Archer's Choice Bow Buying Tip

Ralph Cianciarulo says ignore hype, test bows to suit yourself

Archer's Choice Bow Buying Tip
Ralph Cianciarulo

If you plan to get a new hunting bow for this season, get on it. Time’s awasting.

Archery shop owner Jerrell Dodson says he finds bow hunters to be notorious procrastinators. They’re slamming his shop with last-second fixes, but if you’re looking for a new rig and accessories, he and other outfitters will likely make the time.

For some advice on finding the right bow, we asked Ralph Cianciarulo of “Archer’s Choice” and “The Choice with Ralph and Vicki” to tell us the best way to go about it.

“With anything, when you’re going to look for a new bow, don’t get caught up with the hype of the marketing,” Cianciarulo said. “Go in the shop with an open mind. Look at all the bows. Try to have that pro shop owner set them all up with the same poundage, same draw length, and draw them back.


“You’re going to find that one or two of those bows are going to feel better than all the rest. Don’t worry about the price, don’t worry about anything. You may find out that that $2,000 bow doesn’t feel as good as that $600 bow in your hand.”


It really is personal, Cianciarulo said. When a hunter gives each the side-by-side test, there will be bows that seem to better suit that individual. He does recommend having the pros fit you correctly with draw length and poundage. He was adamant about one other point: DO NOT overbow yourself.

“Years ago, we needed the heavy poundage for the bigger bone structured animals to increase your penetration,” he said. “We were also starting to look at shooting a bigger diameter broadheads, but we weren’t getting the penetration.”

The industry then made bows more efficient, which Ralph said takes away the need for having the higher-poundage bows.

“Today, we have bows that at 60 pounds have more efficiency than the bows five years ago at 70 or 80,” he said. “We don’t have to go start looking at these heavy poundages any more. Make it comfortable. Make it so you can draw that bow so smooth that there’s no added movement.”


Cianciarulo cringes when he sees someone on a show have to hold his bow arm straight up in the air and then have to muscle it down to draw.

“Obviously, the bow is too heavy for that individual,” he said. “Make it lighter, because there’s way too much movement trying to make that draw, especially when that deer is coming down the trail or that elk is coming up to you. C’mon, you don’t need it.”

Next up, Cianciarulo discusses matching kinetic energy to your broadhead selection. Stay tuned!


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