Find The Best Recurve Bow for You with These Reviews

Our post here will show you the best recurve bow to buy, but first a little backstory. In today’s hunting world, the compound hunting bow and the modern crossbow are to archery what the metallic cartridge with smokeless powder and Berdan primers is to firearms.

With that being said, it’s somewhat surprising that there would still be such a large group of archers today who choose to use a recurve bow instead since the level of technology it employs is equivalent to that of muzzle loaders, black powder, and percussion caps.

However, the fact of the matter is that the modern recurve bow for hunting is still very much alive and very popular among archery hunters.

Consequently, several of the major manufacturers of compound bows also produce modern recurve bows of superior quality that are not only fine examples of the bowyers art, they are excellent tools for the hunting archer to pursue his or her chosen game species.

In addition, there are also many individual professional bowyers in the market today who produce both specialty bows and custom bows for their customers.

Therefore, when it comes to choosing a recurve bow, modern and traditional archers alike have a wide range of setups and models to choose from in a wide range of prices.

So, for those of you who are considering giving traditional archery a try, below you will find a list of what we feel are the top ten recurve hunting bows for 2020.

Recurve Bow Comparison Guide:

View on Amazon:Takedown:Our Rating:
Samick Sage TakedownYes
Martin Jaguar Takedown BowYes
PSE Nighthawk BowNo
Martin Archery HunterNo
PSE Coyote BowYes
Spirit 66 Recurve BowYes
SAS Explorer BowYes
Hoyt BuffaloNo
Hoyt Recurve BowNo
Bear Archery Super KodiakNo

In the table above, you will find our favorite recurve bows sorted by the following categories:

1. Recurve Bow brand and name/model: Click to view more details or to purchase.

2. Type of Bow: Takedown or not

3. Rating: Our rating for each model.

Still haven’t decided on which model is right for you after looking at our detailed comparison guide?

We’ve got you covered.

Use the quick jump menu below to check out your favorite model and learn more about the nitty-gritty details before you buy. But before that…

Buyer’s Guide & Advice 

When choosing a recurve hunting bow, the first thing you should be aware of is that they are divided into different classes depending on their construction. For instance, modern recurve bows are available with either wood risers or metal risers.

Wood risers are generally lighter than their metal counterparts and are often very aesthetically pleasing since they are commonly made from laminations of different colors of exotic hardwoods.

What’s more, they are not as stiff as metal risers and thus, recurve bows with wood risers are often slightly less accurate than recurve bows with metal risers.

However, in truth, the difference is often so minor as to make no difference at all to the hunter who is commonly forced to shoot under less than optimal conditions while their heart is pounding from excitement, making super precise arrow placement less critical.

Related read: Where to Shoot A Deer: Aiming For The Best Kill Zone Shot Placement

Also, the risers themselves can be either deflexed or reflexed which simply means that, on a deflexed riser, the point where the bow’s limbs meet the riser is located behind the grip, whereas, on a reflexed riser, the point where the limbs meet the riser is located in front of the grip.

Consequently, deflexed risers tend to be more forgiving of minor flaws in the archers form while reflexed risers tend to exaggerate them.

But, on the other hand, bows with deflexed risers also tend to have a greater Brace Height (the distance from the back of the bow to the string when the bow is undrawn) which in turn, results in a shorter Power Stroke and thus, generates less arrow speed.

Conversely, bows with reflexed rises tend to have a lesser brace height which results in a longer power stroke (the distance over which the bow’s limbs push the arrow forward after releasing the sting) and thus, they generate greater arrow speed.

Furthermore, modern recurve bows are available with either fixed limbs such that the bow’s limbs are permanently attached to the riser or with removable limbs which are commonly known as “take-down” models and, there again, some archers feel that recurve bows with fixed limbs are more aesthetically pleasing and more accurate than recurve bows with removable limbs.

But, take-down recurve bows are definitely easier to transport than those with fixed limbs and thus, they are often the model of choice for modern bow hunters. In addition, while the draw weight of a fixed limb bow cannot be changed, recurve bows with take-down limbs can be fitted with limbs of different draw weights so that the bow can be used for either target shooting or hunting.

Last, it should be noted that while all recurve bows have a draw weight that is measured at a draw length of 28 inches (designated as ?# @ 28″), any given recurve bow’s draw weight will change over time and thus, a break-in period of approximately 100 to 200 shots is required before bow settles down to its final draw weight.

In addition, a recurve bow’s draw weight will also change approximately ±2½ pounds for every inch shorter or longer than 28 inches.

Therefore, a bow rated 45# @ 28″ is roughly equivalent to 42½# @ 27″ or 48½# @ 29″. Therefore, when choosing a recurve bow with fixed limbs, it is imperative that you purchase one with the correct draw weight for your intended purpose but, when purchasing a recurve bow with take-down limbs, you may want to consider purchasing an extra set of limbs of a different draw weight to properly tune your bow.

Related read: How to Tune a Recurve Bow Like a Pro

Our Top 10: Best Recurve Hunting Bows in 2020

There are numerous individual manufacturers of modern, recurve hunting bows on the market today.  So, we have chosen both fixed limb and take-down bows from the five major manufacturers based on their extensive company history, their continued viability, and their long standing reputation for producing high quality recurve bows.

As always, it’s important to make sure your gear is well matched.  You’ll need to save some money to buy a quiver, some arrows and also make sure you have the right type of broadhead if you plan to hunt game, rather than just target shoot.

Here’s our experts’ top broadhead picks: Best Broadheads for Hunting – Expandable & Mechanical Broadhead Reviews.

1. Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow Review:

Even though this bow is imported from China, it is nonetheless a beautiful and well crafted hunting bow that is the flagship model of the Samick take-down line and it features a beautiful, laminated, wood riser.

The riser is made from Walnut, Ironwood, Zebrawood, and Maple with removable limbs made from Zebrawood and Birdseye Maple faced and backed by clear fiberglass with phenolic reinforced limb tips to enable the use of Fast Flight bow strings.


Draw Weight:25 lbs.
Brace Height:7 _”- 8 _”
AMO Length:62 in.
Mass Weight:2.3 lbs

2. Martin Jaguar Elite Takedown Recurve Bow Review:

The Martin Jaguar Takedown recurve bow features a reflexed, machined aluminum, center-shot, riser with integral harmonic dampeners to help eliminate vibration and a plastic, target-style, no-torque, grip.

It combines with removable, Hard Maple, recurve limbs backed with black fiberglass for a beautiful, modern, recurve hunting bow.

The Martin Jaguar has been one of the top selections for beginners due to cost, reliability and efficiency since it was created.


Draw Weight:29, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 lbs.
Brace Height:13.5 in.
AMO Length:60 in.
Mass Weight:2.5 lbs

3. PSE Nighthawk Recurve Bow Review:

The Precision Shooting Equipment Heritage Series Nighthawk recurve bow is an entry level hunting bow that features a deflexed, laminated hardwood, center-shot, riser.

It also has fixed limbs made from Hard Maple backed and faced with white fiberglass and reinforced limb tips to enable the use of Fast Flight bow strings.

One of the better high end models, the PSE Nighthawk gets rave reviews from most that have the chance to purchase it.


Draw Weight:40 lbs.
Brace Height:7 – 7.5 in.
AMO Length:60 in.
Mass Weight:3.1 lbs

4. Martin Hunter Recurve Bow Review:

The Martin Hunter recurve bow was designed by master bowyer Damon Howatt and has long been a favorite model among avid traditional bow hunters.

Featuring a deflexed, center-shot, laminated, wood riser made from a core of African Bubinga wood outlined with American Hard Maple and backed by African Zebra wood combined with fixed limbs made from Eastern Hard Maple laminations and black fiberglass.

With reinforced limb tips made from Bubinga and black fiberglass so that it can be used with modern Fast Flight bow strings, the Martin Hunter combines distinctive beauty with power and deadly accuracy.


Draw Weight:35-65 lbs.
Brace Height:6.75 – 7.75 in.
AMO Length:62 in.
Mass Weight:2 lbs. 3 oz.

5. PSE Coyote Recurve Bow Review:

The Precision Shooting Equipment Heritage Series Coyote take-down recurve bow is an entry level hunting bow.

It features a deflexed, machined aluminum, center-shot, riser with take down limbs made from Hard Maple backed and faced with white fiberglass and reinforced limb tips to enable the use of Fast Flight bow strings.

PSE is notorious for producing quality bows in just about every category and the Coyote is no different.  It’s a fan favorite and very good for beginners to learn with.


Draw Weight:40, 45, 50, 55 lbs.
Brace Height:6 3/8 in.
AMO Length:60 in.
Mass Weight:Not Listed

6. Spirit 66″ Takedown Recurve Bow Review: 

Great for beginners under the height of 5’7, The Spirit 66 is a cheap way to get into the world of recurve bow hunting for beginners.

It’s made of Maple laminations and has a fiberglass limb.  The quality of the Spirit 66 is solid, but not quite as good as some of some of the others we’ve mentioned on this list.

This model made our list  because of affordability combined with a large amount of positive user reviews about the bow.


Draw Weight:26, 30, 32, 36 lbs.
Brace Height:8 – 8.5 in.
AMO Length:62 in.
Mass Weight:2.5 lbs

7. SAS Explorer Recurve Bow Review: 

The SAS Explorer is another great beginner wooden recurve bow that has gotten great reviews by many archers across the board for it’s simplistic and reliable design.

It has a hard wooden riser with a fiberglass face.  It also has the advantage of being one of the few takedown models that you can score on a tight budget.

The SAS Courage is a great bow for those that are on a budget and can’t afford to spend a ton of money for a takedown model while still needing something with convenient portability.


Draw Weight:35 – 40 lbs.
Brace Height:7 in.
AMO Length:60 in.
Mass Weight:Not Listed

8. Hoyt Buffalo Recurve Bow Review:

Designed by master bowyer Fred Eichler, the Hoyt Buffalo Signature Series recurve bow features a black, deflexed, machined aluminum, center-shot, riser with a laminated wood grip.

It also comes equipped with Hoyt’s exclusive Paralever Limb System for a smooth draw as well as the ability to adjust both draw weight and the tiller!

In addition, the limbs are removable and are made from a Hard Maple core surrounded by carbon and are available with your choice of either black, white, wood grain, or camouflage faces and backs for a custom finish and they also feature reinforced limb tips to enable the use of Fast Flight bow strings.


Draw Weight:35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 lbs.
Brace Height:7 – 8 in.
AMO Length:58, 60, 62 in.
Mass Weight:3.2 lbs.

9. Hoyt Dorado Recurve Bow Review: 

This item is no longer available.

Hoyt is well known for their target bows and they employ the same care and construction when producing their line of recurve hunting bows.

Thus, the Hoyt Dorado recurve bow features a black, deflexed, machined aluminum, center-shot, riser with a laminated wood grip and removable, Hoyt Custom Wood Core take-down limbs.

It’s backed and faced with your choice of either black, white, wood grain, or camouflage finishes and reinforced limb tips to enable the use of Fast Flight bow strings.


Draw Weight:35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 lbs.
Brace Height:7 – 8 in.
AMO Length:58, 60 in.
Mass Weight:2.6 lbs.

10. Bear Super Kodiak Recurve Bow Review: 

Fred Bear is often thought of as the father of modern traditional archery and, although this fine gentleman is no longer with us, the traditional bows that he designed are.

Consequently, the Bear Super Kodiak recurve bow is a long standing favorite of both Fred Bear and many other avid traditional bow hunters through the years.

Featuring either a deflexed, center-shot, 2-peice, FutureWood riser (resin impregnated natural wood) made from brown and black Hard-Rock Maple outlined with clear, hard Maple, accents or a deflexed, center-shot, 3-peice, FutureWood riser made from black, phenolic, plastic with a Bolivian Rosewood accent strip.

Combined with fixed limbs made from clear Hard Maple backed by black fiberglass and reinforced limb tips made from white or, black and white, fiberglass to enable the use of modern Fast Flight bow strings, the Bear Kodiak Magnum is one of the most popular recurve bows ever made.


Draw Weight:30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 lbs.
Brace Height:Not Listed
AMO Length:60 in.
Mass Weight:Not Listed

3 Health Benefits of Archery 

Finding the best recurve bow is top priority once you decide you want to use this tool for archery. But as a beloved sport, we want you to know even more about the health benefits that come from using a recurve bow, or any other bow you may choose to use.

Archery is a favorite pastime for many, and it is a sport that has so many good things tied into it. Practicing regularly can heighten your total wellbeing and happiness in life.

1. Improves Focus 

archery in the woods on the target rear view, long photo

Improved focus is one of the main perks of becoming an archer. In this sport, there are three things to put your entire attention on. The first one is obviously the target. This plays into real life too, as it shows you that in life you need to have a target that your focus is on in order to be successful, no matter what you do or what your goals are.

The second is form. Having a proper strategy for how to reach your goals as well as work ethic is similar to having proper form when shooting. You have to learn how to do it from the first time you shoot with bow and arrow, and you need to maintain good form every time you shoot if you wish to hit your target.

Lastly is ignoring distractions. You will need to really center yourself and ignore everything going on around you. There is no need to focus on other people and their talking or on all the things going on in your day, or on anything else around you. It all needs to be about tuning into your senses to get the successful shot.

The same can be said of life in general. Maintaining focus is a very important factor that will determine how well you reach your goals, or your target, if you will.

2. Increases Strength 

In the upper body regions such as the core, arms, chest, and shoulders, strength is increased when you are practicing archery on a consistent basis. It’s like getting a workout in! The most important part of seeing these muscles grow is in your FORM. If you have good form, you’re getting the best workout possible.

Drawing properly depends on all the muscles named previously, as does lifting your bow and arrow to shoot, and holding the weapon for seconds at a time. The more you do it, the stronger you will get, and the longer you’ll find yourself able to hold heavy weight for long periods of time.

On top of drawing arrows, other exercises are practiced like walking to and from the target to pick up your arrows. In tournaments especially, many archers walk long distances. The best thing about this is that no matter what age, gender, or built-in strength, you can learn how to become an archer. Finding your best recurve bow will make all this possible.

3. Burns Calories

It is easy to assume you are not burning many calories by just standing in one place and shooting a weapon at a target. But nothing could be further from the truth! Archers burn so many calories every time they practice. According to experts at Prevention magazine, just half an hour of archery burns 140 calories on average.

This has to do with all the walking as well as all the shooting in good form. Experts say that archers actually are runners up to marathon runners in terms of calorie burning. If you are looking to get fit or stay in shape, this is a great sport for you. It not only uses your mental muscles but your physical as well.

Finding your best recurve bow will help you get incredible exercise!

Common Archery Mistakes 

Bow shooting hands only

A Hook Finger Position 

When you put your fingers on the bowstring, do you ever focus on where you’re putting them? Or do you grasp the bowstring and begin drawing? Rushing to put your fingers on the string is one of the most common archery mistakes archers make. Taking a second look at the placement of your fingers can pay in the end.

Hooking the bowstring with too much tension of the fingers – or in the wrong place on the fingers – can cause issues for you. The problems start from missing the target entirely to ending up with painful blisters on your fingers. To avoid this issue, make sure you place your fingers on the string for each shot exactly as you were taught, and be sure your hand position relative to the bowstring is consistent. Hooking properly and consistently creates tighter groups!

An Inconsistent Stance 

One of the most important aspects of your stance is consistency.

Do your feet change position a little bit from shot to shot? Your stance, also known as where you place your feet when shooting, is the foundation of your shot. Your stance should be solid and consistent from an arrow to another arrow.

To make sure you have a consistent stance, apply painter’s tape on the floor wherever you practice. For example, if you use an open stance, place the tape so your foot alignment and toe position will be identical for each shot. Remember that your stance not only impacts foot placement but also your balance and gravity center. By making your foundation solid, you create a more stable platform for strong shots.

A Too Strong Shoot 

A frequent mistake common to archers is failing to finish the shot strong. Aiming too soon, in turn, often causes weak shots. Another cause is focusing so much on aiming that you forget to focus on the proper muscle movements of your arms.

Weak shots can create low shots depending on whether the archer is right- or left-handed. The good news? Weak shots can be fixed easily. You just need to switch your focus.

When you are at full draw and ready to aim, stay focused on the muscle movements you were taught. Aiming is important, but it’s also important to use your muscles to have a strong release and follow-through. By focusing on the correct technique, at the right time, your shots will be stronger and your groups will be tighter and even more consistent in the long run.

Final Thoughts on Best Recurve Bows

Archer draws his compound bow

So, as you can see, the ten recurve hunting bows listed above represent a wide range of price points in both traditional fixed limb design as well as take-down design from well known manufacturers with a reputation for producing high quality hunting bows.

In addition, we have listed bows with both traditional, laminated, wood risers as well as machined aluminum risers which each have their advantages and disadvantages. Last, you can also see that they are available in a wide range of draw weights.

However, it should be noted that most states require a minimum draw weight of 45 lbs. in order for the bow to be legal for hunting.

In summary, when purchasing a recurve bow for hunting, you should choose the maximum draw weight that you can pull even though it may seem a bit stout to begin with because your body will quickly adjust as you practice with your new bow and thus, a draw weight that seems stout to begin with will quickly become progressively easier to draw.

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