Compound Bow Draw Weight: How Much Is Too Much?

When it comes to compound bow draw weight, it’s best to check your ego at the door and do what’s best for your body, and your overall shooting accuracy.

Compound Bow Draw Weight: How Much Is Too Much?

Draw weight is too often attached to ego. This is especially true of men, but I’ve also observed draw-weight pride in women.

How do you determine if you’re shooting too much draw weight?

Sweeping Draw Cycles: If you lift your compound over your head or sweep all points of the compass while drawing your bow, you’re shooting too much draw weight. This is somewhat dangerous, and produces additional game-spooking movement.

Cold-Draw Difficulties: If you easily draw your compound during summer 3-D or backyard practice, but after hours on stand feel like your muscles are being ripped from their moorings, or you’re experiencing difficulty drawing your bow at all, you’re pulling too much draw weight.  

Practice Pain: If you experience pain following normal practice sessions, say 30 to 40 arrows in an hour, you’re shooting too much draw weight. You’re also risking injury.

If you have trouble drawing your bow during cold-weather hunts, then it's time to reduce draw weight poundage.
If you have trouble drawing your bow during cold-weather hunts, then it's time to reduce draw weight poundage.

Draw-Cycle Tests

Hunt Stealth: While drawing your compound, you should be able to hang your pin where you want it and tug your bow straight back smoothly, without your pin moving off target.

Basic Test: Here’s a solid test to ensure you’re not over-bowed. Sit flat on the ground with legs spread. Hold your bow between your legs and 90 degrees to the ground. You should be able to pull your compound straight back, slowly and smoothly, without lifting your bow arm.

Cold Test: After a couple hours on stand, especially if you’re feeling a bit hypothermic, pick your compound off the hook and draw on a leaf or stick. Does it hurt? Do you struggle to break peak? Struggling to snug into full draw when you’re cold doesn’t lend itself to topnotch shooting when that season-making buck arrives beneath your stand.

Images courtesy of Diamond Archery

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