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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sure by now you have all heard this one before, so thanks in advance for bearing with me.

After dabbling in archery years back, I am looking to settle down into the sport for the long-haul. Although I do intend to do some target shooting to hone my limited skills, my interests lie primarily in bowhunting. To that end, I am looking at making my first serious investment in a bow. Now, I am painfully trying to sort through the multitudes of manufacturers to decide which would be best for my needs. I have an idea of what I am looking for, but I could use some wisdom of those more experienced in helping me refine my choices.

Here is what I am working with:
- I am most definitely looking at a compound bow for use with a mechanical release.
- I am looking in the <$500 price range, but I need to consider that I do not own any equipment currently (so the idea of a kit is appealing).
- Speed is not really a consideration.
- Accuracy is a factor, but I would be willing to sacrifice some accuracy in favor of a more forgiving bow.
- I would like a good quality bow that a beginner can manage, but still provides room to grow into as my abilities improve; I do not want to find myself limited by my bow in a few year's time.
- I am looking at a smaller axle-to-axle length (< 33") to better parallel my height, and I do prefer magnum limbs or limbs with a steeper angle.
- My draw length is around a 26-27

All that said, I do not know what to expect with each manufacturer. I have looked into Martin bows (Photon II, Jaguar), and I do like what I have seen/found. Matthews' claims and reputation is impressive, but for what I am looking for it does not appear a good value. I do like the Bowtech Tomkat package, but I am a little weary as I have heard some say Bowtech is not as forgiving as others. I have also looked at the Fred Bear TRX line, and I am wondering how that stacks up quality-wise. I have looked at Hoyt, but they do quite high price-wise.

Can anyone provide some insight on the models listed above?
Is there any other manufacturer/model I should consider?

Thanks a ton!
 

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wisdom given...............

personal preference is what you'll end up getting when asking for advice about which bow to buy. Only YOU can decide which bow works best for you. I only have one piece of advice and that is stay away from short ATA bow's if you're just getting back into archery, they're not as user friendly as 36+ ATA bows. Other than that enjoy yourself and try as many different bows as possible. Then if it is still out of your price range keep an eye on the classified on this website, I recently purchased a 03 Cybertec with W/C strings for $400.00. Brand new it would have cost around $800.00.
Good luck and welcome back to archery :D
 

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Martin Prowler

Here is my suggestion to you considering the info you have given.

Martin Prowler= approx 34" ATA, Paralell limb design, 7 3/4 brace.
The bow is very smooth and quiet, has a machined riser,adjustable single cam with modules, and is very forgiving and accurate. The sell for around $350-375.

With the additional $125-150 you should be able to get a quiver, fiber-optic sight, release, and a dozen arrows.

It will be difficult to find this quality of a bow from another manufacturer below $500.

Just my $.02

Joel
 

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arch-noob;

Well, you are in luck, most manufacturers have short-ata bows in the range you are looking for. If you look at Hoyt or Mathews you may have to look more in the $750 range with arrows and accessories.

You should realize that it is doubtful you will keep your first bow for a long time, the more you shoot, the more you develop preferences - and those preferences will lead you to looking at other bows. On the other hand, most every new bow you see on the shelf will outshoot you, so it is unlikely you will be stuck with a lemon regardless of your choice. Also, any bow you choose will do double-duty as a target and hunting bow.

You can't tell another archer what he will like in a bow, because different people like different features, geometry, cams, etc. If you have already tried some Martin bows and like them, there is no reason not to get one, they are a good choice. Make sure the bow is properly measured to fit you, and it will last you for years. Getting your first bow will get you into shooting, and ranges/clubs/shoots and from there you can get to know some other archers and find out more about equipment choices, form, etc. Then up the road when you look at your second bow you can make a more informed choice.

Hope it helps,

-CG
 

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Arch-noob, Everyone's style and like's will be different,but like you i like a smooth shot,I own nine bow's,and i shoot all the time with a couple of friends,so i can choose between 14 bows,Mathews,Martin,Hoyt,McPherson & Brownings,but i always end up shooting my two smoothest bows---My Mathews Legacy and my Mathews Q2XL.
And as ROLAND said if you watch the classifieds here you can get an almost new bow for $500 or less.
 

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For the price you included you will not beat the bowtech's my shop has them in kit form for $500.00 and they sell fast ad customer's come back with smile's for a huntig setup this bow is hard to beat
 

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another bow i would definately recommend is the pse thunderbolt it's a bow that is 36 inch axle length and 7 inch brace height and it would be easy to buy top notch sights and rest and stab for the boand stay in your range. another bow that pse puts out and is 34 inch axle length and 7 1/2 brace height and comes in your draw range is the spyder with stinger cam or they have a bow that has several namse but is called the bowmaster it too is a 34 inch axle length and over 7 inch brace height and an ibo speed of over 310fps. good bow and in the length your wanting and can get in a kit with nice accessories or can buy independant
good luck and shoot them first before you buy
rob k
 

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MARTIN PROWLER

I would suggest the new Martin Prowler SE. It is a beautiful machined riser bow, featuring double vibration escape modules and a fully adjustable Fuzion cam, complete with a module pack yielding seven inches of draw adjustment. It is built every bit as good as the other bows you mentioned, but for several hundred dollars less. Here's a look...
 

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More important than the brand, is the shop that will setting you up, and serving you. Ask around, and find out which shop in your area, has the best reputation. A good shop owner will fit the bow to you and give you advise that will be far more valuble than which manufacturer made your bow. That shop will likely give you a few options. Try those and see which you prefer. You can't go wrong with any of today's brands, if the shop servicing you, is a good one.

Good luck with your search.
 

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Good points, SteveR.

arch-noob,
I see you are in Idaho. Did you know that world champions past and present own and operate several pro shops in Idaho? I know there is one in Pocatello, one in Idaho Falls, but I'm not sure of the other two. You could check out some great bows and get all the professional service you'll expect from Dee Wilde and the Wilde Bunch.
 

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Seek good repetable pro shop

I have several pro shops in my area. I drive 1 1/2hrs to my dealer. Good pro shops are priceless. Seek the best shooters and do a little homework and ask around. Lots of good bows. You need to find one that fits and feels good to you. Understand that dealer carry certain brands and thats what they will sell you. Try to check atleast to dealers before deciding.
 

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I wish I didn't own 5 bows already, because right now I wish I could buy the bow of which you speak! From the looks of it, the Golden Eagle Obsession looks as close to Bowhunting perfection as one coud ask for. It might not be real quick on paper, but for hunting, who cares?
 

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Think twice about getting a "kit" or "package" deal. I have two buddies who have done this and in less than a year, they were dumping the package accessories for upgrades. Find a good solid rest, sight, release, and stabilizer that you prefer. Also make sure to get arrows that are fit for your style of shooting. The kit arrows don't always cut it. Go see one of those pros in your area and I'm sure they'll help you out. Good luck!
 

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Kit Deals

I agree about kits. Most of the time the stuff in the kits is sub-par or just not what you want. You will just end up getting stuff you prefer down the road anyway, so why not do that from the get go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the advice, all.

Good call, JDES900X. I have actually visited Wilde Arrow and talked with Dee about some options. Dee and his staff were very helpful, offering me a lot of pointers. The only issue I personally have with the shop is their selection, which is almost exclusively Matthews and higher-end Martin bows.

I will definitely take a look at the Martin Prowler. It seems to have a lot of the characteristics I am looking for.

Thanks for the heads-up on the classifieds here, and about the kits!
 

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Arch-noob,

I purchased a 2002 Martin Tracer from Dee Wilde and for the money it is one sweet shooting little bow. Dee is very knowledgeable and most generally friendly, but I prefer Dave's Archery on Broadway. Dave sells Hoyt, Bowtech, and another brand I can't think of the name right now. The last time I was in his shop he had a Hoyt package for under $500.00. That would definately be worth checking out, you can't go wrong with any of the Hoyt bows IMO.
 
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