Hunting is a pleasurable pastime for many Americans out there. Using a bow is different from hunting with a shotgun, on so many levels that the two often times cannot even be compared. Since there’s a vast array of products in today’s marketplace, we’ve found it useful to create a guide and detail some information about the most esteemed models that can be purchased nowadays. Using a hunting bow can help a hunter get in touch with nature, but there are several rules one has to take into consideration before even beginning his or her buying journey.
Using a bow may be illegal in some states and depending on the season. What’s more, a prospective buyer should also think about the game he or she is targeting, as each of the ones that exist can be hunted during several months per year. What’s more, bows come in different shapes and for various purposes, which is why we’ve decided to simplify the entire process by providing detailed info in regards to the factors that are most important when making a decision between one model and the next. During our research, we came across a plethora of articles and sources that eventually helped us to help you.
In a rush? Don’t have the time to read detailed information about the best hunting bow?
We have you covered. This short paragraph should offer sufficient information for you to make a smart choice. We’ve gathered a lot of info in regards to both the best compound bow and the best recurve bow by looking at the owner feedback, the sales figures, the value offered for the price, as well as what several expert review sites are saying.
Which hunting bow is the best? Out of all the products we’ve looked at, the one that stood out and is top of the line is the Diamond by Bowtech Core. This set includes a five arrow quiver, a three pin sight, an octane stabilizer, a wrist sling as well as several string silencers, and a ¼ inch peep. This is a single cam bow that has great balance and shoots fast. If the Diamond Archery alternative is out of stock, you could also consider the SAS Adjustable Quad Limb, as it’s the second best option out there.
Southland Archery Supply
Southland Archery Supply is yet another well-known brand in this industry that has been building high-quality bows for a long time. The company has made a name out of the high-end archery bows, crossbows, and bow accessories it has been developing for several years now. The company recurve bows have gathered an immense degree of appreciation on the part of American users.
Most recently, Southland Archery Supply has released a fresh archery bow. One thing is for sure: the company strives to improve its products with as much effort as it can. Most of the equipment produced and sold by Southland Archery Supply offers excellent performance and is affordable enough to avoid breaking a prospective buyer’s budget.
Best models from Southland Archery Supply
22, 26, 30, 34 lbs
Recommended shooter heights up 5'7"
20 - 29 inches
SAS Spirit Take Down
This product is among the most popular recurve bows available on the market today. It’s also the best one we’ve come across from Southland Archery Supply. Why’s it so critically acclaimed? For one, it is made of strong fiberglass and features maple laminations. While there are people who can shoot a bow with their shoulder or one of their feet, this one is destined for users who can strictly use their right or left hand. Some of the most common sizes range from 22# to 34#.
The 62” alternative is destined for the use of individuals whose height is at least 5’7”. According to people who have bought the Spirit recurve, the product description is accurate and the unit lives up to its claims. It’s safe to say that this alternative should be considered by beginning archers, as it is easy to use, draws smoothly and releases cleanly. Other shooters praise the high quality of the materials employed in the development of this product.
SAS Adjustable Quad Limb
This adjustable compound bow is the second best alternative we have come across from the brand. The neat thing about it is that it’s a package that includes the actual bow as well as a 3-pin sight, an arrow rest, a quiver and arrows. The manufacturer’s recommendation is to use arrows made of aluminum with this bow.
The draw length of the bow is between 20 and 29’ whereas the draw weight ranges from 25 to 55 pounds. The axle to axle distance measures 28”. While it might not be an excellent option on all accounts, this compound bow does the trick if you have been looking for a compact powerhouse.
After having gone through the reviews received by the package, we have concluded that it is relatively easy to use and adjust and does wonders when it comes to shooting. The accessories might not be of the best quality; however, they may come in handy at some point or the other.
This brand was established in the 1930s. Bear Archery is an authentic American company that has put a lot of effort into designing top-notch products, most of which are known for their performance. At the middle of the 20th century, the brand moved its headquarters to Grayling, Michigan, where the founder, Fred Bear, worked with a number of professionals that gave him the opportunity to design products of which the quality goes beyond their price point. Fred Bear has remained in the mind and heart of the engineers having had the pleasure of meeting him before he passed away at the end of the 1980s. Nowadays, the headquarters of the business is located in Evansville, Indiana.
If you have bought a Bear Archery unit and have no idea where you should get your accessories, we’ll put your mind at ease. The company also creates and sells a wide array of accessories for bow hunting, such as stabilizers, rests, sights, as well as quivers, available both on Amazon and on the brand’s website.
Best models from Bear Archery
5 - 70 lbs
12 - 30 inche
20 - 29 lbs
22 - 28 inches
45, 50, 55, 60 lbs
Depends on the draw weight
Bear Archery Titan
It would have been close to impossible to avoid selecting this model as well, as it is the cheapest yet entirely worth the time, money, and effort. The draw length of this option is 22 inches to 28 inches, whereas the draw weight is 20 pounds to 29 pounds. The limbs are made of composite. The entire length of the bow is sixty inches. This version can be used both by right-handed and left-handed individuals, much unlike other products which we have seen are specially designed with a kind of user in mind.
The bow does wonders in the hands of absolute beginners and young shooters whose age is above 12. Since it can be bought for as little as sixty dollars, this unit has gathered over 170 owner reviews, out of which over 140 are positive. That definitely says something about user experience, don’t you think? Since the product is both vigorous and sturdy, it can be used by anyone over the age of twelve, which is why it’s been highly recommended by a female customer who was 16 when she was starting using the bow.
Bear Archery Cruzer
The Cruzer is likely to be the best product from Bear Archery you might identify, should you be in the market for a compound bow package with a draw weighing in at 70 pounds. The bow has a draw length of 12” to 30”. If you’ve been asking yourself a lot of questions such as what’s the best hunting bow, how much does a hunting bow cost or what size bow hunting do I need, all you need to do is go over the specs and features of this one. You’ll soon enough learn that it comes equipped with all the accessories right out of the box, which is why you can start using it on a target as soon as you get it delivered.
Most of the user reviews we have analyzed speak highly of how cost-effective this model turned out to be, considering that it is designed and built by a reputable brand, it’s fun to shoot and doesn’t take all that much growing used to. As is the case with several other models we’ve showcased earlier on, this one is usually thought of as being one of the highly recommended ones for beginners.
Bear Archery Montana
This product is the second best alternative you might have available if you intend to purchase a traditional bow built by Bear Archery. It’s not the most affordable option in the world, but this kind of high quality certainly comes at a cost, as we all know about everything there is to buy in the world, and not just bows. The arrow shelf of this alternative is crowned and cut right in the center. The limb tips are reinforced but still manage to look graceful, even if they have been backed with fiberglass. This type of bow is not legal in Washington, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico.
The main difference that sets the Montana longbow from the plethora of other traditional options out there is that it has acquired a lot of appreciation from the people who have bought and used it. On Amazon, the owners of this model speak highly of all its characteristics, including the handle wrapping.
What you need to know about bow hunting in the US
When is bow hunting season?
Usually, the season depends on the local state legislation. However, there are some general rules. For example, if you want to use bow hunting to target spring turkey, you should do so from the middle of April to the last day of May this year. For fall turkey, the season starts on October 1st and ends at the end of November, only to begin again around the middle of December and end on January 31st. If you’re targeting deer, you should take into account the fact that doing your hunting has to occur from the middle of September to the end of the year. This is different with whitetail antlerless-only deer, as the dates are rather rigid and range from the middle of January to the end of this month.
Depending on the year, antelope season starts sometime around September 20th and ends on October 1st or 2nd. Two other weeks of bow hunting antelope are allowed from the middle of October to the end of the month.
With some few exceptions, elk can be hunted from the middle of September to the end of December.
Small game seasons are by far the most profitable ones for bow hunters. For example, rabbits, both Cottontail and Jackrabbit, can be hunted all throughout the year, depending on the state you’re planning to do your hunting in. Squirrels can be targeted from June to February the following year, whereas bullfrog season starts in July and ends on the last day of October.
Where to go bow hunting?
It’s difficult to give a straight answer to this question, because you will have to consider the species you wish to target and the state you want to perform your activity in. Some of the best places, if you want to hunt deer, for example, are Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, and Kentucky. If you are a nonresident of Alberta, you need a guide in order to make your hunting legal, and that guide has to have the rights to deer-hunting areas. Depending on the area you intend to hunt in, you may need to pay licenses of which the price may start at two hundred dollars. Take Missouri, for instance, where you have to pay over two hundred dollars just to bag two deer and two turkeys.
Where is bow hunting legal
Before even considering your bow hunting necessities, you have to check where this activity is legal in the United States. Both in Canada and the US, individual provinces and states regulate their own hunting. In the US, 49 states now allow some form of crossbow usage, whereas just 21 of these enable the use of a bow on the entirety of the archery season. We recommend reading as much info as your time allows you to just to be sure you don’t go against the law.
Hunting bow information for beginners
What is a good hunting bow for beginners?
Above all, a beginner requires a bow that he or she can manage to use so that he or she can gradually learn the basics of shooting. If the model you’ve chosen isn’t comfortable enough, it will do little to nothing to serve your purpose. To get the right draw length, it might be a good idea to visit the archery department of a shop in your area and get the opinion of a consultant so that you choose the right one for your physical features. If it’s too short, it can negatively impact the accuracy. Should it be too long, you’ll have the tendency to lean your head back to get a proper look through the peep sight.
Draw weight and bow length are also important, as they have a say when it comes to stability and maneuverability.
What is bow hunting like?
Bow hunting has been used ever since the Stone Age, as it’s among the simplest and most efficient methods of targeting game. The accuracy of shooting depends on the experience and sharp senses of the shooter, but overall, it’s a pleasurable way of spending time in nature and of going back to the roots of how humans came to evolve. Some of the oldest arrows in the world were discovered in Africa and seem to have been created approximately 25,000 years ago. Modern bow hunting is considerably different from what our ancestors used to do, and that’s all thanks to technological advancements in the field. Nowadays, it’s very easy to operate a bow both safely and more efficiently, as most bows come with scopes or peep sights with the help of which you can have a better look at the target.
How does bow hunting work?
Bow hunting requires several components: a bow, a set of arrows, broadheads, release aids, and a good-quality storage bag. Fortunately nowadays, we’ve seen that many manufacturers create packages and sets destined for rookies, where they include all of the items mentioned above so that your activity goes as smoothly as possible. When starting your adventure in the field, sometimes it’s better to choose a package over buying the parts separately, as you may encounter several difficulties in regards to compatibility.
How to choose a hunting bow
You should decide whether you prefer a compound bow, a recurve bow, or a longbow. All of these are available in today’s marketplace. Recurve bows require little to no maintenance and are fairly easy to use by a variety of owners, which is why they’re still quite popular nowadays, even though they’re less accurate than their compound counterparts. The latter is heavier and thus requires a wider degree of experience on the part of the user. Longbows have been around for centuries, ever since they were developed in the 14th century in England. This type is not the easiest one to use because you have to rely on your own force while drawing the arrow.
How to use a hunting bow
Utilizing a hunting bow has to occur when you’re completely relaxed. The bow should face the ground with the arrow notched. Bring the bow up to your face and draw it but be sure to avoid holding it for too long so that you don’t put a lot of strain on the arm. Continue by aiming, while taking into account the drop over distance. Release the arrow when you’re sure of your aim.
What to consider when buying a new hunting bow?
Choosing the perfect hunting bow has to rely on determining your needs, preferences, and requirements. Sometimes, it’s a matter of trial and error, which is why you might feel tempted to pick cheaper or more affordable alternatives while you’re still a beginner. Once you’ve polished your hunting skill, you’ll eventually be in the market for a high-quality four-hundred or five-hundred-dollar bow. Keep reading if you want to find out everything you need to know, should you want to purchase one of the best compound hunting bows or best traditional recurve bows.
What type of hunting bow should you get?
As previously discussed, hunting bows can be split up into three major categories; there are compound bows, recurve bows, as well as longbows. We’ve decided to give you a helping hand by presenting the basics of each of these, so you’re more informed when making your final decision.
If you plan to use a compound bow, you should be ready to invest some time in reading several articles and reviews about them. They are far more complicated compared to their recurve counterparts, and are composed of many more parts, which is why they’re generally thought of as being less convenient. While they are undoubtedly more accurate compared to the recurve option, they need a little more time and money spent on maintenance, and that’s all because of the many parts they have.
Some of the most important components in a unit, be it a cheap compound bow or a high-end one, are the cams, the limbs, and the rising. The bow dimensions also matter a great deal when it comes to choosing the right model destined for your physical features. Many beginners will look for a bow length of about 38 to 44 inches. The weight of compound bows can be as much as 70 pounds, but many users actually require a lot less than this. Even if you’re an adult, we recommend choosing a draw weight of around 50 in the beginning. Models for youth usually come with adjustable draw weights.
The draw length of a compound bow also has a say when it comes to purchasing the perfect product. Normally, the length should be the same as the arm length of the archer. The user should be able to hold the bowstring pulled for as much as fifteen seconds. If he or she doesn’t feel comfortable doing so, the draw length might not be the correct one.
Since even the best youth compound bows are heavier compared to recurve and longbows, they’re recommended for big game and for deer. Some people say that they were able to target almost any type of North American game with their compound bows, and that might be the case considering that this type is a winner in terms of accuracy.
If you decide to try both the compound and the recurve alternatives, you’ll soon learn that they are very different from one another. Even if you pick one of the best recurve bows for sale, you’ll notice that it’s somewhat heavier to work around compared to the compound option. Another thing you need to consider when prospecting the market is whether or not you actually need your model for real hunting, in the field. If you plan to buy it just for target shooting, you can choose a unit designed for beginners.
On the other hand, if what you have in mind is hunting with a recurve bow in the middle of nature, you have to pay extreme attention to the draw weight. As we’ve already pointed out, compound bows have a draw weight between 50 and 70 pounds.
This isn’t the case with recurve options, as one has enough freedom to pick a 30 or 40 pounds alternative. Nevertheless, you’ll need to consider that, with such a low weight, you’ll be able to use the product just for rabbit and turkey hunting. If you’re looking for a model for whitetail deer or elk, avoid choosing a weight that’s anything less than 40 pounds.
If you’re wondering why so many people out there choose the best takedown recurve bow, we’ll tell you. The takedown alternative allows you to separate the two limbs of the recurve from the riser. There are three main reasons why you might be interested in such a model. For one, ease of transportation. Second, the parts of such an alternative are easy to service, as they can just be bought and be replaced separately. Thirdly, the takedown recurve bow is probably the best bet for rookies because it allows users to set their own draw weight.
Traditional bowhunting is an entirely different experience. In this case, the bow does little to nothing if you’re not physically strong enough to operate it efficiently. While longbows might not be the best idea for short people or women, they can be used with great results by individuals whose strength, height, and weight are more than enough.
As for the purpose, we’ll put your mind at ease by saying that a longbow can be used to target the same game as the previously mentioned alternatives. While some say you need a 55-pound longbow to be able to kill big game, this is mostly a myth. Granted, the heavier the bow, the more accurate it is. However, if you trust your aiming and have a keen eye for what’s happening in the field, you may be surprised as to just how accurate a light and comfortable longbow can be.
What are good hunting bow brands
Diamond Archery is one of the most well-known names in the industry of manufacturing top-quality bows, be they recurve or compound. Some of their products have acquired a great deal of appreciation on the part of American hunters, who seem to be great fans of the business priorities set by the company. Diamond Archery lives by safety, quality, customer service, and cost, which is why this manufacturer continuously works towards improving its products in terms of performance, convenience, and affordability.
Nowadays, Diamond Archery has also begun to develop apparel specially designed for hunting. Headwear, outerwear, as well as accessories manufactured by the brand are available both on Amazon and on the company website.
Best models from Diamond Archery
40 - 70 lbs
25 - 30 inches
5 - 70 lbs
13 - 31 inches
6 - 29 lbs
12 - 24 inches
Diamond by Bowtech Core DIA10006
This Diamond Archery product has gathered some of the best compound bow reviews out there. That certainly comes as no surprise, considering the number of impressive specs and features that altogether make this unit the best one we’ve come across during our research. Judging by what other buyers have to say about this option, it seems that the package is perhaps the most recommended one for beginners. It provides a good learning experience all thanks to the fact that the bow can be adjusted depending on the user’s physical features and personal requirements. For example, shorter individuals or petite women might find that they’re comfortable with a draw weight of around 35 pounds.
Fortunately, considering that this option can be adjusted depending on the activity you might have in mind, it’s one of the most versatile pieces of bow hunting gear you might need to take into account. The intended user and the bow have to match perfectly, and so you may need to take it to a shop and customize it in accordance with your preferences. This bow is a small and lightweight alternative that will make shooting a truly pleasurable experience.
Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro 1002971-P
The Infinity Edge is the second best product from this manufacturer and is one of the top recommended choices for people who are just starting out with bow hunting. For one, it’s more affordable compared to the previously described one. Second, it can be purchased both for right-hand and for left-hand customers, and if the color of the bow is an important consideration for you, you even have the freedom to select between tones such as Mossy Oak Country, Black Ops, and Pink Blaze.
Since this option also consists of a package, it includes the actual bow, a 3-pin tundra sight, a hostage XL arrow rest, a 5-inch ultra-lite octane stabilizer, a tube peep sight, a DeadLock lite octane quiver, a BCY string loop, as well as a comfort wrist sling.
The draw weight of this bow is adjustable, as is the case with other products built by Diamond Archery. With this one, owners have the possibility to customize the weight between 5 pounds to 70 pounds, depending on the draw length.
Judging by the reviews it has garnered, the Infinity Edge is mostly appreciated for being smooth, quiet, and accurate, as well as very easy to customize.
The Atomic Package is the cheapest model from Diamond Archery that we’ve discovered while doing our homework on the topic. The fact is that, while its price might be small, its value is remarkable, as this option is totally worth every penny. This is a bow destined for youth, which means that it automatically features draw settings that can be customized. For instance, the Atomic bow draw weight can be customized between 6 and 29 pounds, whereas the height can be adjusted from 12” to 24” maximum.
The neat thing about this unit is that it comes with an anti-backout system that makes it possible for the limbs to avoid detaching, thus posing no risk to the health or safety of the user.
This is a light, easy to use bow that does what it’s supposed to do and does it well, seeing how people have named it an awesome starter and a great investment. Some parents claim they’ve purchased the Atomic Package for their kids, whose age range between 6 and 12. These people were impressed with the quality of build, safety, and ease of use of this product.
Probably the most notable advantage of choosing a longbow over the other two presented above is that it’s easy to use, requires very little in terms of maintenance, and costs significantly less than what you would spend should you take up compound bow hunting.
Picking your bow for a specific type of hunting
One of the core questions you need to ask yourself, aside from ‘What hunting bow to buy?’, is “What kind of game do I want to hunt?”. Depending on the area you live in and how often you wish to travel to other states, you may or not be interested in hunting bear and other large game. Since you’ll be requiring a very strong bow for this purpose, we recommend looking for the best bear compound bows. These are different from their counterparts because they’re heavier, have a better construction, and the majority of them take the cake when it comes to accuracy.
What type of hunting bow should you get if you’re targeting deer? It’s common knowledge that a deer can run a lot faster than a bear, so you should base your decision on the speed ratings of the model you’re eyeing. It has to be fast and quiet, so that your kill is clean and precise.
When hunting turkey, you might not even tend to consider the best compound bow packages. We’ve already emphasized how small game requires a lower draw weight, and so a unit destined for bear hunting could lead you nowhere in this case.
Technical aspects of bow selection
The terminology of bow hunting might be a little baffling for a beginner. That’s why we’ve decided to shed light on terms such as the bow size, draw weight, draw length, as well as bow speed.
Getting the right bow size might be a matter of trial and error in the beginning. It doesn’t have to be this way. Extend your arms naturally and measure the distance between the tip of one middle finger to the one of the corresponding hand. Divide that number by 2.5 to find out your draw length. Once you have determined the draw length you’re most comfortable with, check the bow length, as it differs from the first.
For example, a draw length between 28 and 30 inches is usually featured by a bow that measures 68 to 70 inches. Getting the right draw length is important. If it’s too short, you’ll increase the weight by trying to go past the peak performance point. If it’s too long, you’ll be taking the risk of never reaching the peak performance point, and thus sacrifice a lot with regard to the arrow speed.
Both the bow and draw length can vary significantly from one archer to the next. Keep in mind that the best hunting bows for women can be chosen with the same principles in mind. The best youth bow should have an adjustable draw length, as kids tend to grow up fast and their arm length can change.
What to avoid when buying a hunting bow
Many web articles claim that even beginners should go with bows that cost at least three hundred dollars, particularly when purchasing new. The price might not be such a huge consideration, but selecting one of the best longbows for sale or one destined for compound bow hunting has to refer to the draw weight that’s right for you.
Even though the input on the part of past customers is important, you will have to consider that your needs might be different from the ones of other people. Avoid choosing a model without taking into account your purpose. If you’re wondering how to start bow hunting, simply decide on whether you want to use your bow for practice, hunting, or a little bit of both.
Another detail you ought to avoid is choosing a bow with a draw weight that is under 40 pounds. If you plan on hunting small game all your life, you’re free to choose a 35 or 30-pound alternative. However, if you have not made up your mind about what game you want to hunt depending on which season you wish to do your hunting in, it might be a good idea to select a bow of which the draw weight is just above 40 pounds. Anything more than this might be a nuisance for people whose physical features don’t allow them to handle draw lengths of 70 pounds. Yet if you think you can handle it and are a tad more experienced than the complete rookie out there, there’s no one stopping you from giving it a go.
A too big bow can be quite a pain to maneuver, but you don’t have to learn this the hard way. Stay away from bows that are too hard for you to handle or that are simply too advanced for your skill level. Plus, the more time you spend fiddling with your bow and the heavier it is, the less likely you’ll be able to target a deer or any other type of fast-moving game. If you can, choose an option of which the speed is around 300 fps or more.