With two-and-a-half months before the start of the deer bowhunting season in Wildlife Management Units (WMU) 2B, 5C and 5D, and an additional two weeks thereafter before it starts in the remainder of the state, now may be a good time for bowhunters to have their bows, both compounds and crossbows, checked to see if they’re in need of service like re-stringing and re-serving.
You don’t want to wait to the day before or even a week before the opener’s to have your bows re-strung, or in the case of crossbows, a cracked limb replaced as they are somewhat susceptible to cracking either from dropping them or dry firing too often.
According to the folks at Weaknecht Archery in Kutztown, it takes about 3-5 days to have a bow re-strung and re-served right now. But that time frame lengthens closer to the archery season.
Nate Hertzog, archery technician at Weaknecht Archery, said savvy bowhunters are now starting to come in to have their bows re-tuned. “To replace a bow string requires a bow press which most hunters don’t have, unless you do a lot of 3D shooting or other competitions and those shooters may have presses and do it themselves.”
But it seems, for the most part, it’s less of an expenditure or headache, to have it serviced at a reputable archery shop.
Hertzog goes on to say, “If your bow string is 3-5 years old, it could be time for a new one as older strings do stretch which means less speed, accuracy and dependability.”
Replacing a crossbow string is much easier and quicker says Hertzog. But replacing a compound bow string requires considerably more steps.
Says Hertzog, “After replacing the bow string we have to measure where to put your nocking point, peep sight and with the highly popular drop-away rests, it’s necessary to reset your rest timing plus square up the string loops to insure they are in the correct position. A ton more work.”
He points out that even for bow-shooters who own a portable bow press, for example, they may not get everything correctly in sync. And with 300-pounds of pressure on bows, it can be dangerous when shooting it.
If having Weaknecht’s re-string, Hertzog says the shop charges $79.99 for a stringing cable set for a traditional compound bow and for a high-end 3D Pro bow, it’s $99.99. There’s also a $25 install fee that is waved if the bow was purchased there.
If re-stringing yourself, Hertzog cautions to be careful of the string material used and the length. If it isn’t the correct length it could be a problem. Serving string could also be worn and that material too is important.
“String length on crossbows is particularly critical as there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on them. Install the wrong length and it can be dangerous,” opines Hertzog. Crossbows, however, are rarely checked as those hunters usually just take them out of off-season storage and go hunting.”
Then there are bowhunters who buy a new compound bow every five years and aren’t too concerned with their strings, Hertzog concluded.
Good words of wisdom from an archery shop who has been in business since 1964.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.