I’m sure you have been in the situation: you come to full draw and shoot an arrow at a deer. You watch in disbelief as the buck or doe jumps the string and disappears into the woods. There was probably a time when you didn’t even get your bow to full draw because the deer you were aiming at heard the familiar noise of an arrow sliding across your arrow rest. The good news: these problems can be solved!
Regardless if you have a bow that is fresh out of the box or one that is five years old, if you haven’t added noise and vibration dampening devices to your bow; you could eventually encounter one of these scenarios. Eliminating vibration causes your bow to shoot smoother, helping you shoot better. Nobody likes bows that have a lot of hand shock because it feels like you are getting bit by a dog after each shot. A quiet, shock-free bow is a better-shooting, more accurate bow.
Most bows on the market come with a few vibration dampening devices on them. Over time, all bows begin to make noise and vibrate a little. Eliminating most of the noise and the majority of the vibration from any bow is fairly straightforward. It simply requires a little time. Below are some quick and easy steps you can take to eliminate bow noise and vibration.
ELIMINATING LIMB VIBRATION
The quickest and easiest method to reduce vibration in bow limbs is adding small limbsavers to your bow limbs. These small rubber devices help eliminate vibration and noise. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can be applied to limbs, sights, quivers, and other bow accessories that clang and vibrate during a shot. Limbsavers are great because they can be applied to any bow quickly and easily. Remember to make sure the area you are applying them to is clean before you stick them on. This will only take a few seconds. There are other rubber dampening devices in addition to Limbsaver on the market that perform similarly.
NOISY BOW STRINGS
A bow string produces large amounts of noise and vibration during (and after) each shot. By having a bow shop apply string leeches or cat whiskers to your bow string, you can eliminate this problem. They are fairly inexpensive and can make a world of difference. String leeches and other devices that are attached to bow strings can reduce the overall speed of arrows. Although you may lose a foot per second by adding string leeches to your bow string, the amount of noise they eliminate is worth the trade off.
Many bows today come with some type of string suppression system that eliminates string noise and vibration. If your bow doesn’t come with such a device another option is to purchase an aftermarket device that stops the forward motion of the string. By stopping the forward motion of the string these aftermarket devices kill noise and vibration just like the similar devices that come stock on some of today’s most popular bows.
One of the more popular string suppresion systems on the market is called the String Tamer from Norway Industries. Available in several different models to fit a wide variety of bows, these string suppressors make a world of different in both shot noise and vibration.
Recently dozens of bow stabilizers have been introduced to the market. A stabilizer that is screwed into the front of your bow kills two birds with one stone. A stabilizer stabilizes your bow as you shoot, which is what it was designed to do in the first place. Most stabilizers come with rubber built into the body of the stabilizer. The rubber acts as a vibration dampening device that helps eliminate vibration in the riser of the bow. Choosing the right stabilizer can be a difficult decision because there are so many to choose from. Most hunters use a small stabilizer. I prefer a larger stabilizer. Most tournament archers use a long, heavy stabilizer because the heavier the stabilizer, the steadier the bow is when shooting. If you are in the market, take a look at some of the larger stabilizers that are eight inches and longer. They will help you become a more accurate shooter and help eliminate vibration.
No one likes hand shock, but some archers like speed. The extremely fast bows typically have a little hand shock. If your bow falls into this category, there are a few things you can do to eliminate the hand shock. Eliminate the grip that is currently on the bow. Use an aftermarket grip. Many companies make aftermarket grips that are rubberized. They work great for bowhunters who want a grip that is thin, easy to grip, and eliminates vibration. Another option is wrapping your current grip in a rubberized material designed for bows. If you have a great bow that has a little more hand shock than you prefer either method will tame even the meanest bow.
The rest and the shelf of the bow are often the most overlooked areas of the bow. However, the rest and arrow shelf are often the two areas of the bow that cause hunters to go home empty handed more than any other. The sound of the arrow clanging against the arrow shelf or rest is all it takes for you to go home with a frown on your face, whether you are hunting deer or caribou. Solving this problem is fairly simple. Two dollars worth of mole skin turns any arrow rest and shelf into a silent but deadly weapon. Mole skin can be purchased in camo colors and comes with a sticky adhesive backing that makes applying it to any bow or rest a piece of cake.
TIGHTEN UP ADD-ON ITEMS
If you enjoy tinkering with bows, it might be a good idea before the season opens to make sure every nut, bolt, and screw is tight on your bow. If you don’t enjoy working on bows, you should bring it to a bow shop and have them give it a thorough inspection. Loose bolts and screws can make even the quietest bow noisy. I have heard more than one story of an unlucky hunter who had pins on his sight fall off when he was ready to shoot at a trophy buck. Quivers, sights, rests, and a variety of other accessories attached to your bow can become loose after thousands of shots.
Paying attention to these little things can result in big dividends in the woods. Eliminating bow vibration can increase the longevity of the bow and the equipment that is attached to it.
Some hunters believe adding the little bells and whistles to a bow aren’t worth the time or the money. I think any item that can quiet my bow, help me shoot better, and increase my chances of scoring on a fidgety buck in the woods is worth every dime. The most successful hunters are often the ones who pay close attention to the little details. A couple of those details include eliminating bow noise and vibration.