On my lv43, I luckily looted a ebony bow, though I was a novice hunter I give it to Lydia, my trustworthy bodyguard
However after that I feel that seems her range attack was a little weaker than before...
Yesterday, I found the reason: she was using her born-with hunting bow but not the deadly black one.
After few test I found that:
0. Lydia will choose to use the lowest rating bow in her inventory. Kind of golden-bow-or-silver-bow-no-thanks-I-want-my-iron-bow story.
1. Lydia can't handle any bow that rating higher than glass bow. Ebony bow and daedric bow for example.
2. Her strange taste for bow won't effect her choice to short-range weapon. That is to say she perfer high rating swords or maces in default.
I think this is a bug and should be fixed. I like Lydia as my bodyguard most, so I don't know how other companions act like, if you're interested, you can check if your fellow have a special taste for bows...
How to reproduce:
0. Take your fellow, find a enemy and kill it, make sure the body is fine so you can resurrect it.
1. Remove all weapon of your companion, the add those: (via console command" additem [the code] 1)
2. Open consol, click on the dead enemy, type resurrect 1
3. Watch which bow your buddy is to using. If he/she/it using the daedric bow, then everything is right, your companion have common sense, you could skip the rest steps. But if not...
4. If it's dwarven bow (actually Lydia chose it...), kill the resurrected enemy, remove the dwarven bow or whatever she/he/it choose to use.
5. Repeat step 2~4 until you thought you've got how your companion think.
0. Add bows mentioned above, then resurrect the wolf
1. Lydia attack wolf with dwarven bow
2. Remove the dwarven bow then resurrect the wolf again
3. Lydia attack wolf with Eleven bow
4. Repeat remove-and-resurrect steps, Lydia will choose: dwarven > elven > glass > her hunting bow
So what do you think?