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erikwells

Buying a new bow

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The last I hunted with bow was when I owned a brand new Browning Black Knight back around 1987. I am now getting back in the game and I believe I have settled on the Bear Encounter. There are a lot of quality bows out there but price is a real issue. I have a friend that manages a sporting goods department and he suggested the Encounter as a solid option with my budget in mind. It comes with a whisker biscuit, sights and most importantly he will help me get it setup right. I can't wait to shoot some carp this Spring and I really cannot wait until deer opens for archery. Can someone tell me what I'm not understanding about the price difference between a lower end bow like I am going to buy and a bow that is in the $800 - $900 price category? I see they are a bit quicker say 30-40 fps but its got to be more than that, right?

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The cheep bow are like any thing else , just cheeply made . I would stay away from the real cheep set ups and look more mid range like in the $500-650 , thats the best bows for the money . The cheep bows just don't feel good to me , Lots of hand shock, bad draws . I would also look at some used bows if I were you ..

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Shoot a few different bows in your price range and buy the one you like the best. Of course they want you to buy their top end bows! Spend your time shooting and you'll be happy!

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The Bear Encounter is a very solid bow at a great price. I would not hesitate to get it if it feels good in your hands and shoots decent for you. Most bows these days are pretty good. I've shot $1000 bows side by side with $300 bows and to me the difference isn't much, so I'm with you on this one. Maybe marketing and demand play a role in the price of the bows these days.

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The less expensive bows of today are much better than the bows of 10-15 years ago. I've been shooting Hoyts lately but have owned mid-priced Martins and have loved them. I haven't shot the Bear bows, but I'm sure they are fine. The important thing is that they shoot accurately. They are all fast enough. Another option is to look at the classified ads in some of the bowhunting forums. You can get used top end bows that have transferrable warranties for the price of a mid-priced bow. But you have to know what your specs are and what kind of draw you like. Some have draw length adjustability and some don't.

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My 2c. Got a new bow last fall. Was in the same predicament as you. I did a lot of research. Tried many types of bows. Was dead set on getting the Encounter. Really liked it, how it felt, shot. Did not want to spend more than the amount for the Encounter. Friend of mine begs me to go to our local pro shop and try out a Mission bow made by Matthews. It was a hundred dollars more. I absolutley did not want to do this, but after my friend giving me the low down on it I reluctantly went to try it out with the idea that there was no way I would spend out of my budget range. I went with the Mission bow. It has a lifetime warranty on pretty much everything except a dry fire. Bend the cam by dropping the bow? Go to any Matthews dealer, they plug your name in to the computer, send it off to Matthews, and you are up and running in a matter of days usually at no cost. The Bear bow did not have this warranty. For a hundred bucks it was a no brainer for me. Nice thing is virtually all the main components are Matthews stuff. Good luck on your search. Let us know what you decide. BC

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I read a lot of great things about the Bear Charge. 300$ and it's all set up. I read an article, can't remember who wrote it, but the author told his friend that he would have no problem hunting with the charge cause for a inexpensive bow it was a great bow. His friend a pro shop owner said prove it. They set it up and he hunted with it. If that's true he went from a top of the line $$$ to a very inexpensive bow cause he had that much faith in it.

David Hutreau was the author.

I remember saying to my bow-shop pro, “I can’t believe how good a bow this is for under $300.” He shot it and agreed. I normally hunt with a top-end bow, so when I said I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to hunt with the Charge, he basically said, “Prove it.”

So we set it up and I’ve been hunting with it all season.

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I have only owned 3 bows since I got back into archery hunting.

The bows were a PSE Firestorm Lite (dual cam) in that $300-$400 dallar range

A Diamond Stud (single cam) in the $500-$600 range and now the Mathews Helim (Solo Cam) which was over the $1000 mark when all dressed out.

All 3 harvested deer for me, so do they all work? YES.

I started buying what I could afford at the time and upgraded when I could.

Did I need to upgrade? NO

But if you set 3 bows up to shoot in the different dollar category you will see and more importantly FEEL the difference.

Like stated before the hand shock and draw will be noticed right away.

Myself I look for the draw smoothness, hand shock, quietness, and to me one of the most important things is how the backwall is.

For me speed is one of the least important things to be considered, I have a short draw length at 26.5" so I am not getting anywhere near 300fps anyways.

Go shoot them and see for yourself the feeling.

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I was in the same boat a few weeks ago, I looked online and did tons of research. Most of the good information I got came from my hardcore bow hunting buddies. What it came down to was going to your local shops, ignoring the pressure from the salesman and shoot absolutely everything, myself, I was not going to spend over six hundred bucks, but after three different shops and shooting bows by Mathews, Bowtech, and Hoyt, I threw my price point out the window and ended up doubling it, I put the bow on layaway so I can pay over time, most shops have layaway as an option. In the end I am very happy with me decision, I can go to the shop and shoot my bow as much as I want until I pay it off. Main point of this is to shoot everything and keep mental notes of the draw, noise, and vibration of each bow.

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In my opinion - if looking for a new bow - the best bang for the buck is either:

New - but older leftovers bows of major manufacturers off sites like at or huntersfriend.(you can find the top bows from a couple years ago for 50 -60% of their original MSRP.)

2nd tier current year bows like the Hoyt Charger, Mathews / Mission bows, Various PSE Mainline bows, or other midrange bows from various manufacturers. Many of these bows are very nice and really aren't much different from that manufacturers top of the line 1K bows. Who really cares if the riser is extruded aluminum or magnesium. Its like saying a walnut stock shotgun shoots better than a composite stock.

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Went with the Bear Legion RTH package. A friend of mine manages a sporting goods department. They had the Encounter and Legion both for $399.00 with RTH packages. I like how it felt and feel pretty good about the purchase. I plan on being ready for Carp come May 1 and getting some good practice in before deer archery opener. I just felt like a used bow was a little over my head and this way I start out with having it setup just right for me. Thanks for all of the good advice.

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92python, I have got to tell you the picture of the Crusher reminds me of back in the day when he was tiptoeing through the tulips with the weirdo and the masked monkey. Maybe I'm a bit off but I think that was one of his interview poems back in the day. Great pic!

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well the best advice is go to diffent shops and shoot everything u can and see what you like. When I bought mine I shot like 30 diffent bows that day. not everyone likes the same thing thats why go to a few pro shops and see what they got. Plus another tip go during the week when it is slow you will get much better service.

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