Inexpensive Bows for Hunting, Bushcraft, and Survival
“Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.” Fred Bear
“Nothing clears a troubled mind better than shooting a bow.” Fred Bear
For thousands of years, archery has been utilized as a tool for hunting, defense and waging war. It is the one tool that has seen the littlest real advancements and yet remains solidly on the forefront for sports-related sales and use around the world.
Sure, we now have mechanically driven bows, special wheels and different styles of shooting, however, the basics remain the same. A “stick” a “string” and another “stick” combined to create one of the most historically terrifying and relevant tools of all time.
Obviously, I am simplifying things to say the above, however, using pure reasoning, one can see this being a true statement in a general way.
I grew up shooting rifles, handguns, using knives and bows and arrows. It was part of the tradition of the rural American to have this knowledge when I was a child, these days people will call you negligent to teach your children these arts…and yet, I firmly believe the opposite is true.
Takedown bows are superbly beneficial for individuals with space restricted, my Sammick Sage bow in its taken down configuration with two dozen arrows can fit inside of a 30” by 18” package and is less than “4 inches thick. I can easily fit string wax, spare strings, spare fletches and materials for building or repairing arrows and bow as well inside this package and it will be under 10 lbs.
While I do not use a bow stringer, some recommend this and it is beneficial for most. In fact, I should get one, if simply to extend the life of my bows. The horsebows are under 48” unstrung and strung and are about 2lbs lighter than the Sammick Sage package, with other measurements remaining the same.
The horsebows cost between $120 and $165 dollars depending on draw weight, on Amazon, this is something you should make sure you get correct. (Buffalo Hunting Bow and Arrow Handmade Recurve Horsebow Longbow for Adults By Sososhoot) A bow with 30-65lb draw weight will work to take medium game (deer etc.,) 40-120lbs will easily take much larger game.
I have read stories of people with 45lb draw weights taking elephants so, don’t feel the need to be overly manly when choosing the bow you will use. You should be able to shoot 4-8 flights of arrows and not be sore afterward. These bows are shipped from China, I own two currently and have purchased several as gifts, the shipping time is within 2 weeks generally.
The Sammick Sage recurve take down bow runs between $126 and $200 on Amazon, these you can get within two days if you have Amazon Prime or a week without. They are absolutely worth every single penny and I have yet to have one fail or be a problem. Both companies are quite good about communicating and will work with you, yes, even and especially the Chinese company, Sososhoot.
The arrows I use range from Easton Aluminum through my cedar shafted wooden, turkey fletched favorites. (Huntingdoor Black Feather wooden arrows 30” length, tri tip bodkin style iron tip) Again, I have found the best pricing to be on Amazon and shipped from China by the same manufacturer. I use the 3 sided 150-grain bodkin style tips and truly love them, they puncture well, cause rapid exsanguination, (internal bleeding leading to death) and are reusable.
For practice, I use the 150-grain field points or have made my own stumping arrows, “stumping is shooting small grass clumps/ wood stumps with flat tipped, or cloth wrapped arrows for practice as you are walking about the woods.” I have had two pass through shots at 35 feet and one at approximately 70 feet on Javelina. Upon inspection after death, one of the arrows had pierced a shoulder bone and gone through it.
Understand that unless you have a serious set up with a dozen straw bales and styrofoam backstops, you will lose arrows during practice. Its the cost of archery, arrows are not cheap, HOWEVER, they are reusable and for myself at least I find that having 4 – 6 flights per bow is satisfactory and keeps the package weight under what I can carry with physical problems.
This being said, as the old saying goes, one can NEVER have too much ammunition…so remember that. Unlike firearms, high capacity magazines and the like archery should be available and or can be made from materials close at hand.
Now for the meat and potatoes of the review of these bows. It is essential to understand these are low cost, but NOT low-quality bows and arrows. They are worth every penny and then some. I have owned PSE bows, Bear bows and collectibles from several renowned boyers.
I prefer these bows simply because I am not afraid to bang them about a bit as they didn’t cost me $500+ as almost every major manufactures bow for adults will end up costing.
The pros of these bows.
Cost, they are quite simply the most cost-effective approach outside of making your own, which is a skill you would be better for learning.
Longevity, I have been using one of the horsebows and a Sammick Sage takedown for over three years and shoot 3-4 times a week in my backyard, 4 straw bales, a sheet of half inch plywood and a $60 Field Logic Classic Block black and white target has worked well for 4 years now, and this is in Arizona sun, rain and more.
You can easily purchase an inexpensive $15 or $20 foam and plastic block target from Walmart as well. Or, stuff a medium size box (24” by 24” cubed at a minimum) with crumpled up newspaper and this will also work.
Quality, again, after owning many different bows, I have not realized any real major loss in quality purchasing and using these versus the name brand ones that cost two or three times as much on average.
They work, are easy to take down and or are extremely lightweight, being made of wood laminated with fiberglass for the horsebows and coated with faux snakeskin for a fun look!
The cons, very few but there are cons!
They are inexpensive bows, you may have one that misses quality controls and need to return/ both companies allow for this and have solid customer service via email.
You will want to purchase spare strings, the strings that come with the bows are not the best.
They work fine for quite a while, but they are definitely a lower quality, thankfully you can purchase strings from Trad Gear on Amazon, B-50 Dacron 16 strand strings run around $7 apiece. Wait till you get the horsebows before purchasing new strings, this way you can measure the string that comes with it. These bows sometimes vary as much as an inch either way as they are handmade.
The Sammick Sage has proper measurements available when you purchase them.
The horsebows do NOT have arrow rests on the bow or a place for one, the entire purpose of these bows is to shoot them from all angles, different sides and positions, literally shooting a horsebow is VERY different than shooting a standard recurve or longbow.
But, they are designed for strength and the ability to be shot from horseback without getting in the way of riding the horse, the Mongols, plains Indians and more used similar bows and did so with great, deadly efficiency.
That’s it, all I can say is, practice daily, it really is a great workout and has helped me strengthen my core which is essential with a bad back. Besides, it is also quiet, deadly and something discounted by governments around the world as a threat.
Understanding this places you ahead of them in the eternal battle for our individual freedom. While they may kick your doors in for your guns…they won’t look twice at the bows.
Comment, ask questions and please add knowledge. It is essential to our growth as a pack. Free the mind and the body will follow.