How Much Does Hunting Bow Cost?

Alex Ortiz
By Alex Ortiz 15 Min Read
15 Min Read
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Hey there! I just got my hands on my very first compound bow, and guess what? I’m super excited to try hunting with it! But, guess again, a bow isn’t the only thing you need to start. Wondering what else is on the list? Let’s dive in!

So, you might be asking, “How much moolah do I need to set aside for this new hobby?” Let me break it down for you. For starters, if you’re on a budget like I was, you can get going for around $600. Yep, that’s right!

  • Hunting License: First off, you’ve got to play by the rules. Every hunter needs a license. Depending on where you live, this will set you back between $30 and $50 every year. Not too bad, right?
  • The Bow Setup: The star of the show! This is your compound bow, and it’ll cost you around $350. Remember, this is an investment for all the exciting hunts to come.
  • Arrows and Extras: Can’t hunt without ’em! You’ll need some arrows, arrowheads (those pointy tips), and a release. All of these together will be around $130.
  • Protective Case: Last but not least, you gotta keep your bow safe, especially when you’re traveling. A protective case does just that, and you can get one for about $40. Plus, it keeps things legal when you’re on the move.

Bowhunting Bare Necessities

Cost and Quality of Compound Bows

Alright, let’s get straight to the point. If you’re eager to dive into the world of bowhunting, there are two things you absolutely can’t do without: a bow (duh!) and a hunting license. While the license is like your golden ticket to the hunting world, the bow? Well, that’s where the magic happens!

Finding the Perfect Bow: Price vs Quality

Before I made my big bow purchase, I did some serious digging to understand what’s out there. Bows can be like cars; they have different models, features, and price points. Here’s a little cheat sheet for compound bows based on what I found:

Bow Status Price Quality
Too Cheap < $250 Poor (Watch out! Could be risky.)
Budget-friendly $250 – $350 Good
Entry Level (Most folks’ pick!) $350 – $450 Even Better
Accessorized (With all the bells and whistles) $450 – $550 Same as Above
Top-tier $550 – $750 Awesome
Pro-Level (For the big leagues) > $750 Expert Level

Did you notice? There are some super affordable bows out there. But a little tip? Stay away from anything under $300. It might be a bit risky. If you’re shelling out around $300, you’re in good territory.

For someone like me, who’s just getting started, the sweet spot was the entry-level bow, which is pretty popular and sits around $400. Now, you might be wondering about those mid-$500 ones. They’re not necessarily better than the entry-level ones. Sometimes, they just come with more add-ons. So, if you’re thinking of splurging, maybe jump straight to the top-tier or premier bows. Why? Better material, durability, and they shoot like a dream.

If you’re willing to invest around $800 or even more, you’re basically entering the big league! At this point, it’s all about getting the perfect fit for your body. The right size and pull weight make all the difference in your shooting accuracy.

My Own Bowhunting Story

Let me share a little personal story. I ended up with a Bear Cruzer compound bow. Originally, I walked into the store aiming (pun intended!) to compare it with the Infinity Edge Pro. The expert there gave me the Bear Cruzer to test after sizing me up.

Now, imagine this: I shot three arrows, and by the third one, I hit a perfect Robin Hood shot. You know, when one arrow lands directly into another? Just like splitting a banana right down the middle!

Guess the price? Only $329.99! It was a sign. I couldn’t resist and got it for a steal compared to the $350-$400 I had in mind. If your first few shots with a bow feel like magic, you know you’ve found the one.

Minimum Compound Bow Accessories

After choosing my compound bow, the store pro gave me a grand tour of all the cool stuff I could accessorize with. It felt like I was a kid in a candy store! Here’s what I ended up getting:

  • Sturdy Hard Case: At $39.99, this ensures my bow stays safe and sound.
  • Arrows: Got a 6-pack for just $34.97. You can’t shoot without arrows, right?
  • Kisser Button: This little guy, priced at $4.99, helps with consistency in shooting.
  • Arrowheads: A pack for $8.99. These are the pointy bits that make the magic happen.
  • Single Jaw Release: Priced at $79.99, I decided to go a bit fancy here. While there were more affordable options, this is a long-term investment. It’s going to be with me even if I upgrade my bow later on.
  • Bowhunting Book: At $29.00, this wasn’t strictly essential, but hey, a little extra knowledge never hurt anyone!
  • Scented Wafers: A 3-pack for $8.99. Recommended by the salesperson, these cedar-scented wonders help mask our human scent, giving us a sneaky advantage in the wild.

You will need a hunting license, if not an archery hunting license too

I was buzzing with excitement and ready to hit the fields that very day. But hold up! You can’t just go out there without the right paperwork.

For me, living in Illinois, all I needed was a general hunting license which I conveniently got online for $35.33. But it’s not the same everywhere. For instance, in places like Idaho, you’d need to pass an online bowhunting class and test that’ll cost you about $30. This is on top of the general hunting license. So, always check your state’s regulations first.

Now, if you’re dreaming of hunting deer or turkey, you’d need specific tags. They’re not too pricey, roughly between $15 to $30. However, for smaller game or state waterfowl, my hunting license has me covered.

If you’re thinking of branching out to different game, you might need different arrowheads or arrows with special flu-flu vanes. But with the gear I’ve got right now and a bit of guidance from my new bowhunting book, I feel all set to venture out and maybe, just maybe, hone my skills enough to go for the bigger game later on.

Fit is the most important aspect of choosing a compound bow

If there’s anything I learned from my bow buying adventure, it’s this: the right fit can make a world of difference. I managed to shoot accurately with a fairly affordable bow setup simply because it fit me like a glove.

What Goes Into the Perfect Bow Fit?

Let’s break down the key elements of a bow’s fit:

  1. Draw Length & Weight: Think of draw length as the space you need to comfortably stretch the bowstring back to its optimal point. How do we measure it? I had an archery expert measure from my extended fist against a wall to a specific point on my opposite shoulder. There’s also a simple formula: just take your arm span and divide by 2.5. As for draw weight, it’s about muscle. It’s how much weight you can pull while drawing the bowstring. I’m athletic, so pulling 60lbs feels pretty comfy for me.
  2. Arrow Length & Weight: Based on your draw length and weight, you’d use arrows of a specific length and weight. It’s like finding the right shoes for a particular outfit. If your arrows are too light, it’s almost like you’re not using an arrow at all, which isn’t good for the bow. Too short? You risk the arrowhead getting messed up with the arrow rest.
  3. Brace Height: Now, this isn’t the most crucial element, but it’s good to know. It’s the gap between the bow’s grip and the string. Most archers will find a 6 to 7-inch brace height just right. Adjusting this can make your arrows faster, but might fiddle with your accuracy.
  4. Axle-to-Axle Length: This really depends on where you’ll be using the bow. In tight spaces, go shorter. If you’re in the open, a longer bow is your friend.

A Cautionary Tale from the Woods

I had an interesting experience in a state park near the archery area. I was searching for a wayward arrow when I stumbled upon another archer’s lost arrow. At first, I thought, “Score! A free arrow!” But a piece of wisdom I’d picked up came to mind: never use someone else’s arrows with your bow. Why? Because if that arrow doesn’t match your bow in terms of weight and length, you could end up damaging your precious bow. It’s a bit like wearing shoes two sizes too small; it’s just not a good idea.

Should I buy every other archery accessory?

You’ve got your shiny new bow, and now you’re standing in an archery store staring at a mountain of accessories. Do you really need all of it? Let’s chat about this.

What You Already Have is Pretty Darn Good

First off, remember, it’s not always about having the fanciest equipment; it’s about skill, patience, and passion.

  1. Location, Location, Location! You don’t need a fancy tree stand or blind to start. Good ol’ Mother Earth is your playground. You can hunt from the ground, and with the right tactics, it can be just as effective.
  2. Wear What Works: You’ve got that outdoor raingear in olive drab and black, right? That’s perfect to blend in. You might not be in full camo, but nature isn’t judging. It’s more about movement and scent than the perfect pattern.
  3. Target Practice: Who says you need a heavy bag or a 3D target? Those free practice parks with straw and wood targets are just as good. Pop a paper target on the front, and you’re golden.

Making Up for the Missing Pieces

Now, you mentioned you’re missing a few things. Here’s the deal: You’re right, your skills need to compensate.

  1. Stalking Skills: This is a big one. The art of moving silently, blending in, and understanding your prey is essential. Remember, our ancestors did it without all the fancy gadgets.
  2. Shooting Accuracy: With fewer distractions (like a multitude of gadgets), you can focus purely on this. A straight, accurate shot is worth its weight in gold.

Growing Your Archery Journey

As time goes on and your passion grows, you can pick up more gear. Starting simple can be a blessing. It gives you a clear idea of what’s essential and what’s a luxury. Plus, joining a group of seasoned bowhunters can be a treasure trove of advice. They’ve been where you are and can guide you on what to get next.

Taking Aim at Your Bowhunting Future

In the world of bowhunting, while the allure of gadgets and gear is undeniable, the heart of the sport lies in the connection between the archer, the bow, and nature. As a budding archer, it’s crucial to remember that the journey begins with mastering the basics and understanding your personal connection with the sport. Quality over quantity rings true here. Start with what you have, hone your skills, and as your passion and expertise grow, so can your collection of equipment. Lean on the wisdom of seasoned bowhunters and let experience be your guide. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much you have, but the memories you create, the skills you develop, and the respect you gain for this age-old sport. Happy hunting! 🌲🏹🦌

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does a hunting bow typically cost?

A: The cost of a hunting bow can vary greatly depending on the brand, materials used, and features. On average, a hunting bow can cost anywhere from $200 to $2000.

Q: What factors affect the price of a hunting bow?

A: The price of a hunting bow is influenced by factors such as the brand reputation, type of bow (compound, recurve, crossbow), draw weight and length, accessories included, and the overall quality and precision of craftsmanship.

Q: Are there any affordable hunting bows for beginners?

A: Yes, there are affordable hunting bows available for beginners. These bows often have simpler designs, fewer features, and may be made from less expensive materials. Entry-level hunting bows can range from $200 to $500.

Q: Are more expensive hunting bows better?

A: Not necessarily. While higher-priced hunting bows may offer advanced features and superior craftsmanship, they may not always be suitable for everyone. The best hunting bow is one that suits your skill level, shooting style, and specific hunting needs, regardless of its price.

Q: Do hunting bows come with a warranty?

A: Yes, most hunting bow manufacturers provide warranties to protect against defects in materials and workmanship. The length of warranties can vary, typically ranging from one to five years, depending on the brand and model.

Q: Where can I buy a hunting bow?

A: Hunting bows can be purchased from various sources, including sporting goods stores, archery pro shops, online retailers, and directly from bow manufacturers. It's recommended to try out different bows in person before making a purchase.

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