Whether you are picking up a new hobby or getting back into sharpening your old skills, it is important to collect everything you need to ensure safety and success. From gathering knowledge and information to gathering gear and accessories- all are equally necessary to help you make the most out of your experiences.
In the case of bowhunting, like other hobbies, there are a few things you should collect that are useful and necessary, whereas some things you can pick up slowly after developing a certain stage of skill.
Don’t worry if you feel confused; we are here to help you figure out and decide which are the must-have bow accessories you should own.
17 Must-Have Bow Accessories You Should Own
Let’s go through the bow-related accessories you should purchase before getting into the game.
What is archery without the most important part- the bow? There are different types of bows suitable for different purposes.
A good bow that suits you and your intention is going to help you acquire/sharpen your skills and achieve success, and the knowledge about your bow will certainly help a lot to determine and decide what accessories you need. Let’s talk about types of bows briefly for our better understanding:
These types of bows are very tall (or long- hence the name!), almost equal to the height of their user, and have relatively narrower limbs. They allow the archer a fairly long draw. Longbows are mostly built and used for archery practices and favored by beginners.
These bows come with an assorted mechanism of pulleys and cams. Features as such help to maximize the power generated in the bow, reduce the tension off of the archer, and minimizes vibration and sound.
Since these bows provide precision and power, they are widely appreciated and used for hunting purposes.
Compared to longbows, recurve bows are built in a way that double backs on themselves. This structure helps to build twice as much tension on the recurve bow string.
Although recurve bows are not the most powerful bows out there, this kind of structure ensures more precise shots compared to the other types of bows.
What type of arrow you should buy solely depends on what kind of bow you are using and for what purpose, which is exactly why you need to have some idea about your bows.
It is crucial that the arrow you choose is the right size, matching your bow’s draw length and draw weight. Similarly, the arrow spine should match the power of the bow to ensure accuracy and safety.
It is not simple to buy arrows that always accurately compliment your bow. The best solution is to purchase at least a set or two of arrows along with the purchase of the bow. This way, the bow technician/seller can also help you out and teach you how to look for the exact sets when you purchase next.
Practice makes perfect; no matter if you are a beginner or if you already are good at it, you still need to practice regularly to sharpen your skills or stay on top of your game. Archery targets can help you with your practices.
You can make your own target point with objects or paints on a solid object, or you can purchase one. As a beginner, it is helpful to acquire a target that is easily visible to the naked eye to shoot from afar. Choosing one with bright or fluorescent colors is helpful in this case.
4. Release Aid
A release (or release aid) is a mechanical device that helps you to fire your arrows more precisely. Instead of the archer’s fingers, the trigger on this device is used to release the bowstring.
This reduces the amount of torque put onto the bowstring from the archers’ fingers (also known as ‘archers dilemma’) and makes the release/shot of the arrow quicker and more precise.
5. Bow String
A bowstring is a string that joins the two ends of the now stave. The bowstring is the main media to launch arrows. When looking for bowstrings, make sure to look for ones that are lightweight yet strong. Bowstrings should be resistant to abrasion and water.
6. Bow Press
A bow press is a mechanical press that helps take the tension off the bowstring and cable of a compound arrow. It does so by flexing the bow’s limbs. By taking the tension off, it allows you to manage or perform maintenance work like changing strings easily.
7. Bow Stringer
A bow stringer basically has the same function as a bow press. It is the safest and easiest way to take the tension off of recurve bows or longbows, so you can change your bowstrings easily. Removing strings without taking the tension off can be very dangerous.
8. Bow String Wax
The bowstring is made of tiny fibers, and while you are arching, these fibers can rub together and create friction. This can cause the strings to deteriorate faster and shortens the life of a string, which may even cause the string to snap.
Bow wax acts as a lubricant, protects the strings from friction and breakage of the fibers. It also acts as a protective layer against water and other elements that might damage your bowstring.
If a bowstring is properly waxed, it will give a smoother, tackier feel to touch. Depending on how frequently you use your bow, you can wax your bowstring every few weeks or more often than that.
9. Bow String Silencers
A bowstring silencer is a mechanism that disrupts the harmonic resonance in the string and reduces string noise upon release of the shot. Where to place the silencer depends on the bow you are using, but in general, about 1/4th the length of the string from each tip works best for most.
Bowstring silencers can be very useful while hunting in the wild, and you should definitely look for a quality silencer that can reduce noise without compromising performance.
10. Bow Sights
A bow sight is used to help accurately aim the bow. It helps beginners learn precision and can help you hit the target with higher consistency. Usually, bow sights can have a few pins that are used for aiming.
The most basic is a single pin bow sight, which is exactly what it sounds like. You can dial this pin to exact yardage, which gives us more accuracy without creating confusion (compared to multi-pin bow sights).
A recent favorite among hunters is the fiber optic bow sight, built with minimum weighing, light-catching fiber optic cables.
11. Arrow Rest
An arrow rest holds your arrow in position and support it until you release the bow. Many may want to use their hand/fingers as an arrow rest, but once a bow is broken in, you may find it more convenient to use an arrow rest.
This gear protects your bow and arrow from damage. Using an arrow rest also increases accuracy and precision, assisting bow tuning and improving arrow flight.
12. Bow Case
Having a bow case is important for both carrying your bow around and for storing when you are not using it. A good bow case will protect your bow from damage from outside forces, as well as against environment-caused damages such as rain, dust, etc. It helps preserve life expectancy and ensures safety and protection.
Simply put, a quiver is an arrow case/holder. They are portable containers to hold, carry and protect your arrows. This ensures the safety of the shooters and those around them from accidental contact with sharp arrow points. Quivers make it easy to carry your arrows around without damaging them or anything else.
This gear makes it quicker to pull and ready a new arrow for each next sho. Sometimes archers would often stick their arrows to the ground, but that can be damaging for arrows. Quivers should be light and accessible for convenience. There are a few types of quivers, among which most mentionable are:
Back Quiver: These are the most common types of quivers- we are sure you have seen these in the movie! These quivers can be worn on the back separately or worn as part of a backpack. They are easy and quick to access.
Bow Quiver: These quivers attach to the bow for faster access. Most/many are also detachable from the bow. Convenient for hunting in the wild.
Hip Quiver: mostly comes with a belt or can be attached to your belt. This type of quiver also provides easy and safe access to arrows.
14. Bow Stabilizer
Bow stabilizers are kind of weighted rods that are mounted on your bow. These rods add weight to the front of the bow to balance the overall weight, to absorb the movement generated from the release of the arrows.
The torque released while shooting an arrow can produce a wave of shock to the archers’ hand which, which can disrupt accuracy, precision and create discomfort.
A bow stabilizer helps to eliminate or reduce these problems. It also provides a level of sound and vibration dampening.
15. Arm Guard
Armguard is a protective piece worn on the hand, which covers your forearm or sometimes even the entire arm. It may be made of plastic, leather, or cloth and protect the arm holding the bow. It keeps your sleeves, clothes, and skin from the string slap as the string can smack or drag along your arm from time to time.
It is essential as a beginner; you may learn to position your hand and body to protect from the string slap as you get more skilled, but you should still consider investing in one in case any unwanted incidents occur.
Other names for this gear are string guard, finger tab, finger protection, etc. It is a mechanical release that allows you to handle the string. Without these, you may end up with chaffed skin on your fingers or even cause blisters and cuts.
Finger tabs are mostly preferred to be made of leather. Like a new pair of shoes or a bed mattress, these may take some time to break in and perfectly fit the mold/shape of your fingers.
17. Wrist Slingers
Also known as a finger sling, it is a string loop to put/wrap around the fingers holding the bow. This allows you to shoot without gripping the bow. When you shoot an arrow, the drawback can lead to the bow leaping away from you or dropping.
This gear helps you to stay relaxed and not create any pressure on the bow holding too tightly to prevent dropping it. Just as well, you can also grab the bow more easily as the arrow goes off.
Besides the ones mentioned above, there are more accessories that you can pick up for archery and bowhunting. Some may be essential as a beginner, some for practice, and some you may not feel the need for at all.
We hope we have helped you figure out the list of must-have bow accessories you should own, and now you can go shopping to get started or sharpening your skills!