Every hunter knows that no matter how skilled you are at stealth and finding your prey, it ultimately comes down to your weapon of choice and how well you maintain it.
Granted, you could always fashion a makeshift trap out of the materials you find in your immediate surroundings. Still, if you are keen on hunting with your bow and broadhead arrows, then broadhead arrow maintenance is key to your success.
During hunting season, your bow is going to collect a great deal of debris from leaves to seeds in the cams and limb pockets.
If you don’t find a way to get rid of this debris before storing your gear, you are not only going to jeopardize its overall integrity but also your potential hunting success in the future. This is true both on and offseason.
That being said, here are some bow and broadhead crossbow arrow offseason maintenance tips that should help you keep your gear ready for action.
Cleaning the Bow
There are several ways to clean your bow. First, you will need to use compressed air to get rid of the dirt and debris from the cam tracks. You should pay special attention to this part; should anything remain lodged in there; it will derail your bow whenever you draw back.
Before you store your bow away for the offseason, make it a habit to detail every single piece of it. You can do this in two ways:
Take it apart yourself and detail each individual piece. You will need a bow-press and the know-how to take the bow apart without ruining it.
If you don’t have a bow-press nor the skills to take your bow apart, detail, and put it back together, you can take it into the shop. Most archery shops would be happy to help. For the most part, they will take the bow apart for you and let you clean it, then put it back together.
Here is a video showing you how to successfully take a compound bow apart and put it back together without ruining it:
Some bow hunters aren’t okay with their bows being taken apart, and that’s fine. There are ways through which you can clean your bow even while it’s still strung.
The simplest approach here is taking it to your kitchen sink and using a cleaner such as Simple Green. Use something like a toothbrush to thoroughly scrub the surfaces of your bow. Do the same for the:
- String tracks
Once all the debris, dirt, and wax buildup are removed, rinse it with hot water, then dry the bow with a lint-free towel and use compressed air to ensure no residual water is left of the parts of surfaces.
- Pro Tip: Using hot water to rinse your bow speeds up the drying process.
You will need to use some lubricant on the bolt heads and screws once the bow is completely dry. You should also use lithium grease on your limb bolt threads. This ensures smooth operation and keeps your bow from rusting. Be sure to wipe off any excess lubricant, so it doesn’t attract dust while in storage.
How to Clean and Store Your Broadhead Arrows
Once you are all done with your bow, you should turn your attention to the arrows. If you are using broadheads, you will want to pay close attention to the cleaning and storage aspects. Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure that your broadhead arrows remain clean and intact through the offseason:
- Check each individual arrow: You want to do this by flexing them, not to the point of breaking but enough so you can feel for any cracks or damages. If you find any damaged arrows in your quiver, be sure to remove them immediately. Shooting damaged arrows could result in some serious accidents out on the field.
- Check the nocks: Depending on which kind of broadhead arrow you prefer to use, checking the nocks will either involve looking for cracks and bends or simply replacing them entirely.
- Spin the arrows: There are two ways to do this; you can use an arrow spinning device or simply use your hand. If you will use your hands, blow on the arrow vanes as you spin them individually to see if any arrows wobble. While you can still shoot an arrow that isn’t…. well, as straight as an arrow, these need to be placed lower in the shooting order but never used with a broadhead arrow.
Once all that is done, you need to store them properly. Here are the simple steps you need to take to do that:
- Clean them thoroughly: You need to make sure that the arrowheads don’t have blood or animal fat before storing them. This involves washing them with the same grease cleaner you used on your bow and then drying them thoroughly.
- Store them in their original packaging: While common practice dictates that you store arrows somewhere secure, like in a tackle box, the problem with this approach is that this might cause them to dull over time. The best approach would be to store them somewhere that will ensure they maintain their razor-sharp edges. The best place is in their original packaging. So be sure to preserve that even as you go hunting.
Finally, one of the best pieces of advice from expert bow hunters on how to ensure your gear maintains its integrity even offseason is to keep using it. Yes, some offseason activities can keep you busy even when you can’t go big game hunting. You could use your bow and broadhead arrows to:
- Hunt predators
- Hunt small game
- Go hog hunting
Or you could simply set up your backyard to provide you with target practice exercises from time to time.