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Gear & Accessories

Simple Tips When Buying A Used Bow

by Eddie Claypool   |  March 21st, 2016 0
Buying a used bow tips

A used bow can go the distance… Get one with the “shine” already knocked off, and hit the ground running.

Like most other commodities, new bows loose much of their value as soon as you fork over the big bucks to take possession. Such being the case, why handicap your pocketbook with such an approach to ownership?

Why not consider buying a used bow, and then you can use the leftover greenbacks to guy a game tag, a backpack, or maybe, a few of those new-fangled broadheads you’ve had your eye on. Good idea?

Okay, so let’s take a look at some of the benefits of buying a used bow.

Common Sense

Since most major bow manufacturers will stand behind the drivetrain of their bows indefinitely, it goes without saying that you are losing nothing in the area of dependability by buying used. Furthermore, the high-tech handles, limbs and wheels of today’s modern bows are virtually “bulletproof” upon issue, so what’s to be afraid of over the long run?

And furthermore, a used bow will already have had any potential problems fogged out — just be sure to give it your own “10-point inspection” to make sure that there is no hidden damage being passed along. If you’re not a bow mechanic, consider having a pro-shop go over the unit for you. If everything is found to be in top shape, you should be safe, good-to-go. Now you won’t even have to worry about break-in jitters!

Firsthand, I have sold many of my old bows to friends over the years, while touting their dependability, and I have not had to eat crow on any of them yet — they just keep on ticking. And personally, I once used a secondhand bow for many years, and harvested numerous record-class animals with the old “battle-axe.”

Tips when buying a used bow

They don’t have to be new/expensive/impressive, to get’er done! Used bows account for many trophies harvested every year.

That bow rode on my back — and on the backs of numerous mules — through every type of rugged terrain imaginable. It sustained dings, dents and deep gouges, yet always performed flawlessly for me. And unbelievably, I once killed a 5X5 bull elk with that old workhorse of a bow, shortly after I’d dropped it down an avalanche chute, watching it tumble end-over-end for well over 100 yards. I never regretted a single moment of the many years that I spent using that secondhand bow — it was a real blessing.

Go Hunting

Over the years, I’ve picked up a couple of used bows from my local pro-shop. Some guys like to buy a new bow every year, and thus, there is always an ample supply of good, used bows hanging on a rack somewhere. Some pro-shops take trade-ins, some don’t, so shop around and see if there’s such an outlet at any of your local dealers.

Much more often however, I’ve simply found what I was looking for through simple “word of mouth.” Spread the word among friends, that you’re in the market for a good/used bow. In this day of “social media,” and “networking,” browse the web — Twitter, Facebook, Craigslist, etc. Visit archery chat rooms and see what is flowing through the pages of chatter.

How to buy a used bow

Develop a relationship with your new “love” and make sure she’s in tip-top shape. Then treat her like the queen she is.

If you’re a trophy hunter, don’t be afraid to voice your perfect criteria for your mate — maybe you’ll get lucky! Visit sports shows, talk to other outdoorsmen at church, work and your local archery club. You’ll be amazed at how often you’ll simply “come together” into a great relationship. Hey, after all, beggars can’t be choosy!

Another good reason to shop for a used bow, lies in the fact that you’ll be able to get all the cold, hard facts about the equipment that you’re pursuing. Most owners are more than happy to tell you about the performance characteristics of the gear, so be sure to dig into the particulars on your list of desirable qualities.

Talk to bowhunters and target archers alike, and “average” their ratings. It’s good to get dependability and performance information firsthand from trustworthy sources that have used the unit personally.


At the end of the day, I’ve had nothing but great experiences with used bows. They have been good investments, and have paid good dividends upon cash-out. They have provided me with many trophies, and have been dependable to a flaw. Some of them are still hanging in my pro-shop, and every time I glance at them, they yet provide me with warm memories of great times gone by. What more could a guy ask for?

So, unless you’re a “status diva” who likes to impress the masses with your new stuff, then get to hunting for a good used bow! They are everywhere, and somewhere, one is patiently awaiting your kind attention. Befriend a “shunned” bow, and together form a motley crew — laugh all the way to the bank and the taxidermist!

Should you buy a used bow

Develop a long-term relationship with a good, used bow – they’ll offer you a lot of good memories.


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