The Ultimate Bowhunting Quiz


By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Modern firearms make many types of hunting almost too easy. But bowhunting requires much more rigorous mental and physical approach. How much do you know about bowhunting?

What are broadheads?

Broadheads are a type of arrowhead. They have blades that extend from the arrow shaft, and the purpose of those blades is to maximize damage to the target.


What is a compound bow?

A compound bow is a type of mechanical bow that relies on a series of pulleys, cables and cams to generate the force behind an arrow. Almost all modern bowhunters use compound bows as opposed to traditional recurve bows or longbows.


What's draw weight?

Draw weight indicates how difficult it is to pull a bowstring. Bows with very high draw weights require strong shooters who have excellent upper-body conditioning.


What's the typical MINIMUM draw weight for a big-game hunting bow?

For big game, you need a bow that has a draw weight of at least 35 pounds. This ensures that the bow can generate enough arrow velocity to cleanly kill a large animal.


What is "let off"?

As you draw a compound bow, the heaviest portion of the draw weight occurs about halfway through the draw. Then, thanks to pulleys and cams, there is "let off," as the mechanics of the bow take over and make it much easier to finish the draw.


For bowhunting, you want broadheads to be as sharp as humanly possible.

Broadheads should be ultra-sharp for maximum slicing capability. The flip side of this issue is that you must be very careful when handling these broadheads, otherwise, you'll end up cutting yourself, time and again.


In general, "faster" bows are harder to draw.

"Fast" bows are generally those with higher draw weights. They are powerful bows that sling arrows at high velocities, and generally, that means they are harder to draw.


If you bow hunt in a tree stand, what piece of gear should you definitely buy?

Falls hurt many hunters. If you're heading to a tree stand, you need a safety harness to make sure that you can ascend and descend without breaking your neck.


For most bowhunting outings, you'll need to use a tree stand.

Tree stands are great for bowhunting, but they aren't necessary. Many bowhunters hide in the bushes or even slowly stalk their prey.


What's the most important aspect of bowhunting?

Accuracy, pure and simple, is the most import aspect of bowhunting. And becoming accurate with a bow means many hours of practice and muscle conditioning.


You should always maximize your bow's draw weight for hunting.

Increasing the draw weight makes the bow faster but can also make it harder for you to pull the bowstring. And if you can't comfortably pull the string, your accuracy will likely suffer. When in doubt, err on the side of accuracy.


What do hunters use "field points" for?

Field points are a type of practice arrowhead. They have many of the same flight characteristics of broadheads, but they won't easily become lodged in target materials.


How does a "fast" bow affect arrow flight?

It's basic physics -- the faster the bow, the faster the arrow flies and the flatter the trajectory. Flat trajectories make it easier to be accurate.


In general, which bows are easiest for average hunters to make accurate shots?

Heavier, longer bows reduce wobbling and are easier to draw. Both of those factors make them more accurate, especially for average shooters. Expert shooters, however, often prefer lighter bows for obvious reasons.


When were the first compound bows invented?

In the history of bowhunting, compound bows are practically a brand-new technology -- they weren't invented until the 1960s. Until the 60s, bowhunters mostly relied on recurve bows and longbows.


Bowhunters must specialize in which skill?

Bowhunters must be quiet. Because bows have much shorter ranges than firearms, it means hunters have to get closer to their prey. That means being quiet and blending in.


Light arrows are faster. They also have better animal penetration.

Light arrows do fly faster than heavy arrows. But their reduced weight actually means that they have less flesh penetration. If you hunt big game, you need arrows that pack a bit of heft.


Why should bowhunters move into the wind?

Bowhunters know that many animals can hear better than people and detect smells better than humans, too. Hunting into the wind helps to minimize the odds that prey will detect you during a stalk.


If you go bowhunting alone, where should you keep your cell phone?

If you're hunting alone, you should keep your cell phone as close as possible -- in your pocket. In the event of an emergency, you want your phone as handy as possible.


Why should you NEVER "dry fire" a compound bow that's not loaded with an arrow?

Dry firing (or dry loosing) a compound bow is a fast way to ruin the bow. Manufacturer warranties often don't cover damage caused by dry loosing.


What is "still hunting"?

Still hunting is stalking. It means walking very slowly and quietly in pursuit of game.


If you prefer to stalk or still hunt, you should practice shooting %0Dfrom what sort of position?

If you're still hunting, you'll spend a lot of time crouching. That means you should practice shooting from your knees.


Bowhunting means solo hunting.

It's a common misconception that bowhunters always hunt alone. But smart hunters can utilize a friend or two to maximize their chances during an outing.


After you shoot at an animal, what should you do?

Always hold your bow steady and follow the flight of the arrow. Doing so encourages better follow through, which will help to improve your accuracy.


"Spine" refers to what aspect of bowhunting?

"Spine" is the arrow's relative stiffness. In order to maintain accuracy, you must use arrows that have a similar spine, otherwise, you'll never consistently hit a small target.


What do mechanical broadheads do when they impact an animal?

Mechanical broadheads have a triggering mechanism that spreads the blades upon impact. These blades cause even more damage and increase killing power.


The GPI rating applies to what piece of bowhunting equipment?

GPI stands for grains per inch, and it’s a measure of an arrow's weight. For big game, hunters need arrows with higher GPI ratings.


When honing your bow skills, always practice shooting in the middle of a bright day so that you can see what you're doing.

Some of the best hunting happens at dawn or dusk when the light is dim. To be effective (and safe) you need to practice when the light is low.


What's a common material in modern arrows?

Many arrows incorporate a blend of lightweight aluminum and super-strong carbon fiber plastic. The arrows are extremely strong … and very expensive, too. Losing them is a costly ordeal.


Arrows are very different depending on whether you use a compound bow or recurve bow.

For the most part, the arrows for both compound and recurve bows are very similar. No matter which bow you use, you have to match arrow stiffness and weight for the game you're pursuing.


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