Tips for Choosing a Hunting Recurve Bow

Choosing the best recurve bow can be a lot easier than you would think. There are a lot of models on the market, which can be confusing especially if you’re a beginner, however, as long as you keep these questions in mind, you’ll be able to choose a recurve that you’ll end up very pleased with.

1) What Is Your Intent For The Bow?

Are you going to use your recurve bow for target practice, or are you going to take it with you as you hunt?

If you’d like to use the bow only during target practice, really any recurve bow will be fine. Find a bow that looks and feels good for you, and have an amount in mind for your budget. As long as it’s in budget and seems fine, you can practice with the bow. You won’t need a very powerful one, as the arrow just needs to hit the bullseye, which is made from cardboard or foam.

If you need a bow as you’re hunting, keep in mind that you will need a more specialized bow, and any old bow will not work. You should know that the main factor in hunting with your recurve is the bow’s draw weight. The draw weight is the amount of force you’ll need to put on the string of the bow, to be able to pull it at least 28”. If there’s more draw weight, you’ll get a more powerful pull, and your arrow will travel further. It’s very necessary to have a powerful bow, because you’re not just shooting through cardboard; you arrow will have to penetrate fat, skin, and perhaps even bone of the animal you’re hunting.

For hunting, you will need a recurve bow that has a minimum of forty pounds of draw weight. You can hunt smaller animals such as rabbits and turkey with a smaller bow, but for elk and deer, forty is the minimum. However, not every beginner will be able to handle a 40 draw weight bow. How do you know whether you can handle the bow?

Take a look at charts that show the draw weights of recurve bows to determine the range of draw weight you can handle. After you begin hunting, you can build draw weight as you improve your skill. Many bows on the market are available in the forty pound range, so it’ll be easy to choose a suitable recurve bow.

2) Is A Take-Down Recurve Necessary?

You’ll need to decide whether you need a “Take-Down” as you’re choosing bows. Bows are classified as a Take-Down, when its riser is able to be separated from the recurve’s two limbs. You’ll want this type of bow, rather than one that’s “one piece”, because:

  • Take-Down bows are much easier to carry. You can take apart the bow in order to put it into a small box or bag, and in order to store it efficiently. Take-down constructions are great for those who value easy storage or transportation.
  • It’s easier to service Take-Downs. If you accidentally break your bow or any part breaks, all you have to do is remove that part and send in the individual piece for repair. This way, you don’t have to give away the whole bow.
  • Take-Down bows are great for hunters who are beginners. This is because you’ll be able to adjust the draw weight accordingly. The construction of the limbs of the bow and their stiffness is what determines the bow’s draw weight, so, if you get a bow that has thirty pounds of draw weight, you won’t have to purchase an entirely new bow in order to upgrade to forty pounds; all you need is to get a different set of limbs, for the draw weight you’d like to achieve, and replace the limbs you currently have.

3) Think About How Long the Recurve Needs To Be

Measure your draw length, and then get a bow that’s twice as long, as least. For example, you’ll need a recurve bow that’s 56” inches plus, if 28” is your draw length. To achieve more accuracy, get the longest bow possible.

4) Consider How Heavy the Bow Needs To Be

There’s more that matters to the bow than just its draw weight. What the bow actually weighs should also be taken into consideration. This is because you’ll need to be able to hold the bow up, and keep it in front of you, for a long time as you shoot. Many recurve bows come in at two or three pounds, which is a safe weight if you’re beginning. If you don’t know just how much weight you can take, take things safe, and get a bow that’s a maximum of three pounds.

5) Think About the Kind of Arrows You Need To Get

Beginners should conduct research, and peruse their options when it comes to choosing in arrows. This is important in general, but especially for recurve bows. You can find many articles online on arrows.

6) How Important Are Accessories to You?

You should think about whether you’d like to attach accessories such as bow sights to your recurve bow. Some bows are already drilled in preparation for attachments, but some aren’t. Traditional archers often prefer not to have any accessories or sights, because they like the idea and feeling of having just the “string and stick,” simply the bow itself. But, even if your bow doesn’t come drilled and prepared for accessories, adding a peep sight is still very easy, and so is putting on an arrow rest that you can merely glue on. Some accessories are still very easy to add to your bow, it just depends on your preferences.


Remember that if you intend to hunt with your recurve bow, you’ll need forty pounds minimum draw weight and you will need to use your body type to choose the draw weight. If you’re using your bow only for target practice, any weight will be good enough. The weight of the bow itself shouldn’t be more than three and a half pounds, and it should be double your draw length at the least. Determine whether you’d like a one piece, or a Take-Down bow. Then, consider whether you’d like any extra accessories or attachments like bow sights. These considerations will help you find the best recurve bow.