Choosing the best compound bow for hunting can be an overwhelming task. Like the other types of bows available, compound bows are very diverse, and you would need to take a lot of things into consideration as you make a choice. With different brands touting their products and claiming they have the best stuff on the market, so many options are available for you when looking for the best compound bow for hunting.
The difficulty in making a choice is also worsened by the fact that archers themselves are different. This means that a compound bow for hunting that works so well for you might not necessarily work for your best friend, who is also a hunting enthusiast. Often, the individuality among archers also plays a significant role in determining the right type of bow for them.
However, there are always factors that you could easily consider when selecting the best compound bow for hunting as you go out in the wild. In this article, we’ll examine everything you need to know about selecting compound bows as you find your next big game.
Compound Bow For Hunting: The Perfect Match
Compound bows have become a favorite among hunting enthusiasts because of the benefits they bring. While they might look a bit complicated to beginners, these bows are quite impressive.
A compound bow is constructed with a riser usually made of a lightweight material - as well as laminated synthetic limbs attached with bolts and metal brackets.
At the end of each limb, you have a cam - a device that looks like a wheel. The bowstring stretches between the two cams, and they turn back when you draw the bow. When you eventually release the arrow, the cams roll back over, creating a “let-off” that helps to reduce weight when you reach full draw.
The cams are also great because they help to store energy, so the compound bow helps to improve your speed and strength as you draw.
Another major benefit of the compound bow for hunting is its versatility. While you can shoot a compound bow using your fingers, you could also use a mechanical release - a small, handheld device that easily clamps on the bowstring and helps you with things like anchoring and drawing. The mechanical release helps to improve your shooting accuracy, although purist archers might decide not to use them—your call.
What To Consider When Choosing A Compound Bow
Generally, it’s always a great idea to have an understanding of the different factors that define the suitability of a compound bow for you. Besides understanding the vocabulary, knowing the different factors will help you to choose the best compound bow for hunting.
Usually, the first thing you want to consider when selecting a compound bow is the application. But, we know that now - you need something to hunt with. So, when looking for a compound bow for hunting, always keep the following in mind:
- The draw length
- The draw weight
- The brace height
- The bow length
- The bow weight
The Draw Length
Usually, the compound bow draw length describes the length you’d need to draw the compound bow before firing to get the best results. It is the farthest distance from the string to the deepest part of your grip when the bow is pulled. Choosing a product with the right compound bow draw length will come in handy if you hope to achieve the best accuracy.
The draw length comes in handy because it helps you understand the right length for you to maximize power and accuracy. If the compound bow draw length on your desired option is too long or too short, you will end up missing out on a lot of accuracy and comfort. In extreme cases, you could even get injured. So, finding the right balance is crucial to you as a hunter.
While you can easily measure the draw length at a local archery shop, you can also do it at home. To do this, you first need to get your wingspan - the distance from the tip of one of your middle fingers to the tip of the other. Divide your wingspan by 2.5, and you’ll get the right draw length for you.
The Draw Weight
The draw weight is a metric measured in pounds (lbs.), describing the weight you would need to pull back to reach full draw before the bow is fired. The heavier the compound bow draw weight, the quicker the arrow will be when you fire it.
Considering the simple correlation between compound bow draw weight and arrow speed, it’s easy to say that you should just get a compound bow with a heavier weight. However, this is one metric that also relies on your expertise level. If you’re a beginner hunter, the recommendation is to start with a lower draw weight and grow from there as your archery skills develop. If you select an option with a compound bow draw weight that is too heavy, you could find that there’s too much stress when you’re firing.
An overly high compound bow draw weight can also cause you to shake too much, thus reducing your accuracy when you’re firing.
To determine the optimal compound bow draw weight, you will need to form a correlation between the weight and your strength. To find this, take a compound bow and draw it. Hold the position for 20 seconds to half a minute. If you can maintain this position for the entire period without shaking or getting tired, then the draw weight is fine for you. The moment you start to shake or wobble, then you know you’re punching above your weight class.
Keep in mind that the compound bow draw weight is never a static figure. You’ll build more muscle as you grow and advance in your archery skills. Your shooting muscle memory will also improve, so you will be able to handle compound bows with higher draw weight numbers.
Fortunately, most compound bow options come with adjustable bow weights. So, you will be able to increase or reduce the compound bow draw weight as you go. The more experienced you get at hunting with the bow, the faster your arrows will be.
The Bow Length
The compound bow’s length is usually measured from one axle to the other and indicates the length of the bow itself. When a compound bow has a shorter bow length, it is ideal for tight shooting situations. On the flip side, a longer bow length means that the compound bow will be better when you’re aiming for a target in a broader setting - perhaps while shooting in an open field.
Generally, the bow length of the compound bow for hunting tends to come down to what you like. However, if you’re a beginner hunter, then we recommend going for a longer bow length. As long as you can get a bow that’s not too long or short, it really doesn’t matter.
The Brace Height
It might not be a popular metric, but it’s important nonetheless. The brace height is the distance between the bowstring and the handle grip when the bow is relaxed. Most professional hunters will tell you to also consider this.
Speed is a significant factor when choosing the best compound bows for hunting. And most of the faster bows tend to have shorter brace heights. This way, you’re able to quickly move from the resting position to the firing position.
However, if you’re a beginner, then we would recommend going for a longer brace height. Compound bows with longer brace heights tend to offer you more stability. They’re also easier to draw and hold - a perfect combination for beginner hunters.
As your muscle memory builds with experience, you’ll be able to handle those shorter brace heights better.
The Bow Weight
Finally, we have the bow weight. This needs no introduction, of course - the weight of the bow is important as it determines a lot about your ability to control it.
Normally, it would have been easy to say that you can go for a lighter bow. This way, you can easily change positions and adapt to the hunting situation. However, it’s not so easy. You also need to consider how you want to use the bow.
True, a lighter bow will be much easier to handle. And if you’re a rookie archer, you’d love the benefit that comes with a more lightweight option. However, heavier bows also provide a sense of stability, reducing vibrations and helping you in situations when stealth is required.
All in all, your personal preference will take the lead here.
Getting the right compound bow for hunting can be a hassle. Compound bows are admittedly complex, and you’ll need to be very patient when working with them - especially while hunting. Finding the right compound bow case is also important from a storage perspective.
By considering the factors we’ve laid out, you should be able to find the ideal compound bow for hunting that will improve your accuracy and also last you in the long term.