Bow season is upon us and although we may dream of Pope & Young bucks, there are a few things to do before you hit the trails and the tree stands.
First, did you tune up your bow? If you are anything like me, after bow hunting season, I put up my bow until it’s time to hunt again. Anything can happen while a bow is being stored especially if there are changes of temperature/humidity in your storage area.
Before you use your bow this season, look at every string, pulley, screw, and area of the bow for any issues. The pulleys and other parts of a compound bow must be oiled on a regular basis to ensure that they work without creaking or snagging. Also, the strings need to be waxed occasionally to ensure that they keep their strength and don't snap/stretch prematurely.
There are also various bolts and screws on a compound bow that can loosen after use. Make sure to tighten these. Of course, if there is any question about your bow or how it looks after storage, make sure to take it to a professional for a tune-up just like you would for your vehicle.
Next, dial it in. Not only is this necessary to set your pins to shoot a tight group, but it is also a good idea to get in as much practice as possible. Practice from every position, practice speed drawing and sighting, and don’t forget to practice at various length and heights. You aren’t always going to shoot a deer from a fifteen foot treestand at 20 yards.
Also, don’t forget to check the new regs for your area before you go. Things can change from year to year and your favorite area may now be off limits. It pays to check.
Finally, check the rest of your equipment. Is your release working? Are your treestands and ladders in good condition and all straps free of rips and tears? Most importantly, is your vehicle also ready? This may seem trivial, but one year I was scouting before the season on a friend’s lease out in the remote farmland of southeast Kansas. Just as it got too dark to glass, I returned to the truck with my wife, and we had a flat tire. To make matters worse, when I went to change it, the jack was missing.
My wife and I hiked out to find a farmhouse so we could ‘phone a friend’ because remote also meant out of cell phone range. Unfortunately, there had been a recent rash of break-ins and thefts from a local meth ring. So instead of answering the door when we knocked, the closest farmhouse (over a mile away) called the cops. Luckily, to determine we weren’t trespassing, the cops phoned the friend with the lease who came to our rescue with a jack and an explanation.
Just remember, it’s always better to be prepared before you go, so you can avert disaster later and have a better chance to get your trophy.