Post Season Bow Hunting Gear Care

Post Season Bow Hunting Gear Inventory and Storage

The thrill of the chase has come to an end and spring will be here before you know it. For many bow hunters it is time to pack away bow hunting gear for storage during the off-season. For other bow hunters and competitive shooters, it may be just the opposite. This is the time to get some practice in and adjust/tweak your gear to perform better. Whatever the case, the winter months provide time to properly adjust, maintain and care for your bow hunting gear.

Bow Hunting Gear “To Do List”

Frayed strings, rusty bolts and screws, soured clothing, moldy backpacks…if you want to avoid any of these problems follow the “to do list” below.



Like most hunters, at the end of the season you will have gear scattered in a multitude of places; your vehicle, in the laundry room, gear bags, rubber tubs, and the floor in your gear room. To start the task at hand, you will need to designate a place to gather all those items in one place!  


While you have all of your gear in one place take inventory of what you have and what needs to be replaced or repaired. This is also the perfect time to take advantage of the end of season sales in big box stores and online. Look to replace any batteries or worn out gear.  Also, inspect your safety equipment, your stands, your arrows, and of course your bow. Take notes and create a list of items that need attention.

Method and Area of Storage

Preparing a permanent hunting gear storage area, away from direct sunlight, heat, or dampness will ensure that your gear will be ready for next season with little effort. Carbon lined or ozone-generating boxes are great options for storage. A simple and affordable Rubbermaid box will suffice and is stackable so you can store clothes and gear by season. It is important that your storage container has a sealable lid to keep any scents from permeating the gear inside. Storing with earth scented dryer sheets, scent wafers, or natural fiber such as dry cedar chips or pine twigs can add a good cover scent.


Wash and dry all clothing, base layers, mid layers and outer layers with scent-destroying detergent and dryer sheets. For heavier items, line drying is recommended. Fold each piece for storage in a scent-proof gear bag or large sealing tub. Include socks, gloves, beanies, and caps.


Often hunters will splurge in investing in good hunting boots, after all, boots are one of the most important components of hunting gear. Inspect your boots for splits, cracks, worn insoles, and replace if necessary. Rubber footwear should be brushed off and wiped down with a damp cloth. Remove insoles for inspection, replace if needed, spray boots inside and out with scent destroying spray and allow to air dry. Do not use soaps or chemicals on rubber boots; chemicals over time can break down the rubber. Leather boots should be brushed off removing mud and debris, and wiped down with a damp cloth. Inspect the insoles and use scent destroying spray inside and out, allowing them to air dry. After the boots have dried completely, use a good leather conditioner with weatherproofing to condition and store the boots.


Empty your backpack out completely, all pockets, and shake out any dirt and debris that may have ended up inside it. If necessary, wipe down the interior with a damp cloth. Brush off any mud and wipe down any areas that may have dirt or stains. Store the backpack empty making it easy to pack for storage.

Small Hunting Gear and Accessories

Small hunting gear like ratchet clippers, tow ropes, knives, screw-in hooks, or any other gear needs to be stored. All liquids should be discarded and purchased fresh the next season, especially any animal urine or estrus. This includes scent destroying sprays because many of these sprays only have a 3 to 6-month shelf life of effectiveness after opening. Binoculars need to be wiped down and stored in the products original case or directly in the storage method.

Deer Calls

Any mouth calls that you have used during the season needs to be wiped down and completely dried before storing to keep bacteria from building up and deteriorating or locking up the working parts such as latex and rubber rings on reeds.  


Remove batteries from all electronics you do not plan to use until next season such as GPS units, rangefinders, flashlights, scent dispersing units, and game cameras to deter from possible battery corrosion, damaging and rendering the product useless.  

Caring For Your Bow

Wipe down the riser, limbs, and cams of your compound bow or the stock, fore-end, and limbs of your crossbow with a damp cloth or scent eliminating wipe. Inspect all moveable parts, screws, bolts, string wear, sight, and rest. Should your strings need to be replaced now is the perfect time to do so. Regardless if you have new or old strings, you will need to wax the strings for storage. You can use a small amount of oil to coat any bare metal bolts, washers, or screws to keep them from rusting in storage. Do not hang your bow by the strings for storage; this can cause issues with the strings stretch and cam timing. The best method of gear storage for your bow is in a bow case, if at all possible.

Taking the time to do this post-season routine will not only extend the life of your gear but it is also going to save you valuable time. While proper care and storage is important for your bow hunting gear, don’t let it sit too long during the offseason. Use this time to practice and prepare for next year’s deer season or the upcoming spring turkey season. Need some things to work on? Check out the archery and bow hunting tips in the “Archery Fit” video section below!

Archery Tips for Hunting the High Country

4 Bow Hunting Tips for Rugged Terrain Hunts

Archery hunting is often characterized as a sport that requires a high level of patience and persistence.  Becoming an effective and efficient archer is not an overnight process.  It requires a level of commitment and dedication that is virtually unmatched within the sport of hunting.  With that said, success in the archery woods is often predicated on not only how sound you are as an archer, but also the conditions in which you are hunting. Making an effective shot with archery equipment can be tricky enough on level ground in ideal conditions.  However, toss in the challenge of navigating uneven terrain, extremely variable winds, and difficult shooting angles, and you have certainly stacked the deck against you.  Archery hunting big game in the mountain high country of the Western United States and Canada is where these situations are encountered. Here are a few simple bow hunting tips and techniques that you can employ that will help ensure that you are sending your best arrow down range despite hunting the difficult conditions.


Of course, when discussing any type of hunting in rugged terrain one of the first “tips” must be to be in shape! Why? This video should be sufficient reason enough…


Archery Tips for High Country Hunting


Below are 4 quick bow hunting tips that could drastically improve not only your experience with your high country bow hunt, but also that critical moment just before releasing your arrow.



Tip 1. It’s all in the Hips


Without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges of hunting in rugged terrain is overcoming the difficulty of shooting uphill or downhill.  Though it may seem simple, shooting at an angle requires a little more thought than you might expect.  The trick to mastering an uphill or downhill shot is all about bending at the hips and waist, and is an archery tip that you can master very quickly.



The proper technique for mastering a shot such as this, regardless of the angle, is draw the bow back as you would normally on level ground.  Once you have your anchor point set, bend at the waist toward your target.  This method will ensure that you maintain your form and your anchor point, which is critically important in maintaining your accuracy.


Read my full blog on shooting tough archery angles here.


Tip 2. Keeping the Time


Shot timing is an important part of being an effective archer.  From the time that the bow comes to full draw to the time the arrow leaves the bow is different for everyone. However, everyone has the window of 3 to 4 seconds when the arrow needs to be released.  Push it too far one way or the other, and your rhythm and form can be off which can greatly affect your accuracy.  Why is shot timing relevant to the topic of hunting in rugged terrain?  When you have hiked all day and you have finally worked to within bow range of your target, the adrenaline can be pumping.  As a result, you will most likely have a tendency to rush the shot.  It is critically important that you remain patient and make sure that you are calm and ready to make the shot before drawing your bow.  This will help you keep your shot timing as consistent and effective as possible.  You want to do all you can to make that first shot count, it may be the only opportunity you will have.




Tip 3. Reduce Your Target Panic


Hopefully you are reading this months or weeks out from your western or high country hunt. If that is the case, taking the time now to reduce your target panic could drastically increase the chance that you make a well placed shot on the game animal your pursuing. Rugged terrain, long distance shots, high wind, and threading the needle through brush can, and probably will, be encountered on your hunt. If you have even the slightest bit of target panic at home, it will be compounded on the mountain. If left uncorrected, this feeling of anxiety and fear of poor shooting can spread to every time you draw your bow back. If you think it’s frustrating not hitting your mark on the target in your backyard, you will reach a new level of embarrassment and frustration when you miss your mark on your big hunt! So what can you do to fix it before it gets to that stage? Check out the archery tip video below.



Tips 4. Take a Hard Look at Your Hunting Gear


Archery hunting in rugged conditions can be extremely hard on you and your archery equipment.  Automatically assume that your equipment will take a few bumps and knocks along the way. Therefore it is critically important that everything from your optics and pack, to your bow, arrows, and other hunting gear is durable enough to withstand the abuse.  The last thing you want is to hike uphill for several hours and finally get in a position to make a shot, only to find your archery equipment damaged and unusable.  If you find yourself heading to the high country for the very first time, do your homework and take some time to research the area.  This can help you get a feel for exactly what you will be facing when you step out of the truck and can help plan ahead and ensure that your hunting gear and archery equipment are up for the challenge!




If you have the opportunity to hit the high country with your archery equipment, toss your bow and hunting gear in the truck.  Archery hunting in these landscapes can offer some of the most exciting experiences that an archer could ever ask for, and if you keep these 4 simple bow hunting tips in mind, you will set yourself up for success!