Bow Down: The Ultimate Guide to Compound Bows

bow hunting beginners

Selecting the perfect bow for your needs can be a difficult and complicated process. Specifically, choosing a new compound bow requires considering many factors before making a decision. This guide examines key data to assist you in picking your next hunting bow purchase.

Hunting with Compound Bows

Hunting enthusiasts love compound bows for their advantages. These bows may seem complex to a beginner. However, they offer remarkable capabilities.

A compound bow has a riser, usually of lightweight material, and laminated synthetic limbs attached with bolts and metal fittings. At the end of each limb is a cam, resembling a wheel. The bowstring runs between the two cams, changing direction as you draw the bow. As you release the arrow, the cams rotate back, providing a let-off that reduces the load at full draw.

The cams excel due to their energy storage, giving the compound bow more speed and power when pulled.

A great benefit of compound bows for hunting is their versatility. You can shoot with your fingers or use a mechanical release aid. This lightweight tool securely attaches to the string, aiding drawing and releasing the bow. A release can enhance your marksmanship, though traditional archers may avoid them. It’s your choice.

A picture aiming a bow and arrow at a target

Choosing a Compound Bow

Understanding your needs helps identify the right compound bow. Learning terminology is useful, but comprehending bow selection is also vital.

As you begin choosing a bow, consider why you need one – presumably to go hunting. With that in mind:

Key Criteria

Draw Length

Draw length indicates the distance drawn to reach full power before firing. Proper length enhances accuracy.

Match proportions to your strength and reach. Incorrect length causes inefficiency and discomfort. You could even get injured from an imbalance between needed and available draw. For hunting, balance is critical.

Measure your wingspan from the middle finger to the middle finger. Divide by two for the ideal draw length.

Draw Weight

Draw weight is the force needed to draw the string fully. More draw weight equals faster arrow speed.

Increasing power boosts velocity. But start low as a beginner, slowly increasing with skill. Excessive weight strains muscles when shooting.

Match weight to your strength. Draw a test bow and hold it for 20-30 seconds without shaking. If you struggle, it’s too much weight.

Drawing requires varying force. You’ll get accustomed to higher weights with practice. Adjustable weights let you increase as your archery improves.

Bow Length

Length is the distance between axles, indicating overall size. Shorter is better for confined spaces, and longer for open areas.

For beginners, longer lengths are recommended. Neither too long nor short is key.

Brace Height

The distance between grip and resting string. Experienced hunters advise considering this.

Faster bows often have lower brace heights, quickly moving from rest to firing position.

For beginners, higher braces provide a steady, secure feel. Easier to grip and hold – great for novices.

With practice, you can handle lower brace heights.

Bow Weight

Self-explanatory – heavier bows are harder to maneuver.

Lighter is easier to adjust aim quickly. But heavier bows offer stability, controlling oscillations and aiding stealth.

Balance power and precision. Then fine-tune the sound, camo, and accessories for your ideal hunting bow.

Buying a Hunting Compound Bow

Veteran hunters know subtle things like scent and noise impact success. Bow makers design special hunter features.

Ensure adequate power – examine draw weight, let-off, and FPS—research laws on draw force. More power can be more humane for large games. But sacrifice accuracy.

Get proper draw length for comfort. Keep weight manageable. Let off high for stability.

Once balanced, reduce sound. Single cams are quiet and good for beginners. Add dampeners and string stops.

Accurate sight, attached quiver, drop-away arrow rest.

Cost matters. Cheapest lacks quality. Most expensive isn’t the best. Good starting point: affordable, ready-to-shoot package with solid specs.

Choosing a Bow for Target Shooting

Target shooting has different priorities – precision outweighs stealth. Focus on accuracy when evaluating features.

Faster draw and speed help arrows maintain trajectory. But don’t sacrifice accuracy. Ensure proper fit before increasing draw weight. Note draw length and ATA.

Accessories like sights and arrow rests enhance stability, preventing trajectory changes. A stabilizer improves aim.

Ready-to-shoot models are good starters. Avoid unnecessary hunting add-ons. Barebow lets you customize for confidence.

In summary, selecting the best compound bow requires weighing many variables. Uniquely matched to the archer, the right bow depends on your needs and preferences. This guide covers key considerations to find your ideal hunting or target shooting bow.

Captain Hunter is a seasoned hunting mentor with over 20 years of experience in the field. His passion began as a young man on trips with his father and grandfather in the Colorado mountains. Today, he shares his unmatched skills in survival, tracking, and marksmanship through his website When he's not volunteering with youth hunting programs, you can find Captain Hunter providing expert hunting tips, gear reviews, and answers to your most pressing questions. His decades of experience make him the trusted guide to help any outdoorsman master the sport.

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