Best Sellers and Whats new in Archery!

Now is the time to stop in and check out the new compound bows, as well as crossbows we have in.  We also have a variety of our best sellers to take a look at.  Questions on what to buy?  Our expert associates in the Archery Department will help you with your decision.  I asked one of our Archery associates what to look for when buying a crossbow or a compound bow.

With both bows you need to take into account your budget, draw weight, and the features it may or may not come with.  This is a large investment and you need to feel comfortable with it and confident using it.  Bob from our Archery Department stated that with a crossbow you have to really try cocking it to see which way you prefer. Do you prefer manual, crank, or rope. Another important fact is when buying a crossbow , are their weights.  Some are very heavy and you should take this into account when walking a long ways into your hunting spot.

Finally Bob, from our Archery Department says you just have to come in and try try try.  Hold them, shoot them until you find the one that is just right for you.

Take a look at the new Compound Bows we have in stock:

BlackOut Intrigue Compound Bow Package and the Diamond Provider RAK Compound Bow Package



















Tried and True Best Sellers!

Blackout SS Compound Bow Package

Redhead Toxik XT Compound Bow Package

Redhead Kronik XT Compound Bow Package

















NEW in Crossbows!

Ten Point Titan Xtreme Crossbow Package

Ten Point Shadow Ultralight Crossbow Package with Acu Draw

Ten Point Wicked Ridge

Barnett RAZR ICE CRT Crossbow Package

Horton Storm RDX Crossbow Package with Dedd Sledd

Horton Storm RDX Crossbow Package with ACU Draw

Barnett BC Raptor Reverse Draw Crossbow Package

Barnett Wildcat C6








































Stop on out and try a few of the new products we have.  Also check out our website at to see what other varieties there are.

R. Piedmonte




Traditional Bowhunting: Tuning Your Bow

3rd In The Series Of Traditional Bowhunting:

Tuning Your Bow

David Williams, Bass Pro Archery Cabin Gurnee, IL.



Well we’ve been practicing our form, concentrating and shooting for groups. By now you have experienced that one arrow that came off your bow effortlessly hitting the target will making you smile. Thinking, how this is going to be so much fun and how this recurve bow is such a simple thing. You just shot the perfect arrow with not much more than a piece of wood gracefully curved at each end and a string tying the two ends together.

In a world of technology and complexities this is just about as simple as it can get when it comes to hunting. It’s a nice uncomplicated machine, with the right amount of labor, and some dignified beauty added. All you have to do is pull to the anchor and let fly. Right?

Like all machines once we get to know them we hear and or feel things that might not be quite right. Rightly so, in comparison to current compound bows, your recurve is simple beyond modern technology terms. But, you didn’t pull it out of the box and just start shooting it and hitting everything you shot at. The Bass Pro Shops (BPS) Archery Staff gets you up and started but it takes shooting to break in and tune your bow. In tuning it’s slightly complex but, just slightly. Here’s where the knowledge of the BPS Archery professional helps with a few pointers, a few adjustments that are necessary until you gain your own experience.

Traditional bows can be adjusted and they need to be from time to time. Your bow can be tuned to your style and arrows if you choose. Your bow can be over adjusted too!

In a traditional bow (either longbow or recurve) the difference between a properly tuned recurve bow and an untuned recurve can be huge. Remember our discussion regarding ask questions…tuning your recurve is a simple subtle response to arrow flight, feel, and sound. This is not hard work, it’s reasonably straight forward that will affect your ability to shoot your bow more accurately and increase your experience, success and enjoyment.

In any traditional community there are a myriad of styles and advice regarding how to and what to do’s that come from experience you have yet to have. Our goal at BPS Archery as mentors is to start your experience with the least amount of complexity and the best success.

Important to remember… We want you to understand and know the basics of tuning so that you may move forward on your own. Understand that ANYTHING you do in the future effects tuning so it is important to know how you want set the bow up for the way you intend to use it. If you tune your bow and later add a bow quiver, it changes the tuning, change string silencer styles or position, changes the tuning, add limb covers or tip protector, changes the tuning!

The closer to a center shot your bow is the easier it is to tune. Shooting off the shelf is one of the many reasons we chose the Sage Recurve?


Brace Height and Nocking Point

The nocking point and brace height are the two major areas impacting your bow and arrow performance. Nocking point and brace height work together. As increasing or shortening its distance to the bow by lengthening or making the string shorter the nocking adjusts the brace height point moves up or down.


Brace Height

Your Sage’s recommended brace height is 7½" - 8½". You can see it has an inch in adjustment. The BPS Archery staff has more than likely put it at 8” as the starting point until you shoot 50-100 arrows to break it in.

If your brace height is too low, arrow flight will be erratic and confuse where your nock point should be…as you learn you will get the feel for it. You’ll kind of do the nock point and brace height together.


Understanding the Bell Curve

For any given bow, arrow, archer combination, there will be a "best" arrow that will give the best flight characteristics. This is the bell curve and you should understand it before you begin the tuning process.

Bell Curve

Take a look at the tuning bell curve. For any given bow, arrow, archer combination, there will be a "best" arrow that will give the best flight characteristics. To each side of the "best" are arrow combinations that most folks would consider adequate arrow flight quickly dropping off to unacceptable arrow flight.

The farther away from the best combination, the more critical a good release and form become. So you can see why we started by practicing form and release while shooting groups in Blog 2. The BPS Archery Staff put together Bow and Arrow combinations to put you into the UPPER Thirds of the Bell Curve.


Nock Point                                                                                       

Finding the right place for your nocking point is easy. The nocking point locates the nock end of your arrow on the string at the same place for each shot. It does not do anything else. So why worry about its location? We want to have the most energy from our bow to our arrow for a humane harvest as well as target accuracy. If our nocking point is too high or too low it causes our arrow to go up and down called “porpoising.”

This is the first thing we’ll be looking for. Porpoising happens when the arrow alternates between rising and “submerging” relative to its intended flight path. The image following demonstrates this in action:

knocking point

These images illustrate what “porpoising” looks like without fletching or bare shaft.

So now forget about where your nocking point is set. At BPS Archery we start at the rule of thumb: 1/8th inch above 90 degrees. Now your nock point should be put at the point where your arrow shoots the best. Period. The nock should always be above the arrow. There is no right or wrong place for your nock point it’s the best for you. A good example of this is that my personal nocking is different on my 3 traditional bows and on the Sage Recurve we are using in this Blog.

You need to be settled into either Split-finger or Three-finger styles and your RELEASE must be consistent or it can look like a nocking point issue.


Brace Height

Your brace height is the most important adjustment in your recurve bow. Brace height is the distance in inches from the string to the bow when the bow is strung. The Archery Manufacturers Organization (AMO) specifies that the measurement be taken from the string to the center of the plunger hole… this excludes a lot of traditional equipment. Some bow manufacturers measure it from the deepest part of the grip. Your Sage is measured like this so you will measure it this way all the time.


Brace height is adjusted by using a longer or shorter string or by twisting or untwisting the string. Your brace height will affect the following in order of importance:

  1. Arrow flight
  2. Arrow speed
  3. Bow noise
  4. Stability of your bow
  5. Life and longevity of your bow

Most recurve bow shooters I meet shoot their bow too high…after discussion and watching them shoot we drop their bows down as much as an inch. After this find they are shooting better than before. The brace height adjustment can do more to affect the bows performance more than all the adjustments together.

Brace height determines how long your string stays on the arrow or keeps pushing the arrow. So, we want to find the lowest brace height for your bow, arrow and style of shooting. Make sense?

Exactly where the lowest brace height for your bow is varies from bow to bow and manufacturer to manufacturer. Remembering your Sage bow is a recommended 7½" - 8½" inches from the factory based on its design and materials. There will be a specific brace height at which your bow will feel and perform its best.

Now generally speaking lower brace height will speed up your arrows and pull easier. A higher brace height will make your bow quieter and cure arrow flight problems.

If you don’t want to mess with brace height adjustments and experimenting, just take the brace height to the maximum. For some this is easier, but expect a harder pulling bow and a slower arrow.

Matching your Arrow to your bow. “ The archer and the bow set the arrow on any bow.”

The arrow is more important than the bow. Any bow can be tuned to launch the right arrow with accuracy, but the wrong arrow won’t fly well from any bow.

Remembering that the BPS Archery staff using your draw length and bow poundage chart to best recommended the correct spine for your carbon arrows and practice points. If anything has changed in your style or form you should let the BPS Archery professional know. Why choose carbon arrows? You have probably seen Traditional Shooters using aluminum and wood, but carbon arrows are very forgiving and easier to tune for beginners.

The best thing about learning to tune your bow is that it is yours and once it’s done it’s done. You shouldn’t have to do it again until you add something or change something on your bow.

The tools used for tuning your bow can be found in BPS Archery store or catalog, are as follows:


How to get better once our bow is tuned?

Once that arrow is loosed and on its way all we can do is watch the outcome…and many a traditional bow hunter has come back saying, “how did I miss by that much? Or Crap! My arrow must be in another state by now!” this has happened to all of us.

The key to getting better is practicing.  

I advocate shooting and practicing as much as one can do, especially if you’re going to hunt. Going to local clubs for 3-D shoots and/or joining in Leagues is the best shooting practice. Targets at home or local range are good but they are static and noiseless. Shooting in an event or league gives you different ranges and the noise of comrades’ joking and putting the pressure on us.

Cold Shots or First Shots, means shooting just one arrow at the target. Why is it important to start thinking about shooting these shots? We are hunting and want that first shot to count for a humane ethical harvest. That’s what all this practice leads up to…is our success in the field from that one shot.

A lot of cold and first shot issues are mental if we know our equipment from practicing and tuning to achieve that absolute best we can from our bow and arrow. First shot shooting is our mental tune up in focus, concentration and confidence. Some call it “buck fever, nerves or choking.” The worst is blaming your equipment (if you have been practicing your shooting you should know your bow by now). The best way to overcome any of these labels is to be mentally prepared. Period.

Before you start your practice, focus and concentrate on your first shot! Closer to the season, I will go out at odd times of the day like early morning, just after dinner and string my bow and shoot a first shot from different angles; then put my bow away. I will leave my arrow in the target and think about. It’s the old scout in me “Being Prepared.”

Don’t get me wrong here; I still practice shooting lots and lots of arrow through my bow(s) to keep my form and release dialed in and strength up.

“Perfect Practice Makes Perfect!”


Next in this Series: Fitness…

Previous in the series:  Traditional Bowhunting: Instinctive Shooting

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Traditional Bowhunting: Instinctive Shooting

2nd In The Series Of Traditional Bowhunting:

Instinctive Shooting

David Williams, Bass Pro Archery Cabin Gurnee, IL.



Man using traditional bow for huntingWe have made and purchased our first steps to becoming Traditional Bow Hunter. The Bass Pro Shop (BPS) Archery Staff will take you through step-by-step setup of your recurve bow and use of the bow stringer. The Archery Staff will cut your arrows and go thru the use of everything else purchased. We want you comfortable with the items you purchased. If you have questions Please Ask! This is your journey and we are your mentors to a successful process and experience!


Why did we recommend this instead of that?


  • First, anything recommended in the first Blog is open for discussion between you and the BPS Archery Staff. This is about your success so ASK Questions!


  • Why the Fred Bear Bow Stinger when there are others to choose from? I believe that this bow stringer is the safest and best for either longbow or recurve bow available on the market today.


  • Why the Calf Hair Finger Tab instead of the Shooting Glove? I confess this is a matter of personal experience and preference for me. Hunting in the upper part of the country we experience cold climate at hunting season. A finger tab works well for me with fingerless wool gloves and mittens.

Getting Started

You are ready for the shooting style that matches the Sage Recurve. Think about it, your bow compared to the other bows in the shop has No Sights! How are you going to hit anything? Remember the 3-legged stool? This is the 1st leg.


Shooting Style, Instinct shooting.

One of the great things about choosing to hunt traditional is the ability to see and get a shot off quicker than the compound bow hunter. A traditional bow hunter does not have to look thru the peep and find the right distance pin. With instinctive shooting we see our game, we shoot in a fluid movement, we bring home our harvest. Right? But, not without practice, practice and practice.


Shooting the Bow

How does instinctive shooting work? You can throw a baseball, football, shoot a basketball, bean bags or play darts. These are hand eye coordination that we all develop as we grow. So, you have instinctive shooting in you already. Unfortunately it is not quite that easy, in that it takes time to learn. But, once you have learned it, it is very accurate and you get better in time. It’s very important that you learn to shoot your bow well. As a matter of fact it’s absolutely necessary to in your quest to harvest an animal ethically. Shooting your bow well will be a great feeling. I know it is for me and a lot of other bow hunters.


Man shooting recurve bow at cameraShooting off the shelf

Instinct shooting starts with the arrow rest. Getting the arrow to go where we are looking begins with the arrow rest and locating as near to the bow hand as possible. Why is this important? Instinctive Shooting is shooting the bow using only the abilities of eye, body coordination and instinctive memory.


Simply, it’s shooting an arrow where you are looking.

Canting a bow is not as common as it used to be for a couple of reasons; 1st the increase in hunting sights which dictate that the bow held vertically; 2nd elevated arrow rests which requires the same position. Another reason for canting the bow is that it opens up your field of view for a cleaner shot. Here’s a Canting exercise to do.

  1. Make a fist using your bow hand, representing holding your bow exactly as though you are shooting. 
  2. Choose a spot on the wall like a picture.
  3. Aim using your closed fist with simulating the arrow sitting on top of your fist as with the arrow rest.
  4. Now canting your fist to the right 90-degrees (assuming your right handed / left handed would be opposite).
  5. Notice the arrow simulation is still pointing at the spot.


You can do this exercise holding your bow as well. As you can see, canting your bow when shooting off the shelf does not change much.


Shooting off the shelf greatly simplifies instinctive shooting. When the arrow is down close to your hand, the arrow becomes part of the sighting / pointing system. Your arrow is pointed where your hand/arm is pointed; thus improving your ability to shoot quickly and to shoot where your bow is pointed.


Learning to Shoot

The ability to shoot instinctively is a result of form and practice. No matter what type of bow and arrow you choose to shoot... the basics are fundamentally the same principles.

Those fundamentals are:

  1. The Stance, most popular with shooters: is left side towards the target, feet parallel and spaced comfortably, head turned 90 degrees with chin touching, or almost touching, the left shoulder.



2. The open stance is also popular. Similar to the standard stance except the right foot is slightly forward of the left foot and the left foot is turned slightly towards the target.



3. The Draw is the very center of instinctive shooting. The draw includes keys: hand position on the bow, bow arm position, finger position on the string, the draw itself and head position. 






4. The Anchor, the anchor is the rear sight on your bow. It’s the tail end or nock of the arrow lack of consistency in the anchor has dramatic impacts on hits. Moving the anchor up or down, right or left will send the arrow in those directions.


   3-Finger Anchor                                     Split-Finger Anchor

  1. Aiming: when we think aiming in today’s terms we associate it with tools or devices, a mechanical system. Aiming in instinctive shooting certainly is mechanical, it’s concentrating on your target. At first aiming will be difficult because we all have a tendency to look where we want our arrow to go as in spot 1 in following sketch. With practice you will see where your arrow is going as in spot 2.


   Seeing versus Aiming where we want the arrow to go.

  1. The Release: the release is affected by letting go of the string… allowing the arrow suddenly leave your fingers. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When this is done with your bow and arrow. The bow arm is pushing forward as the string is pulled back… two opposing actions.  As long as you continue to push the bow arm forward, the release hand will easily let loose the string. Your bow hand must be pushing forward and your release hand pulling back. It is a push-pull method. One last thing, the term “hold” is a misnomer… you do not hold in traditional instinctive shooting.

Here’s a very good tool and exercise to work on these fundamentals in the house, break time at work or during TV commercials… Make a String Bow.

It’s As Easy As This:


  1. Take an 84-90 inch length of string fold the string in half by placing the cut ends in your bow hand.
  2. Hook the first three fingers of your drawing hand in the loop end of the string. The string should be resting in the first joint of line of the first and third fingers and just inside the joint of the second finger.



  1. Release the cut ends from your bow hand.
  2. With the back of your bow hand facing you, close your bow hand around both strands of string 12 inches or so from where your fingers are in the looped end.



  1. Straighten your bow arm and hang it towards your imaginary target now, lift your while facing the target lift your bow arm to eye level.


  1. Draw the string through your bow hand fist by pulling the string toward your face and placing the middle finger on the corner of your mouth. If you do not shooting Split-Finger Style but, shoot Three-Finger Style you would place your index finger at the corner of your mouth. Your drawing hand and arm should be level and above your bow hand and arm.


  1. While keeping your bow hand wrapped around the string, remove your drawing hand fingers from the loop. Use the drawing hand to hold the string where it exits the bow hand.
  2. Now tie a knot as close as possible to this place, tie a second knot a hands width away from the first knot and cut away the excess string.

  1. It’s very important that the “string bow” be the proper length, make sure the bow hand string (with the knots) is place in the hands lifeline. Proper draw length is critical for ethical hunting and the use of the tool like the string bow helps us in its use. Proper Draw Length,


See the alignment from elbow to bow hand.

The BPS Archery staff will go through these principles with you when you purchase your bow.


Practicing Your Form And Release

Start shooting by being close 5 to 10-yards to your target and just work on your form, release and concentration. As these get better you will notice your arrow groups will get better, tighter and smaller.

In the archery we say “Perfect Practice makes Perfect” so, take your time when practicing. You will see the results.

Click here for the first installment

Click here to check out our line of traditional hunting gear.

The 3rd Blog in this series will be shooting tuning equipment.


Traditional Bowhunting: Buying the Bow, Arrows and Accessories

1st In The Series Of Traditional Bowhunting:Buying the Bow, Arrows and Accessories

David Williams, Bass Pro Archery Cabin Gurnee, IL.



Why do a Bass Pro Blog on Traditional Bow Hunting?

The trend in big box stores is to meet the demands of today's bow hunter using the latest technologies in bows and arrows. Now thanks to a media presence in TV and Movies that are re-introducing Traditional Style Recurve Bows to the young and stirring memories...


Where to Start?

The Bass Pro Archery Cabin has a range of Traditional Bows, Arrows and support accessories. To the point of being overwhelming...

We are going to start with an entry level hunting bow and arrows that without local taxes will come in right around $300.  One of the challenges we faced for the beginner interested in Modern Traditional Bow Hunting is the wide variety brands and prices available. In this blog we are simplifying the choices.


The Bow

Many factors in determine which bow is best for you:

  1. What’s your budget?
  2. Are You Right or Left Eye Dominate?  
  3. What is your draw length?
  4. What game do you want to hunt?
  5. What state(s) are you going to hunt?
  6. What is the minimum draw weight for the bow?

Each state has a minimum draw weight or poundage. Here in Illinois the minimum draw weight is 40 lbs. and in Wisconsin its 35 lbs. The states draw weight is tied to your draw length that will be measured in the Archery Cabin. 



AMO stands for the Archery Manufacturers Organization. Created set of standards.

All bows have the measured AMO poundage at 28" this standardization is important for choosing bow, arrows and arrowheads.

Example: the bow we are using is a Right Handed Sage Recurve 45lbs. at 28". So, if you're hunting in Illinois and have a draw length of 27" have the BPS Archery staff weigh the bow on the scale and you will see, you are still meeting the states requirement of 40 lbs.

My draw length is 29 1/2"; using a “rule of thumb,” of every inch on the bow equals 3 lbs. I am pulling 49 ½ lbs.


We at Bass Pro want to make sure that you are "Not Over Bowed." Many times customers think because they shoot a 60 to 70 lb. compound bow, they will shoot the same in a Traditional Bow at the same draw weight. Being over bowed means you cannot pull, aim and shoot the bow consistently. So, start at 10 to 15 lbs. under your compound weight or if new to the sport or starting again after a long layoff start at your minimum hunting regulations. We want you to be able to enjoy the process, become good, and be able to harvest your game ethically.

Many of the Bass Pro Staff will know the local hunting requirements. But, it's up to YOU to know them and to have your Hunter Safety Certificate.

There are 2 primary classes of Traditional Bows:

  • The Longbow
  • The Recurve Bow

There is no scientific solution to the choice of whether to shoot a recurve or longbow. Both designs have their merits and drawbacks.

  • Typically longbows can be more forgiving and much easier to shoot.
  • Recurve bows can be shorter, faster, and more maneuverable in the woods. Some models can be taken down for easy storage and transport.

I have chosen the Sage Takedown Recurve, Right Hand 62” long and 45 lbs. at 28”.


Why choose the Sage Recurve?

The short answer: this is the best bow that I have ever shot in the “up to $200″ price, Sage is the most bows for our budget. The 62" AMO length allows for stable, smooth shooting for almost any draw length. The no-tools takedown is one of the easiest to use methods on the market. The Sage Recurve is great for a beginners bow or even as a backup bow for those traveling to hunt big game.

The draw is really smooth, there are no noticeable vibrations at all during release. It’s exceptionally quiet - which is really important on a hunting trip. Due to the bow’s length it is really accurate, and can even (to a certain degree) compensate for stance and form issues that the archer shooting it might have.

The 62" AMO length allows for stable, smooth shooting for almost any draw length. The no-tools takedown is one of the easiest to use methods on the market. The Sage Recurve is great for a beginners bow or even as a backup bow for those traveling to hunt big game.


What about arrow flight?

This will obviously depend on what drawing weight you choose. The higher the drawing weight, the straighter the flight of the arrow will be and the more deadly its on-hit effect. The Sage is available in 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55 lb. versions. For the best performance, I recommend getting 40 lbs. or 45 lbs. weights. You’ll be able to shoot targets from as far as you need to, and expect tight arrow groups from well over 25 yards.

Is The Sage Good For Hunting?                                                        As long as you get the 40lbs. or 45lbs. draw weight models, you’ll have the ability to harvest deer from 20+ yards without any problem depending on your abilities and arrow choice. For larger game (elk for example) you might need to go slightly beyond that 45 lbs. and get a 50 lb. version of the bow. The Sage is definitely not the smallest recurve on the market, but it’s still small enough to make it easy to carry around and maneuver in the field.

Just keep in mind that the suitability of any bow for hunting will depend not only on the draw weight, but also on your draw length. The longer your draw length, the more kinetic energy your arrows will carry and hence the deeper they will penetrate your target. As such, if your draw length is 26 or less, you will likely need to make up for it by getting a heavier version of the bow if you want to hunt (45lbs. minimum, even for deer).

What about Arrows?

Carbon/Aluminum Hunting Arrow Length and Bow Weight Chart


Once we know our measurements from the bow we can now match and choose our arrows and arrowheads. The general rule of thumb for arrows is to match the spine or flex of the arrow by looking at your draw weight and draw length.

However with traditional bows we need to take in consideration:

  • What type of arrow rest or no arrow rest
  • The arrow rest will determine the type if fletching, vanes or feathers.
  • Bow draw weight and length.
  • Arrowhead weight.

Our goal is to deliver as much energy through the arrow as we can to have a successful ethical harvest of our game at the distance of our ability to shoot accurately. Look at this like a 3-legged stool with each leg representing part of the process. The archer being 1st leg, the bow being the 2nd leg and the 3rd most important is the arrow resulting in all of our hard work.

I will be setting up either the BlackOut X3 Hunter arrows or Beman Centershot Carbon arrows, with 4” feathers and 400 spine or shaft; arrowhead weight will be starting at 125 grains for FOC. You will learn later FOC (Front of Center) on an arrow is important to the arrows performance.

These carbon arrows give us great performance, mid – level price, good durability and ease of tuning to our bow. We are shooting with 4” feathers because our bow does not have an arrow rest. We are “shooting off the shelf” and plastic vanes would cause the arrow to bounce off the bow.

Materials Purchased to Begin our Quest to Deer Hunt 2015

And be sure to check out our online selection of traditional archery gear:

The 2nd Blog in this series will be shooting style.


Five Steps To Choosing The Right Bow

1. Measure your draw length. Draw your hands as if you were drawing a bow with your fisted hand against a wall. Measure from the wall to the corner of your mouth. This is your draw length.
2. Choose the correct draw weight. Draw weight represents the amount of physical force you need to pull back the bow string. Draw your bow back 10 times wait five minutes. If you are able to easily draw your bow back 11 times without becoming winded and your arms stay stable this draw weight is okay for you.

3. Pick the best bow length based on your draw length. 
Draw length                              Bow length
Less than 26                              64 in. bow
26-28                                         66 in. bow
28-30                                         68 in. bow
30 or more                                 70 in. or larger

4. Determine whether you need a right or left-handed bow. This is based on your dominant eye, not your dominant hand. Use your fingers to create a circular viewing window. Bring your hands to your face and focus through the window you created. Your hands should naturally gravitate towards your dominant eye.

5. Compare directly drawn versus compound bows. Directly drawn bows require users to provide steady force to pull back and hold the string. Compound bows use a series of gears to assist with this task. For archery and target practice, choose a directly drawn bow. Compound bows are typically used by hunters.

Stop buy your local Bass Pro Shops archery counter to get great advice from our experienced archery associates or visit to browse merchandise and find the store nearest you.



Momentum is the word of the day.  A lot of people seem to mix up KE (kinetic energy) and momentum when it comes to bowhunting (or one could say hunting in general, but today let’s focus on archery).  KE seems to be the big buzz word floating around nowadays which is great for marketing, but not so great when talking about actual application; it’s only HALF of the equation.  Yes speed is wonderful, a lot of compound guys (and gals) love trying to get that max IBO/ATA that their bows swears that they can get to.  But how did we go from shooting recurves (which if you hit 225fps that’s SMOKING FAST!) where we were pushing 500-600 gr arrows, to much faster speeds - the arrows are half the weight? What a lot of hunters, especially new ones, don’t really get exposed to nowadays is that other half of the equation of yes your bow is fast, but because it’s faster, it can push more weight faster too.  Think about it this way, you drive a zippy motorcycle into a side of a vehicle at around 130mph, and then take a large SUV and drive it into the side of a vehicle going 70mph, what’s going to do more damage?  I like to use Fred Bear’s arrow weight calculation, which is pretty easy, take however much draw weight you’re pulling, say 60#, and add a zero to it, now subtract 10%, which would be 540gr. I know what most of you are thinking, “Holy Toledo! That’s a log, no way can my bow shoot that monstrosity without serious drop!”  

Well, I hate to break it to you slick, but you know how most people sight their bows in for going at least out to 60 yards or so? The average distance that has been reported for shooting a deer with a bow, is a whopping 15-25 yards.  Wait, that’s it?  Yeah, that’s it.  Consider that next time you really feel the need to sight your 7 pin sight out to 80 yards, on a rig you plan on taking through east Texas where you’ll most likely never get a clear shot past maybe 35. And say if you are taking shots longer than that, what’s the matter, couldn’t get any closer? But in all seriousness, a closer shot is ideal, and of course there’s always some exception, like flat plains shooting.

Now consider this as well, sure you’re probably getting your 8.0gpi arrows with your rear deploying mechanicals into deer at say 30 yards or so and you’re killing them every time.  Awesome, but is the arrow going through, or is it just stopping inside of them?  You know what’s better than an entrance hole?  An exit hole.  You know what’s better than that?  Pass through.  Yes I understand the benefit of a broadhead swirling around inside, causing mayhem is fantastic, but you still have the shaft blocking a fair deal of potential blood loss, where a clean pass through will guarantee a great deal more blood loss which is definitely more beneficial and integral to a quicker death. Now a term that is thrown around a lot is FOC (front/forward of center), which actually effects arrow flight and impact. FOC is essentially a way of saying that there is more weight towards the front of the arrow rather than the back, or it balances more towards the front. This is important because your fletchings on your arrow are made to stabilize arrow flight due to the flex, which can be affected by anywhere from an improperly tuned bow, finger releasing, torqueing the bow, etc. The less work your fletchings have to do to compensate, the faster it will straighten. They do this by spinning the arrow to straighten out the shaft, which if the front of the arrow has a fair deal of weight or is stiffer; it’ll force the back end to balance quicker. To find your FOC just follow these steps:

1) Measure the length of the shaft from the throat of the nock to the end of the shaft, excluding the insert; this is lengthL”

2) Using a sharp edge, balance the arrow (including the point) and mark the balance point

3) Measure the distance from the throat of the nock to the balance point; this is length B”

4) Input B and L into the following formula:


Typically speaking I’d say keep target arrows around 8-12%, hunting arrows 11-15%, but also bear in mind that it is not uncommon for some of the old school bow hunters (and younger ones such as me) to go on up to 30%! This granted is a lot, but just keep in mind, how far you’re trying to go, your draw weight, draw length, your bow’s speed capabilities, etc.

There are so many other aspects of arrow dynamics, such as smoothness of the shaft, what kind of inserts you’re using, your vein selection, nock weight (lighted nocks are heavier, so keep that in mind when trying to achieve a specific FOC), and of course the outside diameter of the arrow itself.  Generally speaking I do tend to prefer the micro diameter shafts because it’s less surface area to push through an animal, so it makes for easier penetration, but there aren’t too many really heavy micro diameter arrows out there, usually from what I’ve seen those top out at are around 10gpi (grains per inch). Of course you could cheat this by adding weights into your shaft, to offset FOC and increase overall weight but be mindful that you’re aware of exactly how much weight whatever you’re using is, you need to make sure your arrows all weigh the same.  I have used fishing weights, they seem to work okay, but making sure they stay in one place can be tricky if you’ve already put an insert into the arrow, which means you have to go from the back, but using certain kinds of epoxy because it doesn’t bond right way and a long thin device to push it down should typically work as long as you don’t allow the epoxy to seep in through the hole in the bottom of the insert.

Your arrows are an integral part of bow hunting, so just remember there are many things to keep in mind when picking out what kind of arrows you want, and practice and fine tune seeing what works with your particular rig and needs. Like, if you’re only drawing 50# and your bows rated fps is around 300, it’d probably be best not try and launch 700 grain arrows. Tinker around and see what kind of performance you get out of your arrows and remember, practice makes perfect, and most importantly, have fun out there and get yourself a nice rack, and a full freezer.


Submitted by Ty Gardner, our Archery Lead


Sizing up a Compound Bow

So you are looking at your first Compound Bow or upgrading the one you have had for 20 years.  Wheels, cams, stabilizers, risers, let-off,  limbs. What does it all mean? Choosing the best bow for compound archery, whether backyard shooting, hunting, tournaments on 3-D targets or paper punching.  Learn how we do it at Bass Pro Shops.

Shop our extensive Archery selection at!

Eye Dominance:

The fancy name for this is “ocular dominance,” which basically means that your brain prefers visual input from one eye over the other. Your brain considers that eye’s input more “true.”

You dominant eye is usually the same side as your writing hand. But “cross-dominance,” is not uncommon. Some right-handed archers shoot left-handed because their left eye is dominant. I have found about 15% of our sales are to this type of archer. You can determine your dominant eye in three easy steps:

1. Place your hands at arm’s length, and press your thumbs and forefingers together to form a triangular opening.

2. Keeping both eyes open, look through the triangle and center it on something, like a doorknob.

3. Now close one eye, then the other. If you can’t close one of your eyes by blinking, have someone cover it for you.

Notice how the doorknob stays in place with one eye but “jumps” with the other eye? Your dominant eye keeps the doorknob centered in the triangle. Archers who are right-eye dominant should shoot right-handed. Archers who are left-eye dominant should shoot left-handed.

Another easy way is use the buddy system:

1. Place your hands at arm’s length, and press your thumbs and forefingers together to form a triangular opening.

2. Keeping both eyes open, look through the triangle and center it on top of your buddies nose.  Have your buddy tell you what eye he or she sees and that is your dominate eye.

Determine your Draw Length:

Your local Bass Pro Shops can measure it quickly and precisely.  Here is an easy way to estimate your draw length on your own:

First, measure your wingspan. Stand up straight with both arms and hands extended to your sides, forming a “T.” Have a friend measure from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other middle finger in a straight line. Divide that number by 2.5 to estimate your draw length. An archery pro will need to measure you again for accuracy and precision. You don’t want to buy a bow with a draw length that’s too short or too long. 

Keep in mind a half inch off on your draw length can be all that is keeping you from holding steady.

ATA or Axel to Axel Length:

The axle-to-axle measurement is the length between the bow’s cams– the wheel-like devices that help power the bow – attached to the bow’s limb tips.

Why does this measurement matter? It’s important for the axle-to-axle length of your bow to fit the type of shooting or hunting you’ll be doing. An extremely long bow, for instance, might make hunting in a tight blind or single-seated tree stand difficult. If you’re roaming an open course, scouting turkeys from the ground or hunting deer from a tree stand with open platforms, you can probably get by with a longer bow. It might even be beneficial. Why? Typically, the longer a bow’s axle-to-axle measurement, the more forgiving it will be when taking longer shots. Though with today's technology the shorter ATA bows are very forgiving and easier than ever to shoot.  Try a few before making your final decision.

Draw Weight:

There’s no magic formula for determining draw weights. Start with a low-poundage bow, especially if you’ve never drawn one before. The more you use your bow-shooting muscles, the more weight you’ll be able to draw, and the farther you’ll be able to shoot.

These days it’s easier than ever to find quality bows with larger amounts of adjustable draw weights.  This means you can easily change your draw weight as you develop your shooting skills and archery muscles.

Keep in mind that most of today's bows set at 40 pounds of draw weight can easily produce enough kinetic energy to pass through an animal with the proper broadhead tipped arrow.

Take a lesson:

There are many archery coaches and classes offer around your area.  Take a few hours or a day and take a lesson from your local pro.  He or she can teach you the little things that will help you hold steadier and hit your target more often.


Check it Out List: Bow Fishing

OK! I promise this will be the last bow fishing blog for a while! Sheesh! I know it was bad enough doing this month’s Fishy Fact blog about bowfin, but you can’t blame me. Bow fishing is really awesome. It is one of the few sports that combine two distinctly different outdoor passions into one (archery and fishing). It is also one of the few things that have gone from survival technique to big-league sport. I haven’t seen the International Fire Starters Championship, but there definitely is a U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship!









Your bow can either be a recurve style or a compound style. (I believe Burt Reynolds had a recurve in Deliverance.) Both have their advantages. The recurve is very easy to learn and pretty simple. The compound has more features and gadgets. Crossbow options are available as well. It all depends on you. You won’t have to take 70 yard shots or anything like that, so really just figure out what works for you. Most people go with a compound though.

Hey, ever wonder what happens to all those bows we get from trade-in specials? Well we donate ours to a non-profit group that turns them into bowfishing rigs. So if you can get your hands onto an older bow for cheap, this might be a good option too!

The reel attaches to your bow and holds the line. The line is attached to your arrow. So hypothetically you would spot a fish, fire your arrow and (hopefully) hit the fish. You would then reel your line in, bringing the arrow and fish right back to you. This is nice, because if you miss you can simply reel it back in. Anybody who shoots archery will tell you what a pain it is losing arrows. Now the reel itself can be your standard set up, or one that closer resembles a spin-casting reel used for fishing.

Lines are pretty standard so it is whatever works best for you and your bow. Archery gear can be like anything else where it seems to prefer certain products. Just like your rifle might prefer certain manufacturer’s ammo.

The arrows don’t have any fletching, mostly because they don’t need them. The shots taken while bowfishing really are not that far. Once again, you’ll figure out what your bow likes as far as arrows go. Once you start looking at the different points, you’ll see a wide variety of options. It all kind of depends on what fish you will be going after and what you like shooting. But basically you will hit the fish and the blades will keep the fish from getting off as you reel in.

A big thing lately has been bowfishing for gators. Please note that you will need some heavy duty stuff for that, and it is best done with a guide. Seriously.

Accessories for bowfishing include gloves, scales, sunglasses, hats and all of your standard fishing accessories. Whether it be tools or apparel these are things you can pick up over time or use what you already have.



Picnics Gun Cleaning Game Care First Aid Kayaking Day Pack Trip Prep Range Time

Fishing Pack Boating Day Trip Camp Cooking  Dove Hunting Upland Hunting Tactical Clothing

Winter Camping Reloading


Healthy Hunter: Hunt Ready

So last month I talked about why it is important to be physically prepared for a hunt. This goes right along with the Healthy Hunter series of blogs. And one of my absolute favorite things to do is create workouts. I love it. Before I went on my first deer hunt I did a six-week regimen to make sure I was going to be ready for it. Sure I was mostly hunting out of stands and blinds, but still I wanted to be ready for anything! And besides, we have talked a lot about nutrition with these blogs so it’s about time to focus on the other part of health/fitness goals. Exercise!

So a little background before we get into the workout plan. This program involves both weight-lifting and cardio. Both are important to focus upon and can be a big help on a hunt. This workout is designed for inside a gym, but can also be done at home if you have the space/equipment. In one of the earlier blogs I wrote about how it is important to track yourself. Same goes for here. The goal is to increase time of cardio and weight/reps when lifting.

The human body is amazing at recovery. I remember hearing how we can withstand workouts that would kill a race horse. But be sure you know what you can handle before going all out. And if you need to change certain exercises, do so. Just be consistent whatever you chose to do.

Never lift weights on consecutive days. Give yourself a day of rest from lifting. I like to fill the rest-days with cardio. Make sure your exercises work from your largest muscle groups down to the smallest. So it’d be something like: Legs-Back-Chest-Shoulder-Triceps-Biceps-Core. Some will argue that your core is a larger group, but I like to finish focusing on this.

Don’t be afraid to take some of your gear to the gym with you. I did. Part of the workout is doing cardio with your hunting pack on and adding weight to it. This is a great way to see how noisy your zippers may be, or if the pack rubs on you or how to best distribute weight in it. Just be sure to spray your gear down with scent-eliminator.

This workout is for four days, which should anyone should be able to work in. This gives you plenty of time to rest. The workouts shouldn’t last longer than 45 minutes. Any longer than that and you probably aren’t doing your body any good.

Lifting Days

Aim for 3 sets of each exercise with 10-15 reps. Slowly increase the weight each week. Track your numbers. And like I said earlier, change any exercise that you need to. If you don’t want to do barbell rows then maybe dumbbell rows, just be consistent. Machines or body-weight variants are also completely acceptable.

Cardio Days

Use machines that you can adjust both resistance and positioning on. This way you can practice for going uphill and how hard the terrain might be. Wear your hunting pack on your back. (Leave the bow/rifle at home.) Figure out how much the pack will weigh for the majority of your trip. Use weights/rocks for half of that weight and work your way up to the full weight and then some over the six week period. If you would prefer to not do cardio in a gym then go hit the trails. That is a hundred times better than being stuck inside. Plus, you might get to climb over trees or stumble over rocks just like in the real world!

Hunt Ready Workout

Lifting Day One:

Squats – Pullups – Bench Press – Shoulder Flies – Triceps Extensions – Barbell Curls - Crunches

Cardio Day One:

30 minutes minimum. Increase speed, position or resistance every 5 minutes.

Lifting Day Two:

Deadlifts – Rows – Chest Flies – Shoulder Press – Dips – Hammer Curls - Planks

Cardio Day Two:

30 minutes minimum. Increase speed, position or resistance every 5 minutes.


Don’t know what those exercises are? has a great library online full of these and more! Many of the exercises are also known as compound, because they hit a couple of muscle groups at the same time.

Be sure to think about any health concerns and probably talk to your doctor before beginning this program. But the benefits from doing this workout, or any before the hunt, could prove itself one of your most important tools out in the field.


Proper Motivation Personal Push Habits Track It Limits Simple Sides


Experience Bass Pro Shops Archery and Hunting department

Are you an experienced bow hunter or maybe a beginner? Have you ever thought about shooting a bow for sport? Maybe shooting a bow hasn't really crossed your mind this year. Well, we would like to change all of that. We would like to invite you to come out to the Bass Pro Shops in Leeds, Alabama on September 13 from 10am to 5pm, September 14 from 12pm to 5pm, September 27th from 10am to 5pm, or September 28th from 12pm to 5pm. We will be hosting an "Experience Weekend" for our customers to allow them to experience products from various departments. The best part about this experience is that it is absolutely free.


bowDuring both experience weekends, you will have the opportunity to shoot the New BlackOut SS Compound Bow. The New BlackOut SS Compound Bow is powered by Throttle Cam Tech, which is the fastest and most efficient single cam system on the market. The draw cycle and energy transfer movement are smooth and precise. To see this bow before you come to experience it, check out


On September 13th and September 14th, while you are in the hunting department, make sure you check out the Oculus 7.0 Binoculars. Customers can experience first hand why the Oculus binoculars are such a great value. These binoculars are sheathed in a protective, shock-absorbing rubber armor for hard-hunting, long-term durability, fogproof, and 100% waterproof. Come experience these binoculars on September 13th & 14th. For more information about the Oculus 7.0 binoculars, go to


scopeThe weekend of September 27th & 28th, our hunting counter will be happy to allow customers to experience the Oculus rifle scope. See first hand how technology brings nature into sharp focus with Oculus® precision rifle scopes. Come experience the brilliant optical quality that the Oculus Rifle Scope has to offer. For more information about this scope, go to


Don't let the hunting season sneak up on you with out coming to the Bass Pro Shops in Leeds to experience all that we have to offer. Our "Experience Weekend" is not just limited to the hunting department, see what other products you can experience in the fishing department, camping department, apparel department, camo apparel, and marine.



A Simple Guide to Bows

The familiar "thwang" of a bow string can set many an archer's mind at ease and relieve stress or tension. Archery is a sport practiced around the world. It is so popular that there have been world archery competitions at least five times a year every year since 2006 according to the World Archery Federation's website, which will be referred to as WAF. Countries all over the world including "China, India, Korea, Japan, Great Britain, Italy, France, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, USA, Mexico, [and] Australia" compete to see who has the best archers. (WAF) They have multiple types of archery competitions: Olympic Games, World Cups, World Championships, Ski Archery, Run Archery, Universiades, World Games, World Master Games, Para-Archery, and much more.

Archery started around the time people started walking, and walked its way through the Shang and Zhou dynasties to eventually make its way through Asia to Europe. There it got into Greek, Egyptian, and Norse Mythology and then Roman soon after that. Diana of the Roman Mythology, Athena of the Greek Pantheon, the Huntress, she hunted with a longbow in the traditional style. Many in the Eurasian cultures had at least one deity that carried a bow of similar fashion as the weapon of choice.

Longbows are as many hands high as their archer and without any bells and whistles or additions to help with aim or draw. According to "longbows are much more difficult to aim than other modern bows and do not have nearly the same velocity as compound or recurve bows. " Yew is the traditional wood but other lighter woods are known to be used to make the bow. (“The Longbow”) More modernly used is the compound bow which is like an assisted or easier to use bow.

"The sleek, uncluttered lines of traditional equipment speak volumes on old-school simplicity and tradition. On the other hand, a compound bow -- with its system of cables and wheels and adorned with accessories like a stabilizer, wrist strap, multiposition arrow rest and fiber-optic bow sight -- screams modern-day technology".

The compound bow is set up on a system of pulleys that make the bows stiffer limbs assume the desired shape. The pulley system allows the archer to manipulate potential and kinetic energy for a swifter and more accurately precise shot.


The recurve bow is an older style usually used by horsemen that has also been modernized so that it comes apart into three pieces for convenience.  The recurve bow "gets its power from the unique curve at the limb tips, a design first developed by Egyptian archers thousands of years ago" per The recurve bow may be suggested as a beginners bow due to affordability.

Bass Pro Shops is a great place to buy traditional, recurve and compound bows. We have a wide selection and a staff that can help anyone pick the right bow for the archer.


"Facts and Figures." World Archery. World Archery Federation, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

"History of Archery." World Archery. World Archery Federation, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

"The Longbow." The Longbow. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

Carmichael, Lindsey. "The Recurve Bow – What You Need to Know." Discover Archery. The Easton Foundations, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Robb, Bob. "The Modern Compound Bow." Sportsman's Guide. The Sportman's Guide Inc., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Unger, Kristen. "Four Types of Archery Bows." LIVESTRONG.COM. Demand Media, Inc., 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.



Daddy's little mini me

Isn’t it cute when you hear your little one wanting to be just like you? To see them mimic you, from how you do little habits, to how you dress. The greatest thing I know, is to hear from you son and daughter that they want to hunt and fish just like you! For you to know that it will be awesome quality time, a special bonding moment you will forever cherish. We have some ideas to help you and your kids to be the best little mini me! (most of these items that are shown are in boy and girl colors/characters)



Bass Pro Shops® Toy Pump Shotgun for Kids- 

Before they are ready to really go out and shoot, this gun is a great way to look just like dad and have them used to how to load and shoot. / 


Bass Pro Shops® NXT Generation® Rapid Riser Toy Compound Bow for Kids-

This is a pefect way to teach the kids about target practice and to have a steady eye. Right for the bulls eye!



Outdoor Hunter Sports Style Walkie Talkie and Binocular Set for Kids-

What is cuter then seeing the kids pretending to be out in the woods hunting, spotting a deer with the binocular and radio each other on if the other is ready to shoot!



Shakespeare® Disney® Princess Purse Rod and Reel Kit for Kids-

A way to daddy's heart is when his little girl wants to spend time out at the coast with him catching fish. This is a way to get her even more excited plus learn the basic release and reel form.



Shakespeare® Little Princess™ Tackle Box for Kids-

Don't forget the tackle box! To store all her little play worms or other items princess need. Great way to start their fishing advertures!


We are here to help you make those memories and easy to teach them at an early age how to hunt and fish. At the same time have fun and excitment with their equipment.


Top 5 Ways to use your Bass Pro Gift Card you received for Christmas

Top 5 Ways to use the Bass Pro Shops gift card you received for Christmas.

(In no particular order).


  1. Save up for the Jon Boat you’ve been eyeing. Picture it now: you are out on Lake Mead water splashing up all around you.  What’s that? A tug on your line? You just caught yourself some dinner. Don’t live anywhere near water? That’s fine. Park it by your back door and instant porch. You can have your kids spray you with a water bottle so you can get the full effect.
  2. Camouflage. Best disguise ever. You can’t see me.
  3. Stock up on Lifetime Guarantee Socks.  Everybody needs socks, but who wants to ask for socks for Christmas because instead of getting fun new toys like a new compound bow or that Pink Camouflage purse with matching wallet you are getting socks.  Lifetime Guarantee Socks have just that, a Lifetime Guarantee. Go ahead try to wear them out? Bring them back and we will give you a brand new pair just like that.  Now you will never need to buy anymore socks.
  4. 2 Words: Bacon Jerky. It’s Bacon. It’s Jerky. Need I say more?
  5. Clearance. Remember that RedHead shirt you wanted? Or was it a Natural Reflections sweater? Guess what…chances are…it’s on sale.  Yep that’s right better get down here while your size is still available, because once it’s gone, it is gone.

Archery Season is Here and We Have a Bow for You!

At Bass Pro Shops we are all about getting you outside.  We have such a nice variety of bows to pick from that it was hard for me to highlight just a few.  As many of you know,  your bow is unique to you.  You have to feel comfortable with the draw and ease of use.   Bow hunting creates a different challenge than hunting with a firearm.  This type of hunting is more silent and peaceful.  You also need to be closer to your game.  Anyone of our associates in our Archery Department are happy to spend as much time as you need to find the right bow for you.  Here are a few you might want to take a look at.

The Bear Archery Apprentice.   This bow is great for a young archer.  13 different draw lengths, draw weights adjust 15-60 pounds.  Nice and light at 2.9pounds.  This will accomodate a young archer longer than other youth bows.











The Bear Motive 6 Compound Bow is light, quiet, and extremely fast.  Very smooth draw cycle.















The easy to use Redhead Kronik XT Compound Bow  is also lightweight and strong.  This bow package also includes a 3 pin sight, hostage capture style arrow rest, and a 5 arrow quiver.


Last but not least is the Redhead Toxik XT Compound BowThis bow has a smooth draw and is extremely accurate.  Lightweight at 3.8 pounds this bow is also great value for the money and high quality.
















Believe me that a quick look here just does not do these bows justice.  You have to look at these quality products to see just how great they are.  So stop on by, and take a good long look at what we have.  Ask a lot of questions this is not just a great investment, but a wonderful time spent outside enjoying nature at its best.


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator 


Archery: Finding the Right Bow

For many individuals who are thinking about getting into the world of archery, finding the right bow or the right information on how to select a bow can be difficult. There are hundreds of bows and many different companies competing to earn your trust and dollar. While looking for a bow may be hard finding the right company as well as the right price and style can be harder. There are a few simple steps that can be taken when getting ready to buy a new bow.

Archery pic 1

The first thing any prospective bow shopper wants to look at is how much you are willing to spend on a bow. Archery equipment and bows start at an economic price and quickly rise from there. Choosing whether you want to spend $500 or $1000 is a big step in finding the right bow for you. Say you have a $400 spending limit and want a good solid compound bow. Looking at the Red Head Kronik XT might be a good place to start. Or say you are looking for a Recurve bow for under $250, starting by looking at the PSE Archery Mustang might be wise.  When you are a beginner, buying the most expensive bow on the market is not the best thing to do. Finding a bow that has few features and possibly a smaller draw weight will be a good choice for the beginner. That being said these bows tend to be less expensive. While a seasoned archer might want to look for a bow with all the bells and whistles, this might mean paying a little extra to get a great bow.

Now that you have found your price range, the next and possibly most important step is finding a bow that is comfortable for you to shoot. There are a lot of things that go into the comfort of a bow from the grip to the actual feel of drawing the bow. While looking at the comfort aspect of the bow one must also think about how the bow will be used. If the bow is for hunting you will want to think about the little comforts that come along with the bow. Many days while hunting it will be cold. So finding a bow that has a rubber grip or has the option of putting a rubber grip on the bow is always a good thing. While putting your hand on a cold riser does not seem like a big deal now, while in a tree stand or in a blind this little thing can actually affect your shot. If you are a new archer another thing to take into consideration is brace height. Brace height is simply the distance from the hand grip to the string. Having a longer brace height makes the bow easier to draw and makes the bow a little more forgiving during the actual shot making this a good feature for a beginner. Another feature many hunters need to look at is the height of the bow. This is measured from the center of the upper cam to the center to the lower cam. If you are in a tree stand a taller bow might not be a problem and might be preferable because of the increased accuracy this gives. If you are hunting in a blind on the other hand you might need to look for a bow that is slightly shorter so you can comfortably draw in the blind. The final feature that needs to be taken into account is the draw cycle. This is how smooth the bow is drawn. This has a lot to do with cams and limbs and can be the most important factor when finding a bow. You need to be able to draw your bow and shoot at your first deer or even at the trophy of a lifetime.

Archery pic 2

Taking all of these things into consideration the selection of bows should have dwindled down substantially. Now the rest of the process of finding a bow is simply up to you. If you have a brand you love finding a bow from them is a good idea. Or if you are looking for the first time find a trusted friend or relative to give you a little nudge in the right direction never hurt. But always think about one thing when buying a bow. Does it work for you every time. If the answer is no keep looking! Good luck on your hunt for a new bow!

Follow this link to start browsing Bass Pro Shops Archery department now!




Redhead Toxik is your next Archery adventure!

Redhead is a brand we have all grown to love. Our Redhead Toxik XT is an outstanding, performance driven compound bow. The engineers have really done a number on this amazing bow. It’s shooting a blazing 330 FPS and can be adjusted from a 26.5 to a 30.5 draw length. So teenagers from full grown adults can fit into this package. The Toxik XT is a ready to hunt package. Which means, it comes with a 3 pin apex sight and an octane rest, stabilizer, and quiver. That’s most of the essentials already. All you would need is some arrows and a nice target. The Redhead X1 Pro arrows are one of the best on the market. They are made by Goldtip and have .001 straightness. They come in 340 and 400 spine strengths which cover 40-70lbs shooters. And lastly, you need the Redhead layered target. They are guaranteed for 750 shots and have a 10 dollar rebate which brings the price down to only $39.99. So, the next time you are looking for a bow hunting rig stop into bass pro shops and pick you up a Redhead Toxik XT!

    Package Details:

  • Re-engineered to generate even faster flight—up to 320 fps
  • Effortless draw cycle
  • Compact, lightweight machined-aluminum riser
  • Parallel limb technology
  • Rotating cam module
  • No-press draw-length adjustments from 26.5"–30.5"
  • 80% let-off
  • Axle-to-axle: 32"
  • IBO speed: 320 fps
  • Brace Height: 7"
  • Weight: 3.8 lbs.
  • 3-pin sight
  • Hostage® capture-style arrowrest
  • 5-arrow quiver
  • 5" stabilizer
  • Wrist sling

Bows On The Little Delta

Thank you Glenn St. Charles

Pope and Young

There have been many archers through time who have helped promote the sport of archery and worked to help show bowhunting as a healthy, viable hunting method and management tool for wildlife. The previous chapters have specifically pointed out those individuals who have impacted bowhunting and its perception to the general public. Of course, there are many, many more lesser known, albeit no less important, archers and bowhunters, both men and women, who have devoted much of their lives doing the same. However, there is one man whose tireless, continuing efforts have brought bowhunting out of the back woods and into the main offices of fish and game departments all across the United States. Without a doubt, his ideas and life's work is why we have the privilege to enjoy the liberal bowhunting seasons we enjoy today. That man is Glenn St. Charles, the last of the true bowhunting pioneers in North America.


GlennGlenn St. Charles was born in Seattle, Washington, on December 15, 1911 to Phillip Joseph (PJ) St. Charles and Coral Barbara St. Charles, nee Rouse. Phillip St. Charles was a timber cruiser. He had moved his family from Alpena, Michigan, to Seattle believing the vast amount of untouched forest land in the Northwest would allow him enough work to best support his family. The Cascade range, just east of Seattle, provided unlimited work for such a profession, and the family settled in to their new home quite comfortably.

A decade later, in 1921, Phillip moved his family to Spokane, Washington, where ten-year-old Glenn was allowed to spend time with his father and his brother, Ray, while they worked in the Kanisku National Forest in northern Idaho. Time spent in timber cruising camps allowed Glenn to learn about the ways of nature, both flora and fauna. While he learned of logging, he also learned to hunt and fish. His job while the men were out working was to wash dishes, cut wood and keep "...a back burner crock of sourdough happy, bubbling, and burping by feeding it potato peelings."

In 1924 the family moved back to the Seattle area, making residence in the suburb of Fauntleroy where the elder St. Charles changed careers from timber cruising to real estate. It was here, in 1926, that Glenn had his first contact with the bow and arrow. Along the shore of Puget Sound, housewives would toss their garbage off the seawall, attracting local sand sharks. Glenn and his young cronies had bows made of hazelnut, strung taut with meat wrapping twine, and arrows of willow shoots upon which were fixed sharpened nails. With these crude weapons the boys spent hours stalking the sharks, occasionally scoring a hit.


At the same time Glenn was getting interested in the Boy Scouts. In his Boy Scout's manual he read about the yew tree and how its wood would make a good bow. Since the Seattle area is near some of the finest Pacific yew one could find, he promptly set out and harvested some branches from a tree near his home, made his first yew bow, and earned his merit badge in archery.

Through his association with the Boy Scouts Glenn was able to purchase a seasoned Tennessee cedar stave and proceeded to build a bow from it with nothing more than a spokeshave and rasp. Soon more of the scouts became interested in what Glenn was doing and more staves were ordered, bows built, and Glenn spent the next two years teaching archery at Camp Parsons, the Boy Scout summer camp on the Olympic Peninsula. These two years would cement the love of archery in young St. Charles, a love that has consumed his entire life.

After graduating from high school in 1930, Glenn and three of his buddies took a Model T Ford to Wyoming where they spent each of the next few summers working for the parents of one of his friends, Sandy Stewart, building the Kilbourne Dude Ranch. Glenn married Marjorie Ernestine Kneisel of Sheridan ,Wyoming, and the two of them moved back to Seattle where Glenn, along with his new bride, renewed his interest in archery.

Glenn's Elk1942 found Glenn working for Coates Electric Company in Seattle, a company that was building submarine parts for the U.S. Navy. He was still dabbling in his archery, but the war effort kept everyone busy. Then in 1948, his wife Marjorie passed away, leaving Glenn alone to raise their nine year old daughter, Linda.

After the war Glenn quit Coates Electric and went into the archery business full time. He opened his shop on Airport Way in Seattle where he met Margaret Lorraine Remick and married her. Together they worked in the shop, many nights staying up until 2:00 a.m. filling orders. Glenn had been talking with Fred Bear and soon became a Bear Archery dealer. Then in 1949, he and Margaret sold their place in Seattle and purchase five acres of wooded land south of the town where they built a two story building that would serve as their home and archery shop. It was remote, and quite crude. "We didn't even have a toilet here. We had to go out in the woods, you know. Margaret likes to tell the story about the time some fancifully dressed lady got out of a car out here on the highway and ran into here and wanted to use the bathroom. Margaret told her we didn't have one.

"Well, what do you use?' she said."

"Well, we use the woods."

"The lady asked, 'Could you tell me where the woods are?"

"You could sit out here on the highway for an hour before another car would come by. It was out in the country back then."

Glenn and Margaret continued to build Northwest Archery into one of the largest archery shops on the West coast. In the 1940s he learned a new process of laminating wood and fiberglass to make bows that worked much better than self wood yew bows. In 1952, he designed his finest shooting recurve, the Thunderbird, in both 63" and 67" lengths. The Thunderbird had working recurve limbs, as opposed to the static limbs on all the other bows on the market, and was an instant success. But Glenn became concerned about getting too deep into bow building, and eventually made the decision to stop production after 400 bows. He showed two of them to Fred Bear in 1953, but Fred wasn't too impressed since he was already producing two static recurve bows_the Grizzly and the Kodiak. Interestingly, in 1954 Bear Archery introduced their first working recurve bow, the Kodiak II.

Glenn and FredGlenn had been talking with Fred Bear for several years over the phone. They had a lot in common. Both of them were writing about bowhunting and bows and arrows. Fred was getting yew from Glenn and Glenn was getting Osage from Fred. It was a back and forth thing. But they never met until 1953 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, at the NFAA Field Tournament. They discussed a lot of things, but the main gist was Bear's interests in the Northwest and the bowhunting possibilities Glenn could set up for him. Since Glenn was starting to expand his business as well, he was interested in being represented back east. The two men agreed to expand their business ties and Glenn became Bear Archery's West Coast Warehouse.

Glenn designed his own broadhead that he named the Mickey Finn. It was a 2-blade design with an 11/32" ferrule and weighed a hefty 175 grains. Released to the market in 1953, it gained a reputation of being a hard hitting and extremely strong broadhead. But, as Glenn had done with his earlier Thunderbird recurve, he stopped production and the head dropped from wide-spread use. Today, it is an extremely rare broadhead and can be found only in collections.

Ever since the era of Saxton Pope and Art Young, bowhunters had been struggling to gain national recognition in the outdoors community. They had prove that their method of hunting was, "...truly a manly, efficient way of hunting." The going had been slow and labored, and many individuals played important roles. Bowhunting became recognized as a legal hunting method in Wisconsin in 1931, thanks in large part to the efforts of Roy Case, Aldo Leopold and Carl Hubert. Then, in 1934, a Wisconsin bowhunting-only season was established. Within a few years other states followed: Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, eventually leading to several western states establishing bowhunting seasons as well. But bowhunting was still not widely accepted.

In 1940 the National Field Archery Association established the Art Young Big Game Award System. It was at this time that Glenn became active in the NFAA and together with bowyer Kore Duryee of Seattle the two men went to the Washington State Game Commission to help preserve the young bowhunting seasons and expand new ones. The results of this meeting determined the direction of bowhunting across the entire nation. As Glenn recalls:

"I accompanied Duryee to a two day Washington State Game Commission meeting in the spring of 1941. The Commission was in the process of setting the season dates and we had gone to present our proposals on behalf of the bowhunters. Washington had enjoyed three previous bowhunting seasons and we believed an annual archery season would continue. However, for no apparent reason, the Commission suddenly decided to do away with bowhunting. Of course, we were shocked and went away disappointed. After talking it over, we decided to return the next day and try again. We were successful, but the humiliation of this second effort left me with a determination to commit myself to changing the bowhunter image."

The result was a push by Glenn and a few others to bring bowhunting into the spotlight of the game departments, and show them that bowhunting was indeed a viable tool for harvesting big game and aiding in wildlife management. Glenn was the Vice President of the NFAA in 1956. His role was that of Big Game Chairman. He had been upset for many years with the role bowhunters played and how they were being treated " trash...laughed at, called doe killers...[we] were ridiculed."

Glenn was aware of the Boone & Crockett Club and what they had accomplished for gun hunting. There was a fellow named Connors who was in the NFAA and was also a member of the Boone & Crockett Club. He mentioned to Glenn how the organization had helped the sport of hunting, and Glenn thought the same concepts could be used to help bowhunting. So he contacted the president of the Boone & Crockett Club and asked him how they started their Club. From that moment the seed was planted....

John Young, the NFAA secretary, gathered all the information for Glenn, and by 1957 they had the program outlined. They presented the idea of game scoring to the directors of the NFAA. In the meantime, Glenn went hunting on the Little Delta with Keith Clemmons and told him about his idea of a scoring system for bowhunters. When Glenn returned from the hunt, the NFAA still hadn't addressed the idea. "They were too involved with how far shooting stakes should be, how they should be marked, the size of the targets and so on. They weren't receptive to the idea."

Seven months after Glenn had presented the idea, the NFAA board finally approved it. So in January of 1958 they launched the program. All hell broke loose! Mail suddenly began to pour into Glenn's office. People finally felt they had a place to hang their hat, something to prove. It was so overwhelming Glenn started to charge .50 to enter an animal in the records. From this point on it was all on Glenn. He and his local committee ran the records program by themselves. "I had a hold of something I couldn't let go an electric hot that I couldn't move, couldn't do anything...I didn't have any time without help."

As soon as the program was up and running Fred Bear wanted to have a trophy display in Michigan in 1958, that same year. So Glenn and his small committee figured out which animals were the new World Records and shipped all the information back to Michigan, contacted everyone who was involved, and put the show on.

When Glenn returned from Michigan the NFAA agreed that the records program should be a separate group, so for the next two years Glenn and his committee trained new measurers and entered animals into the records.

GroupIn 1960 another Awards Banquet was held in Grayling, Michigan, where about 35 bowhunters gathered to discuss the future of the awards program. It was agreed that this new program needed its own identity-it needed to be its own organization. The group decided to name this organization in honor of the late Saxton Pope and Arthur Young. Since all the existing records to date had been compiled under the NFAA, Glenn approached the Executive Committee and expressed the desires of the newly formed Pope & Young group. After much debate, the NFAA agreed to release all the records. Six months later, on January 27, 1961, the newly formed Pope & Young Club was born.

The Club continued to evolve under St. Charles' leadership and by 1963 there were thirty Regular members and eighty Associate members. The total number of animals entered into the records was 361. The Club was moving in the direction Glenn had foreseen, and on June 5, 1963, the Club incorporated.

In 1966, the Club's bylaws were approved and adopted allowing the first elections to take place. On November 20, 1967, Glenn St. Charles was elected as the Club's first president. His leadership had taken the Club from just an idea into a growing entity, one that would be used to prove to the nation's fish and game departments that bowhunters were not just doe killers, but were capable of harvesting mature big game ethically. It opened the doors for all bowhunters, and in a few years almost every state in the nation would follow suit and develop archery seasons.

The compound craze hit around the mid to late 1960s, but it never took hold until Tom Jennings got involved and honed the device into a real shooting machine. The compound bow had come of age and archers everywhere were making the change from their traditional bows to this new device that allowed the user the ability to add lots of accouterments. And even though most archers began to embrace this new device, many questioned its effect on the outdoor ethic and what was happening to the traditional aspect of bowhunting. By the late 1980s, there was a strong movement back toward the traditional ways, and Glenn and his family were once again harvesting yew from the coastal mountains to meet the demand for longbows of this sweet shooting wood. They also imported Osage orange from the Midwest to make selfbows. "We are going full circle back to the basics of the old reliable yew and [O]sage that relate to rawhide, sinew, glue, beeswax, and the smell of cedar and burnt feathers."

One of Glenn's most important contributions, in addition to his formation of the Pope & Young Club, is the Northwest Archery/Pope & Young Museum in Seattle, Washington. The museum was created more by accident than by any determined pursuit. Throughout his life, Glenn acquired everything he could that had to do with the history of archery. He eventually ran out of room and one day loaded up a truckload of old magazines and was headed to the dump. His son, Joe, saw the truckload of magazines and decided they should hold on to them a little bit longer. He was concerned about it, reflecting on all the information in those magazines. He persuaded his father that they should build an addition to the house and archery shop to hold and display all this archery history.

While contemplating the costs and feasibility of adding on the exiting building, Joe had been conversing with Dr. Grayson, who had some of Saxton Pope's bows that he had bought several years earlier. Dr. Grayson was getting up in years and was concerned about it. He drove up to Seattle one day to see what Joe was doing about all this archery history. Joe told him about his idea to build a museum where all the history could be on public display. Well, Dr. Grayson liked the idea and offered to sell all his Saxton Pope collection to St. Charles for the exact same price he had paid for it many years before. The problem was the St. Charles family couldn't afford the price tag of $2,500. Glenn told his hunting partner, Bill Jardine, about his dilemma and Bill whipped out his checkbook and wrote Glenn a check for the entire amount, then drove down and picked up the collection himself. When Bill returned with the collection, Glenn opened up a box of arrows that belonged to Saxton Pope and in there were several arrows made by Ishi. This was the start of the museum.

The museum has since been sold to the Pope & Young Club and has moved to their new office headquarters and museum in Chatfield, Minnesota. But for many, many years this wonderful museum has had tens of thousands of visitors, from all over the world, come thorough its doors in Seattle. This collection of bowhunting history is the most extensive to be found anywhere, and was made possible by the dreams of Glenn and his son Joe.

Over the course of his archery career - a span of some sixty plus years - Glenn managed to hunt all across America and Canada, taking several exceptional animals and sharing his love of the outdoors through his writings and lectures. His first book, Billets To Bows, is a masterpiece in the art of taking raw yew and turning it into a finely crafted bow. It is the written version of his excellent video of the same name, which shows the same process in a wonderfully choreographed film.

In 1997, Glenn released his much anticipated biography, Bows On The Little Delta. This book covers the entire story of Glenn's life, both personal and archery related, and is richly illustrated. His writings have moved many people over the years, and he has been a tireless promoter of bowhunting and of our traditional values of the chase.

Glenn ShootingGlenn had always been a tireless promoter of bowhunting, he was the last of what we term The Old Guard. He and his cronies, and all the men in the previous chapters, were the true pioneers of bowhunting in America. For the most part, everything we, as bowhunters today, experience has been done before by these great men.


Getting Started

If you are interested in getting in the outdoors, you should check out the Bass Pro Shops website and the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World in Oklahoma City. Ok.

We look forward to seeing you in our store and as always, thank you for shopping Bass Pro Shops. Good luck and have fun.



Easing into Archery

A recent study showed that Americans spend roughly $70 a month on a hobby. That means in a year we would roughly spend $840 doing something we love. With that in mind I started thinking about something that I have always wanted to get into. Archery!

The only two things I know about archery are this: 1- There is a hole in my mother’s hallway from when I was little and got a hold of her longbow. 2- I prefer my Robin Hood characters to be portrayed as a fox.

I went over to our Archery Department and asked them, “What should I get to start practicing archery?”… “Oh and I only got $840 to spend… college, man.” After a few seconds of pondering they sprang into action.

Archery, like most things in life, all comes down to personal preference. What is great about our Archery Department is that they will take the time to help you find what works best for you. It is completely free to try out any of the bows, and all work done in-store is also free. I can afford free.

They let me know all I need to get into archery is the following: a bow, arrows, tips, a release and a target. The target is optional as you can always find a local range to practice, but if you have the room at your home… why not?

After testing out a number of options here is what I left with:

Bow: Red Head Toxik XT Compound Bow Package – Just go with a package. It’ll come with most everything you’ll need. This bad boy comes with 3-pin sight, Hostage® capture-style arrow rest, 5-arrow quiver, 5" stabilizer, and wrist sling. I like how it felt and the price point didn’t merit me selling a kidney. $500.

Arrows: Red Head Black Out X5 Envy Carbon Arrows – Besides the name being awesome they let me know these arrows will stand up for a while and do me right. $35 for a half dozen and $60 for a full dozen. Splurge for a full dozen.  Just remember, I do not intend to take a 425 point Elk with these. (I’d love the chance though!)

Tips: Martin Archery Tapered Hold Field Points – These are basic practice tips. At $10 for a dozen, who could resist?

Release: Cobra Pro Caliper Loop Lock Release – It felt good around my wrist and the leather look to it satisfied my “man”nerisms. $37? Not bad…

Target: Field Logic The Block Gen Z Archery Target – These are new and I was doing a favor for the boys in Archery by trying it out. This company has received good marks for the animal targets. $35

So roughly $642 later I had myself good to go. (Note that I still had roughly $200 to spend on something to distract the fiancé with.) But like I and the guys at Archery said, it is all personal preference. Take the time and talk to one of our associates if you are serious about picking up a new lifetime passion.



Fish on the... Arrow? Bowfishing 101

Here at Bass Pro Shops in Garland, Texas we have had many questions about bow fishing. Questions ranging from when and where to go bow fishing to what is the best equipment to use. I am not an expert but I have learned many expensive lessons in the last two years and if this helps at all I accomplished my goal.


I personally own an AMS Retriever, a Muzzy reel, and a Zebco 808 bow fishing reel. All three have handled every fish I've ever shot and I would recommend each of them. There are some differences that I would like to elaborate on. The AMS reels have Zero Drag so when you shoot there is no resistance on the line other than the line's own weight. This will allow the arrow to carry its speed further. To reel in the line on the AMS reels you have to squeeze a lever. The Muzzy and Zebco are simply closed face reels that have a larger reservoir for the line. Before you shoot each time you have to press the release button to allow the line to spool off. This task seems pretty simple but when you get into fish it's easy to forget. For this reason I would suggest the AMS reels to any one who is new to archery and is learning while bow fishing. However the Muzzy and Zebco have more torque as far as reeling in fish fast.

The difference between the AMS Retriever and Retriever Pro is the Pro has a quick detach bracket to take the reel off of the bow without having to remove screws,it also has a single arrow quiver for transport. Both Retriever and Pro Retriever are lined with 200# line. The  AMS Big Game Retriever Pro is as far as I know the same reel as the Retriever Pro but it has 500# line. 

I have shot recurve and compound bows for bow fishing. I have two compounds set at 45# and one set at 30#. I also have a 50# recurve. I've had success shooting fish from 5# carp to 6 ft needle nose gar. Any compound will work however if the bow has a longer length from axle to axle it pinches your fingers less.

We carry the AMS Fish Hawk which has a 30-40# draw weight and has a AMS Retriever Pro reel on it. If you want to get into bow fishing this kit will do the job well.



I have found that Buffalo Carp like shallows with rocks or sand and Grass Carp like weeds and grassy bottoms.  I have shot gar all over. 


Well good luck. I hope I helped and remember to AIM LOW.




Why Not Try Bow Fishing!

Bow fishing in New York State is May 15 thru Sept. 30. Anyone who has a fishing license or small game license or who may be entitled to fish without a license may take a carp of any size and any number.  They may take the carp by longbow, recurve or compound bow.  This method of fishing uses archery equipment to shoot and retrieve fish.  The fish are shot with a barbed arrow that has a special line and a reel mounted right on the bow.  Rumor has it, bow fishing at night is the best!

Have I held your attention?  Well this just may be a sport worth looking in to.  The largest carp hooked and recorded in New York State is over 50 pounds.  Which makes for a fun outting.  Tournaments for carp fishing are all over New York State.  Before going out make sure you check your regulations.  Keep in mind that you cannot discharge your bow within 500 feet of a inhabited structure.  Stop by our Archery Department and talk with our associates on bowfishing.  They have the knowlege to get you started.  Whether you have done it before and need one or two things, or you are brand new and want to look into the full setup we have all the bowfishing gear to meet your needs.

Robin Piedmonte

Events Coordinator