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Target Compound Bow vs Hunting Compound Bow: What’s the Difference?

If you’re new to archery, you may notice some bows labeled as target bows while others are specifically for hunting. It may be confusing to initially understand the difference, since, at first glance, they may appear to be similar. Turns out, bows are designed to meet the desired outcome of the user. Of course, we know the goal for every archer is to hit their target, but different types of bows can help in different situations. Understanding the difference between a target compound bow and a hunting compound bow will help you make a more informed purchase. We will discuss the benefits of both types and how you can use this information to narrow down your choices to find the perfect bow for you.

What’s the Difference Between Target Bows and Hunting Bows?

Although they may appear similar, there are some noticeable differences to look out for that even the beginner can spot. Beyond that, both types of bows can feature a few different accessories to make them better suited for the chosen activity. When it comes down to it, you need to first consider why you want to do archery in the first place. When you’re starting out, you may want to choose a bow that aligns with what you’re planning on shooting, either target archery or hunting. For instance, if you initially purchase a nice looking target bow, you may find it is lacking a few key components that help out with bow hunting. 

Some target compound bows may look more attractive to a new archer since they can come in any color or design. While this is nice, hunters should be more concerned about blending in with their surroundings and wouldn’t want to use a brightly colored bow.

Either bow can be used in either situation. One isn’t technically more accurate than the other, but they lend themselves better to different scenarios. Once you become more advanced, you may actually find target bows’ accuracy to be more beneficial. While it’s up to you, we will go over why one bow should be used over the other.

Benefits of a Target Compound Bow

You guessed it, target compound bows are designed for bow target shooting, whether competitive or not. If you’re not looking to get into hunting, target bows offer a fantastic setup for beginner archers, as they are designed to promote the highest level of accuracy possible. There are a few elements of target bows that aid with accuracy, even when shooting with a less than perfect form. This may include:

Longer Bow Length: Target bows are typically at least six inches longer than hunting bows or between 36-41 inches axel to axel.The longer length makes the bow more stable and helps reduces the influence of bow movement.

Longer Brace Height: For similar reasons as bow length, a higher brace height helps create a more forgiving shot by reducing bow movement. 7 inches or higher would be anticipated.

Flexible Accessories: With target bows, you don’t need to worry about the appearance and design of sights and stabilizers. The accessories setup can be as elaborate as you want it to be. You won’t need to worry about the length of the accessories being an obstacle, so you can add extra stability to your bow without concern.

Benefits of a Hunting Compound Bow

Wouldn’t a hunter also care about accuracy? Of course, but hunting compound bows need to compromise accuracy for ease of use and stealth. For hunting bows, it’s all about utility. A hunting bow can technically be as accurate as a target bow, but it may take a more seasoned archer with perfect form to get the accuracy a target bow can offer. Instead, hunting bow designs include practical aspects such as:

Shorter Bow Lengths: While target bow lengths can reach up to 40 inches, hunting bows usually aren’t much larger than 33 inches. Because of this, they are also lighter, making it easier to maneuver in tight spaces.

Faster Arrow Speed: With shorter bow lengths and brace heights, arrows tend to travel faster. This is important when shooting moving targets over stationary targets.

Stealthier Accessories: When choosing a stabilizer for a hunting bow, you will ideally want something more compact. The goal of a hunting bow stabilizer is to quiet your bow and reduce vibrations so you won’t scare off game when shooting. Sights for hunting bows tend to be more flexible, since using multiple sight pins allows you to change your sight to different ranges to deal with moving targets.

Get the Right Gear with Specialty Archery

Maybe this is your first bow purchase or maybe you just discovered you’ve been using a target bow when you really need a hunting bow. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even find you prefer to use a target bow while hunting. Regardless of what bow you use, you’re going to need some gear, and we’re here to help at Specialty Archery. We have you covered with our large selection of bow scopes, peep sights, and other accessories. From hunting enthusiasts to target competitors, we’re here to help you find the products you need so you’re not overwhelmed by the choices.

Whatever type of bow you get started with, we can match you up with the right accessories to deck out your new compound bow. Browse our products, or get more information on our best sellers. Although there are many options out there, you’ll still find some patented gear you won’t be able to find anywhere else! Distributors, dealers, and archery shops all around the country trust us.

Since we’re a team of archery experts, we know what bow users of all experience levels need. Connect with us today so we can get you started with the right tools and equipment you need. Whether you’re just starting out or in need of some replacements for some well-worn gear. We’re constantly refreshing ourselves with what’s new in the market, leading us to create innovative products with insightful design.

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