The decision of how many arrow you put in your quiver for a day’s hunting is an interesting one and, possibly, not one that’s given a lot of thought…until it’s too late.
One thing is almost certain for every hunter, for 99% of the time you will have more arrows in your quiver than you will need.
The number of arrows you might want with you might depend on whether you’re only on a single day hunting trip or a multi-day trip.
Even if it’s, say, a 3 day hunting trip, you should only need an extra 4 or 5 arrows on top of the 3 in your quiver.
It also depends on a few other factors such as:
- How far from your truck, cabin or camp you’re hunting
- What part of the season you’re hunting in: early, mid or late
- The game you’re going after
- Do you fancy also shooting at some small game while you’re out?
Any or all of these factors will determine not only the number of arrows in your quiver but also the types of heads on the arrows, the thickness of the arrows and also their weight.
For more experienced hunters, the decisions around arrows will be second nature. For the inexperienced it could cause some serious indecision and angst.
We’re going to go through a few possible scenarios that might help work out, not only how many arrows you put in your quiver, but also what you might use them for.
To make things a little easier, we’re going to assume that the primary hunting target is whitetail deer.
Arrows in the Quiver For a Single Day Hunt
While it’s true that most bow quivers can hold anywhere from 3 to 7 arrows you don’t necessarily have to fill it with broadheads when you head into the field.
When deer hunting you can expect to need only 3 arrows at most. After all, it’s only on rare occasions that you’ll get the chance for a second arrow at a buck.
In fact, a lot of hunters admit they can sometimes go for the majority of the season and not use all 3 of their broadhead tipped deer hunting arrows.
When weight savings is such a big factor while hunting, it might not make sense to fill your quiver up with arrows you’re unlikely to use.
But even if you only take 3 deer hunting arrows with you, you might add a couple of extra arrows, perhaps one with a judo head for small game and another field point for grouse or other small game bird.
Arrows in the Quiver For a Multi-Day Hunt
Things are a little different if you’re hunting over multiple days. In this case we’re thinking anywhere from 3 to 7 days.
It is usual to bring along extra arrows as well as spare broadheads in case something happens to your starting set. Some people prefer to simply add another 3 or 4 arrows to their pack while others are more comfortable bringing the full dozen, safe in the knowledge they are covered should anything disastrous happens.
The extras are going to remain back at camp each day.
The arrow or arrows that are likely to get the most use are the field point tipped arrows. They’re for practice at the end of the day.
Once again, though, the tips of the spare set of arrows will be a range of different broadheads to cover a variety of hunting scenarios.
It will depend on the game you’re seeing each day.
Are you seeing a lot of does each day or will you be going after a buck? This could have a big influence on the arrow combination that goes into your quiver.
Let’s try to be a little more specific about what you might take in your quiver for specific times of the hunting year. We’ll give a few for instances to provide reasons for your arrow choices.
Early Season Hunt
In the early season you’re unlikely to be going after bucks so your quiver should reflect that with the arrows you put in it.
Here are three suggestions for what arrow combination you might put in your quiver for a single day hunt.
If you’re single-minded about hunting deer, the 3-arrow quiver is a perfect option.
With 3 arrows your goal is most likely going to be to harvest a single doe.
So your arrows are likely going to be on the lightweight side and tipped with a solid broadhead.
We’ll assume you’re still targeting does, but you’re also going to be keeping an eye out for the chance to take small game such as a pesky squirrel.
In this case your first 3 arrows are dedicated to deer.
Dedicate the fourth arrow to small game with a judo point to get the job done.
You might take along an optional 5th arrow that could be an insurance deer hunting arrow, a heavier arrow in case you encounter an opportunity at a buck or you might bring along a field tip to use to get yourself dialled in at the start of the day or for some downtime practice.
Shooting in mountain regions might mean you want to keep an arrow spare for grouse, which can be a tasty addition to your bag.
Obviously, if you fill your 7-arrow quiver you will be able to provide yourself with the opportunity to prepare for just about any eventuality.
Your set-up will be very similar to a 5-arrow quiver, however you've got more scope to add greater variety.
You might dedicate 3 arrows to a buck, 3 to doe hunting and a small game arrow.
Moving into the mid-season we’re now fully into buck hunting mode so the quiver is going to reflect that. Let’s take a look at 3 potential arrow combinations in the various quiver capacities.
The single-minded deer hunter should be stocking the quiver with 3 heavier arrows tipped with suitable big buck-stopping heads. There wouldn’t be any thought to small game or other distractions. The thinking is surely, aim true with the first arrow and perhaps use a second if absolutely necessary.
The 5-arrow quiver is once again going to provide you with a greater range of options. The expectation is that arrows 1-3 are dedicated to taking the buck you’re presumably after.
The last 2 arrows will still be in the quiver from the early season hunting and provide the opportunity for small game, quail or dialing in the bow at day’s start.
If you fill your 7-arrow quiver it is possible you may want to take an extra (fourth) buck hunting arrow with suitable broadhead.
Two arrows might remain from earlier in the season giving you the opportunity to take a doe if the opportunity arises.
Late Season Hunt
Hunting in late season means we’re following feeding patterns and coming in on our last chance to put a buck in the freezer before the season ends. Presumably you’re late enough into the season that practice arrows are no longer required. Every arrow in the quiver should be dedicated to one type of game or another – large or small.
It’s time to get real. Bucks are moving along established trails as they continue to search for food.
Your 3-arrow quiver should be loaded with heavy arrows tipped with devastating broadheads, fixed or expandable, whichever you prefer.
Your focus is now down to taking a final buck for the season, preferably with just one of the arrows in the quiver.
Once again, you’re probably packing 3 fully loaded arrows designed for taking the largest deer possible. The hope is that you’ll only need one or two of them with the third there as insurance.
Take the final two arrows along for those chance encounters with smaller game or predators. They may be lighter arrows and, depending where you’re hunting you might have a turkey head, a small single bevel broadhead or a judo point giving you the option of matching the arrow to the game.
Those who like to bring along the full set to fill their 7-arrow quiver once again will have the versatility to load up with a full array of heads and arrow set-ups.
Presumably you’re out there with the intention of bagging your buck so that should rule the predominant arrow selection in the quiver. But you can also equip yourself with a wider range of smaller game arrows as you might at other times of the season.
As we can see, the choices are almost endless.
Because bow hunting is such a personal thing and we all have our own personal preferences and needs, it’s great to have the opportunity that comes with choice.
While the number of arrows you put in your quiver for the day will come down to personal preference but remember that the vast majority of the time you’re only ever going to use a maximum of 2 arrows on any given day.
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