It Really Is That Simple
I started a new turkey season a while ago, really just looking forward to stretching my legs after months behind a desk and having a look around to gauge prospects as the season begins to unwind. I was prepared for action though, stuffing a tiny fanny pack with calls and a rolled-up hen decoy. Wanting to travel light and keep things simple, I quickly installed a detachable five-arrow quiver to keep five Beman Hunter Pro arrows I'd assembled handy, allowing me to set it aside should I actually get something started.
A couple of miles later I was cussing myself for forgetting to also attach the new GamePlan Gear BowStrap hanging in my shop. Despite toting one of the lightest out-of-the-box compounds available today, the bow was becoming a pain in the rear. I pondered anew why bow slings remain so popular.
Let's set the weight issue aside for a moment. I've long spurned compound quivers (especially for roving western bowhunting) due to bow balance alone. I find quick-detach quivers perfectly acceptable for stand hunting, removed and stashed within easy reach once installed. But shot with an attached quiver, especially at longer western ranges, compound accuracy suffers noticeably. I prefer a quiver on a traditional bow, by the way, because they do add weight, while causing no balance issues on bows purposely canted while shooting. Compounds, obviously, are shot plumb level, so attached quivers make balance more forced. Exposed arrows and fletchings also catch the slightest breezes while attempting to aim finely.
Let's return to the weight issue. Balance is easily reestablished with an offset stabilizer such as FUSE's Sidekick, but you've just added more mass to offset quiver mass. Don't forget that bow sling. Forced into a corner (as I often am, especially when backpacking and forced to streamline) I'll concede to lightweight, two-piece quivers, spreading arrows over a wider plane and hugging risers for improved balance.
I also avoid hip quivers. They clutch every passing twig, get in the way while crawling and create a game-alerting "white flag" while stalking. In the West, you're going to carry a daypack anyway; might as well attach your quiver and arrows to it as well.
Until bow manufacturers engineer bows made specifically to balance precisely with an attached quiver (and why not?), taking it off makes for bows that are most comfortable to carry over long miles, and easier to shoot accurately at longer ranges.
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Editor's Note: This was originally published on May 3, 2012.
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