Archery is not just an exciting sport, but a thrilling hobby as well--whether it just be for target practice or for hunting. But, if you are new to archery, you need to know some information about the types of bows to get you started.
There are different types of bows for a specific archery event. You maybe want to try an indoor archery, field, or hunting.
When your hunting in the woods, you have several weapon options. Not everyone will be interested in all weapon types and others will want to be as versed as possible in any weapon choice on the market. You can use shotguns, rifles, or a bow to kill a big buck, but some weapons make it more challenging than others.
Did you know that there are several types of hunting bows? There are different traditional wooden bows and synthetic modern bows for you to choose from. Not all bows are created the same or offer the same principles and techniques in terms of hunting. In general, the most common bows are recurved, compound, traditional, and crossbows.
All of the bows in this list are fundamentally different, which makes them ideal for different types of hunting. However, the best hunters will be able to use any bow in the list below to do many different tasks. Below, we'll go over the different types of hunting bows.
What are the Different Types of Bows?
1. Recurve Bows
The recurve bow is one of the oldest types of archery bows in the world. References to them date all the way back to the 8th century B.C. The recurve bows were popular traditional bows in many cultures. This is likely due to it requiring a lower draw weight for the same amount of power as a longbow.
Powerful longbows in medieval times were measured at an impressive six feet in height. They had heavy draw weights that necessitated extremely strong archers to wield its weight and bow. They also lack any sights or arrow rests.
A recurve bow with arrow isn't always thought of when hunting, but it is still a great choice. Many people have seen a recurve bow on TV during the Olympics or in the hands of Katniss Everdeen, the heroine from The Hunger Games. A recurve is created with a string, arrow rest, bow, limbs, and a riser. It is the only bow used by Olympic archers and is ideal for field archery.
It has a very simple design but is very effective when used properly. One of the main reasons some hunters opt to use this bow is because it doesn't require a great deal of strength to use, which makes it a great bow choice for beginners.
When a hunter holds a recurve bow up, the bow with limbs will curve away from the archer. It's able to store more energy this way and delivers more energy as well. This type of bow is ideal in situations where a long weapon could be cumbersome such as horseback riding or in thick forestry and brush.
You can hunt with this bow, hit targets, and even participate in 3D hunts. What you won't find on this bow are sights, pressure, buttons, clickers, and stabilizers. For this reason, it takes a bit more skill to use this bow than others.
It's also important to remember that holding a recurve drawn back for long periods of time can cause your aim to waiver, making it a little difficult to shoot the target. This is much more unlikely to happen when you're holding a compound bow at full draw.
The recurve bow is also the bow of choice when bowfishing. Connecting the spincast reel and rope to a recurve bow gives hunters a chance to bag huge fish. The recurve bow can also be used to hunt small critters, but if you're going for something big, you'll have to have a pretty big draw.
2. Compound Bows
A compound bow isn't your typical bow and arrow made for beginners. It's much more sophisticated than the recurve bow and a favorite of whitetail hunters. Compound bows are often used while hunting, in the field, at 3D target courses, and in regular target archery.
A compound bow is also the most modern and technological style of archery. It is an ideal bow and arrow for hunting because of the incredible force on the arrows when you shoot out. The energy-efficiency of the compound bow makes it a popular shooting choice for archers. One of the reasons so many hunters add a compound bow to their archery collection is because it's effective, customizable, and looks pretty cool as well.
This type of bow was first used in the '60s and has been picked by hunters as their favorite time and time again. Unlike traditional bows, materials used in making compound bows’ risers are fiberglass, carbon, aluminum, and magnesium. Their construction makes them more rigid than other archery bows and saves you a little extra time and effort when shooting.
What makes the compound bow difficult to use also makes it reliable. The levering systems, cables, and pulleys of a compound bow require a great deal of strength to pull back, but also allow for a powerful, reliable shot. Since compound bows are used for hunting, hunters also have to remember that the moving parts on this bow will require a great deal more maintenance than any other type on the list.
It's important to know that with the right settings, a hunter can take down just about any beast in North America with a compound bow. The same goes for a crossbow, but can't be said for a recurve bow or a traditional bow. It doesn't mean that there isn't someone out there that could make a great shot, but it's unlikely for the average hunter.
3. Traditional Bow
Another bow hunters don't always think about for hunting is the traditional bow. This basic bow is used everywhere you would expect including target fields and bowhunting. It is a piece of curved wood, almost at the same height as the archer, attached to a string.
Some archers, who use longbows or recurve bows, customize their bows with animal materials such as bones or leather for designs. American flatbows, for example, have flat limbs and a non-curving handle for easier grip, unlike the longbow that features round shape limbs and often has a wide handle.
Not everyone will love a traditional bow because it takes a greater deal of patience and practice to master than a recurve, compound, or crossbow. There are no rests or sights to mess with and is pretty easy to pull back. Unfortunately, if you want to use this bow for hunting big game, you'll have to have a higher draw weight, which could be difficult for some.
A crossbow is technically a bow but has many features associated with firearms, which offers far less of a learning curve when you already have a firearm background. The crossbow was first used in most battles. The crossbow’s draw length is going to be much smaller than your regular or even average bow. The modified bow and arrow can be used while shooting targets, in the field, while shooting 3D targets, and anywhere else you'd use a regular bow.
One of the biggest advantages of a crossbow over other archery choices is its accurate, long firing range. You wouldn’t have any troubles holding the string to draw when it is easy to pull the trigger. If you're stalking big game in the woods, you'll also appreciate that the crossbow is almost completely silent, which is ideal when you don't want to spook your next kill.
Another bonus of a crossbow is it's similar to firearms and isn't heavy or bulky either. If you want to try bowhunting, but aren't sure it's right for you, using a crossbow can provide you with all the advantages of bows without overwhelming you with targets, sights, rests, and much else.
Final Review on Types of Bows and Arrows
Lastly, if you are up for bow hunting, you need to work with a weapon that you're comfortable with. If you're not comfortable with any weapon due to its weight and whatnot, you won't have much success in the field.
It's also important to get familiar with several different bow types. Having more than one option in the field will make you versatile and ready to go on the archery field, target course, or when hunting from a best treestand harness. Also, this will give you a feel of the different types of bows and help you figure out which you are most compatible with.