Hunting Stabilizers

By Paeton Keller

Front Bar

USIAC 2016 Florida 004There are multiple functions that a front stabilizer performs. First, and most obvious, is to add weight to the front of the bow. Many times, an archer may notice that when the bow is completely set up including a quiver full of arrows, that the bow feels as if it wants to fall over towards the archer. Adding a front stabilizer will help create a more overall balanced bow which in turn will result in greater consistency. Another function that a front stabilizer performs is to reduce and torque in the bow. By placing weight away from the bow (further from the center of gravity), an archer will increase the rotational inertia of the bow. This means that it will be more difficult to rotate the bow in your hand, which can help prevent unwanted hand torque in the bow and also increase consistency. Lastly, some stabilizers also perform vibration dampening function which can also reduce noise.

Sidebar & Backbar

USIAC 2016 Florida 002Just like a front stabilizer, adding a side/back mounted stabilizer can have many advantages. The most notable of these advantages is balance. Without a sidebar, an archer will notice that the bow will feel like it wants to fall over towards the side that the quiver is on. A sidebar is often used to counteract the weight of anything mounted to the opposite side as the stabilizer. Right handed archers will be inclined to set up a sidebar on the left side of their bow to counteract the weight of the sight, rest, and quiver on the right side of the bow (vise versa for left handed archers). In addition, a side stabilizer, similar to a front bar, will increase the bow’s overall rotational inertia.  By adding balance and increasing rotational inertia, an archer will be able to gain consistency when shooting and ultimately gain accuracy.


To determine what your bow will need to achieve the maximum accuracy, first you must determine what setup is most ideal for your hunting style. Most hunters like to keep their setup compact and lightweight as possible. This may mean something different to each individual, but generally, archers who want to use a front and rear stabilizer system tend to choose an 8 inch front bar with a 6 inch side bar. Other common combinations include 10 inch and 8 inch or 12 inch and 10 inch. As seen in target archers, hunters have found that a front bar that is slightly longer than the side/rear stabilizer creates better overall balance. BeeStinger’s “Xtreme Kit” allows an archer to setup a front and rear stabilizers along with all the required mounting hardware. This is a perfect started to allow each individual to begin experimenting with balance to create the most accurate setup possible. Next step is to determine what position and weight is needed to balance your bow. Because every archer and bow setup is different, there is no “perfect” combination. In other words, the only way to find the idea spot for your own setup is to experiment!

Scouting 2014 185

Paeton Keller

Paeton grew up in Phoenix Arizona in a family that loved the outdoors but never hunted. His interest in hunting started with the curiosity of a bow and arrow. In an attempt to get into the sport, he built his first bow with a dowel rod and a length of string. Luckily, a close neighbor noticed the young archer and was able to help him learn about archery and eventually Paeton bought his first compound bow at the age of 13. With practice and a neighbor who hunted frequently, Paeton was able to begin archery hunting a year later. He began to shoot 3D as a way to become a better hunter, but he soon began to see not only the benefits of practicing, but the fun of competing with bow in hand. After a couple years of hunting and countless mistakes made, he was able to connect with his first deer in the high desert of Arizona. Since then he has been able to harvest a deer every year along with other games species in the deserts of Arizona including coyotes, pheasants, a turkey and was also able to harvest a Pronghorn from Colorado in 2014.

Paeton is currently a student at Northern Arizona University, studying mechanical engineering. When he isn’t hunting or studying, he competes both locally and on a collegiate team, against other collegiate archers across the nation. Paeton is now a Prostaff shooter for Prime Archery/G5 Outdoors, BeeStinger stabilizers, and Ross Outdoors, as well as active president for the Northern Arizona University Archery Club and Team.