Skip to main content Accessibility is an ongoing effort for the Gear Hunter team. We are always searching for solutions that will improve the accessibility of our site. If, at any time, you have difficulty using or accessing any part of Gear Hunter, please feel free to contact us. We will work with you to make all reasonable efforts to correct the issue and assist with immediate needs.
FREE SHIPPING OVER $75 USE CODE FREESHIP75

GEAR HUNTER GUIDE: CHOOSING COMPOUND BOW ACCESSORIES

Oct 31, 2019

ACCESSORIES, MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION

Once you have purchased your bow you will need to pick the accessories that you will mount to it. This is honestly the fun part as you can make the bow your own and choose accessories that make sense for your style of hunting.

BOW SIGHTS

Bow Sight

Bow Sights come in many variations and selecting one is very important, but also a personal preference. Here we will provide some of the distinct difference between sights in an effort to allow you to make an informed decision.

There are a few main styles to consider, fixed pin, single pin adjustable, multi-pin sliders, and digital range finding sights. Your first task is to determine what you feel would be the furthest shot you might take when practicing. If you plan to shoot out past 60 yards a 3 pin fixed pin sight would not be your best option. If you plant to shoot 40 yards or less, a 3 pin fixed pin sight setup for 20, 30, and 40 yards based off of the 3 pins would be ideal. If you think that shooting longer range for practice purposes is a possibility, think about a 1 pin adjustable sight as this will give you the option to stretch your distance without cluttering up the sight housing with more than 5 pins.

See our Bow Sights

Fixed Pin

Fixed pin sights come in many variations, 3, 4, 5, and 7 pin sights are most commonly used. Looking through a sight with 7 or more pins can be overwhelming for most shooters due to a lot of clutter and an obstructed view of the target downrange. This is where the adjustable style sights can be the most user friendly.

Single/Multi Pin Adjustable

Single pin adjustable or multi pin slider sights allow the shooter take shots at just about any distance within the bow and the shooter capability. Single pin adjustable sights are one of the most user friendly sights made for hunting and target shooting applications. In a hunting application a single pin sights can have its disadvantages. A hunter may find themselves having to make on the fly adjustments to the sight or having to aim a little high or a little low because of the animal moving after you’ve ranged and drawn back on the animal. If the shooter plans to adjust high or low versus making the pin sight adjustment, it is recommended that the shooter practice this type of shot to become comfortable and proficient.

Multi pin adjustable sights or slider style sights have been popular in the 3D target archery community but have also become quite popular in the hunting community. These sights allow shooters to have 2-5 fixed pins, but can also be adjusted down to have the ability to shoot a greater distance than fixed pins would allow. This allows the hunter a fixed pin for closer shots, but still allows hunters to take longer shots without the clutter of 6 or more sight pins within the housing.

Digital/Rangefinding Sights

Digital sights are the newest sights to enter the ring. The NEW Garmin digital range finding sights are in a class of their own and have already begun to revolutionize the sport. It must be noted to check local game law where applicable.

ARROW RESTS

Arrow rest also come in many variations. Here we will show you advantages each arrow rest has related to its application.

See our Arrow Rests

Containment Arrow Rests

The design behind a containment arrow rest is mainly for the hunting application. The containment arrow rest is likely the most popular and can be split into two sub categories, Static and Fall Away.

The Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit is a static containment rest and one of the easiest and most user friendly for hunters. The arrow is contained 360 degrees within the rest. This rest is easily one of the most popular and available in a number of different configurations allowing the shooter adjustability.

We must also discuss the drop away and fall away type containment arrow rest. These types of rest have gained significant popularity and also come in a number of configurations. Some rest are cable driven and some limb driven. Either way they contain the arrow and provide an unobstructed flight path for the arrow as the cradle falls out of the way or in some cases is pulled out of the way shortly after release.

It is fair to note that the drop away arrow rest is certainly more complex to set up than other types of rest and must be factored into your decision.

Arrow Rest

Target Arrow Rests

A target shooter, on the other hand, doesn't worry with the same needs as the hunter.

Durability is not as much of a concern since these bows do not typically get abused. The competitive shooters main concern is consistency, easy adjustment and very little arrow interference. As seen above in the example most target shooters look for prong or blade style launcher rest. They are quick to adjusted and fine-tune for center shot and elevation adjustment and have marginal interference with the arrow shaft.

QUIVERS

Quiver

Quivers come in two styles, either a one-piece or a two-piece construction. Most quivers will hold 3-5 arrows but some will hold more. It would be fair to note that some proprietary quiver are made for specific bow brands and most are made from lightweight materials as to not have a detrimental impact on the overall weight of the bow if the quiver remains on the bow while hunting and not quickly detached.

See our Quivers

STABILIZERS

Stabilizer

Choosing a stabilizer when you walk into a bow shop can actually be a daunting task. There are so many sizes, shapes, colors and configurations it can get overwhelming quickly. I’d also like to point out that there is a science behind it and for the hunting application, I’d like to simplify it. 6-10 inches in length is plenty. A modular design is preferred so the shooter can adjust the weight as needed.

See our Stabilizers

PEEP SIGHT

Peeps sights are a necessary tool for all shooters to be as accurate as possible. Peep sights act like the rear sight on a gun. They give you a consistent anchor point that ultimately promotes accuracy.

The main difference between peep sights are: Peep sight size and the number of slots milled into the peep to fit within the string.

Peep Sight

Before you get a peep sight, you need to know that there are different sizes available: They are measured in inches, such as 1/16in., 1/4in., 3/16in., etc. Your choice will depend on the size of your sight housing and your draw length. The Golden Rule if you are hunting: your peep sight should not be too small. If you can’t see your entire sight housing through the peep your peep is too small. However, if you see too much daylight around your sight housing your peep is too big and thus decreases your consistency. It is recommended to choose a medium or large peep sight for hunting. But, it may take putting two different sizes in to get the proper fit for your desired needs.

For target archery, you can choose a small peep sight to get the maximum focus on your pin(s) without getting distracted by anything else.

RELEASES

See our Releases

Release aids aren’t a mount-on accessory, but with any new bow a release is a must have. There are a number of different styles of releases to be aware of, but once again this is all going to come down to what you prefer.

The standard for years has been a trigger style release and still probably accounts for the highest percentage of users. The trigger release comes in a number of different configurations and like anything you should try as many as you can before settling on the right one.

There are also releases that use a thumb button and have gained popularity for hunters and target shoots in the past few years. The thumb button is configured much like a target style release usually a three finger or four finger setup. There is a large button that is used to trigger the release of the arrow.

Release

Also gaining traction not only in the competitive target side of archery but also with hunting is what is known as a back tension. These 2-3 finger style releases are not activated by a trigger or a button but rather a tension setting. The popularity with this style of release is the reduction of target panic. The shooter should focus on the shot placement and being on the target as they pull through the shot. The shot will break when the release tension has been achieved. The use of this type of release for hunting is gaining popularity but it should be noted that extensive practice is required before going afield to ensure ethical hunting practices.

GEAR HUNTER TAKEAWAYS

Accessory selection is as important as choosing your bow and it is equally important that you choose what makes sense for the type of shooting you will be doing. If you plan to hunt, making the correct choice on sight, rest and stabilizer could be vastly different from the choices made if you were punching paper. It is always good practice to buy the best you can afford as it generally correlates to both quality and upgraded features that can be extremely beneficial for the shooter. When making a decision, be sure to do your own research. Relying on the opinions of friends can be detrimental as personal preference is paramount in accessory selection. We will leave you with one final thought, don’t settle on something you don’t feel comfortable with. Save your money, get what feels right and you will have no regrets. Shoot straight.

BE A GEAR HUNTER INSIDER

Sign up to receive exclusive offers and more.