Carrying your bow in your hand is still one of the best ways to do it. This is great for use in areas where you are likely to come across a deer or a turkey so you can be ready to aim and shoot.
It is for optimum use while stalking and ready for any sudden movements.
The disadvantage of holding your bow in your hand is that this is difficult to do in rougher terrain.
If you are hiking up a steeper mountain and need a hand to hold on to something to help gain footing, then this isn't going to work.
This is even harder in woodsy areas where there is a lot on the ground to trip on. If you’re not careful, you could tumble and damage your bow.
2. Carrying With a Sling:
If you want to be ready for fast maneuvers, then hold your bow in a sling may be right for you.
This way will allow you to properly carry it on your back while hiking and walking but will swing it to the front for use quickly.
It can be great when you didn't expect to see many deers and need to act fast when you happen to see one.
This way is also good for woodsy trails that require a little more movement, but where some game will still tread.
Using a sling can make carrying your recurve bow through a long stretch of land much easier, and help reduce the pain from the weight.
But here the problem:
It leaves your bow susceptible to damage. If you don’t swing the bow properly, you can drop or snag it on a branch, or even hurt your arm or shoulder if not careful.
If you like the way the sling feels while carrying, then you can practice swinging the bow around to the front. This way, you will feel confident and comfortable while hunting.
3. Carrying With a Case:
Having a long journey, or a long drive is one reason to use a case to carry your bow. If your bow is safely away in a hard case, then even bumpy roads won’t damage it.
Plus, mountainous areas may require the use of both hands, so carrying a case that you can carry on your back is ideal. This will allow you more mobility while still keeping your bow tucked away safely.
Hard cases are typically just for transporting your bow in a vehicle. They are too stiff to transport on your back to make the trip uncomfortable.
Soft cases are the ones that you would need to take with you on the trail.
If you have a compound bow, especially, then having a case can be a lifesaver. You don’t want to be carrying such a large bow while going through mountainous or woodsy areas.
If you are trying to carry your longbow through small spaces between trees, there is a higher chance of sustaining damage.
A disadvantage of using a case is that you need to spend more effort and cost to find a suitable one. And thanks god, there are a lot of bow cases available online now. You will be easy to find a capable one.
4. Carrying By The String:
Carrying your bow this way is very easy, and best for beginners, because it’s exactly how it sounds: you carry it by holding the string.
This is a simple and easy way that doesn’t require you to buy anything.
There are a lot of cons to this method however, which is particularly harmful to your bow during warmer weather because it can stretch out the string prematurely.
For this reason, carrying your bow by the string isn’t usually recommended. But, for beginners, this can be an easy way to do until you find something else that works better.
Unless you have a crossbow, which would probably make it more difficult due to the bulkier nature of the shape.
5. Put It On A Gun Rack:
Putting your bow on a gun rack is a method used for when you have a vehicle, an ATV, or a bike that you will use on your trip.
Then when you get to your hunting spots, you can use another method, like carrying it in hand, to keep your bow ready for drawing.
You can use a gun rack to hold the bow on your car or truck, or in place while you are riding your ATV through the woods to get to your hunting stand.
You can also place it on your handlebars which will hold it in place so it won't move around too much.
Although this is great during transportation, for obvious reasons, you can’t use this at any other time.
6. Hang Your Bow On Your Backpack:
Similar to the sling method, carrying your bow attached to your backpack can be a great way to hold onto it while making your way to your ground blind.
In rough terrain, you will most likely need both hands, so attaching your bow to your backpack can be a great way to keep your hands free during your journey.
This is an ideal way to carry a crossbow because of the weight distribution is uneven, unlike flatbows, or recurves.
So, carrying it level against your hunting backpack is a good way to travel without having to worry about the weight and stay comfortable throughout the trip.
This way is also very simple. All you have to do is to use your backpack's straps to wrap around and secure your bow.
As long as the bow doesn’t move too much while traveling, then you won’t have to worry about it.
Just make sure that it is safely placed before you head out on a trail so that the straps won’t come undone while you are out there.
The only issue with this method is that you won’t be ready to use your bow quickly if you were to come across something unexpectedly.
So, this method is better for terrain where you don’t expect to see any deer for some time. Then, when you closer to a spot, then you can opt for carrying your bow in hand.
7. Carry a Bow with Bow Holders:
While sitting on a treestand, you should have a holder which is screwed into a tree and get hands free.
With this way, when a deer walk into your hunting area, you can quickly and quietly get a bow ready for shooting.
Now Your Turn:
Above is my favorite ways to answer the question "how to carry a bow while hunting?".
Which is your most prefer? Carry by hand, sling or with a bow case ? Tell me below...
Hi, I’m Robert Gate – an avid hunter and founder of ArcheryTopic.com. I grew up in Texas, USA and learned archery from my dad when I was a child. He gave me a Mathew bow as a gift when I got 12 years old. Read my story!