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How to Look up the Serial Number of your Compound Bow

Bear Paradox_4

Suppose you bought a compound bow from Craigslist, eBay, or a friend. But you don’t know its serial number and don’t know where to look?

Read on – I’ve compiled a list of the leading manufacturers and where to find the serial numbers on their bows.

Where is the Serial Number on a Bow?


Since 2002, Hoyt has added serial numbers to bows.

“…Hoyt has been the world’s premier bowmaker. Just as in the past, today every Hoyt bow features a long list of technologies and innovations. We know that serious bowhunters and archers are different and demand equipment that will allow them to perform at the highest level whether in the woods or on the tournament line. No gimmicks. No shortcuts. Simply the best we know how to make.”

Where to Find

Hoyt places their serial numbers in different locations. It should be five at the moment I am writing this. 

Position 1: Located in the recessed area above the grip on the thumb side

Position 2: Underneath the cable rod, located between the grip and the sight mounting holes

Position 3: On the cable side of the riser, positioned between your sight mounting holes. This position is often used for Carbon model bows

Position 4: Underneath the grip. This position is common on PowerMax and Charger bows

Position 5: Between the limbs in the upper limb pocket


Diamond Archery

Diamond Archery is part of Pure Archery Group products. That group also includes Bowtech, Diamond, Excalibur, Black Gold, TightSpot, RipCord, and Octane.

“At Diamond Archery, cutting edge innovations are in our blood and in everything we do. We challenge ourselves daily to provide innovations that no other bow manufacturer on the planet can accomplish. We consider it business as usual in developing new technologies, materials, and innovations in ease of use, adjustability, and versatility. We apply these to all products, designing for every age, experience level, or intended use.”

Where To Find

Position 1: Located on the riser right below the grip

Position 2: Located on the riser below where the string stop and wrist sling are located

Some models do not have a serial number! In that case, contact their support:


Darton Archery

Founded in 1950, Darton Archery has been going strong ever since. At first, they made leather archery accessories and traditional recurve bows. They were one of the first companies to make compound bows. They patented the first true Center Shot Design and also introduced the first hybrid cam to archery. 

Where To Find

Position: The serial number is located on a sticker (older bows). If the sticker is gone – try to contact Darton support. They probably ask you to send in a picture to figure out the model and year. 

Here is what support says:

“Good morning Alex , Look under the grip plate may be there – some of the old bow they were on the limb stickers”

Bear Archery

A true leader in innovation and a well-known producer of top-notch archery products and bows. Fred Bear founded the company in the 1930’s – and soon, they started to offer handmade bows. Fred Bear sold his company in 1986. It changed hands several times, and in 2003 Escalade Sports acquired it. 

Where To Find

Position: “Serial number located on lower limb of bow”



The Blackout Bows are made by Diamond (Bowtech) and Bear Archery. Sold via BassPro or Cabelas. We did a hands-on review of the BlackOut Epic (read more here). 

Where To Find

Position: The serial number is right below the Berger holes on the outside face of the riser


Mathews Archery was started in 1992 by Mat McPherson. Long tradition and quality manufacturing set them apart from many others. Their goal is to produce high-performance bows with superior craftsmanship and attention to detail. 

Where To Find

Position: “The serial number should be located on the riser towards the bottom cup. Hold the bow, as if shooting, so the backside is facing you and follow the backside down to where it meets the limb cup. There is a small space that the number should be engraved in.”


Martin Archery

Founded in 1952 by Gail Martin and his wife, Eva. They got into trouble business-wise and had some new shareholders move in. They’re still in business and came out with a new compound bow lineup in 2021. 

Where To Find

Position: There’s a stick-on label on the bottom limb near the rise. 

You can see who built the bow, the weight, string, cable, draw, and bow number on the label. It’s impossible to find a serial number if the label is missing.

I contacted them, and support told me that there’s no way to find out the serial number if the sticker is gone.

PSE Archery

“PSE, short for Precision Shooting Equipment, was founded by Pete Shepley, a product engineer of Magnavox, as a part-time pursuit. Shepley was a specialist in creating archery equipment and created the company in 1971 to help this interest. PSE was one of five companies to have produced the first compound bows and is reputed for a number of patented innovations in this industry.”

Where To Find

Position: Located on the inside of the lower limb of the bow, near the handle.

The sticker allows the manufacturer to identify the year, make and model. 


Elite Archery

“Shootability is the hallmark trait of an Elite & the collective experience of the draw cycle, overall bow balance & feel that ultimately increases shooter’s enjoyment & accuracy when it matters most.”

Where To Find

Position: Right in the riser. Can’t miss it – it’s on a little plate. 



Manufacturers mark their bows with serial numbers. These numbers are usually found on labels attached to the bow itself. There are different ways to find these serial numbers. Some manufacturers put stickers on the bows while others engrave the numbers to the riser or attach a little plate.

If the bow has only a sticker on it with the serial number – make a copy! Write down the number somewhere, or even better, take a picture of it! It will make your life much easier when looking for spare parts later or when trying to sell the bow. 


What Year is my PSE?

Contact PSE with the serial number. They’ll let you know. The serial number is located on the inside of the bow’s lower limb, near the handle.

Are Old Compound Bows Worth Anything?

Yes! Absolutely! As long as they are functioning and not damaged. Look out for bows that are well maintained and had been in use until recently. Before you go and let hell break loose on the range, go to an archery shop and let them check the bow thoroughly! 

How Can you Tell if a Compound Bow is a Bear?

Bear Bows can say so in several places, such as the riser, limbs, or grip. 

Bear Bow Serial Number Search

The serial number is located on the lower limb of the bow. 

Hoyt Bow Serial Number Search

Different locations, depending on the model: 

– Located in the recessed area above the grip on the thumb side. 
– Underneath the cable rod, located between the grip and the sight mounting holes
– On the cable side of the riser, positioned between your sight mounting holes.
– Underneath the grip
– Between the limbs in the upper limb pocket

Are there Serial Numbers on Bows?

Yes. On most bows, there are serial numbers. Depending on the manufacturer and model, some locations might be: 

– On a sticker
– On the riser
– Underneath the grip
– Between limbs
– On the lower limb
– Below the Berger hole
– Underneath the cable rod
– In the recessed area above the grip

8 thoughts on “How to Look up the Serial Number of your Compound Bow”

  1. I have a Master recurve made in 1970 or 1969. It’s 28#@ 28″ 68″ serial number 10087. It was made by Tice & Watts Archery, Inc. in Huntsville, Al. I used it 1970 to win the South Carolina youth girl championships indoor, American and Field . I also won the Southeastern youth girl championship and 2nd in the nation. i haven’t shot it since 1972

    • Mary, it’s fantastic to hear that you used this bow to achieve such remarkable victories! And it is beautiful that you’ve kept this bow safe and sound all these years, preserving it as a special memory! I would love to see this bow. If it’s not too much trouble, would you be willing to share a picture of it?

  2. My Dad passed away and I now have his compound bow. I’m trying to find out the manufacturer. He’s had it for a long time. I have a seriel number but nothing else. 61624. Every where I search it says not a valid number, but it is stamped in the bow. Help

  3. I have a Bear Whitetail ll compound bow, hasn’t been used in awhile but I got the draw string redone, and a weight put on it, I no longer hunt but would like to sell it to someone who will use and take care of it


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