What To Consider When Buying Used Bows

By Jason Reid
Tip and tactics for purchasing used bows.

AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

Rochester, NY. Buying a new bow is plain expensive. For the new legions of bowhunters and shooters starting into this exciting new activity, the price tag on getting started may be disappointing.

If you are in this boat, or are even a dedicated bowhunter like I am, don’t overlook buying a used bow. With each passing year new bows hit the market, leaving high quality bows from the past five years available.

Right now, there are a little over five months until bow season so time is of the essence to make your moves. If you play your cards right, you can get into a “new” bow for nearly half the cost as a new year model.

Treat this like a game.  Here are the things I look for when I am scouring the internet for a used bow.

1) It is no secret Craigslist or E-bay hold plenty of sellers. If you know the bow you are looking for, awesome. If you are new to archery, solicit the advice of your local pro shop on solid models from the past few years. I knew what I wanted buy and was able to find a Mathews Heli-M for a drastically lower price than what it originally sold for. Despite having the ability to purchase newer bows, this older bow was the one which fit me best and was like finding one of the last diamonds in the rough.

Use the internet to find great deals on used bows.
Use the internet to find great deals on used bows.

2) Veteran archers know the power of their local archery shops. These guys have a pulse for quality and often times have used bows on their racks. The best part of buying a used bow through your local shop is the ability to test shoot. Buying online often leaves many questions, especially when it comes to the integrity of the bow. Approach any online purchase with caution.

3) When I look online, I am looking for descriptions of people who say they don’t really have the time to hunt or shoot. These people are much more likely to negotiate vs. the person who tells you the rack rate they paid.

Plan on getting a new set of stings and cables.
Plan on getting a new set of stings and cables.

4) Do You really need the accessories? Sure you could buy the entire rig for $900 and sell the extra sight and rest, but if you don’t want to mess with that, ask what the bare cost would be. I bought Mathews DXT for $400 dollars by having the seller strip the bow down. A win considering the year I bought it the bow was only three years old and still retailing in the high $800 range.

5) I wouldn’t mess with a bow that doesn’t come with the right draw length or limb weight. The reason being, I’ll spend additional money on getting the right pieces for the bow. I could have justified buying a brand new piece of equipment by the time you order everything and have it worked on.

                   Remember, the goal is to get a great quality bow without having to break the bank.

Check for crack at all joints on a used bow.
Check for crack at all joints on a used bow.

6) Plan for a new set of strings and cables. String care is overlooked by many and I don’t want to trust strings and cables from others. I plan for new strings and cables with any used bow purchase. Build this into your cost.

7) Check the bow for fractures on the limbs or any damage to the string track on the cams.
Have the bow tuned after purchasing by a technician if you have not bought it direct through them.

Buying a used bow takes a bit of patience but should not be overlooked. There is great economic value in seeking out and purchasing the right used bow for you.

With five months until bow season, now is the time to begin thinking about getting ready. Check out a list of used bows here.

About Jason Reid:
Jason Reid is a writer and business professional from upstate New York. After deciding to pursue his dream of becoming an outdoor writer, Jason started a blog from his dorm room at Houghton College, growing it and working hard to earn opportunities. While bowhunting big game is his ultimate passion, Jason welcomes all outdoor challenges which force him to push his limits. Jason’s work can be viewed on his website Pushingthewildlimits.com.

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