TO SHOOT YOUR BOW BETTER"
How to Tune Your Bow
EDITOR'S NOTE: You can find a trophy buck to hunt and
put your tree stand in the best place possible to get
the shot. But, if you miss the buck when it comes less
than 30 yards from you with his head down, standing
broadside to you, you've made all that effort for nothing.
Bowhunters often miss deer because they haven't properly
tuned their equipment. John “Boo” Stiff
manages the archery department at Mark's Outdoors in
Birmingham, Alabama. During the course of his career,
he’s set up and tuned about 6,000 bows. Today
we’ll look at Stiff's 10-point checklist for tuning
a bow, not only before deer season starts but also during
* "Check the timing if you're shooting a double-cam
bow to make sure that both cams roll over in unison,"
Stiff recommends. "You can draw the bow back to
see if one cam rolls over ahead of the other. You also
can feel one cam rolling over before the other when
you draw the bow. To solve this problem, simply add
some twist to the string and cables to get the bow back
“Make sure the cam has optimal rotation, so it
can give maximum performance," Stiff says. "You
may want to have this finely-tuned aspect of your bow
checked at a pro shop."
* "Check the tiller," Stiff suggests. "Both
limbs of the bow need to be backed out or tightened-down
equally. Always tighten or loosen both limb bolts on
the bow the same number of turns. If you take one turn
off the top limb bolt, also take one turn (loosen the
limb bolt one rotation) off the bottom limb bolt. The
limbs must both sit in the limb pocket the same way
for the bow to shoot accurately."
* "Check your nock point to see if it's set at
the correct position on the string," Stiff advises.
"You can check the nock point by notching an arrow
and making sure that the arrow sits level on the string
and on the rest. Also, the arrow must sit level on the
string and on the rest when you pull the bow to full
draw. Sometimes if you set your nock point when the
bow's at rest, the arrow will look level. However, when
you draw the bow, the arrow will sit on the string either
too low or too high. To be certain your arrow is sitting
level at full draw, have another experienced archer
look at your arrow for you when you pull to full draw."
"Examine the vane's clearance," Stiff says.
"When you shoot the arrow, the vanes on the arrow
shouldn't come in contact with the arrow rest or any
other part of the bow. Nine times out of 10, if the
vanes contact any part of the bow, you'll see the arrow
kick and fishtail. Or, when you pull your arrows out
of the target, you'll see a mark on the vane made by
the heat shrink on the arrow rest."
* "Make sure you have the correct arrow for the
amount of poundage you plan to shoot," Stiff emphasizes.
"Check an arrow chart at a bow shop. Often a bowhunter
will make the mistake of finding arrows on sale and
buy a dozen arrows - not knowing how they are spined.
If the arrow has too much spine or too little spine
for the weight of the bow you pull, the arrow either
will kick to the left or to the right. If you shoot
a 20-yard shot, you'll see the arrow kick out as it
comes out of the bow and then try and correct itself."
* "Paper tune your bow," Stiff explains.
"Shoot an arrow through a piece of paper. An arrow
shot from a properly-tuned bow will leave a bullet-hole-size
circle where the point of the arrow pierces the paper.
Too, you'll see three slight tears around the bullet
hole. These tears indicate that the arrow has flown
straight and correctly from a properly-tuned bow. If
the arrow tears the paper more to one side or the other
or more high or low, then you need to go back and check
steps 1 through 7 again because somewhere in your tuning
process something isn’t right."
"Shoot several arrows at 30 yards to know if you
have a tight group," Stiff explains. "With
a tuned bow, you should be able to put six arrows inside
an 8-inch circle consistently at 30 yards."
* "Tune your broadhead," Stiff advises. "Your
broadhead needs to line-up with your fletches. If you
shoot a three-bladed broadhead, make sure the broadhead's
blades line up with the vanes on the shaft. If you shoot
a four-bladed broadhead, your fletches need to center-up
between the blades. You also can spin-check your broadhead.
If you spin your arrow on the tip of the broadhead,
and the arrow wobbles, then you need to tune your broadhead.
If your arrow wobbles, then twist the broadhead slightly
left or right until the arrow doesn't wobble when spun."
TOMORROW: SHOOT SHORT AND LIGHT,
AND CHOOSE QUALITY ACCESSORIES WITH ALLEN CONNERS