As noted elsewhere in this space today, the arrival of late July on the local calendar means that fall dove and early teal hunting seasons aren’t that far away.
If that’s true for wingshooters, then the same idea is also valid for bowhunters in the Grayson County area since the Sept. 30-Nov. 3 early archery season begins in only 10 weeks.
What should local archers be doing as the summer begins to wane?
Getting their bows tuned up, new equipment added, arrow and broadhead combinations finalized, and dormant bow shooting skills honed to a razor’s sharp edge says Orvie Cantrell, Jr., the longtime owner and operator of Big O’s Archery Shop in Sherman.
“Probably the most important service we provide each summer is bow setup and tuning,” said Cantrell (1520 Texoma Parkway; 903-870-2114).
While it might still be several weeks until archery season actually begins, Cantrell advises bowhunters not to wait until closer to the season’s start to take a close look at their bowhunting rig.
Why? Because it won’t be long before work demands will really begin to stack up at the local archery shop.
“It is so important to us that we schedule the most technical work now, so that we can work on bows when we are closed,” said Cantrell, who along with his son Orvie III, keeps the shop open for afternoon hours on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
“That way, we can give our customer’s bows our very best service and attention,” he added.
“Today’s top bowhunting setups can top $2,000 when they’re fully rigged, so we take this very seriously and want to have our customers shooting their very best when the season starts.”
But bow tuning is only one thing that hunters should look at right now.
“Restringing a bow and making repairs are right up there as well,” said Cantrell. “You haven’t seen stress until you see a customer with a malfunctioning or damaged bow the week before he is going on a big hunt that he has saved for and planned on for ten years.”
One such area of stress is a needed change in a bow string or cable.
“Trying to keep strings and cables in stock for all the different models is quite a challenge nowadays,” said Cantrell. “When we started 30 years ago, there was something like a half-dozen string lengths to keep in stock and you were in business.
“Now, some models have different string lengths for different draw lengths.”
In addition to getting the right string or cable for a bow, archers also need to start finishing up any changes to the auxiliary equipment, add-ons, and accessories that they’ll add to their rig for this fall.
“New bow sights, while not a critical component in how we can make a bow perform, are important to the aiming process,” said Cantrell.
“Sights are also one of the things that guys want to improve the most often on their bows,” he added.
“Again we try to understand their hunting goals so that we can recommend the right one. Everyone’s eyes are different, so there isn’t really one best bow sight for all people.”
A final thing for bowhunters to pay close attention to now in late July is what arrow and broadhead combination they will be shooting this fall.
“Shooting and flight testing new broadheads and arrow shafts is another key thing,” said Cantrell. “What broadhead to shoot is one of the number one questions we get asked every summer.
“Even though there are lots of different options — and opinions — out there, we’ve got some solid ideas based on our testing and customer successes over the past 30 years,” he added.
“That helps us help our customers make some educated decisions based on their hunting goals this fall.”
The key in all of this is for bowhunters to start dialing in their equipment now, giving themselves — and the local archery shop — plenty of time to get things right for upcoming western big game and whitetail deer seasons.
That way, the only stress that a hunter will face in September, October or November is what type of pose he wants the local taxidermist to use when mounting the elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, or whitetail buck of a lifetime.