Best Hunting Bows

To have success hunting, you need a quality piece of equipment – which isn’t always easy to find when looking at products manufactured overseas. We’ve done the legwork to find the top hunting bows made in the USA. Below are our findings – complete with our top recommendations for major types of bows, tons of details about each one, and the factors we considered in our research process.

Our Findings

We had no problem finding some stellar hunting bows out there that proudly make their products entirely in the United States. These companies not only know what kind of hunting conditions are around, but they also prioritize speed, accuracy, and overall performance to give the best possible product to their customers. To help you find the best hunting bows out there for your needs and preferences, we’ve broken up our top picks into six different categories: compound, recurve, crossbow, target, wooden, and longbow.

Top Recommendations

Best Hunting BowsBest for:
PSE Archery Carbon Air Stealth 35 ECCompound Bow
Martin Archery Jaguar Elite Recurve BowRecurve Bow
Koda-Express ER Illuminated ScopeCrossbow
Martin Archery Axxon Compound BowTarget Bow
Bob Lee Bows – Ultimate RecurveWooden Bow
Best Made Company American LongbowLongbow

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Below are some additional details about each of our top picks along with what we liked and didn’t like about each one.

Best Compound Bow

PSE Archery Carbon Air Stealth 35 EC


PSE Archery makes an all-around quality bow that’s no surprise it’s taken our “best compound bow” category by storm. Overall, this hunting bow is a very lightweight option, but it still packs a punch; the high let-off capability gives you stability while aiming, which also allows you to reach this bow’s top speeds up to 340 feet per second, so it packs quite a punch. Thanks to its sturdy build, you can count on the Carbon Air Stealth to hunt with you for years to come. Even the light weight of this bow doesn’t stop it from being sturdy, thanks to the titanium hardware, PSE’s FlexRod system, and the Live Wire premium strings, that resist stretching. The downside is that the result of all the good you get with this hunting bow is its higher price tag, which is over one-thousand dollars – not exactly affordable for everyone. Another thing to point out is that the build has a somewhat thicker grip than you’d find on a compound bow, which might make or break the deal for some hunters.

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Things we like:

  • 65-90% let-off
  • Lightweight
  • Live Wire premium strings
  • Durable

Things we don’t like:

  • Expensive
  • The grip is a bit thicker than similar bows

 

Best Recurve Bow

Martin Archery Jaguar Elite Recurve Bow


Martin’s original Jaguar recurve bow was already excellent, and the Jaguar Elite is an even better upgrade with a lighter weight and plenty of performance. Part of the convenience of recurve bows is that they take up less vertical space, which is perfect for hunting, plus the Jaguar Elite is comfortable to hold while looking stylish at the same time. The high levels of accuracy and reliability are always a plus to see on any bow, and the silent operation is a suitable fit for hunting. Overall, this bow makes a top pick for both beginners and more experienced users alike, and we like the inclusion of brass inserts to use when installing accessories and a bow stringer to help with an already smooth assembly. Unfortunately, there are a few construction areas that don’t hold up as well as the rest: the riser cushion is rubber, and it can peel off quickly, plus the plastic arrow rest isn’t as durable as you’d like for the piece that helps line up your shot. You can replace or repair these areas, but it would be nice if you didn’t even need to worry in the first place.

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Things we like:

  • Comes with bow stringer and brass inserts for accessories
  • High reliability and accuracy
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Suitable for both beginners and experienced hunters

Things we don’t like:

  • Riser cushion peels off easily
  • Plastic arrow rest

 

Best Crossbow

Koda-Express ER Illuminated Scope


Crossbows may operate differently than other hunting bows, but they still have plenty of the same areas where they need to succeed. Koda’s Express ER crossbow takes those qualifications by storm, giving a model with manageable weight, while still able to let off shots that have enough speed and power to take down big game. In terms of operation, we found that this crossbow is easy to cock into the ready position, which is helpful when you need to fire quickly – or if you’re an older hunter that still wants to get in some bow and arrow game. Additionally, the scope attached to this product is pretty powerful, with five different brightness settings along with a non-illuminated option to help you see your target in many conditions. This bow falls right on the one-thousand-dollar MSRP line, which isn’t the most expensive bow out there, but it isn’t affordable for everyone on the hunt for a quality crossbow.

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Things we like:

  • Easy to cock
  • The scope has five brightness settings
  • Balance of speed, power, and weight

Things we don’t like:

  • Higher price

 

Best Target Bow

Martin Archery Axxon Compound Bow


Another offering from Martin Archery that we found worthy of making our list is their Axxon target bow. While the rest of our picks are definitely in the hunting category, we have to acknowledge this bow used by national target shooting champions, with a build geared towards providing an accurate shot, no matter the distance. Since this is primarily a target bow, that means the focus isn’t as much on power (max let-off percentage is eighty-five, for example), but it still has its uses. The adjustable weight system is excellent for not only adapting to different situations but also for getting your preferred balance when shooting. And if you do decide this is the bow you want to take into the woods, multiple camouflage options are available. While this bow does have plenty of options for you to enjoy, there is, unfortunately, no left-handed model currently available, which can eliminate it as a choice for those who need it. Considering the rest of its quality and the price, you’d expect Martin Archery to provide that build.

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Things we like:

  • Multiple camo options
  • Used as a national champion target bow
  • An adjustable weight distribution system

Things we don’t like:

  • No left-hand option available

 

Best Wooden Bow

Bob Lee Bows – Ultimate Recurve


Bob Lee makes such a stellar bow that we had to debate which category to make this one the best in, but we ultimately decided on the best wooden bow. While not using the same synthetic materials as many modern hunting bows, we felt impressed by how this “old school” style doesn’t slack off in any category of what makes a stellar piece of equipment. When you take Bob Lee’s Ultimate Recurve for a spin, you can count on smooth shooting at rapid speeds. The bow operates silently as well, an essential when you don’t want to startle your target by firing. Bob Lee also offers a two-year warranty on its bows, which gives you decent coverage and shows their confidence in the durability and performance of their product. We had a hard time finding something to dislike about this bow, but again you’re looking at a rather substantial price when you go to pick one of these bows up. It’s worth it, but it may be outside of some hunters’ budgets.

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Things we like:

  • Silent shooting
  • Minimal hand shock
  • Fast speeds
  • Two-year warranty

Things we don’t like:

  • High price tag

 

Best Longbow

Best Made Company American Longbow


The Best Made Company is a notable brand name out there, and archers and hunters will agree that their longbow offering stands out from the pack. It has accuracy and power on its side, even without any additional accessories added. This bow knows how to stand on its own, and it gives a more “natural” feel to shooting that a lot of other picks out there (and even on our list) can’t quite replicate. Aside from the fact that this longbow performs well, we’re also fans of the affordable price tag. It also comes shipped with a bow stringer included, so all you need is some arrows to get started. Not to mention that the handmade wooden crate it arrives in is impressive, keeping your longbow secure during and after shipping. Something to keep an eye out for is that, while this bow comes in different draw weights, you may have to wait a bit if your preferred option isn’t readily available when you go to make your order.

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Things we like:

  • More affordable
  • Comes with bow stringer
  • Handmade wooden crate is also impressive

Things we don’t like:

  • Can be challenging to purchase different draw weights

Recap: Best Hunting Bows Made in the USA


Factors We Considered

Speed

Hunting with a bow provides a similar yet still distinct challenge from hunting with firearms. Something that quickly differs between the two at first glance can be speed, but modern technology allows for these bows to have some impressive momentum on them, increasing your chances of a shot hitting. Naturally, we considered this when selecting our top picks in each category.

Accuracy

While speed is essential, it isn’t everything, either. Accuracy is also a critical component, as it doesn’t matter how fast an arrow is flying if it isn’t on course to hit the right target. Aside from helping you make the shot, accuracy is also a key component in landing an ethical kill. And while part of your accuracy comes from practice, a quality bow certainly doesn’t hurt matters.

Sound Level

Nothing ruins a perfectly lined up shot like the animal hearing your bow make a noise as you fire. We looked at how much noise our top picks made, so you don’t have to worry about the one that got away.

Durability

Quality bows don’t only shoot well; they stand up against the test of time. We focused on bows that have sturdy builds, and that can handle various weather conditions you may encounter while hunting. A little maintenance will go a long way, but it will go even further on a bow with high-quality materials and a durable build to back it up.