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July 17, 2015 Comments (0) Bow Hunting

Each To His Own !

Do You Need a Stabilizer When You Are Bow Hunting

Do you use a Stabilizer when you are bow hunting or not ? That is the all important question.

Well hopefully this article will answer that question for you .

It is a good thing for everyone to know before they head out into the bush to hunt or if you are just target shooting.


Do You Really Need a Stabilizer on Your Hunting Bow?

Because my elk-hunting strategy is to go hard and light, I look for every ounce I can shave from my kit.

So why would I add a heavy stabilizer to my compound bow, unless it was absolutely critical? That’s the context for my test of three different stabilizers on three different types of bows. And my conclusion after 1,200 arrows: If you are a walkabout bowhunter who keeps shots inside 40 yards, you might not need a stabilizer.

This is a surprising conclusion, especially since the archery industry insists that a stabilizer is an essential part of any hunting bow.

Assessing Stability

Stabilizers add forward weight to a bow, balancing it in hand and, because of the additional mass, absorbing some of the vibration that is produced by the power stroke of the bow.

Some claim that a stabilizer will also reduce noise.

The real value of stabilizers is the weight they add to a bow. In this way, they are like barrel weight in a rifle. The heavier the barrel, the more the gun stays on target.

I shot three bows of different weights and dimensions with three different stabilizers and with no stabilizer at all at 10-yard increments from 20 to 60 yards.

Some noteworthy conclusions:

Many of my target sessions were in crosswinds blowing in excess of 30 mph. In stiff winds, I always shot more accurately with a stabilizer, and my accuracy in wind was directly proportional to distance.

Stabilizers had the most effect on accuracy and noise reduction on my 3.5-pound Mathews Heli-M and the least effect on my 4.5-pound Prime Impact. In between was the 4.3-pound Bowtech.

There was no statistically significant difference in accuracy between stabilized and unstabilized bows inside 40 yards.

That final conclusion is important. Accuracy is improved by a stabilizer. In highly mobile hunting situations, where weight can mean the difference between getting on game or not, then a stabilizer can be considered elective.


Article / Photo : Andrew McKean

To read full article and Test notes click on this link

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