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Your compound bow is a high-precision and highly tuned instrument and should be treated like one. You’ve likely spent a decent amount of time and money to get your compound bow tuned exactly how you like it. And a high-quality tool like this requires your care and attention. Like the old adage goes, take care of your gear and it’ll take care of you. And a major piece of that is storing your compound bow properly.
So, what’s that look like for you and your bow? This is based off several factors and questions to ask yourself beforehand. What’s your budget? What kind of space do you have? Do you have a garage or storage space? What about kids - any of those running around the house? Probably best not to keep those two out around each other. Like anything, the best method for you may be different for someone else. So, let’s get into the different options.
Clearly, if you have a nice bow case, this is a great start. It provides a set home for your bow and is literally made to protect your bow. You’ll have to choose between a hard shell case and soft case. Both have their pros and cons.
Hard shell cases are much sturdier and provide excellent protection for your bow while soft cases provide less protection but are much lighter and more mobile.
If you’re planning on storing your bow for a long period of time, a hard-shell case would be your best bow case option. And if you’re planning on using your bow often, a good soft-shell case could work well for you. As you can imagine, you’ll pay more for a good hard case, but good quality comes at a cost.
If wherever it is that you store your bow has a good chance of moving around a lot, falling, or other objects falling on it or cramping it, get a hard-shell case. My rule of thumb here is that if you’ve spent the money on a nice bow, build it into your budget for a nice case as well.
Another thing to consider here is, what’s your home situation? If you’ve got young kids running around, or a lot of people around, you probably want a good case that you can lock up your bow, so it won’t ever be messed with.
If you’ve got the right environment for it, hanging your bow is a perfectly viable option. This is especially great for those who want to pick their bow up and practice in their backyard. Also, it looks pretty awesome too.
Obviously, the elephant in the room here is not an elephant at all – it’s a powerful, killing-machine crossbow. And if your house, apartment, condo, whatever it is, is subject to a lot of foot traffic, you can see where this becomes an issue. One minute you’re drinking with the boys, the next minute, Johnny who has never held a bow in his life, is swinging your awe-inspiring tool of death around the living room having a good laugh. You probably, or at least shouldn’t be, laughing at that point. This actually happened to me once in college when I kept my bow out on display - I was young and dumb once and I’m just happy to have made it through that period without anything really stupid happening!
So, what’s your living situation? Find that out first and be honest with yourself. It may be an awesome prop in your home, but maybe it isn’t the smartest idea.
Now, if it does work out to where you can hang your bow, here are some tips how:
You’ll want to hang your bow horizontally, so make sure there is adequate room for this wherever you are planning on keeping it. Also, take into account what type of environment it is. Avoid areas with any moisture, as this could really do some damage to your bow. Direct sunlight is another thing to avoid. Both moisture, sunlight, and heat could cause warping and damage to your bow and its components, so your best bet is avoiding areas with any of those elements at all costs. Cold isn’t great either as it can stiffen the bow leading to a useless bow. This means keeping it out of the basement, garage or shed as well. These kinds of places lack the insulation that is best for storing your bow.
As for how to actually hang your bow, hanging by the bow strings is a big no-no. Yes, the bow strings are very strong, but why place unnecessary stress on a critical component of your bow? Avoid hanging your compound bow by the cams or one single limb as again, this is just simply unnecessary stress on your bow that over time will have a negative effect on its capabilities. And the last thing you want to happen is that you have to replace some of your bow’s components due to hanging it improperly.
The best and most effective method for hanging your compound bow is to hang it by the middle part of the frame and grip. By using the strongest part of the bow, this will ensure that no fragile components of your bow are taking on unnecessary stresses.
As for what to hang your compound bow on, it doesn’t need to be overcomplicated – a pair of bike hooks would work just fine.
When storing your arrows, there are several ways you can do it, but a quiver is always a great simple option.
Lastly, when you do store your bow by hanging it, give a good wipe down every so often as to keep it clean and free of dust.
Regardless of whether you plan on using a soft-shell vs a hard-shell, hanging it up, there are additional measures that you must take when storing your bow.
Some people disassemble their bow completely before storing it long term, but most all compound bows are designed to remain fully strung, so that is a choice left up to you. But while you don’t have to unstring your bow often, you’re going to want to perform some maintenance after using it and before storing it.
This includes making sure your bow is completely clean and free of all dust, as well as waxing the strings. Take a microfiber cloth and make sure all dust, dirt, and grime has been cleaned off your bow. If you want to go the extra mile, go ahead and apply some cleaner solution as well.
When waxing your bow’s strings, you can start with a cloth to make sure the string is evenly covered followed by using your fingers to really get the wax as deep as possible into the grooves of the string. Then take the cloth and wipe off the excess.
Make sure to clean the cams, riser, cables, cable guard, and cable slide as well. For those tougher to reach places on your bow, you can use a cotton ball or swab. Obviously, if there is any rust on your bow, you’ll want to address that as well. Steel wool at a light grade such as #0000 would work well here.
As for your arrows, take some rubbing alcohol and put it on cotton gauze to clean the arrowheads.
When taken care of properly, your bow can last years and years. There’s no reason you can’t use the same bow for 20+ years if you give your bow the care and attention it craves.
Surprisingly enough, most damage to a bow occurs while it’s in storage. Unclean and unwaxed strings can begin to fray, UV rays from direct sunlight and moisture can cause warping, cold weather will cause the bow to become overly stiff and unusable. So, with that in mind, take the extra steps to ensure that doesn’t happen to your bow. Clean it thoroughly before storing it, wax the strings, and keep it in a safe spot. You do all of that and your bow will thank you with excellent performance for years to come.
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