What Does it Mean to Tune a Bow

Archery is a skill, practice or an art of propelling arrows using a bow which has been historically used both for hunting and combat and in modern times it is more a recreational activity. An archer shooting an arrow takes care of the speed and the distance of the arrow, which has a greater influence on the time the arrow takes to hit at the target. Faster the arrow flies, lesser will be time taken and that too at a direct route to the target which is generally not effected by atmospheric and wind conditions. It is the bow that provides the arrow with the right momentum and the given design of the bow greatly affects the kind of velocity it can offer to the arrow.

“Properly tuning your bow could spell the difference between shooting your next big buck and shooting at it” says Dave Dolbee. For many of bow hunters, tuning the bow would simply mean to hit at the target accurately, whereas there are others who believe that their bows need not be tuned or that the bow would get tuned by itself which is completely wrong. Tuning a bow is adjusting the bow to the style of the archer’s shooting thereby to achieve the best flight by the arrow and also achieve the best performance. Thus the archer’s shooting style has to be very consistent as bow tuning goes hand in hand with the style of shooting. A well- tuned bow helps in decreasing the vibration, oscillation ad displacement so that the target is hit consistently thereby the skills getting refined effectively.

Though bow tuning is a very rare practice for the time it consumes and the knowledge it requires, it is still recommended for few reasons because a bow that is not tuned greatly affects on the flight of the arrow and the effectiveness of the arrow hitting and entering the target. Let’s try and understand the variables that could affect the performance of the bow so that there is a signal of when the bow is to be tuned.

  • Timing is one crucial aspect which indicates the harmonization of the eccentrics. The timing is best gauged by the drawing of bow, wherein a single stopping point is felt from a properly tuned bow. Thus when the bow has two separate sops, it indicates the adjustment of the bow.
  • Paper tuning is another easier way to see the flight of the arrow and gives clues for any changes to be made to set the flight right. For this, place a frame of paper at about a distance of five to six feet in front of the target and shoot the arrow at your best shot. A clean hole with the three vane marks will suggest a well tuned bow, whereas any other pattern of the tear indicates adjustment. A tail high pattern will require moving nock point down, checking wheel timing and fletching clearance. A tail low, suggest to check wheel timing and moving the nock point up. A Tail left requires using stiffer shaft, moving rest left, checking fletching clearance and experimenting with grip. A tail right indicates to use weaker shaft, move the rest right and experiment with grip and finally a tail high and left indicates to check the fletching clearance.
  • The position of the arrow rest also influences the bow performance. The weight of bow, length of arrow, point weight, the style of release and the kind of eccentrics all have a major impact on the flight of the arrow.

It is always suggested to go for good sporting stores while buying sports related accessories and is also better to take recommendations of an experienced bow hunter for the same.

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