Become a Year Round Bow Hunter
For some bow hunters there is no off season, they shoot year round. In the spring it's carp and turkeys then it is tournament season and then hunting season. Their bows never get a chance to cool off much less loss their tune. For some of us there is a definite off season and we don't shoot as much as we would like to. For these people I would like to go over some of the "off season" work that they need done:
- Bow Repair. Off season is a great time to drop your bow off and have the "oil" changed. One of the fist things you should do after your bow is tuned is to measure it. Take the owners manual out and write the brace height, the tiller lengths, string twist numbers and any other important data. When you carry you bow in for service you can provide all the measurements so you have the bow set to these or determine if the bow is "moving" any. If you cut a strand of cable while you were putting in your peep sight have him replace the cable while he has the bow in his shop.
- Release Tension. After you are finished for the season back the limbs off to their lightest safe poundage. I feel that this will take the pressure off the limbs and reduce the risk of limb twist. Remember the notes in the owners manual? You can list how many turns you turned each limb bolt (turn them equal amounts) to reduce the poundage.
- Wax On, Wax Off. Never miss an opportunity to wax your strings. The new high strength strings when twisted hold very little wax so wax them as much as you can. I wax my strings to the core when I have it on the bow press, so mention that to your bow mechanic. Each time my string is relaxed (on the bow press) I wax it. When you release the tension on a bow in a bow press you can see it press the wax out of the string, so wax them often. Waxing a string not only dampens the vibration but it also increases the string life.
- Rest and Sights. Off season is a good time to replace the heat shrink on your rest and tighten up those sight pins. Give your rest and sights the once over and clean them to remove rust causing debris. This is a great time to oil the rest with a good Teflon oil (the scent will be gone by bow season) and let it penetrate to all the moving parts of the sight. This will also displace any water that has gotten into the sight. Repair and replace damaged pieces and ensure that the bow is not stored in such a way that it can bend or break the rest or sight.
- Timing is Everything. If your bow was not timed when you bought is off season is the time to get that done. Any competent pro shop can time your bow. Timing assures that that both bow wheels or cams roll over at the same speed. If your bow was timed at purchase time, check it to ensure that the string has not stretched or the limbs have moved.
- Physical Damage. Inspect your bow closely for cracks or fractures that can lead to failure. Make sure that the limbs are not cracked, splintered, or splitting (pay close attention to the wheel yoke). If you got damage you still have time to get it fixed before hunting season. Ensure that the riser is in good shape and no major damage has been done.
Follow these simple checks and get them done during the off season and you will have little to worry about when hunting season comes around. It is not a bad thing to shoot a dozen or two arrows a week during the off season, jus to keep everything in check.