This is the first in a 4 part series from our friend Greg Stopher. Greg’s an ex Rocky Mountain fishing and hunting guide who currently resides in Juneau, Alaska.
It’s never too early to start preparing for the upcoming archery season. All hunters should train for their upcoming season by working out, making hunting preparation, loading their own shells, and finally going out the range before season opens and sighting in the old rifle. In addition, bow hunters need to prep for the upcoming season a little differently. When I was younger and in shape playing football, running track, and baseball I really didn’t need to train for a hunting season. My brothers, father, and I would get our bow out throughout the summer and shoot consistently once or twice a week. As I have aged and like many of us got into a comfortable routine at work, we need to find time to actually train for the hunting season. Here are a few tips to get ready for archery season.
The bows of today are highly tuned pieces of machinery that can be very complicated to work on, as well as older bows who need their maintenance. Finding a manual for your bow or a good reliable bow tuner can be a work in itself. When I lived in Colorado I had a bow shop where I bought my bow; this guy really knew his stuff. All I had to do was stop by with my bow and “voila,” tuned and ready to shoot. This bow shop owner also helped me with my shooting technique and helped me become a better shooter. This was especially helpful when I moved from my older, more forgiving bow to a new fast-shooting, lightweight, highly tuned bow of today. With a good local bow shop I could get my bow tuned, get shooting technique advice, and as always; talk about hunting. There was not much of a need for me to have a lot of bow tuning equipment with a good local bow shop around. All I needed was some allen wrenches for sights, and string wax. The allen wrenches and wax are also good to carry in your hunting pack as well.
Now I reside in Alaska and have not yet found a reliable bow shop or bow tuner. There are probably some good ones, most likely not advertised and run out of their garage, but I haven’t found them yet. I shot at the outdoor range throughout the year and still I don’t run into anyone. In this case, I have had to do a lot of bow tuning myself. This actually works out well for me now, tuning my own bow that is. I normally hunt miles, if not hundreds of miles, from any type of civilization which is often hard to find a bow shop away from home in the wilderness. I also get to learn everything about my bow. I bought a cable bow press that works great and I can do most things to my bow with just a few tools. I also carry an extra sting, allen wrenches, and wax with on extended hunts in case anything should happen. I can find my bow manual online and from there I can tune the bow without much help from anyone. Most tuning involves string maintenance, sights, knocks, or the cables on a bow. So, know your bow either through a pro shop professional or just by learning it yourself to keep it tuned up and shooting properly.