With the changing weather, more archers are getting outside for Summer practice sessions.
Unless you joined a winter league or have a local archery shop with a range that you frequent – chances are that it’s been a few months since your bow saw the outside of its case.
That’s ok! Life happens and the important thing is that you’re getting your practice in well before archery season begins.
If it’s been a few months since you’ve had your bow out, whether a compound or trad bow, now is a great time to make a few quick checks so that your practice sessions are both safe and beneficial.
We’ve listed our top 5 bow maintenance tips to ensure your bow is safe and functioning properly.
As always, if you find any issues or have any additional concerns about your rig – be sure to seek out the assistance of a professional bow technician before shooting it.
1. Check String & Cable Condition
Depending on how many arrows you shoot in a season, your string could be in need of replacement. Even if it has another season left in it, it might need some TLC.
Carefully inspect your string and serving for signs of wear. It’s important to check your string whether you shoot a traditional or compound bow.
Start by looking for signs of fraying. If it is minor, your string might just be in need of some conditioning, which can be accomplished by applying some OMP String Serum.
As your string stretches and wears over time, the serving can begin to separate which can compromise the string and become a safety issue.
On compound bows, check the serving around your cams and mods, these are often the first areas to show this type of wear. If the string is in good shape, a bow technician might be able to re-serve higher wear areas. However, if your string is showing signs of heavy fraying, it could be time for a replacement.
If you are unsure, don’t risk it and get a second opinion.
2. Check Limb, Riser and Cam Condition
For both traditional and compound bows, check the condition of your limbs and risers before shooting. Check both for any damage such as hairline cracks, or delamination of limbs.
Bows inevitably take a certain level of abuse during hunting season. For compound bows, make sure that cams have not been unknowingly damaged from hoisting or lowering the bow from a treestand or during transport.
If any damage is present, contact the manufacturer and get the issue rectified before you resume shooting to avoid further damage to the bow or injury to yourself or fellow archers.
3. Check Arrows
Check the condition of your arrows before you start your Summer practice sessions. If you are shooting traditional wooden arrows, it’s a good idea to check each arrow for trueness and straightness.
If you use carbon arrows, look closely at each arrow for any signs of failure such as hairline cracks around your inserts.
These can be hard to see without looking deliberately for them, but it is important to regularly inspect arrow shafts. The force of the bowstring transferring to a compromised carbon shaft can result in the shaft splintering upon release and cause serious injury.
If you notice an arrow that shows signs of damage, put some kind of mark on it and remove it from your quiver immediately. While inspecting your arrows, check for loose inserts and damaged nocks or fletchings.
A compromised arrow will affect your accuracy and lead to inconsistent shooting. This can simply be avoided by inspecting your arrows to ensure they’re in good shape.
4. Check String Components
When you are inspecting your string, cables, and serving – don’t ignore the other string components.
Are your string silencers in good condition or have they begun to get brittle and break off the string?
For compound bow shooters, be sure to check your peep sight. Depending on the age or quality of your string, peep sights can rotate.
Likewise, if your peep hasn’t been tied in properly, you may notice that it moves on the string. In either case, this will effect your accuracy and is a problem that should be remedied immediately so that your practice sessions provide the most value.
5. Check Your Sight and Rest
Check the condition of your sight and pins. Sometimes pins get damaged, or fiber optics break off on branches or brush during hunting season.
Additionally, make sure that your sight or rest has not become loose over the course of the hunting season. If that happened, hopefully you realized it before shooting at your intended target. However, truth be told, we don’t always realize it immediately.
If any part of your sight is loose, be sure to start your first practice session at a close range and get your bow tuned in so you can capitalize on consistent shooting. If your rest has moved, it’s a good idea to take it to your local shop and have it paper tuned, if you aren’t set up to do that from home.
The start of Summer is a great time to designate for some quick bow check-ups, but all of the above are things that you should continuously be checking on your bow throughout the year.
Make it a point to prioritize your bow’s preventative maintenance, primarily for safety reasons, but also to maintain its condition, efficiency, and accuracy.
For more archery related articles, check out our OMP blog.