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Finding the best gifts for bowhunters in 2020 might seem hard at first — after all, bowhunting fanatics have much of the gear they need. That’s not game over, though: Bowhunters wear out their archery gear, which means your best bowhunting gift can be a replacement or even an outright archery gear upgrade.
Best Bowhunting Gift Ideas: Our Guide
We take pride in our gift guide for bowhunters and archery hunting enthusiasts because we not only recommend a particular can’t-go-wrong bowhunting gift, we also tell you why our choices are cool gifts for bowhunters. Because there are several types of bowhunters, not all archery gifts are the right fit. Eastern bowhunters who hunt whitetail deer in dense woods from tree stands need different kinds of bowhunting gear than hunters who go after elk or mule deer in the wide-open ranges of the West. But don’t worry — if one of our best bowhunting gift picks is better suited to one kind of bowhunting over another, we’ll point that out.
Some types of archery gear are particularly hard to buy for bowhunters. Case in point? A new compound bow. It’s really hard to find the right bow for a bowhunter because there are so many variables in draw length, draw weight, and type of bow. Plus, there are a lot of personal variables involved.
What about arrows? You need to know the spine of arrow your hunter needs, and that’s tough to figure out without a direct question. Release aids are similarly personal. Consequently, our guide to the best bowhunting gifts focuses on archery accessories like quivers, rests, sights, tools and related gear. We especially accessories that are clearly upgrades to what most bowhunters have now.
An even safer bet, though, revolves around the kinds of hunting gear bowhunters need, like a great rangefinder or a binocular chest harness or camo rain gear. If you get really stuck, get a lightweight first-aid kit and then add-in QuikClot Gauze as a stocking stuffer. Why? Broadheads on arrows are incredibly sharp, and accidents do happen.
For more detail, let’s dive into our best bowhunting gift recommendations for 2019 and beyond.
Like some of the best gifts, the Bow Buddy Bow Sling is a surprisingly simple product: It’s basically an easily adjustable over-the-shoulder bow sling for compound bows. Better yet, it’s ultralight, which makes it great for most any bowhunter. It’s pretty simple in how it works — two small straps go over the cams of a compound bow, and straightforward physics ensures that it stays put. You can walk over rough ground with this bow sling and it will stay put. It’s also great for 3D bow shoots or using when you’re practicing and sighting in your bow. We’re big fans. To learn more, read our full Bow Buddy Bow Sling review — or just nab one for your bowhunter this year.
The Last Chance Archery Hs3 Bow Scale is a quick and easy way to check your bow’s draw weight. All you have to do is nock an arrow (for safety) and use the handheld bow scale to draw back your bow — while pointing the arrow in a safe direction. The Last Chance Archery HS3 Bow Scale won’t release the arrow, of course, but it does measure peak draw weight. This is important for tuning, and it’s helpful for bowhunters to know their actual draw weight as they change arrows or replace strings.
The great thing about the Rinehart Targets RhinoBlock Archery Target is that’s tough and it just works well. It costs a bit more than cheap foam or bag targets, but it’s way more versatile and long-lasting. You get 40 target zones over six different surfaces. The primary middle portion of the target — where most arrows end up — is a patented, replaceable insert. Plus, two sides provide sculpted 3D vital deer targets. We smacked our RhinoBlock with dozens of broached shots this year, and the self-healing foam holds up remarkably well. If you buy it from Cabela’s you can get free shipping — and maybe even free two-day shipping!
Most archery hunters like to shoot at 3D targets to help prep them for the coming hunting season. A good 3D target helps a bowhunter visualize a hunting moment, which is critical when a real animal steps into shooting range. The Rinehart Woodland Boar has a core that’s constructed of Rinehart’s self-healing foam to help ensure a target that can hold up to many practice shots. Better yet, the vital area is a replaceable locking insert — if your bowhunter does wear it out, it’s easily replaceable. One more thing: The Rinehart Woodland Boar 3D Target is 24″ by 39″ long, so you don’t have to worry — it’s not a full-size boar target that’s hard to store or move around.
If your bowhunter is an archery elk hunter that uses a bugle tube to call in elk, a Bend-Able Bugle Tube Holder is a game-changing gift. Why? Bugle tubes come with strings to hang around your neck, but they’re constantly getting tangled up in your backpack and bino chest pack. The Bend-Able Bugle Tube Holder is basically a fast-draw holster for your bugle tube. You can attach it to a backpack, backpack waist belt, or even a standard belt. If you’re not sure what size to get, get the Medium — it’ll fit the vast majority of tubes out there these days. Very highly recommended for archery elk hunters.
The HME Products Hard Surface Practice Hanger works both inside and outdoors on the shooting range, making it a versatile archery gift. So why is it such a great gift for bowhunters? When your bowhunter is practicing outside, he or she has to put their bow down to pull their arrows from the target. You can set your bow on the ground, but you’re introducing dirt, grass and debris to the bow. That’s not terrible on it’s own because we’re talking about hunting bows, but bows on the ground are easily stepped on. That’s very bad. A practice hanger lets your bowhunter safely hang the bow. An added bonus to the durable powder-coated HME Hard Surface Practice Hanger is the two Archer’s Arrow Caddys that hold up to 6 arrows each.
Some of the best archery hunting is in the late afternoon and evening, and a successful hunt often means trying to find an animal in the dark. A blood trailing light is critical for helping bowhunters locate downed animals, especially in rough country with thick cover. The Primos Bloodhunter HD Blood Trailing Light uses 600 lumen CREE XM LEDs with an optical filter that reduces select colors to help amplify the visibility of blood. Incidentally, this specialized flashlight is one of our top gifts for all hunters — not just bowhunters — because most hunters want any edge they can get when tracking in the dark.
*Note: Stock will probably get low on these — also try Cabela’s.
The Plano Parallel Limb Hard Bow Case is a can’t-go-wrong bowhunting gift because it’s easily adjustable to fit just about any compound hunting bow. Plus, it’s deep enough that you can leave many quivers attached to the bow when stored in the case. That’s very handy. So how is the Plano Parallel Limb Hard Bow Case adjustable? You can move the two support pillars around inside the case so that they will avoid the bow’s limbs, string, quiver, sight and any cords connected to a fall-away release. Other cases that don’t have adjustable pillars might not fit your bowhunter’s bow. This case is super adjustable. It’s strong enough to handle the back of a pickup or a UTV — but it’s not strong enough for airline travel. If you need a case that can take the abuse of airline baggage handlers, try the SKB Rectangle Double Bow Case or the awesome Pelican Air Bow Case.
The hottest rangefinder this year is the innovative new Leupold RX-Fulldraw 4. It ranges target distance, of course, quickly and accurately, but adds in a whole new component: Archer’s Advantage software with “Flightpath” technology that calculates the maximum height of your bowhunter’s arrow flight path — and shows that height in the viewfinder. This means your bowhunter can use the calculated arrow path height mark to better judge obstructions — even a small twig or branch can throw off an otherwise good shot. If your bowhunter is also clumsy, go with the also great Vortex Impact 1000 Rangefinder. Why? If your hunter drops and breaks it, Vortex will fix or replace it via the company’s unlimited lifetime warranty. Hard to beat that.
Short stabilizers help reduce some vibration in a compound bow. Longer stabilizers help reduce bow torque and increase pin stability, but they’re long and ungainly when you’re out hunting in the forest. The Crossroad Archery Crossover 1233 Telescopic Stabilizer brings the best of both worlds: You can reduce the length of the stabilizer for shooting from a blind or tree stand but you can extend it to help provide stability for long shots. If your bowhunter wants to practice launching arrows well past 60 yards, a longer stabilizer can help increase effectiveness — and confidence. The Crossroad Archery Crossover 1233 Telescopic Stabilizer blends a vibration-reducing carbon body with adjustable weights at the end. It has a universal thread, so it should fit most any compound bow that has a built-in threaded stabilizer hole (and most do). Other stabilizers are great, but this one is something special. In our mind, it’s a can’t-go-wrong bowhunting gift.
There are a variety of quick stabilizer disconnect systems available, and most of then work pretty well. The B-Stinger Quick Disconnect lets your bowhunter quickly and easily attach and remove their stabilizer. The main body of the disconnect bolts onto your stabilizer attachment point on your bow. A cylinder then screws onto the end of your stabilizer. By fitting the end of the cylinder into the main body of disconnect system, you can tighten and loose the stabilizer with just a couple turns — instead of many many turns without the quick disconnect. For bowhunters who use stabilizers over 6 inches or so, this little luxury is awesome and makes putting a bow away into a case very fast. For a super upgrade, go with the B-Stinger Elite Side Bar Quick Disconnect — it has an additional side angle disconnect that will let a bowhunter add weight to the side opposite of an attached quiver. This would be for bow hunters looking to fine-tune their accuracy and push their distance shots farther out.
Our favorite quiver is undeniably the TightSpot 5-Arrow Quiver. It is astoundingly well engineered, and it’s built in the USA. For starters, the TightSpot Quiver has an ingenious mounting system — you can mount the TightSpot quiver much closer to the side of your compound bow than you can with most other quivers. This gets more weight closer to the center of your bow, which reduces torque. In addition, you can fine-tune the position of the quiver to get better balance out of your particular bow. But wait, there’s a lot more: The quiver uses carbon fiber rods, so it’s lightweight and strong, plus the construction helps reduce vibration on the shot. The TightSpot grippers that hold each arrow are particularly special: Over the last few years, more and more bowhunters have started using smaller diameter arrows. In fact, there are multiple diameters of arrows that your bowhunter could be using — or could change to next year. Most standard quivers have arrow grippers that are one size and they can start to wear out and loosen. The TightSpot Quiver has individually adjustable arrow grippers, which let you tighten the grippers to fit your arrows. This means you’re far less likely to lose an arrow with a very sharp broadhead out of your quiver as you’re walking through brush in the woods — and here’s a broadhead injury story that proves the risk. Better yet, TightSpot offers an IronClad guarantee — if the TightSpot quiver breaks on the original owner for any reason, TightSpot will repair or replace it at no cost. TightSpot also makes a 7-arrow version and 3-arrow version — you can get all three versions at BlackOvis with free shipping — but the 5-arrow version is right for most bowhunters.
Once a hunter starts hunting with a binocular chest pack, which is basically a bino harness with a built-in case, there’s no going back. You might think that a chest pack could interfere with the drawing of a bow, but they do not. Even the large Alaska Guide Creations Classic HBS with M.A.X. pocket (pictured) doesn’t get in the way of a shot. More to the point, it keeps your binoculars handy, and the more you use your binoculars, the more likely it is that you’re going to spot an animal. For most bowhunters, a chest pack that includes a pocket for a rangefinder is the way to go. We also like side pockets for stowing wind checker and other odds and ends. The AGC Classic will hold up to 12×50 binos, but the slightly smaller AGC Kodiak C.U.B. with M.A.X. Pocket that holds 10×42 binos is the best all-around size for the vast majority of bow hunters. BlackOvis stocks the AGC line and offers free shipping.
Because bowhunters so often hike into tree stands and ground blinds before dawn — and don’t leave until it’s dark — a good headlamp is must-have archery hunting gear. The best headlamps for hunting have red, green, or blue light that can protect a hunter’s night vision and not spook animals. For more hunting headlamp options, check out our guide to the best hunting headlamps.
We are huge fans of the Last Chance Archery PACK-N-GO Portable Bow Press. To create the PACK-N-GO, Last Chance Archery modified the design of its popular EZ Green Press so it would break down into a rectangle just 3-inches thick. See those pins in the photo? They let the main bar fold over inline with the base. It’s easy to stow in a car or pickup. The PACK-N-GO comes in a padded case that includes pockets for the patented finger system that provides pressure on the ends of a compound bow to safely press it. So why is the PACK-N-GO Portable Bow Press an awesome gift for bowhunters? The press will let bowhunters press their own bow to install peep sights and tune their compound bow. Better yet, a bowhunter could take the PACK-N-GO with them to hunting camp (we did) when they’re far away from professional archery shops. If something goes wrong with their gear in the field, they’ll have a chance to fix it without ruining their hunt. So cool.
Because bowhunters must get very close in order to make ethical shots, they need every possible edge to help get an elk, deer, turkey or other big game animal in range. One way is with a big game decoy. While a bowhunter is mimicking the sound of say, a cow elk, a bull elk that is coming in to investigate the cow elk calls will be looking for a visual confirmation. An elk decoy helps provide that visual confirmation. Big game decoys aren’t a slam dunk, but every little bit helps as your hunter tries to get into position for the one shot they’ll get most seasons. This year, the Montana Decoy Elk Rump worked perfectly on a 5-point bull, holding his attention just long enough for a shot. Decoys won’t solve everything hunting challenge, but we’re believers and usually carry a packable decoy in our packs just in case. Oh, one more thing — big game decoys should not be used during rifle season when rifle hunters might be attempting long-range shots. They’re best used for bowhunters only, who should never be fooled by a decoy themselves, especially within archery range.
If you’re looking for a great stocking stuffer for a bowhunter, a HEX wrench kit is a great archery gift. Technically, most bowhunters only need one of these, but hey, sometimes you lose one and it’s always nice to keep one in the truck, archery go-bag, or in a hunting pack. The Pine Ridge Archery Archer’s Allen Wrench Set is affordable but built with great quality — it’s sized correctly and doesn’t strip or round off the corners. The nine included sizes fit most bolts on most compound bows.
One of our hunting buddies with teenage boys was able to grunt back and forth with several bucks last year — a cool experience, for sure. The Primos Revolver Deer Call is super simple to use and it lets you dial the nob to select the tone you’re looking for, whether it’s a territorial buck or doe or fawn bleat. Sometimes the grunt is the only thing that will turn a big buck your way — or stop him in his tracks to give you time to take a shot. Better yet, using a deer call is heckuva lot of fun, especially for bowhunters who need deer to come in close for a good, ethical shot.
For archery elk hunters The Rocky Mountain Wapiti Whacker Bugle Tube is one of the best sounding bugle tubes on the market. To get a richer sound, the Wapiti Whacker uses RMHC’s V.E.T.T. mouthpiece design, which uses a spring inside the tube to enhance the volume and tone of various elk-calling notes. Better yet, RMHC includes an enlargement ring for the mouthpiece to let your hunter choose between a 1.25″ or 1.5″ diameter mouthpiece. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a stocking stuffer for a bowhunting elk hunter, add a new elk diaphragm call or two. Most hunters are willing to try new ones to produce new tones, and if you’re hunter is a newbie, they’ll have a call to practice with all winter long.
A bunch of new scent-destroying ozone-producing products have hit the market lately, but not all of them are manufactured to particularly high standards. The bag we can vouch for is the Scent Crusher Ozone Gear Bag. It works. All you have to do is toss in your smelly hunting clothes, run a cycle of ozone through the bag, and boom, your hunting clothes are scent-free and pretty much sterilized, too. This means that only does the ozone break down molecules that smell, the ozone also kills odor-causing bacteria. This also means that you don’t have to wash your expensive hunting camo gear nearly as often. Out at hunting camp, you can plug in the Scent Crusher Ozone Gear Bag into a charging port in your vehicle or any standard outlet. If your bowhunter is hunting elk, whitetail deer, or bear, reducing scent can help make the difference between success and failure. Turkey? Not so much. Of course, the Scent Crusher will still destroy bacteria, which is always handy on day four at hunting camp. If you need one more push in favor of the Scent Crusher Ozone Gear Bag, it refreshes stinky gym shoes, too.
Most bowhunters we know don’t have a good storage solution for their broadheads. Sure, when razor-sharp broadheads are in their quivers, they’re pretty safe and relatively protected. But what about for travel and storage? That’s where the Posch Archery Broadhead Storage Case comes in — it holds up to 36 broadheads and it’s perfect for off-season storage.
Many deer hunters, including archery deer hunters, use tree stands to put them in a position to spot and shoot deer as they come through higher-traffic areas. Better yet, a tree stand hunter often has other trees and places they would like to set up a tree stand — but they don’t want to move an existing tree stand that’s already in a pretty good spot. So for bowhunters who hunt from tree stands, an extra stand is very often a great bowhunting gift idea. The Muddy Partner 2-Person Tree Stand is a “ladder stand,” and ladder stands tend to blend comfort with stability. They’re especially good for younger or older hunters. If you truly only want a single-person stand, try the sweet Millennium L110 21-ft Single Ladder Stand.
One of the leading causes of severe and life-threatening accidents for bowhunters is falling from treestands. All tree stand hunters can fall on the way up and on the way down, but bowhunters are at particular risk because of the space and angles required to draw a bow and make a shot while maintaining their balance. The answer is to use a safety harness, but many hunters haven’t made the investment in the nominal cost to use them — which makes a safety harness a very good gift for a bowhunter who uses treestands.
Why can’t you just trust a rope? Once you fall and get entangled, it’s extremely difficult to pull yourself back up — and many hunters, especially when they’re in heavy layers and it’s cold outside, can’t do it. A good harness like the X-1 Bowhunter Treestand Safety Harness safely spreads the weight over multiple body points.
If your bowhunter has aspirations of long-distance shooting, it’s time for a movable “slider” sight that lets your bowhunter dial in the pins for distances ranging out to 100 yards and beyond. To do it, movable/slider sight manufacturers do some serious math for you so you can dial in your pins by moving them up or down so that your arrows will hit at the desired distance. No sight will turn you into a great shot, but starting with an awesome tool helps. The Black Gold Ascent Verdict is one of the best slider pin sights, especially for hunters. Why? Aside from being 100 percent built in the USA out of Belgrade, Montana, Black Gold sights are rugged and dependable. And if you do break one, for any reason, Black Gold will repair or replace it at no additional charge. Still, there is another super cool feature: Black Gold’s patented PhotoChromatic shell, which covers the sight’s fiber optic strands. This shell darkens in bright light (see the purple in the photo) and lightens in less light. The result is that you avoid getting overly bright pins that “starburst” in your vision — yet you also get bright pins in low-light hunting situations. It works surprisingly well. You can go with a single-pin version, but we like the multi-pin 5-pin option because it lets you always have five pins instantly ready at five distances if you have a deer or elk coming in fast.
There are lots of places where a bowhunter could use a ground blind — but probably doesn’t . . . but would if they had a ground blind. The Cabela’s The ZonZ Specialist XL Ground Blind is spacious and includes 7 window options to provide 360-degrees of visibility. It has an excellent price-to-value ratio — and fast and free shipping options!
The Pine Ridge Archery Kwik Stand Bow Support is a great portable bow stand for most any compound bow archer, but it’s especially good for hunters because it’s portable. Many archery hunters like to take a few practice shots at hunting camp or right before they head out on hunt, and rarely is there a good place to set down a compound bow. A good portable stand will hold the bow upright, keeping it easily seen (and not stepped on or kicked). Better yet, the stand can be used to hold a bow while a hunter makes in-the-field minor adjustments to a bow hunting setup.
Our favorite face paint is the Hunter’s Specialties Speed Camo Tri-Color system. The three tubes make it super easy to apply a few swipes over your face and nose — and you’re good to go. Easy to apply and no mess!
Wind checkers are unscented powders that help reveal the direction of even subtle winds. Elk and deer have astounding senses of smell, so it’s critical for hunters to know the wind direction so they can approach from downwind. Wind checkers are small, inexpensive, and they run out — so they make great stocking stuffers for hunters!
An arrow puller is basically a grippy handle that makes pulling arrows out of targets much easier. If your hunter is shooting narrow diameter arrows with high-speed compound bows, arrow pullers are always welcome bow-shooting accessories.
We hunted hard for much of one particularly hot September, covering a lot of ground looking for elk. For most of our vehicle trips, we took the YETI Roadie 24 with us. Normally, we’re big fans of packable soft-sided coolers, but the YETI Roadie 24 won us over for its superior durability and fantastic insulating abilities. We let it bounce around in the back of the pickup with miscellaneous (and sometimes poky) gear and tools. When we loaded it up with lunch and cold drinks, we used very little ice, which was often in short supply at hunting camp. The YETI Roadie 20 Cooler performed admirably through it all. Let’s put it this way: If any bowhunter could not figure out how to use and appreciate this cooler, we wouldn’t want to hunt with that bowhunter. Because it’s a splurge sort of item when it comes to most bowhunter’s budgets, it makes a fantastic, surprising gift.