Archery Bow Cases

In the archery world it is pretty hard to go shoot without some kind of travel involved. Canada is a very large country and you can travel several hours even to a local tournament.  For example going to the Canadian National Championships, which can be anywhere in Canada, often will require flying, and/or driving. So, while traveling you need some form of protection for your bow, enter the bow case.

There are basically two kinds of bow cases, soft or hard shell and they are available in many shapes, sizes, and materials for every type of bow including traditional, take-down recurve, compound or crossbow.

Soft-shell Case


Typically manufactured from nylon, often they are just one big pocket to wrap up your equipment with additional smaller pockets for some smaller items. Soft-shell cases are typically lighter therefore great for carrying distances as they are typically lighter than hard-shell cases however because they are made from flexible material, you can not stack anything on them otherwise you will damage the bow or equipment inside. Although not as durable as hard shells they are typically less costly and therefore great on the budget.


Hard-shell Case


Typically manufactured from hard-plastics and/or light metals, hard-shell cases provide more protection for your bow and allow you to stack them without worry of damage to the contents. Most hard-shell cases offer many compartments, Velcro latches, and even formed foam to securely hold your bow in place during transportation. Most offer a place to store your arrows, lockable latches, and some cases even provide handles and wheels for trekking through the airport.  Typically, hard-shell cases are more expensive than soft-shell cases however usually they are far more durable and offer far more protection, especially for those who are traveling abroad where others are handling your cases.


Since, there are no take-down compound bows, either soft-shell or hard shell for compound bow cases are typically designed the same way because the shape is fairly consistent and the same can be said about crossbows. With recurve bows there can be greater variances such as traditional bows and take-down bows and the need to transport additional equipment such as larger stabilizer systems. There are three basic types of cases for recurve bows, a bow sock, a single bow case and a double bow case.

Bow Sock

bow-sockTypically used for by non-take-down recurve bows, they are usually made from cloth or nylon. Designed to slip-over and cover the entire bow while unstrung and a great option for traditional bows.

Single bow Case

TopSingle bow cases can be either soft-shelled or hard-shelled and typically designed to host a single Olympic bow. Most hard-shelled versions and some soft-shelled cases provide various pockets and areas for all the associated equipment including stabilizer system, sight, stand and even arrows.

Double Bow Case

double-caseSimilar to a single bow case however typically only available in hard-shell, are usually much larger and provide space for two complete Olympic bows and accessories. This is a must for any competitive archers participating in international events since it is recommended that you have two identical bows for competitions.

Which case is right for you? This will depend on your equipment, your shooting style, the tournaments you plan to attend and your budget. If you are planning to travel to tournaments where someone else may be touching your bow case such as porter or flight attendant, you may want to invest in a hard-shell case. Personally, I have two hard-shell cases, one for short trips to local tournaments and one for long trips that can handle two bows.


ata-featureThis year the ATA Trade Show will be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky from January 7th to 9th.  The 400,000 sq ft of exhibit space will have over 500 exhibitors and are expecting over 8000 attendees with over 300 media representatives.

The ATA Trade Show is the archery and bow-hunting industry’s LARGEST show and the industry’s MOST INCLUSIVE. The ATA Trade Show is a member-driven event to promote commerce within the archery and bow-hunting industry. Owned and operated by the ATA, the show is closed to the public and is an order writing event.

This year’s show offers 33 free seminars including “Understanding bow fit and balance, plus shooting form” by Bernie Pellerite on Monday, “Understanding back tension and target Panic” by Bernie Pellerite on Tuesday and “Introduction to Japanese and Korean traditional archery” by K.I. Koppendreyer & Thomas Duvernay on Monday and Wednesday. Check out the complete list of seminars and speakers here.

Attendees can plan their visit online by exploring the online floor plan and exhibitor directory. You can search for products and exhibitors, print the floor plan in real time and create your personalized Expo Plan. Be sure to visit Cartel Doosung in booth 2618 as they showcase their line of products including accessories, bow stands, sights, peeps, traditional bows, and archery accessories.

This year attendees can also access the floor plan and directory while on the go using a web-enabled mobile device. Simply type the following URL into their mobile browser:

How it’s Made

One of my family’s favorite TV shows is “How it’s Made” shown on Science in the US and Discovery Channel in Canada. The documentary style show features common, everyday items and how they are manufactured.  Typically a narrator, using voice over, explains each step of the process from inception to packaging.  Over the show’s twenty year history, archery has been featured a couple of times.

In the Season 6 (episode 72) they featured Traditional Bows

In Season 11 (episode 135) they featured Crossbows…

This week a new episode featuring Compound Bows will premiere on Science November 15th. The show, filmed at the BowTech’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Eugene, Ore., features the manufacturing process of a high-tech hunting bow from concept through production and testing. Be sure to check it out.


Basically an arrow rest is part of your bow setup that holds the arrow in place, ready to be shot. Allen asked…

What kind of rest would you recommend for a beginner recurve shooter? I’m a COMPLETE newbie to archery, so I blindly went with the archery shop guy’s recommendations when buying my first bow. I ended up buying a Samick Polaris that he set up with a rug rest. Is this a bad kind of rest to use? Wouldn’t the two non-index fletches hit the bow on the way out? My arrows tend to hit the target at an angle instead of perpendicular, so I wonder if the rest could be causing it.

First lets cover the various types, most people say there are four basic types of arrows however I believe there are five; shoot-thru, containment, drop-away, pressure/plunger rests and the additional shelf. The shelf is often overlooked because it is part of the bow, however you do “rest” the arrow on it.

Here is a general overview of each type.

Shoot-thru (or prong) rest : A two-pronged arrow rest with a gap between and spaced about two-thirds of the width of the arrow to create a cradle. The arrow sits on top of the prongs with one fletching pointing down between them and is usually spring-loaded to allow additional clearance for the fletchings. These rests can be tricky for beginners because the arrow can fall off with wind or bad form.  They are best for hunting and the use of a mechanical release.

Containment rest : A totally encircled or a simultaneous 3-point contact arrow rest holding the arrow completely in place until release. These are the most common choice for archery hunting, they are relatively easy to install and tune. Great for beginner hunters since the arrow will not fall off the rest.

Drop-away (or fall-away) rest : Designed to drop out of the way upon release and therefore eliminate any chance of contact with the arrow. Activated by the release of the string, the rest holds the arrow long enough to keep straight and needs to drop out of the way before the fletching reaches the rest. Since this can be very tricky to tune; it is best suited for a compound bow. It is popular for hunting with large fixed-blade broad heads and helical fletchings.

Pressure/Plunger rest: Used commonly by finger shooters (no-mechanical release), they are designed to counter-act the horizontal oscillation from release with your fingers. Standard type bows without a cut-away, typically use a simple flipper rest (a rest with an additional “flipper” that acts like a plunger to help push-back against the pressure). Bows designed with a cut-away for your center shot typically use a rest along with an adjustable plunger. A pressure rest is used on Olympic bows and can be used be any finger shooter.

Shelf: Most traditional longbows and modern recurves bows are now designed with a cut-away area in the riser which includes a shelf area. For this type of bow instead of a pressure rest you can choose to shoot off the shelf. An arrow rest is attached to the shelf of your bow and is usually installed with an arrow plate to the side. They serve as protection for the bow and arrow and act as a soft, smooth surface for the arrow to be shot from.

Selecting a rest depends on a list of things including…

  • Type of bow (compound or recurve)
  • Chosen application (hunting or target shooting),
  • Type of release (finger or mechanical)
  • Budget (cold hard cash)
  • Experience (your ability to tune the rest and bow)
  • Form (some rests are more forgiving)
  • Tradition and historical nostalgia
  • Competition division (division restrictions)
  • And personal preference (bling factor)

There are a ton of rests available on the market and most bow manufacturers follow the same AMO (Archery Manufacturers Organization) standards. Therefore the drilling and tapping for the majority of bows are universal however before you purchase or upgrade make sure a selected rest will work and function with your bow.

A rug rest is a type of rest for a shelf and could be a very good selection for your shooting style if you are shooting traditional however it would not be the best selection for an Olympic archer or a compound hunter.  I am not in a position to recommend the best rest for your bow, since the bow is only as good as the alignment between the rest, release and nocking point. Obliviously, a better quality rest for your style of shooting can impact your accuracy.

To specifically address… My arrows tend to hit the target at an angle instead of perpendicular, so I wonder if the rest could be causing it.

A rest is only one small piece of the bow, and has very little to do with controlling the oscillation of the arrow. I would personally need to watch you shoot and inspect your bow to provide any valued and specific advice. There are a ton of things that can cause your arrow to impact the target on an angle. The bow may need tuning, you may be plucking the string, the arrows may be too stiff or too flexible, and a lot of other things.

Quick Insight: “Bows only perform actions as directed by you; so make sure you have good form first.”

For more information on good form check out my website page The 10 Basic Steps of Archery and to understand controlling arrow movement such as oscillation, check-out the complete Arrow – The series.

Bow Selection

I am often asked what kind of bow should I shoot. Selecting a bow should be based on your goals and usage. Are you just wanting to shoot arrows as a purest, perhaps a traditional bow would be best. If you are hunting, perhaps a compound bow or crossbow is for you. If you want to compete in the Olympics than you need a recurve bow. Most coaches recommend learning on a traditional type bow first before using a compound to help develop proper form however this is not a “written in stone” fact.

There are two primary classes of bow and then two sub-classes within each primary class. Mechanical (Crossbow & Compound) OR Traditional (Longbow or Recurve)

First ask yourself the following questions…

  • What kind of bow do I want to shoot? (Traditional or mechanical)
  • What am I going to do with my bow? (Hunt, compete, learn)

One of my readers asked….

… I have been in awe of archery my whole life, but I couldn’t do anything about it because there’s no archery club in my country. I’m seriously thinking about purchasing a bow but since I have no one to guide me, I was wondering if you could post something about how to choose the right bow. I also understand that some attachments aren’t necessary (like the clicker), I would want to know what a bow NEEDS to have. What should I be looking out for?

You bow is a personal preference; finding the perfect bow takes time, experimentation, trial and error. Check out this excellent blog by “Off the Arrow Shelf” who provides excellent insight into what you should look out for in your first bow.

Stick and String – Interview

Today, Stick and String posted an interview that I did with them recently. Stick and String is a website  that is dedicated to a traditional archery They have forums, podcast and a magazine all to provide information about traditional archery and bow hunting.

Check out the segment here.


From January 10th to 12th, the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio will host the 2012 Archery Trade Association (ATA) Trade Show. The 300,000 sq ft floor space for the event is completely sold-out with, as of December 30, 2011, 513 exhibiting companies, including 69 companies who have not previously exhibited.

The ATA Trade Show is the archery and bowhunting industry’s LARGEST show and the industry’s MOST INCLUSIVE. The ATA Trade Show is a member-driven event to promote commerce within the archery and bowhunting industry. Owned and operated by the ATA, the show is closed to the public and is an order writing event. This year’s show is expected to have over 8,000 total attendees, 3,000 Buyers and 300 Media Representatives

The trade show also offers early morning seminars from 7:15 – 8:15 AM with keynote speakers. This year’s topics includes“Welcoming Women into Shooting Sports” by Karen Butler,“UnderStanding Bow Fit and Balance, plus Shooting Form” by Bernie Pellerite, “Building the Perfect Arrow” by Tim Gillingham and “ATA’S Community Archery: Growing the Sport” by Michelle Doerr. Check out the complete list of seminars and keynote speakers here.

This year Cartel Doosung will be in booth 1715 showcasing their new line of products including accessories, bow stands, sights, peeps, traditional bows, and archery accessories.  If you are planning to attend, be sure to visit their booth just a couple of rows to the right of the main entrance. For a complete list of all the vendors and to plan your visit, try using the show’s interactive map of the event found here.