California Hunter Safety Course


Recurve Bow

This bow features limbs that sweep back and then forward at the tips toward both the bow string and the grip. It is easier for the novice archer to use, since its curved limbs give it more potential energy. When pulling back a recurve to a full draw, an archer experiences less hand shock and vibration than with a long bow. However, unlike the compound bow, this bow does not have a "let off point" meaning that the archer will still feel the total draw weight of the bow throughout the entire draw. When the string is released, the limbs and string move in a forward direction. The stored energy in both parts of the limb is released very quickly, propelling the arrow to the target at high speed.

Long Bow

This is a large, powerful, lightweight bow. For a novice archer, it is more difficult to use than other bow styles. Not all long bows have an arrow shelf for an arrow rest. Nor do they shoot as fast as the recurve or compound bow. It also does not have a "let-off point". This means the archer feels the total draw weight of the bow through the entire draw. When the string is drawn back, energy is stored in the limbs until the archer releases the bow string, propelling the arrow to the target at high speed.

Bow hunters who prefer a more traditional hunt with the recurve and long bows may have the least possible accessories or additional parts on bows in order to increase the challenge when hunting. Bow hunters who use the compound bow, by contrast, may add several accessories to support accurate, quiet shooting on game. Whichever bow you choose to use, remember to always follow manufacturer's instructions for safe handling and use of your bow.

Stringing a Bow

Bow Stringer

The safest way to string a long bow or recurve bow is to use a bow stringer. The first time you string a bow, you should have an experienced bowhunter present to show you how to do it correctly. Practice is key to developing this skill.