ZEKE WILSON: Archery season in sight, so time to get out the bow
August 13, 2013 10:35 AM

The other day I finally decided to dig out the bow and arrow for some archery action.

Despite still having plenty of carbon arrows from last season, it appears my mechanical release has disappeared. Luckily, my father had picked up another at a yard sale, and though it is not an exact match, it soon proved to be good enough.

While my string still looked good and waxed after being stored, my shooting partners showed signs of being dry. Each season before my bow is stowed away in its case I always make sure to wax the string, and I have never needed to replace one. Once a string dries out, it is almost impossible to bring it back, and in no time it will begin to fray.

Archery has become very popular in recent years with the advancement in compounds and the legalization of crossbows. Most box stores now sell ready-to-hunt packages that when set up properly can produce an excellent hunting setup.

While the prices for these lower-end introductory bows are often affordable, purchasing a bow from a big store an hour away can create problems. Much like the local hardware store or feed mill, local archery shops are always around the bend should a problem arise. Instead of dealing with an employee at an outdoor franchise, oftentimes the person working on your bow at the local archery shop is also the owner.

The convenience and knowledge of these hometown shops is often worth spending the extra money on a bow. While most shops will work on any bow regardless of manufacture, it always helps expedite service and limit labor costs when the bow was purchased at the local shop. Every bow that I have bought new has come from Indiana County, and I fail to see the reason to spend $50 in gas to save $60.

As mentioned earlier, archery shops will work on almost any kind of bow because that is their business after all. However, keep in mind that shop owners are not going to be thrilled to see a bow from Cabela’s or Gander Mountain when they have dozens displayed at the shop where you are now seeking assistance.

The service and expertise at the local shops allows the archer to evolve in a way that the box stores simply cannot match. New archers especially will need guidance in subjects that only come to light once one he or she begins to shoot a bow.

Regardless of where your bow came from, having a dependable person to work on it is essential because with all the technology in today’s bows, things can get out of whack. I can remember a few years back showing up at Bill’s Archery with a bow that had broadheads hitting a foot away from where the target field points had hit all summer long. This just so happened to be two days before archery season, but in no time at all my problem was solved. Had I taken the bow to the archery department of one of the larger sporting goods stores, I doubt I would have been sitting in my treestand for the first day.

Over the years I have had a number of malfunctions with my bow during the season, with anything from a lost peep sight to a broken sight pin quickly putting a stop to my hunting season until it could be fixed.

As more archers begin to dust off their bows, the opportunity to attend a 3D archery shoot intensifies. A host of sportsmen’s clubs and organizations hold such events, typically on the weekend, and allow for a change-up from practicing in the backyard or indoor range.

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