How to keep your equipment in top performance and avoid issues in the field.
When I decided to pick up the sport of archery or bow, I carefully selected the parts and accessories. The expense can be significant and we want to be careful about how our hard earned dollars spent. Just like the cars we drive, our bow is an investment and it’s important to keep it well maintained, in order for it to perform consistently and operate appropriately.
Tuning your Bow
Tune your bow after setting up. All components should be examined with a fine-tooth comb by your local dealer or archery shop before you begin, just in case you have to make adjustments. Once you have shot your bow on a regular basis and have broken it in, schedule another tune up. If you are prepping for archery hunting it is ideal to have your bow checked again before the season starts. This includes timing and paper tuning to determine if any movement has occurred to your d-loop or peep sight, axle to axle measurement, any major wear to your d-loop or strings. Include anything else that may need some TLC as this can make all the difference in your shooting. When setting up a new bow, I like to mark my d-loop and peep sight with White Out to see if anything moves in between tune-ups.
Every Time You Shoot
Each time you are shooting it’s important to go through a quick checklist before you begin. Take a few moments to look over your bow for any loose parts. When our bow travels often with us the vibration from the vehicle can slowly rattle out screws or create pieces to become loose. Especially when you have a new bow and are shooting it a lot before all the attachments are secured. I personally like to lightly tap my bow in multiple spots to hear if anything sounds loose or if anything moves. The last thing any archer wants is to have something fall apart at the wrong time.
Upon drawing back on that first arrow at the range, look and listen to make sure everything is operating the way it should before releasing. For example if you have a drop away arrow rest, make sure that it rises properly. After you get into these pre-shooting habits, you can prevent yourself from a lot of frustration by catching the problem before it escalates. If you hear anything rattling while you are shooting, stop immediately and diagnose where the sounds are stemming from.
Check arrows for loose or bent field points, ripped or unglued fletching and broken nocks. Perform a quick flex test to your arrows before and during shooting. Listen for cracking while looking for damage, to ensure you don’t have an arrow explode.
The strings and cables on the bow are key components and take the most abuse while shooting. Apply bowstring wax after shooting to your strings to keep them conditioned. If strings show signs of fraying, get them replaced immediately.
Locking it Down
When you feel you have your bow exactly the way you want it and you like the position of everything, it’s time to tighten and glue all the screws down. I recommend a small dab of lock tight or clear fingernail polish on each screw.
In The Field
If you have tightened all the screws, this will help immensely with anything moving. With a contrasting Sharpie marker, mark all moveable parts, that shouldn’t move while out in the field, such as areas around the rest and sight. By carrying an allen wrench in your pack and having these markings you can quickly fix any issues if they arise.