Hoyt Buffalo Review

The following Bear Grizzly review was prepared by John Kopiecki.


Hoyt BuffaloDrawBow WeightBow LengthTake-downRating
Hoyt Buffalo

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40-60 lbs.3.3 lbs.60"Yes9.5/10


  • Very consistent draw
  • No comfort or grip torque issues; highly accurate
  • Easy to change draw weight; versatile in terms of tuning
  • No vibration or after-shock; quiet
  • My favorite hunting bow, period


  • Quite expensive
  • Not necessarily suitable for all beginners (see below)

Package Contents

Being a more expensive recurve bow, any package purchased after January 2013 will include a nice set of items:

  • Riser
  • Two limbs with bolts
  • Flemish string
  • Whisker silencers for the string
  • String maintenance kit
  • Stringer
  • Bow stringer
  • Calf hair plate
  • Assembly and Tuning DVD
  • Padded Hoyt bow case and protective limb sleeves
  • Owner’s manual & The Hoyt Warranty

The lack of any arrows wasn’t a problem for me as I already have a lot of my own. Beginners should take note, however, that you need to purchase arrows separately.

Assembling The Hoyt Buffalo

  1. Insert the limbs into the pockets and manually tighten the bolts (no Allen wrench or screwdriver needed).
  2. Use the stringer to string the bow.
  3. Place the included whisker silencers onto the string if you want to use them.

That’s all there is to it as far as assembly goes. The instructional DVD does a great job at explaining everything, so there’s no way you could get it wrong.

Grip Quality

  • The wooden grip sits well in the hand and does not cause any pain or discomfort in the palm.
  • It can feel a little cold at times, but nothing too distracting or unpleasant.
  • The grip can be removed and replaced for a different one from Hoyt.

Overall: comfortable grip, can be replaced if needed.

Riser Quality

  • The riser is quite long, at 19″. This helps reduce vibration. It’s also made of aluminum, as are most quality modern recurves.
  • The riser is cut past center, so you don’t need to worry much about the spine of your arrows.
  • I like the limb pocket design, as it helps absorb even more vibration during the shot.

Limbs Quality

  • Really durable. Haven’t had any problems with cracking, even after shooting over 60 000 arrows.
  • You can in fact modify the draw weight slightly by appropriately turning the top-most limb bolts. This will allow you to change the draw weight by up to 9% relative to the peak draw weight.
  • Tips are reinforced with Phenolic material, so you won’t have issues using FastFlight strings.
  • Made primarily of wood and glass, with a bit of carbon in certain places (the tips for example). You’re not going to see any air pockets developing underneath that.
  • The inclusion of carbon in the Buffalo limbs makes the shot a little smoother when compared to other bows in this same price range.

Overall: powerful limbs, very easy to tune.

String Quality

  • Very solid hand-made Flemish string, will last for 15 000+ arrows with proper maintenance/waxing.
  • The bow will obviously accept all types of modern FastFlight bow strings.

How Accurate is The Hoyt Buffalo?

  • Remember that this bow is for instinctive shooters. You must have a good eye if you want to shoot accurately.
  • Here’s what makes the bow accurate: very minimal vibration, large and comfortable grip, lack of bow torque on release.
  • It’s also very easy to tune the bow and make slight weight adjustments, which will come in handy when trying to find the perfect bow settings for your shooting style.
  • With enough draw weight, you can comfortably go for 50+ yard targets while still maintaining reliable and consistent arrow flight.
  • Please remember however that if your draw length is over 30″, you will experience a bit of stacking near the end of the draw (nothing too serious though).

Overall: perfect construction and comfortable aim – the bow is as accurate as they get. It’s all up to your aim.

Arrows For The Hoyt Buffalo

It’s not possible to recommend arrows for the Hoyt Buffalo without knowing at least the following:

  • Do you intend to do hunting or target shooting?
  • What is your current draw length?
  • How much draw weight do you intend to use?

All of the above will have a significant impact on your arrow selection. As always, we recommend you refer to this beginner’s arrow selection guide (no fancy terminology, I promise!). Go through that, and you’ll know exactly what arrows to start out with.

Does The Buffalo Accept Bow Accessories?

You can only install an arrow quiver, and it has to be one made by Buffalo. The bow was designed for bare shooting and hence you can’t install a sight or even a stabilizer. The latter, quite frankly, isn’t required, as the bow has very minimal vibration thanks to the limb pocket design and the size of the riser.

Is The Buffalo Suitable For Beginners?

Most beginners should probably avoid the Hoyt Buffalo, for a few reasons:

  • It’s expensive. I think beginners should start with a cheaper bow, such as the Martin Jaguar or Martin Diablo – mostly so they can have more money left to buy arrows and other accessories they will need. If money isn’t an issue for you though, disregard this.
  • This bow is designed to be shot bare. If you want to shoot with a stabilizer and sight, the Buffalo isn’t the best choice.
  • Beginners might not have enough experience to take full advantage of the bow’s customizability (adjustable draw weight etc.). Again, this isn’t really a “con” from a beginners perspective. It’s more about not buying something with more features than you will need.

With that said, any beginner who chooses to go for the Buffalo will absolutely LOVE it, as long as instinctive shooting is what they are after. It’s very forgiving to form mistakes made by beginners, easy to tune, very accurate, deadly and beautiful. If price isn’t an issue, beginners should absolutely go for it.

Is The Hoyt Buffalo Suitable For Hunting??

Of course! This is primarily a hunting bow after all. Just remember:

  • For hunting deer or smaller game, you need 40 lbs. (or more) of draw weight.
  • For hunting elk, 45 lbs. (or higher) is a much better choice.
  • For the largest game (cape buffalo, ox), 55 lbs. is the minimum.

Also, keep the following in mind:

  1. The Buffalo is 60″ long, which I find strikes an excellent balance between accuracy and easy maneuverability for hunting purposes.
  2. It’s not the heaviest recurve, but definitely not the lightest either. If you’re used to lighter models, give yourself a few days or weeks before you get accustomed to carrying this weight in the field.
  3. The bow is quiet, but I still recommend using the string silencing whiskers when hunting – especially if you have over 30″ draw length.

Overall: in the hands of an accurate marksman, the Hoy Buffalo is perhaps the deadliest hunting recurve in the world.

Where To Buy The Buffalo?

Checking out the price on Amazon.com is a good way to star.

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