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When you order your new Ready-to-Hunt™ bow system, you have some decisions to make. Some decisions are just a matter of personal preference (fletching colors, peep types, accessory choices, etc.), but other decisions effectcritical fitment of the bow. So we need to get this right.

Please carefully read the details below. These are the things you'll need to know before ordering a Ready-to-Hunt Compound Bow Package. Whether you order your bow online or by phone, these are literally the exact questions we ask you. Of course, this isn't an Algebra test. If you aren't sure about something and you need some help, we will be more than happy to offer some advice and talk you through it. Just call us at 877-410-7811. Otherwise, here's what you'll need to know ...



A right-handed person generally shoots a right-hand bow. A left-handed person generally shoots a left-hand bow. That's simple enough, but if you've never shot a bow before, you could easily misunderstand how bows are oriented for right and left hand. 

A right-hand bow is actually held in the LEFT hand and drawn back with the right hand. Conversely, a left-hand bow is held in the RIGHT hand and drawn back with the left hand. You choose the orientation of the bow based on the hand that draws the bow - not the hand that grips the bow.

Notice how this bow is actually held in the right hand (and drawn by the left). Also notice that the quiver and cable slide are on the left side of the bow. This is a lefty.

left handed compound bow view 1
left handed compound bow view 2
left handed compound bow view 3

Notice how this bow is actually held in the left hand (and drawn by the right). Also notice that the quiver and cable slide are on the right side of the bow. This is a righty.

right handed compound bow view 1
right handed compound bow view 2
right handed compound bow view 3


Although it pains us to complicate a seemingly simple matter, you should know that some shooters choose their bows (right or left hand) based on eye-dominance rather than hand-dominance. If you would like to know more about the concept, please read our Eye-Dominance Conflicts article. 


When you order your bow, you'll be asked to choose which weight range (limbs) you would like on your bow. Generally a bow's limbs come in 10 lb. increments. Some bows have more choices than others, but for a typical bow - you'll be asked to choose between 40-50#, 50-60#, or 60-70# limbs when ordering the bow. If you choose 50-60# limbs, for example, the bow can be adjusted for any draw weight within that 10# range (51#, 54#, 58#, etc.). However, it cannot be adjusted to say, 65#, or any other value outside of the 10# range. If you decide later that you want a draw weight that's higher or lower than the range you originally chose - your bow will need to have new limbs installed. 

A bow's actual draw weight range is a function of many things (limb thickness, limb length, limb shape, limb preload, cam design, limb pocket design, hardware choices, etc.). But from a consumer standpoint, choosing a draw weight range is really just choosing a limb option. The bow companies do all the engineering to make this a neat A, B, or C choice. All you have to do is pick one.

compound bow limbs

Most bow manufacturers specify the maximum number of turns (revolutions) that the bow's limb bolts can be safely "backed-off" from the fully-tightened position. Pay attention to this important warning. If you keep turning and turning a limb bolt too far, you will eventally run out of threads and disconnect the limb pocket from the bow (bow flies apart). So respect those mechanical limits.

compound bow limb pocket hardware

If you've never shot a bow before - and you're unsure which weight range is suitable for you - please read our help guide on Bow Sizing or read the Draw Weights section in our Compound Bow Selection Guide. For quick reference, here are some general guidelines for choosing an appropriate draw weight based on body type. Of course, each individual is different. You should apply your common sense here and interpret this chart with due respect to your own age, general physical condition, and Body Mass Index (BMI).

Very Small Child (55-70 lbs.) 10-15 lbs.
Small Child (70-100 lbs.) 15-25 lbs.
Larger Child (100-130 lbs.) 25-35 lbs.
Small Frame Women (100-130 lbs.) 25-35 lbs.
Medium Frame Women (130-160 lbs.) 30-40 lbs.
Athletic Older Child (Boys 130-150 lbs.) 40-50 lbs.
Small Frame Men (120-150 lbs.) 45-55 lbs.
Large Frame Women (160+ lbs.) 45-55 lbs.
Medium Frame Men (150-180 lbs.) 55-65 lbs.
Large Frame Men (180+ lbs.) 65-75 lbs.


When we setup and tune your bow, we will adjust it for the precise draw weight you specify. You may choose any value within the specified weight range (limbs) of the bow. Some shooters prefer to begin low and work-up to a heavier draw weight later. Some max-it-out right from the start. Some setup for something in the middle of the range. The choice is totally up to you. Of course, all compound bows are user-adjustable for draw weight. If you decide to increase or decrease your draw weight later, you can typically do that yourself with just a hex-wrench. Just remember, you cannot safely adjust the bow outside of its specified weight range.

It should be noted that some states require a compound bow to meet certain draw weight minimums in order to hunt large game like Whitetail Deer. Always observe the rules and regulations for legally harvesting game in your state. However, as a general rule - a 40-50# draw weight will provide sufficient energy to harvest deer and a 50-60# bow will provide sufficient energy to harvest most larger species.

TECH TIP: Compound bow limbs are designed to work best (most efficiently) when they're at peak weight. If you intend to shoot your bow at, say, 60#, you will get slightly better efficiency if you choose a 50-60# bow and max-it-out, as opposed to a 60-70# bow turned down to its minimum.


draw length measurement techniqueWe will gladly adjust your new compound bow to any draw length you require. If you already know your draw length, this is an easy one. If you need some help, here's a reliable measurement method we have utilized for a decade ... the old Armspan/2.5 method.

To measure your draw length, determine the length of your arm-span in inches. Stand with your arms out and palms facing forward. Don't stretch when measuring. Just stand naturally. Have someone else help you, and measure from the tip of one middle finger to the other. Then simply divide that number by 2.5. The quotient is your approximate draw length (in inches) for your body size.

If you are a person of average proportions, your arm-span will be roughly equal to your height (in inches). So there is often a direct correlation between a person's height and their draw length. But if you are particularly lankly, stocky, etc., the arm-span/2.5 method will correct for your uniqueness and yield the most reliable estimate. Even so, once you have computed your draw length using the method above, you can double-check yourself by using the scale below - to see if your numbers are in the ballpark.

draw length scale  If in doubt, or if you're between sizes, choose a little LESS draw length rather than a little more. Shooting too much draw length often results in poor shooting form, inaccuracy, and even painful string slap on the forearm. You will better enjoy - and be more successful with your compound bow with a somewhat conservative draw length.

We have several articles which cover this topic in more detail. If you are still unsure about your draw length, please read our Bow Sizing and Adjustment Guide help section and our Additional Discussion on Draw Length article. Of course, please don't hesitate to give our help desk a call at 877-410-7811. We will be happy to talk you through it.


80% let off diagramIn contrast to the traditional bow, the draw weight of the compound bow decreases at the end of the drawstroke. This is known as Let-Off. Your bow may come with a choice of high or low let-off options. We will be happy to set your new bow to the let-off you desire. Remember, a higher let-off percentage means less holding weight at full draw - allowing you more time to aim and shoot without straining. A lower let-off percentage requires more holding weight at full draw.

If you are unsure about which one you should pick, here are a few things you should consider. The average archer will find the mid to high let-off bow to be more comfortable to shoot, and the high let-off option is the popular choice on most new bows. In fact, some new bow designs don't even offer a low let-off option any more. If the bow you're ordering is the high let-off only type, only the high let-off option will be available in the shopping cart.

80% let off diagramHowever, if a low let-off option is available - there are some benefits you might consider. To begin, a bow set for 65% let-off will generally shoot a few fps faster than a bow set for 80% let-off. Also, maintaining some level of resistance at full draw is necessary to keep things in good natural alignment. It is sometimes argued that 80% let-off bows feel "too loose" or "sloppy" at full draw - but that's probably an exaggeration.

All things considered, high let-off bows are decidedly more comfortable to shoot, and command the lion's share of today's new bow market. We get very few requests for low let-off bows today. However, we will gladly honor low let-off requests when that setting is available on the cam.

Aside from the slight differences in feel and performance, some shooters (used to) select the low let-off option in response to the Pope & Young rule. Pope & Young Club no longer disallows entries of animals record animals taken with high let-off bows, but an asterisk "*" will be placed beside the hunter's name, indicating the animal was taken with a high let-off bow. If you want your listing to be asterisk free, choose the low let-off option.

Check your local and state regulations regarding high let-off bows. Some states have disallowed high let-off bows for big game hunting in the past. But in response to the popularity of the high let-off bow, most (if not all) states have now relaxed or dropped those restrictions. If in doubt, please check your current state hunting publications to be sure your your new equipment will be in compliance with your state's regulations.



We don't use machine-fletched arrows - we custom build arrows to match each and every bow system we sell. And since we're going to be fletching your arrows by hand, YOU get to pick the fletching material and colors. We offer you a choice of standard 3" or standard 4" plastic vanes, 2" High-Profile vanes, 3" solid-color parabolic feathers, or 4" solid-color parabolic feathers. While this choice is entirely a personal preference, each type of fletching material has some advantages to consider.

Plastic vanes are more durable than feathers. We strongly recommend vanes for youth-archers, as well as for others who tend to handle their equipment less delicately. Plastic vanes can be crumpled and abused (up to a point of course) and generally still pop back into shape. And since vanes can be fletched in a straight - offset - or helical configuration - they can be used with practically any style arrow rest. Vanes are the popular choice in our shop.

However, for many archers - feathers offer some enticing advantages as well. Feathers are very light. Three 4" Gateway Feathers weigh about 9 grains - while 3 equal sized vanes weigh nearly 25 grains. The savings in weight means that your arrows are lighter and fly faster with flatter trajectory. The weight savings in the rear of the arrow also means better front-of-center balance on your arrows - especially for those who use lighter tips. Feathers are generally fletched in a helical configuration and offer excellent stability for broadheads. But of course, you have to be careful how you handle feathers. They are easily ruffled, ripped, and tattered with rough service.

We offer vanes and feathers in a variety of standard colors (white, flo-yellow, flo-orange, flo-green, red, blue, green, and black). Other colors may be available on some fletching types. Please call to request special colors. If you feel daring or don't really care about color choice, select "Surprise Me" at checkout and we'll pick some fun colors for you.

It might be worth noting that your choice of fletching color will probably have little or no effect on game, but some colors are more difficult to find among the litter and leaves - should you ever find yourself hunting for a wayward arrow. Colors that don't normally exist on the forest floor (like blue or bright yellow) are easiest to spot.


If you choose feathers, you automatically get a helical turn. Feathers have a natural twist, so they must be fletched in a helical (spiral-style) clamp. But vanes can be fletching with any turn you like. You may choose to have your vanes fletched as a straight fletch, a 4º offset fletch, or a right-helical fletch. Each configuration has some notable advantages and disadvantages. The offset fletch is the popular choice in our store.


3 Inch Straight Vane Fletching on Arrow
  • Adds ~19 Grains to Arrow Mass
  • Very Durable, Repairable
  • Works with Any Arrow Rest
  • Satisfactory Stability


3 Inch Offset Vane Fletching on Arrow
  • Adds ~19 Grains to Arrow Mass
  • Very Durable, Repairable
  • Works with Most Arrow Rests
  • Satisfactory Stability


3 Inch Helical Vane Fletching on Arrow
  • Adds ~19 Grains to Arrow Mass
  • Very Durable, Repairable
  • Works with No-Contact Arrow Rests
  • Improved Stability


4 Inch Straight Vane Fletching on Arrow
  • Adds ~24 Grains to Arrow Mass
  • Very Durable, Repairable
  • Works with Any Arrow Rest
  • Satisfactory Stability


4 Inch Offset Vane Fletching on Arrow
  • Adds ~24 Grains to Arrow Mass
  • Very Durable, Repairable
  • Works with Most Arrow Rests
  • Satisfactory Stability


4 Inch Helical Vane Fletching on Arrow
  • Adds ~24 Grains to Arrow Mass
  • Very Durable, Repairable
  • Works with No-Contact Arrow Rests
  • Improved Stability


2 Inch Straight High Profile Vane Fletching on Arrow
  • Adds ~18 Grains to Arrow Mass
  • Durable, More Rigid, Less Repairable
  • Works with Any Arrow Rest
  • Moderate Stability


2 Inch Offset High Profile Vane Fletching on Arrow
  • Adds ~18 Grains to Arrow Mass
  • Durable, More Rigid, Less Repairable
  • Works with Any Arrow Rest
  • Satisfactory Stability


3 Inch Helical Feather Fletching on Arrow
  • Adds ~6 Grains to Arrow Mass
  • Fragile, Handle with Care
  • Works with No-Contact Arrow Rests
  • Improved to Superior Stability


4 Inch Helical Feather Fletching on Arrow
  • Adds ~6 Grains to Arrow Mass
  • Fragile, Handle with Care
  • Works with No-Contact Arrow Rests
  • Superior Stability;


The nocking point is the spot on your bow's string where you attach your arrow. The nomenclature is a little fuzzy here because a "nock" is actually part of the arrow (the little piece of plastic that sticks in the back end). But archers sometimes refer to the bow's nocking point as just "the nock." Plus, the word nock is also used as a verb, to nock, which means to click the arrow onto the string. So heads up - nock-talk can be a bit confusing.

From the factory, most compound bows come with no nocking point installed on the string - the string is just smooth with fresh center-serving (nocking-point ready, if you will). So when the bow is setup for service, a nocking point must be installed before the bow can be fired. It is essential that the nock of the arrow and the bow string contact each other in exactly the same place every time. If you were to nock your arrow in different places along the string, any hope of accuracy would go right out the Whisker Biscuit. So some type of nocking point anchor must be installed on the string.

As you might have guessed, you have a choice to make. Most people prefer to use the "string loop" system, where the nock of the arrow clicks inside the knots of a little c-shaped piece of rope, but others prefer to shoot "directly off the string" with a single brass nocking point and a rubber cushion. With the string loop setup, you attach your release to the little rope - rather than the bow's string. With the direct string setup, you attach the release directly to the bow's string. Like so ....


string loop nocking point for compound bow

string loop nocking point with arrow attached on compound bow

string loop nocking point on compound bow with arrow and release attached


direct string nocking point for compound bow

direct string nocking point with arrow attached on compound bow

direct string nocking point with arrow and release attached on compound bow


We know customers hate it when we say this, but this is just a personal preference. Either setup works fine. But there are a couple things to consider. First, a string loop gives you the "feeling" that the bow's draw length is a little longer. Of course, a string loop certainly doesn't increase a bow's actualy draw length or its powerstroke, but the string loop does make it feel that way. So if you order your bow to be set for 29" draw length and you select a string loop nocking point, the setup will "feel" about 1/2 inch longer. Whether that's a pro or a con depends on your perspective.

Another consideration is wear and tear. The metal jaws of your mechanical release, over time, will eventually chew away at the softer materials they contact (string loop rope/center serving). Of course, you'll need to make many thousands of shots before abrasion actually becomes an issue, but if you shoot enough, you may eventually need to replace the string loop or have your center serving replaced (for direct string contact). So ... six in one, a half-dozen in another.


Regardless of whether it's actually better or not, the string loop nocking point setup is, by far, the most popular choice. New customers, in particular, will even reject bows which aren't displayed with a string loop - not understanding that any compound bow can be outfitted with a string loop. So, for what it's worth, bowhunters love string loops - though it might be worth noting that serious competition shooters often opt for the direct string method.


bad string loops

There are a number of machined metal loops and screw-on nocking points on the market. They make a number of claims about generating better peep alignment and increasing your accuracy, speed, confidence, lovability, etc. We hate to be party-poopers, but much like the gimmick peep sights, we find these devices often cause more headaches than they cure. We generally don't use them in our pro-shop.


Many shops install string loops without the positive anchor of a crimped-on brass nocking point. We think this is a mistake. It's common to see (A) naked string loops tied with the knots close together - allowing just enough room for the arrow nock to fit in between - OR - (B) naked string loops with one or more hand-tied nocking points made from serving string. In our experience, these are customer-service nightmares just waiting to happen.

It's Just a Little Piece of Rope: String loops aren't made from magical unicorn hairs - they're just tough little pieces of braided nylon rope which are subject to wear and tear like any other rope. And no matter how tightly those little knots are tied, sometimes they slide or spin a little on the bow string. If you shoot your bow enough, the string loop will even eventually wear-out and need replacing. The same is true for those little hand-tied serving string nocks. They compress, wear and slip. So the naked string loop works great - right up until it doesn't.

Nocking Point Location Critical to Bow's Tune: The problem with the naked string loop is that any shift in the arrow's nocking point has a dramatic impact on the bow's state of tune. If a nocking point "slips" up or down the the string - even just a little - the bow's tuning and sighting is completely upended. We think it's foolhardy to risk ruining someone's hunt by depending entirely on two little rope knots. That's why we always use the crimped-on bass nock. It's far more secure and doesn't slip on the string. In fact, even if the string loop were to wear-out and break, that brass nocking point will still be right there where it should be. You could even continue shooting "off the string" with very little drama or adjustments until a new string loop could be installed.


If you're new to modern archery, think of a peep sight as the rear sight on a gun. Mechanically they serve a similar purpose. The peep sight is a small doughnut-shaped ring that's installed in the bow's string - and you look through the hole in its center.

To aim the bow, you simply look through the peep sight hole, then locate your front sight (pins) in your field of view and place the pin on the intended target. Our bow systems come with a peep-sight already installed, but of course, you have some choices (most popular choice is the 1/8" Medium Trio Peep set for 13 cm).

While the peep sight might be one of the smallest accessories on the bow, it comes into play with every single shot. And a troublesome peep sight can ruin an otherwise glorious bowhunt. You must pick your peep sight type, aperture, and installed height. But not to worry - we'll get through this together. Here are the basics:


styles of bow and arrow peep sights

We use the three most popular peep styles on our RTH bow packages. Choose from the Fletcher-style aluminum peep (two-way string split), the Trio-style peep (three-way string split), and the old standard Rubber-Tube peep (two way split, aligned by stretchy tube).

(A) The Fletcher-style small aluminum peeps work beautifully, but you must train your string to keep them in proper alignment at full draw (a string-loop also helps). Experienced archers generally prefer Fletcher-style peeps, but they sometimes drive new shooters bananas - because they turn with the string.

(B) If tinkering with peep alignment sounds like something that might challenge your patience, we suggest you try the Trio String Peep. The Trio splits the string fibers into thirds, rather than halves. So even if your string rotates slightly, chances are you'll still have a clear field of view. Very good - but not quite infallible - even Trio Peeps can turn out of optimal position from time to time and require a little tweaking.

(C) Finally, the option with the best reliability is the old standard Tube Peep - and we will gladly install one if you request. They align every time. Just be advised, the snapping sound of that rubber tube is tough to mute - and the tube costs you a little at the chronograph too. A, B, or C? The choice of peep sight type up to you. Of course, if you would like to talk it over, call our help desk at 877-410-7811 and we'll help you go through the pros and cons.


Apart from these standard peeps, there are countless gimmick peeps out there: peeps shaped like hooks, peeps with lenses, peeps with blinky lights or crosshairs, peeps that mount on some other part of the bow, peeps with little hoods, peeps that receive HBO, etc. We don't sell them; they cause far more trouble than they're worth. Moving on ...

sizes of bow and arrow peep sights


With most of our peep sights, you have the choice of a small - medium - or large size aperture (an x-large is available too upon request). The basic trade-off goes like this. Larger sizes are easier to see through, particularly in low-light hunting conditions. But smaller sizes are more pin-point accurate. Customer choice varies here, but the medium aperture is the popular choice.


fletcher-style smallfletcher peep small size

fletcher-style mediumfletcher peep sight medium size

fletcher-style largefletcher peep large size

trio-style smalltrio peep small size

trio-style mediumtrio peep medium size

trio-style largetrio peep large size

tube-style mediumtube peep medium size

tube-style largetube peep large size


Standard peep sight height is 13 cm above the nocking point on the bowstring. This suits the majority of shooters just fine. However, you may elect to choose a HIGH PEEP (15 cm) to accommodate exceptionally long draw lengths or low anchor points - or - you may choose a LOW PEEP (11 cm) to accommodate exceptionally short draw lengths or high anchor points (less common). If this is your first bow or if you're not sure, we suggest you just stick with the standard 13 cm peep height.

We serve all peep sights in place using a short-serve technique. This locks the peep sight in place so that it will not move under normal shooting conditions - while still allowing for some minor height adjustments without the need to re-serve the peep sight.

Again, you can make changes to your peep height later if you wish. A red booklet entitled Getting Started with your New Compound Bow will be provided with your bow system, simple instructions for adjusting your peep sight are included in the booklet.


 No more technical questions. We promise. Just pick the arrows and accessories you like best and you're ready to order.


Q: Can I make changes, upgrades, additions, or subtractions to this package?

A: You sure can. If you would like to "customize" your Ready-to-Hunt™ package, please just call our sales desk at 877-410-7811 and one of our specialists will be happy to help you make any changes you like. If you prefer, we can also assemble a completely new package using parts you specify. Please contact our sales desk with your "wish list" and we will be happy to give you a custom quote.

Q: When will my bow package arrive?

A: To most locations in the continental United States, the safe answer is 7 to 10 business days. Please note that business days are not calendar days. We put a considerable amount of care and labor into every Ready-to-Hunt™ bow package, as we want to make sure we get it right the FIRST time. So if you're not willing to wait for work to be properly performed, we ask that you not order a Ready-to-Hunt™ Bow Package. We don't perform rushed-quality workmanship under any circumstances.

However, we realize you're anxious to get your order and begin shooting. So we work hard to make sure our bow systems are built and shipped within 5 business days of your order (most ship within 2-3 days). Once completed and shipped, packages are delivered via FedEx Ground within 1-5 business days (delivery time will vary by location of course). Please allow 1-2 days extra time during peak season (August -Sept). Once your bow system ships, you will receive a FedEx tracking number via email. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to call us at 1-877-410-7811 or email us.

Q: Do I still get my factory warranty?

A:Absolutely, YES! Hunter's Friend is an authorized dealership for EVERY brand of bow we sell, and ALL bows purchased from our store (locally or via mail-order sales) are 100% covered by the factory warranty. Hunter's Friend is also an authorized warranty service center for every brand of bow we sell. If you EVER have a problem with your bow, don't panic ... CALL US FIRST! Over 90% of common problems can be resolved over the phone. If your bow needs warranty repairs, we'll make sure you get the parts and service you need.


We know that you have a choice and we are honored that you chose Hunter's Friend. If you have any questions always feel free to drop us an email or give us a call. We're here to help.