Now our bow is timed, Nock point, peep and sight elevation set its time to sight in for left/right.
I hang a piece of yarn that is easy to see at a distance, weighted at one end so it will hang straight. Shoot an arrow from 20 yards aiming at the yarn and leave it in the target, now step back to your farthest yardage that you are accurate at and shoot another arrow aiming at the string but not the same spot as the first. You should see a left or right difference from the closer arrow to the farthest arrow. If your farthest arrow is to the left of the 20 yard arrow move your rest to the right about 1/32” or if your rest has marks move it half a mark. Pull your arrows and repeat the following steps until you see both arrows in a straight up and down line from each other. The rule I follow here is to always move my rest in the direction of the 20 yard arrow. If my 20 yard arrow is to the left move the rest to the left, if it is to the right move the rest to the right. If everything is tuned right and arrows are flying good then it shouldn’t need much movement of the rest to get your arrows hitting good. Now you can adjust your sights as needed and really get dead on with your sight.
At this point you should really see improvements in the way your bow feels and how well it’s shooting. None of this will make you a snipe with a bow. You will still have to do your part with practice, good form and making repetitive shots. Ideally you want the bow to feel solid and an extension of your arm. Before I go into how to build your arrow and to get it set up for your bow I do want to touch on something important, draw weight. I have seen so many people insist on shooting a draw weight that is obviously too heavy for them to draw comfortably. I see people straining to draw their bow and coming out of form that I feel it’s a needed subject to talk about. First it doesn’t take any more than a 30# compound bow set up with the right arrow and good shot placement to harvest a whitetail deer. The best way I have found to check if the draw weight is too much , is to sit in a chair and see if you can draw the bow straight back without lifting the bow or making some silly face. If you cannot make a smooth draw you probably need to take the weight down to where you can. I personally like a #60 to #65 bow and can draw them easily and smoothly.
Think of it like this, you are on a hard hunt where you know there is a good chance of a big buck coming through. After a long time of sitting, maybe in the cold, you are stiff and a nice buck finally comes into range and you can’t draw your bow without a lot of movement, or not at all. I would rather pull a lower pound bow without making any extra movement and come home with the prize.
Now with that said we will talk about arrows! If you take the time to build your arrows as you did with your bow then you should have confidence in knowing your arrow will fly true and you will bring your trophy home. There are so many different types to choose from today that you truly can build an arrow for any purpose. I know every company has charts that tell you what spine you need for you draw length and bow poundage, but this is only a starting point not a pin point detail. So let’s break a few things down first. The spine of an arrow is not the weight of the arrow and doesn’t mean that all arrows of the same spine will weigh the same. Spine is only the stiffness of the arrow and this is affected by the length of the arrow. You might think I am nut and say “If an arrow is a 400 spine it will be that no matter how long I cut it”. If that is true then why can I take a piece of ¼” steel rod cut 30 inches and bend it easily but as I cut it shorter it becomes harder and harder to bend? Arrows are the same way. Yes some charts even take this into account but they don’t always take into account the weight of the tip you plan to put in the arrow. Just as the length changes how stiff an arrow is the weight in front of the arrow can make it act weaker do to the fact that it has to push the weight while in flight.
Take me for instance; I am a 28.5” draw with a #65 bow. The chart from Black Eagle Arrows shows that I am between a 400 and a 350 spine arrow for my X-Impacts cut to just under 27” with the nock installed with 140-195 grains of tip weight. The tip weight also takes into account the weight of the insert. I really need a 300 spine arrow but a 350 spine will do the job and hold up. If I was to cut the arrow at 28”-29” though I would have to use a 300 spine because the 350 would be far to weak to tune and fly right once I put a broad head in. Always remember that the higher the spine numbers the weaker the arrow and the lower the spine numbers the stiffer the arrow. The only exception to this rule is the Carbon Express arrow company, their spine charts are the other way; the higher the numbers the stiffer the arrow and the lower the numbers the weaker the arrow. I really don’t know why but that’s the way they do things there. I have found it’s best to check to think about what you are trying to do with your set up and what you are hunting. Don’t under build your arrow in an attempt to get higher speeds from your bow but don’t over build it either or it will drop fast. My personal hunting arrow will only tip the scale at 378.5 grains total. This is not to gain speed but to enhance kinetic energy. I am using the Black Eagle X-Impacts because they are a small diameter light weight shaft that I am cutting as short as I can to allow me to put more weight in the front. Yes before you ask you can get to much weight in front but if you keep it in reason you will get better penetration on your animal because the tip is driving itself through and not the weight of the shaft. This set up will allow the arrow to act strictly as a tail to help steer the arrow to it’s intended target. This is not the holy grail of arrow set ups but it’s the one that I like to use. I know plenty of people that do well with heavy arrows as well. Just keep in mind when building and choosing your arrows what you are hunting and how short you plan to cut them along with the weight you wish to put in front of the shaft. Please be careful and safe in this because if you get to weak of a shaft it could bust while releasing it and hurt you.
As I believe I mentioned before, I see people worried about getting there bows faster and faster and doing this by getting lighter arrows, taking weight out of the tip or shooting to high of poundage on their bow. Don’t fall for this speed trap. There is a balance and you can play with the balance to a degree but if you start tipping the scales to much you will either hurt yourself or your equipment or wound animals and never find them. Keep a thought in the back of your mind when building you bow and arrow set up, If I through a piece of rice at you going 350 fps and a soft ball at you going 250 fps which one of the two is going to hurt the most?
I hope this helped you to better tune and build a hunting setup to take your next trophy! I pride myself in always learning new things and testing out ideas. You never know until you try, but always be safe and pay attention to every detail. May your arrows fly straight and you aim be true!
For Part I: