Traditional Archery Hunting

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hoyt31786
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Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby hoyt31786 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:26 am

Hey everyone I have been bow hunting with a compound bow for 20 yrs. now and I have the desire to get into traditional Archery. I plan on getting a trad bow be it recurve/longbow here soon and start practicing with it. I plan on not hunting with it the first year until I feel extremely comfortable with it. I just dont even know where to start when it comes to traditional Archery. Where to buy, who makes good bow, necessities needed , maintenance ect. ect.???Recurve vs Longbow , what type arrows and so forth?? Was just looking for some help. So if there's any trad hunters out there that would be willing to point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated! You can PM me or share your input here thanks in advance!


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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby Hunter74 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:34 am

I've been hunting with trad equipment for about 7 years now and just like anything else it depends how deep in the rabbit hole you wanna go.

You can order the more pre-made bows from companies like Bear, Martin, Hoyt and they will perform well. However if you really want a top performing bow you need to go to custom made bows. The company's I reccomend are Bigfoot bows, Shafer Silvertip, Robertson Stykbow, RER and Blacktail. Check all of them out and see what you like I believe Bigfoot bows is the top performing trad bow right now if your still somewhat into efficiency. Silvertips are very strong, solid built bows, Blacktail are beautiful works of art but has a very long waiting list, all are good. I do not reccomend Black widow bows, they're more mass produced and are slow and loud compared to others.

Determining a draw weight you can comfortably handle is important I would recommend about a 10-15 lb reduction from what you shoot for compounds unless you can effortlessly draw the compound weight. Next most important is draw length which will probably be close to your compound length but not the same. To determine your draw length I would find a light recurve and uncut arrow and draw to a comfortable anchor point and have someone mark the arrow about an inch in front of the bow shelf. Draw length will determine what length bow will suit you best. For a 30" draw I would recommend a 62" or longer bow, 28-29" draw a 60" bow. If your draw is shorter then 28" you can go down to a 58" bow but I dont recommend it, the longer the bow the smoother and more forgiving it will be.

For arrows I recommend using carbon to start with. Cedar shafts are beautiful and have nostalgia but there more critical with correct spine and not very tough. Carbon arrows cover a much wider range with a particular spine and are tough. Also I've been using the skinny shaft arrows such as the Victory vap's or Black Eagle x-impact with great results. It seems these skinny shafts come out of the bow closer to center making them more forgiving and of course skinny arrows penetrate best.

For heads and broadheads I recommend going heavier then typicall compound stuff. My current setup is the black eagle x-impact with a 50gr outsert and 200gr head. Having a light arrow with heavy front fly and perform best. For broadheads I would choose a 2 blade single bevel, this sort of setup has astounding penetration and single bevel make devastating wound channels because they spiral through the animal (I would continue using single bevel even if I ever went back to a compound because there so much better then any mainstream broadhead). They also split bone to aid in penetration if you happen to hit shoulder.

My last bit of advice is to look up Rick Welch on line and find one of his videos on shooting technique, watch it and learn to shoot the way he does. Instinctive shooting takes dedication and discipline but if you start out learning good techniques like Welch teaches you can be killing accurate and confident in a years time.
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hoyt31786
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby hoyt31786 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:58 am

Hunter74 wrote:I've been hunting with trad equipment for about 7 years now and just like anything else it depends how deep in the rabbit hole you wanna go.

You can order the more pre-made bows from companies like Bear, Martin, Hoyt and they will perform well. However if you really want a top performing bow you need to go to custom made bows. The company's I reccomend are Bigfoot bows, Shafer Silvertip, Robertson Stykbow, RER and Blacktail. Check all of them out and see what you like I believe Bigfoot bows is the top performing trad bow right now if your still somewhat into efficiency. Silvertips are very strong, solid built bows, Blacktail are beautiful works of art but has a very long waiting list, all are good. I do not reccomend Black widow bows, they're more mass produced and are slow and loud compared to others.

Determining a draw weight you can comfortably handle is important I would recommend about a 10-15 lb reduction from what you shoot for compounds unless you can effortlessly draw the compound weight. Next most important is draw length which will probably be close to your compound length but not the same. To determine your draw length I would find a light recurve and uncut arrow and draw to a comfortable anchor point and have someone mark the arrow about an inch in front of the bow shelf. Draw length will determine what length bow will suit you best. For a 30" draw I would recommend a 62" or longer bow, 28-29" draw a 60" bow. If your draw is shorter then 28" you can go down to a 58" bow but I dont recommend it, the longer the bow the smoother and more forgiving it will be.

For arrows I recommend using carbon to start with. Cedar shafts are beautiful and have nostalgia but there more critical with correct spine and not very tough. Carbon arrows cover a much wider range with a particular spine and are tough. Also I've been using the skinny shaft arrows such as the Victory vap's or Black Eagle x-impact with great results. It seems these skinny shafts come out of the bow closer to center making them more forgiving and of course skinny arrows penetrate best.

For heads and broadheads I recommend going heavier then typicall compound stuff. My current setup is the black eagle x-impact with a 50gr outsert and 200gr head. Having a light arrow with heavy front fly and perform best. For broadheads I would choose a 2 blade single bevel, this sort of setup has astounding penetration and single bevel make devastating wound channels because they spiral through the animal (I would continue using single bevel even if I ever went back to a compound because there so much better then any mainstream broadhead). They also split bone to aid in penetration if you happen to hit shoulder.

My last bit of advice is to look up Rick Welch on line and find one of his videos on shooting technique, watch it and learn to shoot the way he does. Instinctive shooting takes dedication and discipline but if you start out learning good techniques like Welch teaches you can be killing accurate and confident in a years time.


Thanks so much for all the great info and help greatly appreciated!
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby stash59 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:06 am

Another guy's videos I like are Jeff Kavanagh's.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgGoY0qpH8f11COXWkE8aLQ

If you don't plan on hunting right out of the gate. I'd go with a lighter draw weight bow than you'd want to use for hunting. This way you can work on good consistent form. You can find a used or inexpensive new bow for this. You can't go wrong with a Samick Sage in like 35 pounds. Take pics and videos from the side and overhead. To help identify problem areas, in your form. Or find a coach/other shooter.

As far as your go to hunting bow. Lotta bowyers out their. What you choose will have to do with what you like and you feel more comfortable/confident shooting. Find your state and or county/area trad organization. Go to some events. Ask questions. And shoot alot of different bows. To help you figure this all out.

Good luck and have fun!!!
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby hunting_dad » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:52 am

There are a lot of good quality used bows out there that you can pick up to try out and help you decide which direction you want to go before spending a ton of mo way on something high end or custom. Where are you located? There’s a lot of shoots and trad archery shows that you can go to and shoot many different bows and weights and get the feel for what you like.
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:26 am

A lot of guys coming from compounds have great luck with aluminum risers at first particularly ILF setups. The aluminum riser is the same as there compound as far a feel and a ILF bow allows for some adjustability that a typical stickbow won’t plus easy to swap out limbs.

Lots of great bows available, I wouldn’t worry about that to much out of the gate. Samick makes some great starter bows that won’t break the bank. Recurve/longbow really don’t make a hoot. Shoot the same for me just comes down to personal preference.

Looking back I wish I would of started with aluminum arrows. By far the easiest to set up and get to fly straight (atleast for me) If i were to start from scratch again believe I would go with a 62” 45# ILF recurve. Bow, glove/tab, arrows, and stringer and you are good to go. Good luck
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby hoyt31786 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:58 am

hunting_dad wrote:There are a lot of good quality used bows out there that you can pick up to try out and help you decide which direction you want to go before spending a ton of mo way on something high end or custom. Where are you located? There’s a lot of shoots and trad archery shows that you can go to and shoot many different bows and weights and get the feel for what you like.

Thanks for all the input I'm located in NorthCentral Ohio. In between Cleveland and Columbus.
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby hoyt31786 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:00 pm

stash59 wrote:Another guy's videos I like are Jeff Kavanagh's.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgGoY0qpH8f11COXWkE8aLQ

If you don't plan on hunting right out of the gate. I'd go with a lighter draw weight bow than you'd want to use for hunting. This way you can work on good consistent form. You can find a used or inexpensive new bow for this. You can't go wrong with a Samick Sage in like 35 pounds. Take pics and videos from the side and overhead. To help identify problem areas, in your form. Or find a coach/other shooter.

As far as your go to hunting bow. Lotta bowyers out their. What you choose will have to do with what you like and you feel more comfortable/confident shooting. Find your state and or county/area trad organization. Go to some events. Ask questions. And shoot alot of different bows. To help you figure this all out.

Good luck and have fun!!!

Thanks alot Stash!! I knew I could find help here on the Beast Best forum available in my opinion!
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby hoyt31786 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:03 pm

Boogieman1 wrote:A lot of guys coming from compounds have great luck with aluminum risers at first particularly ILF setups. The aluminum riser is the same as there compound as far a feel and a ILF bow allows for some adjustability that a typical stickbow won’t plus easy to swap out limbs.

Lots of great bows available, I wouldn’t worry about that to much out of the gate. Samick makes some great starter bows that won’t break the bank. Recurve/longbow really don’t make a hoot. Shoot the same for me just comes down to personal preference.

Looking back I wish I would of started with aluminum arrows. By far the easiest to set up and get to fly straight (atleast for me) If i were to start from scratch again believe I would go with a 62” 45# ILF recurve. Bow, glove/tab, arrows, and stringer and you are good to go. Good luck

Thanks Great to hear what u would have done different ! Can't wait to start this adventure like starting to bowhunt all over again!
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby raisins » Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:40 pm

I don't hunt with a recurve because when I tried I could not shoot accurately with buck fever if I did not have sights. The sights and peep center my attention.

Having said that, I shot a recurve for years and became relatively accurate with it (could hit the killzone of a 3D target every time at 25 yards, but that did not translate over to real animals due entirely to my mental game).

It is a pretty big area of study with different forms and aiming methods. I think it is more complicated than compound shooting (because form has a more noticeable effect). Shooting a recurve for years made me a much better compound bow shooter.

My advice is to join tradtalk.com (online forum) and read as many of the resources there. I'm not trying to keep you away from here (this place is great), but tradtalk.com specializes in your question.

I agree with another poster that starting out an ILF riser (such as lancaster archery's tradtech line) with ILF limbs is great. You can adjust the poundage and easily get heavier limbs. I would start out with 40 to 45 lbs limbs (get cheaper ones at first) and then increase weight as you feel comfortable. Most people shoot best when the limbs are light enough that they do not feel a strong urge to let the shot go. Going too heavy with a recurve is probably the biggest beginner's mistake there is. The total lack of letoff should not be at all discounted, and a 45 or 50 lbs bow with a sharp 2 blade will shoot right through a deer.

Many folks find that shooting with more of an Olympic archery form (bow not canted, body not bent over, no swing of the arm, etc) gives better consistency as does adopting some sort of aiming system (besides just burning a hole in the target). My style was vertical bow, 3 fingers under with a deep hook, holding on target at anchor for a few seconds before release, and using a split vision aiming system. A lot of people start out with the mindset of it really being an instinct to shoot a bow and that it is somehow just like throwing a baseball. For many that does not provide the long term, steady improvements in accuracy that they are after and they then switch over to a more systematic and repeatable method (after they've developed some bad habits perhaps).

Good luck. I dusted off my recurves the other day and might get back into it.
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby bigredneck61088 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:09 pm

Look up the push archery, Kifarucast (Aron Snyder), stickbow chronicles podcasts and YouTube, wealth of information there if you roll thru the tech episodes. I pretty much figured it out from scratch listening to them and prior compound knowledge. Watch “the push, a traditional archery film” on YouTube

I agree ILF riser and different limbs would be your best starting point as said above. I am shooting/hunting with a Hoyt Excel 21 riser with tradtech limbs, affordable and shoots well once tuned. Unfortunately they quit making that riser...

Start watching the classifieds on Facebook groups and other traditional forums, stickbow guys go thru bows faster than woman and shoes so there are many deals to be had esp starter bows.

I planned on buck hunting with my recurve this year, then got on a big one and took the compound due to longer shots. I ended up killing a different shooter at 20 yards when I went In after the other with the compound. Always next season!
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:05 am

stash59 wrote:Another guy's videos I like are Jeff Kavanagh's.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgGoY0qpH8f11COXWkE8aLQ

If you don't plan on hunting right out of the gate. I'd go with a lighter draw weight bow than you'd want to use for hunting. This way you can work on good consistent form. You can find a used or inexpensive new bow for this. You can't go wrong with a Samick Sage in like 35 pounds. Take pics and videos from the side and overhead. To help identify problem areas, in your form. Or find a coach/other shooter.

As far as your go to hunting bow. Lotta bowyers out their. What you choose will have to do with what you like and you feel more comfortable/confident shooting. Find your state and or county/area trad organization. Go to some events. Ask questions. And shoot alot of different bows. To help you figure this all out.

Good luck and have fun!!!


I agree with Stash about Jeff Kavanagh's videos - great videos that keeps it simple. A lot of folks want to complicate traditional archery, Jeff has a way of explaining things like back tension, anchor, shot cycle in a way that is easy to follow along.

For bows, the Sage as mentioned above is hard to beat for the money. Great thing about it is you can get a 35# bow to start and then bump up to 45 or 50 when you are ready for hunting. Another thing i recommend is figure out what broadhead you are going to shoot and then build your practice arrows to replicate (spine and point weight) so that as you learn arrow trajectory it wont change when you screw on broadheads. I personally use Simmons Sharks but really any of the well made two blades are great if you put them in the right place :)

welcome aboard - trad archery is addictive.
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby hoyt31786 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:21 am

raisins wrote:I don't hunt with a recurve because when I tried I could not shoot accurately with buck fever if I did not have sights. The sights and peep center my attention.

Having said that, I shot a recurve for years and became relatively accurate with it (could hit the killzone of a 3D target every time at 25 yards, but that did not translate over to real animals due entirely to my mental game).

It is a pretty big area of study with different forms and aiming methods. I think it is more complicated than compound shooting (because form has a more noticeable effect). Shooting a recurve for years made me a much better compound bow shooter.

My advice is to join tradtalk.com (online forum) and read as many of the resources there. I'm not trying to keep you away from here (this place is great), but tradtalk.com specializes in your question.

I agree with another poster that starting out an ILF riser (such as lancaster archery's tradtech line) with ILF limbs is great. You can adjust the poundage and easily get heavier limbs. I would start out with 40 to 45 lbs limbs (get cheaper ones at first) and then increase weight as you feel comfortable. Most people shoot best when the limbs are light enough that they do not feel a strong urge to let the shot go. Going too heavy with a recurve is probably the biggest beginner's mistake there is. The total lack of letoff should not be at all discounted, and a 45 or 50 lbs bow with a sharp 2 blade will shoot right through a deer.

Many folks find that shooting with more of an Olympic archery form (bow not canted, body not bent over, no swing of the arm, etc) gives better consistency as does adopting some sort of aiming system (besides just burning a hole in the target). My style was vertical bow, 3 fingers under with a deep hook, holding on target at anchor for a few seconds before release, and using a split vision aiming system. A lot of people start out with the mindset of it really being an instinct to shoot a bow and that it is somehow just like throwing a baseball. For many that does not provide the long term, steady improvements in accuracy that they are after and they then switch over to a more systematic and repeatable method (after they've developed some bad habits perhaps).

Good luck. I dusted off my recurves the other day and might get back into it.


Hey Thanks Raisins I know it's going to be a great challenge and won't be easy but I'm up for it! I know the last 2 bucks I killed with my compound would have never happened with a trad bow way to far. Its gonna sharpen my shooting skills but also make me have to sharpen my picking the exact tree skills to get in close enough for a trad shot! Thanks for all the insight means alot!
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby hoyt31786 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:23 am

bigredneck61088 wrote:Look up the push archery, Kifarucast (Aron Snyder), stickbow chronicles podcasts and YouTube, wealth of information there if you roll thru the tech episodes. I pretty much figured it out from scratch listening to them and prior compound knowledge. Watch “the push, a traditional archery film” on YouTube

I agree ILF riser and different limbs would be your best starting point as said above. I am shooting/hunting with a Hoyt Excel 21 riser with tradtech limbs, affordable and shoots well once tuned. Unfortunately they quit making that riser...

Start watching the classifieds on Facebook groups and other traditional forums, stickbow guys go thru bows faster than woman and shoes so there are many deals to be had esp starter bows.

I planned on buck hunting with my recurve this year, then got on a big one and took the compound due to longer shots. I ended up killing a different shooter at 20 yards when I went In after the other with the compound. Always next season!


Thanks seems like alot agree about the ILF to start with. I'll definitely have to check them out! Hey a buck with a bow is still a buck with a bow congrats!
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Re: Traditional Archery Hunting

Unread postby hoyt31786 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:26 am

DaveT1963 wrote:
stash59 wrote:Another guy's videos I like are Jeff Kavanagh's.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgGoY0qpH8f11COXWkE8aLQ

If you don't plan on hunting right out of the gate. I'd go with a lighter draw weight bow than you'd want to use for hunting. This way you can work on good consistent form. You can find a used or inexpensive new bow for this. You can't go wrong with a Samick Sage in like 35 pounds. Take pics and videos from the side and overhead. To help identify problem areas, in your form. Or find a coach/other shooter.

As far as your go to hunting bow. Lotta bowyers out their. What you choose will have to do with what you like and you feel more comfortable/confident shooting. Find your state and or county/area trad organization. Go to some events. Ask questions. And shoot alot of different bows. To help you figure this all out.

Good luck and have fun!!!


I agree with Stash about Jeff Kavanagh's videos - great videos that keeps it simple. A lot of folks want to complicate traditional archery, Jeff has a way of explaining things like back tension, anchor, shot cycle in a way that is easy to follow along.

For bows, the Sage as mentioned above is hard to beat for the money. Great thing about it is you can get a 35# bow to start and then bump up to 45 or 50 when you are ready for hunting. Another thing i recommend is figure out what broadhead you are going to shoot and then build your practice arrows to replicate (spine and point weight) so that as you learn arrow trajectory it wont change when you screw on broadheads. I personally use Simmons Sharks but really any of the well made two blades are great if you put them in the right place :)

welcome aboard - trad archery is addictive.


Thanks DaveT I almost sent you a PM before I posted this bc I gathered on here that u were a veteran Trad Hunter. Great Point about the Broadheads and yea seems like alot of what I have researched 2 blade is the way to go! Man thanks alot guys for all the input!


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