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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 07:43pm - Apr 16,14
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Post Posted: 04:42pm - Apr 28,18 
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Hello and thank you in advance! I've recently taken an interest in bow hunting and would like to purchase my first bow within a $600 budget. My uncle has some land/stands in central Wisconsin and my goal would be to bag my first deer by the end of 2018. I plan on shooting at the Belmont harbor outdoor range all summer. Any suggestions on bows and additional gear I will need to get started would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Joined: 06:44pm - Jun 5,10
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Post Posted: 11:00pm - May 1,18 
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Unfortunately hunting can be an expensive hobby. I went to Freddie Bear about 10 years ago and they took a few measurements and I bought a Mathews. When it was all said and done it cost me about $1,000. I would suggest trying to figure your draw length and weight and look to buy a used bow. Unlike guns bows do not hold their value very long so I'm sure you could get a nice set up for $500. Arrows and broadheads will cost another $100 or so. The list goes on but this is a good start. I would also invest $50 in a safety harness especially hunting stands that are not yours.

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Post Posted: 05:09am - May 2,18 
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+1 on saving some money to buy a comfortable safety vest. I use a HSS but have also heard good things about the Muddy harness.

For your bow, the best thing to do would be to go to an archery shop (not cabelas or bass pro) and get your hands on some bows. Most places will let you shoot some sample bows to get a feel for them. Find one in your budget that fits you.

Based on your price point of $600, and because I shoot one and love it, I’d recommend the PSE line of bows. Specifically the Bow Madness is priced right at $600 and comes ready to shoot. In the class of bows that are a step (or two) down from the $1000 class, this is a great option.

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Joined: 07:13pm - Oct 29,08
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Post Posted: 10:48am - May 2,18 
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I agree that you should go to a actual archery shop and not a Bass pro and Cabelas for your bow. They will fit you for your draw length and you will be able to shoot different models in store.

Strictly Archery in Shorewood is really good, they have a big selection and Scott (the owner) usually has used bows in store that have been gone through and you can get a deal on.

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Chitown-Angler
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Post Posted: 10:54am - May 2,18 
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ok great, that is all solid info, thank you both. I'll probably purchase the safety harness and other gear closer to the season opener and focus on the bow for now so I can begin practicing. I've literally only shot a bow 1 time for about 30 minutes on and off with a friend. No idea what I was shooting. haha

Any suggestions on an archery range closer to the city similar to Freddie bear?

Also, Is it fair to say I should purchase and practice with the arrows/broadheads in which I plan on shooting with?

Thanks again!

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Post Posted: 01:23pm - May 2,18 
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Personally, when I started bow hunting 15 or so years ago, I was fresh out of college and funds were tight and went with a $350 package from Bass Pro. I definitely wouldn't do that again. I killed one decent 10 point at 12 yards with that bow and that was it.

Personally, I would head down to Strictly Archery in Shorewood and talk with them (Scott is the owner). They have a 40 yard range and a fair amount of used bows. They know there stuff and should be able to get you set up. I'm a Mathews guy and they should have a few Mathews that will fit your budget. I know my buddy is selling his Drenalin that used to be mine and I think he can get around $400 and its still a pretty good bow so you should find something that works.

I don't have practice and hunting arrows, they are all the same now. With carbon arrows they are very durable so can be used a long time. I have some that Have probably been shot over 1000 times and gone through a few deer. Make sure you get at least a dozen as well, you'll be surprised at how often you lose a fletching or cut a hole in one when your arrows almost touch.

Broadheads are a personal choice, I used to shoot Slick tricks and last year for some reason I went to Schwackers and killed the deer on my profile pic as well as a doe with them. Both deer ran no more than 60 yards and fell over. Its all personal choice though.

Good luck and ask away, most of us on here are happy to help!

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Post Posted: 03:02pm - May 2,18 
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Maybe I'll suck it up and drive out to Strictly Archery and make a day of it. I'm ok with dropping $600 on a bow and then some more on arrows....just bought a new 3wt setup for fly fishing so funds are a little tight. As a newb I've only heard of Mathews and Hoyt but based on the few I've talked to, I'm probably leaning on a Mathews. I'll reach out to Strictly Archery and get more info. Sounds like I can probably just head there and get setup though.

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Post Posted: 10:58pm - May 2,18 
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thewatsonator wrote:
Maybe I'll suck it up and drive out to Strictly Archery and make a day of it. I'm ok with dropping $600 on a bow and then some more on arrows....just bought a new 3wt setup for fly fishing so funds are a little tight. As a newb I've only heard of Mathews and Hoyt but based on the few I've talked to, I'm probably leaning on a Mathews. I'll reach out to Strictly Archery and get more info. Sounds like I can probably just head there and get setup though.


It's worth the drive. I also shoot at Belmont Harbor but if I need work done on my bow or if it's raining out, I go to Strictly Archery. It is a bit of a drive but the shop and staff are worth it. The indoor range is nice as well. I live in Wrigleyville and I've yet to find a range in the city over 20 yards. When the weather makes shooting indoors a necessity, there's an archery club in Bucktown (don't remember the name) that has a 20 yard range but if you want to shoot farther, Strictly Archery's indoor 40 yard range is the closest I've found.

Hoyt bows are sweet, so don't count them out. I used to have a hand-me-down Hoyt and it was awesome. Go in there with an open mind, shoot some bows and let your body tell you which bow is best for you.

As for arrows, like BigB said, shoot the same arrows you practice with when it's time to go hunting. While practicing, I try to identify which of my arrows fly best so I know which ones to put tin my quiver for game day. After trying a bunch of different brands, I landed on GoldTips and haven't looked back. You definitely also want to practice shooting with your broadheads (or the practice version if you're going with mechanical). You need to be certain that they will fly just as accurately as your field tips for when you have a live target in front of you.

Last bit of advice - spend money on a quality release. One that's comfortable and allows you to use your hand even while wearing the release. Obviously, you also want one that helps you shoot accurately. Oh, and a range finder.

Good luck!

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Post Posted: 07:32am - May 3,18 
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I bought a PSE from Cabelas; shot two deer with it. I went down to strictly archery to sight it in, and got a lot better info from them than I did when purchasing at Cabelas. I would definitely suggest making the drive.

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Post Posted: 08:21am - May 4,18 
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Alright, you guys have sold me. I'll definitely head down there to test out some bows.

Frisbee, I live in Logan Square and have planned on hitting the Belmont range as much as possible out of convenience. I went there the other day but they had zero information about how to get started and I didn't want to impede on the individuals who looked like they were in a class. What's the process to get setup at the Belmont range? Or is it just come and go? Any fees?

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Post Posted: 10:14am - May 4,18 
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thewatsonator wrote:
Alright, you guys have sold me. I'll definitely head down there to test out some bows.

Frisbee, I live in Logan Square and have planned on hitting the Belmont range as much as possible out of convenience. I went there the other day but they had zero information about how to get started and I didn't want to impede on the individuals who looked like they were in a class. What's the process to get setup at the Belmont range? Or is it just come and go? Any fees?


It is a free public range open to all. However, there is an archery club that uses the grounds, which is probably the group you saw there previously. The trick is to get there either very early or late in the day when the club isn't using the range and/or it isn't very busy. You do have to bring your own target. Here's the link for the archery club, if you're interested but you do not need to be a member of the club to use the range. http://lincolnparkarcheryclub.org/newsite/

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Post Posted: 10:19am - May 4,18 
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frisbee3557 wrote:
thewatsonator wrote:
Alright, you guys have sold me. I'll definitely head down there to test out some bows.

Frisbee, I live in Logan Square and have planned on hitting the Belmont range as much as possible out of convenience. I went there the other day but they had zero information about how to get started and I didn't want to impede on the individuals who looked like they were in a class. What's the process to get setup at the Belmont range? Or is it just come and go? Any fees?


It is a free public range open to all. However, there is an archery club that uses the grounds, which is probably the group you saw there previously. The trick is to get there either very early or late in the day when the club isn't using the range and/or it isn't very busy. You do have to bring your own target. Here's the link for the archery club, if you're interested but you do not need to be a member of the club to use the range. http://lincolnparkarcheryclub.org/newsite/


Dude that's huge thanks for the info. Getting pumped!

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Post Posted: 01:49pm - May 4,18 
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I've never used the range at Belmont but my buddy did for a while and liked it. I think he paid some sort of membership and got a key to it but I may be mistaken. I drive a lot for work when I have meetings and usually spend my lunch at Strictly archery here and there shooting my bow. Its nice to shoot out to 40 yards. There is also a range right by bass and gill in Plainfield. Its outdoor and the targets aren't as nice but they do have an elevated platform which is nice to practice out of. They also have a one man elevated platform and 3d targets out to 30 yards. They aren't in the best shape but sometimes it helps to shoot from an elevated position to get a feel for it. Its a much smaller bow shop (more old school) and the owner does NOT like Mathews, thats for sure. I'd much rather shoot at strictly but if its nice weather and I want to shoot from an elevated position, I'll stop by there for a shoot.

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Post Posted: 07:25pm - May 4,18 
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Just in case u could use one I have a new in the box 17 foot tree stand you can look up the description in the old posts I want 55.00 for it

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Post Posted: 09:34pm - May 4,18 
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Hey man I'm trying to get into hunting as well. I actually went to custom archery in Forest Park for lessons. Not bad besides the fact they teach you with recurve bows not compound. They let me shoot for an hour and the instructor was guiding me the entire time till I hit the blank. I too can't wait to get out there for the first time. My budget for it is just about the same as yours, $600-800. Good luck finding your toy man.

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Post Posted: 09:40am - May 5,18 
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Archery custom shop is my go to place.

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Post Posted: 12:23pm - May 7,18 
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Thanks all, gonna try to get out to strictly archery in the next few weeks. Then will probably stay a little more local for ranges ie Archery Custom/Belmont/diversey etc.

Thanks, Mirandaxj good luck to you as well, i'll post back once I figure out what I'm doing. lol

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