Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1

    Default Anyone here made the switch to trad?

    Curious to hear from you guys who have switched from shooting compounds to traditional archery and what helped you learn to shoot. I donít have any shops with instructors within a few hours, so I was hoping to find online videos or other resources that worked for you. Iíve had a lot of fun tinkering with my recurve and shooting beach ball-sized groups, but I want to become proficient enough to hunt with it and wonder what I can study to shorten the learning curve.

  2. #2


    Some people can just pick it up and others it takes awhile. I was lucky and picked it up pretty fast. It was a lot of instinct from shooting compound but again I was one of the lucky ones that it just worked for. This guy doesn't give to many tips but his points are pretty good. Always start out with lighter tackle and get your form down. Shoot often, for most it just doesn't come and you need to stick with it. Good luck. I'm sure someone else will have better information for you.
    To what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?

  3. Default

    I made the switch and shot trad for 6 years. Lack of time and commitment to practice as much as I needed to be proficient caused me to switch back. It was a lot of trial and error for me and my hunting partner. Learning how to tune an arrow to the individual bow and shooter was the key to good accuracy for me.

    Unlike a compound which is center shot, the arrow has to bend around the slightly off-center riser of a recurve or long bow. It requires the near perfect combination of spine to overcome archers paradox. Understanding the complexities of spine and how to properly weaken and stiffen an arrow by adding weight to the front or back and cutting off a little bit to stiffen a shaft was a steep learning curve for me. Once I understood that and got my bow tuned properly and my form consistent, it was amazing how accurate I was.
    It was also amazing how my shooting suffered if I went very long between sessions. I had to shoot multiple times a week all year long to stay in form.

    I still look at my bow from time to time and think, this needs to be the year I pick it up again.

    There is a lot more resource material out there today than there was 20 years ago. Good luck!

  4. #4


    I stopped shooting a compound because it was too easy. I went to a shooting a recurve bare bow. Shoot off the shelf, no sights, only accessory on the bow is a string silencer.

    I picked up a book on Kyudo, Japanese Archery. Their equipment is different the style is adaptable. It is instinctual shooting. Kind of fun. You do not aim. You concentrate on the target and if your form is correct the arrow will hit the target. What I found interesting was that with sites, you have to be pretty good at estimating distance or carry a range finder. When practicing with instinctual shooting, I would just walk away from the target and stop at random points, turn and shoot. Got pretty good. Can't explain why.

  5. #5


    I'm one of those freaks who shoots a compound with fingers. Every year it gets harder and harder to keep shooting this way as everything geared toward triggers. If it every comes to the point where I can't shoot a compound any more I'll switch to a recurve before I shoot a release. It's just not archery to me if I don't have my fingers on the string. The key to shooting traditional is to practice regularly as Gerald mentioned. Shooting fingers I have to shoot at least once a week to stay proficient. For Trad as rule of thumb i'd say every other day. Some guys are all instinct, some walk the string, some use aiming points, hell i've even seen guys slap pins on recurves. Key for shooting fingers is work on your form and be consistent. Gerald also pointed out arrow tuning is important, That's the beauty of releases is that arrow spine really becomes secondary, but it's incredibly important when you're shooting with your fingers off the shelf or any rest that's not a drop away.

    Good luck, fingers put the fun back in archery!

  6. #6


    Thanks for the help and encouragement guys! In some ways I’m fortunate to have shot compounds for a couple decades, so I understand the basics of tuning and importance of building maintaining good form. This will be a long road, but I’m excited to take on the challenge.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Sedalia, Colorado


    I bought and refinished a used Hoyt Buffalo off eBay a couple months ago, it's an absolute blast! I can keep 6 arrows on a pie plate at 20 yards, I think with a little more practice I'll be carrying it in the elk woods this September instead of my compound bow.

  8. #8


    I would say also get a nice bow. Not necessarily a custom but a good one. Stacking and string follow can make for a steep learning curve.
    I shoot woods and they were not hard to tune to my bow. Talk with some arrow builders about shafts for the bow. Some new bows are center shot, my longbow is. Finding the correct spine is not hard these days, some of the better arrow shaft suppliers offer arrow packs for tuning to your bow, they will , sell you several different spine arrows to try without going in on a full dozen.
    Once you get dialed in the groups should get smaller. Pay close attention to your release, finger release that is. Get a form that suits you, split fingers or three finger under the knock, glove or tab.
    Have fun and good luck!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Central California


    I’ve thought about it before...but right now I don’t have the time to dedicate to it to be good enough to hunt with it. Good luck to you on your journey!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Bozeman, Billings, MT ----> Omaha, NE...and back soon, hopefully


    I was fortunate enough to grow up shooting only trad bows, so I am able to tune myself pretty quickly when it comes to having not practiced for awhile. Honestly though, practice is the one thing that is going to help you the most. as far as form goes, find what's comfortable for you and perfect it! A lot of people will tell you to do this or that, or tweak something in your form, but with traditional, not everyone shoots the same. So find what you can be consistent with and roll with it! Good luck...trad bows are a challenge, but also a blast to shoot and hunt with!
    "I'll be halfway to heaven with paradise waitin'
    Five miles away from wherever I am."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Socialist Republic of Kalistan


    I built takedown R/D longbows for a few years and only hunted with them for about 5 years, but living in this mismanaged state the opportunities are so few and far between I am back to a wheelie guy.

    The fun of shooting instinctive at even short ranges is great, but I feed myself from hunting and decided I could keep bowhunting trad, and closing the deal late in the season with the boom stick, or get my compound game back on point and rely on that.

    Good luck with it, it is a blast, but they don't call it the struggle stick for nothing!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Billings, Montana


    I switched to a long bow for a few years, but like others have said; you need to practice a ton. I practice with my compound all summer and that isn't enough for a traditional bow (at least not for me). I love shooting the traditional way and hope to get back into it. But practice, practice, practice is the key to being consistent in your shooting.


  13. Default

    Hi, if you check out "Tradgang" and "Tradbow" you can gain tons of info and advice. 2years ago I happened to move my old recurve in the closet and was reminded how lite it was. I got it out and shot some and decided to salt the compound away and get back to trade. Haven't shot this since '74 and it's a hoot. Hopefully turkey, deer and a hog will fall to the old stick. Good luck man, get out and practice of all.
    Never forget our POW/MIA's

  14. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by Howie View Post
    Hi, if you check out "Tradgang" and "Tradbow" you can gain tons of info and advice. 2years ago I happened to move my old recurve in the closet and was reminded how lite it was. I got it out and shot some and decided to salt the compound away and get back to trade. Haven't shot this since '74 and it's a hoot. Hopefully turkey, deer and a hog will fall to the old stick. Good luck man, get out and practice of all.

  15. #15


    I bought a Bear recurve back in 2000 off eBay for a song. Haven't shot it in years. Thinking that I'm going to start up again this summer. Be fun to shoot in while shooting with the boys.

  16. #16


    I made a switch to a recurve a few years back, but then I switched back. I had to pass on a couple of shots I would've taken in a heartbeat with my Parker. That bothered me. And besides, I guess I haven't really figured out what's so easy about killing elk with a compound bow that I would require a greater challenge.
    Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly.

    Micah 6:8

  17. #17


    I have not made a full switch, but got back into recurves last year. As a kid I shot them exclusively, but switched to compound. I started with a 35 lb samik sage and a half hour instruction from the pro shop several hours away. I really enjoy it and shot more in the last year than I have in years. I still have that Sage but upgraded to a hoyt satori that I got from stickbow supplies. No dealers close to me carry trad equipment. I visited with the owner about what I wanted and he sent it to me all set up, with arrows cut to my length. It shot well out of the box and I am very happy. I shoot off the shelf with no sights. You tube videos helped me with form. I am no robin hood, but am happy with my progress. Not sure I will retire the compound, but will continue to shoot target, small game, fish and eventually big game with the recurve. Start with light weight and shoot a bunch. Really work on form and consistent anchor point. I recommend both bows highly.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts