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Thread: What's the best vintage recurve bow for hunting?

  1. #1

    What's the best vintage recurve bow for hunting?

    I started bowhunting in the 70's and now the bowhunting bug has bitten again. I have several compound bows now but, something is missing.

    I want a recurve for hunting. How many pounds do you suggest for deer, elk and black bear?

    I have been looking at pictures of old recurves and on e bay and I see some beautiful (to me) bow but, I don't have clue which ones are the better bows.



    I love the look of the Wing bows (which ones are preferable), the old Bear Grizzly and Kodiak. I thought I saw one by "Shakespear"? that looked awesome to me. I like the basic wood bow with a varnish type finish.

    I shoot left handed (because I am left eye dominant) so that may limit my options.

    What older (because I don't want to spend much over $100) bows do you suggest for ease of shooting, durability and maybe even collectability?

    Thank you for any guidance you can provide.


  2. #2
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    A longer bow will be more forgiving to shoot if you make a form mistake while taking the shot. I'm a big fan of the Grizzly... I like my Kodiak too. Come to think of it... I shoot my Pearson Stallion well too. Hmmm... my Martin X-200 shoots good, so do my Martin Jaguars... I think you get the message. But... I likes my longbows even "more gooder".

  3. #3
    Years ago I had a Grizzly, young and dumb I sold it. If I wanted to hunt with a vintage bow the Griz would be on top of my list.

  4. #4
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    I agree the Bear Grizzly is a hard to beat vintage recurve that has stood the test of time in quality, shootability, & ease on the pocket book.

    I have 2 of them, get one in at least 45# for hunting.
    NFAA Advanced Certified Instructor
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  5. #5
    Thanks guys! Great info.

    How would a Bear Kodiak Magnum Glass Powered bow be?

    Are any of the Wing recurves good? I see several models out there.

    Are all the Grizzlies the same poundage?

    What's this about longbows? All my buddies have them but, they just don't look as nice to me as the older recurves. I guess I have a picture in my mind of what a traditional bow should be and a recurve what I see.

    I thought I read that recurves typically shoot more fps from the same poundage bows than a longbow? I'm not trying to start any urinary olympics but, is that true?

  6. #6
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    The bear kodiak mag.gets my vote , best bow i have ever owned.

  7. #7
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    Best vintage HB

    [IMHO] it's my 1968 Black Widow 1200 HB T/D, 45 #'s at 28" draw, 60" lg. I love it's "shootability so" I had it completely restored. I have shot many newer bows and the only one I felt was equeal was a Bob Lee.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Nice bow. Thank you.

  9. #9
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    i prefer the bear grizzly. of course i may be biased, been shooting one for 26 years.

  10. #10
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    Personally I would take one of the Ben Pearsons. Not realy expensive, good basic bow, almost industrctable(sp), and great shooters.

    I will be shooting my Rogue during this season, wish me luck!!

  11. #11
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    Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by lefty o View Post
    i prefer the bear grizzly. of course i may be biased, been shooting one for 26 years.
    Lefty O, I do not disagree with you on Bear's..!! I've shot and owned Kodiak Hunters and Griz's. and they were great shooting bows. The only one I did not care for was the Mag. ! Even at a 29" draw it was just too short for me to handle well. Still, I wish I had 50 or so now! They're worth a fortune.
    Bear did more than anyone in the 50's-70's especially, to grow this magnificant sport.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by warped Arrow View Post
    Personally I would take one of the Ben Pearsons. Not realy expensive, good basic bow, almost industrctable(sp), and great shooters.

    I will be shooting my Rogue during this season, wish me luck!!
    "GOOD LUCK and shoot straight!

  13. #13
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    "Young and smart"

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldermike View Post
    Years ago I had a Grizzly, young and dumb I sold it. If I wanted to hunt with a vintage bow the Griz would be on top of my list.
    Hey Eldermike, that could have turned out well for you. In the 60's I traded my bow for my first girlfriend! Great deal; my scores went up and I got rid of her! It forced me to earn enough money to buy a Wing Presentation!

  14. #14
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    I would love to find an old Damon Howatt Hunter that is lh.

  15. #15

    New Bow

    I know you are looking for a vintage bow but there are a few new bows made by some really good guys that have that old look and give outstanding performance. For example Chastain will build you an exact dupe of a Bear Kodiak that will have you drooling. There are other guys as well, especially ones that make 50's style recurves.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Okie1bow View Post
    Hey Eldermike, that could have turned out well for you. In the 60's I traded my bow for my first girlfriend! Great deal; my scores went up and I got rid of her! It forced me to earn enough money to buy a Wing Presentation!
    Oh yea, it did turn out well, things seem to work that way.

  17. #17
    There is a bow builder at work. I will speak with him today if I get a chance. Perhaps this could be really easy. However, the lure of true vintage is tough to overlook.

  18. #18
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    there's mojo in them old bows Nothin like nockin the dust off an old wallhanger and puttin meat in the freezer with it,,,and wondering how many before you have done the same with that bow.

  19. #19
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    The Wing bows are great , good looking bows and they shoot as well as most modern recurves. Old Bear bows are shooters for sure..Browning made some good ones as well as Pearson ETC.. They might take you a bit over the hundred dollar mark but worth it.. Randy
    They were the Good Old Days because we were young then! Either that or the world just keeps getting worse !

    The sad thing about life is that no matter what I do I can't get out of it Alive !!

  20. #20
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    Mojo....ya.

    Quote Originally Posted by trapperDave View Post
    there's mojo in them old bows Nothin like nockin the dust off an old wallhanger and puttin meat in the freezer with it,,,and wondering how many before you have done the same with that bow.
    Mojo is correct. To paraphrase Viper 1; "they had style; functional style".The best days for classic HB's [IMHO] were the late 50's to 1974. Most all bows were at that time, truly hand made. Todays HB's are well done for the most part and many are paradigm's of the classics. So, if you can find a "fine" Bear, Hoyt, Wing, Pearson, Black Widow or a couple others at a reasonable price today you should consider buying it if possible. These were all "high end" bows; hand built and lacking for nothing. Why, do you suppose we are still enjoying them, 40-50 years after they were made? I love Black Widows
    [I have 5, even though I can shoot only one at a time]. BW's are a fine example of a great riser design that has stood the test of time. My oldest is an X-89 [early 60's], but it's riser design is very similar to a new MAIII.

  21. #21
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    My personal favorite has always been the latch system Bear T/D. I love the feel of this bow in my hand and they shoot where I'm looking. The old Super Kodiaks are right there too. A Black Widow MA is hard to beat. I think one of the most overlooked hunting bows was the Wing Thunderbird, especially in the 62" model with phenolic riser. I try to post some pics this evening.

  22. #22
    Wow, great responses!

    I spoke to the bow builder at work and he suggested buying a used inexpensive bow to see if I like traditional archery before having him build a bow for me (good call).

    I shoot left handed (I'm left eye dominant) so I'll be looking for a lefty.

  23. #23
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    Hmm, since you're a lefty - there's a left handed long Wing Presentation II riser on eBay right now. Not sure I'd call them a hunting bow but they're a prime example of the bowyers craft of 40 years ago. I don't know what you'd do for limbs as they're no longer made anymore either and you can't have any of mine, LOL. If I was a lefty, I'd snap that riser up in a heartbeat. Just a thought ...

  24. #24
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    Some of my favorite hunting recurves: in the back is an all phenolic riser (prototype that was never marketed) 66" Black Widow MA with shiney black epoxy finish (not a hunting bow); 64" Bear Super K with phenolic and rosewood riser; Wing Thunderbird w/ 62" limbs and all phenolic riser; recently manufactured Bear T/D riser - probably the best they've ever made, IMHO.

  25. #25
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    if you really want to take advantage of all the technology advances in recurve hunting bows since the 70's may i suggest you take a look(look only---don't buy yet) at the current crop of risers that can use ILF limbs....AFAIK these include the warf, das,tradtech, pinnacle, and the morrison risers......... you might like what you see....
    two x-factor(25") set-ups with sure-loc supreme/ quest-x /hoyt super rest,cavalier champion II rest,beiter plunger and clicker, soma cex2 29" rod, doinker chubby backweight,fomax damper,jager grips....70" 26# samick athlete limbs..68" 34# border HEX5-H mk2 limbs..32# 68" border CXG limbs...mckinney II 725 arrows...PLUS spigarelli explorer II barebow riser..

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