You can hunt with a 35 lb recurve bow as long as it is within the minimum draw weight requirements of your state’s bowhunting regulations. Low-poundage recurve bows can kill animals such as turkeys, rabbits, and possibly deer but will have difficulty ethically killing large game animals.
Let’s face it, only some hunters and archers can pull high-poundage bows, especially beginners. Increasing your draw weight will also take time, exercise, experience, and practice. Luckily, low-poundage bows are available to help you get a quick start.
Low-poundage bows are often those with draw weights of less than 50 lb. In contrast, draw weights 50 lb and up are high-poundage bows and are ideal for shooting large game animals.
If you are among those who are comfortable shooting low-poundage bows, such as 35 lb recurve bow, you may be wondering if it is enough to use for hunting.
You will be glad to know that you can hunt animals with a 35 lb recurve bow. However, that doesn’t mean you can join any bowhunting season you like. Remember that low-poundage bows like the 35 lb recurve bow are not powerful enough and may not deliver the right amount of kinetic energy to kill more giant animals like elk, moose, and bears.
Since large game animals have thicker skin, bones, and muscles, you would need recurve bows with higher draw weight and heavier arrows. On the brighter side, a 35 lb recurve bow can kill small game animals like rabbits and turkeys.
In terms of deer hunting, there is no absolute assurance that a 35 lb recurve bow is completely capable of providing a humane kill. However, it also doesn’t mean that it is entirely impossible because some hunters using a 35 lb recurve bow were able to kill a deer.
As long as you are within the effective range, have the correct shot placement, and have consistent shooting accuracy, your chances of shooting a deer at its vital organs are high.
Now that you know which animals a 35 lb recurve bow can kill, there is another thing you must also look out for before joining the hunt: imposed minimum draw weight. Sadly, you must adhere to the bowhunting regulations set by your state before as your ticket to entering the hunting game season.
It is vital to note that the imposed minimum draw weights differ per animal, for instance:
- 40 pounds is the minimum draw weight for hunting whitetail deer
- For antelope and bear hunting, a draw weight from 40 pounds to 65 pounds can be the minimum draw weight requirement depending on the animal’s size.
- Hunters have to have a draw weight of 65 pounds and above to hunt a moose.
- Elk hunting requires at least 60 pounds of draw weight.
- In hunting an average deer, you need to have a draw weight of at least 35 pounds.
Of course, the data above is only an example, and bowhunting laws can vary from state to state and change as frequently as needed. Among the species included legal for hunting, minimum draw weight requirements start with deer hunting games.
Please note that some states impose a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds, so shooting a deer with a 35 lb recurve bow is illegal. Each state has its requirements for minimum draw weights for deer hunting, so it would be best to check those for each state:
|State||Minimum Draw Weight (Recurve bow)|
|California||40 lb – recommended|
|Colorado||35 lb – maximum let-off 80%|
|Florida||No minimum draw weight|
|Georgia||No minimum draw weight|
|Idaho||40 lb – maximum let-off 85%|
|Iowa||No minimum draw weight|
|Kansas||No minimum draw weight|
|Kentucky||No minimum draw weight|
|Mississippi||No minimum draw weight|
|Missouri||No minimum draw weight|
|Montana||No minimum draw weight – maximum 80% let-off|
|Nebraska||No minimum draw weight|
|Nevada||40 lb – maximum 80% let-off|
|New Hampshire||40 lb|
|New Jersey||35 lb|
|New Mexico||No minimum draw weight|
|New York||35 lb|
|North Carolina||40 lb|
|North Dakota||35 lb|
|Rhode Island||40 lb|
|South Carolina||No minimum draw weight|
|South Dakota||30 lb|
|Tennessee||No minimum draw weight|
|Texas||No minimum draw weight|
|Vermont||No minimum draw weight|
|Virginia||No minimum draw weight|
|West Virginia||No minimum draw weight|
Please note that the table above only refers to the minimum draw weight for recurve bows. Therefore, you need to check with your state bowhunting regulations if there is a minimum draw weight for compound bows and longbows.
Although most of the time, the minimum draw weight for vertical bows is all the same as each other, there are instances they are not. For example, Hawaii’s minimum draw weight for recurve bow is 35 lb, compound bows require 30 lb, meanwhile 40 lb for longbows.
Aside from knowing the legal draw weight, there are also a few rules in shooting low-poundage bows that can help you with your hunt:
- Abide by the law
- Don’t sacrifice your shooting form
- Best to use a fixed-blade broadhead
Your preparations will only be useful if you abide by the bowhunting regulations your state sets. Whether you agree with the bowhunting rules or not, you have no choice but to follow and never break them to avoid any trouble.
Always keep up to date with the requirements. It is essential to note that some states impose minimum draw lengths and other needed restrictions. For instance, if you think your state requires a minimum draw weight of 40 lb to kill a deer, you need to increase your draw weight if you currently shoot a 35 lb recurve bow.
If you have enough time, build the needed muscle strength and practice shooting as often as you can to help increase your draw weight rapidly. Or else, you could join the following year’s hunting game instead.
Some people are so desperate to shoot high-poundage bows that they are willing to sacrifice their shooting form. Remember that a bow with a draw weight higher than your comfortable poundage will leave you shaking, hurting your accuracy.
Always shoot a bow that you can pull back smoothly, allowing a slight elbow bend. Sacrificing your shooting form is not a good idea and will only result in wounding a deer instead of killing it ethically.
There is nothing terrible about shooting low-poundage bows. You can shoot with accuracy and consistency if you retain your proper form.
Although mechanical broadheads are currently the coolest in the market, you might want to reconsider using them when shooting with low-poundage bows. Mechanical broadheads are often best used with faster and harder-hitting bows.
On the other hand, fixed-blade broadheads with three blades are ideal for low-poundage bows because they do not rob the kinetic energy from the bow when deployed, which retains its penetration power.
Using a 35 lb recurve bow for hunting may not be the best draw weight if you plan to enter large game hunting. However, it can be enough to join popular hunting games like deer hunting.
How far can a 35lb recurve bow shoot?
A 35 lb recurve bow can shoot between 220 and 240 yards at a maximum range. However, its effective range is only 20 to 25 yards.
Only some bow types share similar maximum and effective ranges. Various factors make each bow differ from one another, and the main factor is the draw weight.
If you use a 35 lb recurve bow, you might want to know how far it shoots. Since it is a low-pound bow, it only shoots at an effective distance of 20 to 25 yards. Shooting beyond this range compromises your shooting accuracy.
However, if you want to know how far it can shoot simply, you should know that its maximum range is from 220 to 240 yards.
Shooting at its maximum distance does not guarantee that you will hit the target accurately. It can reach the target but is only as accurate as you want it to be if your skill level is above average or supreme.
Moreover, a 35 lb recurve bow doesn’t have the same shooting range as another bow of the same poundage. Here are some bow types that have a similar draw weight of 35 pounds:
|Bow Type||Effective Range||Maximum Range|
|Longbow||30 to 40 yards||240 to 260 yards|
|Recurve bow||20 to 25 yards||220 to 240 yards|
|Compound bow||40 to 50 yards||200 to 300 yards|
As you can see, they all have different ranges despite sharing similar draw weights. Additionally, the distance you can shoot with a recurve bow depends on the draw weight, arrow weight, and length specifications.
What is a good draw weight for hunting?
40 lb is a good draw weight for those who wish to hunt popular games like turkey, deer, and elk. However, if you are into large game hunting, 50 lb and above is the ideal weight to aid you in delivering a humane kill.
Draw weight is one of the factors that help determine how capable your bow is when hunting particular animals. It is the force you need to apply to the bowstring to pull it through the full range of motion.
You may wonder which draw weight is good and which isn’t if you are new to hunting. Below are the draw weights considered to be ideal depending on the animal and purpose:
- For those who want to go hunting and target shooting, it would be best to go for a 40 lb bow.
- Hunting large game animals need at least 50 lb draw weight to penetrate its thick skin, bones, and muscles.
- 40 lb and above are a good draw weight if you want to join the popular game hunting (elk, deer, turkey)
- Any draw weight will do if you plan to target shoot using a recurve bow.
Despite the enumerated ideal draw weights, it doesn’t mean you have to follow them regardless if you are comfortable shooting such draw weights or not. It is always essential to shoot comfortably rather than forcing yourself just because you have to follow the general standards.
The following table shows the recommended draw weights for different types of people based on their weights:
|Type of Person/Build||Weight (kgs)||Recommended Draw Weight (lbs) For Compound Bow||Recommended Draw Weight (lbs) For Recurve Bow|
|Child (slight build)||31 to 45||15 to 25||10 to 15|
|Child (large build)||45 to 59||25 to 35||15 to 25|
|Woman (small build)||45 to 59||25 to 35||25 to 35|
|Average Woman||59 to 73||30 to 40||25 to 35|
|Woman (large build)||73 and above||45 to 55||30 to 45|
|Man (slight build) or Older Boy||54 to 68||45 to 55||30 to 45|
|Average Man||68 to 82||55 to 65||40 to 55|
|Man (large build)||82 and above||65 to 75||45 to 60|
You can use the table above to determine the draw weight you will most likely be comfortable shooting with at the moment.
After looking up the corresponding draw weight recommended for your build and size, remember to test it to make sure.
A 35 lb recurve bow does not have enough kinetic energy to penetrate large game animals’ surfaces and vital organs. Despite the disadvantages of using a 35 lb recurve bow, it is still good enough to enter even popular games like deer hunting and is also ideal for target shooting.
Always remember that draw weight is another factor in achieving an ethical kill, but it’s not the only thing determining your hunt’s success.