10 Best Compound Bows for Hunting

10 Best Compound Bows For Hunting

In Archery, Archery Accessories, Archery Tips, Bowhunting, Compound Bows by Vineet Jain16 Comments

Bowhunting is exhilarating. Buying a compound bow on the other hand can be pretty confusing with all the options out there.

In this article we are going to look at 10 of the best mid-segment compound bows that can be used for hunting.

Although all of these bows are good, so much so that there may be insignificant difference between them, some do have a leg up on the others.

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Here are 10 best compound bows for hunting ranked in decreasing order or priority:

S. No.

Bow

Name

Pros

Rating

Check prices

1.

Edge SB-1 by Diamond Archery

  • Reliable

  • Longest life

  • Durable

2.

Cruzer G2 by Bear Archery

  • Stable

  • Reliable

  • Comfortable

3.

Infinite Edge Pro by Diamond Archery

  • Most versatile

4.

M1 by Topoint Archery

  • Durable

  • Comfortable

  • Stable

5.

Raptor by Predator Archery

  • Reliable

  • Durable

  • Versatile

6.

Species by Bear Archery

  • Consistent

  • Stable

  • Comfortable

7.

Leader Accessories Hunting Bow

  • Comfortable

  • Consistent

8.

Trigon by Topoint Archery

  • Reliable

  • Stable

  • Durable

9.

XGear Hunting Gear

  • Stable

  • Durable

10.

SAS Outrage Southland Archery Supplies

  • Stable

  • Comfortable

Top 10 Compound Bows For Hunting

1. Edge SB-1 by Diamond Archery

Draw Weight (lbs) 7-70
Draw Length (inches) 15-31
Axle to Axle (length) 31 inches
Weight (lbs) 3.6
Type Binary cams
Speed (ft/sec) 318
Let off 80%

This beautiful bow from Diamond Archery is one of the best out there in terms of quality and performance.

It is comfortable to handle, smooth, light, accurate, and consistent. It touts superb amount of draw length and weight adjustments.

Although bow comes entirely assembled out of the box and needs very little fine tuning, it is incredibly easy to adjust in case you need to make some tweaks. Diamond archery has made it very simple with their design and videos they provide on their website.

Edge SB-1 is a superb and versatile bow which feels and operates like a truly expensive bow. You simply can’t go wrong with this bow whether you’re 10 or 80, shooting targets, or using it for hunting.

The only flaw Edge SB-1 has is that it makes a bit of a noise. This can be easily remedied with noise dampeners. There are vibration dampeners available for virtually every part of the bow in the market and you can go for them in case you feel like it.

2. Cruzer G2 by Bear Archery

Draw Weight (lbs) 5-70
Draw Length (inches) 12-30
Axle to Axle (length) 30 inches
Weight (lbs) 3
Type Twin Cam
Speed (ft/sec) 315
Let off 70%

The bow comes ready to hunt equipped with six Trophy Ridge accessories – a four-pin sight, a Whisker Biscuit, a 5-arrow quiver, a stabilizer and sling, a peep sight, and a nock loop. 

By far one of the best mid-segment bows out there. Bear Archery stands true to their brand of producing great bows with Cruzer G2.

The draw length and draw weight and super easy to adjust.

It shoots quiet, consistent, fast and straight. The break makes it easy to maintain draw. Honestly, with its light weight and adjustments you can make, it is a pretty powerful bow.

All accessories fit perfectly in the pre-drilled mounting holes and the bow pulls smooth. However, while they seem to be of decent quality there is a much better experience to be had by upgrading.

The weight of the bow is extremely light and making it easy to carry, spot and stalk the game. The draw is extremely smooth and very quiet on the release even without the dampeners between the limbs.

With this bow in hand, you can be totally confident while doing target practice, or while taking down a deer and other bigger game.

3. Infinite Edge pro by Diamond Archery (Bowtech)

Draw Weight (lbs) 5-70
Draw Length (inches) 13-31
Axle to Axle (length) 31 inches
Weight (lbs) 3.2
Type Twin Cams
Speed (ft/sec) 310
Let off 80%

Infinite Edge Pro by Diamond Archery is a great bow for its price.

It is well balanced, stable and smooth. The size and weight are very appropriate for carrying it to the woods with you.

The best feature of Infinite Edge Pro is that it is very versatile. With its range of draw weights and draw length, it can be used by novice to pros alike.

It is a fast bow, suitable for hunting. It is precise and with very little fuss to it.

The included accessories are of decent quality. They can be easily replaced if you wish to do so though.

The bow shoots quiet, has a low recoil.

Although the bow comes fully set up, but you may need to get it checked with your local archery store. It is always a good practice to get it properly adjusted to your preferred settings.  

4. M1 by Topoint Archery

Draw Weight (lbs) 19-70
Draw Length (inches) 19-30
Axle to Axle (length) 28 inches
Weight (lbs) 3.31
Type Twin Cam
Speed (ft/sec) 320
Let off 80%

Package Contents:
1 x Compound bow M1
1 x 5 pins bow sight
1 x Brush arrow rest,2 pcs brush replacement
1 x Rubber stabilizer
1 x Bow release
1 x braided bow sling,aluminum mounting
1 x 6pc arrow quiver
1 x D-Loop assembly,1 meter replacement
1 x Peep sight assembly,2 pcs replacement
2 x limb dampers
1 x Bow stand
1 x Arrow pullier
1 x Bowstring wax
1 x Allen Key
18 x 30” training carbon mix arrow

A great bow with wide variety of accessories already included. It has a good balance of specs, and a wide selection of adjustments you can make.

The best feature in my opinion is its size and weight. It fits perfectly in my criteria for a good hunting companion.

Although, there are a lot of accessories included, you may need to change some to suit your need.

M1 is a smooth draw and a consistent shot. It is a reliable bow, and can be used in variety of places ranging from hunting, archery range, and competitions.

5. Raptor by Predator Archery

Draw Weight (lbs) 30-70
Draw Length (inches) 24.5-31
Axle to Axle (length) 30 inches
Weight (lbs) 3.6
Type Twin Cam
Speed (ft/sec) 315
Let off 75%

Package contents:
A 5 pin sight with light and level
Biscuit style rest
Stabilizer
4 arrow quiver
Allen wrench set
String stop
2′ paper target with 10 point scoring
Peep sight and d-loop come pre-installed.
(DOES NOT INCLUDE ARROWS)

A truly versatile bow. Great specs all along, and great adjustment options for beginners as well as pros.

It is a super smooth and sturdy shooting bow. It won’t lose in consistency even after prolonged usage.

However, the rest of the accessories may not be the of the best quality. You may have to splurge a little to have a better experience with this bow.

With any bow it is always advisable to get it checked and setup by a professional or to visit your local archery store. You may need to spend a little extra that way, however it may save you hundreds of dollars in long run.

Cons: limb adjustment bolts are tough to turn
Instructions are not very good

6. Species RTH Package by Bear Archery

Draw Weight (lbs) 55-70
Draw Length (inches) 23-30
Axle to Axle (length) 31 inches
Weight (lbs) 4.3
Type Single Cam
Speed (ft/sec) 320
Let off 80%

Ready to Hunt (RTH) Package Includes:

  • Trophy Ridge 4-Pin Sight
  • Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit
  • Trophy Ridge 5 Arrow Quiver
  • Peep Sight
  • Nock Loop

A very stable and consistent shooting bow all in all.

With a single cam, this bow is without any fuss. It delivers a very smooth and consistent shooting experience all over.

It has acceptable range of settings, which can be used by most adults.

The only downside of sorts is its weight. It is 4.3 pounds, that makes Species a bit on a heavier side compared to some others out there.

No known issues have come to light with this bow. This is a pretty reliable bow and delivers a great performance.

Species by Bear Archery has high quality components and is durable. This bow is in essence worry free.

You can rely on Species bow for a long term.

7. Leader Accessories

Draw Weight (lbs) 55-70
Draw Length (inches) 25-31
Axle to Axle (length) 31.5 inches
Weight (lbs) 4.4
Type Twin cam
Speed (ft/sec) 310
Let off 75-80%

Package contents:

carbon arrow x 12, paper target x 12, bow bag x 1, quiver x 1, optic sight x 1, drop away arrow rest x 1, whisker biscuit arrow rest x 1, bow release x 1, arm guard x 1, paracord wrist sling x 1, stabilizer x 1, arrow puller x 1, limb dampener x 1pair, bow stand x 1, installed trio style peep sight x 1, rubber tube peep sight x 2, D loop string x 1m, wax x 1

A well balanced and quite stable bow overall. This bow is highly customizable and can meet the demand of nearly any archer.

The draw cycle is smooth and it has a solid back wall. The speed and power delivered makes it a good companion for your next hunting trip.

The material used for this bow is of high quality, and no glaring problems or faults come to surface even after prolonged use.

The weight can be an issue for some of the hunters out there. They may prefer a lighter bow for a comfortable experience.

All the accessories provided with the bow work perfectly with the bow and fit smoothly. You can upgrade them if you feel the need though.

The only problem that some people have faced after buying it is that sometimes it feels a bit stiff.

8. Trigon by Topoint Archery

Draw Weight (lbs) 19-70
Draw Length (inches) 19-30
Axle to Axle (length) 31 inches
Weight (lbs) 3.95
Type Twin Cam
Speed (ft/sec) 320
Let off 80%

Full Package Contents:
1xTRIGON Compound bow
1×5 pin bow sight
1×8 inch Aluminum stabilizer
2xBrush arrow rest
3xBrush replacements
24×30” training carbon mix arrow. Colors may differ from pictures
5xPaper archery Targets
2xLimb vibration dampers
1xBow release
1xBraided bow sling with aluminum mounting
1xArrow quiver(holds 5 arrows)
1xFabric arrow quiver
1xD-Loop assembly plus 1 meter replacement D loop chord
1xAluminum peep sight installed plus 2 peep sight replacements
1xBow stand
1xArrow puller
1xBowstring wax
1xAllen Key set
1xCamo cap
1xSoft carry case

This great looking bow from Topoint Archery is easy to setup and very accurate. Adjusting this bow is quite easy as well.

It comes with everything you need for hunting outdoors. It is extremely smooth and accurate, and will leave you quite satisfied after every session or trip.

This bow is quite comfortable in your hand and not so heavy to work with. You will see consistency, power and straight shots with this bow in your hand.

Although the bow may leave you completely satisfied, the same cannot be said about some of the accessories that come with the package. Some of the things like the bow case, hip quiver, and arrows may not be up to the highest standards you may wish in your archery gear.

9. XGear Archery Hunting Equipment

Draw Weight (lbs) 50-70
Draw Length (inches) 25-31
Axle to Axle (length) 31.5 inches
Weight (lbs) 4.4
Type Twin cams
Speed (ft/sec) 310
Let off 75-80%

This compound bow is sold with fiber optic sight, drop away arrow rest, release aid, D string loop, peep sight, wax, and 2pcs of 30″ aluminum arrow

XGear archery hunting bow is a great bow for its price range.

This bow is not ready to shoot right out of the box; however, it is easy to tune and very simple to adjust.

It gives a smooth and consistent experience through and through. It packs quite decent power for hunting. It’s of quality material and quite sturdy.

There are two drawbacks, that may be a make or break deal for some, is its size and weight. It is a big and heavy bow for the purpose in comparison for some others out there.

10. SAS Outrage by Southland Archery Supply

Draw Weight (lbs) 55-70
Draw Length (inches) 25-31
Axle to Axle (length) 35 inches
Weight (lbs) 4.4
Type Twin Cam
Speed (ft/sec) 270
Let off 70%

Package Contents:

1 x Compound Bow
1 x Manual

In comparison to some other options listed here, SAS Outrage may come out a bit lack luster. However, overall it is a good sturdy bow.

It has pretty decent specs for a compound bow. It is a consistent and smooth bow with not many glaring faults. The only issue that has been raised quite often is the quality of its string.

It is a good beginner bow and can be safely used for hunting as well. It is of good quality material and quite durable.

Do ensure to get it setup properly in an archery store prior to using it though.

It is biggest and heaviest bow in the list as well.

It is a mixed bag. Some have reported it to be a great bow, however experience of some have not been so great.

Cons: string is pretty flimsy. It can snap easily.

Bowhunting With Compound Bow

Bowhunting begins and ends with safety. So always being prepared is the best advice for it. All of your gear should reflect, and be centered around this idea.

We can break the problem of buying the gear for hunting in two broad categories:

  1. Compound Bow specific
  2. Hunting specific

Read: 10 Bowhunting Tips from Tyler Jordan

1. Compound Bow specific

There are few key parameters to be mindful of when you buy a compound bow:

1.1 Draw weight

In simple terms, draw weight is the power of the bow.

 It is the weight you will feel on your fingers when the bow comes to 28-inch draw. This 28-inch draw is the industry standard.

So, if the draw weight of a bow is, say 45 pounds, you’ll feel your fingers are pulling 45 pounds when the bow will come to 28-inch draw.

Now the beauty of compound bow is that its cables and cam system can store energy and reduce the weight you feel at the full draw. This reduced weight is marked on the bow as “let-off”.

So, with an 80% let off, a 50-pound bow will be 10 pounds at full draw, and rest of the weight will be stored in the bow’s mechanism itself.

This means that you can use a higher power bow without compromising with your form.

However, it is advisable to start with low draw weight and gradually move up in draw weight as and when you gain sufficient expertise in your form and develop suitable physical fitness for archery.

In most of the compound bows you can adjust the draw weight to a certain range, without changing any part or going to the shop.

1.2 Draw Length

It is the length measured from butt of the arrow to the riser of the bow when you are at full draw. Basically, how much do you pull back the string when you are at full draw.

Taller people, or people with longer arms have higher draw length. Shorter people, kids, and people with shorter arm span have lower draw length.

Draw length can be roughly measured by measuring your arm span from tip to tip, and then dividing it by 2.5.

Choosing the right draw length is important if you want to use the maximum potential of your bow. The bow delivers maximum power when your bow is adjusted for your draw length.

Most of the compound bows come with some degree of freedom here as well. The draw length of bows can be adjusted within a particular range, without changing parts or using a bowpress.

1.3 CAMS

Cams are basically the mechanism of the compound bow. Cams, along with the strings, bus cables, and control cables makes it so that the compound bow becomes a powerful weapon with a high degree of precision.

Let’s look at them one by one:

i. Single cams

They have a cam (an oval metallic gear) at the bottom of the bow, and a simple circular wheel at the top. This is a simple design, thus there is no issue of synchronicity.

Single cam bows are very accurate and consistent. However, they lack the speed.

ii. Twin cams

These bows have cams on both the limbs. If they are synchronized properly, they are the most powerful bow out there.

However, even a slight tweak can put this system out of the sync and accuracy can be greatly affected.

This may not happen at all. If you are the only user of the bow and you are not tweaking with draw weight and length frequently, as well as keeping the bow with care, the chances of getting the cams out of sync is small.

Tuning a twin cam system also requires certain level of expertise and unless you have a friendly archery shop at your disposal, or you yourself master that skill, maintenance shall be an issue with twin cam bows.

iii. Hybrid cams

They are also called cam and a half system (by HOYT). This was created to compensate for shortcomings of single and twin cam systems.

It has 2 cams; however, they are asymmetrical. They both have different functions.

Due to two cams, hybrid cam bows are fast. However due to the design, the need for synchronicity between the cams is severely less in comparison to twin cam system.

It does require some tuning. The maintenance required is not to the level of twin cam, however it is more than single cams.

iv. Binary cams

They have 2 cams as well, but the mechanism is a bit different. The cams in binary cam bows are connected to each other. This makes them largely maintenance free.

They deliver the same power as twin cam bows while eliminating the shortcoming of frequent maintenance.

Breaking Down Bow Cams

1.4 Stability

While power is nice; how smooth it is to pull back, release and operate is one of the main criteria for long term shooting.

If you are going to use your bow for hunting, the chances are you’ll have to hold the fully drawn bow for more than a couple of seconds to get the best shot at your target.

A stable and easy bow is an essential requirement for any compound bow, especially if you are going to use it for hunting.

Different people may have different preferences when it comes to comfort and handling of the bow. Certain designs and grips may suit some, while not the others.

1.5 Accurate

Compound bows are fairly accurate in general. There is not much difference between bows when it comes to accuracy.

In fact, accuracy is largely independent of price when it comes to compound bows. If you get a decent bow, it will be accurate to a certain extent.

Doing a bit of research on Google or Youtube in this aspect will guide you well. Very few compound bows in the market have issues with their accuracy, and just a little bit of research will give you plenty of evidence to stay away from them.

When it comes to accuracy, your best friend is your own practice. If your form is correct, chances are a well-tuned compound bow won’t betray you.

1.6 Price

Needless to say, price is one of the biggest considerations for any buyer.

Compound bows are expensive. They can range from $50 to over $2000. But a decent compound bow will set you back at least $250.

Even if you buy a well-balanced, accurate bow below this price, it may not be of good quality.

There are a lot of cheap and flimsy knockouts in the market. They look exactly the same as the real ones, and will perform at par for a couple of shots.

However, they are not durable enough to serve you long term. They might use plastic instead of all metal body for some parts to reduce the cost. Even if they won’t break, issues will start cropping up with prolonged use of cheap knockouts.

Bow Maintenance Tips

2. Hunting specific

2.1 Axle to Axle length

If you are shooting in an archery range, size of the bow may not matter much.

But for hunting you need a shorter bow in general so that you can avoid getting tangled with trees and bushes.

A larger bow is also not very convenient to use in cramped and not-so-ideal positions.

2.2 Weight of the bow

Hunting is a game of patience. This means long hours of carrying and holding the bow at full draw.

Weight of the bow may not be a big issue in the archery range, but during hunting, every pound count. Thus, a lighter bow is preferred over a heavier one.

2.3 Speed

Speed means timing and power when it comes to hunting. If the bow has sufficient speed, the arrows will hit the target where you want them to.

The more the speed is, the more the power delivered. Speed results in ethical kills which is highly desired in hunting.

2.4 Let off

Let off means how much weight is reduced by the bow mechanism at full draw. That is, how much weight you effectively have to handle at full draw in comparison to what is delivered.

A 75% let off means a 60-pound bow will feel like 15 pounds at full draw. This is important because you will need to hold the bow at full draw while hunting game.

The lower weight you feel at full draw, the longer you can be outside hunting.

2.5 Stealth elements

Hunting requires stealth, so that you do not alert the game in any way. Thus, having a gear that helps you stay stealthy is an important extra requirement.

Some of the elements of stealth that you may need to consider are camouflage gear, compactness, less distraction, and better after-shot management.

Issues like compactness and less distraction depend on your size of your bow, while camouflage is choosing the color scheme that blends with the environment you’ll be using for the hunt.

Better after-shot management depends on two aspects. First is stability of the bow, second is how silent the bow is.

If your bow is not silent enough, the prey will instantly move as soon as you release the arrow. Plus, it will ensure that you are not able to pull another arrow before the prey leaves your vicinity.

Bows for hunting are usually quite silent. However, for extra stealth, you can use silencing aids. These add-ons reduce the after shot vibrations.

There are aids for bow limbs, stabilizers, and strings. These add-ons dampen the noise caused by the vibrations after shot.

Read: 5 Bowhunting Tips You Need To Know Before The Opener

Conclusion

The most important takeaway while buying a compound bow for hunting is to buy something that fits you for your particular situation. More often than not, the “BEST” bow may not be the best fit for you.

While gear makes hell lot of a different, but it is only half of the equation to be a good archer. The other half is your form.

So, before you buy your gear, do your research well. Know what you are doing. And always remember your form.

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