Archery and Draw Weight – How I Really Feel

My draw weight on my Mathew’s Jewel is set at 52lbs. I’ve been bowhunting for around 15 years, and I’ve never had it set any higher than that. I don’t particularly want it any higher because I’ve always struggled with my right rotator cuff, and I’d like to stay in this game as long as possible without sustaining injuries.

Why am I telling you this?

I want people to know that you can have a smaller draw weight on your bow and you can still be lethal with it. I’ve harvested a lot of big game animals with my bow over the years. I shoot small game, I shoot big game, and I practice every chance I get. I’m a firm believer that shot placement is crucial. If your arrow is flying slower than someone else, then make up for it with your aim and closing the distance between you and the animal. Find a way to make it ethical, as long as it’s legal. (Some states do have a minimum draw weight requirement, so be sure to check on that.)

I’ve heard a few “celebs” in our hunting industry lately saying that they want to get up to a 70lb draw weight. Daniel Lee draws that much weight, and I respect him for it. He shoots faster and better than I do. But that doesn’t mean that I have to do what he does just to level the playing field. I hope everyone will learn to think for themselves. Doing what a “celebrity” does just to be more like them isn’t healthy, especially when a lot of what you see is actually smoke and mirrors.

My message is this: Be you. Do what you can do, practice hard, and set your own goals. Nobody else can tell you what’s best for you or what the standard should be. If you want to draw 40lbs back, do that. If you want to draw back 80lbs, then I’m very impressed and I’m your fan. If it’s legal and ethical, then just enjoy yourself and make memories your own way.

Julie shot this red stag with her bow from 42 yards on a spot & stalk hunt. Her bow was set at a 52lb draw weight.

Julie shot this red stag with her bow from 42 yards on a spot & stalk hunt. Her bow was set at a 52lb draw weight.

One thought on “Archery and Draw Weight – How I Really Feel

  1. I love this! When I started bowhunting, I had little confidence in myself as far as strength. I had just recovered from an automobile accident, and thought that I would be stuck at my 34 lbs forever. I spent my whole first season shooting consistently, and soon that 34 lbs became easy for me to pull back sitting, standing, on the ground, etc. I made it a goal over the next year to shoot every day. There has been at most, maybe 10 days over the past year that I haven’t shot my bow. I set my goal at 52 lbs (This was just an ideal number that I had in my head) and after just a few months of consistent shooting and light strength training, I was able to reach that goal. I definitely underestimated myself. 🙂 I am very happy at 52 lbs, because I know that I am accurate enough to make a clean and ethical kill on any of the game that I choose to hunt. Coincidentally, I also shoot a Mathews Jewel. 🙂

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