Buyer’s Guide: Top 7 Traditional Bows

For those archers wanting to connect to their hunting roots, we highlight seven topnotch recurves and longbows.
Buyer’s Guide: Top 7 Traditional Bows

traditional bowsIt’s no secret that technology is slowly smothering our everyday lives. The more we stare at brightly lit screens for instant entertainment, the more we move a little further away from nature. Because of this creeping reality, some folks are going the contrarian route and stepping back from their phones and tablets. In the bowhunting world, a similar movement is occurring in which more and more bowhunters are setting down their compounds and picking up traditional bows.

These bowhunters are discovering that the challenge of going instinctive is a no-joke endeavor that requires gobs of patience and commitment. When it comes to getting good with a trad bow, there are no shortcuts. That’s the way many of us like it. While it’s true that range time with a recurve or longbow is the only way to truly become proficient, there is one purchase that can bump you ahead a few spots in the line to tight groups and deflated lungs — a good bow.

It’s simple, really. Bows that are designed with quality in mind and are built to fit you personally will help level the learning curve just a bit. They’ll also make your shooting experience much more enjoyable, which will help you become more proficient and, in the end, greatly enhance your traditional bowhunts.

The following are seven offerings worthy of your consideration.

3Rivers Archery: DAS DX5 Longbow

traditional bowsAnyone seeking out traditional archery experts from which to receive top-notch advice on what bow is right for them should look no further than 3Rivers. The folks behind this company live and breathe traditional gear, and they also happen to offer hunting bows ranging from simple, affordable beginner bows all of the way up to top-end, technological marvels that send arrows downrange in dreamy arcs. Anyone interested in the latter scenario should check out the DAS DX5 15-inch longbow risers and the DAS longbow limb options, both available in either black or Woodland Hunter camouflage. Anyone who wishes for a well-designed, highly tunable longbow that is backed by some of the best customer service in the industry would do well to start investigating the DAS lineup. If you’re into recurves, 3Rivers has you covered with their Dalaa options. Beyond that, they’ll have you covered for bowhunting equipment you need, from arrows to broadheads to you-name-it. 3Rivers is truly a one-stop shop for all traditional needs.

For more information, call (866) 732-8783 or visit

Bear Archery: Super Kodiak

traditional bowsWho doesn’t want to channel their inner Fred Bear when they take to the woods each fall? No one, that’s who. Today’s archers can do just that with the Super Kodiak from Bear Archery. This bow replaced the original Kodiak, and it was Bear’s personal bow on hunts that ranged from African lion adventures to the knuckle-whitening pursuit of Alaskan polar bears. Shoot a Super Kodiak, and you’ll probably understand why he was confident enough to carry it when hunting game that could easily eat him given the chance. The Super Kodiak is anchored by a three-piece riser that is built with black phenolic and capped with Bolivian Rosewood, making it a true work of art. It’s also outfitted with a large-profile leather rest plate and offered in either 60 or 64 inches in total length. If you’re a lefty, don’t fret; the Super Kodiak is available for you, and you can choose from draw weights of 35 to 55 pounds. Right-handed shooters can choose from 35 to 60 pounds of draw weight.

For more information, call (800) 694-9494 or visit

Hoyt: Fred Eichler Signature Series Satori

traditional bowsThe Hoyt Fred Eichler Signature Series Satori was introduced in 2017. Between the riser options and the limb options, you can truly customize this bow. Three risers — a 17-, 19- and 21-inch offering — are available, as well as short, medium and long limbs. This means you can essentially have a bow that measures 58 to 66 inches (2-inch increments) between the limb tips and pulls anywhere from 35 to 65 pounds (5-pound increments). No matter what you opt for, you’ll find the riser features the new Shelf Module Plate. This feature allows you the opportunity to fine-tune center-shot alignment while still maintaining the ability to shoot off of the rest. If you’d prefer, you can remove it and shoot off of a standard flipper-style rest. The Satori is also built off the original Earl Hoyt Dovetail System, which allows for precise, micro-adjustment alignment of the limbs to further enhance the shooting experience.

For more information, call (801) 363-2990 or visit

Black Widow: ASA X Anniversary Complete Bow

traditional bowsBlack Widow is a name that has become synonymous with high-quality traditional bows. To celebrate its 60-year anniversary in 2017, the company released the ASA X Anniversary Complete Bow. This bow — which is built to custom draw weights, lengths and grip choice — features hand-picked Tiger Myrtle limbs and a riser that is crafted from gorgeous Ziricote. Naturally, this 60-inch bow is beautiful, but true to Black Widow’s reputation, it’s a shooter as well due to its extended radius shelf, a full 4-inch sight window (cut 3⁄16-inch past center) and Flemish-twist DynaFLIGHT 97 string. In addition to Anniversary arrowhead overlays, the ASA X Anniversary bow also comes standard with Spider string silencers, nocking points, a calf-hair shelf rest/strike plate and plenty of other goodies.

For more information, call (417) 725-3113 or visit

Cabela’s: Summit II Recurve Bow

traditional bowsThere are some bows that allow anyone to get their start without going broke, like the Summit II from Cabela’s. This redesigned 60-inch recurve is designed with hardwood limbs (fiberglass lamination) and a radiused center shooting shelf. The riser is constructed from exotic hardwoods, giving it a champagne look even though it carries a domestic beer price tag. It ships ready to shoot with nock set and rug installed, and it features a brace height of 7.5 to 8.25 inches. Choose from peak draw weights of 40, 45 and 50 pounds in this built-for-accuracy bow, and prepare to get hooked on the simplest and most rewarding style of archery out there.

For more information, call (800) 237-4444 or visit

Martin Archery: Scorpion

traditional bowsIt’s pretty easy to find a few recurves worth shooting, but what if your criteria demand they not only be hand-crafted, but hand-crafted right here in the U.S.A.? Then the list gets pretty short, but that's exactly what's written right at the top is the Scorpion from Martin Archery. This Damon Howatt specialty tapes out at 62 inches in length and features a brace-height range of 6.75 to 7.75 inches. It’s also offered in a draw-weight range of as low as 35 pounds and as high as 65 pounds. Finding a bow of this quality that can offer peak weights up in the mid-60s isn’t all that easy but is much appreciated for any traditional bowyers who might target serious game like elk, moose or African critters. The Scorpion tips the scales at just a shade over 2 pounds and is built with individually stained Hemlock wood fused with high-quality Gordon glass for a look that is eye-catching and a shooting experience that will quickly win over the most devout of skeptics.

For more information, call (509) 529-2554 or visit

PSE: Sequoia

traditional bowsIt’s a common misconception that quality equals high cost. While we do often get what we pay for, there are a few exceptions out there in the trad-bow world. Exhibit A is the Sequoia from PSE, which is a longbow that anchors the company’s Heritage line of bows. With its riser crafted from maple and the maple/clear fiberglass limbs, this bow is as slick looking as it is smooth to shoot. Measuring 68 inches between limb tips, the Sequoia features a 7.5- to 7.75-inch brace height and is offered in either right- or left-handed options. To ensure shooters ranging from novice to Super Slammer can hunt whatever critters they’d like with this bow, PSE offers it in draw weights of 40, 45, 50 and 55 pounds (at 28 inches of draw).

For more information, call (520) 884-9065 or visit


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