December 10, 2022
Our hunting camp is a six-hour drive from home. One of the things we’ve learned over the years is that it’s not unusual for something to change on our bows while in transit.
Although it is always possible for something to get damaged along the way, the real problem seems to be the location itself; changes in elevation, humidity, temperature and other environmental factors can have a real impact on the way your bow shoots. So, we always shoot our bows upon arrival in camp, just to ensure everything is right.
This year, when we got to hunting camp, one of us was hitting 10 inches to the right at 40 yards! There was no obvious explanation; he is one of the better shooters in our group and meticulous with his equipment. To see such a huge discrepancy was rather surprising. He adjusted his sight as needed and soon he was grouping and shooting just fine. He was very glad he had checked his equipment, because being 10 inches off could definitely have made the difference between meat in the freezer and a lost animal.
In fact, every one of us at hunting camp had to make sight adjustments this year. Although none were as dramatic as the one I just described, by making a few sight adjustments we were all able to get dialed back in before heading afield.
One of our friends, however, arrived a little late to camp and decided he didn’t need to check his bow. He got up the next day, went hunting and ended up shooting an animal. The problem was, the hit wasn't good, and we all had to pause our own hunts and help him search. Fortunately, we were able to recover the animal. Back at camp, he finally checked his bow and discovered he was hitting 6 inches to the right of where he'd aimed! This had made the difference between a perfect, double-lung hit and a marginal liver shot.
Needless to say, this experience only reinforced our belief in the value of shooting our bows before hunting whenever we travel — and we don’t just shoot fieldpoints. We shoot the arrows and broadheads in our quiver (the same ones we’ll hunt with) to ensure they hit where they should. Only then do we go hunting. After all, we don’t want what could have been the highlight of our year to turn into a huge disappointment just because we didn’t take a few minutes to check our equipment.