Bow Hunting 101

Bow Hunting

Bowhunting is often misunderstood with the notion that all you have to do is point and pull the bowstring to get yourself a deer or bear. Bowhunting is much more difficult than what the experts make it look like on hunting channels, so this blog is dedicated to those who love to hunt but need to know more before they try bowhunting. We will discuss the different parts to a bow, the differences between compound and composite bows, draw weight for specific animals, and a great introduction bow for all novice hunters.

*Hunting can be a very dangerous sport for any hunter, protect yourself and family with life insurance.

Bow Hunting Terms To Know

Bow Hunting Terms to Know
Draw weight A bow’s draw weight is measured by the number of pounds of force required by the archer to pull to full draw, or to where a compound bow lets off to a low holding weight. The weight let-off in a compound bow is significantly reduced because the pully system takes the weight. You don’t have this with a composite bow.
Nock The nock is a plastic- or carbonate-based piece that inserts into the back end of the arrow behind the fletching. This nock anchors the arrow into the “nocked” position on the bowstring, which lets you know when your arrow is set in the right place.
Nocking Point The nocking point is the spot on the bowstring where the archer nocks the arrow to form a 90-degree angle between itself and the bowstring.
Fletching These are the vanes or feathers at the end of the arrow, about an inch in front of the nock. Fletching helps the arrow fly straight. Be mindful of the size of the fletching because larger fletching reduces arrow speeds, and smaller fletching increases it.
Grains A unit of measurement used to weigh an arrow and its components.  Arrows are weighed using a grain-per-inch (GPI).
Quarrel Name for the bolt of a crossbow
Quiver Holds your arrows
Recurve Bow A recurve bow has no pulleys,  and its limbs curve away from the archer when the bow is relaxed “recurves” back toward the archer once you pull the bowstring. Recurve bows are going to hold much more power than a straight longbow.
Tiller Measurement The tiller measurement is the difference in length from the top half of the bow to the bottom half of the bow, measured from the center arrow rest. This is important because if the measurements are different, you’ll have an uneven bow that is much less effective than it should be.

Bow Anatomy

It’s difficult to understand how to use anything if you don’t know what everything is called, this holds true with bowhunting as well. The important terms for your bow are listed below in this picture, but I want you to focus on the things that will impact your ability to use the bow. For example, knowing where the arrow shelf, arrow rest, and sight window are is going to give you the basic knowledge you need to succeed. This picture is of a composite bow, which is going to provide you with less power than a compound bow because there are no pullies to load up the pressure on the bow.  The majority of hunters, however, use a compound bow that is able to increase the power and velocity of the arrow with a cable system.


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Compound Bow Anatomy

A compound bow is the more common for many different reasons, with power, extended range, and draw weight being the most common. The biggest difference in the bows is a compound bow uses a levering system of cables and pullies to bend the limbs, generating and storing more power than can be produced by conventional bows. You will only pull the bowstring and the cables will turn the wheel to generate the force needed to draw the bow. The cable guard is incredibly important in a compound bow because the cable guard keeps a compound bow’s cables out of the arrow’s line of fire when the shot is released.

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How To Buy a Bow

Buying a bow has been an awesome experience with trips to places like Dick Sporting Goods, Rural King,  Cabella’s and Bass Pro Shop (Yes, I know Cabella’s was bought by Bass Pro Shops). These stores are a great way to learn the things you didn’t know you needed to know. For example, you’ll learn how important getting your measurements right can be for you. I have shorter arms, and I’m a lefty, so if I bought a standard size bow, I would compromise my shoulder and elbow safety and lose out on potential power.

How To Buy A Bow
Where Should I Buy A Bow? Rural King is a great one-stop-shop for all your archery needs. Otherwise, places such as Dicks Sporting Goods, Cabellas, and Bass Pro Shop will be great places to start. Amazon is another option, but I recommend going to Amazon after you’ve been measured and decide what type of bow fits you the best.
Hunter Education Courses Most states require you to take a bowhunter safety course before you hunt. Having a professional help, you zero in your bow is incredibly important as you learn how to handle the bow and arrows. If you need help finding a course, has a great portal for you to use.
What all do I Need to Buy For a Compound Bow? For the most part, you’ll be able to buy complete bow kits from Amazon or any of the sporting goods stores if you want to do it in person. I strongly recommend going to a store if possible, to give you an idea of everything you need. A list of the essentials you must have to properly and safely use a compound bow are as follows:

  • Bow
  • Fletched arrows
  • Quiver
  • Release
  • Sight
  • Rest
  • D-loop
  • Peep sight
  • Field points
  • Broadheads
  • Allen wrenches
  • Broadhead wrenches
What About The Gear? A rangefinder is going to be very important unless you have your terrain marked at incremental distances. You are going to need rain, cold, and breathable gear to wear to make you safe and comfortable.

*Hunting Laws/Licensing in Each State: 

Alabama Alaska Arizona
Arkansas California Colorado
Connecticut Delaware Florida
Georgia Hawaii Idaho
Illinois Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana
Maine Maryland Massachusetts
Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
Missouri Montana Nebraska
Nevada New Hamshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island
South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee
Texas Utah Vermont
Virginia Washington West Virginia
Wisconsin Wyoming

RAPTOR Compound Hunting Bow Kit

To give you an idea of what to look for in a bow, Raptor makes a great product for all skill levels, but this specific bow is the perfect one for beginners. Its draw length is adjustable without an expensive bow press, and it lets off 75% of the pull weight once you draw. This bow is versatile enough to train your children with its adjustable draw weight to a low 30 lbs and a hold weight of fewer than 10 lbs. The bow shoots at 315 ft per second, which is good enough to take a deer or small game down, such as squirrels, rabbits, and even bow fishing. Finally, the split yoke tuning system allows for adjustments, maintains proper flight, and is quick to zero.



Raptor Compound Hunting Bow
Draw Weight 30-70 lbs
Draw Length 24.5-31″
weight 3.6 lbs
Height 30″ axle-axle
How fast does it shoot? 315 Feet Per Second
How Much Let-Off? 75% (pull 70lbs and only hold 17 lbs
Is the D-Loop Installed? Yes!


  • Easily adjustable
  • Comes with everything you need to start
  • low draw weight and length allows for maximum customization
  • 75% let-off is a really good drop for shooting 315 ft per second
  • Very affordable
  • Durable if you get a good tune-up before you put a lot of work into it.


  • Very difficult to find in the left-handed model
  • Reports of cable guard coming out
  • The durability of this bow has been suspect for some
  • Raptor Warranty services have been under scrutiny for not getting back with customers


  • 5-Pin Fiber Optic Sight
  • Led Sight Light
  • Biscuit Arrow Rest
  • Limb Silencers
  • String Silencers
  • 4-Arrow Quiver
  • Stabilizer
  • D-Loop installed
  • String Stop
  • Allen Tool Set

Why Should I Buy the Raptor Compound Bow?

This bow is perfect for all levels, but caters more toward the beginner levels of archery and hunting with its level of customization. Most experts already know what they want, so having a bow that adjusts to different draw weights doesn’t really appeal as much to them. This bow is a great first step in becoming a bow hunter and will give you everything you need to become a better shot.



Buy Here

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