How to Bowhunt on a Budget

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It Doesn’t Have to Cost a Lot to Bowhunt

Times are tough. The current political climate indicates it could get tougher. The well-heeled will remain privy to flagship bows, pricey arrows and broadheads and accessories priced in the triple digits. Working stiffs like us have to shop more carefully, but that doesn’t mean we have to go afield with subpar equipment. The blue-collar bowhunter can easily assemble a killer bowhunting outfit for nearly half the price of top-tier outfits, freeing cash for things like hunting tags and deer leases — or mortgage or tires for the family Sedan. Luckily, spending less doesn’t make you any less effective as a bowhunter. Sure, your bow may shoot a few fps slower, but speed doesn’t kill — well-placed arrows do. 

There are a myriad of options in today’s archery marketplace, so come along as we investigate some options to save you money in the coming season.

Big-Bang, Low-Bucks BowsBig-Bang, Low-Bucks BowsBig-Bang, Low-Bucks BowsBig-Bang, Low-Bucks BowsBig-Bang, Low-Bucks Bows

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1 | Big-Bang, Low-Bucks Bows

The budget-minded bowhunter can enjoy performance (328 fps) and carrying ease (3.8 pounds). Hoyt’s 31-inch PowerMax ($499 MSRP) includes Tec Lite Riser and ZRX split limbs to provide a stable shooting platform and forgiving nature via 6 ¾-inch brace height. The 75-percent let-off PowerMax Cam assures smooth draw cycles. Proven Limb Shox and StealthShot string stop are included to keep things hushed. Better yet, the PowerMax is offered in Realtree Max-1 and Xtra.

Additional Options: Bear Archery Threat; 330 fps, 4 pounds, 32 ¼-inch axle-to-axle, $599.99 in Realtree Xtra.        

Affordable ArrowsAffordable ArrowsAffordable ArrowsAffordable ArrowsAffordable Arrows

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2 | Affordable Arrows

The thought of loosing or breaking a $15-16 shaft (not including tips) causes some to sweat. More affordable carbon certainly gets the job done, and for half the cost — meaning you can buy two dozen arrows instead of one and soothe the worry of losing or breaking arrows. The Gold Tip Hunter is a great example. It boasts a .006-inch straightness, 2-grain matched weight and 8.9 gpi for $100/12.

Additional Option: Beman ICS Bowhunter; .006-inch straightness, 2-grain matched weight and 9.3 gpi for $85/12.       

Bargain BroadheadsBargain BroadheadsBargain BroadheadsBargain BroadheadsBargain Broadheads

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3 | Bargain Broadheads

Essentially, every package of modern broadheads cost about the same — from $30 to $40 per package — but where bargains are found is in product count. Take Muzzy for example: Invest $30 in the latest-and-greatest Trocar and you get three heads; $10 each. Buy standard three-blade Muzzys (which I’ve killed scads of animals with), and you get six heads for $39, or $6.50 each. New Archery Products’ original Thunderhead come boxed in fives for $40, or $8 apiece. One of the best deals around includes New Archery Products’ Redneck, essentially a simplified version of the venerable Thunderhead, at around $20/3, or $7 each.

Pocketbook-Friendly RestsPocketbook-Friendly RestsPocketbook-Friendly RestsPocketbook-Friendly RestsPocketbook-Friendly Rests

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4 | Pocketbook-Friendly Rests

One of the best drop-away deals going is the New Archery Products’ Apache rest. This rest cradles the arrow and performs really well. Plus, it's very affordable. And the best part about it: it comes in Realtree camo.

Also have a look at the Quality Archery Design (QAD) HDX Ultrarest Drop-Away Arrow Rest. It works great and won't break the bank. It's a little pricier, but is still affordable on most any budget.

Sight SavingsSight SavingsSight SavingsSight SavingsSight Savings

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5 | Sight Savings

Some automatic savings is gained by simply choosing a sight holding three pins instead of five or seven. If you bowhunt white-tailed deer from tree-stands 98 percent of the time, with shots rarely taken beyond 35 yards, you really have little need for anything else. Savings can also be had in sights offering more range options. TRUGLO, for instance, offers the feathery Carbon XS 4-pin for $40, a rock-solid but feathery design helping to reduce side torque on any bow outfit. I have TRUGLO’s Carbon Hybrid 5-pin on one of my favorite run-n-gun bows, an ultra-lightweight, extra-stout sight costing only $75. Trophy Ridge’s Cypher 3, at $89.99, is another true bargain in bulletproof hunting sights. 

Low-Investment QuiversLow-Investment QuiversLow-Investment QuiversLow-Investment QuiversLow-Investment Quivers

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6 | Low-Investment Quivers

I demand quality. A cheap quiver allowing arrows to spill out on the lawn during summer backyard target practice doesn’t cut it. But $40 to $50 will buy you a solid quiver holding arrows securely when left in place while shooting, but detaching instantly after installed on stand or inside a pop-up blind. Look to TRUGLO’s Carbon XS, the Rage Cage or Muzzy’s TAQ Five-Arrow, or G5’s new quiver for affordable but practical quivers.

Budget ReleasesBudget ReleasesBudget ReleasesBudget ReleasesBudget Releases

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7 | Budget Releases

It would be easy to argue that the archer shouldn’t skimp on release quality, as it is the final connection between bowhunter and bowstring, and ultimately a large portion of accuracy. That said, some releases are simply more budget conscious than others. In other words, you don’t have to break the bank to own a smooth-cutting archery release. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Cobra’s Mamba Micro, which also includes micro jaws, quality wrist strap and smooth interior mechanism.

Saving money on archery equipment isn’t about being cheap — it’s about getting the most for your hard-earned money. By shopping wisely, you can easily assemble a deadly accurate, hard-hitting bowhunting outfit at a substantial savings — to help promote marital harmony, and keep your bills up to date. 

EZ HangersEZ HangersEZ HangersEZ HangersEZ Hangers

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8 | EZ Hangers

You won't find a better bow hanger on the market. The Realtree EZ Hangers are light, strong and dependable. Get yours today.

Editor's Note: This gallery was originally published in August of 2016.

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