A Guide To Choosing Your First Bow

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I have only ever used compound bows for hunting. I have owned several compound bows over the years. Although compound bows feature amazing technology, certain principles always apply to hunting. An accurate compound bow needs to be quiet, reliable, and accurate. High-end compound bows are marketed with speed, vibration after the shot, grips, cams, and camouflage as secondary features.

Here are some basic thoughts for novices archers to consider when buying their first compound bow.

When a deer is within the effective range of the bow, any bow set to legal draw weights for your state will kill it. Although compound bows are available at a variety of price points, they all deliver the arrow downrange.

Some simply do so more efficiently, which makes them easier to shoot and also helps the bow deliver more energy to the target. Before you buy your first compound bow, let’s review a few features you should consider.

Overall Feel

There are many ways to measure the feel of a compound bow. From one compound bow to another, the vibration and jump of the bow in your hand after the shot can vary greatly. For best accuracy, a bow should be easy to handle at the shot, with low vibration and no jump.

Despite the fact that we may only be talking about a few ounces, the weight of the bow is important. Even a few ounces can feel heavier when held at full draw for any amount of time. Be sure to have your draw length measured by your local bow shop. It is common for bowhunters to draw a bow that is too long for them because it allows them to get a few feet per second (FPS) more in arrow speed. 

There are drawbacks to this, like the lack of accuracy you will find because your bow will twist you inside out at full draw. Lastly, there is the draw of the compound bow. The draw cycle should also feel comfortable to you so that you don’t have any discomfort when you draw the string back.  

At the same draw weight, you may find that one style of a compound bow is easier and smoother to draw than another.

read.. our compound bow reviews

Did you Hear That?

Apart from how a compound bow feels, its noise when shot is equally important. Deer can react more quickly to sounds than it takes for the arrow to reach its target. This can cause a deer to jump the string, moving before the arrow reaches it. 

Modern compound bows are generally very quiet for the most part, and manufacturers have gone to great lengths to engineer their designs with sound dampening technology. Many accessory manufacturers have also taken steps to quiet down compound bows, and limb savers and cat whiskers have been found to be highly effective at quieting down a compound bow.

How Much To Expect?

Expect to pay for a quality compound bow. Prices for mid-range setups start at around $400 and a top-of-the-line compound bow will easily be above $1000. Take into account the need for accessories like a sight at $80, a quiver at $50, an arrow rest at $80, a release at $100, and 1 dozen arrows at $100 and you can see that this is no small investment. 

These prices are averages and you can spend more or less, but for our illustration, the top-of-the-line bow set up with middle-of-the-road accessories is going to be around $1,300. 

Get the best bow you can afford

With this type of investment in your future, it is important to spend a great deal of time on the shooting range before you buy. Talk to a few archery shops – explain how you hunt and ask for some advice on compound bows. In the shop, you should have the opportunity to shoot bows in a range of price ranges. 

Choosing a bow will depend on how it feels when you’re drawing it and when you have it fully drawn; it should be smooth and solid. You should not feel any vibration or jumping when you release the arrow. The results of all these small factors create a great shooting bow that you will enjoy and that will function well for you.


When choosing your first compound bow, there are a few things you should consider. The feel of the bow, its noise when shot, and how much it will cost are all important factors. A quality compound bow can be expensive, but it is important to get the best one you can afford. Make sure to try out different bows before you make your purchase, and be sure to get advice from a local bow shop.


Q: How much does a quality compound bow cost?

A: A quality compound bow can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000, depending on the brand and the features of the bow.

Q: What factors should I consider when choosing a compound bow?

A: Some factors you may want to consider include the feel of the bow when drawn, the noise it makes when shot, and how expensive it is. It is important to try out different bows before making your purchase to ensure that you get the best one for you.

Q: What should I do if I’m not sure which compound bow to choose?

A: If you’re not sure which compound bow to choose, you can talk to a local archery shop for advice. They will be able to help you find the best bow for your needs and budget.

Q: How much should I expect to spend on accessories for my compound bow?

A: You should expect to spend around $200 on accessories for your compound bow. This includes items like a sight, quiver, arrow rest, and release.

Q: Can I buy a used compound bow?

A: You can buy a used compound bow, but you should be aware that the bow may not be as reliable as a new one. It is important to test the bow before purchasing it to make sure it is in good condition.

Q: What is the best way to store my compound bow?

A: The best way to store your compound bow is in a case or bag that will protect it from the elements. You should also make sure to keep it out of reach of children.

Q: Can I use my compound bow for target practice?

A: Yes, you can use your compound bow for target practice. In fact, practicing with your bow is a great way to improve your shooting skills.

Q: What is the best way to clean my compound bow?

A: The best way to clean your compound bow is with a damp cloth. Be sure to avoid getting any water or other liquids on the bow, as this can damage it.

Q: What is the best way to transport my compound bow?

A: The best way to transport your compound bow is in a hard case. This will protect the bow from damage during transport.

Q: I’m a beginner. Which compound bow should I choose?

A: A beginner should choose a compound bow that is easy to use and has few features. This will make it easier to learn how to use the bow. Read our guide here

Q: What is the difference between a compound bow and a recurve bow?

A: A compound bow has a cam system that makes it easier to draw than a recurve bow. It also has a lever system that allows the archer to hold the bow at full draw for an extended period of time – This is referred to as let-off.

Hi, I'm Darren, and I've been bow hunting for over thirty years. I'm the senior- editor for this site, and I contribute to it regularly.

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