Gear Up: Prep Your Bow for Hunting in 5 Simple Steps
The sun creeps over the horizon, creating spectacular views from your treestand. You chose this location carefully through scouting, and you meticulously prepared your equipment. All that’s left to do is soak in nature’s sights and sounds while waiting for a shot.
That’s exactly how you want to feel on opening morning: confident and prepared. You made sure your equipment is ready, because accurate shots deliver ethical kills and venison for the freezer.
With bowhunting season only a few weeks away, it’s time to get your archery gear ready. This process is easy because the archery shop’s experts do all the hard work. Then it’s up to you to do the fun work: practice for that all-important shot at your quarry. Follow these tips to get your bow ready to hunt.
If your bow is a couple of years old, it might need a new bowstring. Worn-out bowstrings easily stretch, causing your arrows to fly inconsistently. On compound bows, string stretch also affects cam timing. Either way, your bow can shoot fine one day, and then be off the next, which can cause grief in the woods. If you’re constantly adjusting your sights, you might need a new bowstring.
Check Cam Timing
As you draw your bow, its cams rotate. How cams rotate in relationship to each other determines their timing. Cams should rotate in unison because their timing affects arrow flight, the feel of the bow, and the arrow’s accuracy. Getting cams to rotate in sync can require technical expertise, but all you have to do is hand your bow to qualified bow technicians and ask them to check it out for you.
The peep sight on your bowstring must align properly with your eye. If it doesn’t, it will obstruct your view of the target or cause you to change your head position. A properly aligned peep lets you see through the peep aperture with your head in a natural upright position. If you must lean your head forward to look through the peep, or you can’t see through it, bring your bow to an archery shop so they can adjust it.
On opening morning you won’t be hunting with field points. You’ll have sharp broadheads attached to your arrows. No matter which broadheads you choose, make sure they fly properly. Talk to your archery pro about which animals you plan to hunt and the bow you’re using. This information helps them determine the best broadhead for your setup. While you’re there, they can show how to safely install the broadheads.
There’s no substitute for practice when preparing for bow season. If heat and mosquitoes make it a chore to shoot outside, use the air-conditioned indoor range at an archery shop. Some shops even have virtual hunting simulators that play wildlife scenes and hunting scenarios on a screen that doubles as a target. Practice can’t get more realistic and exciting.
No matter how you practice, start now. It’s almost time to put on your camo and head to the woods. Jump-start your preparations by visiting a local archery shop to ensure your equipment is dialed in and ready to hunt.