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I am a former target shooter looking to get back into the game. Not really any options to shoot target bows locally. What options should I consider? Buy what I think I’ll like and hope for the best? Are there any trade shows open to the public? Could I shoot/demo bows at the Vegas shoot if I went out there?
 

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Look at the Athens bows.
 

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Yea... most vendors will be in Vegas for sure....

Alot of good options out there... im partial to pse because the amount of adjustment in the cam systems.. can easily manipulate let-off.. draw etc... the new elite echelon is awesome as well as mathews trx bows..
 

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I am a former target shooter looking to get back into the game. Not really any options to shoot target bows locally. What options should I consider? Buy what I think I’ll like and hope for the best? Are there any trade shows open to the public? Could I shoot/demo bows at the Vegas shoot if I went out there?
You will definitely need a Proshop to test bows and set them up for you, and provide you with the right arrows. Once you are back in the saddle, if you wish you can go solo, choose whatever bow you like, tune it, change cams, buy and build your own arrows, etc.
Good luck.
 

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There are cams and there is draw weight. I don't believe in "letting the bow choose me", finding the magic bow or other gunk. Since forever I chose the bow I wanted and bought it. I never even picked up some bows I bought. I made my bows do what I wanted it to. I've only had one bow I regretted buying and I ordered it to my specs.
 

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It takes me months to test a bow. I don't see how it is possible to shoot a bow 20 shots or less and say this is the bow for me.
 

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Didn't take me months, maybe a week or so to get them to what I liked.
 

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I talked to other local target shooters, almost everyone let me shoot their set up bow, I found what I liked, and went and got the bow I liked.
 

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Hit up your local clubs and shoots. See if your local shop can setup a time to meet their rep at the shop.
How I picked my PSE Phenom.

Sonny disagree with you totally. If a bow doesn't feel right there is nothing your going to do to make it better. The bow has to choose me.
 

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Around here, shops don't carry target bows because of the price and lack of shooters compared to hunters.
As a pro staffer for my club, I'll let anyone shoot my prevail that is within and inch to inch and a half of my draw length.
I've had a few people take me up on it.
Need to call or stop in a shop and see what their guys shoot, see if you can demo a bow setup already.
This approach obviously means you'll have to try several shops.

I know there are plenty of guys saying no way someone else shoots my bow. I get it... It's your baby and I'm 100% fine with that.

If there was an incident with a potential buyer and something happened to my bow, I know my shop wold take care of me, warranty or not.

I like my X3 cam Hoyt. Had a few spiral cam podiums, great bow at a great price used.
I've had several Elites, E35, Victory 37 and 39.
Recently shot the new Matthews trx 38 from a fellow shooter. Never been a Matthews fan, but that bow got my attention.
I sincerely hate the look and grip of the bow...

But....years ago, I also hated the look of the Harley bat wing fairing. After thousands of miles on my Ultra, it grew on me...lol.
 

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It takes me months to test a bow. I don't see how it is possible to shoot a bow 20 shots or less and say this is the bow for me.
Same here, regrettably. I can go roughly by the specs that I know will fit me, but that only gets me in the ball park and in some cases not even that far. With a target bow, what may initially feel like a good fit after 10 or so arrows can start to turn on you and attack you after 60 or more. Or after 60 arrows 3 times a week for 6 months. It can be difficult to assess that with just a few ends here and there....

lee.
 

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Same here, regrettably. I can go roughly by the specs that I know will fit me, but that only gets me in the ball park and in some cases not even that far. With a target bow, what may initially feel like a good fit after 10 or so arrows can start to turn on you and attack you after 60 or more. Or after 60 arrows 3 times a week for 6 months. It can be difficult to assess that with just a few ends here and there....

lee.
I have been buying bows on just as few 10 shots or less for 40 years. Never once regreted my choices.
 

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Target bows seem to lose their more expensive price more than hunting bows and change slower (because target shooters don't care about noise and speed) so get a year or two old bow from the classifieds for half price and if you decide you want to try something else, you can sell or trade and not lose 50%. I never see target bows in shops!
 

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Hit up your local clubs and shoots. See if your local shop can setup a time to meet their rep at the shop.
How I picked my PSE Phenom.

Sonny disagree with you totally. If a bow doesn't feel right there is nothing your going to do to make it better. The bow has to choose me.
Dale, there are things you can do to a bow to make shoot for you. Hell, if I didn't like the color of a bow it wouldn't feel right. I've hated a couple bows, one just plain short and ugly and one with what I though overly aggressive cams, but both great. The short ugly one, Steve had me shoot it for the first time. Took a couple of shots to get use to it and from then on every arrow Steve gave me I put in the bull's eye. The overly aggressive cam bow, turned it down to 47 pounds and took the IAA Indoor Aggregate with a 897 (5 Spot and Vegas) and took 3rd in Senior Free Style in the IAA Indoor Two Day Championship. Yes, low profile events, but still competition.

Two bows, bought over the telephone, never touched either of them, both new out for the year, one not even listed it being so new. Ata for each 37 1/2" and 40 3/4". The 40 3/4" had cams not to my liking, small cams and large modules make for a harsher draw. Used both to test a item. I think a 398/400 Vegas is pretty dang good considering outside and I think it was 24 degrees, December 11, 2014.
 

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ata show
 

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There will be several bow companies showing their new target bows at Vegas, but only Hoyt will let you shoot them. And then you have to wait forever to try one because of all the kids shooting them. The last two years I was not able to shoot any target bows at Vegas. The other bow companies will not allow you to draw the bows either to see how they feel as they fear the bows might derail.
 

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I have been buying bows on just as few 10 shots or less for 40 years. Never once regreted my choices.
Well admittedly, I've been doing that too and mostly getting lucky :). Course, it's not fair to a shop to have them order a #40 target bow, then I come in and shoot it for 4 weeks and then go, nah... don't like it :). So until there's a way to make that less risky for both shop and customer, there's not much choice. Pretty much you have to buy in order to try when it comes to a target bow.

But good thing is, today's bows are all so good that, apart from a major goof, pretty much you can just pick one that's close and it'll work fine...

lee.
 

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There are cams and there is draw weight. I don't believe in "letting the bow choose me", finding the magic bow or other gunk. Since forever I chose the bow I wanted and bought it. I never even picked up some bows I bought. I made my bows do what I wanted it to. I've only had one bow I regretted buying and I ordered it to my specs.

I agree. This is a cop-out answer for people who don't have anything to actually say but want to feel like they're part of the conversation. Do some research, find a bow that fits your budget and you think looks cool, then go shoot it. If your hands and arms don't start on fire after the first few shots, buy it then take it home and start practicing. That's how you should be spending your time; learning how to shoot a particular bow, instead of trying to pick one.

Target bows are tough because dealers don't like to stock their shelves with them, but I've never had any problem finding them at shows. Most major manufacturers will have a presence at any major shooting events (IBO nationals, ASA pro ams, Vegas, etc), and some of them have shooting lanes to try them. I would plan a trip to a bigger one and spend the day walking the tents
 
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