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Home / Hunting / Hunting Articles


Keeping In Tune During The Off Season
 — by Tony White and Joan Holstien of

When Tony White of hangs up his gear after a long season of North America adventures, much of his time is spent working with different clubs generating money to help wildlife habit. However — although the next chase may be months away — he never forgets to keep in touch with his local archery experts.

When bow hunting season is over, it's important to begin thinking about proper equipment storage and keeping your skills and body in top form. Here are some expert tips to help you accomplish those feats.

  • Choose a dry, cool storage place
    "Heat kills bows out here," says George Sensabough, general manager of Archery Headquarters in Chandler, AZ. With that in mind, don't even think about storing your bow in the garage. Instead, opt for a closet or other climate-controlled space, suggests Tracy Baack, manager of Bear Mountain Outfitters in Scottsdale.

  • Store in the proper position
    Back off the tension on compound bows and completely unstring recurve bows, advises Baack. He also recommends hanging bows rather than storing them flat. Sensabough reminds archers that arrows should be stored separately rather than bundled together, which can damage fletchings. Colton Bagnoli of Archery Headquarters further advises keeping broad heads separate from the bow to prevent them from cutting strings if your case gets rattled around.

  • Keep your bow waxed up
    Prevent drying out by keeping cables, strings and other parts lubricated, advises Sensabough.

  • Upgrade during downtime
    "The only thing advancing faster than archery is computers," says Baack. With this in mind, consider using the off-season to improve your equipment. Remember when replacing equipment, the more advanced equipment you purchase, the slower it becomes obsolete.

  • Go to the shop before you go hunting again.
    "When you take your bow out of storage, be sure to have a professional archery shop give it a tune up and replace the rubber peep tubing," Sensabough says. "It ís the best way to start a new hunting season."

  • Keep shooting
    Visit Bear Mountain Outfitters indoor range or outdoor ranges at Ben Avery or Usery Mountain to keep yourself in practice and in shape. Or, take advantage of dart leagues at Archery Headquarters that enable you to shoot at video footage on a 12-foot screen. Target leagues also are available. As an added benefit, regular shooting during the off-season keeps you familiar with your bow, allowing you to detect and correct any equipment problems before they get serious, notes Bagnoli.

  • Get as close as possible to the real thing
    Rather than block targets, shoot at animal targets and 3-D targets at Usery Mountain and Ben Avery, Bagnoli advises. It will help you hone your shot placement. Additionally, he suggests practice shooting in the woods, desert, or other places to prepare yourself for actual hunting scenarios. That way, you're shooting uphill, downhill, and with wind, Bagnoli points out.

  • Exercise regularly
    At Archery Headquarters, you can find Bow Fit, which is similar to a large rubber band and helps condition by duplicating the motion and resistance of shooting with a bow. Additionally, Bagnoli suggests hiking to get in shape.

Editor's Note: Check listings in your local yellow pages for archery pro shops and ranges in your area.


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