The following items or accessories can help considerably when it comes to consistently delivering an arrow to a target.
Stabilizers help reduce hand shock, bow noise and vibration while keeping a bow steady and stable when shooting. They screw into the front of the bow sticking out towards the target. Their added weight helps equalize against the pull of the string.
Releases take the place of your fingers and add a mechanical element in their place. Many releases use a trigger similar to that found on guns. Releases provide a consistent release of the string when you want to fire the arrow at the target. There are many types of releases on the market.
The arrow needs to rest on something to be able to be lined up with the target. There are single point rest, dual point rest and so on. The rest provides support for the arrow until it is released and then the rest becomes a liability as it could alter the flight of the arrow if the arrow or the fletching contact the rest. The type of rest you choose will depend on what type of arrows you shoot and the fletching arrangement on those arrows. There are many types to choose from and we will talk about two below, the “shoot thru” and “containment” types.
Shoot-Thru Arrow Rests
The Shoot-Thru arrow rest is commonly called a “prong” rest, and is a popular choice. They’re fairly simple to install and they work well for most applications. A Shoot-Thru rest typically has two prongs, spaced about 2/3 of the arrow diameter apart, creating a sort of cradle for the arrow. The arrow sits on top, settling on the gap between the two prongs. These prongs are usually spring-loaded, allowing them to flex down and forward at the moment of the shot to prevent flight disruptions and permitting additional clearance for the fletching as it passes by. After the shot, the spring-loaded prongs automatically return to their original position and you’re ready to shoot again. This type of rest is called a “Shoot-Thru” because the bottom feather or vane (usually the odd-colored one known as the “cock-fletch”) passes between the two prongs when you shoot the arrow. When the arrow-nock and rest-prong alignment is correct, the cock-fletch passes cleanly thru the two prongs without making contact. When properly setup, this type of arrow rest is very accurate and reliable. A basic “Quiktune 800 Style” Shoot-Thru rest costs less than $20 (middle photo) and actually works quite well. If you want more features and easier adjustability, you can purchase a premium Shoot-Thru rest, like the Spot Hogg Platinum for around $80. Of course, there are plenty of mid-grade models to choose from too. Unfortunately, the Shoot-Thru rest does have a few disadvantages. First, if a feather or vane contacts one of your prongs as it passes by, the arrow flight will be notably disrupted and the fletching may be damaged. Straight vanes usually clear with no trouble, but offset and helical fletchings will often require a little more tinkering to achieve good clearance. So proper tuning, correct arrow spine selection, and nock alignment is critical when using Shoot-Thru rests. Shoot-thru rests are also best used with a mechanical release. Unlike mechanically released arrows which tend to oscillate vertically, finger released arrows tend to oscillate horizontally. This side-to-side movement (archer’s paradox) can make proper fletching clearance very difficult to achieve for finger shooters using Shoot-Thru style rests. And finally, the biggest disadvantage of Shoot-Thru rests is the lack of arrow containment. Once you nock your arrow into position, there’s nothing to keep the arrow from falling off the rest prongs. A strong wind, a canted bow, a shaky drawstroke, or even a little buck-fever could all cause your arrow to fall from the prongs of a Shoot-Thru rest. For some users of Shoot-Thru rests, this is never a problem. For others, it’s a constant headache. There are a number of add-on products which function as “arrow holders” for Shoot-Thru rests. However, we do not recommend them, as they often disrupt arrow flight and/or are cumbersome to use.
Containment Arrow Rests
Containment-style arrow rests are a favorite of many hunters, as they totally eliminate the possibility of the arrow falling from the rest. They are easy to install and very easy to tune. Containment style arrow rests either totally encircle the arrow, or simultaneously contact the arrow in 3 spots, rigidly holding the arrow until it is shot. The Containment Arrow Rest is an excellent choice for youth and new shooters too. Many new shooters, especially those who are still wrestling with their shooting form, quickly become frustrated with arrows that fall from the rest. Containment Arrow Rests allow new shooters to focus on their technique and the actual shot, rather than worrying about the arrow rest. Most containment rests sell for $30-60 and they work well with most any type of arrow. Unfortunately, the containment rest isn’t perfect either. Some argue that since the rest is in contact with the arrow for a longer period of time, the Containment Style rest is less forgiving to errors in shooting technique. While this may be true in the strictest technical sense, it is not the most common complaint from Containment Rest users. The most common gripe is fletching damage. Though not all Containment Rests are designed to make contact with the arrow’s fletchings, the most popular of the Containment Rests (The Whisker Biscuit) is designed this way. With repeated shooting, this type of rest eventually wrinkles vanes and tatters the edges of feathers. But since the rest makes equal contact with all 3 fletchings simultaneously, the net effect on arrow flight is negligible – less a tiny deduction in speed. On the other hand, Containment Rests with 3-point contacts (like the Bodoodle Zapper at bottom-left) are designed NOT to make fletching contact. But they can be particularly fussy about nock and fletching alignment, much like a Shoot-Thru rest. Some of the 3-point Containment Rests Page 3 of 5
are designed with fairly small clearance gaps which cannot accommodate most offset and helical fletchings. So a straight fletch may be required if you choose a 3-point type Containment Rest. All things considered, the Containment Rest offers some significant advantages, especially for hunting. Whether you hunt from the ground or a treestand, a Containment Rest ensures that your arrow is ready to shoot at all times. Though this may not be important for 3D target and recreational archers, we suggest bowhunters strongly consider this option. Many of our Ready-to-Hunt™ Bow Packages now include Containment Rests specifically for this reason.
Some bow sights are quite simple, like the one on the left. This is an example of a straightforward fiber-optic 3-pin composite (plastic) sight, with a Lexan pin guard, and twin pin tracks. Each pin can be positioned up or down in its track for elevation adjustments, and each pin can be screwed in and out of the mounting bracket for windage adjustments. This type of sight is very functional, isn’t too difficult to adjust, and would be sufficient for most hunting and recreational applications. This type of sight costs under $20 and easily installs with just two allen head screws.
But as you might expect, sights come in a variety of styles and levels of sophistication. The second sight shown here is quite different – a rather complex sight with many added features. This machined aluminum and composite sight offers gang-adjustments (all pins can be moved at once) for windage and elevation, as well as adjustments for each individual pin. This sight also incorporates more fiber-optics, vertical pin technology, a subliminal aiming ring, an anti-vibration device, camouflage finish, graduated scales, “no-tools” cam adjusters, pin lights, drilled and tapped
quiver mount, and 3rd axis (torque) adjustments. In short, this type of sight is “loaded” with some premium features. Of course, these premium features don’t come cheap. This sight sells for about $100. And there are plenty of models even more advanced than this one. High-end competition sights can cost as much as $200 or more.
You have 2 basic styles of quiver. The one you bolt onto your bow and the one you can hang from your belt.
You may prefer one over the other. I have found that the quiver mounted to the bow keeps everything in one place for you while you are hunting and it makes less noise as it is fixed to your bow.