How to choose the best hunting bow? Seems like a tough task? Don’t worry, we are here to help you sort it out as quickly as possible.
Generally, there are 12 top companies that you need to know about.
We will compare their best models here, will show you top 3 models that we decided to pick. And below that can read about each of those companies that their production. This all will make your choice much easier.
Like all other products, hunting bows are available in many different shapes, dimensions, color options, and complexity. Have a look at comparison of best models:
Top 3 Models, Editors’ Choice
1. Bear Archery Cruzer Ready to Hunt Compound Bow
Bear Archery is the most popular manufacturer, and that is for a reason. Some time ago BA launched the Arena Series. One of the most outstanding examples is the featherweight, 335-fps Arena 30. That one is a very lethal thing. By using a 6-1/2-inch brace height, it became possible to reach the golden balance between speed and forgiveness without having to compromise either.
The modern H15 Hybrid cam system provides convenient draw cycle and letdown. Vibration and sound are dealt with using rubber riser inserts. Bear’s Hinge Guard minimizes lateral torque during a shot, and there are 2 grip options because of the detachable rubber grip. You can tune it to draw weights of 50/60/70 pounds, due to a 6.5-inch brace height, draw lengths vary from 25.5 to 30 inches. The Arena 34 provides 4 extra inches of forgiveness but takes back the 6.5-inch brace height to make possible such a mix of speed, convenience and forgiveness.
Bounty women’s bow features 3.2-pound weight and 295-fps. It has draw lengths from 23.5 to 27 inches. Draw weights can vary from 40 to 50 pounds. This bow is designed to have shorter draw length with the use of rotating FH2 Hybrid Cam. The hand torque is minimized by the great grip design. This one features RTH package, which means you will not need to buy any extras and it is OK to hunt with it. What is included:
- 4-pin sight
- Trophy Ridge Whisker biscuit
- sling and quiver
- Peep sight and nock loop
2. Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package
Bowtech Archery has produced and presented to the market it’s biggest ever product launch – two new models at the same time: the Boss and the Prodigy. Both feature revolutionary PowerShift Technology to satisfy every hunter or shooter and suit all seasons.
You can easily switch between it’s levels:
- Performance, with its fastest speed and the most power
- Classic, with a good balance between speed/power and a nice comfortable draw
- Comfort, with it’s easiest draw
To switch between these, you only need to take out the setscrew on the cam-mounted PowerDisk, ease up the other couple of screws, slide the disk. It’s that simple!
The Prodigy, that has 32-inch axle-to-axle length, has a starting arrow’s speed at as much as 343fps level. It has OverDrive Binary Cams and comes with a comfortable 7-inch brace height. Draw length varies from 25 to 30.5 inches, and there are correspondingly 3 draw weight choices – 50/60/70 pounds.
The Boss model will be especially interesting to hunters that got used to longer draw. This model is claimed to be bigger, crazier and more tougher. It’s axle-to-axle is 36-inch, whole bow weighs 4.6-pound. it’s draw length varies from 26.5 to 32 inches. An arrow’s starting speed is 333 fps. Same brace height as in Prodigy model. and also same set of available draw weight options.
For women, there is a special edition – the Eva Shockey Signature Series comes with PowerShift FlipDisk Technology, that lets you change between two setups by just taking out the disk and turning it over. Easier 40/50/60 pound draw weights.
All of these bows include FLX-Guard technology so when the bow is drawn, this system flexes inward to take cable guard torque and stop it from transferring to the riser.
3. Darton 60-70 lb. Right Hand Limited Edition Black Riser and Vista Camo Limbs DS-700 Compound Bow
This manufacturer offers the short, swift and silent DS-700SD model. The DualSync cam bow, enhanced with an improved edition of the company’s impressive DualSync Hi-Performance Cam system, is developed to minimize cam lean. You can choose draw length from 24 to 28 inches, the step is 0.5-inch. There are 4 draw weight options: 40/50/60/70 pounds. The axle-to-axle length is 30 inches. This model is quite a compact one, allows you to operate in spaces with less room for movement. The bow’s weight is 4 pounds, brace height is 7 inches. Arrow starting speed is 335 fps.
One more bow model presented by Darton is “Recruit”. It is short, 28.5-inch axle-to-axle model that was made specifically for youngster hunters. Despite that, anyone can shoot from that small, lightweight bow. It’s weight is only 3.1 pounds. The draw length varies from 21.5 to 27 inches. The brace height is 6.75 inches, and it provides better forgiveness. You can choose between two draw weight options:25-35 and 35-50 pounds. Featured by low-mount Bowstring Suppression System developed to minimize string sound and pulsation and includes a four-arrow quiver, a Copper John Saxon sight and a rest.
Hunting Bow Buyer’s Guide
How to Select Cam
There is a lot of info about cams (or how they call it – wheels). The various designs, contours and specific characteristics are countless, but they typically can be limited to five particular types:
- Round wheels
- Single cams
- Dual cams
- 1.5 hybrid cams
- Binary cams
All of them have their specific features that determine their best use. Aspects that make a hunter select certain cam type rather than another are:
Round-wheeledbows tend to be the slowest of all hunting and sport bows. But the reason that they are still around is their supreme shoot smoothness and accuracy. Round wheels are fairly silent, almost don’t resonate and are simple to tune. Thanks to their rainbow-shape trajectory, such bows are not a typical preference for hunting usage.
Single cams come with one round wheel. Their worldwide popularity has been very high. Almost every bow manufacturer nowadays has a single-cam bow in their line of models. This type allows simple tuning, considering that there is just one rolling over cam.
Dual cams usually provide super speed, but they take much more tuning and servicing. Both of these cams should be synchronized to make the most of the bow’s power.
The 1.5 hybrid camsare a more recent type of cam. They are a blend of a dual and a solo cam technology. The arrow speed provided with this type of cam is often similar to dual cams. It works same way as a single cam, with simple wheel is substituted with another cam. The inclusion of the secondary cam balances out the nock movement not like a single cam.
Binary cams are almost the same as dual cams, with one exception: each cam is slaved to each other. In other words, they rotate at same angles during the draw and shooting. This almost frees you from necessity to maintain and tune the bow.
The Basics Of Cam Let-Off And Tuning ability
No matter which style of cam you think works ideally for you, there are a number of points to take note of when choosing the specific model of bow/cam. Fortunately, many of contemporary bows are flexible for draw length, but to what level are they tunable and how hard is it? You’d better to always measure the bow’s draw length before you buy. If you decide to evolve your shooting movements or grow a little, draw length change is necessary. Make sure to assess the draw weight and draw length flexibility of a bow to guarantee that it will still be ok for you in the future.
Let-off is one more cam feature that has to be comprehended to successfully customize a bow to your demands. As soon as a bow fully drawn, its cam system significantly decreases the effort needed to keep it drawn. Let-off is the draw weight portion that is being put off. Typical let-off percentages vary between 65 and 85 percent. You definitely know the importance of the let-off if you ever had a bow at full draw for several minutes while targeting or waiting for your game to come closer. Having said that, the greater the let-off the less the starting arrow speed.
Risers (the part that you use to hold the bow) are available in different designs, styles and components. Their structure and concept significantly affect the price, operation and efficiency of the bow.
Just as in cams, there have lots of slight variations, but there are 3 primary types: reflex, deflex and straight.
Reflex risers can be easily identified, considering that they differ from from the normal shape of the limbs. Such style makes faster speeds, since it minimizes the bow’s brace height (space between the string at rest and the middle of the riser). Contemporary hunting bows are almost entirely made with reflex risers.
Deflex risers are the right the contrary to reflex risers. Rather than curving away from the curve of the limbs, they go nicely along their curvature. Thus the bow comes with bigger brace height and features a weaker arrow speed (all other parameters are the same). The only advantage of such riser is better forgiveness of the bow, and better accuracy of a shoot. Deflex risers are quite a rare solution in modern bows.
Straight risers are some kind of compromise between these two types. They are intrinsically reflex risers, only with a significantly less radical curving than a few of the advanced reflexes that you might have saw. They are fairly swift and forgiving. Though, similarly to deflex risers, this type has almost been forgotten by anyone.
The components of a riser have an effect on the price, the heaviness and the grip size, yet does not influence the performance too much, as well as precision and durability of the bow. There are 2 fundamental methods of risers construction: cast (aluminum, magnesium), and machined (aluminum). Some of the risers may also be made of featherweight carbon fiber, but those are rare.
Cast risers are almost as solid, precise and efficient as machined ones, and they are generally cheaper. Their only serious drawback is their size and heaviness. Basically , cast risers are generally thicker in the grip area and heavier compared to machined type.
Machined risers are very lightweight (especially if you consider they are made of metal). These feature a smaller sized grip that usually suits any hand far better than a cast riser. The downside here is their higher price.
Carbon risers are even less heavy than machined ones. This is top level and you will have to shell out a lot for this type.
How To Understand If The Bow Is For You
Choosing the ideal bow is a personal matter, and the judgment should greatly depend on your activities. Have a look at a couple of aspects to check during taking decision:
- Axle-to-axle length (ATA). The distance between the cams axles (or cam and wheel). Similarly to a pole that a tightrope walker may use, a bigger ATA eases up holding the bow steady, without accidental movements. Shorter ATA may be required if you want to shoot from a treestand, or behind a bush, or from a ground blind – where you need to maneuver. The majority of hunting bows feature an ATA of 31 – 34 inches.
- Brace height. This is the distance between the rest position of the string and the bow’s grip center. This measurement affects a bow’s power stroke (the length the string passes) and considerably impacts the starting arrow speed. The less the brace height the more the arrow speed is. The other side of the medal here is that shorter brace height will not forgive any shooting mistakes. On the contrary, longer measurement provides slower arrow, but will forgive your mistakes when you’re making a shot. Regularly, brace height varry between 6 and 7 inches.
- Bow weight. It’s obvious – it is easier to hold the bow steady if it’s heavier. But you have to be stronger because excess weight will cause fatigue. Featherweight bows can require more experience to shoot precisely, but less weight is also nice to carry on hunting journeys. The typical weight of a bow ranges between 4 and 4.25 pounds, that is without any RTH accessories.
- Adjustability. Once again, see to it that your bow can be tuned to your possible future change in draw length and draw weight. A lot of compound bows will allow you to adjust their draw weight by 10-20 pounds. That means that you need to look for 50 – 70, or 40 – 60 pounds. Such possibility for adjustment will let you freely progress in your archery skills. Similarly, the majority of bows alow to change their draw length by around 4-6 inches. If you’re a grown-up person then don’t worry about that, your draw length is already stable. For young people, take a bow that has some potential for draw length increase.