Just like other tools you’d take with you hunting, the best hunting compound bow for your needs must be picked from a wide variety of sizing, shape, and sophistication options. Too be clear: a compound bow is more for an archer who has already mastered their shot and is looking to take their hunting to the next level. If you’re ready to take the training wheels off, together we’ll help you find the best hunting compound bow to meet your needs.
You’ve got limbs. You’ve got stabilizers. You’ve even got wheels and cams. How are you going to ever find the best hunting compound bow? The chart below is a good start. It’s a grouping of the highest rated bows in this category from public reviews.
Why Choose a Hunting Compound Bow?
Bow hunting is a unique challenge because even the fastest arrows only move at a third of the speed of your average bullet. This means your target can sense the shot and move before your arrow reaches the target. To counter this, you need to have silence on your side. This is what a compound bow is able to provide.
String silencers, limb dampeners, and even a stabilization bar are all able to counter the speed disadvantages of a bow. Combine that with a high quality 3 pin sight and an arrow rest for a proper setup and your familiarity with archery will lead you toward more successes when it comes time to fill your tags.
How to Find the Best Hunting Compound Bow for Beginner
First let’s talk about eye dominance. In other bows, it may not be as important for a good shot, but it will be with a compound bow. Your brain prefers input from one eye over the other one. It’s usually the same as your dominant hand, but some people have what is known as “cross-dominance.” One of our staffers is this way – he is left-eye dominant, but right-handed.
If you’re not sure what eye has dominance, stretch your hands out in front of you to form a triangle of space. Then focus on a single stable object, like a doorknob. Look at it with both eyes, then with the right eye, and then with the left eye. The object will stay in place with your dominant eye, but appear to move with your non-dominant eye.
You also have your calculated draw length to determine if you have not done so already. You can find that information in our guide to finding the best recurve bow.
When looking for the best hunting compound bow, you’ll also want to look at the axle-to-axle length. This is the distance between the cams on the bow. Longer distances will give you more forgiveness on long shots, but may interfere with a blind or a stand that you’re using. Shorter distances are more forgiving to stationary hunters, but have less distance for active hunters.
Then you just need to know how much draw weight you’re going to need. Many compound bows are 50-70 pounds for hunting, but that doesn’t make lower weights ineffective. It just means you’ll need to practice your short-distance shooting.
How to Find the Best Hunting Compound Bow for Women
There aren’t really any gender differences to discuss when looking at the best hunting compound bows. Some products are marketed with colors like pink or purple to attract women, but the construction and draw weight of the bow tends to be the same. Some bows meant for women may have a shorter distance between the cams and have a lower draw weight of 30-50 pounds, but women can use a 70 pound draw weight compound bow just like men can.
How to Find the Best Hunting Compound Bow for Youth
When looking at hunting compound bows for children, it is important to find one that allows them to get the fundamentals right. To do this, the most important measurement is the calculated draw length. Don’t just assume that the height/weight of a child is going to be enough to figure out what bow is right for them. If they start shooting incorrectly early on, this can be a very difficult habit to break later on in life.
Most draw weights for these compound bows are below 30 pounds simply because the bows are smaller than their adult counterparts. Children can still go hunting with them and potentially experience success if they’re using the best hunting arrows for the bow, but always, always, always stress fundamentals with children and their equipment above anything else.
What Are the Prices of the Best Hunting Compound Bows?
There is a definite correlation between quality and price with a compound bow. You’ll find that the best models in this category are all priced above $130 most days. It is not unusual to find compound bows priced above $300 and essentially be an entry-level model. This is because of the unique and intricate workings of this bow style.
If you want something that is more of a tactical bow, which would be suitable for any type of hunting and could even be used in some competitive events as well, then expect to pay at least $750 for a bow of this quality. Although it may be a major investment, these bows are often very lightweight, composed of an aluminum alloy, and are extremely forgiving with each shot.
Best Compound for beginner review:
1. SAS Rage Review:
This 30 inch compound bow offers a great camouflage for hunting in the Fall. The compressed ABS limbs are remarkably durable, helping to achieve a maximum FPS of 270. Draw weights from 55-70 pounds are available and the draw length can be reduced to 26 inches if necessary. It’s 35 inches from axle-to-axle. Overall the draw was smooth and comfortable, the shot pure, and accuracy reasonably forgiving. This is a compound bow that definitely has a lot of curb appeal, but it also follows through on the value.
2. Diamond Archery Review:
What we loved about this particular compound bow is that it offers an extended draw length. When you need a lengthy draw, many bows will hit you in the wallet pretty hard to accommodate that need, but not this bow. It has an infinite draw setting that you won’t find on comparable models. You get the full package as well, including your sights, arrow rest, quiver, and other settings. It was smooth and accurate for us, so we felt like this was an awesome bow and think it will get the job done for you as well.
3. Bear Archery Review:
This is another package deal that will have you out and hunting in no time at all. Our favorite component of this design was the grip, which really reduced the hand torque you can sometimes have when shooting a bow. The offset string suppressors also keep this bow remarkably quiet when you’re lining up your shot, making it a solid option for hunting, especially since its aluminum construction makes it extremely lightweight. You’ll have room to grow with this bow, but you’ll also be able to step up your skills right away.
4. Genesis Review:
This is more of an entry-level compound bow for those who have either never shot a bow before or are concerned that they may not like how a compound bow works. It’s extremely light, which is a positive, but it’s so lightweight that you’ve got to be careful about changing your shot during the draw as the tendency is for the bow to rise. It’s a split-limb design, sized to be suitable for older kids or adults who are wanting to train, and could feasibly be used for a hunt or two in a pinch if needed. You won’t find a more affordable way to see if a compound bow is right for you than this one.
5. Apollo Tactical Review:
This is the setup for hunters who are already familiar with bow hunting and want to take their skills to the next level. You get all of the installed options for a quiet draw automatically installed with this compound bow. You’ll also receive a dozen arrows, a professional hard case, and detachable quiver along with a few arrowhead options. Adjustable draw lengths from 19-30 inches, draw weights from 25-70 pounds, and vibration dampeners also make this bow suitable for training because the bow can grow with you. If you take bow hunting seriously, then this is the bow to use, hands down.
The best hunting compound bow will improve your skills immediately, but also give you the chance to continually improve. Bow hunting might be a fun challenge, but with compound bows like these, you won’t have to compromise on the levels of success you’ll be able to achieve.