Best Bowhunting Books – Your 2021 Guide

| Last Updated December 22, 2021

Bowhunting has come into its own in recent years, and information on the topic has exploded in tandem with the rise in interest among hunters. 

We decided to take a look at some of the best expert knowledge around the sport to make things a little simpler and clearer.

Comparison of the Best Bowhunting Books

  • Best Overall
  • Provides information for a full year hunting program
  • Great tips for hunting white-tail
View Latest Price →
  • Provides all the steps for setting up the bow
  • Great tips on better accurate shooting
  • Lots of illustrations to make it so much easier
View Latest Price →
  • Best for the Money
  • All you want to know about bow hunting
  • Available in a variety of formats
View Latest Price →
  • Great archery hunting expeditions around the country
  • Great tips on the overall goal of hunting
  • Get it in kindle for free or your paperback version
View Latest Price →
  • Get it in three different formats or as an audio CD
  • A classic explanation of the bow and arrow hunting art
  • A great historical overview of bows and archery
View Latest Price →

Why Did These Bowhunting Books Make Our List?

Bowhunting is a big topic and has a very long history. We looked for several features while deciding on this list, and tried to accommodate as many aspects as we could. No single work will cover everything fully, so we opted for balance across our selection.

Historical Approach

We looked for elements that embed the modern sport in its long history. To appeal as widely as possible to newcomers and pros alike, we favored books that brought to life how this sport has evolved to become what it is today. 

Special Focus

As a counterpoint to a broader appeal, we also looked for books that cover a particular area of bowhunting in some depth so that those with specific interests can gain from reading them too. 

Reputable Sourcing 

It matters where our information comes from, and so we looked to seasoned veteran sources, ensuring that the books we promote have a solid and verified background. You want to know that the information provided comes with years of experience to guide you. 

Customer Reviews 

The books we’ve chosen here are widely reviewed by customers, and with so many folks praising them, we know they’re great picks. 

Review of the Best Bowhunting Books

With those selection criteria in mind, we bring our top picks from a long list of worthy contenders. It’s always tricky, and there are always deserving entries that get excluded, but here are our firm favorites:

Best Overall:
Precision Bowhunting by John and Chris Eberhart


  • Exhaustive detail specific to whitetail
  • Year-round approach to hunting
  • Unique attention to off-season preparation
  • Fascinating anecdotal information
  • Informal tone, yet thorough


  • Excludes most quarry
  • It may not be ideal for beginners


High-level Detail: Every bit of information you could need from a hunting perspective

Relevance: All the most recent thinking in the sport, from hides to gear

Scientific Approach: All the knowledge relevant to hunting white-tail deer

Focus: Situational and seasonal in its focus


This book takes a new approach. Starting with the off-season, the Eberharts demonstrate how hunting is a year-round activity, including a lot of staking out and scouting. They dive deep into their knowledge of the quarry and lay it all out with a real down-to-earth understanding of the hunt. 

They specialize in hunting deer in high-pressure areas and give the reader many anecdotes to bring across what they mean. They even focus on various conditions the hunter may find himself in and ways to maximize your trip, come what may. 

Bottom Line

You’ll love how much detail there is that’s specific to whitetail. It gives you a guide on preparing in the off-season so that you have everything you need when the time is right.

Overall, it holds modern, scientific information that’s still very relevant.

Petersen's Bowhunting by Bill Winke


  • Great scope and depth
  • Comes from a background of engaging readers
  • Practical and largely approachable to readers
  • Combines long years of experience
  • Draws from wide situational/contextual range


  • It may be a bit heavy for some beginners


High-level Detail: An exhaustively detailed and comprehensive guide

Relevance: This work is as current as you could wish for, cataloging all aspects of the sport today

Scientific Approach: Winke leaves nothing to guesswork and brings expert solutions to basic problems 

Focus: Equipment


This book comes right out of the long experience of Bill Winke, who is the field editor for the Petersen’s Bowhunting magazine. His focus throughout the work is on the weapon itself, and he expertly guides you through all aspects of the craft. 

From general maintenance to ensuring your gear is suited to requirements, Winke is an acknowledged expert in the field. He unpacks many of the common errors hunters make and shows how to set yourself up with the best bows, arrows, and accessories, a great resource for hunters of all kinds. 

Bottom Line

What makes this book stand out is the excellent depth of detail. It has a practical approach to equipment and combines several years of experience that you’ll enjoy reading through.

If you’re a professional in the field, you’ll easily grasp many of the difficult jargon and terms.

Best for the Money:
Shooter’s Bible Guide to Bowhunting by Todd A. Kuhn

Shooter's Bible Guide to Bowhunting


  • Covers practically all aspects of the sport
  • Time is taken in great detail
  • Traces the engineering behind equipment
  • Transitions well from the technical to the practical
  • No contexts/situations are minimized or ignored


  • Might be overwhelming to beginners


High-level Detail: This is a standalone book that covers a huge amount but with specificity

Relevance: There are no gaps in this work. All the most recent developments are covered

Scientific and Historical Approach: The book takes pains to trace aspects of the sport from their origins, all the way to where we are now

Focus: Broad, from historical background to modern equipment


As far as a general resource into the sport goes, you can do no better than this. Dr. Kuhn takes the reader through wide-ranging aspects of bowhunting, from its historical roots all the way to the most modern gadgets and tricks.

He gives wide-ranging advice on a dazzling array of related topics, and if there’s a general question to be asked, the answer is almost certainly here. It may seem a little daunting to a newbie, but as far as the application of information goes, you’d do well to beat this one. 

Bottom Line

While this book might be challenging for beginners to understand, it sweeps across practical and technical details of bowhunting. There’s a touch of historical information mixed with scientific if you’d love to explore the roots of the sport.

There’s so much detail in the book, including the equipment engineering. You’ll be left with a vast volume of knowledge in your head.

Editor’s Pick:
Traditional Archery Hunting by Clay Hayes

Traditional archery hunting: stories and advice about traditional bowhunting


  • Its approach is novel and intriguing
  • Very personal and considered
  • A deeper journey into the mind of hunter and prey
  • Philosophical in its tone
  • Each tale can stand alone, or be read into a wider narrative


  • Less informative than some other works
  • Excludes most modern hunting methods


Mid-level Detail: This book is not detail-heavy but more holistic in its account

Relevance: The longbow is Hayes’ focus, and this brings a more traditional feel to work

Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Historical in Approach: This is a collection of stories, and there’s an emphasis on man and his surroundings

Focus: On a specific weapon


Slightly shorter than the others on this list, this book is a more philosophical look at a specific type of bow; the longbow. Hayes sets the book out in a series of stories, through which he demonstrates a deep affinity with the quarry and the wider natural setting too. 

This is a thoughtful and serious reflection on the fundamentals of hunting itself, as well as the traditional relationship of humans to their environment. This is a great book for those looking to the sport for something holistic and experiential. Great for newbies and pros alike. 

Bottom Line

This book has a casual approach to the sport and is easier for beginners to step into the industry. Most modern methods aren’t contained in these pages, but you’ll experience a journey into the mind of a hunter.

You’ll also notice a personal, philosophical touch to the writing style.

Honorable Mention:
Hunting with the Bow and Arrow by Saxton Pope


  • Great chance to discover the history of the sport
  • Features chapters on various kinds of quarry
  • Intimate grasp of bow-making and fletching
  • Beautifully sentimental read
  • Peek into a lost chapter of US history


  • Little guidance in terms of modern hunting
  • Less detailed than more recent texts


Mid-level Detail: By modern standards, this is not a detail-oriented work but more of a general text

Relevance: Pope guides us through the making of bows and arrows and the background to the craft

Cultural and Historical in Approach: Much of the work is about the cultures which led to bowhunting in America.

Focus: On a specific weapon


Saxton Pope is a canonical figure in modern bowhunting, and his famous book had remained in print since his death in 1926. Having learned the craft from the Native American people, he brought the sport into the mainstream it enjoys today. His book has chapters on making bows, arrows, and quivers

It also devotes chapters to various prey animals, from raccoons all the way to grizzly bears. As far as a traditional take on hunting with a bow goes, look no further than this book,  which has something for everyone, including those who are just curious.

Bottom Line

This book lingers more towards a cultural approach, and you won’t find much in terms of actual guidance. Still, you’ll love reading about the various quarry and find a whole chapter devoted to history. Definitely aimed more towards a casual Sunday read.


We’ve tried to bring together a wide-ranging list here to illustrate the many sides of modern bowhunting. Whether you’re a technical expert or more of a contemplative hunter, there’s something here for you. From the misty roots of tradition all the way to high-tech engineering, we have it covered.  

My name is Caleb and I am obsessed with hunting, fishing, and foraging. To be successful, you have to think like your prey. You have to get into the mind of your target - and understand Big Game Logic. If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.