When you’ve got a trophy animal in your sights during bow season it is vital that you’ve got the right arrow on your string. In this brief guide we’ll look at bow hunting arrows-how to choose the ones that fit your bow and the way you shoot. Follow these tips and you’ll be shooting straight and putting antlers on the wall or meat in the freezer.
The first factor to consider is the weight of the arrow. Today it is popular to choose the lightest, fastest arrows available. But most hunters don’t realize that in bow hunting speed is overrated. Accuracy is key. An arrow traveling 280 feet per second that is on target will kill more often than one going 330 fps that is off the mark. Some lighter arrows have a tendency to wobble and lift while slightly heavier arrows may fly more true. There’s another reason to consider a heavier arrow – they are easier on your equipment. Light arrows do not absorb as much of the energy a compound bow stores and releases, so that energy is dissipated through string and bow vibration. Multiply excessive vibration by a hundred practice shots and you may find your sight being off, your cams loose or damaged or your string wearing faster than you expected.
The American Manufacturer’s Organization (AMO) has proposed a guideline for bow hunting arrows—how to choose the right ones. They recommend an arrow that is equal to 6 grains for each pound of the bows maximum draw weight. This means that a 50 lb bow would ideally be paired with a 300 grain arrow (60 lb = 360 grain, 70 lb = 420 grain). The heavier arrows on the market today range in weight from 8-10 grains per pound while the lightest arrows the International Bowhunters Organization recommends are 5 grains per pound of draw weight. When deciding how to choose bow hunting arrows realize that you won’t lose much speed with a slightly heavier arrow and you may gain longevity for your equipment and in some cases 10%-15% greater accuracy. Heavier arrows are also more quiet than lighter arrows.
The second major factor to consider with bow hunting arrows – how to choose the right one for your hunt is match the shaft stiffness with your draw weight and arrow length. Most arrow manufactures offer a calculation chart online for you to determine the right shaft stiffness for your setup. If you release with your fingers choose arrows in the stiffer part of the range that will overcome any lateral movement in the string upon release. If you use a mechanical device to release, arrows throughout the range will work well.
When considering the price you want to pay for arrows keep in mind how likely you are to miss your target. If you hunt small game you may miss more often, hitting trees and the ground more frequently. This is hard on arrow shafts and you’ll go through more of them than when hunting deer or other large game. For bow hunting arrows – how to choose the right ones, stick to these tips and you’ll be on target more often.