TUNE UP FOR BOWHUNTING   Leave a comment


Summer is tune up time for the serious bowhunter.  Before firing the first arrow of the season, check your bow.  Check the installation and condition of all accessories, such as cable guards, sights, stabilizers, strings, nocks, and string silencers.  Replace any worn or damaged parts.

The local archery pro‑shop can checked it out.  Once it passes the safety test, it is time to begin tuning.

With traditional bows and recurves, begin the tuning process by stringing the bow and checking the fistmele height.  The instruction booklet that comes with the bow will give the fistmele height that is right for that bow.

Next check the tiller.  That is the space between the limb and string at equal distances from each end of the bow.  Twisting the string makes the space from the limb to the string greater or less.

To establish the proper nocking point, place a bow square on the string with the longer section resting on the arrow rest.  The nock should be located about 3/8-inch above perpendicular.  It can be moved later, while paper tuning, to adjust arrow flight.  Mount the arrow nock below the nocking point.

Wax the string with bees wax or a candle.  It reduces the natural fraying of the bowstring.

Check your arrows to make sure they are properly spined for the bow.  One can check arrow spine (stiffness) on arrow spine charts printed in most of the books on the sport as well as catalogues for arrow manufacturers.  Make sure that the arrow length is correct for your draw length.  The same literature will explain how to measure for draw length.

Nock an arrow and let it sit on the arrow rest.  If the arrow rest is adjustable, move it so that the string bisects the arrow as one sights from behind the string.

In tuning the bow by shooting a bare shaft, one can adjust the rest and nocking point until it creates a hole slightly larger than the shaft.  More about tuning is following later.

With the more sophisticated compound bow, you also begin tuning by taking the bow to an archery pro shop to be checked out.  Once you get it back, begin with a center shot adjustment that the company recommends.  The instruction booklet explains this for you.

To fine-tune a bow use slight changes in the center shot and nock elevation.  Begin with nock height of 3/8 inch above perpendicular.  You want to be able to shoot the tightest group possible.

Paper tuning is a good method to determine problems with bows.  To paper test, place a sheet of paper in a frame and place the frame vertically in front of a backstop.  Stand about four feet away and shoot two or three arrows through different areas of the paper.

Shoot through paper until the point and nock end of the arrow pass through the same hole or the nock end is going a little high and left for the right hand shooter.  If the shaft does not work as described when at center shot, it is best to try another size shaft.

Next mark a vertical line on a target face.  Shoot at the line with five arrows.  The idea is to make the five arrows line up vertically in a line.  Move the arrow rest in and out until the arrows line up.

With a horizontal line on the target, move the nocking point up and down the string until the arrows line up best on that line.  Do this first at 20 yards and then at forty.

Keep practicing and adjusting until the group of arrows is on both lines consistently.

Record all measurements and keep for reference.  Nocking points move due to string stretch.  String stretch can happen from a variety of factors, especially warm temperatures.

Compound shooters like to use fast flight strings.  They are more durable than other strings, but they do stretch.  String stretch can speed up a bow.

The point weight of an arrow is another factor to consider in tuning.  Heavier points guide arrows more than lighter ones.  Wind and weather affects the arrow flight of the lighter arrow.

Heavier points produce a higher percent of front of center balance.  This can produce better groupings under a greater variety of conditions.

Archers add stabilizers to bows to reduce the twisting of a bow when shooting.  The twist is a natural phenomenon called torque.  A little weight added to the end of a long stabilizer has the same effect as a lot of weight close to the bow.  It slows bow movement, making aiming easier.

On the face of the bow is the cable guard.  It is adjustable toward and away from the cables.  The cable guard should be as close to the arrow as possible.  It should be off set as little as possible.  More off set pulls the cams at an angle.  The closer they are lined up to straight up and down the cables the more accurate the bow.

On the subject of cams, consider timing.  Timing is having the cams, or wheels, both in sync.  When the timing is off, the bow will move up and down effecting arrow flight.

When shooting, if the fletching hits on cables, sight or bow, it will affect arrow flight.  Cable guards hold the cables so that they just barely clear the fletching.  One can test to see if the fletching clears.

Place baby powder in a plastic bag.  Dip the arrow fletching into the powder prior to shooting.  The powder will stick anywhere it touches the bow.

Proper tuning of the bow and arrow will yield significant changes in performance in the field.  Whether one is a competition shooter or a hunter, the bow and arrows need to be in tune in order to be reliable in the field.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: