Archery hunting is an ancient discipline that requires many skills to be done successfully. However, nothing could ever happen without a bow, and a quality one makes all the difference.
In this article, we are going to discuss the factors that need to be considered when choosing a compound bow for hunting and take a look at what the market has to offer.
Factors to consider when choosing a compound bow
1. Draw Weight
The Draw Weight is equivalent to the power of the bow. So, the higher the Draw Weight is the more powerful the shot will be when you release the arrow.
You should pick the highest draw weight that your body can handle without getting over-fatigued when shooting more than a few arrows. In this sense, the general advice is that you should be able to shoot at least 30/35 arrows.
As a general rule, a draw weight of 40 lbs is considered sufficient for deer hunting, while for larger games it’s best to pick something in the range of 60 to 70 lbs.
2. Arrow Speed
The arrow speed is closely related to the Draw Weight but it’s still a factor that many archers consider when choosing a bow. The arrow speed is obviously very important as you need to make sure that the arrow hits your target before it gets a chance to run away.
3. Effective Range
The effective range is again linked to the amount of Draw Weight. Mostly, it is important to consider at what range a bow has its optimum effectiveness rather than how far the arrows can go.
Indeed, when you are going to be Archery Hunting you will generally not be shooting your targets from such long distances that your bow will not be able to handle them. In fact, the environment will contain a lot of trees, bushes, and other greenery that will force you to go out on foot to find your game.
4. Let Off
The Let Off is a very important factor to consider. The let-off minimizes the fatigue of holding the bowstring into place while you are aiming or have the hunting bow fully drawn.
Obviously, this makes it much easier to aim a hunting bow while moving or while standing in awkward positions. Quality hunting bows are known to let off around 80% of the actual Draw weight when the bow is fully drawn. This means that a compound bow with a draw weight of 50 lbs will require you to hold only 10 lbs at full draw.
5. The Grip
The grip is where you place your hand and it is very important for it to be comfortable and not damage your hand while pulling back on the bow (getting blisters ain’t nice) or while carrying it when you are on the move.
A hunting bow should be as light as possible without hurting its shooting effectiveness. Some compound bows can be really heavy (mine is). Obviously, a lighter bow means that you will get less tired while walking, which could be a minor issue, but most importantly it will make it easier to keep your arm steady while aiming.
This factor is one that depends on the preferences of the individual and some people like to shoot without the guidance of a sight. For example, I pull with my right arm but my dominant eye is the left, so using a sight just never felt right.
However, it is a fact that sight on a bow makes it easier to be consistent with your aiming even when shooting the very first arrow.
If you decide to get a sight you should evaluate whether to choose a single pin or multi-pin one. The single pin allows for a clearer view of your target but may require more overall tweaking.
This accessory can be mounted and changed on all quality modern hunting bows. So, even if it turns out that you don’t like using a sight you can change it or remove it altogether.
The material which is made from is also something that you should take into consideration as it will impact its durability. A durable hunting bow should be made out of a strong wood type or from metal.
9. Quietness/Bowstring Vibration
The quietness of your bow depends mostly on how it handles the vibrations of the bowstring. This is obviously very important as a bow that makes a lot of noise will scare off all game in the vicinity and will make your target run if you miss the first shot. All hunting bows handle the bowstring vibrations very well, however, so this will generally not be a great concern.
The price is obviously one of the most important factors to consider. The best hunting bows are unfortunately quite expensive so they are not for everybody’s pocket.
So, it’s best to consider how often you plan to use your bow and choose one in a price range that will prove to make a good investment. There are many cheaper alternatives that still hit like trucks and work great.
11. Value For Money
Now price is one thing, but value for money is another. In some cases, it may be better to spend a little more money to buy a full kit with features that add extra value.
In fact, you should also consider the cost of accessories. For example, sights, wrist slings, rests, release aids, etc.
So, let’s get to it. What are the best compound bows that money can buy in 2019? Below I have compiled a list of my top picks.
Prime Logic CT3
The Prime Logic CT3 is the new and improved Prime Logic hunting bow for 2019. The Prime Logic CT3 is priced in the region of $1250 to $999 depending on what store you buy it from.
- The Prime Logic CT3 weighs just 4.4 pounds making it very light and perfect for hunts where you will need to cover a lot of ground.
- Prime, the makers of this bow pride themselves on using what is called “Aluminium 82” which is a very durable and sturdy Aluminium alloy that is also very light so that carrying the bow is effortless.
- The bow design has also been altered to come with two draw weights that allow for a faster more accurate shot than the previous editions.
- According to other reviews on the internet, the Prime Logic CT3 is known for making a bit of noise when firing.
- The Prime Logic CT3 is much longer than the average hunting bow coming in at 33 inches in length. Unfortunately, this could take some getting used to and it may be a drawback for people that need to move a lot during hunts.
PSE Evoke 31
The PSE Evoke 31 is the new hunting bow from PSE and attempts to build on the success and praise of the PSE Evolve. PSE has improved on the PSE Evolve by making the PSE Evoke 31 sturdier and more durable and by increasing the arrow speed to an estimated 342 feet per second, which is truly impressive. This bow is priced in the range of $1100 to $900 depending on the store.
- An arrow speed of 342 feet per second is lightning fast.
- It comes with a bunch of different colors ranges, including different camouflage patterns which will definitely make it harder for you to be spotted by the game you are hunting.
- The new cams provide an exceptional 90% let off that doesn’t affect the effectiveness of the bow.
- The versatility on this bow is simply incredible. Its great design is not only great for hunting but also for target practice too.
- Like all bows included in the PSE range the value for money is very high.
- The let-off can be set between 80% to 90%. Some people may want a lower let-off to be able to have a more authentic hunting experience and may suffer the lack of customization options.
Obsession Fixation 6 XP
The Obsession Fixation 6 XP is a hunting bow released in 2018 by the Georgia based “Obsession Bows”. The hunting bow is praised by many Archery Hunters for having the right balance between speed and shootability, which makes it a very versatile bow for hunting at all kinds of distances and environments. The bow is retailed at 999$.
- The bow is made from 7075 Aluminium Alloy which is very strong, durable and light.
- It weighs 4.5 pounds which may not be the lightest on this list but it is still light enough to be ultra effective.
- The new design of the structure makes it more durable and adds extra stability while shooting.
- Obsession bows is known to overestimate the projectile speed of their bows, which is something that you should be aware of if arrow speed is a key factor for you.
Bowtech Realm X
Bowtech Realm X is part of the new line released by Bowtech which is a very well known brand in the Archery Hunting community. Bowtech is also the official bow maker for some of the archers in the USA Female Archery team. This model is priced between $1300 and $1100 depending on the store.
- The Bowtech Realm X comes with a CP Dual lock system that helps stabilize the bow when you are shooting. This allows for nice and clean and very quite shots.
- This bow is also one of the fastest on this list, coming in at 345 feet per second. If you are looking for good arrow speed, then this is the bow for you.
- The grip of this bow is widely praised for being very comfortable.
- This bow is highly customizable.
- The price may put some people off as the Bowtech Realm X doesn’t really offer anything more than its competitors but has a higher price tag.
Hoyt Carbon RX3
Hoyt Carbon RX3 is the new hunter bow from Hoyt which are one of the oldest bow makers in the market, with the company being founded in 1931. The Hoyt Carbon RX3 high quality also comes at a high price, it costs between $2000 and $1699 depending on where you buy it from.
- The Hoyt Carbon RX3 is the lightest out of all the hunting bows mentioned in this list. It weighs only 3.9 pounds which makes it the best choice if you are looking for a lightweight hunting bow.
- The design is just awesome.
- The price of the Hoyt Carbon RX3 may put off some people who are not serious hunters or don’t have the opportunity to hunt regularly. The price is extremely high considering that there are other hunting bows out there that cost as low as $400.
- This bow is a lot more expensive than the other hunting bows on this list however it is equally as good as them, which makes it not good on the value for money scale.
In conclusion, it is extremely difficult to answer the question of which bow is the most popular among archery hunters as the community is too split due to the tight competition in the archery hunting industry. In fact, all the market leaders have products that are all extremely similar and equally good.
If we had to choose, the Hoyt Carbon RX3 would be our winner due to the fact that it is a few ounces lighter than the other four bows on this list and has a killer design. However, it costs a few hundred dollars more so if we factor in the value for money then the PSE Evoke 31 is better.
At the end of the day, it is all up to personal preference. The best way to find out which hunting bow is good for you is to head down to your local store.