What Makes a Good Hunting Bow?
Whether you’re an experienced archer or just beginning to pick up the sport, it’s important to know what makes a good hunting bow before you start shopping. If you don’t, you could wind up spending a lot of money on a bow that doesn’t fit your needs or budget. The same holds true for hunting rifles, too.
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Hunting bows can range from a simple recurve with just one string to compound models, which are often used in competitions and feature more than one string, pulleys, and other components. They are generally more expensive than recurves and tend to be heavier.
There are several factors that can influence how a bow performs for you, from its weight to its draw length and more. But most importantly, it’s the overall feel that matters.
The bow’s balance is crucial for accurate shooting and a comfortable grip is critical. A thin or spongy grip will reduce torque and make the bow difficult to shoot effectively.
You’ll want to find a bow that feels right in your hand, so try out as many models as you can until you find the one that is the best fit for you. Ideally, you’ll be able to test it out in person at an archery or sporting goods store.
Another key component to consider is the bow’s ability to stop. This is usually determined by the bow’s valley, which determines how much you can relax at full draw before the limbs let down. A steep or narrow valley will jerk your arm forward at the slightest relaxation. A wide or generous valley gives you a bit more leeway, which most hunters prefer.
It also helps to choose a bow that is comfortable to hold for long periods of time. This is because you’ll be holding it in a prone position most of the time during a hunt.
A good archer can tell if a bow is a right size and shape for them, so check out the manufacturers’ specs on the back of the bow to make sure you’re not getting a too-large or too-small model. A bow that’s too big or too small will feel uncomfortable in your hands, and you might be able to lose sight of your target when the bow is drawn.
In addition, you’ll want to consider the bow’s draw length and whether or not it can be adjusted. A bow with a too-small or too-large draw length will cause your arm to fatigue sooner than it should, which will lead to accuracy issues.
It’s also important to look at the cams and other components of the bow. A bow with worn or faulty cams and cables can increase your chances of poor shooting. It’s also a good idea to check out the bow’s limbs, which are often prone to nicks or breaks. Run a cotton ball over each limb surface to detect any snagging white fuzz that may indicate a problem.