How To Keep Your Bow

Irrespective of whether they are used for hunting or archery, proper maintenance of bows and arrows is crucial. In addition to ensuring that they shoot correctly, this maintenance will prolong the equipments’ lifespan. Most beginner archers and hunters do not know how take care of their equipment properly. This is something serious that can affect their performance in their respective fields. Below are some tips on how to maintain bows and arrows.

Whether someone has just began shooting or has been doing it for decades, he or she will want to take excellent care of his or her equipment. This involves making a habit of checking one’s arrows and bows before commencing shooting. Notably, one should check the limbs for cracks and nicks, and also that the bow has been strung correctly. The bow’s metal parts should be checked for corrosion or rust for those who shoot in rainy or humid places.

Some makers of bows advice that a light synthetic wax should be applied to a bowstring after every few months. In addition, the shooter should check the string for signs of broken or loose strands of fraying. For those who use compound bows, they should carry out routine checks on their cables and bow strings. This can be done by running fingers over the surface of a bow’s limbs while looking carefully for twisted limbs or bulges and cracks in the limb surface. Cracks are also likely to develop in some risers, although very rarely.

A bow that requires some repair or whose parts need to be replaced can break if the owner continues to use it. A notable problem involves damaged limbs or risers. Should this be the case, it is advisable to stop shooting and then unstring the bow carefully if it is a longbow or recurve. Then, one should contact the bow manufacturer or local dealer to seek advice.

Generally, it is the arrows that undergo the most wear and tear of all hunting and archery equipment. This underlines the importance of inspecting them each and every time one plans to shoot them. The archer should check the points to ensure they are not coming unscrewed or unglued. He or she should also check the fletching to ensure they are fully attached, while also replacing any nocks that are observed to have cracks.

For those who shoot wooden or aluminum arrow shafts, checking for straightness regularly is recommended. This can be done by laying them on a flat surface in a way that the fletching is off the edge. By simply rolling them back and forth, any bent arrow will immediately become obvious. In the case of wooden arrows, watching out for cracks is paramount. Such cracks can results in the arrow breaking dangerously in the midst of a shot.

When using carbon arrows, it is important to ensure that their shafts are not splintered in any way. This can be done by flexing the arrow and then listening if any cracking sounds will be heard. Should any crack be found, the shooter should take caution not to touch the splinters. This is because carbon splinters present more dangers when compared to wooden splinters.

Tips To Make Crossbow

Have you considered making a homemade crossbow? If you want one that will really hunt, it is probably best to leave it to the professionals, unless, that is of course, you are extremely handy, have access to a well equipped machine shop, and a good supplier of the necessary quality materials.

If you hope to build something you can knock down a few targets with in the back yard, or get that opossum to play dead for real, you might be able to put something together. Here are some simple tips.

The key ingredients you will need for a homemade crossbow are going to be a quality stock, jig cut from quality wood. Fashion it to your liking, with or without a grip. Stain it with a good stain and sealer combination product, and allow it to dry for 48 hours.

Next, design a simple trigger mechanism out of steel stock, though at a pinch, a 16 lb nail might serve you admirably. Drill out the stock, bottom to top and run the trigger up through the stock. If possible, use your ingenuity to determine how to lock the trigger once the string has been drawn.

Now, find a durable piece of flexible aluminum. Search your garage or the local home improvement store for stock that will work for the recurve limb. Cut it to length, and sand down the edges to make it smooth. Drill two holes in the center, and secure the limb to the stock with screws at least 3.25 inches long. Coated deck screws will work just as well. Out of heavy gauge steel wire, form a rail, and attach that from underneath, extending out beyond the limb.

Finally, drill holes at the end of each limb, cut your string to length, and tie it onto the limb as tight as possible.

Add any other features to your homemade crossbow to increase accuracy, select some practice arrows and head to the back yard, or somewhere else far enough away where you will not be a menace to anything, or anybody, like the neighbors and their pets. You should probably wear eye protection (and full body armor if you have it!).

There you have it. Now, set up a target at 10 yards and give it a try! And, if you were hoping to build a compound crossbow, well, that is just a bit more complicated!

Step By Step Playing Archery

If running through the woods with a bow in your hands and a quiver of arrows on your back sounds like fun, archery may be the sport for you. As invigorating and challenging as this hobby can be, it also involves some risks. Follow these rules and safety guidelines to prevent injuries.

Basic Checklist

Before using a bow, the archer must review a basic checklist to ensure that equipment is ready and safe to shoot.

1. Inspect all equipment to ensure it is in working order prior to shooting. Look for signs of fraying on the string or abnormalities in the wooden sections. Check fletches on the arrows to ensure they are tightly attached. Then check the screw-in points and tighten if necessary. Replace plastic nocks if you find cracks. Never use equipment that shows signs of wear.

2. Remove any loose clothing or jewelry, such as a watch or bracelet that might interfere with the bow.

3. Visually inspect the range to ensure it is clear of people and animals.

Shooting Guidelines

Follow all posted rules and regulations of the venue.

1. Never point a bow at another person, even when not drawing. This rule is fundamental and considered a basic etiquette.

2. Never fire skyward, as it is impossible to predict where it will go.

3. Never draw when people are positioned between you and the target.

4. Check immediately behind you before drawing to ensure no one is standing too close.

5. Point the bow towards the ground when nocking.

6. Never dry-fire a bow. Dry-firing involves pulling and releasing the string without seating an arrow. Dry-firing can result in injury to the archer and damage to equipment.

Shooting and Retrieving

At an archery range, a group of people may be firing at the same time towards a target. In this situation, everyone should shoot roughly at the same time and in the same direction. After completing the shots, wait until everyone finishes before retrieving arrows.

1. Walk slowly towards the target.

2. Do not remove someone else’s arrow without asking permission.

3. Check the field to ensure no one is getting ready to fire when retrieving your arrow.

4. Pull arrows straight out to avoid damaging them.

5. Inspect the ground if some arrows missed the target. Tread carefully to avoid stepping and damaging them. To avoid potential accidents let others know you must move behind the target to search for missing arrows.

Last Minute Precautions

Keep a first aid kit on site at all times when participating in archery shoots. Have a cell phone to call for help if an emergency occurs. Don’t forget to follow the venue’s posted rules. It doesn’t matter if you are a novice or experienced, follow these guidelines for safety and etiquette.

How To Get Your Target On Archery

However, because there are no scientific studies of this debilitating condition, most of what we think we know is based upon personal experience and supposition. But, as a bow hunter, it is important that you understand that such a condition does exist and that, even if you don’t presently experience any of the symptoms, there are steps that can be taken to alleviate your syndrome if it does suddenly develop.

So, what is target panic and how do you get past it? Well, there again, because there are no definitive scientific studies on the subject, there is no clear definition of exactly what target panic is nor what causes it but, some of the generally recognized symptoms are: the inability to place the sight pin in the center of the target, freezing above or below the target (usually below), the inability to release the arrow at the target, jerking the trigger instead of squeezing it or achieving a surprise release and, last but not least, “drive by shooting” in which the archer jerks the trigger on his release aid as the sight pin drifts past the intended target.

However, even though we do not know the definitive cause of target panic, the general consensus among archers is that it is caused by anxiety concerning some aspect of the shot process and thus, while not clinically proven to work, the following steps are loosely based upon the process of systematic desensitization:

1. Learn to shoot with a hinge-style release aid – it is believed that anticipation of the shot is one of the major causes of target panic. Thus, hinge-style release aids (aka “back tension release”) are specifically designed to cause the release to be a surprise to the archer. However, when first learning to use this type of release, you should use a loop of cord held in your bow hand rather than your bow.

2. Shoot your bow with your eyes closed – although we often strive to do so, no one can hold a bow perfectly steady at full draw. Therefore, the second step to eliminating shot anxiety is to shoot with your eyes closed. Thus, start by obtaining a large target and significantly reducing the draw weight of your bow. Then, position yourself a short distance from the target (3 to 5 ft.), nock an arrow, draw your bow, and aim while focusing on the sight pin. Then, close both eyes, relax, and release the string while concentrating on the feel of the shot. Repeat until you are comfortable.

3. Shoot a bare bow – because the sight pin often serves as a distraction, the next step is to remove the sights and concentrate entirely on the feel of the shot instead. Thus, remain close to the target and focus on how the bow feels in your hand and how it feels as you draw and release the string with your eyes open. Also, imagine that you are following the arrow on its flight to the target.

4. Shoot with sight and a target – next, you need to introduce both a sight and a target. But, you do not want to actually aim just yet! Instead, place a brand new target face on your target, replace the sights on your bow, and adjust them way up so that your arrow will not strike the center of the target. Then, stand close to the target (3 to 5 ft.), draw your bow, place the sight pin in the center of the ten ring, and fire one arrow repeatedly. But, instead of concentrating on the sight pin and holding the bow steady, let the bow drift and instead concentrate on the feel of the shot as you release the arrow as described in the previous step.

5. Move back to the 5 yard point and aim – for this step, you will need to move back to five yards, face your target, nock an arrow, draw your bow, and aim at the center of the target. But, DO NOT SHOOT! Instead, simply aim at the target for 15 seconds while concentrating on keeping the pin in the center of the ten ring and then relax your draw for 30 seconds. Then, perform this step repeatedly.

6. Shoot at 5 yards – for this step, you will need to stand approximately five yards from the target, nock an arrow, draw your bow, and aim at the center of the target as in the previous step but, in this step you will actually fire the arrow at the target. However, because your sights have been adjusted way up, your arrows will strike the target well below your point of aim which will enable you to concentrate on the feel of the shot instead of shooting tight groups. Then, repeat this process at ten, fifteen, and twenty yards until you are comfortable.

7. Shoot for score – in this step, you will employ everything that you have learned in each of the previous steps but, in this step, you will actually be attempting to achieve tight groups. Thus, move back up to five yards and readjust your sights so that your arrow hits the center of the target when you aim at it. Then, face the target, nock an arrow, draw your bow, and aim while attempting to keep the sight pin in the center of the ten ring. However, your main focus should be on the feel of the shot, including correct shooting form, as you release the arrow; not the sight pin as you might expect.

8. Transition back to your original release aid and draw weight – once you become comfortable with the previous seven steps, you are then ready to transition back to your original draw weight and release aid. Thus, start by keeping your draw weight low and positioning yourself at five yards from the target. Then, draw your bow using your original release aid and aim at the center of the ten ring but, rather than concentrating on the sight pin, instead concentrate on the feel of the shot as you trip the trigger. Then, once you are comfortable with your original release aid, return your bow to its original draw weight while continuing to relax and concentrate on the feel of the shot as you release the arrow with the exact position of the sight pin being of secondary concern.

So, if you are one of the many archers who either have in the past or, is presently, struggling with target panic, then fear not because, rather than being forced to give up your favorite sport, instead all you need is a little mental retraining! Thus, although not clinically proven, the eight steps mentioned above will certainly help to desensitize and distance you from your anxiety concerning the shot process. That way, you can instead relax and concentrate on the feel of the shot with such considerations as choosing the correct point of aim and the right moment to release the string being secondary, although still important, concerns. Just not your entire focus!