If you are new to the sport of bow hunting, you may be wondering what hunting gear you need to carry with you. After all, you’ll see lots of items advertised, but are they all essential to your success? Here are the 5 key items to consider:
1. Hunting Crossbow or Compound Bow: Of course this one may seem pretty obvious. If you are going to go out bow hunting, you better have a bow with you. You have two options when it comes to picking your primary piece of equipment.
You can go with the compound bow, which will use a cam or elliptical system on the ends of the bow to help bend the limbs. This levering system gives the compound bow superior accuracy, velocity and distance in comparison to other bows. The levering mechanism on a compound bow also helps reduce the amount of force required to hold the string at full draw; allowing a hunter to have more time to focus on the shot. Another option is the crossbow. A crossbow is a mechanical bow that has a bow mounted on a stock (or stick). A crossbow is not limited by the strength of the hunter and therefore can be a good choice for hunters of varying age, size and strength.
2. Arrows/Projectiles: It goes without saying that if you are going out bow hunting you will need some arrows, or projectiles, to use with your bow. For the compound bow there are arrows made of different materials, typically aluminum, carbon or a combination of the two. The arrows are also available in varying lengths and stiffness. To pick which arrow is best for you, you’ll want to look at the draw weight and draw length for your particular compound bow.
The arrow-like projectiles that are used with a crossbow are referred to as bolts. There are various types of bolts that you can purchase and some people will spend big bucks (no pun intended) on the projectile they choose. I always recommend picking-up a few varieties in small quantities. Give them a try on your first few hunting trips of the season and see which ones feel better to you. After you’ve found the type that works best for you, then you can buy them in bulk and save yourself some serious money.
The quiver is the case that you use to carry the arrows or bolts. A quick detach quiver can make it easy to carry the bolts and just as easy to remove it when needed.
3. Crossbow Scope: If your bow of choice is a crossbow, you will typically need a crossbow scope to accompany it. While you can get away with using the naked eye as your guide, a crossbow scope is used by most hunters to give a more accurate shot. There are different types of scopes available, including red dot and laser scopes. The benefit of the scope is that it can help compensate for the affect of gravity on your shot.
4. Camouflage: These last two essentials play into the strategy of keeping you out of sight and out of mind from the deer. After all, if the deer catches even a glimpse of you…there goes your whole day of hunting. So pick a good camo jacket, camouflage pants or bibs and apply some face paint. These will all help you stay hidden from the deer and the camo jacket and pants will give you the added benefit of being comfortable while sitting outside in the elements all day.
5. Scent Killer: This one item will probably give you the greatest Return on Investment (ROI). You can spend hundreds on the best bow hunting equipment, but if you can’t get within close proximity of your target, you’ll have no success as a hunter. So for just a few dollars, you can pick-up a scent-killer spray that will remove the risk of the deer picking-up your scent.
While the avid hunter may argue that there are several “essential” bow hunting items that I’ve left off the list, these 5 should get you well on your way to a well equipped package of bow hunting equipment. You can pick-up additional pieces of equipment as you go along and as you become more familiar with what items will work best with your hunting style. After all, if you’re not going to sit in a tree all day, a tree stand won’t make much sense for you. Alternatively, hunting blinds aren’t necessary if you plan on being in a tree all day. Some additional accessories for your compound bow will include stabilizers and dampers as they will reduce the movement of the bow when the string is released, thus making your shot more accurate. For the crossbow, a mechanical release may also be something to consider down the road.
These 5 essentials should be a good start for your bow hunting needs. A great location and well-planned hunting strategy will be the perfect complement to your equipment and will ultimately be the secret to your success.