Quiver options for any bowhunter

TightSpot quiver for bowhunting

TightSpot 5 arrow quiver while bowhunting mule deer. Photo credit: Brady Miller

The quiver is an iconic part of the bow and arrow. It is where we store our arrows until it is their time to fly. I remember in my younger years having a full quiver of suction cup arrows on my back, ready to shoot any glass frame on the wall. Fast forward to present day and we have all sorts of quiver options at our disposal. Some hold more arrows than others; some are lighter and more or less adjustable with a litany of different camouflage options. Bowhunting is a personal thing. Each of us is going to have our own needs and wants and having a quiver that matches those needs and wants shouldn't be overlooked. Here are a few different routes to check out if you are in the market for a new quiver.

Detachable quiver

Detachable tightspot quiver for bowhunting

Photo credit: Josh Kirchner

This is probably the one that is the most used overall—at least it is in my eyes. The detachable quiver says it all in its name. It simply detaches from your bow, usually with some kind of latching system. Detachable quivers have come a long way over the years in terms of stability and balance, especially when it comes to the endless options of a TightSpot Quiver. I remember being a kid and my quiver rattling every time I shot the darn thing. That just doesn't happen these days. Today’s models are extremely customizable.

TightSpot quiver kicked back away from bow for balance

Some people use the quiver adjustments to help balance their bows. Photo credit: Brady Miller

You can actually rotate many of them forward, backward, or bring it tighter or farther away from your bow. That will aid in getting your bow to balance just right for you. After feeling the difference from one of these new detachable quivers, I don't see myself moving away anytime soon. These are great for when you are held up in a ground blind or treestand. I prefer to take my quiver off when I am sitting like that. The bow just rests better in my lap. For folks that prefer to shoot without their quiver on, this is the route you'd want to go. If you do take it off, though, make sure you don't forget to pick it back up! Speaking about detachable quivers, there is also a hybrid version that sort of doubles as a stabilizer and can also be mounted on the side of your bow.

Mounted quiver

This type of quiver is the opposite of the detachable version. They are designed to remain attached to your bow at all times. The only way to get them off is with either an allen wrench or a screwdriver, depending on the model. This can be looked at in both good and bad ways. The good is that you never have to worry about leaving your quiver in some bush on the side of a mountain. The bad is that, well, what you see is what you get. These are not going to be nearly as adjustable as some of the detachable models. I have heard of folks actually filing down areas on the mount to bring it closer to their bow because of this. If it is a windy day, having your quiver attached in such an absolute way could definitely affect your accuracy as well. Quivers can act like sails in the wind and "help" throw you left or right. Personally, I think shooting with your quiver on in the wind is great practice for the field. When you are chasing a bugling bull you might not have the time to take off that detachable quiver and need to know how to shoot with it if it is windy. Regardless, the mounted version definitely gives you less to think about and a more simple approach all around.

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Backpack quiver

Keeping bow quiver on backpack

If you don't have a dedicated "backpack quiver" you can simply just keep your quiver on your backpack. Photo credit: Josh Kirchner

The next quiver on our list is going to be the backpack quiver. While there are a few backpacks specifically made to carry a quiver full of arrows, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that isn't totally necessary. Most hunting packs out there are going to have an ample amount of compression straps that will allow you to strap your quiver to it—should you want to do that. This is a great way to pack extra arrows on a backpack hunt. You could even have one quiver attached to your bow and another attached to your pack. For the folks that prefer to shoot without a quiver on, but plan to be mobile, a backpack quiver is a great option for you; still hunting or setting up to call in that raging bull with an arrow nocked and quiver on your pack. Treestand hunters may also prefer this type of quiver. By having your quiver attached to your pack, you have one less thing to hang up when you sit down. Just hang up the pack and you're all set with your arrows still accessible. However, right there lies my one concern with this setup: if I was mobile and sent an arrow at an animal, but either I missed or made a bad shot, I'd be concerned with being able to grab another arrow fast enough to send another one. It would be much easier in my mind to have my arrows right there on my bow for the quickest access.

Hip quiver

Hip quiver for bowhunting

Using a hip quiver at the range. Photo credit: Josh Kirchner

Hip quivers have gained a ton of popularity for 3D shoots. They offer easy access and a quick process. Let's be honest: it takes quite a bit of time to retrieve five arrows out of a target and then have to attach them one by one back onto our bow-mounted quivers. With the hip quiver, grab the arrows and drop them right down the tubes. It’s an awesome set up. What about hunting though? This would definitely lend to the hunter that likes to shoot without a quiver attached to their bow. Less weight on the bow, less rattle on the shot, and super easy access right on your side if you needed another arrow quickly. You also have the option of carrying a lot more arrows than other options. I've seen hip quivers that allow up to 15 arrows to be at the ready. Do you need that many though? Where I could see this being a hindrance would be moving through thick country and the arrows getting caught up on branches. To me, that sounds like a lot of unnecessary noise being created. Alongside moving through thick country, there is spot and stalk hunting. Many times I have had to crawl on my hands and knees or even on my chest for a stalk. The thought of having a quiver attached to my side seems like it would cause more harm than good. However, that’s just my opinion. Like anything, there are ways to adapt. Keep in mind that there are several "hunting" friendly versions of hip quivers on the market. So don't think you need to use a target hip quiver for hunting.

Back quiver

Be honest. The first thing you think of when someone mentions a back quiver is Robin Hood. I know I do. This is the quiver that I dreamed about as a child. As far as I was concerned, it was the only one that existed back then. A quiver from legends of old and one that holds a ton of nostalgia. The back quiver is probably going to be the most popular among traditional bowhunters. A traditional quiver for a traditional bow. It makes sense. Don't worry though if you aren't shooting a stickbow. There are quite a few back quivers on the market that are souped up for the compound hunter as well. No need to go without living your dreams of feeling like Legolas from Lord of the Rings walking through the forest with a pile of arrows on your back. All joking aside, the back quiver offers quick access and the ability to carry a lot of arrows. Again, this would be a good option for those that prefer to shoot without a quiver attached to their bow. There are a few downfalls and concerns about this option. First, if you hunt with an actual backpack on at all times, I don't really see this being an option for you. The past two big game animals I have shot with my bow, I was actually wearing my full pack at the time. My next concern would be with noise, much like the hip quiver. The sound of arrows rattling around on my back is not something I really want to deal with. There are back quivers out there that have separators in them to avoid this, but the same remains. I would also be concerned about arrows falling out of my quiver while on a stalk where I might be crawling or in weird positions when doing so.


Arrows in quiver after taking animal

Arrow after a successful hunt. Photo credit: Josh Kirchner

As you can see, there are quivers to meet the needs and expectations of everyone out there. Whether you are a Midwest whitetail hunter, a traditional bowhunter, or a hardcore backcountry bowhunter, there is a quiver for you. The systems that we have in place grow over time. The more time that we spend out in the field, the more we find out what works and doesn't work for us as hunters. There are bowhunters out there that swear by the hip quiver for hunting. That is fine, but it’s not for me and what I do. Maybe, you agree? Maybe, you don't. Either is totally OK. Don't take my word for it though. Get out there and try these options out. That is truly the only way that you'll know which will fit your needs.

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