Traditional Wooden Arrows For Hunting Or Target Practice

Traditional Wooden Arrows For Hunting Or Target Practice

traditional wooden arrows

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As a traditional archer, traditional wooden arrows for hunting or target practice are a must-have for you!

There is no way that you will show up with your bad-ass longbow using carbon or fiberglass arrows. UGH!

No, you need wooden arrows if you don’t want to look ridiculous and like a “Wannabe Robin Hood”.

Before I get to my recommended arrows, let’s take a look at the different materials used for arrow shafts:

The Most Commonly Used Arrow Materials

Most arrows will be made of one of these materials (in alphabetical order):

If you want to learn more about any of the other arrow types, you can read about them by clicking on the links above.
To learn more about wooden arrows, please keep reading:

Traditional Wooden Arrows For Hunting Or Target Practice

Traditional Archer In The Woods

An Overview Of Wooden Arrows

As you know, wooden arrows are the ones that have been used for the longest time.
When our ancestors started using bows many thousands of years ago, they had no other choice but to use arrows made of wood.
First, those arrows just got sharpened, later stone or bones were used as a tip.
As soon as people learned to work with metal, they started using bronze and later iron for arrow tips.
The thing that stayed the same for a long time, was the wooden arrow shaft.

Wood is a great material for arrows!
It is super cheap and easy to get. The most difficult thing is to get a straight arrow when using wood.
It will take both patience and experience if you want to make your own arrows from materials you find in a forest.

Luckily, it is much easier now to get wooden shafts.
You can either buy a complete arrow or just the shaft and fletch it yourself and glue a tip on it.

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The Good Things About Wooden Arrows

Let’s take a quick look first:

  • Cheap Price
  • Relatively Durable
  • Relatively Easy To Craft
  • Straight
  • Light Or Heavy

Some things on my list seem to contradict each other, so I want to go into more detail now:

Cheap Price

No need to say too much about this.
Wooden arrows can be very cheap. It all depends on the type of wood, nock, and arrow tip that was used to craft the arrow.
If you are on a low budget or a traditional archer, wooden arrows will save you a lot of money.
Who doesn’t love that?

Relatively Durable

A wooden arrow will never be like a carbon arrow, but when made of Ash or Maple (besides some other woods) it will be very durable.
The myth that arrows made of wood break quickly after just a few shots is just not true.
Don’t shoot at stone walls and try to avoid shooting at trees, too, and your arrow will not break that easily.

Never use a wooden arrow with a compound bow!
Only use them with longbows or wooden recurve bows!

If using them with a compound bow, your arrow has a chance to splinter and this can get very dangerous.
The splinters of the arrow can hurt you and the people around you seriously.
It is only 100% safe to shoot them with traditional bows!

Relatively Easy To Craft

It is easier to craft a wooden arrow than it is to craft a carbon, aluminum, or fiberglass arrow.
Without the needed machines, you just won’t make an arrow from those materials.

A wooden arrow can be made by hand with the help of some tools.
Of course, that is obvious, as people made arrows already decades ago without modern machines.

I am sure that many of you already made your own arrows when you were just kids.
When I was young I lived near a forest and my best friend and I ventured into the woods and made our own bows and arrows.
They were not straight at all, had no fletching, and were just sharpened at one end (no real tip).
But they did work!
Our bows and arrows worked great and we had a lot of fun shooting with them.
They wouldn’t have worked for hunting, but it shows that even kids without any experience or training can make their own arrows.

Now, when you get that training and experience, it is clear that it is rather easy to make your own arrows.
If you don’t want to find and process the wood to make an arrow, you can buy just the shaft and finish it yourself.
Or just get a complete and finished arrow.
Remember. They are cheap.


Yes, wooden arrows are straight!
Maybe not the ones we made as kids, but professionally crafted arrows from high-quality wood are super straight.
You will shoot them with the highest possible accuracy.
It is just up to your skill how well you will hit the target.

Some materials are less straight (e.g. Ash) than others (e.g. Yellow Cedar), but the difference is minimal.

Even when you have an arrow that is not as straight as you’d like, or it got bent a bit over time, some arrows can be straightened again.
This depends again on the used wood.
I will talk about this when I write about how to make arrows yourself.
As soon as those articles are on my site, I will link to them.

Light Or Heavy

I really love that about wooden arrows.
Every different wood type has its own characteristics and specifications.
Some are heavier, others are lighter.
So whatever you prefer and need, you can get it with a wooden arrow.

Do you need a heavy arrow?
Get a Maple arrow.

Do you prefer light arrows?
Get some Port Oxford Cedar arrows

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Downsides Of Wooden Arrows

There are however some downsides:

  • Lack Of Consistency
  • Can Not Be Used With Compound Bows

Lack Of Consistency

Wood is a natural material.
One arrow will never be 100% the same as the other.
You need to be aware of that.

When you buy arrows, make sure that they are grouped by weight and spine! Both!
If you only look at the spine and later weigh them. You might find out that their weight varies a lot.
This would make it very difficult to shoot consistently.

But when you make sure that their spine (+-5 lb) and weight (+- 10 grain) are nearly the same, then you won’t have a problem with your wooden arrows.

Can Not Be Used With Compound Bows

I mentioned it before, but it is really important.

So I say it again:

Don’t Use Wooden Arrows With Compound Bows!

There are so many (true) stories, where archers got injured severely because they just wanted to try and shoot a wooden arrow with a compound bow.
It might even work a few times if you are lucky.
But maybe the next time will be when your arrow explodes and you have to be rushed to the nearest hospital.

Don’t try your luck, please.
Don’t shoot a wooden arrow with a compound bow.

Would I Use Wooden Arrows?

Of course!

I use them all the time when shooting my longbow.

Check out my all-time favorite wooden arrows:

Bamboo Arrows for Target Shooting or Hunting

Huntingdoor 12 Pcs 31 inch Archery Hunting Arrows Bamboo Arrows Feather Fletching with Pheasant Feathers and 150 Grain Broadheads for Recurve Bow Longbow

These arrows with real turkey feathers are 31″ long and have broadhead tips.
They are perfect for target practice, medieval bow competitions, and even hunting.

You can use them with traditional longbows or recurve bows with a maximum draw weight of 60 LBS.
They also look amazing so you can use them simply as decoration, too.

The tips are glued on, so you can’t replace them!

Medieval Practice Arrows

TTFLY FLETCHING 32 inch White Medieval Wooden Arrows Handmade Shaft Practice Targeting Arrow Archery for Recurve Longbow(Pack 12)

Similar to the arrows above, these arrows are fletched with turkey feathers.

However, they are only for target practice!

Their length is 32″.

Don’t use these Medieval Practice Arrows with a compound bow.
Recurve and longbow only.
Maximum draw weight: 55 LBS

Huntingdoor Hunting Arrows

Huntingdoor Archery 31" Turkey Feather Fletching Wooden Arrows with Field Points for Hunting Shooting targeting Practice for Recurve Bow Longbow 6pcs

These arrows are for you, if you like light-colored arrows but want to go hunting.
You can use them both for target practice and for hunting.

The shaft is 31″ long.

Black Turkey feathers were used for the fletching.

These Wooden Arrows Are Awesome!

You know that you need wooden arrows for traditional archery and I have shown you my favorite ones.
Now, you just need to choose your favorite arrows.

Moritz Image

Which one will it be?

The Bamboo Arrows with turkey feathers?
Or the Medieval Practice Arrows that look brilliant?
For hunters, the Huntingdoor Hunting Arrows are the best choice!

I love traditional wooden arrows for hunting or target practice.
I think that they are perfect for beginners with a small budget.

Let me know in the comments which one you chose.

Happy shooting!

Leave a Comment:

(2) comments

Rex Houston

The false concept that wood arrows are dangerous in a compound bow has been disseminated widely and is not correct. A longbow or recurve bow is much harder on arrows than a compound of the same maximum draw weight. This was proven in a study years ago (and no…I don’t remember what magazine I read it in…it might have been Traditional Archery Magazine) and with a little thought it should be obvious.
You have two bows of the same max draw weight, say 65lbs, one is compound and one is a recurve.
The recurve dumps all of its 65 pounds into the arrow immediately at one time and at full draw. This is the equivalent of standing still and being hit with 65 lbs of force. There is no lead in or gradual push. It hits all at once.
The compound on the other hand, due to its cams or wheels, has a reduced full draw weight of say 25 lbs that “slowly” accelerates the arrow to it’s max 65 lbs. this imparts much less stress on the arrow at the critical point of release.
In 50 years I have had one wood arrow splinter out of a recurve and that was my fault for not paying attention to a crack in the arrow. I have been shooting wood out of compound bows since 1981 and have never had an arrow related failure of any kind. A nice side effect is that due to the “push” of the compound instead of the “slam” of the recurve, I have experienced less paradox related warping with the compound vs the recurve.


    Thanks a lot for this very valuable feedback.
    I will look into it more and change the article if I come to the same conclusion.

    All the best

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