If you regard hunting as a very primal and instinct-based activity, then you must be in the market for the best recurve bow out there. That’s because this sort of bow doesn’t allow for too many extras and flourishes, it has a simple build and it’s easy to use, taking you back to your ancestral roots.
Choosing a good bow isn’t that easy, you should take into account a lot of aspects that may influence your hunt. We’re here to help you in that respect with a list of criteria to think about before making your purchase, and then we’ll let you know which bows we like best and why.
How to Get The Perfect Recurve Bow
Acquiring that perfect bow means you’ll have to think how you want your hunt to play out, apart from the particular characteristics your bow has.
So when you’re out hunting, you want to:
- Remain hid.
- Get only the equipment you can easily carry.
- Pick durable items that don’t need a lot of on-field repairs.
- Make efficient kills, making sure the skin, flesh and even bones of your game can be penetrated by the arrows.
- Make precise shots that go straight to the target.
Each of this features of a good hunt will render the features of your bow, which should be built accordingly:
- With a high enough draw weight.
- With a big enough length.
Let’s analyze each of these above factors and see if we better understand how they work:
When it comes to being stealthy, you should work on three directions that regard the three main senses used by wild animals to spot their predators:
- Vision: your bow should be almost invisible.
- Hearing: your bow should be silent.
- Smell: your bow should be odorless.
You clearly won’t be able to buy an invisible bow, just get one that colored in an earth-like tone that can’t easily be seen among the trees. That means choosing a weapon that’s easily hidden by an appropriate pattern, like camouflage or Realtree Xtra.
Besides, what if you set up camp for hours, only to find that the bow string produces tons of vibrations that spook game? You’ll feel horrible. Your bow needs to be silent mainly because noise will obviously deter the game.
You need to get the right kind of bow, with a specific build to reduce these vibrations that are ultimately responsible for producing the unwanted sounds. Keep in mind that these can only be minimized and not removed altogether.
So the limbs of your bow:
- Have to be manufactured from materials that damp noises and prevent vibrations.
- Should be tuned accordingly.
- Should allow silencers or dampeners to be easily installed.
Lack of odor
Getting rid of any pervasive smell is one of the most important things a bow hunter should take into account, that most shotgun hunters don’t have to think about. That’s because you’ll need to get much closer to your game, and you’ll need to mask your smell by using some sort of odor removal product on the limbs of your bow.
Also, make sure the bow is built from materials that don’t develop a certain smell of their own with the passage of time.
This issue should be dealt with on the following directions:
- Low weight.
- Compact dimensions.
So get a bow that’s built from resistant, yet light materials. You don’t need extra weight that will mess with your ability to easily carry the bow, especially if you’re planning to walk or stalk your quarry for hours at a time.
Moreover, if portability is your main concern both when it comes to easily fitting your bow with your other luggage or storing it in a less spacious place, you should consider a takedown model. That means its limbs can rapidly be detached to allow for increased compactness. A one-piece model is conversely more durable and less prone to breaking on the field.
Check the materials that offer more strength and resistance to your bow. These generally are:
- Wood laminate.
Appropriate draw weight
Recurve bows are typically lighter than compound bows, which makes them more appropriate for target practice or shooting smaller animals. As such, if you want to employ a recurve bow for hunting, get one that has about 45 pounds draw weight.
This weight is enough to help you make your kill from a 20 yards distance, getting through the layers of flesh and muscle of your game. Otherwise, you’ll only produce a minimal injury, resulting in both unnecessary pain and suffering for the animal, and you losing your meal.
But the draw weight should also be chosen according to your own strength if you don’t want to strain yourself too much. That could lead to sore muscles in the best case scenario, or to uncontrollable shaking and difficulty shooting in the worst case scenario. So we recommend:
- Below 40 pounds for people who aren’t that strong.
- 40-45 pounds for stronger individuals, but who don’t have much experience bow shooting.
- More than 45 pounds for strong, experienced hunters.
Longer bows account for more accurate shots because they’re more stable, so get a recurve bow that is at least 58 inches long.
There’s a difference between draw length and just length, which is the measure we’re talking about here. That means the distance between one tip of your bow to the other, and not the distance between your bow and the string when you’re drawing it.
Some High-Quality Items to Look At
The five factors we’ve discussed above are the most important ones in our opinion. However, when you’re perusing the market in search of the ideal bow, you’ll find there are other secondary aspects that may influence your decision.
Besides, you may even be put in front of certain dilemmas, for example choosing a very durable, yet less silent bow.
But hopefully, we’ve given you enough information to help guide your instincts towards the best traditional bow for you, and you can make an informed decision from the products below.
Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow
Weight: 25-60 pounds draw weight
Dimensions: 62 inches
Specifications: B-50 string; arrow rest; installments; hard maple wood; black fiberglass; 29 inches maximum draw length; takedown bow; right-hand use
Best Use: beginner hunting
Description: This 4.6 stars Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow has a price range between $135.98 – $144.99, depending on the draw weight you’ll choose, anywhere from 25 to 60 pounds. Consequently, you can acquire the model that seems more appropriate depending on your level of strength, skill, and purpose.
All these models come in a 62-inch length, though, which is big enough to provide more precision to your shot whether you’re aiming at a bullseye or at a wild animal.
This bow comes with valuable feats, like the B-50 string and the arrow rest, but it also has some notches and installments for future customizing. You can, therefore, install a brass plunger to reduce the oscillations of your arrows in flight and achieve better precision.
The stabilizer you can install will absorb the vibrations produced by the string, minimizing noise and allowing you a firm grip. You can add a sight for increased visibility too, and a quiver for your arrows.
The design is sturdy and strong, seeing as the limbs are made from hard maple wood, being reinforced with black fiberglass. The limbs can easily be detached for more space, and they have reinforced tips. The riser is also manufactured from hard maple, and it has a radiused construction.
The string is resistant, and it allows a maximum draw length of 29 inches, to make sure you get enough speed and make a fast kill.
Related: Samick also offers this bow in the Left-hand orientation model.
Hoyt Gamemaster Recurve Bow II
Weight: 2.9 pounds
Dimensions: 62 inches
Specifications: takedown type; included travel case; 21 inches TEC riser; handmade string; low-stack limbs; custom grip; camouflage; 7-8 inches brace height
Best Use: versatile hunting
Description: This Hoyt Gamemaster Recurve Bow II is one of the most traditional models, but it still has a lot to offer especially to the purist hunters who are looking for a slim design mixed with an effective on-field performance.
The first thing you can notice about this bow is its portability. A low weight of just 2.9 pounds makes it easy to carry and hold with a firm grip for prolonged periods of time. The 62 inches total length is big enough to increase accuracy, but won’t prove a negative influence regarding compactness, since this is a takedown bow.
So you can quickly take the limbs out to make more space and fit the bow in your luggage. The included travel case is another advantage in what portability is concerned.
Both newbies and experts can benefit by using this bow, seeing as it’s built well from quality materials. The riser, for instance, is a TEC model, which is very strong so it won’t break down in the middle of your trip.
The string is handmade for improved attention to details, and it’s a Flemish Twist type. The limbs are low-stack and offer precision alignment to make accurate shots, while the grip is custom made from wood to provide a comfortable hold at all times.
This bow will help you stay hidden thanks to its camouflage design, and take fast, accurate shots seeing as it fits a brace height of 7-8 inches and its riser has a length of 21 inches.
Martin Archery 40 Hunter Recurve Bow, Right Hand, Shedua
Weight: 2.3 pounds
Dimensions: 63 x 10 x 2.5 inches
Specifications: 35-65 pounds draw weight; 6.75-7.75 brace height; 30 inches maximum draw length; Shedua riser; hard maple and black fiberglass limbs; right-hand use
Best Use: aggressive hunting
Description: This $580.80 Martin Archery 40 Hunter Recurve Bow, Right Hand, Shedua is one of the best in its category, but you’ll have to take into account it can only be used by right-handed people.
The first thing that pops about it is its ability to achieve a great speed, which is why we think it’s better for hunters who prefer a more aggressive technique.
The fact that it has a 6.75 to 7.75 brace height, a 63 inches length, and 30 inches maximum draw length proves that the arrows it releases can reach high speeds and have enough kinetic energy for a high penetration force.
Even the 35-65 draw weight accounts for this, especially if you’re going towards the bigger end of the spectrum. With 35 pounds you can easily hunt smaller game, whilst the 65 pounds option is better intended for larger animals.
The low 2.3 pounds weight accounts for improved portability, and you can see it’s a stable enough bow since its length is 63 inches. We also love that it’s a durable bow, made from quality materials, like the Shedua, Bobbing and hard maple for the riser.
The limbs also have some hard maple laminations, but they’re reinforced with fiberglass too. Their tips are a combination of Bobbing wood and fiberglass for better resistance to damage, rendering this bow a really sturdy item.
Bear Archery Super Kodiak Recurve Bow Right Hand
Weight: 3 pounds
Dimensions: 60 inches length
Specifications: one-piece; right-hand use; 50 pounds draw weight;
Best Use: large game hunting
Description: This perfect 5 stars and $629.99 Bear Archery Super Kodiak Recurve Bow Right Hand is a one-piece bow, meaning you won’t have any hassle when it comes to attaching the limbs.
That accounts for increased resistance to damage and a smaller likelihood of breaking it when hunting, but it also loses some points regarding portability because you can’t make it more compact by removing its limbs.
On the other hand, its 3 pounds total weight makes up for this, seeing as you can easily hold and handle the Kodiak.
It’s a right-hand model, so your dominant eye has to be the right one in order to make precise, accurate shots. Its 60 inches length may render this one-piece bow a bit big and incommodious to store, but it’s perfect when it comes to the accuracy of the hits.
That means your game won’t suffer needlessly once you hit it, and the big enough draw weight of 50 pounds renders this bow powerful enough for expert shooters who are after bigger quarry.
The limbs and string are very high-quality, contributing to the precision of your shots. But they also account for easy adjustments, fine tuning, and even low maintenance. The included arrow rest will allow you more leeway, which is an additional advantage. Plus, the strings are quiet enough so that there’ll be minimal vibrations and almost no noise to spook your game.
The riser is made from quality wood too, which makes for a comfortable, steady handling even in the most precarious conditions. The limbs and their tips are reinforced with fiberglass so you know this is a strong, reliable bow.
Its only downside is its lack of pre-installments or notches to further customize it with the extras you think are more useful, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you prefer traditional hunting.
Realted: Bear Archery also offers this model in three other draw weights: 45 pounds; 55 pounds; 60 pounds.
PSE Razorback Recurve Bow Right Hand
Weight: 35 pounds draw weight
Dimensions: 62 inches
Specifications: right-hand use; 3 types of wood for the riser; maple wood and fiberglass limbs; notches for stabilizer and sight; 5’7’’ recommended shooter height; takedown
Best Use: youth and beginners
Description: This 4.3 stars PSE Razorback Recurve Bow Right Hand is better intended for hunters who have less strength as well as a smaller frame. The first clue is its 35 pounds draw weight, but the official description itself states that the recommended shooter height should be around 5’7’’.
This draw weight means you can safely use the Razorback either for target practice or for hunting smaller animals.
Its length is 62 inches, meaning it’s long enough to provide increased stability. That will allow newbies to take more precise shots and advance towards using bigger draw weight models.
The fact that it has inserts for both a stabilizer and a sight is an additional advantage for hunters who are searching for extras to improve their on-field performance and effectiveness of their shots.
The design of this bow is advantageous for those interested in portability because it’s a takedown model. It’s manufactured from top-notch materials, like the three types of wood for the riser: Walnut, Burma White, and Beechwood. The limbs are made from maple wood, which is sturdy too, and they’re strengthened with fiberglass for improved resistance.
Related: PSE also offers this model in three other draw weights: 20 pounds; 25 pounds; 30 pounds.
PSE Blackhawk Recurve Bow Right Hand
Weight: 3.1 pounds
Dimensions: 60 inches length
Specifications: right-hand use; one-piece; laminated hardwood riser; 7-7.5 inches brace height; 28 inches draw length; 45 pounds draw weight
Best Use: beginners
Description: This 3.6 stars and $257.35 PSE Blackhawk Recurve Bow Right Hand is a quality product that can easily be used even by beginners.
That’s because it has a 45 pounds draw weight, so you don’t have to be an expert to shoot medium game with it. However, you should have a right dominant eye because this bow is intended for right-hand use only.
The included arrow rest is great for increased precision, and the Dacron B50 string is a durable string that stretches well so that you’ll have a minimal shock to your hands when shooting. That makes for a firm grip and explains why this type of string is the favored one by newbies. The limbs are high-quality too, but they can’t be detached from the riser, which interferes with its portability.
On the other hand, the low total weight of just 3.1 pounds makes this bow easy to carry and hold, and the materials used for its manufacturing account for its overall reduced weight. Even the riser is made from laminated hardwood, which, albeit strong and durable, is still light. That is yet another advantage for beginners.
This bow is also silent and fast, seeing as it has the proper characteristics for that. Apart from qualitative materials, its 60 inches length make it very stable, while its 28 inches draw length increases acceleration and accuracy.
The 7-7.5 brace height and 45 pounds draw weight will account for bigger speed and penetration force too, making this one reliable beginner bow for hunting purposes.
Related: PSE also offers this model in two other draw weights: 35 pounds; 40 pounds.
Bear Archery® Grizzly Recurve Bow Right Hand
Weight: 45 pounds draw weight
Dimensions: 58 inches
Specifications: satin gloss finish; Dacron string; cut-past center shelf; right-hand use
Best Use: versatile hunting
Description: This 4.9 stars and $373.99 Bear Archery® Grizzly Recurve Bow Right Hand is definitely a good bow for hunting purposes. That’s because it can be used no matter the weather, and you can rely on the durability, strength, and stellar reputation that all Bear Archery products have. The high rating attests to that, but you’ll have to take into account this bow is intended just for right-handed people, whether beginners or experts.
Since you can use this bow regardless of your level of expertise, we feel it’s a versatile tool. Another argument is that with 45 pounds draw weight, you can use it for both target practice as well as hunting.
Seeing as its length is 58 inches, you won’t have any problems with the force and accuracy of your shots when going after the medium-sized game. That’s because it’s very stable and can even increase the speed of your arrows without sacrificing the comfort of your grip, courtesy of its cut-past-center shelf.
The materials used are top quality, like the strong hardwood riser, a tough and reliable Dacron string that can withstand many years of use, and a satin gloss finish that protects this bow from all sorts of damages and dampness.
And thanks to all that you can really use this bow right out of the box without adding any other accessories to it.
Related: Bear Archery also offers this model in four other draw weights: 30 pounds; 40 pounds; 50 pounds; 60 pounds.
What Will You Get?
After looking at all these recurves, we’re curious if you’ve made up your mind regarding the bow you’re going to get. So tell us what your choice is and why.
What do you think is the most important feature a recurve should have? What’s your skill level? What are you planning to use it for? Have we missed something in this article? Are there any better recurves you know of we haven’t mentioned?
Drop us a line, the comment section is right here.