It is often said that there are no bad bows these days, and that’s mostly true. Bow technology has evolved drastically even in just the past five years. There are many fantastic options out there, and narrowing down your choices can sometimes be challenging. When bow hunting in North Texas is on your list of things to get into this summer, choosing your next compound bow should be on your To-Do List ASAP. Which bow you end up with will come down primarily to your hunting goals and preferred shooting style. Here are some crucial factors to consider when selecting your next bow purchase.

1. Shop New Bows

Bow technology has evolved rapidly over the last decade. The mid-priced bows released this year are undoubtedly better than the top-of-the-line bows from five or six years ago. Look to purchase a new bow, even if it isn’t the most expensive on the market.

2. Ignore the Hype; Try Bows Yourself

Of course, individual bow companies will try hard to sell you their product with big promises on use and ability. Don’t make your purchase based on these big marketing claims. The most reliable critic is yourself. Go to stores where you can shoot and test different bows. Shoot your friend’s bows in similar styles to see if you like them. Only you can determine what bow feels best in your hands and meets your preferences.

3. Avoid Brand Loyalty

It can be easy in the hunting community to develop immense loyalty for specific brands and products. Maybe you grew up using a particular brand or have never used another. But die-hard brand loyalty could cause you to miss out on the bow that is the best fit for you. Shopping smart means ignoring the label on the bow and paying more attention to the bow itself.

4. Compare Speed vs. Shootability—but Don’t Forget Efficiency

Speed vs. shootability is what people talk about when comparing bows. Speed is how fast a bow can fling an arrow. Shootability is less discernable but generally refers to the smoothness with which the bow is drawn and fired. Typically, more speed tends to mean less shootability. But you should also keep efficiency in mind when testing bows. How efficiently a bow transfers energy, the more power and speed you get out of a bow with less effort.

The variable factor here is the shooter. If you can quickly and effectively shoot a hard-to-draw bow that packs a big punch, you will have the advantage of using more powerful bows. But you don’t want to sacrifice shootability or efficiency for power. Find a bow that is easy to handle and shoot to maximize your efficiency.

5. Shop in Your Budget

Yes, flagship bows have a lot to offer and are often the best of the best available on the market today. But there are plenty of great bow options at every price point. Mid-line and budget bows still have a lot of value, and hunters using these bows are at no more of a handicap than hunters using top-quality equipment.

The right bow for you will depend on your skills, experience level, physicality, application, hunting environment, personal preference, and much more! Keep an open mind and try as many bows as possible before purchasing.