Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

What bow suprised you

Messages posted to thread:
RJH1 29-Aug-17
Mpdh 29-Aug-17
MStyles 29-Aug-17
Barber 29-Aug-17
Ghostbow 29-Aug-17
T4HALO 29-Aug-17
9/10 Broke 29-Aug-17
Dry Bones 29-Aug-17
Kodiaktd 29-Aug-17
M60gunner 29-Aug-17
Jason D 29-Aug-17
ga bowhunter 29-Aug-17
grizz 30-Aug-17
sheepdogreno 30-Aug-17
DanaC 30-Aug-17
Elkhuntr 30-Aug-17
Babbling Bob 30-Aug-17
crookedstix 30-Aug-17
mangonboat 30-Aug-17
Deadringer 30-Aug-17
Silverstreak Archer 30-Aug-17
jrh24 30-Aug-17
Billy The Kid 30-Aug-17
H Rhodes 30-Aug-17
rattlesnake 30-Aug-17
T4HALO 30-Aug-17
Riverwolf 30-Aug-17
Rick Wiltshire 30-Aug-17
Wojo14 30-Aug-17
DarrinG 30-Aug-17
bigdog21 30-Aug-17
Bowmania 30-Aug-17
Bowmania 30-Aug-17
strshotx 30-Aug-17
Paul 30-Aug-17
JusPassin 30-Aug-17
PECO 30-Aug-17
longrifle 30-Aug-17
J. h2os 30-Aug-17
RymanCat 30-Aug-17
Barber 30-Aug-17
Riverwolf 30-Aug-17
GUTPILE PA 30-Aug-17
hawkwing 30-Aug-17
Fiero Furry 30-Aug-17
G&DMAN 30-Aug-17
Ronin 30-Aug-17
tonto59 30-Aug-17
aromakr 30-Aug-17
Orion 30-Aug-17
Carolinabob 30-Aug-17
Ben 30-Aug-17
Andy Man 30-Aug-17
fdp 30-Aug-17
Jinkster 30-Aug-17
The Whittler 30-Aug-17
StikBow 30-Aug-17
Curtiss Cardinal 31-Aug-17
kadbow 31-Aug-17
JimPic 31-Aug-17
Brad Lehmann 31-Aug-17
Fisher Cat 31-Aug-17
LANCER 31-Aug-17
Monte 31-Aug-17
Ollie 31-Aug-17
Pintail 31-Aug-17
ModernLongbow 13-Nov-17
Redheadtwo 13-Nov-17
nineworlds9 13-Nov-17
kodiak t/d 13-Nov-17
David McLendon 13-Nov-17
deerhunt51 13-Nov-17
soap creek 13-Nov-17
AK Pathfinder 13-Nov-17
handle 13-Nov-17
MCNSC 13-Nov-17
Archer 13-Nov-17
Cameron Root 13-Nov-17
Barber 13-Nov-17
Thumper 13-Nov-17
Rotten: 13-Nov-17
Treeman 13-Nov-17
SuperK 13-Nov-17
SuperK 13-Nov-17
The Greek 14-Nov-17
dean 14-Nov-17
Jeff Durnell 14-Nov-17
heydeerman 14-Nov-17
Pdiddly 14-Nov-17
Hookedspur 14-Nov-17
limbwalker 14-Nov-17
Tajue17 14-Nov-17
Biathlonman 14-Nov-17
Babbling Bob 14-Nov-17
ny yankee 14-Nov-17
TradFan 14-Nov-17
Threeundr 14-Nov-17
todd 14-Nov-17
2 bears 14-Nov-17
Knifeguy 14-Nov-17
Flygirl 14-Nov-17
9/10 Broke 03-Jul-18
Nemophilist 03-Jul-18
David McLendon 03-Jul-18
Timbukto 04-Jul-18
Deno 04-Jul-18
ibehiking 04-Jul-18
Joe2Crow 04-Jul-18
Tradarcher4fun 04-Jul-18
BigB 04-Jul-18
Bassman 04-Jul-18
reb 04-Jul-18
Trad Rick 04-Jul-18
buroak 04-Jul-18
The Lost Mohican 04-Jul-18
cjgregory 04-Jul-18
chazz847 04-Jul-18
cecil 04-Jul-18
Bxrecurve15 04-Jul-18
Babbling Bob 05-Jul-18
lost run 05-Jul-18
motherlode 05-Jul-18
Kent Alan 05-Jul-18
Myke 05-Jul-18
PECO 05-Jul-18
bluefin 08-Nov-18
Draven 08-Nov-18
HillbillyKing 08-Nov-18
Rntlee 08-Nov-18
RonG 08-Nov-18
Nemophilist 08-Nov-18
Dwrightkm 08-Nov-18
dean 08-Nov-18
3Ditional 08-Nov-18
Ken Williams 08-Nov-18
Sam Dunham 08-Nov-18
brianbfree 08-Nov-18
Rick Barbee 08-Nov-18
KDdog 08-Nov-18
newt 08-Nov-18
Geezer 09-Nov-18
del of logan 09-Nov-18
GF 09-Nov-18
Tal McNeill 09-Nov-18
camodave 09-Nov-18
Codjigger 09-Nov-18
Kwikdraw 09-Nov-18
NBK 09-Nov-18
saxman 10-Nov-18
Dan W 10-Nov-18
Mountain Man 10-Nov-18
Mountain Man 10-Nov-18
Desperado 10-Nov-18
Bowmanmatt 12-Nov-18
Rick 3 12-Nov-18
oldgoat 12-Nov-18
Kwikdraw 13-Nov-18
DanaC 13-Nov-18
deerfly 13-Nov-18
Bassman 15-Nov-18
GF 15-Nov-18
From: RJH1
Date: 29-Aug-17

What bow surprised you the most? Good or bad

I bought a Bear Ausable a while back as a stop gap while waiting on a custom. Turns out I Shoot it better than any other longbow I have ever had and the custom hangs on the wall. So that is mine, what about ya'll

From: Mpdh
Date: 29-Aug-17

Not the same thing, but I bought a Martin Dreamcatcher in 1999. It came with a B50 string and that's all I ever used on it. A month ago I put a 14 strand D97 on this bow and it's a totally different bow now. Can't believe the difference.


From: MStyles
Date: 29-Aug-17

A Howard Hill "Big Five" Longbow. Surprised me because I've always heard they had so much handshock, they would rattle your teeth. No felt handshock with my hickory arrows, and seems like it corrects the flaws in my form. I still can't figure out what it is about that bow that helps my floating form. A "good surprise" and it taught me that I shouldn't rule out a type of bow because I don't like the way it looks.

From: Barber
Date: 29-Aug-17

A Hill style bow. Hill style with slight dished grip just shoots where Iook. Love shooting them ! I just have to shoot them on and off. If I shoot them all the time they flare up my tendinitis. LOL But i shoot them best.

From: Ghostbow
Date: 29-Aug-17

My 21 year old son's new Bear 59. Was pleasantly surprised in smoothness, quietness, speed, and effortless pointability. Fantastic bow.

From: T4HALO
Date: 29-Aug-17

Howatt Mamba Hi Speed from the 50's. 42# 58" rocket. Easy to shoot and fast as heck. Great little bow.


From: 9/10 Broke Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 29-Aug-17

The Texas Comanche Wowed me. Never shot one but if I have my way that will change.

From: Dry Bones
Date: 29-Aug-17

I knew my bow From Jeff was going to be good, but I had no idea how good it was until I try to shoot something behind it. Recurves included just don't have the cast that seems to come from his bow. Slightly spoiled now, and got rid of several other bows. All I kept was a dual shelf Polar and a Bear Takedown. They do alot of sitting. :-D


From: Kodiaktd
Date: 29-Aug-17

Bought a used 1990s Bear Hunter TD ( 60#@28" ). I couldn't pass it up for the price. Turned out to be a great shooting bow. Smooth drawing, grip feels great, points well. It shot so good for me I decided to put a little money into it so I had the whole bow camo dipped, and installed antler limb bolts. I will be hunting with it in 18 days. :)

From: M60gunner
Date: 29-Aug-17

Most recently it's been a mid 2000's Bear SK. I orginally bought it as a spare for other house. Now only one house and was considering selling it. But I took it out with some repurposed arrows and it shoots great. I am liking one piece bows agian.

From: Jason D
Date: 29-Aug-17

AMF Wing Falcon! Can't miss with that bow!!

From: ga bowhunter
Date: 29-Aug-17

after maybe a 100 custom longbows and recurves some high end stuff i'm shooting trad tech Korean made ILF bows and loving it lol

and how good and quiet a 50 year old Bear recurve shoots compared to 1000 dollar bows

From: grizz
Date: 30-Aug-17

Bodnik Super Slick Stick. 58" hybrid. It just shoots great for me, out shoots everything I have. I've tried not to like it in favor of my recurves but it just out performs them.

From: sheepdogreno
Date: 30-Aug-17

59 reproduction by far the most smooth bow I've ever shot with surprising speed. Points where you want. Slight hand shock

From: DanaC
Date: 30-Aug-17

Have an old Howatt Hunter that has mostly been sitting on the shelf. Took it out a few weeks back and surprise! Even without tuning it hit well and hard.

From: Elkhuntr
Date: 30-Aug-17

I remember it very well. back in the 90's I purchased a Bruin Woodsmaster one piece. at the time, that bow fit me better than any other and I was surprised at the speed and how much my accuracy and confidence improved. I remember the feeling and thoughts I had after the first few shots. I went on to kill elk, antelope and deer with that bow.

the only other bow that came close in terms of a joy to shoot was a Yellowstone half breed, which is a 3 piece take down longbow.

From: Babbling Bob Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 30-Aug-17

A short 63-inch low draw weight (30@24) '62 Kodiak Special. Wow, its one fine shooting bow, and I'm very lucky to have it.

From: crookedstix
Date: 30-Aug-17

There have been many pleasant surprises--Indian Archery Hawkeye, Ben Pearson Silver Sovereign, a Hoyt Xpert, and a Dick Green recurve that's with Pdiddly now were all fine bows that I got for a song. On the other end of the scale, I was disappointed with the Browning Cobra II that I tried.

From: mangonboat
Date: 30-Aug-17

I was surprised that a 1967 Wing Thunderbird is as good as the reputation, likewise a 1962 Kodiak Special. I was surprised that a Dryad Orion can be so easy to draw to 29" then launch an arrow like a rifle. A 52" Ben Pearson Spectre, one of the Bernie- designed hyperlimb models that are supposedly "faster", at least in my hands is a dog to shoot and never gets chosen to play. I was surprised to discover that a 1960 54" Howatt Diablo is not only uncommonly handsome, it is a VERY fast 48# point and shoot wonder. That one's with pdiddly now, too....hmmm. ;-)

From: Deadringer
Date: 30-Aug-17

I have always shot Predator recurves....mostly in 60". Traded for a 62" version and was surprised how much better it shot for me. I will always keep that bow.

Sometimes ILF limb/riser combos will surprise you. For me, it's a set of long Max1's on a 17" Bigfoot riser. The other is a set of short Carbon Extremes on a 19" Gillo Ghost. These are keepers and will stay setup this way as long as I have them.

Lastly and probably most surprising is the Black Bear riser with Samick Sage limbs.

From: Silverstreak Archer
Date: 30-Aug-17

I guess there are two bows that surprised me. A few years ago I pulled my father's old "Swedish Steel" bow out of the closet, built a string and shot it. I hunted an entire season with that bow. It felt good in the hand and flung an arrow authority and was deathly quiet. Not what I expected from a hunk of metal.

The other bow(s) that surprised me were the pair of ILF rigs my buddy and I made a couple years back. Neither of us had ever tackled making a bow. He was the wood shop expert and I did the technical research on bow making and supplied the block of cherry and ironwood for the project. At so many points along the way we commented to the effect that, "well, we could screw this up and have a pile of firewood shortly."

We have now been shooting these bows for two years. There have been some problems. The biggest issue were some microfractures in the ironwood (hophornbeam) we overlooked. We had a couple open up at stress points on each riser. We were able to fill and stabilize them. We also did not get the limb pockets routed perfectly. I have since relieved the limb pockets and shimmed the inserts to improve alignment.

When all is said and done we have short, functional, portable bows. I guess that is the surprise. Every major step of the build and every flaw we have encountered since has felt, at the time, like a dead end, yet here we are. I am about to go fling a few shafts before work, and what a pleasure that is!

From: jrh24
Date: 30-Aug-17

I picked up a '73 Super Diablo awhile back, I shot it o.k. Then I put a skinny string on it. I could not believe how much it improved that bows preformance. Now its the first bow I grab for a shoot around. John

From: Billy The Kid
Date: 30-Aug-17

I received a Timberpoint Kracken Longbow 70" 43@28. Best workmanship i have ever seen. Best shooting longbow i ever shot. I will never let this one go.

From: H Rhodes
Date: 30-Aug-17

My 64 model Shakespeare Necedah is the one in my stable that wows everyone that shoots it. For well under a hundred bucks, it shoots great.

From: rattlesnake
Date: 30-Aug-17

A Shakespeare manitou,. This little 58" recurve I radiused shelf and site window, and lowered wrist , then refinished...this bow is the quietest bow I've ever shot...I can bairly hear it at the shot.... fantastic little affordable bows....

From: T4HALO
Date: 30-Aug-17

Snake, funny how those $100 bows can shoot. Can't believe more folks don't give them a shot.


From: Riverwolf
Date: 30-Aug-17

.....SURPRISE.....The Bear "Montana" !

....for me the grip(Newer Ones;) is perfect , and with a good string this bow will hold its own ! Excellent Bow ........

From: Rick Wiltshire
Date: 30-Aug-17

Pearson Colt with reinforced tips and BCY-X string.

From: Wojo14
Date: 30-Aug-17

My first homemade TD American Style Longbow. Pretty quick, little shock, and quietest bow I ever owned/shot.


From: DarrinG
Date: 30-Aug-17

Never hear much about Martin/Howatt's newer bows. However, being a Martin/Howatt fan, I recently bought a like-new, not a single minor scratch or mar mark, 2013 model Super Diablo. Put a good FF string on it and.....aaahhsome! That bow is wicked fast and shoots right where I am looking. Finish and fit on it is perfect. First shot with a Zwickey Delta out of it and it blew right through my BH target and stuck 6 inches into a hard dirt bank. Dang hard shooting bow, and it's a definite keeper. Stuck a Thunderhorn Lynx quiver on it and it's ready. Gonna be carrying it into the woods hunting in a couple weeks.

From: bigdog21
Date: 30-Aug-17

two 1st was a Abbott longbow with a straight grip it was the smoothest longbow i ever shoot, 2nd was a zipper recurve one of the first models it was fast smooth and shot were i was looking

From: Bowmania Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 30-Aug-17

I was blown away by a lot of bows, but never as far as ILF.

That said, up until injuries I chose bows that were harder to shoot and learned to shoot them as good as the easy shooters.


From: Bowmania Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 30-Aug-17

I was blown away by a lot of bows, but never as far as ILF.

That said, up until injuries I chose bows that were harder to shoot and learned to shoot them as good as the easy shooters.


From: strshotx
Date: 30-Aug-17

I have been a longtime longbow shooter and was surprised by a Hill longbow.I had never shot one because of hearing about the handshock.I finally received one in a trade,I never felt the handshock.That was all I shot for over two years,it's just something about the classic D-shape and the way they shot.I still shoot them but with my other R/D longbows.I have been shooting traditional bows for over 20+ years and have 25+ trad bows.I didn't want anymore but shot my buddies new Bear Kodiak,it was a great shooting bow.It was a 40# bow and it shot a variety of spines very well.The only arrows I had that day were ACC Prohunting 440 and Carbon express 150.These arrows were way overspined for a 40# bow,but they hit where I was looking.I was amazed of how well it shot for me I just had to get me one and I did.Love the way it feels,shoots and the classic looks!

From: Paul
Date: 30-Aug-17

New Blacktail one piece longbow. I probably shouldn't have been surprised but I was not expecting it to shoot so well. It is fast, smooth and shot as about as well as my Blacktail recurve. Amazing bow in every way!!

From: JusPassin Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 30-Aug-17

I ordered a two piece take down Mongoose longbow from Saxon years ago. When it came I was beside myself as it was a one piece.

I called Randy to complain and he explained how I'd have to put it behind my knees to pull it apart.

Yup, it was a meticulously crafted two piece that made me look the complete fool. Loved that bow.

From: PECO
Date: 30-Aug-17

For production, Shakespheare Super Necedah. It is a 54" bow, 45# draw and is a sweet shooter. I only have experience with one custom, I had Kieth Chastain build me one of his Wapiti take down models. 60" AMO and 50# @ 28" draw. NO other bow I have shot at 50# draws as smooth or hits as hard as this bow. The Wapiti also shoots faster than some other bows of higher draw weight I have compared it too.

From: longrifle
Date: 30-Aug-17

A 1965 Herters International Match Hunter, 46#@28", surprised me the most. That was a smooth shooting lil speed demon and one of the few I wish I'd kept.

From: J. h2os
Date: 30-Aug-17

I bought a jerry hill longbow a few years ago, sit it aside be bacause my costum bow came it. Tried shooting it last week and LOved it. It will be my hunter this Oct.jeff

From: RymanCat
Date: 30-Aug-17

I wouldn't go as far as me saying surprised but let down maybe is more the thoughts for myself.

Not going to say which bows to discredit the Bowyer. 1 was shooting and a few others with refinish. They all got sold but 1 I kept several animals and birds feel to it. Its purty with streaks in clear glass that drives me over the edge.

From: Barber
Date: 30-Aug-17

As far as bows that I was let down by, I think the Bear Kodiak Hunter was it. I hated that bow . I love Bear bows but that had to be the worst bow I have owned .

From: Riverwolf
Date: 30-Aug-17

Riverwolf's embedded Photo

....Montana ;)

Date: 30-Aug-17

I got a Martin Saber it was the cheapest bow I own but the best shooting bow I ever shot

From: hawkwing
Date: 30-Aug-17

I had a Wing Thunderbird 62" 52# that i wanted to shoot clout with. My 50 # RWH had better cast and not so heavy and ugly. Also after hearing lots of big talk about Telum bows made by man who worked for Martin/Howatt, I got 62" 50 pound Telum that did not do as well as RWH's made before head Ski and AMF. Bow that made me feel good was 56" Bear Grizzly bought for 10 bucks out of window of second hand store. That bow was awesome(not a RWH though.)

From: Fiero Furry
Date: 30-Aug-17

Voodoo Kustom. Thought it to be "just another gimick" lol, boy was I wrong. Closest thing to a horn bow I have found in draw and performance. Just wished it was closer to the 45# range instead of 52# as the older I get the more my fingers tell me I was an idiot for not using a tab/glove in my younger years ; )

From: G&DMAN
Date: 30-Aug-17

I bought a 1966 Shakespeare Necedah 4 years ago & was" blown away" (surprised) by it's performance!!! I have since acquired 2 Super Necedah's, an Ocala , and a Warrior since. I run a search on ebay every day for Shakespeare's . Hard to find because I'm a lefty. These Shakespeare's are great shooters!!!!

From: Ronin
Date: 30-Aug-17

1970's Wing Gull and 1971 Bear Kodiak Hunter.

From: tonto59
Date: 30-Aug-17

A Bear Cub Semi curve. Sweet shooter.

From: aromakr Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 30-Aug-17

The biggest surprise was the one that blew up in my face at full draw. Didn't expect that!!


From: Orion Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 30-Aug-17

Bear TDs. I missed them the first time around back in the early 70s. Couldn't afford them then. Got into them about 10 years ago. More stable and faster than I was led to believe, and virtually trouble free. The only recurves in my stable anymore.

From: Carolinabob
Date: 30-Aug-17

Once owned a Tsunami, smooooooooooooooth

From: Ben
Date: 30-Aug-17

One of my Wing T-birds (#57 @ my draw) I shot my first double on turkeys. My Bill Stewart multicam (#58@ my draw) shoots just as flat as my Pearson Mercury Marauder td (#64@ my draw) and it is going to get it's chance to make meat this fall.

From: Andy Man
Date: 30-Aug-17


Fox Maverick followed by a Robertson Tribal stick

Speed/punch Fox Breed

Favorites to shoot/ does about everything well for me fits me best

Dave Wallace -Wallace Mountain longbow Northern Mist Classic

The Wallace and the Classic are the ones I use and enjoy the most

From: fdp
Date: 30-Aug-17

Never really had one "surprise" me to be honest. Other than personal fit, there isn't that much difference in any of them mostly.

From: Jinkster
Date: 30-Aug-17

I have a list of'em! LOL!

and I'll list them in the order they suprised me most...

1. (2) Border Covert Hunters

2. Timberpoint Kraken

3. J.D. Berry Misty Dawn SF Hill Bow (urban myths busted)

4. Rose Oak #2 Limbs (on a Greenstripe "B" Riser)

5. Two Tracks Longwalker (I-Beam riser version..very solid)

6. Yarak "Pure Poison" (shot like it owned my eyes)

7. Herters Perfection Magnums (what a sleeper...they just sit there)

With honoable mention too Big Jim & Bushmen Bows.

From: The Whittler
Date: 30-Aug-17

Years ago ordered custom Appalachian LB/flat bow and one piece recurve and was very disappointed. Ordered 60# for both the recurve was 58# and the LB I don't think it was much over 40# and I could throw and arrow harder.

Recurve delaminated two days after I got it. Bowyer said oh ya it happens every now and then.

Took long enough to get them and sent them back and took long enough to get my money back.

From: StikBow
Date: 30-Aug-17

While recovering,I ordered a prairie predator from mad dog. Light to the hand, beaver balls made it quiet and last week the 47@26spit out 157 fps Wow-may use it for bunnies in Oct

From: Curtiss Cardinal
Date: 31-Aug-17

Great Northern Ghost recurve, Light in the hand, smooth drawing, quiet without string silencers, accurate and hard hitting. Beautiful graceful lines.

From: kadbow Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 31-Aug-17

kadbow's embedded Photo

A few years ago I thought it would be fun to hunt with my birth year bow for my 50th so I bought a 50# 1963 Kodiak. Shot it really well and killed a whitetail with it that year. About 3 weeks ago I saw a 63 Kodiak in 55# for sale. Thought it would be fun to hunt elk with it so I bought it and shot it well. It produced for me on Monday. Great shooting bow.

From: JimPic
Date: 31-Aug-17

One of the very few bows that made me say wow, was a Stotler Gamebuster longbow...I couldn't miss with that thing

From: Brad Lehmann
Date: 31-Aug-17

Sarrels Blue Ridge. Just bought it to try one of Bob's bows. Built a skinny string for it and the bow really shoots fast and hard. I am not a straight bow fan but have owned some of the "good" ones. This bow seems to be better than the good ones. I believe that I muttered wow to myself a couple of times when first shooting it.

From: Fisher Cat
Date: 31-Aug-17

A one-piece Gharing Nontypical static recurve. It's hard to miss with that bow.

Rocky Mountain Recurves were also a pleasant surprise. I have two and they amazed me at how accurate a short recurve could be. Jess Stuart's "Sierra Blanca" versions of them are even better in most respects. - John

Date: 31-Aug-17

I guess I have only been surprised by the Martin Bamboo Viper. Very fast bow & still silent.

From: Monte
Date: 31-Aug-17

Another vote for the Bear Montana. Liked it so much I picked up a Brown one also.

From: Ollie Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 31-Aug-17

I have had several top name bows blow up while stringing or while sitting around the house strung. Also found out that a couple of top name bows are in reality quite slow (below average) in arrow speed. Not going to name names as that will get a pile of rocks thrown at you by the people who use those bows.

From: Pintail
Date: 31-Aug-17

I bought a centaur longbow that really surprised me. Overall weight is like a feather, points and shoots like a dream.

From: ModernLongbow
Date: 13-Nov-17

A&h acs 3pc bows

Fox archery, anything he makes is golden

Hoyt Grand Prix Carbon ace ILF limbs

Hoyt X-Tour (traditional edition) limbs

From: Redheadtwo
Date: 13-Nov-17

A Wes Wallace T/D Mentor was mine. This bow should NEVER have been traded.

And the Howard Hill handshock is BS. Grip the bow correctly and shoot heavier arrows. No problem.

From: nineworlds9
Date: 13-Nov-17

Tall Tines Stickflinger. Sensational.

From: kodiak t/d
Date: 13-Nov-17

A martin hatfield t/d was fast and shot where I was looking! I could not get use to the grip.( sorry Larry)The bear custom Kodiak t/d is the bow for me>Proof is in the Robin Hoods and busted nocks!!

From: David McLendon
Date: 13-Nov-17

Years ago I was about to change from RH to LH shooting and bought a 55# LH Bear Montana for $80 on E-bay. Switching to lefty was NBD because I needed to do it, but I made a low strand count string for it from Ultra-Cam and man did that bow come alive. I wish I still had it but I sold it to a fellow who was also switching to LH shooting so it went to a good place. Now they are pretty pricey compared to $80.

From: deerhunt51
Date: 13-Nov-17

Martin Savannah made by Howatt (older ones). Great looking/shooting bows. Really good power early in the draw, so smooth and accurate, very Quiet as well.

From: soap creek
Date: 13-Nov-17

1 1/2 yrs ago I picked up a Quinn Stallion. It was 43lbs. Thought I'd use it for form practice and 3Ds. It shot so good for me I bought 2 more in heavier weights. This year I hunted with my 47lb one. My adult son claimed the 50lb one I had. They are awesome shooters. Smooth and stable. The grip fits me just right.

From: AK Pathfinder
Date: 13-Nov-17

The first longbow I ever built was mine. I finished it up and 5 days later was hunting Black tails on Kodiak Island. Killed a nice 3 point on the first day out with a pass through and was thrilled. I guess a guy just needs to have a bit of confidence in what he can make in his garage.

From: handle
Date: 13-Nov-17

Browning Cobra. Bought for $5 at an auction by my buddy, given to me two years ago because neither he nor his son could shoot it worth a damn. Restrung, tuned up and matched with some arrows by Mike Shaw at his traditional archery shop. It's like 46 inches strung and I put some old school limb wraps on it. All I can say is it's a flat out shooter for me.

Date: 13-Nov-17

Probably my 57 kodiak. It's a couple years older than me and I have about $30 in it. It's a sweet shooting bow, always puts a smile on my face to shoot it.

From: Archer
Date: 13-Nov-17

My brand new rainy day bow by George Perez. Shortest long bow I have 58". Shoots extremely well ,with little to no hand shock. And for me is very accurate with carbon or wood arrows. My new blind bow. Come on turkeys.

From: Cameron Root
Date: 13-Nov-17

For the last few months it's been a classic mist with maple cherry core. I can't shake it. Rooty

From: Barber
Date: 13-Nov-17

I have to agree with some above about the Bear Montana. I took one on trade about a month ago, a newer model. It is definitely an over looked bow by some, I know I always over looked it. I will admit for a while I had it in my head to buy custom over production. Not anymore , I like both and will buy both , but don’t think either one is better than the other one.

From: Thumper
Date: 13-Nov-17

62" RER XR 42#@28

Longer than I like....

Lighter than I like....

But man I love it! Shoot it better than any bow I've owned. It shoots 5fps faster than my 45#@28 Kanati longbow and feels 10 pounds lighter.

I think I'll buy a second set of limbs in my perfect specs and never buy another bow again.

From: Rotten:
Date: 13-Nov-17

The first Kanati I ever shot was a few years ago, and I was shocked on how well it shot. Up until that time I had always been a recurve guy. Now I have three and Jason is building me a forth.

From: Treeman
Date: 13-Nov-17

My 66" silky smooth Martin Victory. Quiet, fast and beautiful with it's white limbs.

From: SuperK
Date: 13-Nov-17

Samick Red Stag. It is a smooth, quick, and quiet recurve. I picked up a used one as a backup bow. It is my go-to bow now. The Samick Sage deluxe is basically the same bow.

From: SuperK
Date: 13-Nov-17

Samick Red Stag. It is a smooth, quick, and quiet recurve. I picked up a used one as a backup bow. It is my go-to bow now. The Samick Sage deluxe is basically the same bow.

From: The Greek Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Nov-17

Picked up a Samick Hawkeye for around $150, could not believe how fast, smooth and accurate that bow was......I think Samick did a real good job in copying its Black Widow MA counterpart

From: dean
Date: 14-Nov-17

Bear magnesium risered recurve really surprised me. The riser broke right at the limb catch. I don't know what path the heavy end of limb traveled, but it cracked my nose and gave me a black eye. Boy was surprised.

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 14-Nov-17

Yew bows have surprised me in good ways repeatedly. My first yew English self-longbow was an Ahhhhh-haaaaa moment. So silky smooth to make, draw, and shoot.

From: heydeerman Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 14-Nov-17

For the good...3Rivers Tomahawk, Hoyt Buffalo.

For the bad...RER Static Recurve, Mohawk Longbow.

From: Pdiddly
Date: 14-Nov-17

Pdiddly's embedded Photo

What surprised me? Crookedstix letting that Dick Green come my way and ditto for mangonboat and the 1960 Howatt Diablo!! LOL!

I agree with the previous owners that they are both beautiful bows but I was not surprised.

Seriously, the bow that surprised me, and I hoped it would, were a 57" Tri-State Jaguar made in the late 50's that has radical hooks. It is the quietest recurve I own and a most unusual design in its day. It is also very fast and points well.

From: Hookedspur Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Nov-17

The Two bows really surprised me were the Great Northern Super Ghost and the Lone Wolf Banchee. Both very smooth and fast!!

From: limbwalker
Date: 14-Nov-17

A 60's vintage (maybe even 50's) Hoyt Pro Olympian.

66" but with a very light and trim handle section. Originally intended as a target bow, but at 48# at my draw, I pressed it into service for hunting. It was amazing. Quick and shock free and light as a feather.

Only reason I stopped shooting it was a crack that showed up in the riser. Otherwise I'd still be using it.

From: Tajue17
Date: 14-Nov-17

a martin savannah, a sage recurve forget what model but it had a SBD string it was well tuned and had matched arrows it shot really nice and was very forgiving. a wing thunderbird and a old saunders recurve both impressed me enough to say they where just as good as 1200.00 recurves.

From: Biathlonman
Date: 14-Nov-17

For vintage bows, the Browning Wasp always impressed me. For current bows the Toelke Pika is a short bow that draws and shoots like a big bow. Speed of any Zipper bow has always left me with the wow factor. Was also super shocked at the quality/performance of the Bodnick slick stick at the price point.

From: Babbling Bob Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Nov-17

A 1960 45lb 64-inch Kodiak Special. Much faster and more comfortable than a 45lb 64-inch 1959 Kodiak Special I own, and you would think they would shoot similar, but not so. It also has much skinnier limb ends than the '59 along with the wider grip and the 64-inch '60 uses a slightly shorter string than the 64-inch '59. This was also confirmed by Bearbowman in West Virginia when he made my strings as he has seen this too.

The limbs ends are so skinny, they remind me of those painted risered Black Widows of the same year. Have a 63-inch Kodiak Special that spits them out good too, but that 1960 is some kind of bow, Never see the bowyers say much about its design being slightly improved over the '59, but bowyers should study it hard as Bear must have done some experimenting and really hit it with that one. Also heard the '60 Kodiaks perform slightly better for some folks than the '59's too, but don't know. I do know the '61 and '62 Kodiaks I have shoot about the same which is very good, but none of my old bows I have now hold a candle to that 1960 KS.

Maybe its like those golf clubs of that era where some craftsman made a good'un here and there. When I worked for the United Stats Golf Association long ago. Hung out at a club makers shop and there was a difference between drivers, irons, and putters even though they were the same model and had the same shafts, so you had to try them to get the best ones. Doug Ford, who won the Masters told me the same thing. Might be that way with a few of the bows of the past.

From: ny yankee
Date: 14-Nov-17

I never really realized how nice shooting My Bighorn 3pc is until I tried some other bows. Some were just plain uncomfortable to hold and shoot. I now know what a "smooth draw" is. It feels like you are drawing less weight than you are. My Kodiak Takedown comes close but it's a lot less draw weight too.

From: TradFan
Date: 14-Nov-17

Stewart Slammer. Top notch bows.

From: Threeundr
Date: 14-Nov-17

For me it was my Bob Lee Stick (love that grip!) and my Steve Abbott longbow (just enjoy shooting that bow so much). As far as production bows go, the one that blew me away was my Browning Explorer II. That is not only a beautiful bow that is a tack driver, but it smokes an arrow as well!


From: todd Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Nov-17

I can say there was 3.

Had an old shakespeare recurve, that shot like a dream, till it succumb to bowfishing wows.

Sunset Hill, heard all the great things, talked with Nate on the phone few times. He made me one, when I first shot it till now years later it is spot on, quiet and forgiving, hands down the best total custom longbow ever owned.

Primaltech- Met Randy at the traditional world and we shot together. After shooting his bow had him make me one, got it a few weeks into bow season. When had a lull in action, strung it and started shooting it. It is quiet, cast an arrow with authority, quick and point of aim. This is a bow that is well worth the money.

From: 2 bears
Date: 14-Nov-17

They all surprise me. I keep thinking the next one can't miss but it always does. :<( >>>----> Ken

From: Knifeguy
Date: 14-Nov-17

My 2 46" Herter's. They are a smooth and fast as any bow I own. Keep in mind that I draw 27-1/2" Lance.

From: Flygirl
Date: 14-Nov-17

Bear Montana is a great shooting bow.The Tred Barta bow was a great shooter too with a nice grip.

Date: 14-Nov-17

My Fox High Sierra longbow quiet super smooth n fast and what a grip!

From: 9/10 Broke Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 03-Jul-18

Toelke Troll. Amazing.

From: Nemophilist
Date: 03-Jul-18

Nemophilist's embedded Photo

Have a picture now so I'll post again.

Bought a used 1990s Bear Hunter TD ( 60#@28" ). I couldn't pass it up for the price. Turned out to be a great shooting bow. Smooth drawing, grip feels great, points well. It shot so good for me I decided to put a little money into it so I had the whole bow camo dipped, and installed antler limb bolts.

From: David McLendon
Date: 03-Jul-18

A Mahaska recurve, it was a great shooter. I bought it on Ebay when I was making the change to LH, it was plain looking but an accuracy machine. I passed it on to a friend who was a LH compound shooter who wanted to make the change to single string.

From: Timbukto
Date: 04-Jul-18

Bezaleel cougar so fast St charles t bird so quiet Black widow pl so forgiving and easy to shoot

From: Deno
Date: 04-Jul-18

Gotta say my Howard Hill Big 5 right from the start.


From: ibehiking
Date: 04-Jul-18

Ben Pearson Rogue Sabo Pac-King Samick Hawkeye

Pleasantly surprised with how well they felt in the hand and with the speed, and accuracy for me.

From: Joe2Crow
Date: 04-Jul-18

Wing Thunderbird that I recently acquired. Smooth and stable and pretty quick for a bow with so much deflex in the handle and a dacron string. Very nice bow.

From: Tradarcher4fun
Date: 04-Jul-18

Toelke Pika. Just did a deal with Deerspotter for a 56” Pika, 38# @ 28. I’ve only been shooting it a couple days. There is no handshock whatsoever! Bow is quiet and very smooth pulling back. I’ve been shooting 64 - 68” longbows and did not expect the Pika at 56” to be so quiet and smooth. The fact there is no handshock amazes me as the Pika is very light.

From: BigB
Date: 04-Jul-18

Bear Montana

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 04-Jul-18

Indian hawkeye,64 kodiak,ben pearson apex 15 some of my favorites.

From: reb
Date: 04-Jul-18

Personally I am not a Bear fan. But I had the chance to buy a an original 59 Kodiak; an all I could say was wow after I shot it.It is a great bow.

From: Trad Rick
Date: 04-Jul-18

Shooting Trad on and off for 50 years. I have and had many recurves over my life. I the bought a Montana just because I did not have one. I can not put it down. After a couple shooting sessions with it, I am now shooting the Montana better then any recurve I have ever owned. Really a great bow and it is even one of the least expensive bows Bear sells.

From: buroak
Date: 04-Jul-18

Wing Thunderbird 54” 50#@28” I agree with Joe. Just a solid bow.

From: The Lost Mohican
Date: 04-Jul-18

For ten or more years I shot Brackenburys Bears, Widows Stewarts, Howatts Brownings and so many others. All that time every year at ETAR I would walk past the Fedora booth and keep going because I thought a thumb rest was a weird thing and probably just a gimmick by a bowyer to be different. The jury is still out on that, but I did shoot one.back then. Ive spent the last 15 years shooting Fedoras and building a collection of all the poundages I need! TLM

From: cjgregory
Date: 04-Jul-18

A pronghorn longbow.

From: chazz847
Date: 04-Jul-18

My Northwind Tempest and a forward handle dual shelf bow, both are longbows. They just feel great in the hand and have no hand shock at all. I wish he still made them. Limbs are of osage.

From: cecil
Date: 04-Jul-18

Bear Montana

From: Bxrecurve15
Date: 04-Jul-18

My wife’s GN Lil creep, love to shoot that bow. Smooth and dead quiet.

From: Babbling Bob Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 05-Jul-18

A 2013 59'er.

From: lost run
Date: 05-Jul-18

An old 35lb Damon Howatt Cavalier I bought in 1989 for $10.00 used. Gave it to a friend with cancer. He killed a doe with it befor he died. Best $10.00 bow ever.

From: motherlode
Date: 05-Jul-18

Shakespeare Necedah,great little bow, can be had for under 100 bucks to boot.

From: Kent Alan
Date: 05-Jul-18

What surprised me the most? An old, banged up American Archery Shark which I bought for $70-something online. Been looking for a higher poundage one ever since. God and Christ Bless

From: Myke Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 05-Jul-18

Cari-Bow Peregrine and Big River 60" longbow. Sweet!

From: PECO
Date: 05-Jul-18

Many bows have surprised and impressed me. I have to admit the one that was the most impressive would be the Samick Sage. Biggest surprise is because of the cost. For the money, you can really abuse it and it shoots great. Nothing to look at, so I painted it flat black and shoot it a lot in the off season to work on form. I've also Robin Hooded with it and killed some rabbits.

From: bluefin
Date: 08-Nov-18

Stalker stickbow Coyote staitc tip recurve. Great grip easy to shoot and forgiving

From: Draven
Date: 08-Nov-18

Draven's embedded Photo

Jaap Koppedrayer take on ASL.

From: HillbillyKing Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Nov-18

HillbillyKing's embedded Photo

I was well aware of most of the better shooting Bear Bows. However i bought a low end Minute Man 45# for a fishing bow and was taken quite by suprise how well I shot it even compared it by feel to the 1962 kodiak !! A Big Suprise too me !!!

From: Rntlee
Date: 08-Nov-18

Rntlee's embedded Photo

1968 bear Tamerlane. Bought it on a whim and by far I shoot it the best of my all six of my bows. 18 yard 5 arrow group shooting instictive!

From: RonG
Date: 08-Nov-18

Rntlee, I had a 1970 Bear Tamerlane that shot like what you have shown, that rascal would just put every arrow right in the center, but you had to shoot it like a target archer.

The Bow that really surprised me was a Yew selfbow that I crudely carved out of a stave many years ago, I figured it was good enough for fishing, come to find out later after removing the spool and other things that this rascal is smoother faster and has a greater cast than any bow I have owned, even bows with ten more pounds draw.

From: Nemophilist
Date: 08-Nov-18

Nemophilist's embedded Photo

Another one that surprised me and became one of my favorites.

1972 Bear Super Kodiak ( factory camouflage ), 55#@28".

From: Dwrightkm
Date: 08-Nov-18

Black Hunter/Ember. Honestly was not expecting much, but bought one based on all the reviews I read about them.

Haven't touched my other bows since...

From: dean
Date: 08-Nov-18

Jack Howard Jet. i scrimped and saved and sold a bunch bows and dozens of arrows back in the 60s to get a Jack Howard. 50 at 28, it shot 2016s and Bear .308s slower than my 44 pound Black Widow target bow.

From: 3Ditional
Date: 08-Nov-18

My Howard Hill Wesley Special. Was expecting a little hand shock on the first shot....none.....second, third, and all shots thereafter, same as the first. Turns out this bow has absolutely NO hand shock.

From: Ken Williams
Date: 08-Nov-18

66” Blackhawk Bee

From: Sam Dunham Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 08-Nov-18

A proline warf with win win limbs.

From: brianbfree
Date: 08-Nov-18

I picked up a Jennings Mark I 55# @ 28 smooth and stout it hits like a hammer

From: Rick Barbee
Date: 08-Nov-18

The most surprised I've ever been was with a Martin Firecat recurve.

I never questioned they would be great performers, but due to the pretty reflexed riser I never dreamed they would be as easy to shoot as they actually are.

Of course they were designed by Larry Hatfield, so there should have never been any doubt. 8^)


From: KDdog
Date: 08-Nov-18

A whippenstick Inferno. 60" #47.

From: newt
Date: 08-Nov-18

DeathWish longbow by Stve Welte from Wisconsin. This bow just does it for me. Feels like home from the minute I pick it up.

From: Geezer
Date: 09-Nov-18

A Bear S\k, which is the most naturally pointing now I've ever shot. Then a Martin Savannah, with which I killed more deer than any now I've owned. And a Samick Safe whose performance was as good as any high end traditional bow. I have stopped looking at custom bows. For less than $200 we can get performance and features equal or better than the customs. The vanity of having a well known and recognizable custom has become silly IMO. That was not always true, but now we can put our Chinese production bows up against the nicest customs and see no performance difference. That said, the Super Kodiak is not as fast as many others at the same draw weight, but the balance, smoothness, the classic look, and the shoot where you look aspect puts it as the Number One now available today.

From: del of logan
Date: 09-Nov-18

del of logan's embedded Photo

I found an older Ben Pearson Palomino that had a real nice rosewood riser on ebay. I bought it for the looks but shot much better than expected. Using it for 3D shoots with very good results for me.

From: GF
Date: 09-Nov-18

I haven’t shot a whole bunch of different bows, so I’m not sure that I even know what I’m expecting when I pick up a bow. All I really need it to do is to throw an arrow where it’s pointed and make it go fast enough to not end up in the dirt several feet short of the mark...

And I have to say… So far I’ve really never been disappointed. Maybe by one Shakespeare take-down entry-level bow which I tried in a shop one time and felt that it was a bit shocky...

But the 52” Thunderbird.... That little dude is a full 10” shorter than anything else I own and I have to admit that I had been concerned when I bought it that it might have some finger-pinch, at least compared to what I’m used to.


And I was pleasantly surprised at how little I needed to change my hold between the #46 T-bird and the #55 RER longbow. So now I just have to twist up the BH and see how it shoots when it’s high enough to be quiet...

From: Tal McNeill
Date: 09-Nov-18

Quinn Stallion. One of the best recurves I ever shot and I paid all of $150 for it. Wish I had mine back.

From: camodave
Date: 09-Nov-18

Not at my best with a Hill style bow. Other than that I shoot all bows about the same. I have owned maybe 80.


From: Codjigger
Date: 09-Nov-18

I have a 54in T Bird and a 62in. Love them both but i think the 54 is my favourite. A sweetheart! Sandy

From: Kwikdraw
Date: 09-Nov-18

Bear Montana - great longbow!

From: NBK
Date: 09-Nov-18

Firefly 3 piece longbow by Jim Jones. I've now owned and shot a bunch of bows and that bow is still the darling to beat. Cool thing about that bow is that it's the only bow I've ever shot that was as quiet shooting 3 under as shooting split without any major adjustments.

From: saxman
Date: 10-Nov-18

Just got a like Ned Bigfoot Sasquatch takedown. One sweet shooting bow for my 31 inch draw.

From: Dan W
Date: 10-Nov-18

Dan W's embedded Photo

the "Shim-bo" by Shakespeare. Bottom of the bunch $17 hunting recurve- AFTER I cleaned it up, refinished, got rid of the big plastic wart that was the dual shelf handle/grip. Low stretch string, now it's a respectable little "horse" type bow. I shoot it both sides, 30" draw with thumb ring. Not quite as good as my Saluki "Damascus" though.

From: Mountain Man
Date: 10-Nov-18

Mountain Man's embedded Photo

Howard Hill Cheetah I’ve owned many Hill style ASL’s in many wood choices but I gota say Rocky Mountain juniper and bamboo surprised me

From: Mountain Man
Date: 10-Nov-18

Mountain Man's embedded Photo

From: Desperado
Date: 10-Nov-18

My Blackwidow SA III...I suspected it to be great but nowhere as wonderful as it is,,,I now have 2 more Widows.

From: Bowmanmatt
Date: 12-Nov-18

Bowmanmatt's embedded Photo

Both of these

From: Rick 3
Date: 12-Nov-18

I just traded a Morrison Shawnee carbon bamboo longbow that was awesome to shoot. It would throw a 480 gr arrow 200+fps (58#@29"). With the short handle and long limbs making a 62" bow it was awesome. Smooth and fast!

Unfortunately I hurt my shoulder last year and couldn't draw it anymore so I traded for a lower weight bow.

From: oldgoat
Date: 12-Nov-18

Anything with Toelke written on it! I've become quite the Fanboy!

From: Kwikdraw
Date: 13-Nov-18

Well, I have to add one. Just picked up a Kohanna Flatbow from a fellow LWaller, and it draws smoother, is very fast and super quiet. No handshock whatsoever and is also very accurate, that is, consistent. Love it!

From: DanaC
Date: 13-Nov-18

I own two ILF bows, one 19" riser and one 25". The 25 is a PSE X-Factor, bought used, came with some mediocre wood/glass limbs. A few years later I bought some wood/carbons for use on the 19". Shot okay there, but when I put them on the PSE they turned it into a shooting machine.

Two pounds heavier but enough of a performance jump to turn the thing from a lobber into a real shooter.

The other 'surprise' is an old 70's 'Black Bear'. Had it sitting in storage for a long while, strung up, and the string stretched out until the brace was way low. Fired a few arrows with it and still managed to hit. New string and hey! This thing does okay! Not my go-to but once in a while it's a cool change. Best part is it was hand-painted old-school style with shadow leaf patters. It was someone's baby back in the day. (No I'm not immune to nostalgia ;-) )

From: deerfly
Date: 13-Nov-18

I would have to say the first bow I shot using a tab instead of a glove

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 15-Nov-18

I forgot the one that surprised me the most. An all fiberglass 40lb. Stemmler semi recurve. Pulls smooth, shoots straight ,and pretty quick.

From: GF
Date: 15-Nov-18

I’ve got a new one for ya...

Last weekend I twisted up the string on my son’s RKK a bit. All it has on it is a couple of Monkeyball’s Barbee-style string puffs, and.... just incredibly quiet when he shoots it; especially for a recurve. No more noise than a flushing Nuthatch, just a little higher-pitched.

I don’t know how you could say that it sounds even better than it looks, because it’s drop-dead gorgeous, but...


If you have already registered, please

sign in now

For new registrations

Click Here

Visit A Traditional Archery Community Become a Sponsor © 2003. By using this site you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy