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Bow Hunting Essentials – Detailed List by Seasoned Bowhunters

bow hunting essentials
Written by Erik Himmel

Bow hunting is one of the oldest survival techniques known to man. A bow and a stack of arrows is perhaps the most iconic representation of hunting. However, not everyone can dominate this ancient technique. In order to become a master of bow hunting, you need a lot of patience, good aim and years of practice.

However, modern bow hunting has evolved a lot. Now, there are many gadgets and accessories that help you be more precise and efficient on the hunting field. Certainly choosing the right gear will help you get the best results.

Today, we’ll give you a detailed list with all the bow hunting essentials you need to become a pro hunter. You’ll also find several tips to know how to choose the best items for your hunting inventory.

Bow Hunting Essentials You Should Have

Archery essentials

  • Traditional Bow

A traditional bow or longbow is the most basic example of a weapon. Its origins go back thousands of years in the past. Although this seems obsolete, many people still practice traditional bow hunting like their ancestors once did.

Using a traditional bow isn’t easy. So, taking down a prey after an accurate shot is a rewarding experience.

Traditional bows are also a cheap alternative. So, these weapons are certainly the best for people on low budgets.

  • Compound Bow

Compound bows are the modern version of longbows. Instead of using wood and leather, compound bows use fiberglass, stainless steel and other resistant materials. Compound bows also implement pulleys and counterweights to exert more momentum on the arrow.

Compound bows don’t require the exertion of excessive force as it happens with traditional bows. However, although they’re easier to use, the user requires a certain level of experience to dominate them.

  • Crossbow

Crossbows are the best choice for people who don’t have time to learn the old techniques of bow hunting. Using a crossbow isn’t much different than using a rifle. You just set the arrow in place, then aim and pull the trigger. Some crossbows have scope lenses and other advanced gadgets to have a clear vision of the target.

At first glance, crossbows appear more advanced and complex than compound bows. However, the prices of both options are quite similar.

  • Arrows

Once you’ve found the ideal weapon for you, it’s time to choose the best archery arrows. To do this you should consider some important factors such as size and weight. For example, the size of the arrows should match the size of your bow.

Also, the weight of the arrows can influence their reach. So, the less impulse you can exert with the weapon, the lighter the arrow should be.

  • Broadheads

To pick the right broadheads, consider the kind of animal you’re going to hunt. For example, some animals have a thick layer of fat under their skin. To cause maximum damage, the arrow should penetrate the fat to reach the vital organs.

In that case, you’ll need a wide and sharp broadhead. On the other hand, if the prey is small, like a duck or a rabbit, you’ll need something simpler. To make the best decision, you should visit a hunting supplies store and consult a professional.

  • Bow Accessories

Adding special attachments to your bow will help you make things easier and be a more proficient hunter. Below, you’ll find a list of some bow accessories that can’t be missing on your gear inventory:

You can attach your quiver directly onto the bow. However, most experienced hunters prefer carrying them on their backs or attached to their backpacks. Make sure to choose the most comfortable configuration for you.

A release aid is a gadget that holds the arrow in a stable position and releases it after pulling a trigger.

Bow-sights and scopes facilitate the vision of targets at long distances. That way, the user doesn’t need to strive to aim at the prey. In the market, there are a wide variety of models. Usually, the wider the vision range, the higher the weight of the gadget.

Hunting Essentials

  • Backpacks

During a bow hunting adventure, the less weight you carry, the better. For that reason, backpacks shouldn’t be too large unlike range bags. They also shouldn’t be filled to the maximum capacity. In these cases it’s convenient to choose a backpack large enough to carry your bow, arrows and other essential items.

  • Ground Blind/Treestand

A treestand can raise you several meters above the ground to wait for your prey from a vantage point, so does an elevated ground blind.

  • Safety Harness

If you’re going to use a treestand, don’t forget to bring with you climbing sticks, a safety harness and enough rope to tie your body on a tree. The rope should be resistant to withstand high loads and abrasion. If you don’t know which type to choose, ask an expert.

  • Binoculars

A good pair of binoculars can help you find a possible prey at very long distances. To find the best hunting binoculars for you, you need to understand two important concepts: zoom and lens diameter.

The zoom defines how much the image scale varies compared to its original size. Usually, the zoom is designated by a number followed by an “X” letter.

On the other hand, the lens diameter defines how much light enters the binoculars. In this case, the higher the light gain, the more sharp and clear the image will be. So, you’ll need big lenses to get better image quality. However, if the lenses are too big, the binoculars will be too heavy. You can opt for the best monocular in that case.

For hunting purposes, 10X42 binoculars are the best.

  • Flashlight or Headlamp

At night, the light from your smartphone won’t be enough. The best solution in these cases is a flashlight or a headlamp. Don’t forget to carry some extra batteries if you intend to spend several days outdoors.

  • GPS or Compass

If you wish, you can install some apps to your smartphone to use it as a GPS. However, if you’re a man from the old school, a compass and a map are all you need.

  • Wind Checker

Knowing the wind direction can be a great advantage, especially when you’re hunting wild ducks and other birds. A wind checker may be an excellent tool for you in these cases. If you can’t buy one, you can make one with common ingredients.

  • First Aid Kit

In the event of an accident, carrying a first aid kit with you may be the smartest way to prevent a tragedy. So, never start a new adventure without one of these.

  • Maps

If you’re going to opt for printed maps, make sure they’re actualized. The topology of certain places is constantly changing. So, too old maps may not match the current terrain conditions.

  • Grunt Call & Deer Scents

Some special whistlesattractantsfeeders, and scents can help you attract deers, ducks and other wild animals. That way, you don’t have to try too hard to find your prey.

  • Light-weight Camo Facemask and Gloves

In too cold places, keeping your face and hands protected is essential for survival. In these cases, face masks, and gloves are the best solution. Also, make sure that both items are camouflaged in accordance to the hunting scenario.

  • Bowhunting Clothes

Before choosing any clothes for bow hunting, it’s necessary that you consider the current conditions of the hunting area. Think about the weather and the surrounding colors. Then choose the most appropriate option.

Varying the number of clothing layers can help you regulate your body temperature in different circumstances. For example, when the heat is high and you need to move fast, the fewer layers you wear, the better. On the other hand, in conditions of extreme humidity and cold, it’s convenient to wear as many clothing layers as necessary ranging from the base layer to the middle layer to the outer.

  • Bowhunting Footwear

For bow hunting, a pair of resistant and durable boots is all you need. Your footwear should keep your feet protected from humidity and changes in temperature.

In addition, they should have reinforced tips to prevent foot injuries due to high impacts. As the rest of your outfit, your footwear should also be camouflaged to go unnoticed.

  • Personal Items & Toiletries

During a bow hunting adventure, your personal comfort is also important. For this reason, you can’t forget to bring the following personal items with you:

  • Wallet
  • Towel
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Sleeping bag
  • Soap and shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Pillow
  • Smartphone and solar charger
  • Prescribed medicines

Conclusion

As you can see, the options are almost limitless when it comes to bow hunting essentials. The amount and type of items you bring to your adventure will depend on several factors, including:

  • Conditions of the hunting ground
  • Season of the year
  • Personal convenience

Always remember that the less weight you carry with you, the better. So, including too many things in your backpack may not be the wisest idea. In order to not make mistakes, make sure to follow each one of our tips.

About the author

Erik Himmel

A Part-Time Firearm Instructor

Hi, this is Erik. We all know firearms are dangerous, but only when one doesn’t know how to use and care for them. I have 15+ years of experience with different types of guns and for the last 10 years, I have taught numerous people how to hold and shoot a gun while staying safe and keeping the surroundings unharmed. My neighbors are some of my biggest admirers who enjoy talking to me about their guns, firearms safety and maintenance.

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