I shot my first bow when I was about 5-years-old. It was a red Bear Archery Cub longbow. My great uncle, who was my idol and the man I most looked up too, was an archer, so I wanted to be an archer. My second bow was his hand-me-down Bear Kodiak, a recurve bow. After that I moved on to my first compound bow, a Bear Blacktail Hunter. Since then I figure I’ve owned six other bows, a Pearson, a Hoyt and four different Mathews.
After watching a four disk set of old Fred Bear hunting movies, I’m ready to go back to my roots and get a traditional bow. Now all I have to do is decide if I want a longbow or a recurve. To decide, I need to review the differences and the advantages of each bow.
A long bow is a forgiving bow. Its main difference from a recurve is its shape. A long bow is the traditional half-moon shape with a straight grip. It is thin in width, but thicker in depth from a recurve. Because of this thickness, it is harder to torque the limbs when pulling the string for archers with poor form. This makes the arrows fly straighter.
In addition, the length of the long bow means less pinching on the fingers when the string is drawn back and it also has less friction on the fingers when the string is released. This makes the longbow a great learning bow and probably why my uncle had me start on it.
The recurve has that classic ‘three’ shape as the limbs that bend into the half-moon start to bend back out at the tips. The shape gives the bow more power and because of this can shoot an arrow faster. The recurve is wider than the long bow, but thinner in depth, meaning that it is less forgiving to shoot, since the reduction in thickness means it is possible to torque the limbs when pulling the string if your form is off. However, the recurve can come in shorter lengths with the same power, making it a better bow for tighter or brushier places.
After reviewing, the best traditional bow for me would be the recurve. My form is generally good, so I don’t tend to torque my strings or my limbs, and I like the shorter length and faster arrows especially after using compound bows for most of my life. It didn’t hurt watching Fred Bear kill just about everything using his recurve bow either!
Field & Stream Men's Insulated Bomber Jacket
Designed specifically for late season hunts, the Field & Stream's True Pursuit Insulated Bomber Jacket provides a breathable waterproof membrane that will keep you toasty warm while sitting in a tree stand or stalking big game. With a stand up collar, storm flap, and safety harness slit at the back, this jacket has the comfort and warmth essential for an enjoyable hunt. $89.99
Photo credit: Field & Stream
For a premium pair of binoculars perfect for glassing long-distance terrain, Vanguard’s Endeavor ED II builds off the success of past models, bringing top notch optical technology with edge-to-edge clarity. The pair also boasts extra low dispersion glass, anti-reflective multi-coated optics, durable magnesium-alloy housing and a pebbled rubberized casing. $449
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Razor 8X Trail Cam
The trail camera is one of the biggest advancements in modern hunting and the Razor 8X lightscout 8MP Trail Camera is one of the best around. Ideal for scouting prime locations, this camouflaged camera takes video and still images. It's equipped with a high-intensity LED infrared flash that has a 50-ft flash range and also prevents game from being spooked. $69.99
Garmin Rhino 2-way with GPS
When you’re hunting with a partner communication is key. There are lots of two-way radios on the market, but our favorite by far is the Garmin Rhino 650T because it not only includes a top notch radio, but it’s also armed with GPS so you know exactly where you and your hunting partner are located. Waterproof housing makes this a durable unit and perfect for getting out into un-travelled places no matter the conditions. $369.99
Remington V3 Shotgun
In the field of autoloading shotguns there are several worthy competitors, but the new Remington V3 Field Sport released earlier this year really stands out. From one of the most trusted names in American guns manufactured right here in the USA, the V3 utilizes cutting-edge advancements in autoloading technology that make this gun lightweight and slimmed down. Utilizing a gas-operated system this semi-automatic shotgun represents the future of autoloading technology.
Photo credit: Youtube
Smith & Wesson Revolver
There are certain realities when you’re in the outdoors and that’s bears and other predators. For the ultimate protection, a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver will do the trick every time. This classic firearm delivers a kick in a sturdy stainless steel frame that will last through the generations. MSRP $1,289
Photo credit: Smith & Wesson
Otis Technology Elite Gun Cleaning System
Every gun owner understands the importance of keeping their firearms in good shape. With the Otis Technology Elite Gun Cleaning Syste, you have everything you need in a complete portable case. Specifically designed for .17 to .50 caliber rifles and pistols, .410 to 12/10 gauge shotguns and all in-line muzzleloaders, the kit comes with 40 components and much more all in a nylon carrying case. $149.99
Photo credit: Otis Technology
TenPoint Stealth Crossbow
From the leaders in crossbows and crossbow accessories, we suggest the TenPoint Stealth as a great high-powered bow with an excellent scope. The Stealth is new to 2015, proudly adding onto a tradition of excellence. This weapon fires a 425-gr. arrow up to 350 feet per second. It also has multiple silencing and vibration-killing technologies, with a firm body that folds up for easy transport. $1,199
Photo credit: TenPoint
Inferno Hunter’s Hand Pouch
Similar to what quarterbacks use to warm their hands before each snap, the Inferno Hand Pouch offers a hand warming pouch that matches your cammo. Designed by NFL quarterback Mike Kafka,the hand pouch is lightweight and contours to the shape of your body. It even includes a specialized belt to hold 10-15 units of ammunition at the ready for a quick reload. $59.99
Photo credit: Roo Outdoor
Super MOJO Mallard
You can never have enough duck decoys as a hunter. A great addition to any collection of decoys is a mechanical one that actually moves. From the makers of the MOJO Mallard comes the Super MOJO Mallard. Building on the success of the original, this new design has an all-aluminum body and folding wings to give the bird an even more lifelike appearance. It also has a built-in switch to allow the decoy to alternate modes from continuous or intermittent. $169
Fenix PD35 Flashlight
There is no need to make the trade-off between brightness and weight when it comes to the Fenix PD35 flashlight. This handheld flashlight delivers 960 lumens in a compact, light-weight design that will light up the hillside with super powerful rays. $75
Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer
Every successful hunter needs a way to store large quantities of meat. Out of all the vacuum sealers on the market we chose the FoodSaver V3240 Vacuum Sealing System for the most bang for the buck. This sealer includes two vacuum speeds, a moist/dry setting for optimal sealing and a crush-free instant seal. It’s also a relatively small unit making it easy to manage and put away. $119
Gator knife by Gerber
One of the most trusted names in hunting knives, the Gerber Gator knife recently received its first face-lift in 25 years. This super strong hunting knife hardly needed any improvements, but they still managed to find ways to make it better, including a refined handle and upgraded steel. The gator comes in several styles but our favorite is the Gator Premium Fixed Blade. $145
Photo credit: Gerber Gear
Macho Mystery box
Can’t decide what to get the hunter in your life? Consider the Macho Mystery Box from Longhunter Outfitters. This is the gift that keeps on giving all year long. With three options to choose from, you can have quality hunting and backpacking accessories delivered straight to your door each month. Small $9.99, Medium $24.99, Large $49.99
Photo credit: Macho Mystery Box
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