Be Your Own Bow Techon Feb 14, 2013
Written by Bowhunting.con contributor Brodie Swisher of thrutheseason.com
The 2013 bows have hit the pro shop racks (new bows) and diehard bowhunters are finding plenty of reasons for an upgrade in equipment. With spring turkey and bear season’s right around the corner, now is the time to ensure that your equipment is in tip-top shape for the rugged use and abuse it will endure in the days ahead. Despite the incredible integrity and toughness built into today’s bows, there are still a multitude of things that can go wrong with your equipment. This month we’ll take a look at a few steps that will help you avoid having to run to the archery shop when minor tech issues arise. We’ll also help shed some light on how to be better prepared for “in-the-field” disasters that would normally take you out of the hunt altogether.
A good quality Bow Press will be the most expensive thing to purchase when becoming your own bow tech but without it nothing else really matters.
Paul Roush and Matt Alwine are a couple of guys that I not only consider friends, but are also the “go-to” guys when it comes to bow tuning and deadly accuracy for precision archery competition. Paul has run a number of archery shops including his own archery center, as well as lead archery tech for Sportsman’s Warehouse and Wholesale Sports. Matt has run his fair share of archery shops over the years as well, and has continued to be one of the top shooters across the northwest. I recently had the opportunity to pick their brains a bit and take a closer look at how they keep their bows prepared for the moment of truth.
Q) What are some of the basic things the average shooter can do to keep his or her bow in check and tuned without the aid of someone from the local archery shop? Roush: “One of the biggest things bowhunters overlook, or simply don’t know the importance of, is string wax and taking care of the strings and cables. It is also very important to keep your bow out of the heat. Heat is the number one reason for string and cable stretch. The material that strings are made of is tested at 85 degrees. More extreme temperatures will make strings and cables stretch excessively. Alwine: “I think one of the most useful things you can do is take a silver-colored Sharpie marker and mark where your site and rest is set (both windage and elevation), where your peep is set, and where your cables lay along your cam. This will allow you to quickly check for any timing issues that you might be experiencing. That way when something does go wrong, you can look at all your markings and know where to start.”
If you're really in a jam and need arrows fletched quickly there is nothing better than NAP's Quickfletch system.
Q) What are the basic points to check on a bow to see whether it’s in tune or not? Alwine: “Cam timing, cam lean, nock point, center shot, and having your broadheads tuned are always among the first places to check for tuning issues. Each broadhead should be tuned and spin-tested (broadhead tuning tips) to make sure they are all straight and then shot to make sure each arrow/broadhead combination shoots like a dart.”
Q) What do you gain by using a high-quality custom bowstring on your setup? Roush: “I can’t say enough about investing in a high-quality set of custom strings. They help eliminate so many tuning issues. With quality custom strings, you’ll have less stretch in your string and cable system, less peep sight rotation, as well as less chance of your center serving moving, which can change your loop height.”
Q) What are some of the must-have tools every archer should have in his or her tool box to help keep their bow in check? Roush: “The basic tools I feel every bowhunter should have are a quality set of Allen wrenches, string serving material, extra loop material, and pliers. Learn to use each of them competently and you’ll be able to fix many common problems that arise.” Alwine: “Never leave home without Allen wrenches, string-wax, super glue, string loop material, needle-nose pliers, and duct tape (shop for tools)…and we’d have to include a safety warning if I actually explained what all I’ve used duct tape for to make emergency bow repairs in a pinch!”