Bowhunting is hunting with a bow (the name pretty much gives it away), and it is something that has been done for thousands of years, and that has now also become a sort of sporting activity. Essentially, it is hunting game animals through archery, with the use of a bow.
If you’re new at bowhunting and are just recently getting into this type of activity, then you’re probably worried about having the right gear, and setting up things in the right way so that you can start off on a good foot.
When you get told the basic list of essentials for bowhunting, it can become quite overwhelming, as there is a lot more gear than people believe at first. Of course, some gear is optional to improve the bowhunting, and will depend on your preference. But we will just include the essentials we consider necessary for bowhunting, especially for those that are at a beginner level.
Because it is quite a lot of gear, and you might not be able to buy it all at once, we’ve divided everything into three different groups. Group one is the most important, and once you have all the items listed there, you can move on to group two, and so on.
Basically, group one is most essential, group two is somewhat essential, and group three is better described as basic gear that will come in very handy.
Let’s get right into it!
Group 1: hunting bow necessities:
These are the most important gear items that you will need before you begin to bowhunt, and they are by far the ones you should prioritize getting.
You can’t go bow hunting without a bow, so it makes sense for this to be the number one top essential item that you need!
- Fletched arrows:
These are the types of arrows used in bowhunting
A quiver is a container for holding arrows in. It can be slung over a shoulder, carried on your back, attached to a belt at your waist, or simply left on the ground.
The release is a mechanical device used with compound bows to help hold and release the string, aiding you in your archery.
The sight is a piece added to the bow to aid you with your aim, which is pretty important when hunting for game.
This is a piece added to the bow that allows you to rest the arrow, allowing for a better consistency for every arrow that you notch, so that they are all in the same adjusted position.
This is a piece of cord attached to the bowstring which forms a D shape surrounding the arrow. It is the point of connection for archery release.
- Peep sight:
A peep sight acts as the back sight, helping with the alignment of the eye with the scope.
- Field points:
These are used for target practice, which you will be doing a lot of when learning to bowhunt.
Group 2: additional necessities and tools:
These items of gear are also very important, but you can begin bowhunting without them, meaning you can add them to your inventory as you go along and get better. (In the meanwhile, if needed, you could borrow them from a friend or other)
A target is what is used for practicing any form of archery, including bowhunting. Targets come in many sizes and shapes, and you should choose one suitable to the type of skills you want to develop and train.
- Bow case:
Keeping your bow safe when not in use is very important, as well as having a way of carrying it around without it getting damaged. So a bow case is a pretty important item!
- Bow sling:
A bow sling helps you to stop dropping the bow, and it also allows for a more relaxed grip, helping you achieve better consistent shots.
A rangefinder is a very useful accessory in bowhunting, as it helps you determine the distance and range of a specific target, so that you can take that into account when aiming.
A stabilizer reduces the vibration of the bow when an arrow is released, stabilizing the bow.
Group 3: basic hunting gear you will want
We won’t go into detail explaining these items, as they are pretty basic when it comes to hunting of all sorts. But basically, they are things that you will eventually want if you regularly go bowhunting and get properly into it.
- Ground blind
- Camo clothing
- Hunting boots
- Hunting license
- Hunting regulations guide
Is it hard to bow hunt?
Once you have all of the gear ready, or at the very least the essentials of the gear, then you are ready to start bowhunting. But here is the question most beginners ask; is it hard to bow hunt?
We’re not going to lie, bow hunting can be pretty trickier. If you’re going for traditional bow hunting, it is around 4000 times harder than rifle hunting, just so that you get a good perspective. And even if you use modern compound bows which make the job easier, hunting with a bow is still incredibly hard, and the success rate is pretty low.
However, most of the satisfaction with bow hunting isn’t successfully hunting a game animal down (although that is ultimately the goal and what you are aiming for), it is the slow improvements and getting better day by day.
Bow hunting takes a lot of skill, and if you’re a complete beginner you’re going to have a long journey ahead of you. You will have to get used to using muscles you’ve never used before, and you will have to learn to use a bow, as well as how to aim and many more.
This is why target practice will become your absolute best friend. Until you can aim, trying to hunt down an animal is going to be pretty difficult, and you would just end up scaring the prey away rather than managing to shoot it down with the arrow.