When to Leave the Compound Behind & Consider Traditional
Compounds are the most popular choice for archers in the woods, but more and more bowhunters have been moving to longbows and recurves in recent years.
If you’ve been shooting a compound bow but are considering switching to traditional tackle, here are some signs it’s time to make the jump.
You’re Ready for a New Challenge
Bowhunting with a compound can be tough enough. But swap out your rig for a recurve or longbow, and you’ll face an even tougher challenge.
Without sights and other added accessories, you’ll have to learn how to shoot instinctively rather than aim with a particular pin. A traditional bow won’t offer the same letoff as a compound, so you’ll need to adjust to the physical demands. You’ll likely want to stick to closing in on and shooting game at closer range. And all this combines for a mental challenge on top of the other challenges. It’s not easy, but that’s what makes it worthwhile for many archers.
You Want to Shift to a Simpler Style
Modern compound rigs are loaded with technologies that make them fast, quiet, and deadly accurate. Then there’s rangefinding sights, drop-away arrow rests, countless stabilizer configurations, and several styles of release aids. It can get pretty complex — and expensive.
But traditional archery generally requires minimal gear. There are fewer parts to maintain or that could potentially malfunction. And even if you opt for a custom recurve, you’ll likely drop a fraction of what you would on a compound and all its accessories. Traditional archery is just simpler — and your rig will be much more lightweight because of it.
You Have Time to Commit to Practice
Becoming proficient at archery demands a lot of time and dedication. But if you plan to bowhunt with a recurve or longbow? Expect to spend significantly more time at the range.
Although some principles carry over from compounds to traditional bows, you’ll need to master new skills and retrain your brain to become consistently accurate with a recurve or longbow. It’s not a great fit for someone who’s lazy and doesn’t want to invest time practicing. But for a dedicated bowhunter who’s willing to put in the hours, it’s worth the effort.
Traditional archery isn’t for everyone. But if you’re up for the challenge and have the chance to change up your setup, making the switch could be incredibly fun and rewarding.
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