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This has to be said, I love bamboo. In fact with a long line of bows I will pretty much always pick the bamboo bow. There is something that is just hard to describe. I often compare a bamboo bow to an excitable puppy. Maybe you have a had a really bad day, but when you get home the puppy is jumping all over the place. It’s so happy and jumping over, the excitement is toxic and it makes you have just by being there. But then you site down and just like that, the puppy runs off to fetch your slippers and a cold drink.
That is a bamboo bow. It is an exciting bow. You can feel the energy that the bow has. It wants to be shot. It has all the passion and love right there and then, then you take the shot. Suddenly this puppy grabs your slippers and a cold one. That arrow goes exactly where you want it. And the second lands right next to it and so does the one after and the one after. They are magnificent bows full of excitement and preform so well.
So it is fair to say that I have a little bias when it comes to this bow, but the Black Hunter from Mandarin Duck is one of the best bows that I have every got my hands on.
Thanks to the bolt on limb system they use, there are two versions of this bow available. You can have the recurve limbs or have the long bow limbs—though the long bow limbs are closer to, flat bow/hybrid limbs—these being what I ordered as these are the limbs with bamboo.
I was a little worried in the early days as my previous experience with a flat bow wasn’t overly positive. Yet I had hope that the bamboo would counter all of the negative that I was expecting.
And man was I right.
This bow shoots like a dream. I haven’t been able to put any real archery time in in for so long now, but this bow made me feel like I hadn’t stepped away. It’s smooth and springy nature made shooting just an absolute pleasure. At thirty meters this bow was giving me some great results, so I pushed it to forty and then fifty (I would have pushed it further back but that is my limit at the moment and I spent a long time making those arrows.)
At every measure of the bow it was always me that me that messed the shot up and never the bow. But even when I did mis, the bow is such fun to shoot that I was excited to nock every arrow.
While I was out shooting this bow for the first time, I was with a friend. After a while we switched bows. His reaction was the same as mine. Love at first shot.
Now a lot of this comes down to the limbs. How the bow preforms, the hand shock, the power and so on; but the grip is also something that deserves crediting.
A lot of traditional bows have a high or a medium to high grip. Or they have this chunky grip that takes sometime to get used to.
The Black Hunter has a beautiful grip.
It’s a mid to low grip—slightly more on the low side of things, with a very slight grainy feel to it. The bow feels like a true traditional bow.
It’s dark tones blend well with the category that the bow falls into and while I will be adding colour accessories to it, the bow looks really nice.
Finally we come to the price. Now I have had a number of cheap bows and I have had more than a couple of bows where I have spent more than a grand. I would have been happy to spend a couple hundred (UK) for this bow.
But that is not the price that Mandarin Duck have on this bow. While the long bow version is the more expensive version, I spent just over 100 (again, UK pound sterling).
Now this bow won’t let you put on sights or stabilizers, but it will put a smile on your face and I will recommend this bow every single day of the week.