Happy almost hunting season folks! It’s about time to get out the ole stick and string and get tuned up for archery season. I’ve asked our local archery expert (who shoots WAY better than me) a few archery questions. I’d suggest if you have questions, are looking to purchase a bow/crossbow, need a tune-up or the like Grant is the “go-to” guy. Not only an expert in the area, he’s one of the nicest fellas you’ll meet.
What is the first piece of advice you are giving someone looking into archery?
The first piece of advice I would give would be to take the time to really examine what you want to accomplish by starting the sport of archery. What is your primary objective for starting archery? Is the reason hunting, competitive shooting, recreation, exercise, social interaction, family activity, or something else?
The second piece of advice I would give, and probably the most important, is to consult an experienced archer before buying any equipment. The biggest mistake I see, which is also the most common mistake I see is people buying used equipment without any consideration for how it might fit them or their children. As an archery store manager, I would love to sell you new equipment that will for sure fit you, but as a fellow archer and human being I understand sometimes a good deal might be needed to get you started in this sport. I will gladly help you with any issues if you do not have other help. It is important to me that you get off to a good start for your development in the sport and your safety. You cannot be successful in archery if your equipment doesn’t fit.
Bow or Crossbow? Advantages and disadvantages of both?
I wish this question could be answered entirely on the merit of the equipment, but it is an issue that really divides people in the archery/hunting community. Like politics, religion and the choice of college football teams compound bow versus crossbow is a hot-button issue that people will strongly voice their opinion on. Compound archers, in general, tend to strongly dislike the fact that crossbows are legal, and they often do not acknowledge them as archery equipment. I used to share this opinion until I spent some time working in an archery shop. I have witnessed people I knew were not ready or properly equipped to go on a hunt headed to the stand with a compound bow. My personal view is that as hunters and archers we have a very serious obligation to the animals we hunt. We should feel obligated to make the most accurate and lethal shot possible for the respect and recovery of the animal. If you are not willing to put a substantial amount of work into practicing and tuning a compound bow, please consider a crossbow. You still need to practice with and tune a crossbow, but it takes a lot less time, commitment, and knowledge.
Now that we have examined the hunting community-based issues let’s examine a few of the pros and cons of compound bows versus crossbows:
Pros of crossbow-
Higher draw weight, Faster, eliminates the step of having to draw the bow back when an animal comes in, can be used by multiple people without adjustment, easier to use in ground or box blinds
Cons of Crossbow-
Some models are loud when shot, you must shoot the crossbow to unload it in most cases, hard to shoot without a steady rest, harder to get maintenance done, risk of severe hand injury if fingers go above the guard
Pros of Compound Bow-
Highly adjustable and customizable in most cases, lots of accessories available at several price points, more opportunities for competitive shooting, more legal hunting opportunities in other states, easier and safer to handle when hunting
Cons of compound bow-
Need to be specifically adjusted to one shooter, more practice and skill needed, archers’ physical size and strength dramatically impact the performance of the bow, constant equipment adjustments and changes for youth archers, equipment value can depreciate quickly
Hunting/Competitive shooting what are the main factors to consider?
The great thing about bowhunting and competitive archery is that there truly is something for everyone! In competitive archery, the type of equipment you use, your gender, and age put you in a certain class. Then those classes are used among several different disciplines of competition. These disciplines all require a slightly different skill set. There are indoor, field, target, 3-D, and even broadhead events available to participate in at different times throughout the year. In Oklahoma 3-D and indoor are currently the most popular types of archery in my opinion. This is mostly due to lots of youth organizations and clubs specializing in these types of events. The opportunities to travel for tournaments are a lot more prevalent with these types of contests. The skills learned through competition can improve your ability as a bowhunter. Several equipment classes use the same equipment you will hunt with while others give you the ability to use highly specialized accessories. Traditional archery with longbows, recurves and selfbows are also an option to hunt and compete with and are rapidly growing in popularity. Several more types of equipment classes exist that you might have never considered, and I encourage you to research these and find something that interests you.
What do you stock in your store? What services do you offer?
Enid Archery, owned by Brian Lamoreaux, is the bow shop I currently manage. We are located at 704 South Hoover and are open Monday evenings from 5:30-8 P.M. and by appointment. We offer equipment sales, bow and crossbow repair, tuning help and lessons. We can help anybody from someone who wants to shoot their first arrow to the experienced archer planning for a big game hunt of a lifetime. It is my goal to make your equipment fit you correctly and get it in the best possible working order.
About Grant Gungoll
Grant Gungoll is a longtime competitive archer, bowhunter, archery coach and bow shop manager. He is best known for a large number of kids he has taught to shoot archery in the Enid area and for having a unique and diverse set of archery skills. He has won a total of 13 State Championships, including several aggregate titles, in both compound and traditional archery and has won those by shooting both left and right-handed. Gungoll also holds a Deerman’s T.H.E. (true hunting experience) reserve world championship in primitive archery but thinks his biggest accomplishment as an archer was harvesting a whitetail doe with a longbow.
“I am by no means a dominant archer that is going to win a contest by several points all the time or be the best at every shoot I go to. I have to work extremely hard to stay healthy and be competitive. Archery has just blessed me with several great mentors and friends that have truly pushed me to have a great experience in this sport,” Gungoll said.