A lot of people believe they have to be able to pull back (draw) 60-70# in order to kill a deer. But, that’s just not the case. In fact, the average, minimum draw weight in the United States is about 40#. It’s even lower than that in some states. It’s great if you can pull back 60# or more, but can you do it comfortably every single shot? It’s not a contest to see who’s the strongest. It’s about making a good shot every time! Good shot placements kill deer, not big muscles!

With that said, how do you know what your proper draw weight is? One simple way to help determine your draw weight is with the aid of a draw weight chart, such as the following:

Small child 50-70 lbs 10-15 lbs
Child 70-100 lbs 15-25 lbs
Most women, boys from 100 – 130 lbs 30-40 lbs
Women above average strength; youth boys 130 – 150 lbs 40-50 lbs
Most men 150-180 lbs Target 40-55 lbs
Most men 150-180 lbs Bowhunting or 3D 50-65 lbs
Muscular young men and larger men 180 lbs and up 60-70 lbs

This chart is just a general guideline. You may be able to comfortably draw more, or you may need to start a little lower. Now that you have a good starting point, you can practice various types of shots to determine if this is the right weight for you. You need to practice taking the same shots that you would be taking in the field. And, you need to do it with the same type of clothing you will be wearing during a real hunt! If you hunt from a stand, then take your bow to the stand and practice shots from different angles. The same if you hunt from a blind! Take shots while standing, sitting, kneeling, and from various angles. Are you able to pull your bow back comfortably every sing

le time? Are you struggling? Was the break over smooth? These questions will help you determine if the draw weight is right for you.

Don’t get wrapped up in the numbers! Just focus on consistency and smoothness. I know I’ve said it before, but it is so true, “GOOD FORM is essential for successful bow hunting!!!” So get out there and practice. If you’re not happy with your current draw weight, just keep practicing. The more you shoot, the stronger you will become. Start low and work your way up, but don’t ever try to pull too much! It can be bad for you, your bow, and your shot placement! Now break out those coveralls and boots and get to practicing!

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