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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 effect critical 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 ...


left hand bowright hand bowA 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.

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.

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 diagram In 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.


vane and feather choices for custom arrowsWe 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.

straight fletched arrow
Does Not Rotate in Flight
offset fletched arrow
Rotates Slightly in Flight
helical arrow
Rotates Dramatically in Flight
      • Fastest Flying Configuration
      • Least Amount of Air Resistance
      • Works with Any Arrow Rest
      • No Fletching Clearance Problems

      • More Stabilization for Broadheads
      • Little Loss of Arrow Velocity
      • Works with Most Arrow Rests
      • Stable to Moderate Distances

      • Superior Broadhead Flight
      • Best Long-Distance Accuracy
      • Arrow Correct Attitude in Flight
      • Tips Tighten as You Practice

      • Less Stable at Long Distances
      • Less Broadhead Stabilization
      • Requires Well-Tuned Bow
      • Some Fletching Clearance Issues
      • Some Loss of Velocity
      • Less of Arrow Velocity
      • Fletching Clearance Challenging


We would be happy to setup your new bow system for a direct-string release or a string-loop release. This allows you the option of placing your caliper release directly around the bow's string or around a small c-shaped piece of rope. While customers commonly choose the direct-string option, the string loop is the popular choice, by far.

direct string nocking point 1direct string nocking point 2 string loop photo onestring loop photo two
Choose this option if you would like to hook your caliper release directly around the string. A brass nocking point and rubber Eliminator button will be installed. The rubber Eliminator button provides cushion between your release and the nock of the arrow - keeping the arrow from dislodging from the string at full draw - and protecting the nock from being gouged by the metal caliper. Good choice for longer axle bows.
Choose this option if you would like to hook your caliper release around a string loop. A brass nocking point is still installed, and the arrow is positioned just beneath it - in between the string loop ends. The string loop protects the actual bowstring from the abrasive effects of the metal caliper. The string loop is usually the best choice for short axle bows minimizing the effects of an acute string angle. Does a String Loop Change my Draw Length?


We know this sounds like a tough one, but don't worry. We'll walk you through it. 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 when you get to full draw.

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. If you have no idea what to choose, a safe pick is the most popular choice - the 1/8" Medium Trio Peep set for 13 cm. That option works very well as a general purpose peep. But we have plenty of other options as well ...

PEEP SIGHT APERATURE: Depending on the peep style you select, you will get some choices of aperture (hole) size. This choice is kind of a trade off. Larger sizes are easier to see through, particularly in low-light hunting conditions. But smaller sizes are more pin-point accurate. So most people choose the option that gives them some of both worlds. Customer choice varies here, of course, but the medium aperture is the popular choice.
Small 1/16" Aperture
small peep sight
Medium 1/8" Aperture
medium peep sight
Large 3/16" Aperture
large peep sight
PEEP SIGHT TYPE/STYLE: You also have a choice of peep sight style. The peep sights pictured above are the Fletcher-Style peeps. These small aluminum peeps work beautifully, but you must continue to train your string to keep them in proper alignment at full draw. Experienced archers generally prefer Fletcher-Style peeps, but they sometimes drive new shooters bananas - because they turn with the string.

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. But even Trio Peeps can turn out of optimal position from time to time.

The option with the best reliability is the old standard Tube Peep - and we will gladly install one if you request. Just be advised, the snapping sound of that rubber tube is tough to mute. Tube Peeps are comparatively noisy - and for some reason - Tube Peeps cost you a little at the chronograph too. But they do keep that peep sight in perfect alignment, no matter what.

The choice is up to you, but again, the Trio Peep is the popular choice that seems to get the job done for most people. If you're still not sure and 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.
Fletcher Style Peep
fletcher style peep sight
Trio Style Peep
trio style peep sight
Rubber Tube Peep
tube style peep sight

And finally, you have a choice of peep sight 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. 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 setting) to accommodate exceptionally long draw lengths or low anchor points - or - you may choose a LOW PEEP (11 cm setting) 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. Again, you can make changes to your peep height later if you wish. Our easy-to-follow 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.

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

  Some Frequently Asked Questions  
  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.  
    Thank You for Shopping @ Hunter's Friend  


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