Special to the Chronicle

Damon and Howatt’s Dream Catcher owned by Toby Benoit.

Archery season is just around the corner and it’s time to get our gear ready. Time to knock the dust off the old quiver, pull the targets out and begin flinging arrows. For the bowhunters who don’t shoot year round (I can’t imagine) now is the time to begin stretching out the muscles to draw smoothly and comfortably and put your set-up through it’s paces to ensure we’re every bit as ready for the big hunt as we can be.

The beginning of archery season this year takes place Aug. 3, way down south in our state’s A-Zone as established by the Florida Wildlife Commission. Living up here in the C-Zone, we still have a way to go before we can hunt locally, but each year, a good many of us head southward to the A-zone to get in on the of the miseries involved in the summertime opening day. But, before we get there I want to make certain that my gear is in top shape.

I’ll begin by checking my string for signs that it has stretched or frayed, paying strict attention to the center serving where the arrow nock attaches. If all appears well, I’ll give it a good waxing, whether it appears to need it or not. Next, I’ll check to ensure the timing is still dead on. The timing is the rotation of the cams on the bows; you really want to ensure that they are rotating and breaking over at precisely the same moment. Then, it’s a good time to give each axle a squirt of lubricating oil. But, my bow doesn’t have cams or wheels, so I’ll check my tiller that all is in sync and there are no twists, fractures or delaminations anywhere in the limbs.

Now, if I’ve noted any concerns, each will need to be addressed before actually nocking up and firing the bow. If you haven’t the experience or tools necessary to do the job properly, please get to a pro shop. Even if they may be a long drive, get there. It’s not worth risking damage to the bow — or God forbid — yourself should that bow come apart on you. It’s rare, but it happens.

Then, it’s time to shoot and check to ensure the tune is still dead-on as is your accuracy. Hopefully you won’t have any issues at all getting your arrows stacking once again into the bullseye. Beyond that, it’s just a matter of repetition and strengthening your muscles so you are ready when that buck you’ve waited so long for suddenly enters your shooting lanes. If solo backyard practice seems more of a chore and you’d rather shoot with friends, even better! Shooting with friends and family is always more fun and I’ll encourage everyone to perform a quick Google search for the schedules of our local archery clubs and visit with them a while. I know they’d be only too happy to have you join.

I surely thank you for all of your input and as always, if you have any feedback, give me a shout at RebelYellOutdoors@gmail.com. God Bless and Good Hunting!

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