WON Landing Page OCT 2022

The ‘How To’ Gun Girl: Setting Up a Compound Bow, Step 1

Several things drove me to take up archery. I just purchased a compound bow and I am so excited to get it set up.



Getting Started


When looking for a bow, I did my typical research tactic of asking around with all the shooters and hunters I know. For months I followed pages on Facebook and Instagram of bowhunters, bow manufacturers, and reviewers. Some of my favorite Instagram hashtags and accounts include:



Things to look at when shopping for a compound bow include:

  • Bow Weight – you’ll be holding it for a while so keep this in mind
  • Draw Weight – there are minimum draw weights to hunt so keep that in mind.
  • Draw Length – depends on your wingspan. I used option 4 in this methodand was spot-on.

If you want to go more in-depth about bow selection, the Compound Bow Selection Guide at  Hunter’s Friend is a great resource. As the data poured in I weighed the options and started narrowing things down. I wanted to hunt and be mobile enough to tuck away into brush at the edge of a field (a.k.a. a light bow), which puts me into the “carbon” riser arena. I’m going to dig more into how these are made, because from what I gather they aren’t quite metal but aren’t quite plastic. Additionally, I am not what most would consider physically strong. Though I’m starting to change that, I knew that I couldn’t draw something too heavy, so I went with the New Hampshire state minimum to hunt, which is a 40 pound draw weight.



Cam design is a topic for another more technical post, because the designs make the nerdy side of me really happy. Mechanical advantage FTW! Anyway, cam designs vary bow-to-bow and they affect both how smooth the draw will feel when you pull back the bowstring and the holding weight (force to hold the bow at full draw). Several bows available today have settings on the cams that allow you to adjust your bow – or if you’re newer to it like I am, have an archery tech adjust it – to fit you.

Continue reading about Emily Monroe’s “Setting Up a Compound Bow Part 1,”  and visit her blog “The ‘How-To’ Gun Girl”

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.