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The Gera Bird. Is this the bow that can tick all the boxes?

/By Jon Harrison/

This is just a short article/ review that I was asked to write about my Gera bow, as Gera is a small, fairly unknown bow company who are creating some high performance, good looking and yet budget friendly bows at the moment. Myself? I’m Jon Harrison, a UK NFAS field archer, (National Field Archery Society).The NFAS exists to foster and promote field archery. We shoot at inanimate 2D and 3D targets, placed at unmeasured distance in woodland. Our shooting styles range from Primitive to Unlimited, covering longbows, flatbows, recurves, compounds and crossbows. I’m based in the Lake District at Pennington Archers, and I love nothing more than flinging arrows as many times a week as possible, in some of the prettiest countryside the UK has to offer.

We've all done it. Stood at the peg, worked out the shot, drawn the bow and then as we release there's a "bang" or a loud "rustle", as the top limb of the bow rattles off a branch or some low hanging foliage. Even worse, you now need a second shot as your arrow has ended up in the ground eight feet beyond the target.

This got me thinking about really short field bows like the Border Ghillie Dhu, but unfortunately my bank balance wouldn't allow for that. Then I heard about the Old Mountain Stygian, a 56” field bow. These were out of stock everywhere at my 40# draw weight due to the global shipping crisis, so that was the end of that.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I'm shooting around the woods at Pennington Archers with my good friend and owner of Northern Archery, Martin Leonard, telling him about the short bow idea and the struggle to find one. He just looked at me and said, "Come and see me at work, I want you to try a Gera Bird that I have in."

I'd never heard of Gera bows before and was intrigued. It turns out they're an archery company in Kiev, Ukraine who hand make all their bows. They produce a few different models, as well as making arrows, strings, bracers and a whole multitude of other archery related items.

So a couple of days later I arrived at Northern Archery. Martin was waiting for me at the ranges with a tiny, stunning looking bow. The bow is made from oak and purple heart. The colours really pop in the sunlight, and the finish on the bow is impeccable. No rough burrs in the string nocks, no smudges or marks in the finish and the bowyer had signed his work. And all Gera bows come with a string with fur string silencers, leather string silencers on the limbs, a fur rest and leather strike plate as standard. It just looked like a real quality bow that would cost a lot more than I had in my pocket. Shooting it was pure joy. I was expecting a stiff draw with a bit of stacking, and for it to be really twitchy. I was so happy to be proven wrong, the draw was silky smooth, there was no stacking and it shot beautifully and accurately. It stayed perfectly still for the follow through with no twitching or jumping about at all. The twitchiness of a short bow can demand a clean loose and produce unexpected wayward shots. The Bird has given me no problems in these areas. Despite The Bird being short, I can shoot my usual three under release with no issues, but it can be shot split finger without pinching. An added bonus is that it shoots without the string touching my hat on the draw!Needless to say, when Martin told me how much it was over a coffee in the shop after an hour on the ranges, I just bought it and left with a smile on my face and not too big a hole in my pocket.

The Bird is a tiny 52" recurve bow, built to be drawn up to 30" rather than the usual 28", so it's more than capable of dealing with my 29" draw. It's so fast, I shoot 33" arrows that are 478gns total weight, and the little Bird spits them out at a very consistent 186fps. When I first started shooting this little bow, I have to admit it did catch me out and made me shoot high quite a few times. This was due to me being a purely instinctive archer, and the bow having such a fast cast. When I shoot, I point my bow arm at the target and then imagine the arc of the arrow and lift or lower my arm accordingly. With the Gera being so fast, it actually flattened the arc so much compared to my previous bow. It took me a little while to make the mental adjustment and start imagining a much flatter arc every time I shot. I don't think you can get much better for around £400 all in. The bows are much cheaper on Etsy, but then you have to factor in tax and import duty etc if like me, you live in the UK and that's the kind of price you're looking at. So it's probably easier to give Martin a shout and get one through him if you would like one.

After owning my Gera Bird for a couple of months, I entered my first ever NFAS national champs in the Traditional Bow Hunter class which is a traditional 1, 2 or 3 piece bow, shot off the shelf with non natural material feather fletched arrows, so carbon or aluminium arrows. And I managed a bronze medal much to my surprise, with only 20 points between 1st and 3rd place. But what was really nice was the lovely comment left on my Facebook post by Gera bows, congratulating me on my 3rd place and saying how happy they were that I love the bows so much and how well it works for me.

And it made me think, how many of the big companies would do something like that?

So is the Gera Bird the bow that ticks all the boxes? Well for me so far, yes it is.

Useful links for if you’d like to know more about Gera bows, and you’re in the UK, you can get hold of Martin Leonard via phone or email,his contact details can be found in the link below.

Or alternatively you can find the Gera bird on Etsy on the link below, plus other Gera model

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