How To Buy A Used Hunting Bow (Compound and Recurve)

bow hunter with drawn compound bow

You can save a lot of money if you buy a used hunting bow. However, before you make the purchase, it’s crucial that you do your research and know what to look for in a used hunting bow.

There are two primary types of bows: compound and recurve. Compound bows shoot arrows or bolts that are preloaded with spring-loaded devices called ‘cams.’ These cams release pressure from the strings gradually so the arrow doesn’t go faster than the speed of sound.

Recurve bows are designed to shoot arrows for accuracy. The bow limbs are set at an angle away from the bow riser. Be sure to look for a used hunting bow that suits your needs.

What To Look At When Buying A Used Bow

Both styles can be found in good working order on the secondary market. Take your time and read the tips so you can make sure you make a wise used bow purchase.

  1. Know your price range. Decide how much you want to spend, so you don’t end up paying too much for a used hunting bow if you can’t afford it!
  2. Try out lots of different bows before purchasing one to see what feels good and works well with your shooting style.
  3. Decide which type of bow you want to buy. If you are a beginner, it’s recommended you start with a compound bow. If you are experienced and would prefer a recurve bow because of its better accuracy, then go with that.
  4. Always know the draw weight of any bow you are considering. The draw weight is how much your bow can pull when it is cocked for shooting. It is usually labeled on the grip, or on the manufacturer’s website. If you are a beginner, you should start with a lower draw weight so that you can build your strength and muscles up to handle higher weights.
  5. Take your time when looking for the perfect used hunting bow. You want to make sure you purchase a bow that is good quality, in good working condition, and within your price range. If possible, it’s always better to purchase a bow from a shop than from an online auction or website. You can inspect and test the bow before making the purchase, and you will probably get better service since you are buying directly from a shopkeeper instead of through an online service.
  6. Always check for wear and damage before you purchase a used hunting bow. Look for cracks, dents, rust, or missing parts. Bows are expensive and delicate, so they can easily be damaged if they are not properly taken care of. Check the string for fraying or corrosion. You should also make sure that the cams are working properly and that there is still plenty of life left in them. Make sure the limbs on your bow are not bent or warped, as this will affect how well your arrows or bolts fly.
  7. Check the draw length of a bow before you purchase it. The draw length is how far back the string is pulled when it is cocked for shooting. If you pull the string back too far, you can damage the bow, and if not enough, your arrows will fly out too slowly and won’t go as far or be as accurate as they should. Take a measuring tape and measure from the inside of your chin to just below your elbow. This is the draw length of the used bow you are considering buying. Make sure it is not too long or too short for your height so that you can get the most accuracy and power out of your new hunting bow.
  8. Check the warranty information for any used hunting bow that you are considering purchasing. Pay special attention to how long it will last, and what is covered by the warranty before buying a used bow with a warranty. A used bow may not have a manufacturers warranty but if it does this is a solid perk to have.


Buying a used hunting bow can save you a lot of money. Be sure to purchase only from reliable sources, and always check for wear and damage before purchasing. Be sure to know your price range and the draw weight of any bow you are considering buying. You should try out lots of different bows before making your purchase so you can choose the perfect-fitting bow for your needs, and you are more likely to get a quality product at a reasonable price if you buy locally rather than online.

Written by Fred

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