Sunday, August 1, 2010

Time to Tune Your Bow for Bowhunting Season

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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It's Time to Tune Up your Bow

In some places, deer season is about a month away! For most though, there are still another couple of months or so to go. Usually that's the time of year when I see most folks starting to rifle through their closets and garages looking for their bowhunting gear. Labor Day weekend: Boating and fishing gear go up, bows and camouflage come down. End of bow season, bows go up and rifles come out. Lots of people I know do it just like that every year.

I sometimes wonder how they connect with their deer...

For those of you that tend to procrastinate and don't pull that bow down until your friends remind you that deer season starts in a couple of weeks, I have a few tuning tips I picked up over the years.

Since most everybody uses a compound bow, let's start with them and then look over the traditional bows.

First take a good look at the bow. Depending on how and were you store your bow, it could affect many points on your bow. A garage with high heat in the summer can cause the cables or the strings to stretch, or bolts and screws to loosen, thereby changing many of the parameters of your bow. Look for anything that may be loose, including the screws on your bow's accessories. Check your stabilizer and make sure it is secure. Look over your sights, are the pins locked down? Check for nicks or splinters in your bow limbs, they may need to be touched up. Double check the arrow rest, anything loose or out of line?

Next we check the bowstring and cables. If you have a bow square, now would be a good time to check your string's nocking point. If it has moved, the cable and string may have stretched.

I would definitely look at your bow string carefully. Do you replace it regularly? I read that a bow string should be replaced every three years. I have one on a bow that's got to be at least a dozen or so years old... Check the string carefully. Is it frayed? How about wear at the nocking point? Is the serving still intact? Are there any loose or frayed strands. You have to be thorough! If you find any of these conditions, it is time to get a new string on your bow! If you don't have a bow press... (umm, does anyone actually have one at home?) you might be better off stopping by your local bow shop and having them replace it for you. Since you're there already, have them give your bow a once over. A fresh set of eyes might see something you missed!

With today's bows, you can actually lower the weight of the bow substantially. Probably a good idea if you are going to stow it away for an extended period of time. I don't know, but it seems like a good idea. My Browning Compound Cobra is about thirty years old, and I never let it relax. Don't even know how! But it has lost six or so pounds of draw weight in that time. Maybe if there had been a way to release the tension it wouldn't have lost that weight.

Traditional bows are always unstrung at the end of the shooting session or hunting day, so limb fatigue is different. But none the less, storage can have a deleterious effect on your bow. Traditional bows should be stowed flat on two wooden pegs in a horizontal position. All the other caveats like checking your string, nocking point, and the condition of your bow still apply.

Once your bow is back in tip top shape, it's time to start practicing!

I know it takes me about a month of regular shooting, before my muscles are conditioned sufficiently, and my form is proper again. Take it easy the first couple of weeks! You don't want to get hurt. That's why it is important to get started now. Put your bow up for the session while you are doing well, and before you are tired.

Practicing now will asure you that when the shot presents itself, you'll be ready!

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member:Kandahar Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert was actually a student of biology. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained capuchin monkey could do better, he never returned to the field. Rather he became a bartender. As he once said, "Hell, I was feeding mice all sorts of concoctions. At the club I did the same thing; except I got paid a lot better, and the rats where bigger." He has followed the science of QDM for many years, and fancies himself an aficionado. If you have any questions, or just want to get more information, reach him via TheRaschOutdoorChronicles(at)MSN(dot)com.


Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about hunting seasons lately, and folks around the internet are too, it seems. Thanks for the tips and inspiration.

Have anything here on making a ghillie suit? I might try that this year.

Take care -


Albert A Rasch said...


No problem, love to remind everyone just in case!

I haven't done anything on Gillie suits, but my friend Ben G did, check it out! Ben G. Outdoors: Meet Scott LaCoe Owner of Ghillie Suit Source
It's a great interview!

Best regards!

Anonymous said...

Hello Albert. Bow season here in Wyoming starts on September 1st and lasts the whole month. Thanks for the reminder. Time to set out the targets!

Rick Kennerknecht
The Hunting Consultant

Albert A Rasch said...


Just doing my job! My buddy Dave at Siegeworks (See:The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: The Range Reviews: SiegeWork Creations Longbow Pt I) has offered to send me a bow out here in Afghanistan, but the thought of having to leave it here just offends me to no end! seems that customs and the postal service are happy to let them get in, but forbid their egress! can't tell you how many guys have gotten awesome bows at great prices from the manufacturers that support the troops, and then have to leave them behind! It's heart breaking.

"Yes, it's offical. Afghanistan does suck."

Josh said...

What's a bow sight? Pin? What's a "press"? Don't you make good coffee out of that? What's a "bowstring cable?"

; )