I have tried using a few different stabilizers dozens of times on and off and kept track of my group size and not one bit of improvement so in my opinion they serve no purpose in a hunting environment except to add weight, Your thought on this?
A stabilizer on a hunting bow if nothing else will help dampen noise and vibration. I have a 10 inch long hoyt vortex that is 20 years old. That stabilizer has been on 3 different bows and will probably be on any bow I ever hunt with. It's longer than most guys like for a hunting stabilizer, but I like it. It makes a great handle when carrying my bow through the woods. Try shooting your bow with and without the stabilizer and see if you can tell a difference in noise. If you use a bow quiver be sure you have quiver with arrows attatched
as many times a quiver will increase shot noise.
I agree a stabilizer does a lot of things to help improve accuracy and dampen noise and vibration are only a few. A stabilizer also helps reduce bow torque and the longer the stab the more it helps reduce torque. They also will help balance your bow, a lot of hunters now are hunting with 10 or 12 inch stabilizers and adding shorter 8 inch back bars to counter balance sights and quivers. Stabilizers add weight to your bow also which can be a good thing, a heavier bow holds a lot steadier and tends to stay in place like a sumo wrestler. They do also make a nice handle for carrying your bow. For me I don't mind the extra weight of a stabilizer while hunting, I want to hunt with that bow that makes me feel like I can put an arrow anywhere I want when I need to.
Try fine tuning the stabilizer of your choice with more, or less weight screwed onto the tip. My personal experience has been improvement of groupings as I get closer to the ideal weight, which is that weight/stabilizer combination that produces the "steadiest" sight picture, or more accurately, reduction in pin drift from my point of aim. Has always worked for me. Hope that makes sense. Good luck.
I agree with the op, short hunting stabilizers don't do much. Reduce noise a little, they do make a convienant handle at times, but you'd probably be fine without one. Now moving up to a longer stabilizer would help, but at the cost of making your bow less manurevable in hunting situations.
I shoot my hunting bow in a dot league, Vegas faces not the big all blue ones. 62#'s, skinny carbon arrows, hha .019 slider, Sims 6" s-coil stabilizer, i shoot mid 580's. If I put on my long stabilizer, scope, and shoot fat arrows, i'll shoot low to mid 590's, mostly due to the fat arrows not the scope or stablilizer, although it is easier to shoot with those things on. So the small gain a much lomger stabilizer gives me is far outweighed by the convience a short stabilizer gives in hunting situstions.
I have been trying different stabilizers this year, even a back bar. There is a lot of personal preference that factors in. I started getting by overall bow weight too high for a high letoff hunting bow. Whereas a low letoff target bow may have 2 lbs more total weight. I will say this, every competitive archer uses stabilizers. While getting the right fit for you may take some work, I bet you could find a setup that will improve your performance.