How to Store Your Archery Gear

Take the Right Steps and Safety Precautions to Protect Your Archery Equipment


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1 | Bows

This is the primary focus. Making sure your bow (traditional, compound or crossbow) is stored safely is important. Don’t skimp. Make sure you purchase the best case you can afford. It’s worth it to protect the investment you’ve made. Bows aren’t cheap these days. Even used bows are fairly pricey.

Here are a few things you’ll need to store your bow:

  • A quality hard-sided case
  • Bow string wax
  • Locks
  • A cool, dry location to store it

As hinted above, it’s important to choose a hard-sided case that can absorb any impact or fall it might receive. Plus, it’s good to already have one for when you travel with your bow — whether that be via plane or vehicle. Make sure the case also has straps to secure the bow and all other contents so they cannot slide around inside of it.

Before storing, check all strings and screws to make sure everything is tight. Look over the cams to ensure there isn’t any damage. Scan the limbs and risers for cracks or splinters. Do each of these things upon removing bows from storage, too. In fact, be even more thorough before shooting a bow for the first time in a while.

Apply wax to the strings. This helps keep moisture out. It also helps keep them from drying out and fraying.

It’s important to note that bows do weaken when stored for a lengthy period. Strings can stretch, the bow can lose speed, and overall, different parts can degrade in time (even without an incident).

Finally, make sure the bow is stored in a cool, dark, dry location. Severe heat is bad for a bow. Severe cold is, too. Choose a location that doesn’t receive a lot of light and moisture. All of these things are bad for a bow.

Don’t Miss: Compound Archery: The Parts of the Compound Bow

Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

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2 | Arrows

Arrows might not seem like they’re high-maintenance — but they are. Arrows aren’t cheap anymore, either. Even the cheap(er) arrows cost a good bit of cash. It’s vital to make sure you do this carefully.

A few things you’ll need to store them:

  • A quiver (or smaller case)
  • A bag for nocks
  • Locks
  • A cool, dry location

Today’s carbon and aluminum arrows are tougher than ever. Truly. But they can still crack, splinter, bend and break. It’s not unheard of. It’s actually quite easy to do if put under enough stress.

Before storing arrows, make sure you check for damage. If an arrow is bent, cracked or damaged in any way — trash it. You don’t want to be one of those guys (or gals) with a fragmented arrow through their hand. (We’ve all seen those nasty images floating around the web.)

Then, remove all broadheads, field points and nocks that might still be on the arrows — especially if arrows will be stored alongside your bow. You don’t want any sharp or jagged edges close to your bow strings.

Next, apply a (very) small amount of grease to the threads on your inserts. This will help prevent them from rusting. (Make sure you remove any grease upon inserting a tip once removed from storage.)

Lastly, make sure arrows are seated firmly in whatever quiver or case you’ve placed them in. This will help keep them from shifting around. Some people say you want them to shift around freely (so they can bend and flex), but I rarely subscribe to that method of storage unless under special circumstances.

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Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

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3 | Broadheads

Broadheads cost a small war pension these days. Nearly $50 for a pack of three? Are you kidding me? It’s like the broadhead companies want you to cash in your 401K just to stick a deer.

That said, there are some things you’ll need:

  • A broadhead wrench
  • A small case that keeps broadheads stationary
  • Inserts (or something) to put on the threads to keep them from being damaged
  • Locks
  • A cool, dry location

With that, proper broadhead storage is just as important as with arrows. You don’t want them to become oxidized or seized up. Take the right steps to prevent that from happening.

First, carefully use an appropriate tool to remove them from the arrows. Then, place a cap, insert (or something) on the threads so they can’t be marred or damaged. You don’t want them to cross-thread when you pull them out to hunt with.

Next, if you choose, disassemble the parts for the best longevity. Clean the broadheads of any substance that might be on them.

Once cleaned, check for damage. Throw away any that are bent or dulled. You need sharp, sturdy broadheads to deliver a quick, clean, ethical kill. Most broadhead companies make replacement blades. But if the ferrule is damaged, buy a whole new one — don’t try to fix it. Using damaged archery gear may result in personal injury (or death) or a bad hit on an animal. You don't want any of those things.

Once these things are completed, place the broadheads in a container where they cannot touch one another — this helps to prevent blades from becoming dulled. It’s also not fun to dig through a tangled mess of cutting surfaces upon storage removal, too.

Don’t Miss: How to Choose a Broadhed (Interactive Guide)

Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

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4 | Accessories

Other accessories like releases, quivers, stabilizers, sights and additional gear need proper care as well. You can go all out and really do it right with specialized containers, storage lubes, etc. The main thing? Make sure they’re clean and dry before storing. And place them in a manner that they won’t become damaged while waiting for the off-season to end.

Don’t Miss: Choosing a Release

Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

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More Bow Parts to Regularly Check for Maintenance

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5 | More Bow Parts to Regularly Check for Maintenance

Archery is a very safe sport (if respected and done right). But you’re asking for trouble if you neglect your gear. As previously mentioned, check all cams, limbs, risers, strings, etc. for damage. Also check your arrows, nocks, inserts and broadheads/tips as well.

Don’t forget other gear, like releases, too. That’s a big one. The last thing you want is a faulty release. While we always point bows in a safe direction (think of it as a gun — it’s a weapon after all), you don’t want an arrow flying when you draw or anytime other than when you intentionally release the arrow.

At the end of the day, it’s mostly about common sense and precaution. Be smart. Take the right steps. Don’t skip necessary tasks. Keep all of this in mind (and more) and you’re well on your way to properly storing your archery gear during the off-season. And remember, do all of the routine maintenance and safety checks upon removing it from storage, too.

Don’t Miss: 10 Off-Season Archery Tips from the Pros

Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

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First question — why are you storing your archery gear in the first place? Personal confession — I don’t shoot nearly enough during the off-season, either. So no hard feelings.

All in all, a long deer season has come and gone. Some will bowhunt turkeys this spring. Others won’t. Even still, some archers and bowhunters shoot their bow year-round whether hunting or not. That’s the best way to stay in shape. It’s also the best way to ensure you’re capable of making an ethical shot once you do go afield with bow in-hand.

But if you’re not the type to shoot during the off-season, no worries. We aren’t here to judge. We’re here to help. So if you have plans to store your archery gear until fall, follow the right steps and take the correct precautions to protect your hard-earned investments. And remember, keep these things locked away where kids can't get to them. These are weapons.