Aside from shooting better than traditional bows, compound bows are essentially made to be outfitted with accessories. Most of them are so customizable that even two of the same bow can look entirely different in two differen’t archer’s hands.
The most basic gear needed to get into compound bow shooting include the bow, a case, fletched arrows, a quiver, and something to shoot at. However, there are many other accessories that archers can use to customize their compound bow.
Remember to keep the difference between a need and a want clear in your mind as we go through all the gear you might buy along with your compound bow.
The Compound Bow Necessities
If you’re looking to get into compound shooting, there actually isn’t that much gear besides the bow itself and, of course, arrows necessary for you to begin your new hobby.
The bow is obviously the most important element, and the market for compound bows is quite expansive nowadays.
This is both a blessing and a curse. The wide variety allows individual bows to become more specialized, but it also leaves you with a lot of research to do.
If you’re just starting out, it may matter less exactly which bow you get, and you may even want to buy one secondhand so that you don’t waste money if you don’t end up liking it.
But if you’re serious about getting good at compound shooting and want to buy a quality bow, we have an article that may help you in your search: 9 Best Compound Bow Brands on the Market
Once you’ve chosen your bow, you should look into arrows. There are lots of different arrow types out there for compound bows.
Some of the most versatile arrows for beginning compound archers are the 30-inch carbon arrows with removable tips by Tiger Archery. They are the number one best seller on Amazon and are a reasonable $28.89 for a dozen.
If you would like to do more research before settling on an arrow make and model, you can take a look at the full list of best-selling arrows on Amazon.
After arming yourself with a good bow and some quality arrows, there are still a few things you will need before you’re really cooking with gas.
The first is a case for your equipment. Odds are, you’re going to be taking your bow and arrow to an archery range or to the woods, and carrying them in your bare hands isn’t going to cut it.
You don’t have to sell your assets for a nice case.
A quick search on Amazon will find you the Plano Protector Compact Bow Case, which is a best seller for only $33.50.
Of course, you can also save up and splurge for something more luxurious like the Pelican Air Elite 1745 Bow Case, which claims to be waterproof, dustproof, and crushproof, among other bells and whistles.
Also in the pursuit of making traveling easier, a quiver is really an essential when it comes to archery, whether you’re using a compound bow or a recurve.
The advantage of compound bows is that you can usually attach your quiver directly to the bow.
It might be a good idea to get started with something simple like the SmartHS 6-Arrow Archery Quiver and the work your way up to something fancier like the ArroLok Compound Bow Quiver that holds only five arrows but is extremely adjustable and comes with spring-loaded pistons.
You’ll also need some basic tools like allen wrenches and broadhead wrenches to do basic maintenance on your bow.
These are generally what you’ll need to get started shooting your compound bow, and you can add more accessories as you become more comfortable with the sport.
Other Tools to Customize Your Bow
Once you’ve learned the basics of your compound bow, you can realize the joys of adding accessories to make that bow your own.
These accessories can add not only functionality but style to your bow, and the ultimate goal is always to make it specific to you.
One of the most popular accessories used by compound bow archers is the release or release aid.
These can be used with traditional bows as well, and their main function is to allow the archer’s fingers to rest more than they would without the release and also to improve the frequency of accurate shots.
Humans are not especially good at remaining consistent, and that rule applies to our fingers as they release the bow’s string shot after shot.
We may let it go perfectly one shot and then linger a little too long on the next one, making it difficult to keep up a steady efficiency rate.
Releases take that human error out of the equation, allowing archers to instead pull a trigger that resembles one you might find on a gun.
This release is attached to what is called a D-loop, which is another (cheap) accessory you must acquire if you want to use a release.
As with all other accessories, there is a range of price and quality that you can travel when it comes to releases, but this TruFire Patriot Archery Compound Bow Release is on Amazon for only $16.99.
Sights are also a popular customization that archers add to their compound bows.
This can either be a bow sight or a peep sight.
Both are used to help the archer take accurate aim, but the bow sight is significantly more complicated and looks like something you might see a sniper in a movie use to take down their target from hundreds of feet away.
The peep sight is much less conspicuous and attaches to the bow’s string rather than its frame.
Compound Bow Accessories Specifically for Hunting
Most, if not all, compound bow archers are interested in hunting.
So, naturally, there are a lot of accessories for compound bows that are designed with hunting in mind.
One of those things is a stabilizer. You may have seen these long, metal rods extending out from the frame of another archer’s bow.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, this device actually helps balance the weight of the bow, which is especially important if you’re stalking a deer for an extended period of time, bow raised, attempting to find the perfect shot.
In fact, there are stabilizers of many lengths and materials, and the one you choose will be dependant on the type of bow you’re using and what you’re using it for.
If you’re unsure which to get, you might start with Amazon’s choice, which is the Limbsaver X-Coil 4 1/2″ Bow Stabilizer.
It even comes with a camouflage paint job to keep you hidden and well balanced during your time on the hunt.
The stabilizer’s companion, the bow sling, will also help you when hunting.
A simple contraption, the bow sling is typically a braided piece of fabric attached to the bow that provides additional support to the archer’s grip on the bow.
This accessory will be installed with the stabilizer, so be sure that the models you’ve picked are compatible and that you attach them properly.
There seem to be endless options when it comes to bow slings, but a good, simple option is the Bow Wrist Sling 550 Paracord by Ace Two Tactical on Amazon.
Though it doesn’t actually attach to the bow, many bowhunters wouldn’t be caught dead without a rangefinder while on the hunt.
Rangefinders are incredibly useful for hunters because they use angles and lighting to compute distance, allowing bowhunters to determine things like which deer is closest to them in a herd.
These devices are a little more complicated than some of the other gear we’ve talked about, and some are especially luxurious, leading to higher price tags.
A popular choice is TecTecTec’s ProWild Hunting Rangefinder, which is a modest $99.99.
If you’ve saved up some money for a fancier rangefinder, Nikon offers the 16224 Arrow ID 3000 Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder for a steeper $199.95.
Again, these gear options are not things you need to buy just to get into compound bow shooting, but the longer you participate in the sport, the more accessories you’ll want to add to your setup.