The crossbow hunter must determine his or her dominant eye in order to determine the correct side to shoot from. Aiming with the stronger eye ensures superior accuracy. Another personal aspect is draw length. The correct draw length for a particular individual is extremely important.
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When a bow is held at full draw, the draw length is the distance between the grip and the bowstring. Shoulder width and arm length determines draw length. Draw lengths differ depending on whether you intend to choose a recurve bow or a compound bow. According to the Archery Manufacturers and Merchants Organization AMO , an extra inch and three quarters should be added to obtain the draw length of a compound bow.
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This addition is not necessary for recurves. The arm holding the bow should be slightly bent inwards. At full draw, the shoulder connected to the arm holding the bowstring should be in a down position. If the shoulder is elevated or rises in the draw process, the draw length is too long. However, all other factors being equal, a longer bridge, which increases the draw length, will cause the arrow to travel faster.
In this situation, the manufacturer determines the draw length.
Draw weight is the maximum amount of weight required to bring the bow to full draw. If the draw weight is right, the archer should easily be able to put the pin on the target and draw the bow straight back to his or her anchor point without straining or shaking. Thereafter, the shooter should be able to repeatedly hold the sights on target for a few seconds.
If one cannot accomplish these tasks effortlessly, then that individual is drawing too much weight.
Pointing the bow up or down in an effort to come to full draw indicates that the draw weight is too high. The inability to hold the pin on the target for a few seconds also indicates that the draw weight is too heavy.
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Pick a draw weight that is right for you. A smooth draw ensures consistent accuracy. But, beware that most jurisdictions have minimum draw weights for hunting whitetails. These regulations many vary from region to region. The length of the bow is also an important consideration.
Consider where and how you intend to hunt deer. Draw weight determines arrow speed and trajectory.
The same physical laws apply to crossbows. A stronger draw weight in conjunction with a longer bridge will increase the velocity of the arrow. Although one may be able to pull back and cock the string on a crossbow with a compound bow, one may not be able to do so in the bow is a recurve. In the latter situation, if the draw weight is considerable, a cocking aid may be required. Consistently successful shooting is directly dependent on having the correct equipment that is properly suited to the individual archer.
Poor shooting always results from archery tackle that is incongruent with the shooter. Relaxation and comfort are key considerations. This can only be accomplished if there is a natural correspondence between the shooter and his or her archery equipment. If you have to reach for the trigger, then the length of pull is too long. This can be corrected and adjusted by having a gunsmith cut out a small portion of the butt. Most adjustments are between one quarter to three eighths of an inch. Modern Bows encompass all of the compound bows. There are literally hundreds of makes and models to choose from.
The greatest advantage of any compound bow is what is commonly referred to at the let-off.
Simply stated, the let-off is the force required to hold a bow at full draw. All compound bows utilize cams and cables to reduce the force needed to maintain a bow at full draw. Similarly, an eighty-pound compound bow with an eighty percent let-off can be maintained at full draw with only sixteen pounds of pull. Essentially, the technology of compound bows allows the hunter to hold any bow at full draw longer using less force. Thus leads to consistently more precise shooting. The let-off is extremely important when selecting a modern bow.
However, be aware of any state or provincial restrictions regarding let-off for hunting purposes. Also, this organization does not accept any animal harvested with a crossbow. Originally, Art Young and Saxton Pope hunted with straight bows. In the Pope and Young Club was founded. Among other things, this organization records the harvest of large animals taken by practically any bow, except a crossbow.
Initially, bow meant a straight bow. At one time, there was a great resistance to compound bows. Now, any compound bow, irrespective of let-off, is okay. Given its general trend over the decades, I postulate that in the future, the Pope and Young Club will accept all animals harvested with every bow, even those killed by a crossbow. Currently, crossbows are growing in popularity as more and more gun hunters venture into the domain of archery. Over the years, compound bows have grown shorter.
This decrease in length has led to faster arrow speed and improved maneuverability.
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As a rule, shorter bows generate more speed than longer bows. In turn, this distorts accuracy and impairs consistency. Thus, anyone employing a short bow that is less than forty inches in length from axle to axle is better off to use a release. In summary, the four main advantages of modern bows over traditional bows are let-off, speed, accuracy and maneuverability.
Traditional bows, which are often referred to as stick bows, consist of two styles—recurves and longbows, also known as straight bows. The limbs on a recurve bow initially sweep towards the bowstring and then angle back towards the front of the bow.
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On a longbow, the limbs angle back toward the bowstring, producing a single power stroke. When a recurve bow is drawn, each limb has two power curves that bend. On the other hand, when a longbow is drawn each limb only has one power curve. Therefore, recurves have more potential energy and faster speed than longbows.
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Also, a recurve usually draws smoother and has less hand shock than a longbow. Indeed, a recurve is a pleasure to shoot.