Tuning your Bow

Step 1: Know your Equipment A properly tuned bow requires you to understand what needs to be adjusted and why. This means knowing your gear and how it will affect your arrow’s flight. Below I will go through each piece of equipment, detailing what you should be aware of Your Bow Before you can tune anything, you have to make sure your mainstay piece is ready to go. A few things you should think about: * Did your string stretch? * Are the cams aligned? * Is your draw length appropriate? Strings stretch over time, meaning mistimed cams, out of place peep sites, and too long of draw lengths. Adjustments can be easily made to remedy this. You can either twist your bow string back down to its original length or adjust your equipment to compensate for the change.

Step 2: Aligning Your Peep, Rest, and Nocking Point To make sure your arrow will be lined up with the center of the bow. This means making sure your nocking point and rest are properly aligned. This is often called finding the center shot. There are many ways you can do this, including measuring your bow, or using a bow square. However, using a simple laser center-shot tool will work well and save you time. Here is how to set up a laser center-shot tool: * Simply line up the laser where your site would be and center the laser on the bow string. * When the laser is centered on the bowstring you can lock it in place. * Next, you’ll want to have an arrow mounted on your rest without locking the rest in place. * Once you have an arrow and a rest in place you’ll want to turn the laser on and align it with your arrow shaft. If the laser aligns with the shaft, the rest is in its proper place. If not, adjust it so it is. * Tighten your rest and you are done! Your arrow should be at its true center shot. Next, you will want to make sure your peep site is located in a comfortable position. Too often, people find that they are lowering their heads to see through their site. This is an uncomfortable position that will affect your form and consistency. To remedy this, close your eyes and draw your bow back to your anchor position. When you open your eyes, you should be looking through your peep site comfortably. If not, adjust and try again. You’ll then want to reattach or attach a new site (if applicable). Specific site setups are beyond the scope of this article. However, when attaching any site, remember that a site closer to the riser is easier to keep on target while a site farther from the riser will be more accurate. In addition, make sure your pins are aligned with a nocked arrow and the string. If you don’t have the right equipment (such as a bow press, bow square, or laser), don’t be afraid to bring your gear to your local shop. They can help inspect your strings and make any proper adjustments.

Step 3: Paper Tune Once your equipment is properly setup, you are going to want to paper tune your gear to iron out any minor issues. Paper tuning should be used as a method of finding any minor problems. Below are a few of the basic steps to paper tuning your bow setup. * Find a piece of paper, backstop, and be ready to shoot approximately six to eight feet away from it. * To find out which adjustments need to be made, the arrow needs to shoot all of the way through the paper. Therefore, be sure to set your backstop far enough away. * When shooting, focus on form. Bad form can compromise the entire test. * After shooting, analyze the shape in the paper. A perfect tear means your bow is properly tuned.

Step 4: Sighting In Once everything is aligned, you’ll finally get to sight in your bow! If your gear is aligned correctly and paper tuned, sighting in should be a simple process. As mentioned previously, sighting in for any particular site is beyond the scope of this article. However, for a general reference, follow the steps below. Start by sighting your first pin at your chosen distance (usually 20 yards). You can always take your first few shots within 20 yards if you are worried that your shot will be significantly off. If you shoot high, move your pin higher. If you shoot low move your pin lower. The same goes for left and right. “Follow your arrow” is the general term used when adjusting your site. Be sure to site in over the course of days or even weeks. Shooting too much at any given time will result in fatigue and influence the accuracy of your shot. There will also be days where your form varies, or you simply perform better than others. Therefore, be sure to give yourself enough time to properly sight in before hitting the field. Step 5: Stay Consistent Your consistency out of the field will affect your consistency on the field. Therefore, checking your equipment, paper tuning, and making regular adjustments are crucial to your success as a bow hunter. It not only improves your bows performance but provides you with confidence when making any shot.
Old Oak Contributor: Chris Bunce