Hey there, archery enthusiasts! As the leaves fall and the chill of winter starts to set in, it’s time to think about packing away our bows after a bustling fall hunting season. You’ve probably had some great adventures and hopefully some successful hunts too. But now, as we swap our hunting gear for cozy sweaters, it’s crucial to give our compound bows the care they need to hibernate through the winter months. I’m here to walk you through the steps of winterizing your bow, sharing a few stories and tips I’ve picked up along the way.

Winterize Your Bow

Give It a Good Clean

After a season out in the wild, your bow might have collected its fair share of dirt and debris. Before storing it away, give it a good clean-up. Wipe down every part thoroughly. I once found a clump of mud in my bow’s limb pocket after a particularly muddy hunt. No need to use any cleaning agents but a damp cloth will work wonders. For tougher bits of dirt use a spot of dish soap to loosen up the grim. Remember to use a microfiber cloth to prevent marring and dry it before storing. This gives you a great chance to inspect the bow for damage as well.

Check and Wax the Strings

Bohning Tex-Tite bowstring wax
Bohning Tex-Tite bowstring wax

Next check your strings. Strings are the lifeline of your bow, and cold weather can make them brittle. Inspect them for any signs of wear and give them a good waxing. a good quality beeswax can keep your string from fraying for a long time. If you notice heavy fraying or nicked strings take it to your bowshop to get them replaced. Remember those strings hold a lot of energy. I learned my lesson when a neglected string gave way during a practice session. Believe me, it’s not something you want to experience.

Protect Against Moisture

Once cleaned, inspected and waxed, you should always protect it from moisture. Winter air can be damp, and moisture is no friend to your bow. If you’re storing your bow in an area like a basement or garage, consider using moisture-absorbing products like silica gel packets in your bow bag or case. The last thing you want to see when you open your bow bag is any kind of  mold festering around the bow.

Use a Bow Case

iSeries Hoyt® REV2 Plush Large Parallel Limb Bow Case
iSeries Hoyt® REV2 Plush Large Parallel Limb Bow Case

Speaking of bow cases. Use one! A sturdy bow case is your best bet for winter storage. It’ll keep your bow safe from bumps and scrapes and protect it from dust and moisture. You can have a selection of hardcases and soft cases. Hardcases maybe more durable but the sealed nature may trap moisture inside the case. Softcases are breathable but allows moisture to enter. So always make sure there is no moisture in or around any of your bow bags. 

Check Your Accessories

Your bow’s accessories need attention too. Tighten any loose components on your sights, stabilizer, and rest, and clean them as well. If things rattle or come loose a little bit of blue Loctite can go a long way. I once overlooked my peep and ended up firing it down range never to be seen again. An expensive and embarrassing mistake.

Give It a Once-Over Before You Shoot Again

Before you bring your bow out for spring shooting, do a comprehensive check. Ensure everything is still in top shape, and there’s no wear or damage from winter storage.

Alright, bow buddies, that’s how you get your compound bow ready for a long winter’s nap. Keep warm, and I can’t wait to hear about all your winter archery adventures!