Checking your bow sights as well as any other settings before hunting is wise to do.
Sometimes, it’s a bit too easy to forget to check your bow before a hunt. There’s a reason for this: unlike with your rifle, where failing to check every element in the weapon before loading and firing it could result in catastrophic consequences, a bow isn’t quite so volatile, and thus not as present in our minds when we think of the pre-hunt preparations that we must check off our list before heading out into the woods.
There’s also a misconception that bows simply don’t need as much maintenance as guns. Perhaps this belief comes from watching years of elves and Robin Hood characters on the big screen, always ready to pull out their bows and start shooting at a moment’s notice, but suffice to say that it isn’t exactly accurate.
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On the contrary, your bow needs as much attention before a hunt as your gun does, not because failing to check it will result in your untimely demise, but because an unchecked bow could easily throw your shooting completely out of whack and result in a few bucks that you should never have missed, but did.
Think about it: your compound bow is not a static machine. It was built for adjustability and customizable convenience, and just because you’ve adjusted, aligned, and customized everything to your personal taste and shooting style, that doesn’t necessarily mean the bow will solidify itself in that alignment forever.
In fact, bows can easily adjust themselves when you’re not using them. Bow scopes and arrow rests can get knocked out of whack. Shooting alignment can shift. Your bowstring can get out of sync with how you like to shoot.
Maybe your bow has been in storage for a while and you are pulling it out this morning for the first hunt in months. Maybe your bow case got shuffled around when it was sitting in the back of your car, or the case got knocked over or mishandled a bit while you or a family member was digging around in the garage or closet for some other item.
Maybe you recently traveled via airplane and your bow took a beating; between the baggage handlers, the airplane’s storage compartment, and the luggage claim, that’s certainly not an out-of-the-question scenario. Or maybe the last person to use the bow was a buddy, who accidentally changed one of your personal settings.
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Regardless of the reason, the point is that even the best compound bows won’t remain consistent and reliable without attention and care.
So please, before you nock and arrow and start taking aim at deer, check your bow. Check your arrow rest and your scope; check your cams and make sure your string is drawing the way you want it to.
Check your case to make sure that nothing weird is going on to knock your bow settings out of whack. If you have to fire a few arrows at your backyard target to get back to your personal settings, so be it: it might be a hassle, but it’s a small safeguard to take to make sure that your bow is ready to be shot accurately when the moment requires it.