I'm afraid I disagree. I think that a 40# bow is much to heavy for most anyone to start with. No one should start off with a hunting weight bow. In the recurve world, it usually takes a few months before an archer can make an ethical hunting shot at normal hunting distances repeatedly. To minimize the time it takes to become proficient, start off with a light bow: high 20#'s to a maximum of 35#. If you draw the bow and it feels like nothing, that should be the poundage to learn on. I recommend getting a cheap used target bow—cough cough EBay— and learning on that. Another option is the Bullseye line of bows by Internature. As you become more experienced in the world of archery, you will begin to discover what kind of characteristics you want in a hunting bow. The reason I recommend a low poundage bow is because you may suffer one or more of the following plights:bhtraditions said:Unless money is no object, I would highly recommend a used bow for your first bow. After shooting it awhile, you may want to go lighter OR heavier OR longer OR shorter OR to longbow from recurve OR recurve from longbow OR different grip shape, etc. This is why the traditional shoots are a good idea--to try various bows. The bow that you can easily draw when it is 45 degrees outside may be too difficult to hit full draw on if it is 10 degrees and you've been sitting for a few hours. Mid to high 40 #'s AT YOUR DRAW is probably the minimum you would want to go for deer. You probably shouldn't start out higher than low 50#'s or risk developing bad habits.
1. Inability to achieve proper shooting form
2. Inability to maintain proper shooting form over a series of shots
3. Inability to maintain anchor point for more than a second or two
4. Inability to concentrate just on form while shooting instead of having to worry about the draw weight
5. Inability to shoot enough arrows to properly encourage improvement in shooting
The last one is very important. The more arrows one can shoot, the faster one gets better at shooting. When I first wanted to try recurve, I bought a 41#@28" Checkmate Falcon—LBR may remember this story—to learn on. I was sore after shooting only 6 arrows. Over the course of two days, I had shot 24 arrows and was so sore I couldn't shoot for another five days. I knew I was overbowed, so I returned the bow and purchased a 32# target takedown bow. I have never looked back. I regularly shoot 50-60 good arrows a session and am progressing quickly.
I know this is only my own personal experience, but the concept applies to everyone: The more often you can shoot, the quicker you will become a good shooter. A person only shooting 24 arrows twice a week is at a disadvantage because if he had purchased a lighter bow, he would be shooting 50 arrows three times a week.
Another important piece of advice is to find someone in the know who can teach you how to shoot. Someone recommending a 50# bow to learn on would not be that person. Find someone who shoots well and encourages you to buy a light bow to learn on. If you can't find anyone at your local range to help you, try searching for a range that offers lessons. These are usually target archery oriented, but a good shooter is a good shooter, whether he/she is shooting at concentric circles or a prize buck. They do cost money, but the lack of headaches alone make it more than worth the price.
And we now come to the last, and most dangerous, thing that come out of buying a heavy bow to learn on:
6. GIVING UP ON ARCHERY
This does happen, and more often than not, it will be someone who purchased too heavy a bow to learn on. People get frustrated with being unable to get any better on their 50# Dreamcatcher and give up on archery, or even worse—GASP—swtich to compound!
If you follow this logic and want to progress as quickly and painlessly as possible, start off with a light poundage bow—again, one in the 25#-35# range—and find a good teacher. If you want to maximize your headaches and minimize your ability to get better at archery, then by all means purchase a 40#+ bow to learn on.
Many people on here support this logic, while others flat-out deny many of the benefits listed above. The choice is yours and yours alone.