Does Arrow Weight Matter When Hunting?

Author: Scott Murray  Date Posted:13 November 2023 

Does Arrow Weight Matter When Hunting?

Hunting with a bow and arrow is a unique and challenging sport that requires skill, patience, and the right equipment. To ensure a successful, ethical hunt, hunters must choose suitable arrows according to their shooting style, animal size, and hunting conditions. One critical factor to consider is arrow weight - but does it really matter when hunting?

The Importance of Arrow Weight

Arrow weight is crucial to consider when hunting. The weight of an arrow plays a significant role in its accuracy, speed, and kinetic energy - or the amount of energy an object possesses due to its motion. Generally, a heavier arrow carries more momentum than a lighter one, creating a greater amount of kinetic energy upon impact, which can result in better penetration and potentially more lethal shot placement[1].

However, it's essential to keep in mind that a heavier arrow may fly a bit slower and at a different trajectory than a lighter one. As a result, hunters need to adjust their aiming technique and their equipment to optimise their shot for the heaver arrow.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Arrow Weight

Choosing the right arrow weight depends on several factors, including:

1. Animal Size

One of the most significant factors to consider when selecting arrow weight for hunting is the size and type of animal being hunted. Larger animals, such as elk or moose, often require heavier arrows with more penetration power to take down effectively. Whereas smaller game, such as rabbits and squirrels, require less powerful arrows.

2. Shooting Range

Another important factor to consider is the range from which the hunter will be shooting. Longer ranges might, at times, benefit from a heavier arrow, since it can carry enough momentum to deliver adequate kinetic energy to the prey.

3. Bow Draw Weight

The weight of the bow also plays an essential role in choosing the appropriate arrow weight. A bow with a higher draw weight requires a heavier arrow, while a lighter draw weight allows for a lighter arrow.

4. Hunter's Experience

Ultimately, the hunter's experience and personal preference also play a role in choosing the appropriate arrow weight. Experienced hunters may have a preferred arrow weight that they've used over time and have found useful in their hunting endeavors.


Arrow weight does matter when hunting, and choosing the correct arrow weight is essential for optimising a successful, ethical hunt. A heavier arrow can deliver more kinetic energy and, therefore, increase the penetration power on the targeted prey, increasing the chances of making a clean and humane kill. However, other factors can impact arrow weight selection, such as the animal's size, bow draw weight, shooting range, and the hunter's experience with the equipment.

The next time you are considering arrows for your next hunt, remember the importance of arrow weight and its role in a successful hunting experience.

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