If you prioritize cleaning and maintenance, a bow can last you forever, or at least 30 years. Even if you like to upgrade to the latest and greatest every five or ten years, keeping your current bow clean and maintained will ensure it’s always ready to perform at a top level in the elk woods when it matters.
There are many great bow companies, but we’ve found Mathew’s need less maintenance and tuning than others – plus, they support conservation in a big way. I’ve shot a Mathew’s for six years. Their cam system and design, their spacer system between the cams, their center guard technology, their bridging on their risers, all these little details add up and make a really big difference at the end of the day.
Visually examine your bow:
Whatever brand of bow you have, the first thing you should do when you get home after a long day out chasing elk in the rain or in the heat, is look your bow over. Any primary issues are going to be visual.
Look at the string. Does it look frayed? Is it really dry? Is your Peep rotating? Has it been a couple years? It might be time to think about replacing it.
Next, look at any screws or exposed moving pieces. If any of them are wet, you need to dry them right away, or they will rust quickly.
Wax the String:
Waxing the string regularly is the most common and the most repeatable maintenance to keep your bow in top working order. After each hunt, throw on a layer of wax.
Shoot your bow:
When you’re hunting, your bow is your tool. They’re meant to be used; they’re meant to be tough. I crawl around with my bow; I use it as a tripod; I lean it against trees. I’m rough with my bow, and so when I come home or back to camp, I toss an arrow or two to make sure it’s still on zero.
You should bring your bow into a pro shop once a year for a checkup tune. The pro shop will make sure the cams are in time, make sure the limb pockets are still greased, wax the string and make sure it’s still shooting well through paper. This kind of yearly maintenance is just like changing the oil in your car.
Every 2-3 years
Replace the string:
Make sure that you don’t go longer than three years before replacing your string. Changing that string is so important, because the string is the piece of the bow that’s always moving. All the different strands in the single string are constantly moving against each other and wearing out. Your bow won’t preform as well as time goes on.
Storing your bow:
If you’re going to store your bow for a long time, make sure you have a hard case that’s crush proof and bring it inside. Don’t hang it by the string or off the cam. Don’t leave it in a garage – the heat can wear down the string and other components. Heat will destroy your bow faster than shooting it.
When you take it out to get ready for the season, be sure to wax that string again. As long as the arrows are hitting their mark, you should be set to go!
Overall, you don’t have to do much to maintain a bow. However, proper maintenance can help ensure that when you have the bull of a lifetime in your peep, your arrow will hit its mark.
Learn More at Mathews Archery