Many bowhunters service their equipment by waxing their bowstring, fletching their arrows, and adjusting their sights and draw weight. However, you must know your limitations. Some tasks should be left to professionals at an archery shop, including the five tasks that follow.
1. Replace a Cable or Bowstring
Cables and bowstrings can fray, break, stretch and dry out. If you see signs of wear, it’s time to change your bow’s strings and cables. You should replace your bowstrings every two to three years to ensure the bow’s peak performance. These tasks require a bow press (a $500 item most archers lack), and expertise on bow assembly and string placement.
Although these tasks can sound confusing, they’re common jobs for bow technicians, who can help you pick a quality bowstring and replace the old one in about an hour. When they finish, they’ll check your bow’s cams to ensure they’re aligned and synced for accuracy. You can also ask them to tie in your D-loop, peep sight and kisser button while you’re there. Once they finish, you’ll enjoy your bow for several more years.
2. Tune or Adjust the Setup
A well-tuned bow boosts accuracy and performance. Paper tuning, broadhead tuning and bare-shaft tuning require pro-shop equipment such as a bow press, draw board, arrow saw and mechanical shooting device. You’re probably thinking, “Um, come again?” That’s exactly the point. Most tuning methods require knowledge and sophisticated equipment. That’s why it’s best to leave those tasks to pros who can efficiently adjust and adapt your equipment to help you reach your goals and consistently hit your mark. If you still have trouble hitting bull’s-eyes, maybe it’s not the equipment’s fault. Consider taking a class or lessons to learn proper shooting form and techniques.
3. Size and Cut Arrows
If you shoot arrow after arrow after arrow, they’ll take a beating. When a fletch or plastic vane falls off, many archers refletch their own arrows. However, if your arrow shafts are cracked, frayed or split, you must buy new ones. Choosing arrows is tricky because you have hundreds of options, and the arrow’s spine, weight and length must match your bow. If you’re not sure what to get, visit an archery shop and have a pro measure your draw length and help you select the right arrow. They’ll also cut the arrows to the proper length, install inserts and help you pick broadheads or field tips that match your setup.
4. Add Accessories
The archery industry continually produces innovative gear that’s more durable, accurate and user-friendly. To update or replace your sight, stabilizer, arrow rest or other bow accessory, ask a professional to install the item(s). They’ll install it properly and ensure it’s functioning correctly. Some accessories also require the bow to be retuned, which a professional can do on the spot.
5. Trouble-Shoot Issues
Routine practice can cause accessories to vibrate loose or get knocked out of alignment. Do you hear any odd noises while shooting? Chances are there’s a loose screw somewhere. Do your shots constantly shift? Perhaps your peep sight moves with each shot. Equipment issues can cause frustration and potential injuries. If something doesn’t seem right, ask an expert to trouble-shoot the problem.
Even if you don’t have a specific reason to visit a bow technician, make at least an annual appointment. Yearly checkups allow professionals to inspect your equipment to ensure everything is working properly. Find a shop near you!