This must be a magical day. First I see a post about buying guns and now this one! I will give my 2 cents with justifications.
First, I would go with a used bow until you get used to shooting traditional and in case you decide you don’t like it you aren’t trying to sell a used $1000, custom Black Widow or other high end brand.
I would keep watching Craigslist and Ebay through Christmas for some deals from guys who are trying to offload their equipment to pay for Christmas. If you don’t see any hot deals then give it another month or so (end of January or even February) until all the hunting seasons are wrapped up and guys are again trying to dump gear.
I don’t think any name brand recurve is going to be bad (Martin, Hoyt, PSE, Bear, etc…) for your first recurve.
Until you learn to shoot traditional (and hopefully you are shooting instinctive) your technique and skills will require some development. Any of those bows will serve that purpose. It is like a guy who decides to take up golf going out and buying a set of Pings. Yes, clubs do make a difference, but not for a golfer who hasn’t developed his skills at golfing.
Yes, building your own bow would be great. Buying custom bow would also be great. Yet, I would recommend waiting on either account until you decide traditional archery is for you and until you can truly benefit from either. I plan to buy a Sheep Eater recurve (Google it). Yet my skills reached the level that require such a fine bow.
Shooting traditional takes patience and repetition. Shooting compound is similar to riding a bike. You can put the compound on the shelf for a couple years. Yet, if your bow is still tuned, you can pick it back up and still shoot the piss out of it. Shooting traditional is again more like golf. Time away from the game will have a negative effect on your skill level. You need to shoot and shoot and shoot until it becomes "instinctive". Once you have developed these skills (I am still waiting), then the degradation of accuracy is far less.
I was shooting around 300 arrows a week for seven months prior to the 2010 elk season. I then shelved the bow for nearly two years (military move) and picked it up this past summer. I was really surprised at my accuracy (though it was still less than when I was shooting regularly) out around 20 yards. Sadly I was comfortably hitting 35 yards when I moved.
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