-By Rich Miller
Cold and windy are the only two words that can be used to describe this past weekend. I didn’t have a whole lot going on so I decided to change chokes in my shotgun and do a little shooting in preparation for the upcoming spring turkey season. After this weekend, I am pretty much booked up until the middle of May and it was my last chance to do some serious shooting.
I try to shoot my bow every day, but other than a couple of months out of the year I don’t shoot my shotgun nearly as much as I do my bow. I have been shooting the same load over the years and it has worked well for me. However, I still like to shoot six or eight times at different targets between twenty and fifty yards just to check the way my gun patterns before turkey season opens.
On the other hand, I like to stay on top of my bow and shoot it year round. There are a lot of things that you have to pay attention to when you are planning on seriously hunting with a bow. I try to put new strings and cables on my bow every year. I have some buddies that have been shooting the same bows for the last four or five years and have never replaced the strings on them. The strings are not totally worn out when I replace them, but I would rather change them on my terms and not when I am in the middle of a hunt. I have been preparing for a bear hunt in Alberta, Canada for the last year and I would hate to have something like a bowstring ruin my hunt.
Bowstrings have come a long way over the last ten years. It used to be after you put a new string on a bow and shot it for a couple of weeks the strings could stretch up to a half inch from when you first set your bow up. This can cause a dramatic change in the way a bow shoots. This will affect the way the arrow leaves the rest and it causes the arrow flight to be very erratic, which will in turn lead to accuracy problems. When the cables stretch it can affect the poundage of the bow also, which in turn affects arrow penetration.
The new strings and cable that come on bows today are head and shoulders above what the old strings used to be, but I still check them periodically just to make sure. These problems don’t just happen one day. They happen gradually over a period of months and a bow hunter will not notice it until something bad happens. The average bow hunter isn’t going to have the know-how or the equipment to correct these problems, but any reputable archery dealer in your area will have the knowledge and equipment to make these repairs. Playing with all of my toys during this slow time of the year helps pass the time until another long-awaited season rolls around.