This is just a quick reminder that if you are looking to get a new bow this year and want to get that bow sooner rather than later the time to act is now! Show season is almost here for bowyers and its during that show season that they take a ton of orders. Remember all bow orders are “first come first served”. So when you order a bow and put down a deposit you are basically reserving a spot in line. Then when the bow that was ordered right before yours is done, your bow starts to be made.
Wait times vary depending on the bowyer and how busy they are. But a good bowyer with a solid reputation will have wait times of 5-10 months. Once the shows start and the orders start to pile up, you get later into that wait time frame. I know Steve Turay of Northern Mist Longbows (my favorite bowyer and great friend) will often take over 20 bow orders at a Traditional bowhunting show or gathering. I also know he makes over 100 bows a year. So using that for an example and also using the first big show coming up soon in the end of January (Kalamazoo Tradbow Expo) if you ordered a bow before the show you would get it 2 months quicker than if you order it the day after the show.
There are a ton of bowyers out there making fine bows. If you are looking for a new longbow I highly recommend Northern Mist Longbows. Steve Turay is the bowyer that builds every Northern Mist Bow by hand from start to finish exactly to what you want and need. If you don’t know what you need ask him, he does know. I could go on and on about all the bennifits of a Northern Mist bow and I have in many podcasts. But actions speak louder that words and anytime you see me with a bow in my hand it will be a Northern Mist Longbow. Period! And for anyone that thinks Im only saying that because he is a sponsor or due to perks, I can assure you I paid full price for my bows and always will. If another bowyer called me and said “I will make you any bow you want for free” my response would be “thanks but no thanks! I found exactly what I want in a bow and a bowyer, so Im good!” So understand I only use, promote, and recommend Northern Mist because I truly believe they are the best longbow made.
Now when it comes to recurves I cant help much as I have not ordered a custom recurve on 20 years. But the rules are the same as searching for a new longbow. Look for a bowyer with a good reputation, quality fit and finish, and the features that are important to you.
Now if you are not sure about what kind of bow you want or who you want to make it, then the shows are a great place to start! Show Season for bowyers starts in January and runs throughout the winter, spring and summer. They happen all over the country with big shows and small shows happening all the time and all over. at these shows you can get your hands on many different bows and shoot them right there on the spot. You can also buy bows right there at the shows. If you are looking at specific bowyers bows, call them and ask what shows they will be attending so you know where you can find them at to test out and handle their bows.
If you buy a bow at the show or a stock bow you will pay full price on the spot. If you order a custom bow you usually pay a deposit when ordering and the balance when the bow is finished. The cost of bows vary greatly and don’t let the price fool you. you don’t have to pay a fortune for a great bow. as a matter of fact use me for an example of that again. I would not blink an eye to pay 1500 bucks for a custom bow. But I actually get everything I want in a bow for under 700 bucks in my Northern Mist bows! Why does the price not matter? Because you are most likely gonna use the bow for many many years and that cost spread out of that kind of time frame is like a pizza dinner a month type of cost. Basically irrelevant!
So if 2017 is the year for a new bow for you, and you know what you want, get on it now to get ahead of the busy season. If you dont know what you want, hit the shows and get hands on with a bunch of bows to find what works best for you.