the other members will suggest other methods that have worked for them. A lot of it, is just in the doing of it. Continuing the push/ pull –

    Scout.

  • Kristin Fleetwood
    Member
    Post count: 10

    Thank you, Scout, for the great advice! That is all very helpful!

  • Robin ConradsRobin Conrads
    Admin
    Post count: 871

    I was going to suggest that after practicing with the light bow and getting warmed up. Shoot just a few arrows through the heavier bow, focusing on form and not necessarily hitting the right spot.

  • richard roop
    Member
    Post count: 38

    One other thing that you could try;

    When you’re thru shooting, pick up the heavy bow and draw, hold & let down without shooting. Do that for a few ‘reps’, rest and repeat. Then drop down to the lighter bow and do the same drill.  Builds strength without causing your form to go poo-poo.

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