A bow is an ancient tool, but there are a lot of ways to upgrade it for the modern era. Most archers choose to attach a few bow accessories to their bow to boost its performance. That is especially important for hunters because that improved performance increases the odds of getting a clean and humane kill. There are a lot of useful options out there, but there are a few that every hunter should make a point of adding to their collection.
A Stable Arrow Rest
An arrow rest is a simple tool, but it is also one of the most useful bow accessories on this list. They exist to help keep the arrow in position prior to shooting. They can provide a big boost to accuracy in the field, but sometimes it’s tricky to choose the perfect arrow rest for you.
Hunters should look for arrow rests that are sturdy enough to survive heavy use in the wilderness and that can support the arrow when firing unusual levels or across uneven ground. The arrow rest should also produce as little noise as possible to avoid spooking the target.
Shooters have a choice of three main styles for their arrow rest. Each one has its own advantages. Drop-away rests drop out of the arrow’s way after release, so there is no contact that can interfere with accuracy. Containment rests enclose the arrow more fully, which reduces the risk of accidental slips and makes them perfect for novices. The Shoot-through style works well with a mechanical release and good accuracy but offers less containment.
The choice mostly comes down to personal preference just like other bow accessories. The containment rest is often the best for wilderness use because it works well in uneven terrain, but all of them will offer advantages to their users.
A Good Bow Sight
Accuracy is key for hunters that want to secure quick and humane kills. Adding a bow sight to the weapon is a great way to improve the accuracy of a shot. A basic sight consists of a lens that is mounted inside a tube and attaches to the bow. The lens might use a targeting reticle, a red dot, or a laser to assist with proper aim. Some of them also offer the ability to zoom in or other special features.
Most archers will want to start with a fairly simple sight. The basic models get the job done and many people are perfectly happy with them, but some will want to move on to the more elaborate designs after they get some experience. They all work in the same basic way, so it is fairly easy to switch between sights over time, either as a way to upgrade the hardware to newer bow accessories or to adapt to changing circumstances.
A Comfortable Quiver
A quiver is a container for holding arrows. Every archer needs to have one so they can take their ammunition into the field without dropping or breaking any arrows. There are several variations on the basic design.
Belt or side quivers attach to the waist in one of several orientations and can even fit into a pocket. They offer easy access to arrows, but it can be uncomfortable to carry a large number in them. Back quivers strap over the shoulder. They are a little less convenient to access but they can offer ambidextrous access and greater comfort. Ground quivers are ideal for people who will stay in one place and want to avoid holding their arrows, while bow quivers attach to the weapon for maximum convenience and simplicity while heading out into the field.
A Handy Stabilizer
The bow stabilizer is another of the major bow accessories that exist to improve accuracy. They are particularly important for dedicated hunters because they can also cut down on noise when shooting. The combination of the two makes it easier to shoot without scaring the prey away while also helping to make sure that the shot counts.
A bow stabilizer is essentially a long weight that gets attached to the bow. Most of them will also include a dampening device to help with noise. The accessory will change the bow’s balance and help to absorb vibrations while shooting.
In general, a heavier bow will be much more accurate than a light one. On the other hand, hunters need to carry their bows out into the wilderness, so adding too much weight can make it too inconvenient to carry. The best bow stabilizers for hunters strike a balance between the two factors. Hunters that routinely make long shots or hunt in adverse conditions will usually want to look at the heavier models, while people who hunt at shorter ranges or in good shooting weather can usually give up some of the weight to get a bow that is easier to transport.
A Sturdy Target
Practice makes perfect. That simple fact means that archery targets are vital bow accessories for any hunter that wants to develop strong shooting skills. Finding a good target can actually be fairly difficult. Modern bows can strike with a tremendous amount of force, and the target needs to be able to withstand a huge number of shots in order to be useful.
Most hunters will want to look into getting a set of 3D practice targets. Those are sculpted imitations of common prey animals and they are ideal because they allow hunters to practice placing their shots on the right part of the animal. Competition variants are also available. They will include scoring rings that make it easier to track accuracy over time.
Foam block targets are also an option. They are light and easy to transport while also being fairly cheap. They are a strong choice for shooters who want to maximize durability and minimize cost. Fiber-filled targets are the last of the common choices. Broadhead arrows will do a lot of damage to them, but it is easy to remove other styles from the target after shooting. All of these styles will work for most hunters, and many find that they like to have several options available for use in different circumstances.
Other Bow Accessories
Although we covered the most popular accessories, there are plenty more that are available for you. These accessories will help you increase your accuracy, aim, and performance when either shooting at targets or at live game. Remember, a clean and humane kill is always your top priority.