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As fun as archery is, it can be a lot to take in all at once. Whether you are getting into archery for competition, hunting, or fun, you will need the right gear to ensure you’re getting off on the right foot. A well-prepared shooter with the proper archery gear will have much more success out in the field and be as accurate as possible.
When it comes to hunting, your gear is even more important. From the bow to the arrows, broadheads, and quiver, every piece of gear must work in conjunction with each other. So whether you are planning on hunting deer or turkey in your backyard or are off to the mountains in pursuit of elk or bear, let’s take a look at all of the essential archery gear that you will need as a beginner.
Starting with the most obvious, your bow is the cornerstone of every other piece of archery gear you will use. Most hunters these days will hunt with a compound bow due to their accuracy and function. Using a system of pulleys, they are much easier to draw and hold at full draw while shooting. With this comes more consistent shooting and faster arrow speeds, making them a great choice for beginners.
Recurve bows are another good option for beginners thanks to their simple and traditional design. Made of a single piece of wood or composite materials, they do not have a complex design. This makes them a favorite for beginners due to their ease of use, although they will be a little more difficult to shoot consistently.
No matter which type of bow you choose, it’s important to select a size and model that corresponds to your physical strength and draw length. If you need help selecting one that best fits you, don’t hesitate to ask for help at your local archery shop or sporting goods store. These places are always willing to help beginners find what they need and are a wealth of knowledge.
Some archers prefer to shoot their bows without sights, but a bow sight will make you much more accurate and allow you to shoot at further distances. Hunters generally prefer to have sights on their compound bows (sometimes recurves as well) as they help execute shots when the pressure is high. These sights can range from high-end models with multiple yardage pins and built-in rangefinders to single-pin options. The style you go with will largely depend on your personal preference.
Along with your bow, your arrows are the other piece of essential gear you will need as you become a bowhunter. Arrows can be made out of materials such as carbon, aluminum, or wood. They will need to be properly spined and cut to your personal draw length to ensure they are as accurate as possible. You will also need to equip them with sharp broadheads for hunting. These can be found in both fixed-blade and mechanical styles depending on your local rules, personal needs, and preferred hunting style.
As a hunter, you’ll want a good way to carry and transport your arrows in the field. A quiver is the right tool for the job, and can be had in many different styles. Many hunters prefer a mounted quiver that attaches to their bow as it makes arrows easily accessible and does not take up a lot of space. You can also find hip-mounted quivers or those that go across your back if you don’t want the added weight on your bow.
Stabilizers are a way of stabilizing a bow and absorbing shock during shooting. They also help to dissipate vibrations, allowing you to be more accurate. Target archers may opt for very long stabilizers, while bowhunters tend to favor shorter, more maneuverable options. Either way, having a stabilizer will not only help keep your bow steady while shooting but could also make it much more comfortable to shoot.
When bowhunting, it is very important to know how far away an animal is to make a properly adjusted shot. While you may have set distances on the archery range, archery hunting involves shooting at a variety of ranges that aren’t marked. A reliable rangefinder will tell you the distance of an animal, allowing for a more accurate shot.
Release aids, often simply known as releases, are small devices that help to achieve a consistent shot execution. There are various types such as wrist straps, thumb triggers, and back tension releases. The type that you use will depend on your style and preference but the concept is the same: produce consistency when releasing the bowstring to ensure better accuracy.
This item may not be absolutely necessary for hunting, but I believe a good bow case is important for keeping your investments safe and protected. After spending all the time and money setting up a bow, you will need a way to transport it and keep it in good condition. Soft bow cases are lightweight and great for transporting in and out of the field, while hard cases can be excellent for traveling longer distances.
Once you have your bow and everything you will need to start hunting, now it’s time to practice! A good archery target is one of the best investments you will make as you start bowhunting. Block or bag-style targets will often be cheaper and more mobile, whereas deer or animal-shaped targets will give you more lifelike practice but cost you a little more. Either way, a practice target is one of the most important pieces of gear that you can buy!
While the list may seem a little long, once you have all of the essential archery gear you will be ready to hit the ground running. With all of the gear that we’ve outlined, you will be ready to take on all of the many adventures and challenges that come along with bowhunting. Good luck and happy hunting!
Also, we have a great blog summarizing the parts of a compound bow!