Every state in the union has an archery season for hunting. Archery hunting has its challenges and the gear you use should be the challenge but not the limitation. While all forms of hunting are a gear intensive sport, archery hunting has a special feeling about it. Chasing game with primitive means carries a responsibility that you make the most out of your method of take and be sure that when the moment comes what you use is up to the task. This includes carrying the best hunting arrows you can!
No other part of your equipment makes contact with the animal you’re chasing except your arrow set up and having the best arrows for hunting will greatly boost your odds of finding your game after the arrow flies.
Looking for the highest quality arrow for deer hunting, or the best arrow for elk hunting can be confusing to the new archer and the best way to start shopping is by learning all you can about arrows and how they work. Then scour the internet for product information and reviews on the best hunting arrows you can find to help you make your decision (just like the ones below :))
The 4 Best Hunting Arrows
Best carbon arrows
Best arrows for deer hunting
Best arrows for elk hunting
Best traditional arrows
Choosing The Best Hunting Arrow
Arrows can be difficult to tell apart. At their very core it’s a sharp stick that gets flung through the air. They all look alike so what is the main difference? Small variances in materials, length, and fletching can make the arrows perform differently in the field.
- Easy to find and inexpensive to buy
- Good for training or for new archers
- Arrow spine isn’t a safety concern
- Easily bendable and not very durable
- Hard to trim for correct length
- Premium brands don’t carry many options
- Very small diameters have less wind drift
- Flexible and very durable
- The very best technologies go into production
- More expensive
- Probably not the best for beginners
- Correct arrow spine is a safety concern
- Tough and cheap
- Most used for kids and beginners
- Easy to trim and assemble
- Arrow spine isn’t a safety concern
- High end offerings are hard to find because they are targeted to children
- Not always the best quality arrow
Heavy & Slow Vs. Light and Fast
This is a debate that has been raging for years and really should be labeled a penetration vs. trajectory argument. What I mean by that is, heavy arrows penetrate better. Physics dictates that heavy object decelerate slower and keep momentum easier. When a lightweight arrow hits its target it stops quickly and can lack penetration. The upside to lightweight arrows is the flat trajectory they have means they can be shot at game at a slightly longer range. Their speed makes them less likely to be herd by game and experience less wind drift.
Matching arrow weight to game weight is extremely important. The same arrow needed for an elk is unnecessary for a turkey. Generally speaking, the heavier and tougher the game, the heavier and tougher the arrow should be. This includes when hunting animals of the same species. Chasing whitetails in the swamps in Florida means looking for smaller whitetails than looking for monster whitetails in Minnesota.
When in doubt opt for a heavy arrow. A double pass through should be the goal of every hunter and there’s no such thing as too much penetration. The point of bow hunting is to get close to your game, so why do hunters try and stretch the range of their bows by trying to push too light of an arrow too far?
Arrow spine, in a nutshell, is the stiffness of an arrow. It is important to match the spine of the arrow to your bow. Every manufacturer is different so there’s no generalizations here it has to right. When you fire your bow a shock-wave resonates throughout the entire bow, including the arrow. These vibrations can hurt accuracy, make a lot of noise and damage components.
Arrow spine is the reinforcement and materials made to counter these vibrations.
An incorrect spine can damage arrows and make for an inaccurate system. It can also be dangerous with carbon arrows. The strength of the arrow is the spine and damaged or incorrect carbon arrows can shatter when the bow goes to fire the arrow. Be 100% sure to check every aspect of the arrow before you buy it.
Assembling Your Arrows
At one point or another you’ll need to assemble, replace or upgrade your arrows. This can be a major headache if done wrong so a few key points to keep in mind:
- Buy the correct equipment. If you need a fletching tool, buy a fletching tool. Trying to use your finger or a jury rigged jig in your basement can ruin components and make for an annoying afternoon
- Buy quality components; the animals deserve it. If you’re getting ready for hunting season and skimping on components for your arrows remember: the animals deserve better. Archery equipment is fickle and not having good gear can land you in hot water and make for a bad hunt. Get good quality equipment when you can. This isn’t the place to skimp.
Best Hunting Arrows & Reviews
Finding a good hunting arrow can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. However, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult. If you know what to look for it can be easy to select the best arrow for your style of hunting and the game you’re pursuing. Be sure to look past brand names and select an arrow based on the value and performance you need rather than the sticker it includes for your truck.
With the vast amount of high quality arrows, it’s now very easy to find a good product that delivers adequate performance for the job they’re made for.
Best Carbon Arrows
Carbon express Maxima Red
It’s no surprise who makes the best carbon arrows. Carbon Express is still a pioneer in developing carbon fiber arrows for hunting and target shooting. Carbon express is known for extremely accurate and high tech arrows and they’ve done it again with the Maxima Red line of hunting specific arrows.
The arrows feature what they call “The red zone” where the vibrations the arrow generates from firing is relegated and both ends of the arrow are left to fly straight and true. While an interesting concept what really takes the cake is the real world results.
The arrows are staginess tested by a laser, very cool, to an astounding 1/10,000 th of an inch. The arrows are then sorted based on outside diameter, spine and grains per inch and sorted by weight into boxes for maximum accuracy. The arrows come pre-fletched with blazer vanes, Launchpad knocks and awesome bulldog nock collars. Everything about these arrows are high quality and the value is well beyond the price.
This level of precision and detail could be in the overkill territory but isn’t it nice to know that you have the straightest arrows you possible could while you glass the ridge for that once in a lifetime bull elk?
Best Arrows for Hunting Deer
BloodSport Impact Arrows
What’s in a name? BloodSport arrows are a smaller company that doesn’t mince words with what it is and what it does. BloodSport arrows combine a custom feeling product with features exclusive to their arrows.
BloodSport arrows are carbon arrows that come in arrow spines for all shooters and come in full length shafts of 31” with included inserts ready to trimmed and prepped for your bow set up. The arrows themselves are top notch. With straightness variances within .004 an industry wide benchmark for straightness that keeps your groups tight without costing an arm and a leg.
The way BloodSport makes their arrows is top notch and the arrows are tough but still a general weight at around 7.8 grains per inch depending on spine and batch number. The arrows feature the wildly popular blazer vanes and sturdy knocks that are replaceable with illuminated electronic nocks available from BloodSport.
By far the coolest feature of these arrows is what the company calls their patented “Blood Ring.” The blood ring is a sprayed on material that attracts fluids from the animal you shoot to let you know where your shot hit. It’s extremely easy to tell if you hit your mark because the blood ring holds the different colored blood or stomach fluid to show you exactly where your arrow entered and exited.
This technology seems extremely simple but it’s very much a “Why didn’t I think of it?” feature that is pure gold in the field. Paired with the rugged lighted knocks and the sturdy construction of the arrows themselves it’s very easy to see why these arrows are some of the best on the market.
Best Arrows for Hunting Elk
Easton Full Metal Jacket
There’s no debate, while bulletproof elk are tough to bring down and only the toughest of arrows and best broadheads will bring them down. The strength and light weight carbon fiber gives with the rigidity and forgiveness aluminum brings would make the perfect combination for an arrow designed for tough beasts. That’s exactly what Easton has done with the Full Metal Jacket line of arrows.
The arrows are designed to be a rugged and durable arrow. Constructed of two different materials these arrows are really impressive. They’re strong because they combine two classic materials, aerospace grade aluminum and carbon fiber, to create an arrow that is light, fast and devastatingly tough.
The inserts for the broad heads are recessed into the arrow shaft to prevent them from backing out of their seat. This is a worthwhile feature especially considering the amount of practice archers are known to do and protecting the inserts from coming loose from hundreds of shots into and being pulled out of targets.
The arrows are guaranteed to a straightness of .002, or in other words extremely straight. The knocks assembled on the end of the shaft are tougher than the standard run of the mill knocks and in theme with the arrow’s goal extreme durability and the toughest hunting arrow on the market. Absolutely one of the best arrows for elk.
Best Traditional Arrows
Easton Traditional Axis
Traditional archers are a rare and fickle breed. Traditional archery means using as primitive equipment as you can while safely harvesting game. Traditional archery bows are common, traditional arrows are not. Easton now makes a solution for this by manufacturing an arrow called the Traditional Axis. This is a carbon arrow finished to look like traditional cedar arrows and fletched with old school feather style vanes.
These arrows come with Easton’s deep six inserts to increase the weight forward of center the whole arrow has been minimized for deep penetration. The ability to use small details such as premium knock, inserts and quality vanes makes these arrows worth the price while still looking like a traditional arrow.
Using a carbon arrow may not be popular with many traditional archers but the arrow is normally the weakest part of equipment in an archer’s setup and this can be easily overcome with a product like this. Coming in four sizes sorted for traditional bows and guaranteed for a straightness of .003 per inch these arrows are the best traditional arrows for hunting.
Finding tough, quality made and simply the all-round best hunting arrows can be a tall order, especially nowadays when there’s so many great choices to choose from. Engineers have set time aside to design arrows that are the best for elk or the best for deer and specialized equipment can be had. The market is flooded with high quality products from companies such as Easton and Carbon Express and the very best arrows for hunting are here. The only hard part now is deciding which arrow you want.