If you’re thinking about buying a new first-time bow, the best advice is, don’t. Of course you should buy a bow because archery is a terrific sport, yet, like buying a used car, you can save serious money with a used set-up and save on the bow and the accessories. Heck, you may even get arrows as part of the deal. Fortunately for those in the market, compound bows depreciate at least 25% the first year, allowing you to buy last year’s top end bow at the price of this year’s midlevel gear.
Where to buy and set up your bow, new or used, is easy… go to a pro shop. I’ve been shooting archery gear for 50 years, field-testing two or three models annually, and I still have a professional set up my bow. I take the old gear to my local shop, where they install the accessories to my specs so that the new launch fits just right. My arrows are the proper length and spine, and I paper tune-test the setup before I leave. This may sound wimpy to those who love to do things themselves, yet a pro shop will have the tools and expertise to set up your bow perfectly the first time. When I leave the shop, I know the string loop won’t unravel, the peep sight won’t turn, the draw length is right, and the rest is centered, with the latter always a Whisker Biscuit or fall-away model. This costs around $25, and the investment pays countless dividends in no-hassle, solid performance. One word of caution: The closer you get to the opening of deer season, the busier the pro shop will become, so don’t procrastinate. Better yet, be there when the doors open.
Like most procedures, YouTube offers several video clips of how to set up a bow. This one is very much to the point.