Michael Braden Chooses Bowhunters First Bow
Editor’s Note: Michael Braden of Houston, Texas, started shooting with PSE in the early 1990s, turned pro, shooting a PSE bow, in 1996, and won the ASA Rookie of the Year. Then in 2009, he came back to be a part of the PSE Pro Staff and has been shooting for PSE ever since, besides coaching shooters.
Michael, for a person who will start bowhunting this season, what bow do you recommend and why? I know that we have to consider the draw length and the weight that this new bowhunter can pull, but generally, what’s a good bow for a beginning bowhunter?
Braden: I really like the PSE EVO and believe it’s probably the best bow for most people getting into the sport of bowhunting. Its draw length is adjustable, and you can get the poundage light enough to start with so the individual can shoot the bow comfortably. You have to consider that when an archer first starts pulling a bow, he or she will not be using muscles that are used daily. But, as they begin to use those muscles, they’ll build that muscle strength fairly quickly. For that reason, buying a bow that’s light enough for you to start with and shoot accurately with is important. As your muscles get stronger, you don’t want to have to buy a new bow to compensate for your added strength. For instance, if you can only pull 50 pounds comfortably when you first start shooting your bow, within a few months, if you practice, you’ll build your strength up and be able to shoot a 60 or 65 pound bow. That’s the reason I like the EVO – it allows the hunter to dial the weight down, so he or she can pull the bow, shoot accurately and begin to build his or her muscles. Then by the time bow season comes in, the archer should be stronger than he or she was at the beginning and may want to increase the poundage. The EVO has the adjustments to let the archer do this. This bow will take an archer from being a beginner to being a top flight bowhunter without ever having to buy another bow. You can get a bow that maxes out at 60 pounds, but you can turn it down to start with to 47 or 49 pounds. There’s about a 10 to 12 pound range of adjustment.
How much weight does a person really have to be able to pull in order to efficiently harvest a white tailed deer?
Braden: With the bows we have today, you could take a deer with a 40 pound bow. We don’t have to pull those heavy draw weights of 60-80 pounds like we did in the old days to be efficient as a hunter. Many men feel they have to pull the biggest, heaviest bows that are made, but you can harvest any animal on the North American continent with a 60 pound PSE bow. You just have to make sure what the laws require in each state where you will be hunting, as far as the bow weights that a hunter can use.