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A quiver, as in ’what is a quiver of arrows’ is a device that’s generally described as a container for holding arrows.
Initially they were constructed from various organic materials including leather, fur and wood however modern quivers are still made from leather along with metal and plastic and other synthetic material.
A quiver should be included on every archer’s equipment list.
There’s a good amount of them for sale on the market, so you can choose exactly what you’re looking for.
A quiver can have various meanings depending on the context, having a full quiver can mean having a lot of children which will place a strain on the family’s quiver or financial reserves.
Although there’s a number resemblances between quivers, they also share some features and benefits.
How Many Arrows Fit in a Quiver?
How long is a piece of string?
A quiver being used for target shooting will generally hold from 12 and 24 arrows. During a battle in medieval times archers would carry up to 60 arrows all in a single quiver, however 2 or 3 quivers would have been preferred so that more arrows were at hand.
Hunters usually only carry about 10 arrows in a quiver but they would have more which they would store in a backpack.
So, how many arrows in a quiver?
The answer is based entirely on the width and depth of a quiver and, to a lesser degree, the thickness of the arrows. An arrow is stored in a quiver in a standing position with the nock over the mouth of the quiver and the point down.
Hip Quiver vs Back Quiver
The majority of quivers are designed to be attached to back or hip (side) of an archer, the latter is sometimes referred to as a belt quiver.
The strength or thickness of the strap can be a limiting factor in this regard.
When arrows are carried in a back quiver they are up high and out of the way and are also easily accessed when the situation requires rapid shooting.
Others prefer a hip quiver which holds their arrows usually at around a 45 degree angle facing forward so that an arrow is ready to draw at all times. This option is better for stalking in areas where noise and clatter may disturb animals.
Quivers are available in different shapes and sizes, such as hard and soft shell quivers, back quiver, hip quivers and ground quivers.
Types of Quivers and Arrow Capacity
Maximum Capacity: 6 arrows
There are primarily 3 different types of quivers that Japanese archers use, they are yebira, ebira and shiko.
The most popular choice in Japan is the yebira which is essentially a back quiver however, it’s also available in a style that attaches to the archer’s leg.
Japanese quivers are quite unique and with some, each side of the quiver may be open with the arrows clearly visible.
In the ebira style the arrows are contained by the tips sitting on a rest at the bottom of the quiver and a stay fixed to the top.
Maximum Capacity: 36 arrows
An arrow bag is a rudimentary quiver made from any type of fabric including calico or something similar.
It’s simply a tube, tied off at the bottom, a pull-string tie at the top and if you want to go really Gucci, then cut a piece of ply into a circle (same size as the circumference of the opening), drill holes in the ply that the arrows will fit through.
This will separate the arrows which protects the fletching and stops it from being damaged and they’re also easier to remove.
Maximum Capacity: 16 arrows
A ground quiver is a device for containing your arrows securely on the ground. It would normally be constructed using a rigid metal rod with a ring at the top to support your arrows in an upright position.
You can make one yourself without too much difficulty or simply buy one.
It can be used for storing arrows when you’re on a break and it will also be a benefit for marking your spot. It keeps your arrows safe and out of harm’s way, it also keeps your arrows where you can see them and easy to access.
Maximum Capacity: 5 arrows
Bow quivers are largely used for hunting. You don’t need to lug around any extra gear as your arrows will be mounted on your bow.
It makes it way more efficient to nock an arrow in less time with less activity. This is important during a hunt.
Many archers will say that a polished archer can do the same thing in less time if you use a back quiver however, there’s no denying that your arrows are closer to you than in a back quiver scenario.
Bow quivers can be attached using number of options, some can be tied on using straps, some slide over each limb and some cam be bolted on via accessory devices provided by the bow makers.
One important thing thing to watch out for, a bow quiver can actually have an affect on your shooting. There’s additional weight on the side of your bow that can impact on your performance.
Maximum Capacity: 36 arrows
This quiver would be the most preferred option by the majority of archers.
The traditional back quiver entices romantic adventures through Sherwood Forest and the Sheriff of Nottingham and his soldiers chasing Robyn Hood and his gang.
They continue to be a popular choice by archers today because of Robyn Hood and the fact that they still work well, they do the job.
Modern back quivers can contain 12 or more arrows quite easily whilst providing efficient access at the right time.
Th style perfectly suits the romantic hunter who wants to continue the dream of long ago.
By doing your research and due diligence you’ll discover a quality back quiver made from leather that will last as long as you do and with some patience and practice, it may well turn out to be your preferred option for nocking your arrow quickly and efficiently.
However, there is a downside.
Back quivers move while you’re walking so that in a hunting situation, it can be very annoying when you crouch down under some low hanging branches only to realize that you have lost your load of arrows.
A simple remedy for this annoying issue is to get yourself a side strap. This cheap option will help to keep your quiver from moving around while walking.
Maximum Capacity: 24 arrows
The hip quiver is also referred to as a side quiver or belt quiver. They are available in numerous variations however all of them provide the same basic job.
Here’s a tip, look for the styles that have pockets for keeping smaller items such as gloves, gum, small snacks, etc., safe. These are minor conveniences but it’s better to have them than not.
Another good thing is that separaters are sometimes provided so arrows can be sorted into the archer’s requirements, making life just a little bit better than when using other styles.
This option is a great choice for hunters, it holds the arrows within easy reach and they are well protected.
Many target shooters prefer hip quivers as the the arrows are kept safe and out of the way and they also allow for quicker shooting by retaining your arrows in a logical position and easier to get at.
Are Back Quivers Practical?
The majority of beginner archers want to use a back quiver because it’s the one that’s used most in the movies and… they just so sexy and uber cool.
A major disadvantages of using a back quiver when hunting is that when you reach back to draw another arrow the actual mechanical movement that’s required to do this is significantly large or long and it’s very apparent if stalking game as is the arrow clatter that can result from this same action.
Also, when you bend forward, say to pick up something, the arrows can actually fall out of a back quiver. This is not only extremely annoying it can also act as an alarm for the game you’re stalking.
The majority of game animals have extremely good eyesight and hearing and as a result, are hypersensitive to movement and noise. The hip quiver allows the hunter to nock an arrow with minimal movement.
Your back quiver will look very cool, and it stays right out of the way when you’re stalking but… it can be an issue trying to draw arrows plus it’s rather difficult to identify the arrows so you select the right one. This is a significant problem when you’re competing.
Some hip quivers include little bags to carry things such as a glove, finger tab, snacks, a spare string, etc. It’s easier to access the arrows in this type of quiver and it’s a simple task to count your arrows and see which one you want to shoot next.
The issue associated with a hip quiver is that they’re generally not a pretty thing to look at and, when you move through the undergrowth and low hanging branches it’s easy for the arrows to become entangled in them.
If you target shoot using a compound bow, your choice should be a hip quiver.
If shooting a longbow or recurve bow and you’re right into the traditional side of things, a back quiver will work perfectly fine for you.
One of the most valuable benefits of a hip quiver that’s worth mentioning is when you’re target shooting it’s a very simple and quick exercise to run your eyes over your fletchings to ensure you’ll choose the most suitable arrow for your next shot.
So, you’re faced with a problem.
Do you want to look super sexy and cool or are you a practical person who simply doesn’t care what you look like because the game cannot tell the difference.
You’ll work it out!