Use Your Quiver to Balance your Bow
Find balance. Seems like a pretty vague goal but in archery there are dozens of products aimed at helping you do just that. Finding the perfect combination of stabilizers, weights, offsets, and angles so that your bow sits in perfect balance at full draw can be quite the chore. Before you go buying a bunch of accessories, have you tried moving your quiver?
Why Not Just Use a Stabilizer?
Quiver companies design their quivers to sit as tight to the riser as possible (Tightspot has done this better than any other quiver). By positioning the quiver close to the riser, you minimize the lateral torque caused by the weight of the quiver and arrows. This lateral torque is commonly countered by adding a back bar stabilizer that extends to the side opposite the quiver. In a target setup, the added weight and bulk may be a positive as it certainly will help you keep your bow stable. On a hunting bow however, a bow you will carry mile after mile, through thick brush and blowdown, any unnecessary weight or bulk is to be avoided. You may find that you can achieve the same effect by simply moving your quiver.
How Can it Help?
I had always positioned my quiver hood level with my top limb. I figured that way my nocks wouldn’t protrude below the bottom limb and would be less likely to get caught on something. When I lived back east and mostly hunted from a treestand, my bows tended to be on the short side (30” ata). Even on these shorter bows there was usually 4-6” between the bottom of my nocks and my lower limb. Now that I am in Idaho I favor slightly longer ATA bows (currently shooting a Hoyt Rx3 Ultra at 34” ATA) and have even more room to play with when positioning my quiver. It was in setting up my first longer ata bow that I realized I was mistaken in assuming the best place for my quiver was with the hood aligned to the top limb.
How Does is Work?
Because the hood of your quiver contains the heaviest part of your arrows and is itself the heaviest part of the quiver, the position of the hood is going to have the largest effect on the balance of your bow. The higher up the riser the hood is positioned, the more it will make the bow lean to the side the quiver is mounted on. So if at full draw your bow is leaning to the right (for a right handed shooter) try sliding the hood lower to reduce its effect.
By loosening these four screws that secure to the carbon rods, you can slide the quiver freely in the mount. Move it a few inches at a time and loosely tighten the screws to hold it in place. Draw your bow and see how it feels at full draw. If it is still leaning right(for right handed shooters), try lowering the hood a few more inches and repeat until the bow feels balanced.
Tightspot quivers offer a second adjustment you can use to help with the forward balance of your bow as well. By canting the quiver using the mounting bracket, you are able to fine tune the front to back balance without adding weight to your stabilizer or having to purchase a longer one.
Will This Work for Everyone?
It may not be possible to achieve perfect balance using just these methods for all draw lengths, arrow setups, and bows, etc. but make it a part of your initial setup routine or use it to make small adjustments afterwards and I think you will be surprised by the results.
Written by: Pat Kelly
If you are looking for a stabilizer setup that will work for both target archery and bowhunting, check out these Pro Hunter Packs from Spider Archery Products. Though they include a back bar, they are on the shorter side and are not too obtrusive to use while hunting.