Arrows Series – Part 8: Fine Tuning and Numbering

Now that your center-shot is right, you’ll need to continue to fine-tune your bow periodically to change as you grow and develop as an archer. Start by labelling and numbering your arrows. Labelling your arrows with your name or initials is required for tournaments and sometimes is the only way you can distinguish your arrows from someone else’s; especially if they have the same nocks, shafts and fletchings.

Numbering is a good idea so you can track your arrows, if you have a single stray arrow. If the stray is consistent on every end and the number is the same, it may be that something is not right with that arrow.

Once you know your arrows and can track them, you can further tune your bow by adjusting various components such as the tiller, plunger, nock height etc… . You can perform some or all of these various tuning test to help tune your bow for maximum performance.

Paper Tuning Test: Tuning test involving setting up a piece of paper on a frame, stretching the paper taught, and shooting field-tipped arrows (not broadheads, which will affect the arrow flight) through it starting about 6 ft away.

Bare Shaft Planing Test : Tuning process were one shoots a bare arrow (shaft with no fletchings) for comparison with fletched arrows.

Walk-back Test: Tuning process where groups of arrows are shot at increasing distances to give a useful combined test of both centre-shot and button tension.

Check out these two very useful resources: Easton Tuning Guide and Tenzone’s Bow Tuning test documents: for instructions with these tests and many more.

As you develop as an archer you will need to make changes and tune your bow. Remember that making multiple adjustments at the same time can be hard to track and can be very confusing. It is important to only make one change at a time and test again.

This concludes the Arrow Series; Thanks and good shooting.


Pulling Arrows

One of the first things every archer has to do is pull their arrows from their target. As an archer develops and increases in draw weight, arrows can become lodged deeper and deeper into a target making them more difficult to pull out. Additionally, new target materials make this more difficult since they are denser, more rigid, and designed to last longer.

Arrows should be removed on the same angle at which they entered the target and while twisting an arrow can help loosen the arrow, it can also crack the shaft and damage it, so this is not a recommended approach. So, if an archer is struggling retrieving their arrows they can unintentionally bend or break them.

This can be a problem, especially for younger archers, who have bows that drive the arrow deep into the target but have not yet developed the strength to retrieve their arrows.

Generally, pulling arrows doesn’t have to be difficult with a little preparation before shooting.

First, apply arrow lube to your arrows. By lubricating your arrows, it makes it easier to pull your arrows from the target. Alternatively you can use bar of soap.

Next, get yourself an arrow puller. An arrow puller wraps around the arrow providing a better grip to help remove a stubborn arrow.

Every archer should have an arrow puller, so when selecting one, make sure it is large enough to wrap around your arrows, yet small enough to work within tight groups of arrows. Check out Cartel Doosung’s new Midas arrow puller, it is small, inexpensive and very effective, and it is the one I use.

Sometimes, an archer can miss the target and the arrows find themselves in more difficult material for removal such as the wooden target frame, a tree stump or even a concrete wall.  Although arrows stuck in concrete wall are lost, arrows stuck in wood sometimes can be retrieved by loosening the wood around the arrow with a sharp knife or a hammer and chisel. If attempting such an extraction, remember to work slowly and avoid damaging the arrow or point.