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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy folks! Took up rifle hunting this past year and even though I came up empty handed, I had a great time. I'm looking at extending my season this year by taking up archery and putting in the work to get where I need to be well before the season. So I'm starting my research here before I dive in. :smile2:

So if you had to suggest some basic gear to start, what would you go with? To add an extra level of difficulty, I shoot lefty, so I know that limits options somewhat.

Not looking to throw down a massive amount of money (to start at least), but all suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and Happy New Year!
 

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Rain gear. Doesn't have to be fancy or heavy weight. Always dress in layers... Always... Have a backup flashlight. Yes you will forget to turn your primary off at some point and the next trip you will be happy you have a cheapo backup. A knife that has a orange/brightly colored handle. Good waterproof boots. I wear muck boots during all seasons and they are comfortable even when putting the miles on. Everyone will tell you different brands and what not and start arguments so buy what is comfortable and in budget. My uncles hunt in jeans and their work coats every year and get deer so no need to buy the Sitka every season outfit for $900 unless you can afford it.



Biggest tip I can give since I'm still a younger hunter I have to remember this too. SLOW DOWN when you're out. You will see more and enjoy the outdoors much more when slowing down and taking it all in.



There will be plenty of tips that are great and I have to many list. These are just some of mine. Enjoy every day out even it's 30, rainy, and windy. Good luck and have fun.
 

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Go to a local bow bow shop and see if they have any used ones for sale or perhaps a model that won’t break the bank. You also don’t need to throw a bunch of expensive extras on it like sights and top of the line rests. Basic accessories will kill deer just fine. Get a bow with a 7 to a 7.5 brace height. The shorter brace heights will be faster but will also accentuate any flaws in your form and could result in frustration and even target panic. Make sure the shop owner sets you up properly with your draw length and has the bow paper tuned. You also don’t need the poundage cranked all the way up. Have it set at what’s comfortable for you. Mines set around 62 pounds. Once you get that in order practice often to gain confidence and also to obtain muscle memory. Don’t forget to practice with the broadheads you will be using. They may fly differently than what your field points do. Endless selection of broadheads to us from mechanical to fixed. Decide which works best for you and your bow because you will get a million different opinions on that subject. Good luck.
 

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Hopefully you can find someone up your way to take you under their wing and show you some things.
What I love about archery season is the fall part of the year, certainly the most beautiful time of the year to be in the woods.
With that said, I consider my clothing the most important part of my gear other than my bow.
All my gear has either Gortex or some sort of water resistant membrane in it to keep me dry.
From my early season light weight stuff to my heavier late season camo.
You can't stay focused in a stand for long periods of time if you are not comfortable.
Make sure your clothing is quite. I like to feel the clothing I buy to see if its loud when I rub it against itself.
Buying online makes this difficult unless I know someone who can attest that I can trust. I don't trust a manufactures descriptions when it comes to quietness.
Shoot, shoot and shoot some more would be my next thing.
If you have 3D shoots in your area, that's the best way to get honed in on distance estimation and build confidence in your equipment.
Lastly, don't get caught up in buying all the gadget stuff.
 

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Start buying now., it'll add up! A great starter bow is the PSE Stinger RTS package ($400). They aren't super quick but they're smooth, forgiving and cheap. Get a bow as early as possible and start practicing. Some things can be bought cheap the first time knowing that you'll have a backup in the future, a bow is one of them. Then get a decent climbing stand and give it a couple climbs to get comfortable before the season. I also highly recommend getting a rangefinder right off the bat. I hunted two seasons without one and missed a couple and passed a couple because I didn't know the range. It'll also help with practicing your shooting. Then a hook or two to hang your bow and pack in the tree. Once you start getting everything together it wouldn't hurt to go through the motions once or twice - pack everything up, walk to a tree, climb and set up. It'll help you figure out where you like certain things to be packed like a bow rope and hangers for easy access, how to set up the stand quietly, what to do once you're up the tree, etc.

I started archery hunting when I was 20 at PSU (2010) and like you, started from scratch. It'll be frustrating but as you put the pieces together and find success it is one of the most rewarding hobbies out there. I'm excited for you. I see your located in Centre County, I don't really get up there anymore and would be glad to point you towards my favorite game land if it would help.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. Appreciate all the knowledge being shared. My exact thoughts were to grab the bow early this year and get comfortable with it well in advance.

And yes Shiftyshad, I would gladly take any hints at game land you are willing to throw my way. Thank you!
 

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One good thing about today is that you can google everything....
Watch more than one youtube video on any one item so you can get a rounded view to answer your question.


Once you get your bow shooting well, take some measurements so you have a bases to go by for any future problems.
One set of measurements I like to keep on hand are my peep, kisser button and nock locations.
Pick a stop at the top of your bow and stretch a tape down the string noting where those items are.
If your bow starts shooting funky, simply get a tape out and see if anything moved on your string or if your string stretched.
If any of these things happened, simply reset your peep, kisser or nock points to your original locations.
If you change strings, you have a jump on where to re apply these items then you can tweak from there.
Adjust your measurements accordingly.
 

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I will emphasize it again that the number one thing is to get the right bow for you and learn how to shoot it well.
Things like location and hunting techniques will all be for not if your equipment and your shooting ability isn’t on point.
Not to mention all the tips and pointers are great but the best teacher will be your own personal experiences. I have been archery hunting for close to 25 years and I am still learning. Even things I did just a year or two ago makes me shake my head. Always keep an open mind and be prepared for a lot of ups and downs. It’s just the nature of the beast.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What kind of bow are you thinking about? Longbow, recurve, compound, crossbow?
Compound. As Shiftyshad suggested above, I've been researching bows like the PSE Stinger and the Bear Cruzer for starters. Going to make a trip over to the local archery shop early next week and talk with the folks over there as well, see what they suggest. Wanna make sure I find something comfortable that can be dialed in by a local pro who knows what they're doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Once you get your bow shooting well, take some measurements so you have a bases to go by for any future problems.
One set of measurements I like to keep on hand are my peep, kisser button and nock locations.
Pick a stop at the top of your bow and stretch a tape down the string noting where those items are.
If your bow starts shooting funky, simply get a tape out and see if anything moved on your string or if your string stretched.
If any of these things happened, simply reset your peep, kisser or nock points to your original locations.
If you change strings, you have a jump on where to re apply these items then you can tweak from there.
Adjust your measurements accordingly.
Great idea! These are little things I might initially not think about that will save a heck of a lot of time in the long run. Thanks
 

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A lot of good advise above. I would agree start basic and don't get involved in gimmicks. Good warm/dry clothing will keep you comfortably in the woods when others will run to the house. The only camo basically needed is a hat, jacket and shirt....you can add as you go. Buy dependable safe equipment and if tree stand hunting spend some money on good dependable safety equipment and use it always.

Style points are not important. Concentrate on knowledge, scouting, shooting accuracy. Some of the most important things you can take to the woods are patience, confidence and the will to learn.

Each year you can add or delete equipment based on your personal findings.

Learn to study the wind, become scent free as possible. To be scent free does not have to be expensive. What worked for me for years is washing your dedicated hunting clothes with baking soda, hanging them outside on the line for a couple of days then storing them in a bag of leaves. Do these things and you will see deer.

Forget the TV hunting shows as you will learn virtually nothing that will apply to basic knowledge of hunting.

When it fits your budget pickup a Trail Cam or two. This will do a lot to help you locate deer and what is out there to hunt. A couple of pictures of nice bucks in your hunting area will help you get out of bed in the morning by projecting a positive outlook.

Above always keep it fun.
 

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you will get some good advice on here about the help you need,. I would suggest after you find generally what you want to buy in terms of gear look for stuff that is on clearance, bargain outlets like Ollies,Yard Sales, Bargain Sheet, Hometown Shopper etc. It seems there are a good many people who buy Brand New stuff and use it once and at the end of the season sell it and go buy the latest and greatest the next year,

A tip for next season that you can do right now is take walks on new areas and scout as the deer and sign is still there. You don't have all the foliage, bugs, and heat as you find in the summer. Go out and pick some spots now before it greens up. I have seen fresh rubs and scrapes this past weekend so there are survivors in my areas that I hunt and it will be like this all over the state. Good luck and have fun. Also when you do kill a deer post up some pics as we all like to see them.
 

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Compound. As Shiftyshad suggested above, I've been researching bows like the PSE Stinger and the Bear Cruzer for starters. Going to make a trip over to the local archery shop early next week and talk with the folks over there as well, see what they suggest. Wanna make sure I find something comfortable that can be dialed in by a local pro who knows what they're doing.
Clarence Archery in Snow Shoe, good people, they’ Help you out.
 
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Ebay has some great deals on top end bows right now, due to year end & new models coming out.
Once you're all set up , find someone that can give you some shooting lessons. It is easier to learn the right way than relearn.
Others have given some good advise; If using a treestand , stay connected from ground to ground. It may take a little time & money, but much better than falling & injuring yourself.
 

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Stand location is everything to a bow hunter, its what keeps you from getting seen and winded. A distance of ten yards a lot of times means the difference between getting a deer and not.
 

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If your going to hunt out of loc on stands which is all i use,make sure you are stepping down on the stand instead of reaching your step up onto the stand eliminates the chance of kicking stand out and let someone know of your stand location your hunting that day. my son knows every time im out which stand im in and if it changes i send him a text where i am at and when i get in and when im on the ground.
 
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