Since its invention thousands of years ago, archery technique has progressed over the centuries. Originally developed as a method for protection as well as a means to procure food, bowhunting today has also evolved into a sport. Instead of the necessity of feeding their families, most bowhunters today enjoy the thrill of sighting “the big one”, stalking their prey, and the satisfaction of a successful hunt. Food procurement is generally viewed as a bonus. Many archers additionally participate in the sport of target shooting as a means of sharpening their skills. Improvements in technology have greatly enhanced the enjoyment archery provides.
Since archery today is primarily considered a recreational sport, many unique bowhunting accessories have been created to improve shooting accuracy. One of the most useful is the bow sight. For shooters who make long-range shots, a bow sight is necessary to allow adjustment for the drop in arrow trajectory over distance. There are models designed for compound bows as well as recurve bows. Some incorporate peep sights, fiber optic sight pins, bubble levels or scopes as adjustment methods. These options offer almost endless choices for customizing your gear.
An arrow rest is also an important accessory, especially if you are shooting a compound bow. Available from several manufacturers, the most common styles are shoot-through and full containment rests. Shoot-through arrow rests are preferred by target shooters, while bowhunters like the full containment versions since they prevent the arrow from falling off the rest. That feature is extremely useful when hunting from a tree stand and aiming downward at an awkward angle.
Bow stabilizers act like anchors, helping to lessen bow movement upon the release of the arrow. However, they do add weight to the bow, requiring more arm strength when adding this accessory. An additional benefit of a stabilizer is a reduction in the noise produced by the release of the arrow. The stabilizers are primarily used during target archery competitions to improve shot consistency.