Off-season bow tune-ups

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

By the time winter gets a good hold and the deer seasons have all closed, most bow hunters are ready for a break. After all, especially in the South, the liberal and sometimes long archery seasons can wear even the most hard-core bow hunter down.

When the time comes to “hang it up” for the year there are a few things it would pay to remember. First, archery is a skill, a skill that can degrade over time if not used. Try not to be a “bow shooter” and put your bow up until next season. Strive to be a “bow hunter” and take yourself a much-deserved break, then get right back at it.

A proficient bow hunter has honed their shooting abilities to the point that they can do much more than hit the proverbial “pie plate.” (I am still looking for those deer that run around with white pie plates stuck over the vitals....) Check your equipment out from A thru Z before taking a break. On your bow look over the following.

1. Are the cables or bowstring frayed or in need of repair?

2. Is your peep sight still securely tied in?

3. Are your cams and idler wheels still square in the limbs?

4. Check the limbs closely for cracks or splits.

5. Are your arrow fletching’s in good shape or do they need to be replaced?

6. Finally, wax your sting prior to putting the bow up.

Once you have taken a month or two off it’s time to take your archery to the next level. It is shocking how fast your muscles can become out of shape when you’re not shooting your bow on a regular basis. That said; try to shoot monthly to keep yourself in top form. If you take some time off and find your bow uncomfortable to draw, lower the draw weight a few pounds and let your body re-condition itself.

Once spring rolls around and the weather is a little more in your favor, try shooting a little 3D. 3D shooting is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for hunting. It helps your yardage estimation more than you can ever believe. If shooting a 3D course with other shooters is not your cup of tea you can just as easily set up your own course. Insure when setting your course up that you tailor it to suit your specific needs. If you’re a tree stand hunter set up some tree stand stations so you can practice shooting from an elevated position. Remember though if you decide to climb to shoot, always wear a fall restraint device.

Since it’s the off season you have no pressure so enjoy yourself. Remember practice does not make perfect, “Perfect practice make perfect”.

Troy Basso is an outdoor writer and fishing guide from Chapel Hill, Tenn. He can be reached at or through his blog at