Building the Ultimate Bow Hunting Rig

Building the Ultimate Bow Hunting Rig

10 keys for a successful archery setup for bowhunting whitetail.  Do you have the ultimate bow hunting rig? Lets compare notes and find out.

IMG_0075When it comes to bow hunting whitetails the two most common mistake I see day in and day out are people who set up their bow with a draw length that is an inch too long, and who set up the draw weight on their bow that is too heavy for their body. The end results are almost always disastrous, poor form, exaggerated movement in the stand and deer missed on the other end. Over extended draw length are most often caused by the misconceptions that the bow will be significantly faster by adding an extra inch of draw length. The reality is that the extra inch added will only add a mere gain of two or three feet per second. I generally have my bow set up at 63 lbs of draw weight when I am hunting whitetails. I will increase the draw weight slightly when I am hunting moose or elk. I have my draw length set at 29 inches, when I add the D-loop to my bow it becomes 30 inches, exactly where it should be. That leads me into my next key for a successful bow set up, the D-loop.

The next mistake a lot of people make when setting up their bow for bowhunting whitetails, is they do not add a d loop to their bow. A D-loop allows the shooter to have a more consistent anchoring and aiming point. The end results in increasing accuracy and putting more dead deer on the ground. I had a young lady last year here at HQ, and she missed the same doe six times in a row. How? Because her bow did not have a d-loop, and only a nocking point, she was nocking her arrow on the wrong side of the nock. She was so excited that a deer had come in that something as simple as nocking the arrow correctly was over looked. This meant the arrow was lined up on the string incorrectly and was off by approximately 3/8 of an

inch. After I received her texts, I went and there about 15 yards in front of her stand were six arrows buried in the ground. The deer would have been standing at 20 yards based on her description.

Stabilizers that are more than just a decorative item. Most people have a stabilizer on their bow, but it is absolutely useless as it is the wrong stabilizer for their bow. A high quality stabilizer will prevent the shooter from twisting the bow and/or canting the bow in their hand. It will allow the bow to have the proper balance in your hand before, during and after the shot. The stokerized stasis is a great choice when it come to stabilizers. It allows multiple adjustments both forwards and backwards to help the shooter achieve supreme balance.

Match your arrow to the game you are chasing. I prefer an arrow with a minimum of 8 grains per inch. I like an arrow that is on the heavy side as it generally will have greater kinetic energy and better penetration. The Carbon Express Whitetail arrow is the perfect blend of speed and strength for chasing whitetails. It is a more budget friendly arrow and it comes in at just under 8 grains at 7.86 grains per inch and does an awesome job of getting deep penetration and passing through the whitetails cavity with ease. I am also a big fan of the Carbon Express Maximum BLU RZ. The Maximum BLU RZ comes in at 8.6 grains per inch and is a devastatingly awesome arrow.


Nothing starts a fight quicker in deer camp than talking about what broadhead is best. All broadheads on the market today will get the job done quickly and effectively with a well placed shot. I prefer a three blade fixed broadhead, like the G5 Montec. I generally shoot a 125 grain broadhead as it give me a proper front of center on my arrow and has a more stable flight, compared to a 100 grain broadhead, especially when shooting long distances. The most important thing is that you believe in your equipment. For me I want the sharpest, strongest, and most reliable broadhead on the market, and thats why I use the G5 Montec. I know that every time I unleash an arrow, it will hit exactly where I am aiming and the whitetail will die quickly.

Whenever I buy a new bow, one of the first things I normally do is replace the bow string. Bow manufactures have come a long way in recent years by putting high quality strings on their flagship bows. Prime even offers a new string every other year. However often times the bows in the middle of the road price range and on the lower end of the spectrum, lack a quality string. If you purchase a ready to hunt, or ready to shoot set up, and the peep site has rubber tubing attached, you know immediately that the string is not a good one. I only use strings that are pre stretched and have zero peep rotation. I do not want to have to use rubber tubing to keep my peep in place. That tubing robs your bow of speed, and adds unnecessary noise. There are plenty of good string makers out there, but only a few great ones, so choose wisely. The only string manufacture I trust is Swatara Creek Outfitters in Annville, PA. These guys also just happened to own and manufacture Stokerized stabilizers as well. So you know you are dealing with quality people.

Why do the most accurate archers in the world use a thumb release as opposed to a wrist release, trigger style? Its simple, they are better. If you want to shrink your groups think about making a simple switch to a thumb style release like the Spot Hogg Friday Night Special or the Carter Simple One. There are plenty of options in the thumb release market and after just a few shots you will wonder how you got along without one before.

Do you know what your effective kill range is? Mine is 80 yards. How do I know? It is the distance that I can consistently put three arrows inside of a three inch circle. You also have to consider factors such as keltic energy so that you can factor in penetration as well.

Finally the question you have to ask yourself, do I attach the quiver or not to attach the quiver to the bow. For years I simply attached my quiver to my backpack. I have never been a fan of adding extra weight unnecessarily to the bow. Then the guys at Trophy Taker went and changed the game by creating the Quiverlizer. At first I was turned off by the initial look of it in the photos I had gotten and I saw one in person and finally used one, after a few shots I was in love.

There are of course other things to take into consideration when building the perfect bow hunting rig. Peep sites have gotten lighter and lighter, and in some cases smaller and smaller. If you are shooting a single pin site, I would recommend a 3/16 size peep, if you are shooting a multiple pin site I recommend a 1/4 inch peep. You want to make sure that the peep allows enough light in so you can actually line up your lips in low light situations. Speaking of low light situations, does your site pin housing have a light on it? If

not, get one. You will give yourself an extra 30 minutes of shooting light each day. Over the course of a week that is an entire day out hunting. There are many options when it homes to bow sites. I prefer a single pin site, but most people use a multi pin site. Regardless of which one you choose, pick one that has plenty of light grabbing fiber optic cable. The Hog Father site that I shoot has over three feet of fiber optic cable. I prefer the single pin as it provides a clearer site picture. However the draw back is you have to remember to adjust the distance on your site. Whether you choose a single pin or a multiple pin site, they each have advantages and disadvantages.

At the end of the day nothing else will matter in the moment of truth when you are whitetail hunting if you do not have the proper draw length and the proper draw weight set up on your bow.

Steve Sheetz

Steve is an avid outdoorsman who has been fortunate enough to publish two books on archery hunting. His first book, For the Love of the Hunt, was published in 2011. His second book, Wading Through the Darkness was published in 2015. Steve sits on numerous Pro Staffs throughout the archery industry. For almost a decade Steve helped build but wanted the opportunity to build something bigger and better and launched in December of 2014 as a way to share his love and passion for the outdoors. Today Chasin'Whitetails Media is growing. With the addition of the radio show in 2014 and a The Heartbeat TV show in 2015, who knows what will come his way next. When it comes to understanding the movement and logic of the urban whitetail and waterfowl, he is more than just a Ph.D. with a love of the outdoors. He is a self-proclaimed expert who loves to engage and teach others about the sport he loves so very much. Spending over 125 days a year in the big city woods and urban waterways chasing all types of game.

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