By Hunter’s Handbook, Contributing Writer Bob Robb
No matter where I travel to bow hunt, both men and women of all ages are fascinated with my bows. They want to look at them, feel them, pick them up, and then, inevitably, they want to try and pull the string back. When I let them try, they are amazed at how difficult it is for them. This is as true for large men as it is for small-framed women.
That’s when I explain to them that a compound bow is a very personal thing. Mine have been fitted specifically for me after an archery pro helped me determine my exact draw length. While I am not a large man, my bows are difficult for others to pull back because I have spent many years developing the muscles needed to draw a bow. I explain this to them, and tell them that they can be fitted the same way and start out shooting bows that are set up just right for them and, as they grow into the sport, adjustments can be made to help maximize performance while shooting a bow that is consistently accurate while not costing them an arm and a leg.
Today, many bow manufacturers make high-quality entry-level hunting bows that enable beginning archers to get in the game while having fun and finding success. One leader among these companies is Mission Archery, who is committed to building the highest performing bows at an affordable price.
There are three bows in the Mission lineup for young archers-in-training to choose from—the Riot, Menace and the Craze. First, however, it is important to understand the importance of draw length and how it affects the draw weight of your bow. To measure your draw length, determine the length of your arm-span in inches. Stand with your arms out and palms facing forward. Don’t stretch when measuring, but just stand naturally. Have someone else help you, and measure from the tip of one middle finger to the other. Then simply divide that number by 2.5. The quotient is your proper draw length (in inches) for your body size.
Now, draw weight. First and foremost, it is critical that you choose a draw weight that is comfortable for you and suitable for your particular purpose. A good rule of thumb is to choose a draw weight that requires about 75 percent of your “maximum” strength. When you do this you’ll be shooting a bow that has both speed and power, yet isn’t so hard to draw and hold that you can only shoot a few times before you’re fatigued, making it difficult to practice and improve your game.
The Mission Menace weighs under 3 pounds and has an adjustable module with a draw length range of 17-30 inches. A great feature of this bow is that as you change draw lengths, the minimum and maximum weight adjusts proportionally (see chart) within a full range of 16-52 pounds.
The Mission Craze is in a class all its own for entry-level hunters. With a mere 3.6 pounds of gross weight, the Craze is unique in that it can have over 40 pounds of weight adjustment, with a draw length range of 19 to 30 inches and a full draw weight range of 15 to 70 pounds This is important because the bow can grow with you. The other reason is more subtle. “Dad, you buy me this new Craze and you can use it, too! Even Mom!” With a suggested retail price of $299, the Craze really appeals to adult beginners, too, who are looking for a high-performing bow that will fit an entry-level budget, since a lot of people don’t want to invest in more expensive set-ups when you are just beginning.
The Mission Riot is another great choice, featuring 19-30 inches of draw length adjustment and 15-70 pounds of draw weight adjustment, a lightweight, forged aluminum riser, 7-inch brace height, and an IBO arrow speed of up to 310 feet per second. With a suggested retail price of $399, it is a good choice for both target shooting and bowhunting for beginning archers of all ages.
These three Mission Made-in-America bows are excellent choices for many reasons, including manufacturing quality and their lifetime warranty. But one key quality is the fact that, with their huge draw weight and draw length ranges, they allow you to fit them perfectly to your body as you grow.
Why is this perfect fit so important for an archer? Simply stated, a good fit equals comfort, accuracy and success. If the bow and the archer’s frame are not ideally matched you will never truly be able to consistently place your arrows where you want them, whether the target be a bull’s-eye or the chest of a trophy buck.
With bows like Mission’s Riot, Menace and Craze, young archers not only get a desired fit, but they also get the capability to adjust as they grow. And, all these bows allow for a well-suited progression in the sport of bowhunting, giving shooters of all ages and sizes what all archers want—comfort, accuracy and success.