In my continuing to list specific products to fill your minimum amount of hunting items, this post is about specific recommendations of the cheapest acceptable options.
I’m not going to bother with traditional bows becasue this is meant to help new hunters become successful hunting deer. If you plan on using a traditional bow and expect to shoot a deer this year with it, then you are either delusional or you have no need for me to tell you what to get (a custom made for you recurve with a lower draw weight than you were planning).
Bear Grizzly Recurve – $339.99 – if you are too cheap to get a custom recurve, and if you go cheap with your weapon, then don’t expect success.
I’m not going to look at crossbows either. I don’t like them. I expect that many of you will hunt with them this year, but they are dangerous and a bit scary. And they’re to heavy, and too loud, and so on.
Wicked Ridge Warrior HL – $449.99 – for the cheapest acceptable option. I’m happy to answer questions that you may have, but if you spend less than $500 on a crossbow and get anything else, then don’t bother asking.
Cheapest, acceptable options for:
Were this 6 months ago I would say: forget minimum price you need to get a PSE Brute X if you are not a woman or 12, and are not going to spend more than $400 for just the bow. But that was last year’s model. I’ve shot several of the 2014 PSE’s and…let’s look at some of the other brands.
2014 bows are still being introduced now (mid-February) and will continue to be released in the next few months so my specific bow recommendation will likely change in the coming months.
As far as I can tell the 2013 Bear Encounter ($300), which was the cheapest acceptable option last year is no longer available.
All this leaves us with the 2013 Diamond Infinite Edge as the only acceptable cheap bow you can get today (mid-February 2014).
The good news is that if you are a woman or a boy then this is undoubtedly the bow for you. The bad news is, if you are a man, that this is a “youth bow”, although it will fit you. The more important bad news is that this comes as a package, not just bow only.
A bow package is…mediocre…if you don’t know what accessories to add, but since you do know what accessories to add (I’m about to tell you) then the package includes things that you need to throw away.
Loose the junk sight that comes with the Infinite Edge and buy a Trophy Ridge Fire Wire V3, $59.99. (A V5 is pictured, but the three pin V3 will be better for having less clutter for a hunter.)
I’m likely to spend something like $200 for a new bow sight this year but this sight is not bad for $60. Its much better than any bowsight I’ve seen sold on any bow package.
If we’re target shooting then you want the smallest peep to be as accurate as possible. Since we’re hunting we want the largest peep to let as much light in as possible, which will allow us to shoot in low light conditions.
A 1/4″ peep hole, or bigger, will be best for hunting.
Whatever is on your bow package is fine, not great but fine. $0
Trophy Ridge 6-Shooter $34,99.
Whisker Biscuit Arrow Rest
Drop away rests are [maybe] more accurate, but for hunting, you want your arrow always ready and you do not want do deal with moving parts which may not move. Even if this rest were $200 it would still be here becasue it is the only rest to have for deer hunting.
Carbon arrows should stay in the past. Wood arrows look cool…or did you want straight arrows?
Cabela’s Stalker Extreme arrows are fine for you cheap beginners. I get my Easton Axis special ordered with two pink and a white feather at about double the cost of these. The Cabela’s Hunter arrows are a bit cheaper, $15, but the Stalker Extremes have half the straightness tolerance and should be quite a bit better for hardly any more money.
A half dozen is not enough, you’ll need at least 5 or six to use when the season begins and you’ll lose and break a few while practicing.
These arrows can be 55/70 or 65/80 If your draw weight is 55-70 pounds, then get the 55/70, and so on.
Get them measured and cut by someone who knows what he is doing.
Assuming you got the Stalker Extreme (or Cabela’s Hunter arrows *eyeroll*) you’ll want field tips in 20/64″. If you get some other arrows, you’ll want to make sure you get the right diameter field points.
Options for hunting deer are 100 grains or 125 grains. Grains being a unit of measurement. I don’t feel like looking it up, but one grain is something like 1/464 of an ounce.
125gr is heavier and makes more sense for shooting up to 30 yards and 100gr makes more sense past that. Pick one and stick with it.
The filed point must match your broadhead.
Since I’m telling you what to do, let’s go with 125gr, not that it matters a whole lot. Heavier will hit harder, which is better, and I’m assuming that most of you will not shoot past 30 yards for several years after taking up bowhunting.
Fixed Blade Broadheads
Mechanical broadheads work some number less than 100% so screw ’em.
There are many you can try, but why mess with decades of success? And something like the last seven bucks I’ve shot with a bow.
All broadhead packages cost about $40, but for a bonus, you’re getting six, not three, Muzzys in a package.
Assuming you get your bow set up by a professional, the only thing you’ll need to deal with is the front sight. As you shoot you will need to adjust it. For that You need an Allen wrench, assuming you don’t have one already.
You’ll shoot a lot better with a release.
You need a good one.
You need something to shoot at for practice, and cheap too.
Make sure you don’t get a youth target, because you’ll wear one out in a summer.
One may be legally required is some places.
Hard cases offer more protection, but cost more and take up a lot of space.
There are all sorts of other things that you can add, but you don’t need them. You can also double the price of any of these items and get something better, but this is a list of the bow hunting items you need to have and at the cheapest acceptable price.
There are two more things that are useful. A wrist sling (recommended) and a stabilizer (meh, but it’ll hold the wrist sling on).
Keep in mind that if you are not a boy or a woman, I’ll likely recommend a new 2014 bow once a good one becomes available. Not that the Infinite Edge is bad, but we can do a bit better.
Outfitting a Hunter (on the cheap):
Bow, sight, peep, quiver, Whisker Biscuit, arrows, field points, broadheads, wrench, release, target, case: $770 plus tax
That’s quite a bit, if the equivalent 2014 Bear Encounter package includes a good replacement for the 2013 Encounter, then we’re looking at $400 for the package plus arrows, field points, broadheads, wrench, release, target, case for a total of: $565 plus tax
Can you buy a used bow? And do well? No.
Can you save around $20 off this list? Sure?
Can you save $100 off of this list? Only if you want junk.
How often does any of this need to be replaced? A new bow every, say, seven years, a dozen more arrows every two or three years, and the rest will last until you break them, at least 5+ years.