It’s that time of year when people start to get the itch to wander outside. Summer is in full swing and hunting season is right around the corner. Hunting is on the brain and that means people have started thinking about bows again. For people that are thinking about trying archery for the first time the main question is how to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to bow equipment. Many don’t want to spend too much in case they don’t like it, but they don’t want to buy the proverbial POS bow that everyone dreads. In this article I am going to breakdown and detail how to buy a complete set up that will allow you to start archery hunting for less than $600.
Before I start let me qualify this by saying that this is not a bow set up with which you will be able to go win competitions or drive tacks at 100 yards. What this setup will let you do is hunt and have fun on a budget. Ideally the cheapest way to buy a bow is to buy a used bow or to shop deals at your local shops. However, for logistical purposes I will stick to bows and components that can be purchased online. With that being said, some of these prices may change, but this will give you a blueprint for what is possible and I encourage you to do your own research.
The Ignite and the Klash a virtually the same bow. The Klash has a shorter brace height, 8” vs 7” inch. Both these bows are 28” axle to axle. Both bows have fully adjustable draw weights up to 70 pounds. The both bows have generous draw length with the Ignite topping out at 30” and the Klash at 29”. Both shoot at 300 fps IBO. For the price, you get a fully adjustable bow that performs at a relatively high level. It can be fit to virtually any archer and will grow with that archer as he or she grows in their abilities. As a bowhunting rig either one of these bows will perform admirably.
Stabilizer: Trophy Ridge Static Stabilizer $31.95 & FREE shipping
While much could be said about the science and proper setup of stabilizers on a bow, I am doing to dumb it down. A stabilizer is simply a weight used to create balance. If you are creating a bow on a budget, the stabilizer is a good place to save some money. With that being said, a good stabilizer makes a noticeable difference in the performance of one’s bow. would highly recommend the Trophy Ridge 6” stabilizer. It is a quality product at a bargain price.
The topic of Whisker Biscuit vs. fall away rest is a heated one. I would recommend starting with a Whisker Biscuit if you are new to bowhunting or are unfamiliar with how to work on your own bow. The Whisker Biscuit is virtually fail safe. It is, however, going to slow down your arrow and make your shots less consistent. They will also decrease the life of your arrows. If you feel comfortable with something a little more “high tech” a fall away rest will allow for more consistency and accuracy and will increase the speed your bow versus what you would get from a Whisker Biscuit. I have used both and see the benefits of both, but I would recommend starting with the QAD Hunter. It is an excellent entry level fall away and I had excellent success with it hunting and shooting competition. It is simple, quiet, consistent, and durable.
Release: Scott Little Goose $42.97 & FREE shipping
Your release is another aspect your bow rig that you don’t want to sacrifice on. I recommend at least getting a single caliper (jaw) release. Many releases are dual caliper and while this is a popular design, you run the risk of both calipers not firing at the same time making your release catch, for even less than a tenth of a second.This will give you an inaccurate shot and at best will make tuning your bow difficult. Because the Scott Little Goose operates on a single caliper and post you only have to worry about a single caliper opening, making for a more consistent release. With enough practice you can learn to properly execute a shot using a wrist release. I recommend watching this video by John Dudley.
Sight: Trophy Ridge Volt 5 Pin Sight $35.97 & FREE shipping
Your sight is one of the more important components of your bow setup. I recommend going with a 5 pin sight for your first sight. This will let you sight your bow in at 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 yards. This will be ideal for a bow such as the Klash or Ignite. This sight from Trophy Ridge has ultra-bright .019” medium horizontal fiber optic pins, a green hood accent allows for quicker sight acquisition, bubble level, laser-etched aluminum windage, elevation, and pin adjustments, offset mounting holes and can be set up for ambidextrous shooters. All these features make this sight an excellent beginner sight that is easy to adjust, install, and use.
Quiver: LimbSaver Silent Quiver $39.06 & FREE shipping
This is a simple, low profile quiver. It is low on frills, but will get the job done. This quiver will keep your broadheads separated and sharp. It is also light and can quickly be removed. I ran this quiver for a year and I had zero problems or concerns about continuing to use it as hunting quiver.
Arrows: RENEGADE FLETCHED ARROWS $55.99 & $12.00 shipping
On a budget the temptation may be to skimp on arrows, but this can be a costly mistake. Fortunately, Black Eagle Arrows makes a quality entry level arrow that is easy on the wallet. I ran two scenarios. The first is the bow set up at a 29 inch draw and a 65 pound draw weight, arrows cut to 28.25” and a total weight of 370.78 grains (8.7 gpi, 125 grain head, Blazer vanes, Black Eagle R-Nocks). With this setup the bow will shoot at roughly 267.75 fps creating about 59.16 foot-pounds of kinetic energy and 0.441 slugs of momentum. The is enough to comfortably take a deer and with good shot placement take an elk.
The second bow is set up identically except at a 70 pound draw weight. With this setup, the bow will shoot at roughly 277.74 fps creating about 63.65 foot-pounds of kinetic energy and 0.458 slugs of momentum. This is also enough to comfortably take a deer or an elk with plenty of practice.
Selecting the more expensive Hoyt Klash and opting to use the QAD rest versus the Whisker Biscuit I come in at just under $600. While you could possible find a better deal at your local shop, this setup while give your a ballpark price and basic idea of what to look for as you set up your own bow. Good luck and shoot straight!