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    How to Fletch your own Arrows

    How many times have you shot an arrow and missed the target or had a pass-through on the target and found the arrow  laying on the ground with a fletching missing?  This can be a very frustrating experience as in most cases it means you will have to take the time to bring the arrow into a bow shop and pay to have your arrow re-fletched.  This can become tiresome and can end up in the long run costing you a lot of money that you can actually save by fletching your arrows yourself.  In this tutorial I will be giving you an outline of how you can fletch your own arrows to save time and money.

    Things you will need:

    -Bare arrow shaft/arrow shaft in need of reparation
    -Fletching Remover
    -Fletching Glue
    -Fletching Jig
    -Fletchings
    -99% rubbing alcohol
    -Fine grit sand paper

    Step 1: Take your Fletching remover or a dull pocket knife if you don’t have a fletching remover and remove the rest of the fletchings on the arrow.  Ensure that the fletching/vanes glue has been scraped off to the best of your ability as well.

    Step 2: If you’re using carbon arrows take your fine grit sand paper and rough up just the end where the fletchings will go.  This will allow the glue to stick better and will also allow for any remaining old glue to be taken off the arrow.  If you’re using aluminum arrows skip this step.

    Step 3: Wet a rag or cloth with some rubbing alcohol and rub all of the residue off the back end of the arrow where your fletchings are going to go.

    Step4: Place your arrow into the fletching jig and grab the fletching clamp and place a fletching /vane into the clamp.

    Step5: Take your cloth and wet it with rubbing alcohol again and wipe the fletching portion which will be glued to the arrow down to ensure all of the factory residue is off the fletching/vane.

    Step 6: Apply your fletching glue to the fletching in the clamp and use the tip of the glue applicator to make sure the glue is evenly spread on the entire fletching.

    Step 7:  Place the Clamp onto the fletching jig and slide it towards the arrow until the fletching has made contact with the arrow shaft.  Press the clamp down to make sure a tight full seal of the fletching and the arrow shaft is achieved.

    Step 8: Wait 5-7 minutes

    Step 9: Release the clamp and turn the rotation knob on the fletching jig to turn the arrow shaft to the next location of where the fletching will go and then repeat the above steps 5 – 8 until all fletchings have been glued on.

    Step 10: Take the arrow out of the jig and inspect each fletching to make sure there are no unglued areas.  As a final step take your glue and just place a small bead right at the tip of the fletching closest to the arrow point.  This will give your fletchings or vanes that extra durability if you pass-through the target or miss the target and hit the ground.

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    Arrow Kinetic Energy Calculator

    Kinetic energy is the energy produced by a certain object in motion. Kinetic energy is an expression of the fact that a moving object can do work on anything it hits or comes into contact with.  In archery kinetic energy of an arrow is measured in foot pounds (ft lbs)and describes the force or energy that the arrow creates when it comes into contact with the target or animal.

    When bow hunting  it is essential that your arrow is generating enough kinetic energy in order to efficiently kill and in most cases get a pass-through on the animal. If your arrow does not generate the kinetic energy needed for the animal the arrow will not properly penetrate and kill it and will more than likely end up injuring it and causing the animal to get away from you.

    Below the calculator table portion, is a general rule of thumb when it comes to animals you’re hunting and the amount of kinetic energy that is needed. *It is important to note that these values are just generalized and differ between different states/provinces.

    Arrow Weight(gr)
    Bow Speed(fps)
    Kinetic Energy(ft lbs)

    Small game- 20 to 30 ft-lbs is sufficient. Some states may have a minimum requirement.

    Medium Game
    – For whitetail, mule deer, black tail and the like it is recommended to have at least 40 ft-lbs. Certainly a well placed arrow with slightly less than that may do the job.

    Big Game
    - 50 ft-lbs or more would be recommended for this type of game. Mostly because the shots may be at further distances.

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    What is let-off and why is it Important?

    First off I just want to take a bit of time to define what let-off is when it comes to the world of archery.  Basically put let-off is a number that is expressed as a percentage that measures the total amount of draw weight that is reduced from the original draw weight when the bow is at full draw.

    I know that may sound a bit confusing so let me just explain this with a simple example. Let’s say you have a bow that has a 70lb draw weight with a 75% let-off. This means that at full draw the bow’s draw weight will be reduced by 75% .  So with simple math we can determine that it would take 70lbs of force to pull the bow back however once fully drawn the weight to continue holding at full draw would drop to roughly 17.5lbs.

    So why is this important?

    Let-off can be extremely useful especially if you are using the bow for hunting purposes.  Think about how much easier it would be to sit there in the cold and hold back 17.5lbs as compared to 70lbs while waiting for the perfect shot on that trophy animal.

    Let-off can also help to increase concentration and accuracy during both shot placement and the release of the string because your body doesn’t have to divert extra energy to holding back strenuous amounts of weight.  This will allow you to tire less quickly and will allow you more time to focus and make that money shot whether it be on a target or an animal.

    Which bows commonly have let-off?

    The only bows that have let-off are compound style bows.  Over the years bows have come to offer adjustable let-off so you can choose how much let-off the bow has by adjusting a piece on the cam.

    Let-off is an important part of archery whether you are a bowhunter or a competitive archer and should be one of the many key points looked at when buying a bow.

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    How to sight in a bow – Complete Guide

    Whether you’re new to the sport of archery or you’re buy a new bow you will need to know how to sight in a bow properly and effectively in order to ensure you’re bow will hit where you’re aiming when you release the arrow.

    *Note that before you start sighting in you should paper tune  your bow in order to make sure the arrow is shooting straight from the bow. Click here to see our “How to Paper Tune your Bow” article

    In this article I will guide you through how to properly sight a bow.  In order to get started we will need the following tools/items:

    -Allen wrenches
    -Field point Target
    -Measuring Tape
    -3 arrows with field points
    -Stake/Wooden Marker

    We’re going to start by taking our tape measure and measuring out 4 distances of 10 yds from the target and placing a marker in the ground at each 10 yd increment.

    Next take your gear and tools and set up so that you are about 5 yds. This will allow you to safely see where your initial arrow flies without missing the target and losing or breaking an arrow.

    We are going to begin by taking care of the left to right changes first and then adjusting the sight for height later on.

    When adjusting your sights keep 3 things in mind.

    1. Adjust your sight in the same direction that your arrow is hitting.  So for example if your arrow hits too much to the right you will adjust your sight to the right a bit.

    2. Adjust the whole sight first for 30 yds and then adjust your pins for the other yardages.

    3. Keep your adjustments small, a slight adjustment to the sight can mean a huge change in where the arrow hits the target.

    Using your 30 yard pin aim at the center of the target and take note of where your arrow goes.  If it is too far left move the sight left and shoot again until the arrow is hitting right on or within a half inch of where you are aiming it.

    Once finished move back to 10 yds and repeat, fine tune the left to right based on where the arrow hits the target. At this point your left to right should be taken care of and we can begin dealing with the high and low of the arrow.

    When shooting at the target from 10 yrds with your 30yd pin you should expect the arrow to hit about 3 – 4 inches higher than where you aim. If this is the case then move back to 20 yds, if not then adjust the sight so the arrow hits higher and then move back to 20yds.

    Repeat this process again at the 20yd pin and then move back to 30 yards.

    At this point you will be able to fine tune your sight for up and down, left and right using your 30 yd pin.  At 30 yards your arrows should be nearly dead on or very close to it.

    Once you have your 30 yrd pin shooting the way you want it to, you will be focusing on fine tuning your other yardages by making adjustments to the actual pins (10,20,40,50 etc) instead of the entire sight.

    After completing these steps your bow should be properly and successfully sighted in and you will only need to further fine tuned if need be.

    Below I have included a great video to give a visual representation of what I am explaining in this article

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    Why 3D Archery Will Make You a Better Bow Hunter

    A 3D archery course is basically a course in which a bunch of 3D animal targets are set up in bush, in real hunting scenario positions. Each target has a heart, lung and body section. In most cases a heart shot is 10pts, a lung shot is 8 pts and a body shot is 5pts. The goal is to stand at the specific marker that has been set for that animal, and guess the distance at which the animal is standing as well as where the vitals would be on the animal.

    3D archery shooting is a really fun time and is even better when a group of people go and you make it a competition. In order to find a place near your area that offers 3D shooting events, you can go onto the internet and do a search of 3D shoots, when those results come up you will need to narrow it down to your state and city. Another good way to find out is to simply ask other archers, and bowhunters in your area.

    Usually before entering onto the course there are target bags set up for practice shots. This is a great time to take a few shots just to make sure your bow equipment is working properly and to warm up your muscles. Make sure that if you have any questions at all make sure to ask around, other archers and the owners of the course are always more than happy to help out a fellow archer, especially if you’re new to archery or 3D shooting.

    There are many different types of 3D animals you will be shooting at, the courses that I have seen I have shot at moose, bear, deer, alligators, beavers, raccoons, goats, and many others. Some of these animals are placed out to about 70 yards and can get pretty tricky to know where to shoot at but it is a whole lot of fun.

    The best thing about 3D archery shoots however; is that fact that it’s almost like you’re hunting. There is no better way in my mind to practice for bow hunting than to shoot animal replicas set up in hunting like scenarios, with accurate vitals. 3D archery will teach you to judge distances quickly without the help of a range finder, it will help to teach you where the vitals are on the different animals you will be hunting, it will also teach you the kind of tricks the trees and shrubs can play on your eyes ex, the tunneling effect., and it will train you to be an overall better archer.

    Let me just say that nothing will make you happier than when that 10 point buck comes out into that clearing in front of you and you will have seen that dozens of times before when shooting the 3D course, and you will know exactly how far he is and where to shoot.

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    The Dangers of Dry Firing a Bow


    Dry firing a bow is the act of shooting a bow without an arrow. While this may seem harmless to some of us who are just starting out I assure you that this can be one costly mistake. The fact of the matter is that it can happen to anyone beginner or expert for many different reasons. Whether it be from ignorance, distractions, or accidental misfire of a release it happens all the time. So the question is what do you do if you accidentally dry-fire your bow.

    There are a few outcomes that could happen when a bow is dry-fired, the first is that your bowstring, and cables could snap resulting in your limbs breaking and potential debris flying all over the place. This is basically the worst case scenario. The second scenario is that your string breaks however everything else stays intact, and the third possibility is that it will appear that nothing has happened to the bow.

    No matter what scenario your bow falls into after being dry-fired, the first thing you will need to do is to get a magnifying glass and a bright light and look over the limbs especially near the cams for any cracking, or splintering. If you find that one of both limbs have cracks or splinters in them then you will have to replace the limbs before you are able to shoot again.

    After checking for cracks and splinters in the limbs, take a look at the cams/wheels to make sure that they have not been bent or cracked, again if they are you will need to replace them as soon as possible before you are able to shoot. Next if you were lucky enough to have your string still intact, you will need to check the whole thing for badly frayed portions, cut strands, and badly damaged areas, especially near the axles.

    If everything checks out and you were unable to find anything wrong with your bow then you are lucky, and you have 2 options, your first option is to draw the bow(with an arrow) and shoot it. Make note of any weird noises, or vibrations. If you aren’t the risky type then you can bring it into a bow repair shop and they will have the tools and resources to be able to better inspect it for damages.

    In any of the other cases where the string breaks and/or the bow limbs shatter, you will first go get medical attention if you need it and then you will need to bring your bow in to a bow repair shop and you will have to replace the limbs,string, and any other broken parts(axles,cams,wheels etc.).

    Dry-firing your bow is something you will want to avoid at all costs. To help minimize your chances of dry-firing a bow you should always draw a bow with an arrow in it, and aim it at a target. This way if you do accidentally release the string there is an arrow in it and you have a target to stop the arrow. Also if you are just trying out a bow be sure to draw with a anti-dry-fire release. When in a group of people it is very easy to become side tracked and forget to load your bow with an arrow. Its always good to double check before you draw your bow.

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    Bow Safety – Things You Should Avoid at All Costs

    Archery is a fun and addictive sport, that is enjoyed by countless people. What some people tend to forget however is that while archery is fun it can be deadly as well if you’re not careful and keep safety in mind.

    Every year there are people injured from being careless or just not knowing about the “do not’s” of shooting a bow. This article will provide you with the knowledge you need in order to keep yourself from getting injured or injuring somebody else.

    -A lot of people when they draw their bows back aim it way up in the air in order to make it easier for them to draw it. You tend to see this with a lot of beginners or especially individuals trying to pull too much weight. The problem with drawing the bow in this way is that the release that you use is mechanical and they have been known to let go randomly.

    This means that if you’re in the middle of drawing your bow and your release misfires, your arrow is going to be launched off into the sky where there is no telling what and where it is going to hit when it comes down.

    -This next point happens all the time and is one of the biggest causes of bow damage. It is very important that you NEVER NEVER dry fire (shoot a bow without an arrow loaded in it) a bow. When a bow is shot without the arrow, the limbs and axles/cams are thrown back much more violently and with a lot more force often causing damage such as cracked limbs, bent cams/axles, broken strings and cables, and more seriously potential broken parts that could come back and hit you.

    -As I have stated before bows are not toys, they can cause serious injury and even death. That being re-stated, you should always be sure of your target as well as its ability to stop your arrow, before you fire your bow. This is especially true for hunters when in the early morning or late evening. If you are even a little uncertain as to your target DO NOT shoot, you can end up creating more problems for yourself than is necessary.

    -When drawing back your bow, it is good to remember that releases are mechanical devices that could fail at anytime and without warning. It is because of this that you do not want to draw your bow back at face level as well as have your finger in front of the trigger.

    The reason being that if you’re pulling 50-60lbs and your release lets go, your hand and release are going to sky rocket back into your face. This is not a very pleasant experience at all, and has been known to even knock people out cold. Keeping your hand behind and pressed up against the back of the trigger can help reduce the chances of mis-firing.

    -Although arrows are expensive,it is never a good idea to shoot an arrow that is damaged, no matter how insignificant the damage may look. When an arrow is shot out of a bow it has a huge amount of stress on it, and it bends back and forth.

    If there are stress cracks, or splinters, or any other kind of structural damage to the arrow shaft, upon firing the arrow shaft could shatter and send hundreds of pieces of carbon fiber sailing into your arms and hands.

    It is important to keep these warnings in mind each and every time you shoot your bow. Keeping these warnings in mind will help to ensure the safety of not only yourself but of the others around you as well.

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    How to Grip your Bow so that You don’t get Stung

    Whether you are an avid archer or shoot occasionally, almost everyone of us has had the unpleasant experience of being hit with the bowstring. Being “zinged” is probably one of the most painful experiences of shooting a bow and once you do it, you really start trying to figure out how to avoid having it happen again. There is really only one main reason why you get zinged and that is improper grip on the bow.

    Most archers grip the bow with the middle of their palm running down the center of the bow handle. On top of this poor form we also tend to squeeze really tightly which inevitably brings the string closer to our wrist. Not to worry though after being zinged myself I was taught this new way of holding the bow that would pretty much completely eliminate any chances of being hit with the string again.

    The easiest way to explain this grip is to have you look at the front of your hand. Notice the meaty portion of your hand just below your thumb. This portion of your hand is going to be what sits on the middle of the bow handle instead of the middle of your palm.

    Next your going to put your four remaining fingers together and place the tips of these fingers on the front portion of the handle/riser and your going to curl your thumb over to the right of the handle(if right handed).

    *note the space between the arm and the string.

    This grip is guaranteed not only to help keep your arm from getting hit but because this grip really inhibits squeezing really hard, it also helps to reduce bow torque. Just remember that you should only have your hand tight enough around the handle in order to keep it in your hand after the shot. Holding your bow too tightly will really hurt your accuracy and consistency, if you are afraid of your bow dropping you can pick up a very cheap solution. Its called a bow-sling and it attaches to the handle and you put you’re hand inside the sling to prevent your bow from coming out of your hand. Braided Bow Sling

    When hunting or shooting in the winter your clothes tend to be a lot thicker and this can cause the string to start hitting your jacket. The solution to this is to get a hold of an arm guard this will help to keep you’re coat sleeve out of the way of your bowstring. Vista Tuff-Lite Armguard

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    How to paper tune your bow

    Paper tuning your bow is not a necessity in order to shoot your bow, however it does ensure that your bow is shooting straight and as accurate as possible. In most cases it even helps to reduce the amount of difference between field points and broadheads.

    Paper tuning is really nothing more than putting a piece of paper between two posts and then shooting your arrow through the paper into a target located just behind the paper. In doing this you are able to see if the arrow is kicking left,right,up or down.

    1. Lets get started what you need to do is to get 2 posts of some type and secure them so that they cannot move. Your going to want the posts to be about the width of the paper your using minus an inch on both sides because your going to need to fasten the paper to the posts.

    *NOTE make sure that the paper is not creased or wrinkled as this will affect the outcome results.* Also make sure the paper is at the height of the arrow being shot because you do not want to be shooting downwards or upwards into the paper as the results will be inaccurate as well..

    2. Alright so now with the posts firmly in place in front of your target and the paper fastened to the posts you are now ready to start shooting. So what we are going to do is go back about 3-5 yards from the posts. Now what your going to do is shoot an arrow into the sheet of paper making sure that your form good so as not to torque the bow.

    3. After the arrow has passed through the page there may or may not be significant tearing. What your going to do next is to go to the paper take on of your hands and put it behind the paper and put the tears back together so that you can see how its tearing. Once you see how it is tearing then you can make the adjustments to your arrow rest. *NOTE the best way that I have found is to work on one problem at a time so work on either horizontal tears or vertical tears*.

    4. Alright so now what we have to do is read the tear and fix the problem. Now the most important part to remember is that you must move your rest in the direction of the tear, so for example if after getting the paper back together you notice that the tear is going to the left then you need to move the rest to the left, if the tear is going in an upward direction then you need to move the rest up etc.

    Now this could take some time as once you move the rest you must continue shooting into the paper until you shoot the arrow through with no tearing and the end result looks as though your looking at the back of an arrow. You need to do this for both for horizontal and vertical tears.

    5. Once you have the arrows going through properly with the flecthings on we need to get a bare arrow(one without fletchings)and go through the same steps. In doing this we can eliminate even the smallest of tears that may have been covered up by the minor tearing from the fletchings on the previous arrow we used.

    The goal of this new arrow is to get it making what looks like bullet holes, the holes should be round with no tearing at all. If this is done than you have successfully paper tuned your bow, this will ensure maximum accuracy and penetration of the arrow.

     

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    How to Sight In your Bow


    Sighting in your bow is a very simple but but can be time consuming process. Simply put sighting in your bow is basically setting up the pins on your sight so that when you aim and release the arrow; it hits where you were aiming. In order to sight in your bow you will need a set of allen wrenches, for the sight/rest/pin screws.

    STEP ONE

    First of all you need to set up a target and some markers, that will mark off distances of 10, 20,30,40 yds etc As for a target I use and would recommend Field Logic’s ” The Block Elite 4×4 Field Tip/Broadhead Target ” for 3 reasons
    *These targets can take a beating and last a long time
    * You can shoot both field point and broadheads at it
    * It is one of the only targets I have tried that you don’t have to fight with to get your arrows out of it.

    . Set yourself up so that your body is perpendicular to the target about 5-10 yds away. Load an arrow into your bow and aim at the target with the top most pin on your sight; where you want the arrow to go. Do this a few times just to make sure that you didn’t flinch or the wind didn’t grab the arrow.

    Walk up to the target and make note of where your arrows are in relation to where you were aiming. If the arrows are off from your aimed spot then go back and move the sight just a little in the direction that the arrow was off. For example if your arrow was right, then you will move the sight to the right. *Note – We are just concentrating on left to right at this point.* Continue this process until your arrow hits where you are aiming(in relation to left and right).

    STEP TWO

    At this point your arrow should pretty much be dead on when it comes to left and right alignment. With the left to right complete we can now work on your up and down alignment. Basically to start out with, this process is going to be pretty much the same as the first steps. Make sure that you are standing perpendicular to the target about 10 yds away. Instead of using your top most pin however; you will now use your pin that you are going to be using for 30yds(usually your 2nd pin from the top).

    Aim at the center of the target and then release the arrow. The expected results should be that the arrow has hit 3-4 inches higher from where you aimed, this is normal. If you are off left to right repeat the previous steps. If the arrow is lower than where you were aiming simply loosen the sight and bring the sight down just a little bit. Continue shooting until the arrow is about 3-4 inches higher than where you were aiming.

    When you have reached the desired results move back to the 20yrd marker. Again using your 30yrd pin aim at the center of the target, again you should be hitting just above where you were aiming. the difference now should be only about 1-2 inches higher. If the arrow hits dead on or is a little low then make the adjustment downwards to your sight, and try again until the results are reached.

    Move back to the 30 yrd marker, and aim again at the center of the target. Your arrow should be hitting pretty much right where you aimed it. You may have to make small adjustments to fine tune your sight, however you probably won’t need to do very much.

    STEP THREE

    In the previous steps we were concentrating on moving the entire sight in order to sight in your 30yd pin, now with your 30 yd pin set and all ready to go we can now focus on your individual pins. This process will take a bit of time but basically you are just going to move forward or back depending on the pin that you are working with and moving the pin up or down to get the desire shot placement for that yardage.

    Do this for the rest of your distances leaving your 30yd pin alone. In doing it this way you avoid setting up the 10, 20 yd pins and then realizing that the entire sight has to go up or down and then once doing so having to re sight in the 10, 20 yrd pins. This saves a lot of time and frustration. Once all your pins are set you are now sighted in and ready to go.

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