Four women, four bows. Realtree gathered a panel of four female archers to put new bows to the test. With the number of female hunters skyrocketing, manufacturers are realizing that the market is demanding higher-quality bows designed specifically for women. Read reviews of four top bows: Elite Hunter, Hoyt Charger, Quest Bliss, and Strother Hope.

Only a few years ago, to get a bow with a draw length that fit, women were forced to use a “youth and ladies” model. “Youth and Ladies” was often synonymous with “scaled-down junk.” They had little, inefficient cams, making a bow already handicapped by light specs even slower. They rarely had the tolerances of the men’s bows, either, which led to sloppy draw cycles, stretchy strings and generally bad performance.

One womanFor a time, it seemed the solution for separating the women’s bows from the kid’s bows was to slap some pink on one of them and call it a woman’s model. That might have added shelf-appeal for some, but it did nothing to increase the performance. In many ways, because they’re handicapped by light draw weights and short arrows, a woman’s bow must be flawlessly efficient and accurate to cleanly kill big game animals. 

These days, all the major bow companies are competing to make not only top-quality bows for male shooters, but also high-performance bows for women. But who’s making the best one? Our panel of shooters put four new models to the test to find out.

Photos: Realtree