When it comes to bow hunting and women, there are a few considerations that need to be made. What makes the best compound bow for women will have subtle differences from those that a prime choice for a man. This is speaking in terms of average, I have known many women that could hunt well with a bow usually more suitable for a man.
If you are a woman looking to pick up bow hunting for the first time, firstly congratulations! Secondly, consider your bow wisely. It will determine your success or failure in the sport. Don’t go with a second-rate option when you can have one of the best for marginally more money.
When it comes to what makes a good bow for women, it differs very little from what makes a good bow for a man. There are just a few minor considerations that may improve your chances of success.
Compound Bow Considerations for Women
Many articles will cover basic considerations on bow quality. Any of these guides will serve you well. In addition, keep in mind a few specific factors and modifications to these bows.
Draw length is simply the distance from the riser of the bow that the string sits at full draw. Some people pull a little farther than others but the standard is somewhere near the corner of the mouth. This is one aspect of a bow that you need to get dead on.
It is a bad habit of men to overstate their draw length in the first place but usually, women will have shorter limbs and require a shorter bow. The average for men is around 27-28 inches where women will fall in the 25-inch range. Not a lot of difference at all.
You can find your draw length at any archery pro-shop or simply measure it yourself. The bow shop may have better tools but this video will get you very, very close to where you need to be. Always double check to make sure you have everything right before choosing a bow.
Though you can always choose to go with a purpose-built women’s compound bow, the high-level adjustment on any compound bow will make finding one with your draw length quite easy. Even the smallest in stature should fall well within the range used by most bow companies.
No matter what you may be told, there is zero reason why you should choose a youth model bow. Not that some of these are not good choices in particular but that most good bows are suitable. The adult versions, women’s or not, are often far better made than a youth bow.
Surveys conducted on hunters have found that the average male uses a bow that draws around 70 pounds where a woman usually has a preferred draw weight of 40 – 50 pounds. There is little reason for most people to use a bow as 70 pounds. Often lower draw weights are just as effective.
Don’t get hung up on draw weight but don’t rule it out either. Most states have a minimum draw weight usually between 40 and 50 pounds which works out quite well. Make sure you are familiar with the laws in any state you plan to hunt before you buy a bow.
Also, don’t overexert on drawing a bow. This is a fault many men have. Straining on the draw can lead to inaccurate shots or even injury. Man or woman, drawing a bow is not a normal movement. You need to build the appropriate muscles before taking on a high-draw bow.
Draw weight is important but is not the be-all-end-all of bow hunting. I have taken dozens of deer with a 50# recurve bow. If I can do that, any compound of a comparable weight will do the same with no issue. The added range and power between 50 and 70 pounds are not that big a deal.
Brace height is simply the distance between the riser of the bow and the bowstring when the bow is at rest. This is always an important consideration when choosing a bow for a couple of reasons. For a woman, there is an additional concern.
Normally, the man difference between a low brace height and a high one is accuracy. A higher brace height is generally more accurate than a lower brace height. This deals with the physics of how an arrow bends under force.
The opposite side of this is speed. A lower brace height will have less force applied to the arrow and speed will be reduced. Generally, the tradeoff for more accuracy is well worth it and this plays well into the final considerations.
There is a physiological difference in a woman’s elbow that can make it protrude farther inward. Though the amount is not enough to move the elbow in line with the bowstring, it is enough to get some impacts on the forearm.
Why endure that pain when you can go with a slightly higher brace height? The normal range is between 5 and 7 inches. For a woman, staying close to that 7 inches or a little over will greatly enhance your shooting experience.
Regardless of the brace height, it is probably a good idea to wear a bow bracer. This tool can be very useful in practice sessions. No one likes getting their forearm burned after repeated impacts from a bowstring.
Weight & Size
Obviously, no one wants to carry around a bow that is any heavier than it needs to be. No matter your size, sex, or any other factors, a 10-pound bow gets old after a mile or so. For those of a smaller frame, this just happens a little quicker.
Most bows will fall into a range between 6 and 10 pounds. There are a few examples that are lighter than this due to modern materials but the price is usually very high. Be reasonable about choosing the appropriate bow weight and think about how far you will need to carry it.
As long as your draw length requirement is met, the size of a bow isn’t that critical. Having a smaller bow will make it more maneuverable, especially in a deer stand. A shorter bow will be less accurate. The reverse is true with longer bows.
Most bows are designed somewhere in the mid-range of size. They aren’t so big as to be unwieldy but are still large enough not to have accuracy issues. If you notice a bow that is far too short or too light, you may want to investigate further to make sure there are no issues with that bow.
Women Specific Bows
A number of companies make bows specifically for women. Companies like Matthews Bows and Bowtech Bows both come to mind. There is no reason you are restricted to these choices. Nothing about these bows makes them inherently better for a woman.
This does not mean that you should not go for a woman-specific bow if you choose. The Bear Siren, Bowtech Carbon Rose and Muddy Girl compound bow by Fleetwood have been best sellers for some time. They will do everything you need if that is what you choose to use.
The one consideration with women-specific bows is color. I am not here to tell you that you can’t have your pink or purple compound bow but that does make a difference to the hunter. You don’t want a bow that can be easily seen by a deer.
If you hunt from a blind or a stand, the color of your bow will make little difference. But you should make sure it is some form of camo pattern. Even if a dominant color is pink, the black will at least break up the color enough to help it blend in.
If you are just interested in shooting competition or as a hobby, there is no color consideration. But for hunting, you will need every advantage you can get. Taking a deer with a bow is a challenge in the best conditions.
Top 5 Womens Compound Bow For Women 2020 - Comparison Table
12 - 30"
5 - 70 lbs.
13 - 31"
5 - 70 lbs.
15 - 30"
7 - 70 lbs.
17 - 30"
15 - 70 lbs.
19 - 29"
30 - 55 lbs.
Our Top 5 Compound Bow For Women Recommendations:
1 Bear Archery Cruzer G2
One of the original innovators in the compound bow market, Bear has continued to make amazing products for more than 60 years. Though there is little difference in overall quality among the top brands, Bear has always been a great performer. Due to experience alone, they get a slight edge.
For a bow you can learn and grow with, the Cruzer is near perfect. With a range of draw weights from 5 pounds all the way up to 70, you can start where you are comfortable and build as you go. From beginner to expert, this bow moves with you all the way. This bow could be used for hunting anything from turkey to bear or hog with equal success.
Pushing arrows out at a respectable 315 fps, there is no way the deer are going to get out of the way. Matched with an appropriate arrow and draw weight, this is a sure-fire killer. Some women may find the brace height a tad low at only 6.5 inches but that is not a huge problem.
This is also the lightest bow on this list at only 3 pounds. No matter your stature or strength, this is a bow you can lug for miles if need be. For a hunting bow, you could not ask for more than what Bear is giving. The only possible upgrades are hundreds more.
If you are after a complete womens compound bow package, the Cruzer comes kitted out with Trophy Ridge accessories. You get eh quiver, sights, arrow rest, and compensator. Add arrows and you are ready for the woods. This is a solid deal on an amazing bow.
2 Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro
For those who don’t know, Diamond is made by the same company as Bowtech. For anyone searching for a great Bowtech women’s bow but at a better price, this is definitely the way to go. It is an outstanding bow that is fully featured and among the most comfortable around to shoot.
No matter your draw length, this bow has you covered. It can go anywhere from a child to a full 30”. The weights of this bow are equally versatile and can be customized from only 5 pounds up to a bone-shattering 70 if need be. This is easily one of the best women’s beginner bow packages that will take them all the way to expert.
At the full draw weight, this bow is capable of speeds exceeding 300 fps but hold solid speed even at 40 pounds. With an amazing 80% let off, you will hold nothing when at full draw giving you all the time you need to line up that perfect shot. This is serious quality at a reasonable price.
Weighing only 3.1 pounds and with a full 7” of draw length, this is a perfect bow for a smaller statured person. No need to muscle around a beast of a bow to get power when you can have it with all the comforts at half the weight of some bows.
They may not have the fame of their more popular parent brand but they accomplish all of the same goals. The difference in quality is marginal at best. If you want quality you could spend over a grand on a Bowtech or stick with a little more budget friendly option like the Diamond. From medium to large game, they are brutally effective.
3 Diamond Archery Edge
But if you want a deal on a bow and don’t care that its last years model, you could pick up the true Edge that was famed as a deer bow. The upgraded model was more geared toward cost cutting then quality improvements. Not that any of Diamond’s bows are lacking quality but this was a high point in their production.
This bow is blindingly fast at nearly 320 fps when at the max 70-pound draw. You will lose a little of that if you drop it down but it can go as low as 5 pounds for target practice or the smallest game. And you will only hold about 20% of your draw weight when at full draw thanks to the oversized cams.
The brace height of this bow is the average 7 inches which works well for accuracy while keeping a good deal of speed. This also helps keep your arm somewhat clear of the string when you release. All in all, this is quite a comfortable bow to shoot.
There are not many of these floating around anymore. The price hasn’t really gone down all that much since their production run and it likely won’t. At only 3 and a half pounds, this powerhouse of a bow was considered one of the best by serious hunters.
This would probably beat out the Infinite edge if it had a warranty but that is the one downside of getting a bow that is no longer in the production lineup. There were few issues with this bow that needed fixing but if one comes up, you are going to have to cover repairs. Still, this is a great value.
4 Quest Radical
Quest is one of those companies that got overshadowed by the many big names in bow making and nearly forgotten. This is unfortunate because their quality was spot on. Good news for the company is that their 2020 lineup looks quite promising.
But on this bow, you get a solid bow at quite a good deal. One that most people will recognize by name even if they don’t know the bow. It is built to impress with a great 7 and a quarter inch brace height and a frame that tops out at 3 pounds 4 ounces. Combined with one of the most comfortable handles on the market, and you have a great bow to shoot.
The draw length and draw weight are both highly adjustable. Draw weight can be set from 15 to 70 pounds and length from 18 to 30 inches. This is a great bow for learning that keeps the weights reasonable at the low end but has plenty of power as you build your strength.
Unlike most modern bows, the full riser is made of aircraft aluminum with a Dura Fuse finish. The limbs are the more standard fiber that can push an arrow at nearly 300 fps. It may not be the fastest bow on the block but it is among the most accurate.
If you are ok with a lesser known company but one that is well known for quality, Quest is definitely a good choice for you. It was sad that a lack of innovation and marketing nearly took them under. They have great bows and will probably regain their reputation in time.
5 SAS Scorpii
If you need a bow on a budget, that can be had as well. You will lose a little if the fine tuning and not get the fit and finish of the higher dollar bows but Southland Archery does good work. In their lineup, this is one of the lower powered options but a perfect match for beginning hunters.
In most ways, this bow is right in the middle of the road. The power maxes out at 55 pounds which is more than enough to take a deer but can be set as low as 30 pounds. This weight range makes it great for developing what you need for the more serious bows out there.
At 55 pounds you get a solid 260 fps which is comparable to what most high-end bows will do at that weight. This speed is plenty for taking a deer and gives you the accuracy you get from a bow that is not so blazing fast. Once again, perfect for a beginner.
With a brace height of 7 inches and let off of 70%, this bow is a great platform all around. These numbers are not at the top of the scale but are definitely respectable for a hunting bow. Even the 3 and a half pound weight is right in line with the more expensive bows.
If you are very small stature, this bow may not work for you. Draw lengths below 22 inches will have trouble. You could shoot it as low as 19 inches but it doesn’t get the full effect of the cams at that length.
When looked at in total, this is a good bow. It may not be the best but when you are starting on a budget, it's hard to beat. You can even get this as a full kit that has everything you need to get out and shooting the day it arrives. Even with the kit, it beats most bow prices out the door.
With the constant attacks on hunting as a hobby, we need everyone hunting that we can get! There may be many nay-sayers but the women hunters I have met have been talented and willing outdoors people. They are dedicated to the craft and tend to be very successful.
If you encounter those nay-sayers, reach out to us. We are more than willing to offer you any help or advice that we can. You are more than welcome to share the woods with us. It would be great if you could get more of your friends to come along and learn the skill!