19 Tips To Care For Your Compound Bow

What should you do now that bow hunting season’s over? Before you trade your bow for a fishing rod it’s time to trouble shoot your bow. You can consider dropping your bow off for an annual checkup at your local gun store. Off season service is normally fast and inexpensive, plus you get to skip the scramble just before deer season.

Not everybody needs to get their compound bow inspected by a professional. There are a ton of easy inspections that you can do yourself. Don’t stow your bow for the offseason without doing these easy maintenance tasks.

Always Store Your Bow in A Case

Before we get into all these maintenance tips I want to stress how important it is to use a bow case. Without a case you’re just asking for trouble throughout the offseason. Not only will your bow get covered in dirt and debris, your strings are bound to get damaged.

I’ve used so many different cases throughout my life. Personally I’m not a huge fan of plastic bow cases. They’re great for storage, but a pain in the ass when traveling. Instead I’ve been using this Allen Compound Bow Case with all of my bows.

Compound Bow Maintenance Tips You Can Do At Home

Follow these quick and easy tips before tucking your bow back into its hard case for the long off season.

1. Check Your Cams

Look for any foreign debris that could have become lodged in your cams. Clean out any mud, hay or grass that’s jammed up in your cams. This is the perfect time to check the timing of your cams. Check out the video below to learn how to time your cams.

2. Check your Peep Sights

Peep sights have a tendency to drift throughout the hunting season. Draw your bow and make sure your peep sights are aligned.

3. Inspect Your Sights

Check to make sure your fiber optic sights aren’t damaged. If you have a battery-operated sight light replace the battery and make sure everything is turned off.

4. Clean Limb Pockets

Limb pockets are heavily lubricated so they tend to attract a lot of dust and debris. Make sure you clean out all of the debris before putting everything back in storage.

5. Check Bow Strings/Cables for Damage

Check all your strings and cables for damage. Make sure you look for fraying and other damage. Check out my other post on how to check your bowstrings for damage. Most manufacturers recommend replacing your strings every other season or every 2500 shots.

6. Rewax Bow Strings

Regularly apply bow wax evenly across your bows strings and synthetic cables. Personally I like to use Allen Bowstring Wax, but all waxes are basically the same. Your wax should feel somewhat soft to the touch if it feels hard it’s time to buy new wax.

7. Pluck Your String

Plucking your string will allow you to hear any loose nuts, bolts and screws. Make sure you tighten them all up without stripping the screws.

8. Remove Broadheads From Arrows

Store your prickly broadheads away from your bow. Broadheads have sharp edges and they always seem to find my strings and cables. Check your release several times to make sure everything is working properly.

9. Inspect Limbs

Keep an eye out for chips, splinters and cracks. Inspect carefully and run your fingers over the limbs checking for hairline cracks.

10. Check Your Arrows

Flex each shaft of your arrows checking for damage. If you find defects remove them from your quiver. Slight problems will cause extreme accuracy issues. Check the vanes and nocks for damage and make sure everything is aligned correctly.

Other Maintenance Tips To Protect Your Bow

  1. Listen to Your Bow: Inspect your bow throughout the hunting season checking for wear and damage. Listen to your bow and stop shooting if you hear anything strange. Strange noises and unusual vibrations could be a sign of cracked limbs.
  2. Know When to Change Your Strings: Very few hunters follow the recommended replacement schedule of their strings. Most hunters should replace their strings every other hunting season. Replace the strings every 2500 shots or after they start to fray. Extended time in storage in sunlight can speed up damage to your strings.
  3. Don’t Overdraw The Bow: Never draw your bow back past its recommended draw length. Overtime the added stress will cause additional damage to your cables.
  4. Store Your Bow in a Case: Whenever you put your bow in storage or transport it anywhere you need to put it in a case. Personally I use this Soft Allen Bow Case. I used a hard case for years, but the soft case is so much easier to transport.
  5. Regularly Apply Wax: Very few hunters apply bow wax as much as they should. Bow Wax is cheap (this is what I use) and it takes less than a minute to apply. You should wax your strings every time you take out your bow.
  6. Bring it To a Professional: To perform such a simple task compound bows are surprisingly complicated. You would have to inspect 1000’s of bows to see everything that could possibly go wrong. Make sure you bring your bow into a pro shop every couple years. Every season seems a bit overkill, but that’s what the manufacturers recommend. The pros will inspect your limbs, axles, spacers, strings, cables, limbs, risers etc. and lube everything up. They’ll check your timing and get your accuracy dialed in.
  7. Practice With Broadheads: There are so many hunters that never actually practice with their broadheads. They go out into the field to hunt without ever actually using broadheads. Broadheads tend to react differently at high speed which could cause problems come hunting season. Some brands just don’t work well with every bow. Test your groupings before going out so you don’t have any surprises.
  8. Keep Everything Well Lubricated: Keep everything lubricated with a high quality oil. Go out and buy oil that’s designed specifically for a bow(My Favorite Bow Lube other guys like Tri-Flow). Skip the WD-40 and Ballistol that tends to break down strings. Lube up anything that has metal to metal contact. Some cams need to be oiled and others don’t, make sure to read your manual.

Heat and Sunlight Damages Bows

Always remember to keep your compound bow and crossbow away from any heat source. Excessive heat is known to severely damage a bow. Even keeping it locked up in a hot car could cause limb failure. All it takes is 100 degrees to start breaking down and stretching bow strings.

Excessive sunlight is another major cause of bow string failure. I used to keep my bow hanging near a window in my garage. Not only did the sun cause my limbs to fade, the strings became weak and brittle in a matter of months. All of that could have been avoided had I just stored my bow inside a soft case.

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