Archery Freaks

Silence your bow

 Making sure that you eliminate unnecessary noise from your bow is no less important than having it tuned and sited in. A whitetail has the ability to hear and react to a shot before the arrow has a chance to meet the targeted vitals. Even the high-tech bows manufactured in today's archery world are no match for the acute hearing of deer and other big game animals. 

 Sound travels at approximately 1,100 feet per second. That is well over 3 times faster than even the most efficient modern bows are capable of shooting an arrow. With this in mind, an alert whitetail has time to drop or maneuver out of the way enough to cause the arrow to miss the 8-inch diameter vitals. Bowhunters refer to this as "jumping the string."

 There are many tricks and products available to make your bow quieter. A bowhunter will do himself great justice by taking all measures available to reduce as much noise as possible from his bow.  Vibrations from one or more accessories on the bow are usually the cause of most unwanted noises. Let's break down the parts of a bow and see what can be done to reduce unwanted sound.

 Bow String:  There are a number of options available for bowhunters to reduce the "twanging" of the bowstring. Various products in the shapes of whiskers, fur balls, spiders, leeches, jacks, and more are available to be placed on the string approximately 6 inches from each axle. They are made of several different materials -- the most popular being fleece or soft rubber. Their purpose is to absorb some of the noise-causing vibration associated with the string coming to an abrupt halt. Most string silencers can be easily attached to the bowstring without the need of a bow press. Loss of arrow speed is barely an issue and definitely worth the trade off for a quiet shot. Be sure to check the cable bar and guards for smoothness. Usually, just keeping the guard clean is sufficient without the need for lubricant. Also, check the spot where cables cross each other and eliminate noise by adding a cable slide if needed.

 Limbs:  Several different manufacturers make products to eliminate limb vibration. Most of the products come with an adhesive backing and are very simple to apply. The force from the recoil on the limbs following a shot is quite dramatic, so any steps to eliminate some of the vibration will go a long way in softening the noise. The soft rubber of the silencers will absorb much of this vibration.

 Arrow Rest:  Nock an arrow and put it on the rest, then purposely shake the arrow until it can fall off of the rest. Can the arrow make contact with any part of the rest or riser that can make a "clanging" sound? If so, there is an easy fix. Put some type of fleece or moleskin anywhere that can make contact with the arrow. If your rest has metal prongs, they could possibly squeak while drawing an arrow. Add shrink tubing or moleskin to the prongs for an easy solution.

Sights:  Movable parts on a sight are often a source of unwanted noise. Screws can easily work themselves loose over a period time, especially after extensive shooting. Small lock washers or o-rings may help to keep them tighter and noise free. Also, you can apply moleskin over screws and pin guards, which have a tendency to vibrate and ring after a shot.

 Quiver:  Many bowhunters are choosing quivers that can be easily removed from the bow once in their tree stand or blind. Aside from the added weight and bulkiness, quivers have a tendency to be quite noisy. If you choose to hunt with the quiver in tact, make sure that all screws are tight. If the broadheads are held in place by a foam block, make sure the block is not chewed up and holds the arrows tight. Make sure that the arrow grippers hold the arrows very tight to eliminate vibration. If they are loose, you may be able to tighten the grip by adding moleskin. Check for any contact between the quiver and any part of the bow during a shot. Cover these areas with fleece or moleskin.

 Stabilizer:  A good stabilizer will not only help with the balancing of your bow, but will also absorb a great amount of the vibrations if you choose one with that is gel or hydro filled. The added bonus of recoil reduction make modern stabilizers a great benefit compared to solid weighted models of years past. 

 If you are not sure where a particular noise is coming from, there are a few things you can do to diagnose the problem. First try plucking the string just an inch or so and listen for vibrating parts. A partner to aid in listening will be a big help. If you detect a noise and are not sure where it is coming from, you may have to take your accessories off one at a time and repeat the process until you narrow it down. This may sound like an aggravation, but the rewards of silencing your bow could be immeasurable. 

 There are many lubricants available to put on bolts, screws, the axles, and any other movable parts. With the many products available today to promote a quiet bow, there is no reason for a bowhunter to have the worries of unwanted noise. There is no such thing as a bow being too quiet.