What Poundage Recurve Bow For Hunting

When it comes to hunting with a recurve bow, one of the most important factors to consider is the poundage of the bow. The poundage refers to the amount of force needed to fully draw and shoot the bow. Choosing the right poundage for hunting is crucial, as it can greatly affect your accuracy, range, and overall success in the field.

As an avid bowhunter, I have experimented with various poundages over the years, and I can confidently say that finding the right poundage is a personal journey. It depends on factors such as your skill level, physical strength, hunting style, and the game you are pursuing.

Finding the Right Poundage

When it comes to determining the right poundage for your recurve bow, it is recommended to start with a lower poundage and gradually work your way up. This allows your muscles to adapt and strengthen over time, reducing the risk of injury and improving your shooting technique.

For beginners or those with less upper body strength, starting with a poundage ranging between 25-35 pounds is a good place to begin. This allows for easier and smoother draw, which is essential for consistent and accurate shooting.

If you have been shooting for a while and have developed good shooting form and strength, you can consider increasing the poundage. Many experienced hunters prefer a poundage in the range of 40-55 pounds. This provides them with a good balance of power, speed, and accuracy, making it suitable for a wide range of game.

However, it is important to note that higher poundage bows require more strength and practice to master. Drawing and holding a heavier bow can be fatiguing, especially during long hunting sessions. It is essential to be honest with yourself about your physical abilities and choose a poundage that you can comfortably handle.

Considerations for Game Size

When selecting the poundage for your hunting bow, you should also take into consideration the size of the game you plan on pursuing. Different game species have different requirements in terms of arrow penetration and lethality.

For small game, such as rabbits or squirrels, a lower poundage of around 25-35 pounds is sufficient. The lighter draw weight allows for better accuracy at close distances and reduces the risk of over-penetration.

For medium-sized game, such as deer or wild boar, a poundage of 40-55 pounds is a good starting point. This provides enough power to penetrate the animal’s vitals and ensure an ethical and humane kill.

For large game, such as elk or moose, a poundage of 55 pounds or higher may be necessary. These animals have thick hides and strong bones, requiring a higher poundage for adequate penetration.


Choosing the right poundage for your recurve bow is a crucial decision that should not be taken lightly. It requires careful consideration of your physical abilities, shooting technique, and the game you plan on hunting. Starting with a lower poundage and gradually increasing it as you gain strength and experience is a wise approach.

Remember, it’s not just about the poundage; it’s about finding a balance between power, accuracy, and your own comfort. Take the time to practice and experiment, and you’ll find the perfect poundage that suits your hunting style and brings you success in the field.