• Excellent question! IMHO you should be shooting a bow that has an 80# DW that shoots 340+ feet per second at 35 yards. OK, I am joking, but how many times have you heard people talk like that? In all honesty, I think that 40lbs is sufficient, but if you CAN increase your weight, you should. At 35 yards, that deer could jump the string and you want to make a clean, quick kill. My personal minimum is 50# with a longbow or a compound. I like shooting my bow at 60-65#. Why? Well, it’s enough KE to make a clean, quick kill and if I have to I can hold it back for a much longer period of time. Just my $.02.

  • I would say that 35lbs is a good minimum to about 20 yards assuming you have a modern bow. Personally I’d like to see poundage creep closer to 40 lbs but today’s 35lb bows are in many cases outperforming 50lb bows of just a few years ago. The first year my son bowhunted (just a couple of years ago) his bow was set at about 38 or 40lbs and he was very accurate with it. On his first day out he shot two deer; one at 21 and the other at about 27 yards. Both were pass throughs and resulted in dead deer. It also depends on the state. Many states set a 35lb minimum, however, Maine has a 45lb minimum for big game. Regardless of how much weight you shoot, you must be able to hit your target consistently to ensure a quick and humane kill. Accuracy is a big part of the equation. Shoot within your limits and the limits of your equipment.

  • @Al – If we asked this question on most forums, I am sure the answer would be 80lbs at 340+fps. LOL!

    @Doug – Great point about the efficiency of modern bows. You are definitely correct in saying that 35lbs today isn’t what it was even 10 years ago.

  • SoleAdventure



  • SoleAdventure


  • Time for the resident stickbow shooter to chime in. DING! DING! I’ve heard it echoed time and time again that 35# with a well tuned arrow, sharp broadhead, and excellent shot placement is enough to kill any animal on the continent. I’ve seen plenty of evidence to back that up. I’ve also heard you should hunt with the heaviest bow you can shoot accurately. I’ve got a foot in both camps and usually hunt with a 50# longbow. I feel comfortable at that weight AND can draw it in cold weather with my fingers. If I couldn’t, I would have no issues hunting with a 40# bow as long as everything was set up properly. The thought of pulling anything heavier than 50# on a cold November/December morning while suffering from buck fever, makes my shoulders ache and my hands cramp up even as I sit here.

  • Oh…and I am indeed referring to a 20-25 yard shot here. Though I did put a heavy aluminum arrow clean through a doe, and 10 yards out the other side from 30 yards with a 45# longbow. Again, shot placement, tuning, and control are key.

    • SoleAdventure

      Good thoughts, Nick! Thanks for chiming in from the traditional perspective!

  • Jonslaga

    Well I would suggest what is comfortable for him to shoot. I have mine set at around 60 just because it is comfortable