solo oneJune 15, 2013 at 4:15 amPost count: 12
I give anybody that consistently bags there game with traditional equipment credit. I consider you the elite. Got my first recurve last year and just couldn’t get consistent enough to ethically hunt. Been trying this year and I’ve about had it. Don’t know if I should display it as art, or burn it on the brush pile, but its giving me an ulcer. About the time I think I’m improving my group opens up to about 24″ at 20yds. Been hunting since I was 23 with compound and taken some nice bucks three elk and a bear, all on public land. I’ve noticed there referred to as training wheels but I’ve never punched a tag easy. Might get two or three chances all season hunting hard. It just bugs me to think I could wait all year to get that one chance and maybe get within 15yds and hit one in the gut bag because the stars were out of line. I’ve been successful with compound because I know if I do a,b,c, d comes next. I can’t stand it depending on a feeling. Has anyone else had the same frustration? Thanks.
Joseph MillerMemberJune 15, 2013 at 11:15 amPost count: 43
I have several friends that really enjoy shooting with traditional equipment but when hunting season roles around they use their compounds. My advice would be to hang in there with your traditional bow but use your compound for hunting until you feel good about your traditional equipment. It took most of us a long time to gain confidence in our equipment. I’ve been at it 55 years and still manage to ruin a nice grouping once in a while.
Charles EkModeratorJune 15, 2013 at 11:23 amPost count: 563
I’m going to go way out on a limb here – feel free to cut it off behind me.
In my experience, shooting a traditional bow is a head game once your equipment is properly tuned and your shot process is sound. If your head is not in the game because you’re frustrated with your shooting or anything else in your life, or you’re distracted for some other reason, it will be very difficult to be consistently accurate.
I would suggest you find a competent and congenial mentor/coach to check your shooting process first. If that is found to be sound, then you might consider forgetting all about hunting with your recurve until you fall in love with shooting your bow.
How much roving are you doing? Many compound shooters have never experienced the great pleasure of roaming the woods and killing a succession of stumps and other suddenly-encountered targets. IMO, there is no better practice for hunting and very little that exceeds it for fun.
Bowhunter57June 15, 2013 at 12:27 pmPost count: 15
I would attend one of Rick Welch seminiars,if you want someone to get you on the right track to shooting effectivly.He goes one on one,with students and leaves no stone uncovered to help you shoot to your maximum potential!
Only hear positive things about Rick,and his school.It may be the best money you have ever spent on yourself!Good Luck!
solo oneJune 15, 2013 at 2:49 pmPost count: 12
Thanks for the all the advice. Maybe I’m trying to force it. I had an old family friend who loves his long bow check my bow,and my form. Made some adjustments to my nock and brace height. One day I can keep em in a pie plate at 20 and the next I’m blowing up grizzle sticks on fence posts. In think it is somewhat of a head game. Being in the 30s stage of life I’m always dividing my time between three kids, a wife, work, church, and my passion for hunting. My head is never in the same place for long, just like my arrows.
PtaylorMemberJune 15, 2013 at 5:57 pmPost count: 573
I know how you feel. This will be my 4th year seriously hunting with traditional equipment. I’ve killed 1 deer with my selfbow. I’ve blown over a dozen shots. When I’m target shooting, I am pretty good up to 15 yards, then 50/50 out to 20 yards, past that its a guessing game. So I try really hard to make my hunting shots 15 yards or less. And I’ve had lots of success getting to within 10 yards of deer, bear, and hogs. But after 3 years I’ve finally learned that I have to shoot at an animal the way I shoot at the target. When target shooting I don’t hold at my anchor for longer than a second or 2 at the most. But when hunting I’ve tried to pull back and hold and wait for the animal to enter the shooting lane. This has only resulted in tag soup. So this year, I’m going to be conscious about shooting just like at a target.
That’s been my problem, and its different than yours. But the way I’ve combated it is to also do some rifle hunting. That way I have meat in the freezer. I also pick up deer laying on the road (I have had a collecting permit in the past, so be careful this is illegal some places). I can buy two deer tags in CA, so I get one Archery Only and one general tag. I take my rifle out after 3 months of bear hunting with a bow. And when I go for pigs I use a gun the last day. This way I’m still learning about hunting the hard way, but won’t starve. If you can get multiple tags in your state I would recommend that as an approach.
And one day it will all come together with your traditional equipment, and you’ll be floating in the clouds! Hope that helps.
David CoulterMemberJune 17, 2013 at 1:37 amPost count: 2261
There’s a lot of good advice in here. Getting good help will cut the curve for sure. Doing what you need to do to take the pressure off is really good advice. Be your own archer and do it the way you need to do it to accomplish your goals.
I had a three or four year drought when I started hunting with my old recurve. I killed a doe last year with my longbow and it was a great feeling.
Watch all the Moebow and George Stout videos you can find and read G. Fred Asbell’s books.
I think the taking the pressure off was the best advice though. Don’t let it become something you dread. best, dwc
Stephen GrafModeratorJune 17, 2013 at 12:10 pmPost count: 2361
I second what eidsvolling said, twice. And I would add that what you are grappling with is real and not that uncommon.
Get the basics right, and the rest will come:
-good form and release
If you are not familiar with the basics of getting a bow shooting well with tuned arrows, Mr. Conrad’s book might help.
A two foot group should be easy to correct down to a pie pan group. Smaller than that, it takes a lot of dedication to practice.
Break your shooting up if you can. Look for things you think are not right. Then bring those things up. People here can help.
When you start out hunting with trad gear, your success rate will decrease. Eventually, it will come back some. But you will never experience the success possible with guns and compounds (contrary to what some of the talking heads claim). If your first purpose is to make meat, then you should do it with the other weapons. There is no dishonor in that.
I hope you don’t give it up. It is not easy. Sometimes I think traditional bow hunters do their sport a disservice by claiming that shooting a traditional bow is as easy as throwing a baseball. I know they are trying to encourage people to try traditional archery, but I think it may have the opposite effect because it raises expectations too much.
There is no greater joy than developing your skill to cast your arrow reliably and predictably to the target. That joy is based on the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get there.
Arne MoeMemberJune 17, 2013 at 2:01 pmPost count: 147
I’ll chime in here a little. A common mistake many folks make when coming over from compounds is getting the cart ahead of the horse. You tend to try to go “too fast.” With a C bow you have your alignments kind of built in — peep, front sight, etc. and you are holding very little weight at full draw.
You don’t mention what trad bow you are shooting or how much draw weight. BUT, If you are used to holding + or – 15# at full draw with your C bow and now with your trad bow you are holding several times that weight, form becomes MUCH more important!! It really doesn’t matter how strong you are or think you are — if you increase holding weight 3 or 4 times, you will have a VERY steep learning curve. One that most cannot climb. No one wants to hear this but it is a fact that starting your traditional journey with a VERY LIGHT bow (around 30#) is the best way to start.
It sounds from your post that you are just picking up your bow and expecting to hit a target set about at 20 yards. Just like you were and are able to do with the C bow.
If you are serious about learning how to shoot traditional, take 5 steps back from the target butt, DO NOT USE A TARGET and just learn how to shoot the bow. DO NOT TRY TO HIT A BULL’S EYE!! Just shoot until the mechanics are comfortable.
Then and only then introduce a target – at the same 5 steps – and SLOWLY ( a yard or two at a time) increase distance. EVENTUALLY, you will get back out to 20 or so yards with better proficiency. There is no shortcut!
Just trying to “fling” arrows at a target at 20 yards will NOT EVER help you get better. It is a pretty well proven fact that good traditional shooters pick up the C bow very easily but good C bow shooters REALLY have a lot to learn when moving to Trad.
lyagooshkaJune 17, 2013 at 4:39 pmPost count: 600
I am pretty much in the same boat as you. So for what it’s worth, here’s my $0.02:
1) Recognizing that you are not skilled enough to “ethically hunt with your recurve” at a given distance is probably the most important thing you could do, and you have done it already, so you are ahead of the game (pun intended).
2) Take that same love and respect for the animal/game and ask yourself what “success” is. For me, it’s getting up in the morning. Everything else is just gravy.
3) Even though the suggestions here are from people that have hundreds of times more experience than I do (and I apologize if this is a repeat), I think the number one thing you need to do is to have fun.
I’ve realized over the past year that hunting with traditional equipment is more about hunting than shooting. In a way, I still find myself pining for a .308 with a scope so powerful that you can see into the future with it (especially days when I am in a stand overlooking a field that had 20 deer, the closest at 100 yards). But then I just look at what I could have done to get closer, and next time I try to do that. Might never happen, but the journey will still be well worth it.
While you’re at it, skim over a few foraging articles and books. When I brought home a handful of Morels about a month ago, I really felt like I had taken a buck. I wasn’t even hunting, but still, it was great. Again, in one word: FUN! Have a great time out there. I believe DWC has been at it for 5 or 6 years, and this past season was his first traditional harvest. This was my first year, and I have gotten much closer than I ever thought I would (20 yards from a doe, she was quartering towards me. I needed her to half that distance and turn 45 to 90 degrees before I would have even considered trying a shot. Another was a spike buck at 15 yards. Not legal since it didn’t have enough points, but still). Hope this added to the discussion. Be well.
solo oneJune 18, 2013 at 4:19 amPost count: 12
I sure appreciate all of your advice. Especially your honesty. I was just thinking today about my first deer with a bow. It wasn’t a great trophy in anyone else’s eyes, but I’ll never forget taking that mulie doe at 12yds in Utah. When it happens with my recurve it will be all the more special because of the time and disciplined work put into it. I love my bow its a 64″blacktail elite v.l. 60# @ 29″. Its beautiful and whisper quite. Every time I stick it in the corner and tell the wife “that’s it” I look at what I had Norm Johnson put on my bow (Proverbs 3:5-6) and I pick it up one more time. Besides how cool will that first picture be. Thanks a bunch.
Arne MoeMemberJune 18, 2013 at 11:34 amPost count: 147
You just explained your biggest problem IMO!!!
60# @ 29″:shock: As I said above, you will have a nearly impossible mountain to climb! Just because you are shooting a 60# C bow, does not mean you can shoot a 60# trad bow in the beginning. Somewhere in the vicinity of 4 times the holding weight.
Give your self a fair chance and find a 20 to 30# bow to start with.
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