The basics of bow-mounted quivers for bowhunting

You’ve seen the pictures of Robin Hood and his merry men running through the woods with quivers of arrows strapped to their backs.

robin hood

Errol Flynn as Robin Hood

That’s a nice look for Hollywood, and it’s cool for traditional archers shooting targets. But it’s not very practical for today’s bowhunters. Broadheads and back quivers aren’t a good combination.

Whoever invented the bow-mounted quiver deserves a medal. I mean, you have to carry your bow, and you have to carry arrows in a fashion so they don’t interfere with your shooting or staking. But yet, the arrows need to be handy for loading.

The bow-mounted quiver addresses all these issues.


For traditional archers, there are four basic types of bow-mounted quivers. There are two-piece quivers that slide over the limbs, two-piece quivers that strap to the limbs, two-piece quivers that attach via limb bolts and one-piece quivers that attach to special mounting holes.


Slide-on traditional quiver


Strap-on traditional quiver

The latter quiver can only be used with bows that have the appropriate mounting bushings or threaded holes. The strap-on and slide-on quivers can be used with any traditional bow, while the quivers that attach via limb bolts can only be used on non-ILF, takedown bows.

The one-piece quivers typically attach to the riser, which means an archer can remove the limbs from a takedown bow without having to remove the quiver. Any limb-mounted quiver must be removed to disassemble a takedown bow.


This traditional quiver mounts to the riser by bolts at the top and bottom.


All compound bows will have accessory holes for mounting quivers. Or, the sights mounted to these bows will have threaded holes for the quivers.


Many compound bow quivers are designed to remain affixed to the bow at all times, and can only be removed using a screwdriver or Allen wrench. But there are some that give the archer the option to remove the quiver in the field.


This Hoyt quiver cannot be detached in the field.

These are often favored by tree stand or ground blind hunters, who like the convenience of a bow-mounted quiver for carrying their arrows afield, but want to remove the quiver for taking a shot. Unless you shoot your compound bow with the quiver always attached, the addition of the quiver will change the balance of your bow.


Quick-detach quiver

Whether you hunt with traditional gear or with a compound bow, there are a few aspects of a bow-mounted quiver you’ll want to consider.

  1. How many arrows does it hold? There are quivers that hold anywhere from two to eight arrows. Think about how many arrows you want to have with you when you’re out hunting. Remember, the more you have, the more weight you have to carry.
  2. How does it keep the broadheads in place? There’s a variety of material used in quiver hoods to secure the business ends of your arrows. Some are sturdier than others. Take a look at what’s in the hood of the quiver you’re thinking about and imagine inserting and removing broadheads. Will the material hold your arrows firmly?
  3. Is the quiver made for your arrows? Small diameter arrows are becoming increasingly popular among bowhunters. Not all quivers are made to hold these tiny shafts. And the ones that are, don’t work well with normal shafts. Make sure the quiver you’re looking at is made for the shafts you shoot.
  4. Does it make the bow loud? The only way to figure this out is to shoot your bow with the quiver attached. Some will increase the bow noise at the shot. Is it too much for your taste?
  5. Can the quiver be removed in the field? As noted, only some offer this option. It’s up to you to determine if that’s a desirable feature.

Rubber in the hood of a quiver is durable and quiet.

Selway Archery quivers and a youth movement in traditional archery

Traditional archery is enjoying an infusion of young blood, according to Drew Kohlhofer of Selway Archery.

“I’m seeing an influx of guys coming in that are in that 20-40 age bracket,” he said.

Kohlhofer shares his observations on the youth movement, and talks about the unique quivers his company makes for traditional archers, with LAS TechXpert P.J. Reilly at the 2016 Eastern Traditional Archery Rendezvous in northcentral Pennsylvania.

This is the largest gathering of traditional archers in the U.S., where people of all ages come to shoot their sticks with strings, camp, eat, share hunting stories and just have a good time in the mountains of Potter County.

LAS sent a video team to the 2016 event to gather information and create content about traditional archery and its passionate fans.

Selway is indicative of the type of company that works in traditional archery. It’s family owned; the owners are avid traditional archers themselves; and the product line emphasizes customization over volume.

Selway produces high-quality leather quivers that attach to recurve bows and longbows. They are handmade and hand stitched, and have that traditional look and feel.

Kohlhofer said he believes the recent influx of younger people in traditional archery is the result of compound archers seeking new and bigger challenges. They’ve accomplished much with their modern archery gear, and now they want to “go back in time” and try to find success as legends like Fred Bear did.