Mathews Archery Reminder: It’s time to prepare for hunting season

Follow these tips from Mathews Archery to prepare your bow and yourself for a successful bow hunting season.

Now is the time to check your compound bow. Whether you need to replace strings or want to add new accessories, it now gives you more time to practice with these adjustments.

If you’re looking for a new bow setup, Mathews can help. customize your bows and take some guesswork out of the process.

Below we go over Mathews Archery tips to get you ready this fall. Even experienced hunters can benefit from a booster and unlock more consistent shooting.

Mathews Archery Shop

(Photo/Mathews Archery)

Summer is the time for major bow tweaks, customizations, and tweaks. This gives you time to get used to shooting the retooled bow and other minor adjustments before hunting with it.

Here’s a quick guide to bow maintenance that you should follow before you start practicing (let alone hunt) again. If you’re new to bowhunting and aren’t entirely sure of your setup skills, you can always take your bow to a local store. But try them first.

Bow checks

  • Overall Arc Integrity
  • Wax your strings
  • Center hit
  • Hourly
  • Peep
  • Right arrows
  • Aim your compound bow

First, examine your entire bow, checking the cams and limbs for any dents or cracks. Likewise, look for loose parts such as the handle. On the riser, try wiggling the arrow rest, quiver attachment, or other parts to make sure they are secure.

The same goes for arrows and their fletches and nocks. Spinning an arrow shaft on a flat surface can help you hear inconsistencies and detect small bends that you don’t notice just by looking.

Bowstrings are subject to wear and should be regularly assessed. Two years of hunting is a common lifespan for replacement. If you find any damage, replace it. Otherwise, wax the strings.

Mathews recommends waxing your strings (and cables) every month or more depending on their condition.

Back to range

If you’re shooting your trusty bow from last season, once you’ve inspected it and it looks safe, head to the shooting range and shoot some arrows. If it still runs true, sweet. It’s time for lots of reps to get those muscles back in shape. Focus on form and pay attention to pain. Any injury now could derail your season.

group of archery arrows
If your early season groups look like this, you are well on your way to getting ready for the hunt; (photo/Sean McCoy)

If your bow shoots consistently but doesn’t hit the bullseye, you might want to spend a few sessions checking that the sights aren’t off target. It’s possible that a change in your grip, anchor or form since last season could contribute to a slight variation in your arrow grouping.

Give it a few practice sessions before adjusting the sights. Once you have consistent groups, you might want to adjust your views to get your groups right on target.

If your arc seems far away or your groups are inconsistent, you may have some work to do. Unless you’re really good with a bow (in which case you probably already know all of this), we highly recommend taking your bow to a qualified archery shop to have an expert check the timing, the cable stops and the center shot.

But for those who are willing to invest the time in learning how to sharpen a bow, this is what it entails.

Set your goals

Once the string is tuned, it’s time to check the center hit. An arrow notched in the remainder should be parallel to both the face and the riser shelf. Mathews bows like the V3X are designed to have a 13/16 center shot, plus or minus 1/16.

Using a drawing board or with someone else pulling the bow, check that the cable stops and the cams are synchronized. If the stops are not synchronized, you must set the time and can “slow down” the cable stop by twisting it several times and resetting it.

Next, check your eye. Set a consistent reference point and have a friend help you set the sight in your line of sight while you draw your refitted bow.

Finally, confirm or adjust your sights if you’ve made changes to your bow. Shoot a target placed the distance you want your pin to be from the top. Let’s say 20 meters.

Shoot three arrows and adjust your sight towards the center of this group. (If your three arrows are not grouped, it’s on you.)

arc season prep tips
(Photo/Mathews Archery)

Convenient for the hunting season

Once your bow is dialed in, it’s time to refine your practice for the real world.

  • Practice shooting from an elevated position
  • Shoot at odd distances (pin spacing)
  • Aim with the broadheads you’ll be using
  • Practice shooting with an accelerated heart rate

The main idea here is to regain your skills in hunting form before the season starts. You can do this by eliminating variables in your shooting form and equipment.

If you’ve been continuing to practice shooting on flat ground this summer, it’s time to start shooting from a high angle. This will give you time to adjust to the different angles you will experience from a deer stand. If you are hunting elk or other game from the ground, you may also need to practice uphill shooting to round off your possible angles.

The next step is pin spacing. Even with a multi-pin sight set to different distances, it’s a skill that still takes practice. But whatever your setup, be sure to train at distances outside of the established 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60+ meter intervals. Your target may be 46 yards away. Train for it.

While you’re there, go with wide tips you will hunt with it.

Next level

After a few days of training and feeling comfortable, Mathews has another suggestion for you: pull the beating heart. It can simulate the real world adrenaline you will feel in the fall.

Put away your bow and do a few sprints or jumping jacks until your heart is racing. Talking should take some effort. Then try to take a smooth shot before your heart rate returns to normal.

Finally, if you have bought new hunting clothes, wear them during these exercises to ensure that they will not bother you in the fall.

Ready for fall

By following these steps, your bow and shooting skills will be ready for action this fall. Following this maintenance throughout the season can help preserve the life of the bow and prevent breakdowns that can lead to injury.

When you’re done with these preparation tips, review Brett Seng’s tips for a better bow hunting season.

Mathews Archery Shop

Preparing tips for bow hunting season
(Photo/Mathews Archery)


This article is sponsored by Mathews Archery. Its website has more information about the Arch V3X and bow customization.

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