8 Must-Have Bow Accessories for 2014

In my office, an assortment of outdated bowhunting equipment has found its way onto my shelves. The detritus from years past reminds me of plenty of good times, and also that we've come a long way in a short time with our hunting gear.

A sight, rescued from a bow I handed down nearly 20 years ago, is probably the most poignant reminder that things have changed.

A single brass sight pin, screwed into a plate and souped up with a touch of white paint on the end, comprises the entirety of the pre-fiber-optic sight. While I can look at a few of the recurves in my office and get nostalgic about how things have changed and how technologically advanced we have become, I don't feel the same about the sight for some reason.

Truth be told, I love seeing the latest wave of bow accessories that wash upon the archery industry each January at the ATA Trade Show, because I know each year I'll find a few that will help me shoot better.

Not everything that hits the market is a winner, just as not every product I look at fondly in its new packaging ends up impressing me in the field. The opposite happens often enough to make me somewhat hypersensitive to buying into any hype until I've actually hunted a season with something.

I had a quiver attachment snap clean off while bowhunting backcountry mule deer a few years ago, and several sights that didn't make the cut through in-the-field breakdowns.

Last season, in the days leading up to a spot-and-stalk antelope excursion, my setup suddenly decided that it didn't want to shoot broadheads accurately. This is an old-school problem that I don't run into very often anymore, and as I filed through a litany of mechanical and fixed-blade heads to try to find a suitable option, I realized that I was frantically searching for a Band-Aid to cover a bigger problem.

That problem, I later figured out, stemmed from the rest. More specifically, the bar that attaches the launcher to the main body of the rest had bent ever so slightly, which means it was nearly invisible to the naked eye, but off just enough to seriously alter my arrow flight.

If you are setting up a new-for-2014 bow, or just looking to increase the accuracy of your older bow, there are some promising-looking accessories available.

Although making tough shots is ultimately up to the space between your ears, it doesn't hurt to facilitate the process by using the best equipment out there. That may mean a bow outfitted with the latest accessories designed to increase accuracy, cut shot noise, and perform better in the field, is something we should all consider.

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