This time of year, deer season plays a duel role as both a memory of the previous season and a daydream of Opening Day
The latter of which can lead to obsessing about a certain deer or how many arrows a day you should be shooting. But for many, it presents a problem. Most folks haven’t touched their bow since the last day of the previous season.
If you are one of these people, you aren’t alone. Personally, I can’t get enough of shooting my bow year-round, but for others, it takes a back seat for a few months. If you are getting ready to get fired up for deer season, and your bow is tuned up and in good working order (Go see a local bow shop if it isn’t) then see what I have to say below. I can promise that it will save some of you a massive headache as the season approaches.
Loose accessories on your bow can affect how your bow shoots. More specifically your sight and/or arrow rest. It’s important to check this often. I typically like to give my upper and lower limbs a tap. Listen for any vibration or things shaking on your bow. Pinpointing what may be loose and tightening them can help.
In order to keep things tight, don’t be afraid to add a little string of wax to the threads of your accessories. It can help keep them from coming loose.
Once your gear is tight and solid, it’s time to take a look at those arrows. I’m quite guilty of using the same target arrows over and over and never checking them. It’s important to roll them through your fingers and feel for weaknesses. I can’t warn you enough against running your hands along a carbon arrow; always roll. Any weak spots with loose carbon fibers can, can result in painful splinters and may require medical attention.
If you have one, you can use an arrow spinner as well. Arrows that aren’t straight, as you can guess, won’t fly straight either. An easy way to do this without buying any equipment would be to place the tip of the arrow on a solid surface (Not your kitchen table unless you like sleeping on the couch) and give it a spin. Watch the nock for any deviations from the center.
Another way to check would be to lay an arrow flat against a table with the fletching hanging off the edge. Again, roll the arrow back and forth to spin it and watch for any deviations from the center at the nock.
Another word you could insert here would be “Form”. But then that wouldn’t start with “S”, would it? Being sure you have a comfortable stance is crucial. Not too open and not too closed off. Starting at the ground and then working your way through your draw cycle and anchor point can help correct any simple shooting mistakes that could be keeping your arrows from hitting their mark. This is the easy way of putting it, as this subject could take an entire other post.
At the end of the day, repetition is key. Lock in your stance, feel your anchor point, and do everything you can to recreate it.
This one may be the most self-explanatory. If you haven’t shot your bow in months and months, chances are YOU will be off. As my dad always told me, “Usually it’s the ground connection and not the equipment.” I always recommend shooting a MINIMUM of 50 arrows before messing with your sight. Getting everything in order that I mentioned here previously, then making sure you’re working on perfect practice and repetition can solve most, if not all, of your archery problems. So get out and shoot!!!!
Finally, and there is a reason this is last, and it’s the entire purpose of this blog. If you haven’t touched your bow in months, chances are, your sight is completely fine. If everything is correct and you’ve done your work of dialing in your Stance/Form, checking for anything Shaking or vibrating on your bow, verifying your Sticks/Arrows are flying straight, and then Shooting plenty of arrows you should be good to go. Adjusting your sight prematurely can lead to extreme frustration! You’ll likely find you don’t have to touch your sight at all.
If you intend to leave your bow hanging for a while, take my advice here and save yourself the headache. Adjust, literally, everything else before you touch your sight. Running the risk of throwing off a sight that is already ‘on’ isn’t worth the time it’ll take to bring it back when you realize your bow was never off.
Please do not wait until late August to tune your bow. Every bow shop in the county will be loaded with hunters who waited until the last second to get their equipment looked at. We’d also suggest you work on the most important piece of equipment you own before the season begins…You. Our Archery Power DIY Program is the perfect workout to get the bow muscles in shape so that in the moment of truth, your arrow hits its target.
Have a question for Coach Nick? Shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Lape is the head coach for Fit To Hunt. An avid bowhunter, Nick lives in St. Louis, MO with his wife and two kids