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What Gear Do You Need for Bow Hunting

If you are a beginner just starting out in the world of bow hunting, you might be wondering, what archery gear do I have to have for a successful hunt? 

In the end, you’ll see plenty of items advertised, but are all of them important to your ability to succeed? Listed here are the five key things to consider when you are just starting out. 

What Type of Bow Will I Use?

Obviously this might seem pretty obvious. If you are planning to explore the sport of bow hunting, you must possess a bow. But what bow should you choose?

You are able to opt for the most common type of bow on the market today, the compound bow. This type of bow uses a cam or elliptical system on the ends of the bow to assist in bending the limbs. This levering system provides the compound bow superior velocity and distance compared to a traditional recurve. 

An alternative choice is definitely the crossbow. A crossbow is really a mechanical bow which has a bow installed on a rifle stock. A crossbow will not be limited by the effectiveness of the hunter and for that reason could be a sensible choice for hunters of varying age, size and strength.

But check your local laws to see if you are able to use a crossbow in your area.

What Type of Arrows Should I Get?

The next thing you will need after acquiring your bow is the arrows. For compound bows you will find arrows made from different materials, typically carbon, but aluminum arrows can still be found. 

The arrows can be found in varying lengths and stiffness. To choose which arrow is right for you, you’ll want to know your particular draw weight and draw length that you will be shooting as each archer will be different. 

Arrows in a Target

Once you know your draw length and weight, look at the Easton arrow spine chart and find the spine of the arrow that you will need. 

The arrow-like projectiles which are combined with a crossbow are known as bolts. There are numerous kinds of bolts that you could purchase. 

I would recommend picking-up a couple different varieties and shooting them through your crossbow to see which one is most accurate.

Which brings us to our next topic.

What Broadhead Should I Use?

There are three main types of broadheads on the market today.  

The first is arguably the most common type and it is the mechanical broadhead. A mechanical typically is composed of two parts, a sharp point, and blades that open upon impact. 

While you can find the widest cutting diameter broadhead in a mechanical style, it can be argued that it is not the best style of broadhead out there. 

The second most common variety of broadhead is the fixed blade.  This style of broadhead can come in many different shapes but can be identified by its sharp unmoving blades. 

Many will argue that the fixed point is the best broadhead out there, but it comes at the price of having to tune your bow to get it to shoot the broadhead as accurately as possible. Which can be a struggle for beginners. 

The third style of broadhead is not as common and that is the hybrid.  It can usually b e found with two fixed blades and two moving blades.  Although it has the strong sharp blades of the fixed blade style, it can have the wide cutting diameter like the mechanical heads.

Whichever head you decide to try, shoot it several times before the season starts so you know that you are hitting where you are aiming.

What Kind of Clothes Do I Need?

Person in Hunting Clothes Carrying a Bow

The simple answer. Anything that is warm and does what you need it to do.

You don’t need to go out and spend thousands of dollars on the latest Sitka gear when a trip to the local box store will provide everything that you need. 

Now camouflage will be your best friend in the woods so your outer layer, pants and jacket, should be some type of camo that roughly matches the area you are going to be hunting in.  

Now you need to ask yourself, are you hunting in the northeast where the temperature drops below 30 degrees while you are hunting? Or are you down south where it will be above 50 the whole time you are in the woods?  

Both of these situations are drastically different in what you need to prepare for. 

Do you need a thermal base layer? Or will a normal layer be fine under a jacket?

Once you have answered these questions, you can decide what kind of clothing you need to buy from there. 

What Other Gear Will I Need? 

Well in order to be able to fire your bow compound you will need a release. Pick one that will fit your budget but don’t hesitate to try something new if you think it will help.  

For your crossbow, depending on what you buy it may or may not come with a scope. If not you will need one.  If it does, make sure you sight it in before you take it hunting. 

How about a tree stand? Ground blind? Tree saddle? Swivel chair? What you decide to hunt out of depends on your hunting style and the area you have to hunt. 

But for a new hunter, a simple ground blind might be the cheapest and best place to start.


These five questions will help you determine the basics of what you will need to get into the sport of bow hunting.  

Ultimately there is no definitive answer to what you gear you get.  It all depends on your preference, what feels comfortable to you, and what your budget allows. 

But once you have made your choice on what gear you need and you get that first animal on the ground. There is no turning back from a lifelong enjoyment in the sport of bow hunting.