Routine Broadhead and Bow Maintenance

After practicing all summer then toting your bow around during hunting season, routine broadhead and bow maintenance is important to the accuracy of your bow. It can be easy to forget about all of the moving pieces that go into keeping your bow functioning properly. I’m guilty of it myself, and often don’t worry about keeping up during hunting season. Rather, I’ll opt to assess everything once the season has wrapped up.

But neglecting your equipment can lead to a poorly placed shot or mechanical failure, which can result in wounding an animal instead of making a clean kill. Before your next hunt, spend a few minutes combing over your archery equipment.

Broadhead and Arrow Maintenance

Even in a quiver, broadheads can accumulate dirt and grime. If you’ve hunted in the rain or kept your equipment outside for extended periods, the elements can start to oxidize even the most durable materials, like the metals that make up blades and ferrules.

Unscrew the broadheads from the arrows and inspect them, using a toothbrush and hot water to remove particles and grime at least once a month. Spin the ferrule on a flat surface to make sure it’s still straight. Test the edge of blades for sharpness and replace them if necessary. If you’re shooting a mechanical broadhead, make sure the O-rings have some elasticity and are not dry-rotted. Thoroughly dry the parts and then reassemble.

Routine broadhead and bow maintenance ensures your equipment will function properly throughout hunting season.
Routine broadhead and bow maintenance ensures your equipment will function properly throughout hunting season.

Check the shafts of aluminum arrows for any dents or bends that could affect flight. With carbon arrows, run a rag along the surface, which will snag onto any splinters. Flex them, too, and listen for cracking. If you find any splinters or hear cracking, trash that arrow. Check arrows for wobble by simply spinning them in your hand or rolling them across a flat surface. Inspect the nocks for any damage. Lastly, even the slightest damage to a fletching can greatly affect arrow flight, so check for cracks or tears, and ensure they’re still firmly attached to the shafts.

Bow and String Maintenance

Examine your string for fraying or fuzzy fibers that indicate separation. Take care to check around the cams, as well as near your peep sight and nock or loop. While ideally you wouldn’t want to change a string during the season, if it’s too worn, it’ll reduce velocity or even snap while you’re drawing back. Consider replacing it. If the string appears to be in good condition, simply apply a coat of string wax and use your fingers to thoroughly work it in.

Your bowstring will last longer if you apply bowstring wax to it regularly. 

Apply silicone or Teflon-based lubricants on the axles where they pass through the wheel or cam. However, don’t use penetrating oil products such as WD-40, which will damage your bow. Run your hands along the limbs to check for cracking or warping, while also inspecting the riser for similar ailments. Also, wipe any grime away from the cams.

This routine maintenance should only take a few minutes, and by doing it every few weeks during hunting season, you’ll keep your equipment looking new and functioning properly with a greater chance of everything coming into place when you’ve got a deer in your sights.