By: Amanda Archibald
Today there are more women getting into the sport of archery, whether it be for target shooting or hunting. Many are given the wrong bow or information to start with, resulting in them either not enjoying the sport or learning bad habits. For instance, a friend’s hand-me-down bow to help you get started is great for anyone financially, yet in most cases it will not work. The bow will more than likely not fit you properly and will create a bad experience right from the start.
When you decide that you want to purchase a compound bow, there are a few very important details you need to know beforehand. The first priority is knowing your draw length; having the right length will help your full draw be correct and your anchor point where it needs to be. To determine your draw length, you take your wing span from fingertip to fingertip and divide it by 2.5 (ex: 60 / 2.5 = 24). The next step is to go to your local bow shop to determine your draw weight. There you can draw back a few bows to help determine what weight feels comfortable for you to start. Once these two steps are taken, you then will be able to decide on which bow would best suit you.
When purchasing the bow you will need to decide on a site, stabilizer, rest, peep site and a release; all of which makes the bow. You have different options for each item:
- Site: You will have a choice of a single pin or multi pin. Using a single pin allows you to adjust your pin for your yardage; with a multi pin you will have each pin set for a specific yardage.
- Stabilizer: This is used to balance your bow; they come in several lengths and weights. If you are just starting out, I would let the bow shop help determine what you will need for your stabilizer.
- Rest: The two most used are whisker biscuit and drop away style.
- Peep site: another part that helps you aim correctly, these come in different sizes in regards to your draw length.
- Release: This all depends on how you plan on using your compound bow. There are two releases that are mainly used for hunting; these are the index finger release and the thumb release. For those choosing to be a target archer, there is the back tension release (this is a more technical release and is primarily used in this type of archery).
When purchasing your bow, there is no need to spend money on high-end gear while you are still getting into the sport of archery. There are local bow shops, including major stores, that offer full packages. These normally include a three pin fiber optic site, whisker biscuit rest, peep site, quiver and sometimes a stabilizer. For a beginner, I would suggest finding a local archery shop that does beginner archery classes. This will help you learn the proper techniques of shooting a bow along with having a better all-around experience.