Every year it seems that the cost of bows goes up, which makes proper maintenance of the equipment you already have even more important. A proper maintenance regimen can keep your bow in tip top shape for decades, so the bow can become a piece that you pass along to your children or grandchildren. Use these simple tips for bow maintenance each time you use your bow and you can extend its life.
Invest in a Bow Stringer
Twisted limbs are a common and devastating problem that can be avoided when you follow the right tips for bow maintenance. If you try to string the bow yourself, you’re likely to cause slight twisting each time. Over the course of several stringings, the limbs become so twisted that the bow is unusable.
Allow for Flexibility
When putting your bow together for a hunting trip or some time at the range, resist the urge to over-tighten the connecting bolts on the limb. You need it to fit tighter than you can get with just your fingers, but you don’t need to screw the bolts in so tight that you have trouble removing them. A little bit of flexibility in the bolts protects your limbs from damage when you string the bow.
Wax your String
A bow string should be replaced at least once a year, but to keep the string in optimal firing shape, you need to wax it. Start by cleaning the string so the wax can take hold. Use a string wax on the string, and rub it in so it feels like you’re forcing the wax into the string itself. If you notice a broken strand or fraying of the string, replace immediately.
Apply Axle Lube
One of the most overlooked tips for bow maintenance is lubrication. Every 5-6 months you may need to apply lubrication to the axles on your bow. This will keep the draw mechanisms operating as designed and protect the string from some damage. Don’t use a spray lubricant, like WD-40, because they produce moisture droplets that attract dirt. The best lubricants are silicone based.
Store the Bow Safely
It’s important to get in the habit of storing your bow in a case at all times when you aren’t shooting. This will protect the bow from most incidental damage, and reduce the chance of accidents around the house. The case should be large enough to handle not just your bow, but all of your accessories as well. You don’t want to spend precious shooting time looking for the right accessories instead of hunting your prey.
As an additional precaution, make sure your bow is out of direct sunlight or heat when it’s in storage. The limbs of your bow are finely tuned and calibrated. Heat from the sun can cause the limbs to become warped, pulling them out of true alignment and ruining your bow.
Taking the time to care for your bow between shooting sessions will extend the life of your equipment, and reduce the amount of money you have to spend. Bow maintenance doesn’t take long, but the impact is enormous.