Five things to do with your bow in the off season
Will Jenkins 06.24.13
In any given year I actually look forward to the off season because it gives me a chance to mess with my bow and try new set-ups without potentially jeopardizing a hunt. The preparation can be almost as enjoyable as the hunt. Here are my top 5 things to do with your bow in the off season.
Practice. This should always be number one when you aren’t actually out hunting. Every archer can improve. I’m not talking about standing perfectly at 20 yards and drilling the bullseye. Now is the time to get creative. Practice some shot drills. Practice your draw sequence. Practice from your actual tree stand that you hunt from. Go run around and get your heart rate elevated then shoot. Get creative and try to mimic how you will be making the shot on a live animal.
Change your Bow Strings. You know how you get used to how your car handles over time then you realize your tires are really worn, then you get new tires and it feels like a new car? That’s exactly how it feels when getting new strings and cables. If your strings look worn or your anchor point seems a little further back than normal, then you need new strings. If it’s been over a year and you’re a frequent shooter, then just spend the money — don’t question it. There a lot of great string manufacturers out there, but I tend to like the local custom string makers. Doing this during the off season will allow you to get settled in with that new string before the shot counts.
Get a Tune Up. Since you’re at the pro shop getting the new strings anyway, now is a great time to have the bow tech take a look to make sure everything is in spec and that your bow is in perfect shape. All those trips in the woods, up and down trees, and bouncing around in the truck can make things shift so that the bow doesn’t shoot quite like it should. Plus, there are always great hunting stories told while bows are getting worked on.
Clean Your Bow. Most hunters clean their guns meticulously, but when it comes to their bow they let it sit. Dry leaves and debris can get stuck all over the bow in limb pockets, cams and other areas. If a little rain never keeps you out of the tree then you need to be making sure there isn’t any rust developing on any of the hardware. Clean or replace any rusty parts and remove all debris.
Have Fun! It can be easy to get caught up in all the seriousness of preparation, but now is the perfect time to introduce a friend to archery, shoot some 3D or field shoots, or maybe go bow fishing. You may want to use a different setup than your bowhunting rig for bow fishing, but there are many affordable bow fishing setups out there. Spring and summer can be great times to get others involved and have a good time with archery.