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When Should You Change Your Bow String? Now or Later?

With spring hunting seasons in full swing and fall approaching quickly, we hope you’ve either been out scouting or chasing turkey/bear. This is also a great time to be getting your equipment sorted out. Better to be prepared than not right? Working out all of the kinks beforehand is less to think about during your adventures. Whether it’s testing out new arrows or getting that new sight dialed in, tis the season of preparation and maintaining your equipment. Our bows require regular maintenance, just like our vehicles. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for one, these incredible pieces of engineering need to be taken care of to maximize performance. An item on our bows that should always be on your radar, is the string. Changing your bow string isn’t something that should be overlooked. Let’s take a look at when one might think about doing so.

What to Look For on a Bow String

Grady from Ross Outdoors working on Josh Kirchner's bow string

First thing is first. Just looking at your bow string can tell you what kind of shape it’s in. Look for any obvious signs of wear. Stuff like frays or cuts to the string. Some of this might only be seen my literally diving into the string on a bow press. I remember a time when changing out a peep sight. Underneath, we found out that the string was actually cut. It’s something that I never would have seen if we didn’t take that peep out. That could have caused a missed opportunity and a bow blowing up. Not something I personally want to deal with on a hunt that I’ve waited all year for. Another thing that pops up on an old string is that they can elongate causing issues with the bow staying in tune. Signs of string stretch include angel hair looking fibers sticking up from the string. Pay attention to your string. If you’ve got any questions, seek out professional advice. We do this all the time and are happy to help in this department.

Bow String Longevity

So, if you don’t happen to be seeing any obvious signs of wear on your string, how do you know when it’s time to change it out? That’s a great question and one that every bowhunter should know the answer to. Of course, this is going to depend on the amount of use, and how someone has taken care of their bow. Rule of thumb though is 2 years for a string. Once that time comes around, we’d suggest that you start thinking about slapping a new one on there. The fact of the matter is, that string is under an immense amount of pressure all of the time, whether you’re shooting the bow or not. It’s constantly enduring the stress of the bow limbs pulling on it. After a while, that has an effect on things. Sure, we’ve seen bows that have had the same string on for years and years past that two year mark. We’ve also seen folks wear the tires on their vehicles down to nothing and keep going. Doesn’t make either of them good ideas though. We’re trying to avoid mishap on both fronts, whether it’s a blowout or a blow up.

What Time of Year?

Josh's brother Jake shooting his bow at the range in Arizona, breaking in his new string
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Honestly, the best time of year to get this string business taken care of is now, especially if you don’t have any spring hunting tags. Being ahead of the game like this should be in your best interest. Strings often have to be ordered, which takes time. Then there is the act of actually putting them on the bow. Once that’s done, now you’ve gotta go shoot it for a bit to see if it’s going to stretch or not. Some new strings settle right away and others will cause the peep to twist from them stretching out. The only way to know is to go through the motions. In general 100-200 shots is what we’d recommend to break in a new string. Go through these motions sooner rather than later. Again, this is less time thinking about gear issues and more time thinking about hunting once out in the field.


Dave from Ross Outdoors with his Arizona Archery bull

These are definitely some weird times we are living in right now. The pandemic that is the Corona virus is instilling a new normal in our day to day lives, and all of us are going through some level of stress/change with it. We’re gonna get through this though. Fall hunting seasons will come and we’ll be out in the field making memories with our loved ones and enjoying Mother Nature. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize and stay prepared for these special times. This means buying tags, sorting out gear, and doing things like changing bow strings if need be. Preparation is one of the main routes to success. Take that route, and if you happen to get lost, Ross Outdoors would be more than happy to point you in the right direction. Check out our SERVICES page if you’re interested in us gearing your bow up with a new string. Stay safe out there.

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