So, you are shooting your bow regularly, and suddenly, you start shooting 3 inches low. Your long shots drop 6-8 inches. Your first instinct is to think that something has moved. Though this is possible, there are a multitude of things that are more likely to have happened. In this article I will give you a list of things to check, some ‘how-to’s’ for checking, and some solutions to fix this issue. Some things are simple fixes, and some you will likely need to take to a bow-pro.
Things to check:
Movement: Make sure nothing has come loose or moved. One thing I like to do after getting that ‘perfect setup’ is to mark my equipment. (where the rest and riser meet, and my base sight settings) This will not fix your problems right now, but it will give you an additional way to quickly rule this out in the future.
Specs: Make sure that your bow is at factory specs (brace height, axle to axle, draw weight and draw length). Any of these measurements being out by more than 1/8” can cause performance issues and can often be put back in to specs by putting in or taking out twist on the strings and cables. You will need a bow press for this, and it is recommended to have a Bow-Pro to do this.
Brace height is measured from the inner most part of the handle to the string.
Axle to axle is measured from the cam axle at the end of your limb to the other cam axle.
Draw weight is done on a bow scale. It is a good idea to keep an eye on this every couple of months or so. If you are losing draw weight, this is an indication of either a stretching string, faulty string, or weak or damaged limbs.
Draw length is measured from the position that your arrow nocks on the string to the inner most part of the handle plus 1 ¾ inches. You will most likely know what your draw length is. If your anchor point has moved or feels different it is a possibility that your string has stretched, or that there is another fault.
String stretch or damage: You should check your strings regularly for signs of ware or damage. If you bow is new, and you are shooting the factory strings, you can expect some string stretch between the 500 and 1500 shot mark. This is normal and not cause for concern. This can usually be fixed with a couple of twists in the string. However, be mindful to check for damage on the string or serving. If a string has broken a few strands, it will also stretch, but is usually about to break. Also keep an eye on the serving. Occasionally strands will break under the servings and be kind of invisible. Regular waxing and string inspection can help when noticing loos strands.
Limbs: If all else fails, it is time to check your limbs for damage and weakness. (WARNING if you find damage, DO NOT SHOOT!)
Look for obvious damage (twisting cracks in paint, or cam lean at rest). If you find any damage, it is time to order new limbs.
Put your bow in a drawboard.To find damage in a limb you often must check the bow at full draw. If you don’t have access to a draw board, see a Bow-Pro. If you find any damage, it is time to order new limbs.
If there is no apparent damage of the limbs, and everything is in specs except for draw weight, you are developing weakness in the limbs. They don’t last forever, you will need to order new limbs.
Most of these common issues can be fixed quickly and easily with a bow press. Some you will need to enlist the assistance of a Bow-Pro. Either way, it is easy to figure out what is going on with your bow. 95% of the time, it is simply string stretch, and can be fixed in a matter of minutes with a bow press.
And as always, “Keep your strings waxed, and your broadheads sharp”.