Things You Should Know About Deer Hunting Bows : All You Need To Know

There are many types of bows, which can be classified by the limb material (wood, horn, sinew, fiberglass..), limb cross-section (square, round), arrow shaft material (wood, carbon, aluminium), arrow type (breasted, bob-tail, barrelled, target), arrowhead (bodkin, broadhead, pile, blunt..), bow string material (flax, rawhide, Dacron, Kevlar, steel..).

Here Are Some Typical Types Of Bow


Has characteristics between firearms and traditional bows. Its limb, also called a prod, is attached to a perpendicular thick wooden stock (or crosspiece).

It has a mechanism to pull and hold the bow string in position to keep the bolt (the projectile) in place.

A trigger much resembles a firearm trigger, works to release the string and project the bolt.

The prod is much stiffer than normal bow limb, so that it can store more energy, and can hit the target 200m away (in comparison to 90m of a longbow).

The holding mechanism helps the archery aim more accurately and effortlessly. The only disadvantage is that its compact size means shorter draw length, requiring heavier draw force.

Earlier, crossbow was allowed for disabling hunters only, now it is used as a type of hunting bow.

Compound Bow

Has a system of cables and pulleys helping reducing drawing force and effortlessly aiming, and stiff limbs help produce more powerful force and longer range.

You can adjust its draw weight and draw length. It also includes a peep hole and a sight with various pins for various aiming distances.

Compound bow is resistant to weather change and humidity and surpasses other bows in loading time, projectile velocity and flat trajectory.

Composite Bow

Has limbs made of wood in center for lightness and stability, outside sinew for tension energy storage, inside horn for compression energy storage.

The composite bow, hence, is more powerful than a self bow and more durable.

Takedown Bow

Can be disassembled into 3 parts: a raiser and two limbs, which then can be stored in a shorter case.

Most of Olympic Archery bows are takedown bows. We can change its figure by replacing the limbs.

Self Bow Or Simple Bow

Is made of a single piece of wood, merely by simple processes like chopping, shaving and scraping. The most common woods for self bow are yew, palm, maple, ash, elm and oak.

Long Bow

Is a self bow or laminated bow made of wood, its length is equal to archery height, which is may be 1.2 meters to 1.8 meters (even upto 2.5 cm).

It’s extremely difficult to handle and has a high draw weight. There are actually many other types, such as flatbow, recurve bow, reflex bow, Mongol bow, Chinese bow.

But their essential attributes, in short, are draw weight, draw length and arrow weight. Draw weight (or weight) is the force needed to hold the string at the full draw.

The higher the weight is, the more powerful and higher velocity and flatter trajectory the arrow is.

Draw length is equal to the longest arrow can be used on that bow, which is typically from 55 to 75 cm. The arrow heavy weight contributes to penetration ability, while its lightness helps to increase the velocity and range.

The most frequently used bows for deer hunting are crossbow, compound bow, composite bow, recurve bow, reflex bow..

Here Are Tips On Using Them

  • Bow hunting is regulated in many countries, except UK, Germany, Ireland, Norway.. In US, bow season is longer than firearm season and starts earlier. You should be familiar with local law before start hunting.
  • You should choose the best time for hunting, which is the first two week of bow season, when the animal hasn’t been scared by hunters, during the rut, which is their most active period, and at the end of the season, when the animal is weary, cold and hungry.
  • Choose a bow that has minimum draw weight of 35 pounds (16 kg) for deer, 50-60 pounds for moose, elk.

It’s best to use a 50 pound bow for a deer because weaker bow would let to slow painful death.

Most male hunters use a 50-60 pound bow, while females use a 30-40 pound one. A bow often shoots best at their maximum draw weight, which produces flatter trajectory, higher velocity and longest range.

The arrow should be aluminum, carbon fiber for lightness and stability.

  • You should choose a bow that you are most comfortable with its weight and draw length.

It should be level with your lips when fully drawing, you can easily aim and hold it steadily for a long time.

You should choose bows base on your dominant hand and eye. A right- hand person will hold a right- hand bow by left hand, aim by the right eye.

  • You will be likely to shoot in sitting position, after a cold, long waiting day,within an unusual angle and in very short time. 

So, you need to practice as frequently as possible, with every position and shooting angle to perform well.

A study once has shown that more than 50% deer shot by bow was never be found, while a better report says more than 80% deer found after 24 hours.

So, avoid hurting the deer and letting it bleed to dead by continuously practicing and only shoot when you are sure it will hit the right spot.

  • Do not clutch the raiser, hold it loosely between your thumb and palm while closing your hand to prevent the bow flying out when shooting. 

Keep calm and raise the bow to your eye. Aim through peep sight to center the appropriate pin (for the distance to the animal), and align that pin to the target.

Release the arrow without sudden movement.

  • Hunting deer by a bow, you might set up a tree stand or a blind near a field of crops (corn, wheat, alfalfa..) or beside its frequent path and wait for the deer to come near. 

You can also use scent and decoy to attract the male in the rut. Or, stealthy track and follow them..

Whatever the method is, you must shoot the deer within 40 meters, for it’s the effective range of a bow (or upto 200 meters if you use a crossbow).

  • Before climbing onto a tree stand, unload your bow, put it on the ground. When you are already safe and sound, then, pull up the unloaded bow by a rope. 

Fasten yourself to the tree by a protecting belt. You might fall off the tree when drawing the bow.

  • You should wait for the deer to come broadside to you, because if you shoot it ahead or quarterly, it’s likely that you your arrow will hit the bone. 

An arrow is not strong enough to penetrate or damage the bone. Never aim at its head, the most animated and well-protected by the skull.

  • Remember safety rules. Never dry-fire a bow (release the bow string without a nocked arrow) for it will damage the bow and injure the user. 

Release the arrow by shooting it in the soft ground. Wear arm guard and finger protection. Do not fire the arrow straight up to the air.

Do not nock the arrow except when you are ready to shoot.


By properly using a bow, you can harvest a nice doe or even a big buck for your season. Keep practicing and all you need is a good chance to succeed.

you might also like : Animals You Can Hunt In Small Hunting : All You Need To Know

Kristopher M. Samson

"Hello ! My name is Kristopher M. Samson .I'm a firefighter. I love my job and hunting sport. For me , hunting is a sport good for my health . It help me relax after job time"

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