When we talk about our bows and especially when we talk new bows it’s all about the specifications: the axle to axle length, the draw weight and adjustability, the brace height, and so on. What if I were to ask you for your specs and you could tell me all those measurements from heart and I told you that you’re wrong?
You may think I am crazy but those measurements are worthless if not at least secondary to what specs are really important. I am talking about your specifications on your bow, not the ones in the brochure. The measuring of your nock point, is your arrow level or nocked a 1/4 inch high? Are the cams or single cam marked in conjunction with the limb so it can be kept in check should something happen? Could you bolt on a new sight and with a few simple measurements be shooting a pie plate size group at 20 yards with no previous sighting in? How long is your string loop in case it breaks and you have to replace it? How far is your kisser button from your nock point, and how far is your peep above that?
You still may think I am crazy to say these measurements are all more important than IBO speeds and let off percentages. Take it from a guy who has lost valuable vacation time during the rut and watched a good friend miss a pope and young bull elk twice because the measurements weren’t a priority.
You wouldn’t go on a back country hunt without a first aid kit or a water filtration system, so why begin a bow season without a good first aid bow kit. I’ll admit you will never have all you need in a bandage bag for your bow but a few simple things like back up string loop, or nock points, and kisser button, peep sight, Allen wrenches, and super glue are all good things to have along. Among that kit should include a note card or diagram of all the important measurements you have on your bow. You should have nock high or level, distance in relation of everything you put on your string, you should reference how high your sight sits off your arrow while arrow is level. You should have your pin gaps diagramed for quick reference and all adjustable pieces on the bow should be marked in place with a contrasting colored marker. I also like to keep some spare screws and bolts in a tackle box, it only takes a few dollars to keep some back up parts, pieces and measurements that may save a hunt you spent thousands on. Inside this box is a good place to keep a diagram of your measurements should you need them.
It’s easy to say “I’ll get to that right before season next September” but you won’t, that will be when you are fine tuning stand placements and washing hunting cloths. I suggest doing as a New Year’s resolution. Winter is a great time to get your string replaced right after season and buy some of these emergency repair items. A lot of places are running specials now since it’s a slow retail time, your favorite bow shop is trying to drum up some winter business and may have deals and help you get some of these critical measurements as well.
Use a contrasting colored marker to make sure your bow is kept up to your personal specifications, at a quick glance you will be able to see if there is a problem.
Even some quick pics on your cell phone can server as a good reference as to how things should line up on your bow.
Don’t let a vital piece of bow gear being off a quarter of an inch keep you from getting that 5×4 monster bull elk (sorry Bill) and maybe a spare release too ( I missed that same bull elk a few days later). Keep all this in mind because Murphy’s law is alive and well and it will break at the moment of truth, so be prepared like a Boy Scout and improvise like a Marine and you’ll be more successful for it.
Start the year off right, preparing for success
Until next time, God blessMatt Cheever