Hunting with a compound bow from a climbing tree stand is a great way to extend your deer season and increase your chances in taking home meat for the freezer. On top of that, archery is also a great hobby and discipline to have.
Hours, days, weeks, and months can be spent honing and practicing your craft to ensure your arrow flies straight and hits the target.
However, if you want to be a great archer or hunter then you’ll need the tools to do so. So what would be more important than a great bow.
Below we’ve got a list of some of the best compound bows on the market to help you improve your archery game.
First let’s go over in more detail exactly what a compound bow is and how you can properly use one.
What Is A Compound Bow
A compound bow uses a levering system made of cables and pulleys that will bend the limbs. The pulleys and levers give the shooter a mechanical advantage when shooting.
The limbs, which are connected to the riser, are much more stiff than a recurve bow which makes it more energy efficient.
The riser, which is the middle part of the bow that the limbs are connected to are usually made of aluminum. The reason for an aluminum riser is to ensure strength and stability when shooting.
As the bowstring is drawn back (draw cycle) the cams (dual cam or single cam) that are attached to the limbs begin to rotate and the string is drawn back.
Once in full draw, or called the let-off, the cams take over and the shooter is left with a much lighter feeling draw. When you pull back you want it to be nice and easy which can be considered a smooth draw cycle.
This allows the shooter to hold the shooting position for much longer than a recurve or longbow. If you hear someone talking about axle length, that means the distance between the two cams of the bow.
Benefits of Compound Bow
Compound bows have the ability to shoot up to 340 FPS (feet per second). This is strong enough to take down big game animals and has the capacity to for long distance target shooting as well.
Along with having the ability to shoot arrows at fast speeds, they also have a low draw weight when compared to how far and fast they can shoot.
This helps reduce fatigue when shooting for extended periods of time, or when you have to hold your draw when hunting.
This also helps with preventing injuries.
Compound bows also have no specific draw length, or brace height. This means that most bows you purchase can be customized to exactly fit your draw length for shooting. This allows you to shoot more accurately and consistently.
It’s also a great feature when you’ve purchased a bow for a child who is growing. Now you can adjust the bow as the child grows instead of buying a new one every time they have a growth spurt.
Just like crossbows, a compound bow comes with a pin bow sight system. This allows the hunter or archer to shoot more accurately at greater distances and with much more consistency.
A compound bow is perfect for anyone who wants to get into archery and even deer hunting. They’re readily available and can be purchased online at Amazon or even locally at an outfitter.
How To Practice With A Compound Bow
After getting your draw length and weight set up you’ll need to get some arrows that match your draw length. These can be cut to length at local outfitters or other sporting good stores. Or you could order them that way.
After that you’ll need to get a release for your bow. This is a tool that is used to ensure you get a clean and accurate release on your bow when shooting.
It can be difficult to shoot with just your fingers and is not recommended to someone just beginning archery or wanting to be as efficient and accurate as possible.
You will also want to look at getting an arm guard to protect your arm that his holding the bow, to minimize injuries from the string slapping you.
After you’ve purchased your arrows and release you’ll need some sort of target. Bails of hay can be used with a paper plate but this wears out quickly.
If you have the money to invest in a good target then do so. These will last hundreds of shots and you’ll be able to shoot in your backyard whenever you want with one.
Considerations Before Buying
Most compound bows are going to be efficient and accurate. So if you are going to be buying something made in the last couple of years then you should worry not about accuracy.
Some companies even sight in the pins for you. That doesn’t mean you should test it out before hitting the field though.
If you plan on purchasing an older model then it would be recommended that, if possible, you give it a few test shots. This lets you know how the bow shoots and if it’s worth the purchase.
With practice a compound bow can be extremely accurate. There Is more time and effort required to shoot a compound than a crossbow. However, with that extra time you get to know your piece of equipment better and you understand exactly what it is capable of doing.
Hours spent shooting in the backyard will result in more accurate shots in the field and more meat in the freezer.
Most compound bows will shoot between 300-340 fps. This will allow the shooter to take shots from long distance for target practice or, if you’re hunting, will allow you to take down most large game.
If you hunting then check into what the IBO speed of your bow is. This is taken by shooting a 400 grain arrow at the maximum pull weight of a bow. Then the measurement is taken at the bows point blank range.
It’s the perfect bow for both and great for someone who wants to get involved in archery. Smaller bows that have a lower fps are great for younger kids who need to work through the mechanics first before shooting in the field for the first time.
The effective range of a compound bow is between 20-60 yards. However, most hunters choose not to shoot over 40. This is the ideal range for taking down large game as anything longer could result in an inaccurate shot and the wounding of an animal.
That being said, a compound bow can shoot up to 1,000 feet. It likely won’t hit any target, but the possibility to do so is there. Just make sure it is done safely.
These bows are made to last. If kept in good shape and not used to like a hammer these things have the ability to last up to 50 years. String may need to be replaced somewhere in that time frame, but the cams and arms should last you a good while.
The issue is that no one ever keeps their bow long enough to really see how long it will last. Most keep it for a few years before they rationalize buying the newest bow on the market.
The newer models usually are lighter and shoot faster so it’s not hard to think this way.
But if you’re looking for something to last a good while, then a compound bow is the right choice for you.
Stronger shooters can get away with shooting a weight range of a 55-70 pound bow. The heavier weight will allow for faster arrow flight, but if you have trouble pulling back this weight then it can either cause too much movement which can spook deer, or make you inaccurate.
Best to try out how much you can pull back before purchasing. You can measure this by taking your weight and getting a good estimate of what you can shoot.
A 160+ pound person should be able to shoot something in the 55-70 pound range. Where a 100-160 could shoot a 30-55 pound bow. Younger kids can shoot a 10-30 pound youth compound bow.
Compound bows by themselves are relatively quiet. It’s best to take steps to quiet your bow even more when hunting in dead quiet conditions or when the animals are spookier than normal.
The first thing you can do to ensure your bow is quiet is to tighten all screws on your bow. A loose screw could cause a rattle that could easily scare the game you’re hunting and could ruin a day hunting.
The biggest source of vibration and noise on your bow is going to be your string. A shot at a deer causes the string to vibrate and whitetail deer can actually duck under a shot if spooked by the sound.
It’s best to purchase rubber string dampeners, or cat whiskers to help dampen the sound.
If you’re just shooting for the enjoyment of archery then noise dampening is not too important. The bow is quite enough that it won’t disturb human ears.
Ease Of Use
Starting to shoot a compound bow can be difficult at first. However, you can be hitting a target consistently pretty quickly with proper instruction. The difficult part is mastering the art of shooting.
You will need to spend time shooting at the range or in your backyard if you want to be proficient, but only a small portion of your day and week needs to be committed to shooting in order to become better.
Just remember to not get frustrated if you’re not consistently hitting a bullseye after the first day. This will take time and soon you’ll be shooting accurately and consistently.
The Best Compound Bow Reviews
Now that we’ve gone over exactly what a compound bow is and all of their features, let’s now go over the best compound bows on the market.
Diamond is a well known name in the archery world and is known as one of the better compound bow producers. The Edge SB 1 is a solid bow made by Diamond. The SB 1 is a great hunting bow.
This bow features a quick adjustable draw weight system on the limb. This is thanks to a bolt that makes it easy to shift up or down the draw weight.
Perfect for someone who is either looking to get stronger, or for multiple shooters who require different weights.
The draw length is also adjustable. It can go between 15”-30”. This is an ideal bow for someone who is serious about shooting and maybe has room to grow into their frame. It could be something you shoot for years.
The synchronized binary cam system is the most accurate and popular cam system on the market. It’s made of two symmetrical cams that are together creates flawless knock travel for maximum accuracy and consistency.
There are also several different models of the SB that are available for purchase. These range in sizes as well as price range.
The Daibow is another fully adjustable bow. It ranges from 19-70 pound draw weight and 19”-30” draw length. Perfect for the growing archer, or for multiple shooters.
The best upside to this adjustable bow is that it can be done without a bow press. No longer do you have to drive to the nearest bow shoot or sporting goods store in order to adjust it.
If you know your draw length you can do it at home and save driving time.
This particular set up is a bow package that comes with everything a new bow hunter or archer may need.
It comes equipped with a bow sight, stabilizer, arrow rest, carbon fiber arrows, broad heads, targets, string dampeners, paper targets among many other accessories.
Of all the bow combo kits that allow someone to get started in shooting, this is the one of the better products on the market. Not only is it a reliable bow that can be used for years but it comes with everything you need in one simple order.
No need to shop around looking for everything you need, because it’s already there.
This bow comes in a variety of colors. You’ll see that it comes in black, for versatile shooting, break up country camo for hunting, and purple blaze for the colorful shooter.
It has the ability to shoot 320 fps, which is more than capable of taking large game for hunting or for target shooting. The draw length is also adjustable. The range is between 15”-31”.
This range would allow just about anyone to shoot this bow. The bow has great adjustability and is perfect for customizing to the hunters needs.
At 3.6 pounds this is one of the heavier bows that Diamond produces, but is still light enough that it can be handled by most shooters. However, if taken on a long backpacking hunt every ounce counts.
Make sure to take the weight of this bow into consideration if you plan on doing this.
Similar to the Edge SB1, this bow comes with the synchronized cam system which ensures accurate and consistent shooting. As well as the EZ adjust for draw weight.
All of you to do is turn the limb bolt and you can easily and safely adjust the poundage on this bow. There are easy to read marks on the side of the knob that will allow you to see exactly what your bow is set to.
Another well known name in the archery world, Bear comes up again and again as one the better bow producers on the market.
The Cruzer G2 comes in an array of colors. You can choose from seven different types that will work for either hunting or archery. Along with that you’ll find that it also has a 12”-30” adjustable draw length, which will allow any hunter or shooter to use it.
It also features a 5-70 pound draw weight, which is one of the widest ranges on the market. Plus, this bow only needs an allen wrench to utilize all the adjustments.
Keep one in your house, or archery kit for quick and easy on the go adjustments. You don’t even need a bow press to adjust the draw length.
It comes in a light 3 pounds and can shoot up to 310 feet per second. Perfect for the big game hunter or for the archery shooter out there.
On top of all this, the bow is also made in both right hand and left hand.
This bow also comes ready to hunt straight from the package. Equipped with whisker biscuit, sight, quiver, stabilizer, peep sight and nock loop.
The grip is also designed to reduce torque on the hand which will allow for more accurate and consistent shots.
Another great Bear product. The Approach RTH is not as adjustable as the previously mentioned products, but it’s just as good of a bow. It features a 23.5”-30.5” draw length, which is made for the larger or adult hunter.
The draw weight can also be adjusted, and is between 55-70 pounds. Perfect for any type of archery shooting or hunting that you might need it for.
This bow also comes equipped and ready to go hunting or shooting straight from the box. All of the accessories on it are high quality and none of them need to be replaced unless you have a specific brand or piece of equipment you prefer to use.
Arrows are sold separate from the box.
The bow also does not need a bow press to adjust. It can be safely and comfortably in your own home or wherever you need it done.
If none of the brands above suit your needs then check PSE, SAS (Southland Archery Supply), Hoyt, Bowtech, Trophy Ridge and Genesis. Some of the better models of these brands are Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro, SAS Rage and the Raptor Compound.
Bow hunting or archery is a great way to get outside and out of the house for a little while. It’s an incredible discipline and skill and is something you take with you for the rest of your life.
The information above will hopefully help you along the way so that you can begin this great hobby. Hopefully the bows mentioned will give you a jumping off point that can help you find the best bow that is right for you or someone you know.