10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear

Video what are three essential accessories for bow hunting

Whether you’re narrowing the gap between food and your table, connecting more deeply to nature through conservation, or extending your hunting seasons with archery gear, you’ll never run short of great reasons to try bowhunting.

Gearing up to bowhunt is exciting, and it’s much simpler than most people realize. To help you better understand what you need for your first bowhunt, let’s review 10 basic bowhunting tools.

1. Compound Bow

BH360 10 gear 01 10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear
Compound bows are great for beginning bowhunters and are the most popular style of bow among bowhunters today. Photo Credit: John Hafner Photo

Obviously, a bow of some sort is your most basic need. You have three bow types to choose from, starting with the compound bow. These bows are nearly standard issue for bowhunting today. They’re easier to shoot than traditional recurves or longbows, but require more practice than crossbows to become proficient. Modern compound bows are efficient and don’t require extraordinary strength to draw and shoot.

When selecting a bow, it’s best to seek help from an expert at an archery shop. Hunting bows are not “one size fits all.” Make sure you choose a bow that matches your fit and bowhunting needs. You must become as accurate as possible to enjoy shooting and be lethal in the woods.

2. Traditional Bow

BH360 10gear 02 Traditional Bow 10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear
Using a traditional bow for bowhunting is challenging yet rewarding. Photo Credit: T. Ridenour

Traditional recurves or longbows are bowhunting’s simplest weapons. These bows have been used thousands of years, and are more effective today than when our ancestors carried them for hunting and self-protection. Shooting and harvesting game animals with these basic bows is also challenging and rewarding.

Drawing a traditional bow that’s powerful enough to take game animals like deer, elk or bears requires more strength than drawing a compound bow. However, their simplicity makes them the most affordable option for prospective bowhunters with tight budgets.

3. Crossbow

bh360 10gear crossbow 10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear
Crossbows are user-friendly, lack recoil and make minimal noise, making them a great choice for introductory bowhunters, if allowed under state regulations. Photo Credit: John Hafner Photo

Until recently crossbow hunting was mostly reserved for senior citizens, or people with injuries or disabilities. Today, most states and Canadian providences allow crossbows during part or all of the regular archery season. Crossbows reduce the learning curve needed to shoot arrows proficiently. Most crossbow archers prefer aiming with a scope like those used on hunting rifles. This makes crossbows fairly easy to shoot accurately, even for those with little or no experience. Crossbow prices vary, but they’re similar to prices for compound bows.

See also  .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum for Whitetail Deer Hunting? Best Ammo (Round, Load, Cartridge) for a Successful Whitetail Deer Hunt Hunting Calibers 04 Apr, 2020 Posted By: Foundry Outdoors Is the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum a viable caliber/load/round/cartridge for whitetail deer hunting? The accurate answer is “it depends”. However, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest whitetail deer. As with anything, the devil is in the details. To answer the question completely, we would need to evaluate the downrange distance to the whitetail deer, the bullet type, the grain weight of the bullet, the physical condition of the firearm, the size of the whitetail deer in question, the shot placement, the local wind conditions, the expected accuracy of the shooter, the ethics of the ideal maximum number of shots – the list goes on. [Click Here to Shop .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Ammo]What we can do is provide a framework to understand what average conditions might look like, and whether those are reasonably viable for a shot from the average shooter to harvest a whitetail deer in the fewest number of shots possible, i.e., ethically. Let’s dive right in. In the question of “Is the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum within the ideal range of suitable calibers for whitetail deer hunting?” our answer is: Yes, the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is A GOOD CHOICE for whitetail deer hunting, under average conditions, from a mid-range distance, with a medium grain expanding bullet, and with correct shot placement.Let’s look at those assumptions a bit closer in the following table. Assumption Value Caliber .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Animal Species Whitetail Deer Muzzle Energy 3170 foot-pounds Animal Weight 210 lbs Shot Distance 150 yardsWhat is the average muzzle energy for a .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum? In this case, we have assumed the average muzzle energy for a .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum round is approximately 3170 foot-pounds. What is the average weight of an adult male whitetail deer? Here we have leaned conservative by taking the average weight of a male individual of the species, since females generally weigh less and require less stopping power. In this case, the average weight of an adult male whitetail deer is approximately 210 lbs. [Click Here to Shop .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Ammo]What is the distance this species is typically hunted from? Distance, of course, plays an important role in the viability of a given caliber in whitetail deer hunting. The kinetic energy of the projectile drops dramatically the further downrange it travels primarily due to energy lost in the form of heat generated by friction against the air itself. This phenonemon is known as drag or air resistance. Thus, a caliber that is effective from 50 yards may not have enough stopping power from 200 yards. With that said, we have assumed the average hunting distance for whitetail deer to be approximately 150 yards. What about the other assumptions? We have three other primary assumptions being made here. First, the average bullet weight is encapsulated in the average muzzle energy for the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum. The second important assumption is ‘slightly-suboptimal’ to ‘optimal’ shot placement. That is to say, we assume the whitetail deer being harvested is shot directly or nearly directly in the vitals (heart and/or lungs). The third assumption is that a projectile with appropriate terminal ballistics is being used, which for hunting usually means an expanding bullet.Various calibersA common thread you may encounter in online forums is anecdote after anecdote of large animals being brought down by small caliber bullets, or small animals surviving large caliber bullets. Of course those stories exist, and they are not disputed here. A 22LR cartridge can fell a bull elephant under the right conditions, and a newborn squirrel can survive a 50 BMG round under other specific conditions. Again, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest whitetail deer - and to this question, the response again is yes, the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is A GOOD CHOICE for whitetail deer hunting. [Click Here to Shop .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Ammo]This article does not serve as the final say, but simply as a starting point for beginner hunters, as well as a venue for further discussion. Please feel free to agree, disagree, and share stories from your own experience in the comments section below. Disclaimer: the information above is purely for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as permission to use a particular caliber, a statement of the legality or safety of using certain calibers, or legal advice in any way. You must read and understand your own local laws before hunting whitetail deer to know whether your caliber of choice is a legal option.Foundry Outdoors is your trusted home for buying archery, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor gear online.We offer cheap ammo and bulk ammo deals on the most popular ammo calibers. We have a variety of deals on Rifle Ammo, Handgun Ammo, Shotgun Ammo & Rimfire Ammo, as well as ammo for target practice, plinking, hunting, or shooting competitions. Our website lists special deals on 9mm Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 45-70 Ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 300 Blackout Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 5.56 Ammo, Underwood Ammo, Buffalo Bore Ammo and more special deals on bulk ammo.We offer a 100% Authenticity Guarantee on all products sold on our website. Please email us if you have questions about any of our product listings. Leave a commentComments have to be approved before showing up Your Name * Your Email * Your Comment * Post Comment

4. Arrows

BH360 10gear Arrows 10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear
Arrows aren’t universal. Select an appropriate arrow for your bow and shooting needs by determining the style of your bow, its draw weight and draw length. Visit an archery shop near you for guidance. Photo Credit: T. Ridenour

Once you’ve selected a hunting bow, it’s time to pick your arrows. Arrows must be matched to your bow’s draw weight and draw length. To ensure you make the right choice, consult experts at the nearest archery store.

5. Broadheads

BH360 10gear Broadhead 10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear
Every bowhunter needs a sharp, reliable broadhead for an ethical harvest. Photo Credit: T. Ridenour

For most target practice, archers shoot arrows tipped with practice points. When it’s time to prepare for bowhunting season, swap your field points for broadheads. Broadheads wield razor-sharp blades that cut through a game animal’s hide, flesh and organs to cause quick, ethical harvesting. Broadheads come in nearly infinite options, but some might be better suited than others for the quarry you hunt and the bow you shoot. Again, ask an expert for advice to ensure your broadhead matches your setup.

6. Bow Accessories

BH360 accessories 10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear
A bow-sight is a reference point for aiming, and typically has one to six pins the shooter adjusts individually to precise distances. Photo Credit: T. Ridenour

This is a broad category. The accessories you need depend on your bow and your budget. Those shooting a compound, crossbow or traditional bow must have a hooded quiver to carry their broadhead-tipped arrows. Most hunting quivers attach to the bow or crossbow, but some bowhunters prefer quivers they carry over a shoulder or attach to a pack.

Next, arrow-rests hold the arrow in place while drawing and shooting. The options are many, and the styles vary by bow and personal preference. Release-aids attach the bowhunter to the bowstring, and feature a trigger that releases the arrow.

Release-aids are standard gear for shooting a compound bow. Those shooting traditional bows use a shooting glove or finger tab, which protects the shooter’s fingers when drawing the bowstring and releasing the shot.

A bow-sight is a reference point for aiming, and typically has one to six pins the shooter adjusts individually to precise distances. You’ll find plenty of options for bow-sights, and the archery store’s pros can help you find your best option. Even so, a sight is not absolutely necessary for some bowhunters, especially those shooting traditional gear. However, they’re a great training aid when learning archery, and deliver consistent accuracy.

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Bowhunters who use crossbows require fewer accessories than those using vertical bows. Crossbows are commonly sold in kits with everything needed to start shooting, but many options exist if you dislike what’s included.

Scopes, for example, come in various magnifications, and at highly varying price points. Be sure to consult an archery pro to determine which scope meets your hunting needs.

Crossbow hunters also require a cocking device, which helps them draw the bow and lock its string into the fire-ready position. A simple string-cocker uses a rope and pulleys for this task, but some crossbows feature a hand crank that makes the job nearly effortless.

7. Clothing

BH360 10gear Clothing 10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear
Dress in camouflage clothing to go undetected in the woods while bowhunting. Photo Credit T. Ridenour

Bowhunting and camouflage go hand in hand. Camo helps bowhunters remain unseen so unsuspecting game approaches within range. Matching camo to your hunting area can feel overwhelming, but experts at an archery or sporting-goods store can help.

No matter what you choose, be sure to dress in layers. Bowhunting can require bouts of vigorous, sweat-pumping activity followed by long stretches of wet, chilly waiting in harsh elements. Layering helps you stay comfortable by adding or removing layers to match the situation.

8. Backpack

BH360 10gear 10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear
A hunting pack will easily allow you to carry gear, licenses, snacks, a water bottle and other essential equipment. Photo Credit: John Hafner Photo

You’ll need a hunting pack to carry your gear, water, snacks, licenses and hunting gear. If you plan to hunt where you’ll often hike long distances, consider a pack that can carry your bow. And if you hunt areas accessible only by foot, choose a pack that’s substantial enough to help pack out your animal.

9. Boots

BH360 10gear Boots 10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear
Invest in a good pair of hunting boots to help you tackle rough weather and rugged terrain. Photo Credit: T. Ridenour

Veteran bowhunters put good boots at or near the top of their gear list. Whether you’re sitting, still-hunting or spot-and-stalk hunting, boots are vital to consistent success. If you regularly hike a mile or more to reach hunting sites, your boots must offer comfort and support. Stand-hunters, meanwhile, usually place priority on boots that keep their feet warm all day.

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10. Ground Blind/Treestand

BH360 10gear treestands 10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear
Treestands conceal bowhunters by elevating them above the animal’s normal view. When using a treestand, never leave the ground without wearing a full-body safety harness to prevent a fall. Photo Credit: John Hafner Photo.

Stand-hunters hide out and wait in treestands or ground blinds for animals to come into bow range. Ground blinds are essentially small, portable camouflage tents that set up where you hunt. Treestands conceal bowhunters by elevating them above the animal’s normal view. Both are excellent options. If you bowhunt from a treestand – the most common method for bowhunting deer – never leave the ground without wearing a full-body safety harness to prevent a fall.

No matter your hunting style, also carry binoculars and a rangefinder. Binoculars help you search the landscape for game and identify it. And rangefinders quickly pinpoint the distance to your quarry.

Did you get all that? No matter which bow you choose or the style of bowhunting you try, expect an adrenaline rush like you’ve never experienced when that deer, bear, elk or turkey walks into range. And to ensure you’re ready for that big moment, start scouting now to find a nearby bowhunting shop to help guide you along.

By: Tyler Ridenour of Bowhunting360.com

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>