Question: I am 63 yrs. old, retired. Hunt muzzle and gun. Have time and money and want to start bow (whitetail) with my son. I am 6' tall , 200 lbs. and in good health. Have some arthritis, but am active, but no weight lifter.
I have been looking at bows and am concerned about draw weight and how big or small a bow to get.
My bow hunting would be pretty much recreation and not big time serious.
Any suggestions? I need some help.
Good question, and one that your average youngster would answer with "buy the heaviest bow you can handle". Wrong answer. Many if not most bowhunters are using too much bow.
If you are going to predominantly hunt Elk, or Moose, or Musk Ox, or Polar Bear, then you would want a very strong bow. If you plan to shoot 3-D tournaments, where super fast arrows and flat trajectory can be the difference between first place and first loser, then a strong bow is the ticket.
However, if you are a recreational hunter, primarily hunting whitetail, turkey or even black bear, any good compound in the 50 pound range will blow a well placed arrow clean through your prey. A number of women shoot bows in the 45 pound range. And I recently killed a 4 year old, 900 pound, buffalo bull with a 55 pound recurve (much slower and less kinetic energy than a similar compound bow), and it was down in 40 yards and dead in less than five minutes.
The most crucial factor, well two actually, is how does the bow fit you, and are you comfortable with the draw weight. Don't get talked into a bow that you struggle with to pull in the hopes that you will strengthen your arms and back. Accuracy is the most important factor in archery. A lighter draw weight bow will give you more consistent shooting, and better accuracy as a result. Also, don't get talked into a bow, just because of its name. I own and shoot a Mathews, which I swear by, but that doesn't mean that a Mathews is the bow that will fit you best.
Look at a number of bows, and do so at a pro shop, where an archery pro can help fit you properly. It may cost you $50 more to buy a bow at a pro shop, but you will get far more than $50 back in service and expertise.