Murphy’s Law (If something can go wrong, it will) applies to archery as well as any device with moving parts. Whether you shoot, a longbow, compound, or crossbow “stuff happens” often at the most inopportune time. Whether it’s a calamity or a glitch, you can’t always prevent it from happening, but you can have an emergency kit stocked and ready to fix the problem. Along with having the tools and supplies needed for repair is the ability and knowhow to solve the problem and you can boost your chances of surviving a mishap by taking the basic steps to set up your bow. For example, can you install a D-loop, serve a string, or use a portable bow press? Whenever, I get a new compound or crossbow, I’m not above eating a big piece of humble pie and setting it up at my local pro-shop where I get expert advice. That said, there’s no reason that you can’t take those initial steps at home and ask for help if needed. This way, you know the routine and can repair gear in emergency situations. Prevention is critical as well.
Some of the most perilous waters your bow will navigate may be flying on an airplane where hours of constant vibration in the cargo hold can loosen bolts and screws, pulling your bow into your stand where the string, sight, or cams get banged against limbs or the tree trunk, and cut-on-contact broadheads that can nick a string or cable in a heartbeat. Make it a habit to tighten all the bolts on your bow before traveling and give it a quick once-over to make sure everything works. Plucking the string can alert you to any part that has vibrated loose. This post from Tyler Ridenour alerts you to a host of emergency fixes and serves as an excellent review of potential problems that may have missed your maintenance review.
It doesn’t matter if you’re hunting 10 minutes from home or 10 miles from the trailhead. If you spend enough time in the field as a bowhunter you’ll encounter an equipment issue. Having these basic archery tools and accessories at the ready can spell the difference between success and a busted hunt.