The Question

Dear Ken,

I am looking for a powerful, yet very small bow for deer hunting. Any suggestions?


Marlene Moyer

Niagara Region, Ontario

The Answer

It will come as no surprise that for many years compound bows were designed specifically with men in mind (I assume you are looking for a bow for yourself). Fortunately, many manufacturers now build bows designed for women, youth or those with smaller frames.

The key to selecting your bow is ensuring that it can be adjusted to accommodate the correct draw length for you, and that you can handle the draw weight. I would caution to not get too caught up in “power” when selecting your bow. As long as your draw weight is 40 to 45 pounds, you’ll have no trouble taking deer. It is more important that you shoot accurately, and excessive draw weight often means poorer shooting, since you simply can’t hold the bow string back comfortably for long enough. Test a few different draw weights out at your local archery dealer and ensure you select a draw weight that you’re comfortable with.

As for manufacturers, think of it as buying a car. Since they all essentially do the same thing, you should select the one that fits you best, and feels most comfortable. Again, many dealers will have an archery range that provides an opportunity to shoot a few bows, and this will help you find the one that suits you best. Any of the respected manufacturers, including Bear, Matthews, PSE, Browning, Barnett, Parker, Martin, Diamond and more, build quality bows that you will be happy with for years to come.

Good luck—I hope you get your deer.


Ken Bailey