You've finally done it! You've purchased your compound bow and can't wait to try it! But there's another rather significant hurdle before you. After all the work that went into choosing the right bow, now it feels like starting at square one with trying to select the essential compound bow hunting equipment to go along with it.
One of the reasons it can be daunting to figure out the essential compound bow hunting equipment is the vast options available. This coming bow hunting season, let us help you choose the right equipment for your compound.
Regarding any bow equipment, you should first choose the best compound bow sight for your hunting needs. If you spend most of your time in treestands or ground blinds waiting on deer, your shots will typically be within 40 yards. In that case, we recommend dial-to-the-yard single-pin or five-pin sight as they're a breeze to set up and relatively affordable.
If you prefer spot-and-stalk, you'll want a moveable sight. Dial-to-the-yard precision is still a must, and within western areas of hunting, the three-pin slider is fast becoming a favorite. There are three standard horizontal pins in the housing of this sight, and your bottom pin becomes your mover once the sight wheel is unlocked. These sights often come with intricate designs and several extras but are well worth it for Western hunters.
Bow Rest or Arrow Rest
An arrow rest is another essential piece of bow-hunting equipment. Bow rests, holds the arrow, and guides it safely out of the bow as it is fired. A good rest aids in both the accuracy and consistency of your shots.
Fixed-Position Capture Rest
A fixed position capture rest fully encapsulates the arrow and holds it in place for any situation. Some bow hunters may tell you that this style of bow rest is now obsolete, but we see no reason. A fixed position bow rest provides excellent accuracy up to 50 yards, has no moving parts, and is extremely easy to set up and tune. These rests are ideal for those that enjoy simplicity and extreme durability.
Drop-Away Bow Rest
Drop-away rests hold your arrow in position, but unlike fixed-position, they only hold the arrow until the drawn string is released. Upon the release, the rest drops out of the way of the arrow as the string pushes it out of the bow. The real advantage to drop-away bow rests is that once it is set up and the rest is timed, there's zero contact with the arrow as it passes the shelf and takes flight. No arrow or vane contact means a cleaner flight and more downrange precision.
Most of us have no reason to get anything fancier than a basic quiver. These are the easiest to put on and take off, hold your arrows nice and tight, and generally come with tree hooks to make stand hunting more comfortable. Whether you prefer keeping your distance and shooting from a tree stand or are more of a spot-and-stalk hunter that likes to call the game close, the traditional quiver still gets the job done. However, if you're the type that hunts and shoots with a bow-mounted quiver, you'll need to find a model that hugs the riser tight, is adjustable in every way, and is designed to keep arrows quiet after your shot.
If you want to make your compound bow hunting as smooth and consistent as possible, a bow release can help. Several models and types provide ample opportunity to find one customized to how you like. There are two main types of bow release.
Wrist or Caliper Release
Caliper releases use jaws to hold and release the bow strong. These jaws can attach directly to the bowstring or, more preferably, a D-loop. A D-loop is a small rope attached to the bowstring that reduces string torque and damage to the string serving. This aid style also includes a cushioned strap that wraps around your wrist, removing the need to pull with your hand. To activate, all you have to do is pull the trigger, similar to shooting a gun. The strap holds most of the draw weight, allowing you to relax and hone in on your target while squeezing the trigger.
You can choose between a single-caliper release or a double-caliper. Single has only one moving jaw, while double has two. Single is excellent for consistency and ease of maintenance, while double-caliper releases can reduce torque, providing a cleaner release.
Hand-held releases are named after exactly what they do. This release is held within your hand; this release is generally not attached to you in any way with a few different means of operation. Your thumb triggers some models, others by rotating your hand, and some will trigger depending on how much back tension you apply at full draw.
Bow releases are an excellent tool to help those with target panic or back tension or beginner bow users to prevent target panic from developing altogether.
One of our favorites and pick of best arrows are Gold Tip Hunter XTs.
- Features the standard .246-inch diameter
- Spine size available: 250, 300, 340, 400, and 500
- Fletching options include: 2" Rapt X-Vanes or 4" feathers
These arrows are neither skinny nor fat. At .246-inches, they're perfect for whatever you hunt. Straightness tolerance is .003 inches, and while that's not as high as it can be, it's certainly not terrible. A spin test of about a dozen of these, and it's highly likely you won't see any wobble.
Gold Tip Hunter XTs can be used with bows with a draw weight ranging from 35 lbs up to 100 lbs, a rare feature of arrows nowadays. A quick search of reviews online can quickly reveal how many bow hunters attest to their longevity and durableness. These arrows are of excellent quality and make the list of essential compound bow-hunting equipment our experts think you'll love.
With our list of essential compound bow-hunting equipment, we hope you'll be ready to enjoy one of the best bow-hunting seasons yet!