Recurve Bow Draw Length for Hunting

When it comes to hunting animals, the importance of equipment can not be overstated. Whether you want to shoot targets or animate objects, you need a good set of bows, arrows, and many other accessories that go along with them. The importance of equipment is further amplified if you want to go hunting. In this article, we wanted to discuss the importance of choosing the right recurve bow draw length for hunting

When hunting, choosing the bow is like choosing footwear that suits you perfectly. You can technically make it work with oversized or undersized shoes, but it’s going to be a nightmare. Draw length is an important feature of the bow. It can affect draw weight and many other key aspects of the experience. Those who want to go hunting should choose the perfect draw length based on their physical attributes. Most importantly, draw length depends on the archer’s height and arm span.

Choosing the right draw length bow is especially important for beginners who are just getting into archery. It’s important to use fitting equipment while you’re learning to shoot. Archers who use recurve bows that are too long or too short will see their accuracy suffer. More importantly, beginners who don’t have the right-sized equipment risk developing bad habits. No matter what type of bow you’re going to use, you should have it fitted to reflect your needs. 

Recurve Bow Draw Length for Hunting

Draw length and Accuracy

Anyone who plans to go hunting should make sure that their bow is as accurate as it can be. Shooting at immovable targets is hard enough. The task is made even more difficult when your targets are moving. Most of the time, you can only take down an animal with a bow and arrow if you pierce its body in the sweet spot.

Draw length is the number that measures the distance from the nocking point to the furthest point of the string. Pulling the string further than the recommended draw length will apply too much pressure. This is called ‘stacking’, and it’s considered a bad practice. If you take on more draw weight than you can handle, your hand starts to shake, which will negatively affect your accuracy. Stacking is more likely to occur if the draw length of your recurve bow is too short for your height

If the draw length of your recurve bow is too short, you might not be able to reach full draw weight. This can reduce the power of your shots.

To further improve the accuracy of the shots, archers must use arrows that are longer than the draw length of their bow. The length of the arrow can influence the location of the spine, which can affect its aerodynamics. Using appropriately sized arrows can ensure that the shots fly straight to the target.

How to Measure draw weight for hunting

An easy way to find out perfect draw length for your bow is to measure your arm span. It’s a simple process that can help you make a decision when buying a recurve bow. The process involves two easy steps: measuring your arm span and dividing the number by 2.5. 

This method for determining optimal draw length is often called the ‘Measure and Divide’ method, for obvious reasons. Because of its effectiveness, this method has been used for generations to calculate optimal draw length.

In order to determine optimal draw length, you’re only going to need a tape measure and simple arithmetics. You’re going to need some help throughout the process, so make sure to get an assistant. 

First, you must stand up straight and fully extend your arms to the sides. Your palms must be facing forward and fully released. Make sure your shoulders and chest are in a natural position. 

Once you’ve reached out your arms, have your assistant mark the furthest points on both sides. For better results, you can stand against a wall and use it to mark the length of your arms. Once done, all you have to do is measure the distance between two points on the wall. Every inch is important, so measure multiple times to get the most accurate results.

Once you’ve measured your wingspan, divide the number by 2.5 and you’ll have the optimal draw length for your bow. For instance, if you have a 50-inch arm span, you need a recurve bow with 20 inches of draw length.

Your optimal draw length might slightly deviate from this number, but in most cases, the difference will be insignificant. Based on draw length, you can choose appropriate arrows and bows as well. 

Draw length is also loosely correlated with bow length. 99% of the time, archers with longer arms need longer recurve bows as well. Bows range from 48” to 72” in length, although most recurve bows are around 60 inches long. 

Safety issues

Besides the benefits of accuracy, you should also remember that recurve bows with appropriate draw lengths are safer to use. Before trying to shoot a bow, you must know its draw length. Usually, this is easy to figure out, since the draw length is mostly correlated with the length of the bow itself.

Choosing the right arrows is the most important step towards ensuring your safety. You must get arrows with features (like spine rating and length) that are appropriate for your bow. Length is particularly important. If you accidentally shoot an arrow that is too short for your recurve bow, you might accidentally fire it, which can be dangerous for you and others around you.

If you have a recurve bow with a short draw length, you must also be careful. If you try to pull the string too far, you risk breaking your limbs and getting severely injured. If you try to draw the bow further than its draw length, the limbs are going to break.

When configuring their weapon, archers must also consider the draw weight of the bow. It is listed on one of the limbs of the bow, usually the lower one. Please note that the draw weight number featured on the limb is sampled for a bow with a 28” draw length. If the draw length of your bow is different from this standard, you’ll have to manually check it. There are special scales for checking the draw weight of the bow.

Getting injured while you’re out in the wild is a terrible idea. Don’t try to force your preferences on the bow. If you accidentally bought a recurve bow with inappropriate draw length, don’t proceed to use it anyway. For the sake of your safety, try to replace it. 


Archers who wish to go hunting must carefully choose the recurve bow. The most important part of the process is determining the appropriate draw length for the bow. Our article describes a trusted method for figuring out the appropriate draw length. Hopefully, our guide has helped you make the right decision.

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