If you have a compound bow, you need to care for it properly, which involves finding a suitable and safe way to store it when you’re not using it whether in or out of season. Leaving a bow exposed and not storing it with care leaves it vulnerable to scratches and dents, which you want to avoid if you want to be using your bow for a long time.
Here are the best ways to store a compound bow at home:
- Long term, use a specialized compound bow case.
- Short term, hang your compound bow.
The rest of this article discusses the best ways to store your bow so you can ensure it doesn’t get damaged between seasons or hunting trips.
1. Use a Specialized Compound Bow Case
If you are using your bow infrequently or it is out of season, it is best to store it in a protective case. These cases are usually waterproof and don’t allow water to get inside, which could cause drastic damage. You must get the correct size bow case and choose between a soft case and a hard case; I’d recommend the hard case due to its durability.
My favorite case is the Protector Compact Bow Case from Amazon. The PillarLock system and the Plano molding protect your bow, and it features an arrow storage under the lid.
Soft cases are typically fine if you mostly stay local or don’t travel a lot to your shooting range or hunting area.
My favorite soft case is the Legend Monstro Compound Bow Case from Amazon.com. This case has a nylon exterior and thick foam padding designed to protect your gear. Plus, it’s extremely spacious, so you can carry your bow and hunting accessories. The reinforced metal buckles and adjustable interior fastening straps ensure your comfort and the case’s durability.
Another good option is the Silfrae Compound Bow Case, also from Amazon.com. It’s not as high quality as the Legend case, but it’s well made, especially for its lower price. It comes in black, oak camo, and tree camo. I also like this case because you can wear it as a backpack.
Compounds typically stay strung when stored in cases, although if you want to store your bow long-term, it may be best to disassemble it.
A high-quality bow case is a good investment, especially if you’re planning on transporting your bow. If you live on a range, it may be easy for you to simply hang your bow in your garage and grab it on the way out, but if you need to drive to a range, your bow is most protected if it’s safely secured in a case.
Storing your bow in a case is also a good idea if you have children who could hurt themselves or others if they got their hands on your bow. People who don’t know how to handle a bow properly can dry-fire it pretty easily, so keeping it locked away is a good idea.
You should always pack spare arrow rests, a bowstring and some wax, a bow stringer, an Allen wrench, and a bow sight in your case.
2. Hang Your Compound Bow
If you are using your bow frequently, then it is fine to just hang it up in a safe place, but it should be hung horizontally. Always hang your bow by the frame and somewhere cool and dry with low moisture levels.
You should avoid hanging your bow by the strings because it places unnecessary stress on them. Hanging your compound bow by the cams or by one limb is also not recommended because it strains these components and can reduce the bow’s effectiveness.
Furthermore, if you did damage one of these parts to the point of needing a replacement, they’re quite expensive. You’ll save stress on your bow and your wallet by hanging it properly.
How To Hang Your Compound Bow
The best way to hang your bow is to use the middle part of the frame and hang it horizontally. You can use a set of bicycle hooks or even just some screws. I like this bike hanger wall mount from Amazon because they have an easy installation process, and the wall mounts are sturdy and durable.
If you plan on hanging your bow regularly, it may be worth the investment to purchase a storage rack. I like this model from Amazon. This rack has a classy wood finish and sturdy pegs, ensuring your bows are secure. It’s made out of solid pine, so it’s just as durable as it’s beautiful.
Storing a Bow in a Garage
You should also avoid hanging your bow somewhere outside, like in a shed or a garage. These places aren’t insulated enough to provide any sort of protection. The best place to store your bow is in a room in your house away from sunlight and areas that can easily get damp or moldy.
If you choose to hang your bow in a garage, install it properly and regularly check your bow to ensure that it isn’t getting damp.
How to Prep Your Bow if You Want To Store It Long-Term
If you plan to store your bow for more than just a season, you should disassemble your bow, clean all the parts, and securely store all of the components.
All compound bows can be disassembled with a bow press, which flexes the limbs and allows you to remove the string. If you don’t have a bow press, I recommend the SHARROW Portable Hand Held Compound Bow Press from Amazon.com. This bow press is easy to use, compact, and portable.
The first step to disassembling a bow using a bow press is to unwind the tensioning device and adjust the bow press hooks to the length of your bow. After this, you can start winding the tensioning device and keep twisting until the string starts to relax.
Once the strings aren’t tense anymore, you can place the strings on a carabiner using the cables’ loops. This ensures that they don’t unwind during storage. Now, you can unwind the tensioning device and remove the bow press from the bow. You can now safely remove the limbs and other parts of your bow.
Some more modern compound bows can be disassembled without a bow press; they’re made with longer limb bolts that allow you to remove the tension with the screw. With these bows, you can simply start unscrewing the limb bolts and remove them completely. Then, you can remove all the other parts of your bow.
Note: Disassembling a compound bow is complicated with little room for error. If you make even one small mistake, you can significantly damage your bow. You can have someone else disassemble it if you feel uncomfortable doing it yourself.
You should wax your strings regularly, even when it’s not in use. I like the Bow String Wax Protective from Amazon.com. It comes with six pieces, so you get a lot of bang for your buck. Additionally, the archery wax is made of non-toxic wax, so you can expose yourself to it regularly without harming your health. This wax also comes in small tubes, so it’s easy to transport and store.
When applying your wax, use your fingers to rub it into the grooves of the string. You can also use a piece of cloth to spread the wax evenly. Make sure that you remove any excess, so it doesn’t put unnecessary strain on the strings.
Also, when you’re storing your bow long-term, you should regularly inspect the limbs of your bow to ensure they aren’t becoming overheated. You can swipe a cotton ball over the limbs to see if they become delaminated.
Don’t Forget to Clean All the Parts
Whether you’re storing your bow in a case or hanging it, and whether it’s just for a few days or a few years, one of the most important parts of proper bow storage is cleaning.
Bowstrings, in particular, get dirty and grimy, so make sure you clean them before you put your bow away for storage. The best way to do this is to gently rub a damp microfiber cloth along the grain of the bowstring.
I use the MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths from Amazon. These cloths are high-quality, and the material efficiently removes dust, oil, smudges, fingerprints, and dirt. Furthermore, these cloths are designed for delicate surfaces.
Alternatively, you can clean bowstrings by looping the serving thread around the string and pulling at the ends. Serving thread has a good grip that removes dirt efficiently and quickly. If you choose this method, make sure you apply wax to your strings afterward.
I use the WW Zat Archery Bowstring Serving Thread. This thread is durable and suitable for the compound bowstring.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can apply a cleaner solution to the strings. The cleaner solution I use is Scorpion Venom, and it’s a great release lubricant. However, if you don’t use your bow frequently, a cleaner is unnecessary.
You’ll also need to clean the cams, cables, cable guard, riser, and cable slide. To clean harder-to-reach parts of your bow, such as the riser and cams, you can use cotton balls and swabs to clean the limbs. Use a wire brush to scrub it off if you notice any rust.
You’ll also need to clean your arrows. To clean the arrowhead, pour some alcohol on cotton gauze and rub the arrowhead gently. You can fix any scratches on the arrow shaft with glue.
What Happens if You Don’t Store Your Bow Properly?
If you care for your bow properly, it can last between twenty and thirty years. However, if you don’t take storage seriously, your bow is sure to have a much shorter lifespan. Even the best-made bows are delicate weapons.
If you don’t store your bow properly, the bow parts that are most prone to wear and tear will quickly become damaged. The bowstring is likely to become frayed or faulty, and shooting with a bad string is extremely dangerous.
If you store your bow in sunlight, the sun’s UV rays will break down the materials, and the heat from the sun causes the bow to become stretched and dangerous to shoot. Similarly, if you keep your bow in a too-cold place, the bow will become stiff and difficult to use.
Storing your bow on its ends will wear them out faster. You may not notice the damage as it’s happening, but it could be detrimental to your bow.
How to Store a Bow at the End of the Season
If you’re going to store your bow at the end of the season, the best way to do it is to completely disassemble it and clean all the parts, as described above. However, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of disassembly, or you’re afraid you’ll damage your bow during the process, your bow should be completely secure in a quality case in a cool, dry place.
The most important thing is to keep your bow away from environmental elements that could damage it and to keep it away from those who don’t know how to handle it properly, such as children.
Other Things To Know About Compound Bows
If you’re investing in a compound bow, here are some other things you should know:
- Compound bows only draw a certain distance before the string stops. The draw length can be adjusted to fit the shooter, and you must find your appropriate draw length. If you don’t, you’ll hurt your accuracy, and you could even injure yourself.
- Compound bows have different draw weights. Draw weight is the amount of force you need to pull the bowstring back. You can buy bows that allow high draw weights, even above seventy pounds (31.75 kg). A heavier draw weight will increase arrow speed and penetration ability, but you sacrifice accuracy.
- Different cam styles change how the bow stores the energy transferred to it during your draw. There are four different main types of cams: single, hybrid, binary, and twin. Single cams tend to be smooth and reliable. Hybrid offers a straight, level nock. Binary balance stress and deflections automatically. Finally, twins are precise, accurate, and fast, but they require more maintenance.
If you want your compound bow to last a long time, you need to take care of it properly. Some underestimate the importance of safe storage, but most bow damage occurs when they’re not in use. If you follow this advice and take the time and energy to store your bow right, you can use it for years to come.
For more, check out How Far Can a Bow Shoot? | Ranges by Draw Weight (With Chart).
Hey, I’m Jim, and I’m the author of this website. I have been teaching people a wide variety of survivalism topics for over five years and have a lifetime of experience fishing, camping, general survivalism, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!