What Draw Weight for Deer


My son and I are looking into taking up bow hunting in Texas.  For mainly white tail and possible hogs.  What draw strength is needed for a recurve bow for this type of game?


Great question, and one we get a lot.  What draw weight bow should I get?

A lot of bow hunters buy bows at the very max of what they can draw.  That is a mistake!  What you should consider is too factors.  First what draw weight can I comfortably draw and hold.  Now, I think by working out you can increase the weight you can easily handle, but not many of us have the discipline to do that.  If you take the time to shoot your bow accurately, the draw weight is not nearly as important. 

Any modern compound bow with a draw weight of 45 pounds or more will be plenty of bow within a short range, say 20 to 30 yards.  Beyond that you will begin to lose energy quickly.  If you can handle 50 or 55 pounds you will probably get complete pass through shots out to 40 yards. 

The same is true for a recurve bow as well, but a lot will depend on the draw length too.  Recurve bows are usually measured at a draw length of 28 inches.  If your draw length is shorter than 28 inches then the draw weight will be less than the stated weight.  I would not hunt whitetail deer with less than 45 pounds.  You can have your bow or archery shop measure your draw length and then test your bow to find out exactly how much draw weight you are actually pulling. 

This is a great question.  Post it in our forums section too, and see what kind of response you get.

Happy hunting.