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Discussion Starter #1
Before I ask my actual question, I want to warn everyone that this IS in fact my first first post. I was a long time lurker about a year ago, fell of the map a bit, and have now finally saved enough to actually buy my first bow. I've done some research, but the honest truth is it's all quite overwhelming! Even when I've got the Traditional bow glossary and basically EVERY post by viper in an open tab, I still can't quite make total sense of it.

I currently go to school in Florida and live in Maryland, so I've got decent hunting opportunities at both locations. I knew this was a longshot (no pun intended) to begin with, but I really wanted to find a bow that was within my price range (under 250 bucks), wouldn't overbow me (so I can learn proper form and technique), and could also be used to hunt. Unfortunately I don't have the option of buying a bow and then buying a new one anytime soon, so ideally I wanted it to last AND act as a "jack of all trades" so to speak. I came upon the 45# PSE Mustang. From everything I've read it's received favorable responses by both beginner and experienced shooters alike. Is this a legitimate choice or am I being a total newbie? Also, are there any other suggestions that you all may have that could fit the bill for me? Also, I don't know how much this will factor into your responses, but I'm 6'1 215lbs, athletic build (I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't get fatigued too easily?)

Thanks you for taking the time to read this post, and I look forward to your responses!
 

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At 6'1", I'd be looking for a longer bow than 60". Chances are good that your draw length is longer than average, so it will weigh more than 45# - learning to shoot on a hunting-weight bow is an uphill battle.

I'd get something like this to learn on, then sell it or trade it for a hunting bow.
 

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You could use a bow trainer to build the correct muscle groups without worrying too much about damaging form. Once you are strong enough on the trainer, then you could start pulling the bow and concentrating on your form. I made a DIY version of the form master that helped me tremendously with learning form when I started. It definitely will tell you if you are using back muscles (correct) or shoulder/arm muscles (not correct) to hold the bow steady at full draw. Something else that helped me was to have someone videotape me while shooting from the front and the back. That way, I could serve as my own coach to some extent. It was nothing fancy, I just had my 10 year use my cell phone's video features. Still, it showed me a couple of flaws in my form pretty quickly.

Best of luck.

BTW, you can find older fiberglass bows on eBay for next to nothing and they still shoot just fine. Heck, they are practically indestructible. It's a cheap way to work your way up the bow weight ladder. I bought one to use while learning to draw with a thumb ring, and it was the best $30 that I could have spent.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Any thoughts from the offerings from Samick? I saw they have some bows in the 62" range. I guess my real problem is I don't have the funds to get a starter bow and then get a new bow or trade it in (I know you're probably wondering how I DON'T have even 50 bucks or whatever it might cost) but the truth is I'm in grad school with hundreds of thousands in loans, and so this is a treat to myself and a one time deal sadly.

From what I've read it's POSSIBLE (not easy) to learn on a heavier pull, so if that's my only option here, what suggestions would you all give me? I fully plan on buying the traditional videos and books that have been recommended by this forum, but of course I need a bow first.

I don't mean to sound ignorant or anything, so I'm sorry if that's how I come off. Thanks for the comments so far, and I look forward to the others.
 

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I never heard of anyone that regretted starting on a bow that was too light, but have heard from a few that wish they had started lighter. The Samick Sage at 62" is great according to most reviews. I got one and I'm very satisfied with it. You can buy one new with light limbs for $130 and buy heavier limbs later for $70. Since your price range is under $250, you are still left with $50 to invest in a tab or glove, arm guard, etc.

Samick Sage: http://www.lancasterarchery.com/samick-sage-takedown-recurve-bow.html
Samick Sage limbs: http://www.lancasterarchery.com/samick-sage-recurve-limbs.html

Hope it helps.
 

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Here's an odd thought that you might want to consider. Rudderbows makes an adjustable draw weight longbow based upon one used by the Penobscot Indians. You can save a good bit of money by purchasing their U-Finish version of it, where you do the final sanding and finishing.

Pete Ward did a really nice review of it where he included instructions for adjusting the draw weight.

It would nicely solve your problem of learning on a lighter-weight bow but eventually using a hunting weight once you get your form down. In addition, you can fine-tune the bow to match whatever arrows you use for it, which is not something to sneeze at let me tell you. Getting arrows spined correctly can be a hassle and occasionally an expensive learning process.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's a really interesting idea. What are your thoughts on the Samick Phantom 2 T/D in 40#? I've really begun to dig what I've heard about Samicks. Also, and I know this is out of my price range but just for kicks, what about some sort of wood ILF bow such as a TradTech?
 

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Buying a take-down bow with light limbs is a great way to get into archery while still giving yourself flexibility to graduate to higher poundage limbs later. I don't own any Samick bows, but lots of folks seem to like them a lot.
 
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