Making The Switch From Rifle To Archery
Montana Hunting & Fishing News|December 2019
“More time in the field.” That is something I read years ago over and over again in our local game and fish regulations.
Josh Kirchner

They were talking about archery hunting and the opportunity it held. Archery hunts are notorious for being longer and more widely accessible than rifle hunts. It’s just harder, so the states can afford to let opportunity reign where it may without the worry of game populations plummeting. They know that all of the tags aren’t going to be filled. Being a rifle hunter at the time of reading this—and not a good one might I add—the thought of making things even harder perplexed me. To me, bowhunting was this thing that only a select few individuals were crazy enough to do and, when they were successful, in my eyes, it was probably all luck. As I sit here today, a bowhunter through and through, I shake my head. My take on bowhunting couldn’t have been more wrong. Making that switch from rifle to bow can be a hard pill to swallow, though. Here are some things that stuck out to me when I did so.

GETTING STARTED

Every adventure starts at the beginning and making the switch from rifle to archery is no different. First things first: find an archery pro shop. I’d highly recommend that you take yourself over to one of these and talk with them. There are also the big box stores, but, honestly, you never know who you are talking to at those places. The person may just be an employee, rather than a bowhunter. In pro shops, you are talking to the real deal. Most of these people are dedicated bowhunters who are willing to sit and chat with you for hours about the subject. When you’re passionate about something, it’s quite easy to do that. They are going to be able to point you in the right direction for what bow is going to work the best for you and your needs. That brings me to my next point.

As for the bow, you really don’t have to go crazy here. Seeing what we see on social media can make it quite easy to think that you need to spend a small fortune on a bow and accessories. If your wallet is hard to sit on, then, by all means, go crazy. At this point, though, you don’t even know if you are going to like bowhunting or not. So, don’t be afraid of going with something that is a mid-tier level, a few years old or, even, a used bow. There are some great deals to be had out there. Some folks will buy a new bow every year, so used bows are pretty easy to come by. These are going to do the job just as well as that new $1,700 model.

IT REQUIRES DEDICATION

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