PSE’s Will Jenkins Basic Bow Maintenance & Care
By Will Jenkins
No matter the price of your bow it’s still an investment and it only makes sense to take care of the investment. The better care you take of your bow the longer it will stand up to the abuse of hunting.
Your strings and cables will break down faster than anything on your bow. Keeping them lubricated with string wax is important to their longevity. Some people put wax on every single time they shoot. Maybe I shoot too often but that just causes build up for me. I put wax on my strings ever 2nd or 3rd time I shoot. Make sure you use a decent brand of wax that is soft and after you apply it rub up and down the string with your fingers to warm the wax and incorporate it into the string.
There is also a lot of information out there on how often to change your strings and cables. Some people say you must change them every year while others say it’s not a big deal change them ever 3 or 4. It really all depends on the quality of the strings, how much you shoot and what kind of exposure they get. By exposure I mean do you leave it baking in the sun through a window most of the time or do you take it out in rain several times a year. If you shoot weekly or even daily you’ll need to change them sooner and the same if you bought the cheapest strings you could find. My recommendation is to start with quality strings. Personally I only use local custom string makers that I know and trust. However, there are a ton of reputable brands out there. With the amount I shoot and hunt I won’t let my strings go more than two years. Even if you don’t shoot much I wouldn’t go past two years on a string. Over time they can break down and stretch no matter how much or little you paid for them and can end up out of spec and you won’t even know it. For example I purchased a bow from a friend a few years ago. He warned me that he wasn’t sure but he thought the string was only a year old. The string looked brand new and the bow shot fine so I shot it for a couple months before putting new strings on it. Even though the strings were a decent brand and looked basically brand new they had stretched 3 inches! This was robbing the bow of proper performance. So in summation, don’t let your strings go for more than 2 years and if you are very abusive on your equipment every year is probably a good idea. I’d rather be safe than sorry!
The axles only need to be lubricated infrequently. This means whenever you have your strings changed make sure your bow technician lubes it up and you’re good to go. If you plan to hunt in the rain wipe it off as soon as you’re done and you can even apply some string wax to hardware that may be prone to rusting prior to going out. The only other consideration is storage. While bows are durable if exposed to intense heat such as being left in the car on a hot summer day the limbs can delaminate and cause permanent damage. I personally keep my bow in the house on a hook in my closet. Lastly, do not dry fire your bow.
Hopefully those few tips will help your bow last for years and years to come!
Will Jenkins is creator of TheWilltoHunt.com and Harnesses For Hunters. He’s an avid outdoorsman who enjoys sharing his experiences through his blog. He also writes for Bow Adventures e-Magazine and is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association.
Will lives in Central Virginia with his wife and two kids. He hunts in Virginia and Maryland but has dreams of heading west to hunt Elk and Mule Deer.