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Top Ten Bow Tuning Tips to Get You Ready For Season!

Okay, bow season is only a short few weeks away. Here are Ten sure fire tips to help get your bow tuned to perfection before the moment of truth arrives.

1) First, do a visual check of your bow. Check the limbs; strings(for string wear) and/or broken string bundles; cams for anything like bent areas or e-clips that might have popped off and check for any loose screws around the sight, rest or quiver mount(s). It is amazing to me how I often find something on my bow that needs fixing before a big hunt or even heading out to the range.
2) Measure the ATA(Axle to Axle length) and Brace Height(throat of grip-to-string) measurements to see if they are within the recommended factory specs, which can often be found on each manufacturers website or by good ole’ Google. Leave a bow in a hot car or hot garage and there is a good chance that you will see movement in those areas. If so, you can often take your bow to a near-by shop to have them twist the strings and cables back into spec.
ATA Length
3) Wax your strings…nothing complicated with this one. A lot of guys and gals simply don’t wax their strings enough. I visually check mine on a regular basis and wax them when I feel it’s needed. I do so my applying the wax, and I then often use aluminum foil by taking a small piece and folding it over the string and running it up and down the string and cables liberally…which can get hot on the fingers if you don’t use the aluminum foil. This will really help to lengthen the life of your bowstrings and cables.
Bow String Wax
4) Check your center shot. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s the position of your arrow rest. I often use a technique shown to me by a pro shooter back in the day. I simply nock an arrow, put it on the rest(in the up position if it is something like a QAD or RipCord style rest) and take my bow and put it out in front of me and hold it to where the bottom cam is sitting on the top of my shoe. I then lean the bow forward and line the main bow string up with the served string in the cam groove(the bow string wraps around the cam and lays in the middle of the cam groove). I then hold the bow as steady as possible and look down the arrow shaft. I want the main bow string to basically cut that arrow in half to where the tip of that arrow is dead center with the string and the main string is also dead align with the string in the cam groove. Clear as mud huh, LOL! I hope to do a video soon to better explain this. With that said, this does not always work depending on how your bow tunes. If you have a yoke system bow, you most often will have to twist one yoke string and untwist the other to get the bow tuned “down center” and to keep it in time.
5) Speaking of Timing, you really need to check your timing once or twice per year. Personally, I think EVERY bow shop should have a draw board. I see so many bows at the range that are way out of tune and timing. If you don’t have a bow press, which the vast majority doesn’t, I might recommend trying to locate someone who offers a bow tuning service. You want to make sure that the limb stops are hitting at the same time, and/or falling correctly on the cam timing dots on certain style bows or see if the bottom cam and top cam are falling within recommended settings specified by the manufacture for bows such as single cam or cam-1/2 systems. Having a bow that is properly tuned and timed can make a WORLD of difference in a bow!
6) Check your peep. I often see guys who constantly have to adjust their peeps. This is often due to low quality strings or caused by a tech who did not properly twist the string, if need be, to get the peep looking straight ahead, rather than facing left or right. You may need to look into purchasing a better string. A quality string(I love the new BCY-X material) should not twist at all after 15-30 shots. At that point, I can usually put my bow on my press, put a twist to half twist in the string and be good to go. So, check into a quality string and get with your local pro shop to help in getting your peep aligned properly. Also, be sure your peep is not set too high or too low. I set my peep by simply drawing my bow; close my eye; bring the bow to my desired anchor point, and then open my eyes to see if I can see through the peep. DO NOT bring your eye to the peep. Bring the peep to your eye. It needs to feel super natural once you anchor in.
7) Check your arrows. Hopefully you have your arrows spined properly. Be sure to check them and make sure that they are within the recommended specs set by the arrow manufacturer. Also, bend each one a small bit to check for any splintering. Arrows can have hairline breaks and can cause the arrow to shatter and lead to the back side of the shaft going right through your hand. There are plenty of pictures on the internet to prove it. It is actually recommended to bend and check your arrows each time you retrieve them when shooting. Also, check your fletching to make sure the vanes are seated securely on the arrow. I once didn’t do that and somehow, three of my five arrows had vanes coming loose. Needless to say, I went to a different glue and made sure I took extra precaution when cleaning and fletching my arrows.
Bare Shaft Tuning
8) Paper tune or bare shaft tune your bow. I prefer bare shaft tuning my rigs, which is where I use a bare shaft and a fletched shaft to get both hitting exactly the same at twenty yards or so, but it would be hard for me to explain that process in this article. When paper tuning your rig, you have to make sure that your grip is consistent. DO NOT GRIP THE BOW HARD. You want to hold the bow just like you are holding and egg, with that same type of ever so light pressure. I will try to explain proper grip in a later article. SO MANY folks don’t grip their bows properly. I also don’t recommend straightening your fingers. That makes the padding between your thumb and finger too rigid and can lead to excessive torqueing and you will really noting that at longer distance shots. Back to paper tuning, when shooting through paper, I like to be about three feet from the paper. That is where the arrow is most “unstable” and will really show you how that arrow is acting as the arrow is released. You are looking for a bullet hole with nothing but 3 fletching tears around it. Below is a simple drawing of steps to take based on the results of your paper hole/tear.
Paper Tares

9 )Make sure your bow is tuned to your broadheads. I like to shoot my broadheads and field tips at 20 yards and work my way back to a distance I feel I am still fairly accurate to see how my rig is performing(Field Tip vs. Broadhead). Now, If I have to make changes. I don’t move my site right away. I move my rest. I always follow my field points. For instance, if I shoot a field point and it is dead on and then I shoot a broadhead and the arrow is to the left 3” and down 3”, I move my rest 1/16” and to the left 1/16”. Let’s say I shoot again and the broadhead tipped arrow is even with the field tipped arrow, yet still to the right 2”. I will then move my rest 1/16-1/32 to the right again. I repeat the shot process. Let’s say that I then have the broadhead hitting right where I want, but the field tip is hitting 1.5” high. Even though the broadhead is hitting the X, I will move the rest up 1/32” to get it hitting exactly with the field tip. I want my broadheads and field tips hitting in the exact same spot. With all that being said, if your bow is way out of tune to begin with, you will pull your hair out trying to accomplish the above process. Here is an excellent post on by a user named Doc. I have went to his post a number of times and hope this helps you out as well:

10) Finally, shoot daily if at all possible and be critical of your form. Don’t lean back as you shoot. Keep your body straight. Your front arm and back upper arm need to look like the letter T. Stay consistent. Do change things when needed, but if you know you are gripping the bow properly; not punching the trigger; anchoring the same on each shot; executing the shot sequence properly and your bow is timed and tuned. Stay consistent and don’t make unnecessary changes.

I am sure there are other points that I have missed, but the points above should help get you on track for a season of success, if the shot presents itself. Good luck this year and again thanks so much for all your BOWADX business!

God Bless!
-Chad Davis
BOWADX Founder