Summer is here and that typically spells vacation, yard work and lazy days by the pool. However, if you’re a serious bowhunter (you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t) your favorite bow shouldn’t get left behind. In fact, even though opening day of deer season is still a few months away, now is the perfect time to dive head first into your bowhunting rig. Here are 5 things you should do to your bow this summer while the temps are rising and the days are getting longer.
Bowhunting can be tough; especially on your gear. Some of the damage (such as string wear) can be very visible while issues like a cracked limb, loose bolts and broken or bent accessories are a little harder to notice. Before starting your summer shooting spree give your bow a thorough inspection to insure that all of the working parts have no critical damage. This can prevent bow failure which could lead to costly repairs or even bodily harm. Neither of which are conducive to improved shooting.
With the ATA show a distant memory and all of those products adorning the pro-shop shelves, now is the best time to try out some new gear. Arrows, broadheads, a new stabilizer or sights can be attached and tested in a plethora of situations long before opening day. This gives you plenty of time to decide which products actually live up to the hype and which ones should be taken back for a refund. Remember, just because pro-staff member “blank” says this or that product is the best doesn’t necessarily make it true—including myself.
Compete With It
Standing flat-footed in the backyard is a good start to kicking your practice routine into gear but it does little to hone your bowhunting skills. If you really want to raise the bar you should consider incorporating the 3D range into your overall shooting program. There are two elements vital to bowhunting success that are synonymous with 3D shooting; range estimation and shooting while under pressure. A few summer months spent shooting/competing with friends or total strangers will really fine-tune your shooting skills and your nerves and that translates to “deadly” in the field.
Fish With It
If you’re looking for a summer-time fix and don’t have a hunt booked anytime soon, chances are you can find a worthy target lurking somewhere beneath the surface of your favorite lake or river. Bowfishing is becoming increasingly popular and the opportunities are plenty if you’re looking to come to full draw and release your arrow on something other than foam. And, while most bowhunters have a separate rig for bowfishing it isn’t totally out of sorts to use your current hunting bow. In fact, with a few accessory changes you’ll be ready to hit the water in no time.
Like I said, summer is a great time to get acquainted with new accessories and a new bow definitely qualifies as such. And even though technology makes today’s compound bow more shooter friendly than ever, it’s still a good idea to spend a little time on the range with a new killing machine. This gives you ample time to put it in as many shooting scenarios as you possibly can before taking it afield.
Currently, I am shooting the Mathews NOCAM and love it. However, before I got my hands on it my first reaction was how good could it really be? I mean, last year’s model was still in my hand and driving nails. However, this new bow is the most “consistently” accurate bow I’ve ever shot.
Nevertheless, no matter which bow brand you shoot the moral here is there may be another pony in the stable that fits your hand a little better and throws arrows downrange with just a little more accuracy. Summer is the ideal time to discover if this is the case or not.
I know a few of these points could/should be done anytime of the year, but with the calendar turning to more relaxed days it is the perfect chance for hardcore bowhunters to improve their killer instinct and get to know their bow rig a little better. The end result will be more confidence when that buck you’ve spent the entire off-season dreaming about finally makes an appearance. When that happens, the last thing you will be thinking about will be your bow….