What equipment do I need for archery?

What equipment do I need for archery?

Archery Equipment: A Hunter’s Guide for Archery Gear

As an avid hunter, I have always been captivated by the art of archery. There is something primal and satisfying about drawing back a bow, aiming at a distant target, and releasing an arrow with precision and skill. Whether I’m pursuing a big game in the wilderness or practicing my aim at the range, archery has become an integral part of my hunting experience. However, having the right equipment is essential to excel in this sport and achieve consistent success. In this “What equipment do I need for archery?” blog post, I will share my knowledge and experience as a hunter to guide you through the necessary archery equipment for a rewarding and fulfilling journey.

Equipment for Archery Hunting

The Bow

Hunter drawing bow

A bow is a traditional weapon and tool that has been used for thousands of years for hunting, sport, and warfare. It consists of a flexible piece of material, usually wood or fiberglass, bent into a curved shape and held under tension by a string. The energy stored in the bow’s bent limbs is transferred to an arrow when the string is released, propelling it forward with force and speed. Bows come in various designs, including longbows, recurve bows, and compound bows, each with its unique characteristics and advantages.

Although there are many styles of bows, we will focus on the 2 primary ones:

Compound Bows


The compound bow is a modern marvel of archery technology. It utilizes a system of cables and pulleys to reduce the amount of force required to hold the bow at full draw. This lets archers aim more steadily and shoot with increased power. Key components of a compound bow include:

  • Riser: The central part of the bow where the limbs and other components are attached.
  • Limbs: When drawn, the upper and lower limbs provide flexibility and store energy.
  • Cams: These eccentric wheels are mounted on the limb tips and control the bow’s draw cycle.
  • Cables and String: When the bow is released, the cables and string work together to transfer energy to the arrow.
  • Sights: Sights help archers aim accurately by providing reference points.
  • Arrow Rest: This holds the arrow in place on the bow until release.
  • Stabilizer: A stabilizer reduces bow movement during aiming and helps with balance.

Recurve Bows

The recurve bow has a more traditional design, characterized by its curved limbs that face away from the archer when unstrung. Unlike compound bows, recurve bows do not have pulleys and cables, requiring more effort to hold at full draw. Some essential components of a recurve bow are:


Selecting the right arrows is crucial to maximize accuracy and performance. Arrows come in various materials and styles, and choosing the appropriate ones depends on factors like draw weight, arrow length, and intended use (hunting or target shooting). Here are the key aspects to consider:

Arrows and compound bow

Arrow Materials

  • Aluminum: These arrows are durable and affordable, making them popular for beginners and recreational archers.
  • Carbon: Carbon arrows are lightweight, have excellent consistency, and are widely used by both hunters and competitive archers.
  • Wood: Traditionalists often prefer wooden arrows for their classic feel and authenticity but they require more maintenance.

Arrow Spine

The spine of an arrow refers to its stiffness. Choosing the appropriate spine is important; it affects how the arrow flexes when shot. A stiffer spine suits higher draw weights, while a more flexible spine suits lower draw weights. Manufacturers typically provide charts to help you match the arrow spine to your specific setup.

Anatomy of an arrow

Arrow Tips

Arrow tips, also known as points, come in different shapes and weights, each serving specific purposes:

  • Bullet Points: These are simple, inexpensive points mainly used for target practice.
  • Field Points: Designed for field archery, these points are distinct to prevent the arrow from burying in the ground.
  • Broadheads: Broadheads are hunting tips featuring sharp blades for effective game penetration.


In addition to the bow and arrows, several accessories enhance the archery experience and contribute to improved accuracy and safety:

Release Aids

For your compound bow, you will need a release. A release aid, also known as a release, is a device that attaches to the string and aids in releasing the arrow with consistency. There are different types of releases, including:

  • Thumb Release: This release offers a quick, clean shot between the thumb and index finger.
  • Index Finger Release: Similar to the thumb release but activated by the index finger.
  • Back Tension Release: This release requires a specific hand movement to activate, promoting a surprise release and minimizing target panic.

Arm Guards and Finger Tabs

Although this accessory won’t apply to the compound bow, it does for the recurve or long bow. You’ll need an arm guard and a finger tab to protect your arm from the bowstring’s impact and prevent painful finger burns. These accessories are especially important for beginners who are still developing their shooting form.


mounted quiver

A quiver is essential for carrying your arrows safely and conveniently. Quivers come in various styles. Several factors should be considered when choosing a quiver. First and foremost, the type of archery you’ll be practicing will influence the quiver style; options include back quivers, hip quivers, and bow-mounted quivers. Back quivers are versatile and traditional, slung over the shoulder and worn on the back, while hip

quivers attach to the belt for quick access to arrows. Bow-mounted quivers are directly affixed to the bow, which can be advantageous for mobility but may add weight. Secondly, consider the quiver’s capacity to ensure it can hold an adequate number of arrows for your needs. Lastly, assess the quiver’s comfort and adjustability to find one that comfortably fits your body and shooting style. Considering these factors will lead to a well-suited quiver that enhances your archery experience and improves shooting performance.

Bow Cases or Bow Pack

Investing in a high-quality bow case or bow pack is essential to protect your valuable bow during transportation and storage. When choosing a bow case, consider the size and shape best for your specific bow model, ensuring a snug and secure fit. Look for cases with durable and impact-resistant materials such as hard plastic or reinforced fabric to protect your bow from potential damage. Additional padding and foam inserts inside the case can provide extra cushioning. Consider features like lockable.

Vision Bow Pack

latches for added security and wheels or handles for easy portability.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more versatile option, a bow pack might be suitable. Bow packs are designed like backpacks and allow you to carry your bow comfortably on your back while leaving your hands free. Look for a pack with a dedicated bow compartment, adjustable straps, and extra pockets for arrows and accessories. Consider the pack’s overall capacity and weight distribution to ensure a balanced and comfortable carry. Selecting the right bow case or bow pack depends on your specific needs and preferences. However, prioritizing protection, durability, and ease of transportation will ensure your bow remains in top condition for years to come.

Clothing and Safety Gear

Proper clothing and safety gear are important for an enjoyable and safe archery experience. Some of the items you will want to consider include:

  • Camouflage Clothing: Camouflage clothing helps hunters blend into their surroundings, making it easier to get closer to game animals without being noticed. Depending on your hunting environment, choose camouflage patterns that match the terrain.
  • Archery Gloves: Archery gloves protect your fingers from the pressure and friction of drawing the bowstring, preventing discomfort and potential injuries.
  • Armguards: Besides protecting your arm from the bowstring, armguards shield you from potential limbs and branches while navigating the wilderness.
  • Safety Harness: For tree stand hunting, a safety harness is a must to prevent falls and ensure your safety when perched high above the ground.
  • Insect Repellent: When spending extended hours outdoors, insect repellent is vital to ward off mosquitoes and other pesky insects.

What equipment do I need for archery? Conclusion

As a hunter, archery has added an exciting dimension to my hunting adventures. The satisfaction of a well-placed shot, the skill required for consistent accuracy, and the close connection to ancient hunting traditions make archery an art form I’m deeply passionate about. Equipping yourself with the right archery gear is paramount to embark on this journey successfully.

Remember that archery is a discipline that demands practice, patience, and dedication. Invest time and effort into honing your skills, and don’t hesitate to seek guidance from experienced archers or certified instructors. With the proper equipment, a commitment to safety, and a love for the sport, you’ll find yourself hitting the bullseye and experiencing a truly fulfilling archery journey.

What equipment do I need for archery? FAQ

How much draw weight should I choose for my bow?

The draw weight depends on factors like your physical strength and intended use. For hunting, it’s generally recommended to have a draw weight of at least 40 pounds for smaller game and 50 pounds or more for larger game. A lower draw weight might suit target shooting or recreational archery.

How do I know what arrow length to use?

Arrow length is determined by your draw length, which can be measured or calculated. Generally, your arrow should be about 1 to 2 inches longer than your draw length for recurve bows and about 1 inch longer for compound bows.

What type of broadhead is best for hunting?

The broadhead choice depends on the game you’re hunting and your bow setup. Fixed-blade broadheads offer excellent penetration and are suitable for most hunting situations. Mechanical broadheads, which expand on impact, are also popular but require more precise tuning.

Should I get a bow sight for my compound bow?

Bow sights can significantly improve accuracy, especially for longer-range shots. If you’re serious about precision and consistent shooting, a bow sight is a valuable accessory to consider.


  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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