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In-Depth Guide To Bow Hunting for Beginners

Besides getting free meat, bow hunting is a highly challenging game that brings you in close proximity to your prey. The adrenaline rush is indomitable, but things can be intimidating if you are just starting out. From picking the right equipment to approaching in the right manner, you have a lot to learn down the lane.

We have come up with an in-depth guide to bow hunting for beginners. Follow this guide to get an overall idea of bow hunting techniques, equipment, expert tips, and many more.

Let’s get started with the crucial things you need to know.

The term bow hunting may be small, but there are a lot related to it. To be a bow hunter, you need to make your way up instead of skipping steps gradually. In this bow hunting 101 for beginners, we have some factors you must know to hunt your first prey with the bow.

Basic Archery

We assume you are a complete beginner and have no knowledge of shooting an arrow from the bow. Before getting into anything else, you should take an archery course to learn how you can use the bow and the arrow to hit a target.

You should also be familiar with different parts of the bow so that you can handle it when needed.

Hunting Techniques

Besides learning how to shoot an arrow, you need to learn basic hunting techniques such as shot placement or blood trailing. These techniques will help you hit or follow your prey more effectively and make you end up with a bigger trophy.

At the same time, a beginner hunter should know the ethics of hunting, what he/she can hunt and what not, how to manage the wildlife, how to survive in the wilderness, and so on.

Learning these basics will make you capable as a hunter.

Local Laws and Regulations

Just learning how to hunt isn’t enough to be a hunter. Having some hunting lessons and modern equipment doesn’t mean you can go anywhere and shoot some animals.

Different areas have their laws and regulations related to hunting. You should know all these regulations to that you don’t break them and face any consequences.

This will also include the allowed animals for hunting. A beginner should always learn where to hit an animal to hunt it cleanly.

And this isn’t all. Continue reading to know which animal you can hunt most easily.

What Is the Easiest Animal to Hunt with a Bow?

There is no definite answer to this question as the term easiest might not fit all hunters. The animal that seems easy to a hunter might be too difficult for others. So, we will try to give you a general idea of which animals are easy to hunt with a bow.

It Should Be a Big Game

As the accuracy of hunters might be very low in beginner bow hunting, it is safer to target big games to increase the chance of hitting the target. Big games usually have a slower movement speed than small games.

For example, wild hogs will run much slower than a squirrel or a rabbit. So, it will be easier to hunt with a bow.

Whitetail Buck is a Big game for bow hunting

It Should be of Low Sensory

One thing we want you to remember all the time- This is not hunting with guns where you can shoot from a few hundred yards away. In bow hunting, the real challenge lies in getting close to your prey.

Sounds, scents, and other factors might easily warn the prey, and it will run away even before you are ready to shoot.

This is why you need to choose a slow game with a low sensory reflex. It will help you chase the game and get closer without warning the prey.

It Should Be Easy to Knock Down

As a beginner hunter, it might be difficult for you to chase the game down after hitting it with the first bow. So, pick something that can be knocked down easily by hitting it at the right spot.

So, What’s the Easiest Animal to Hunt with a Bow?

According to the abovementioned criteria, wild hogs can be one of the easiest animals to hunt for beginner hunters. You can also choose whitetail deer if available. These large games are comparatively easier to hunt.

What Should You Hunt As a Beginner Hunter?

As a beginner hunter, it might not be wise to go after any game you see. You need to have certain targets in mind to earn a trophy. In bow hunting basics for beginners, you should learn what to hunt and what not. Before that, let’s check what games are available for bow hunting.

Big Game

To clarify your confusion, animals allowed for hunting are called games. In the big game category, you will find various species of deer, boar, elk, bison, etc. You may also find caribou, moose, sheep, or goat.

Hunting big games will be suitable for beginner hunters, as we have already discussed. But you shouldn’t go for an aggressive game in the beginning.

Hunting a Big Elk

Small Game

Usually, animals weighing under 40lb fall under this category. Smaller games are a bit difficult to hunt for beginner bow hunters. They run too fast, and it is not easy to hit such a small target on the run.

But once you gain a bit of experience, you should level up your game by targeting small games.


Various waterfowl like ducks and geese can be easily hunted with a bow and arrow. As the movement of the fowl is slower in the water, it will be easy for beginner hunters to hit these animals.


Though these games are not popular for their meats, you can still hunt them if available.

Bobcats, beavers, or animals that have fur on their coat fall under this category. These animals are usually easier to knock down compared to big games. So, you can target them to hone your hunting skills.


This is where you need to be really cautious. Predator animals include wild lions, coyotes, and wolves.

Hunting these games might be dangerous if you aren’t familiar with their behavior or don’t have a trained professional as your guide.

So, we suggest beginner hunters keep from hunting predators. Let’s now move on to the next section.

What Type of Bow Is Best for Beginner Hunters?

Though every bow is made of a spring mechanism along with a projectile and a string, there are differences in their working principles. To hunt right, you need to choose the right bow.

Here are a quick breakdown of different types bow hunting bows for beginners.

  • Longbow

Longbows are very old equipment. They usually consist of a single wood piece and a string attached to it. It is very difficult to draw a longbow for beginners. Drawing and holding a longbow before aiming will require a lot of practice.

But as longbows can be drawn and released very quickly, they will be suitable for a small and fast game.

SAS Pioneer Longbow
  • Recurve Bow

This is somewhat like a longbow but has some different characteristics to it. Often, recurve bows are made of wood and other materials, ideally fiberglass. A hunter must build enough muscle to draw and hold a recurve bow. So, it might not also be the proper bow for bowhunting. But Some Recurve bows you may find suitable for hunting slow game. Go through This Article to check top picks.

A Recurve Bow
  • Compound Bow

A Compound Bow

Compound bows are very popular among beginner hunters. Due to the pulley and cams in the bow, you need to draw and hold less weight than the draw weight. As a result, it is easier for beginner hunters to use a compound bow.

These bows will shoot the projectile at a greater speed than the previous bows.

So, a hunter can cover more distance than those bows. But as compound bow will require some time to load after shooting one projectile, these bows are suitable for big games.

  • Crossbow

You can call a crossbow a combination of a bow and a gun. Shooting a crossbow is more like shooting a firearm. You don’t need to hold the draw weight while shooting. Once the projectile is loaded, you can pull the trigger to shoot the arrow.

As these bows can shoot projectiles at great speed, you will have better accuracy and range than other bows.

Barnett Whitetail Hunter Bottomland Crossbow

How To Choose A Bow For A Successful Hunt?

As you now know about different types of bows for bow hunting, choosing the right bow will depend on several factors. Let’s discuss these bow hunting tips for beginners.

Game Size

You can use crossbows or compound bows if the game is big and slow. These bows are great for speed and accuracy but fall behind in terms of loading time as you need to hunt big games from quite a distance. Also, it will be easier to reload the projectile if you have missed one.

For small games, longbows or recurve bows are better because they have a fast reloading time. And you can hunt small games from a close range.

Hunter Level

Operating longbows or recurve bows requires a bit of a learning curve. But a beginner hunter can easily learn to operate crossbows or compound bows. So, if you have no experience shooting arrows, you should start with a crossbow or compound bow and gradually level up your game.


Pulling longbows and recurve bows will require greater forces compared to the other two. Young hunters might not be able to hold the weight of these bows.

So, crossbows can be of great benefit to them. Pulling compound bows also requires less power than the first two. Using these bows will require less stamina and keep hunters fit for longer.

What Draw Weight Should a Beginner Use?

Before determining what draw weight a beginner should use, you need to understand the term draw weight better. In this guide, we will try to break it down.

What Is Draw Weight?

The string of your bow should be in a straight position when not in use. From there, you need to pull the string all the way back before releasing it. The force you need to apply to pull the string to the furthest position is called the draw weight.

For example, if you need to apply 40lb of force to draw the string all the way to the back, the draw weight of the string is 40lb. You should also count the let-off value to calculate the correct draw weight. This value may vary depending on bow types and models.

So, What Draw Weight Should You Use?

It will depend on your capability and local regulations. Most beginners find 40lb suitable draw weight.

And it is also the minimum draw weight in many states in the USA. The draw weight limit can also change depending on the size of the game.

For example, you might need to use a 40lb draw weight for deer or boar. But it will increase if you hunt elk or moose. Beginner hunters should start from lower draw weights and work their way up to higher draw weights.

What Other Gears Do You Need for Bow Hunting?

Bowhunting is a game that needs a lot of preparation and accessories to succeed. Before you rush to the game area, we have a list of essential gears for bowhunting. For your convenience, we divided these gears into two categories. Let’s know what you need for bowhunting and why you need them.

Bow Accessories

This section of gears is to be used on the bow. Having just a good bow and arrow is an ancient thing. You now have multiple accessories to improve your accuracy and other factors.

  • Sight: A bow sight will allow you to target your prey accurately. Fixed pin sights are more common among beginners. But you can also have expensive sights with rangefinders.
  • Bow Stabilizer: This is used to stabilize the shot and make the arrow release silent, not to warn the game.
  • Arrow Rest: Depending on your shooting style, you can choose from different arrow rests to create a base for the arrow.
  • Bow Release: This is a useful accessory to make your draws and releases effortless
  • Field Points and Broadheads: These are different types of arrowheads that you can use to hunt various games. Field points are mostly used for smaller games, and broadheads are used for larger games.

Other Hunting Gears

Once you have everything you need for the bow, you can now focus on other gears for hunting. Check the list below so that you don’t miss anything required.

  • Hunting License: This is a must-have if you want to hunt in a certain area with your bow. For various game areas, you might need different licenses.
  • Camouflage Clothing: It is very important for bowhunting. You must need to conceal your presence in the wild to be able to hunt something. The clothing must be comfortable and breathable so that you can wear them for a long time. You should be able to move freely and remain dry while hunting. The scent of your sweat can scare your game away.
  • Boots: As you need to traverse rough terrain, having hunting boots is a must. You should have high-quality boots that are sturdy enough to save you from pointy objects or insects. The boots should also be breathable so that you can hunt comfortably.
  • Binoculars: If you are after a big game, a pair of binoculars may help you greatly.
  • Field Knife: A good field knife is a gem to any bowhunter. You will need this for a multitude of tasks.

Wrapping Up

Bow hunting is a game of pure passion and excitement. Getting close to a big game and hunting it down with your bow can be very thrilling and satisfying at the same time. But before that, you need to know all the intricate details about bow hunting.

And that was the main intent of creating this in-depth guide to bow hunting for beginners.

From choosing the suitable game size to the right bow for hunting, we discussed everything that can be of great help to a beginner hunter.

If you are interested in bow hunting, read the full guide and focus on the factors mentioned here.