The list of accessories bowhunters mount on their bows or carry into the field would put a home shopping network to shame. Some accessories fall into the essential category, while others are optional.
At the bare minimum a bowhunter should carry a sharp knife, waterproof matches, compass, and field dressing gloves. Other essential accessories aren’t so obvious. A set of string silencers dramatically reduces the noise generated when an arrow is released. Available in rubber and fleece versions, these products dampen string vibration, quieting the bow in the process and making it more difficult for a deer or other big-game animal to elude an oncoming arrow.
Another small item helps to quiet a hunting bow. A carefully placed strip of moleskin or plastic shrink tubing secured on arrow rests prevents metal-to-metal contact when an arrow is drawn and released. Moleskin is ideal for use with plunger rests. Shrink tubing works well on shoot-through rests.
Changing wind directions affect all bowhunters. A simple device to detect wind currents can be made by putting a little talcum powder into a soft squeeze bottle like those used to package hunting scents. A quick squeeze of the bottle produces a puff of powder that is carried away with the slightest breeze. This style of wind direction indicator can be made at home or purchased at an archery pro shop.
Some accessories fall into the personal category. A set of mini-binoculars is a worthwhile investment. Bowhunting optics should be small enough to slide in a pocket and feature a seven- or eight-power magnification.
A wealth of other items ranging from cover scents and grunt calls to handheld GPS units and electronic game tracking devices find their way into a field pack.