How to Properly Store Your Archery Gear

Keep your gear in good shape while it's not being used.

How to Properly Store Your Archery Gear
Image Courtesy of the Archery Trade Association

Whether between hunts, seasons, or sessions on the range, it is crucial to keep your archery equipment in good working condition. A key to maintaining your gear is proper storage. From string wax to prevent drying to sturdy bow racks, here are a few tips on how to properly store your archery gear.

Compound Bows

Compound bows should be stored with strings attached. But before putting your bow away, look over your bow to ensure that everything is properly fitted and tightened. Check the strings, cams, and screws for damage. Examine limbs and risers to make sure there is no cracking or fatigue. Once you’re satisfied that your bow is in good shape, wax the strings. Using a string wax like Tex-Tite when you store your bow and take it out of storage will prevent your strings from drying or cracking and prolong the overall life of your strings. 

When you have finished inspecting your bow and waxing the strings, place the bow in a quality, hard-sided case—an important piece of gear not only for storage but also for travel. The Plano All-Weather Bow Case is a good example of a quality case with plenty of storage space that is also airline-approved should you do any destination hunting. Store your bow in the case in a cool, dry location. Heat and humidity can damage your bow and strings. If you store your bow for long periods of time, be sure to inspect it and wax the strings again before using it, as prolonged storage can cause parts to degrade and allow strings to stretch out.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Plano (@planooutdoors)

Recurve and Straight Bows

The manner in which you should store a recurve or straight bow differs considerably from the way in which a compound bow should be stored. The biggest difference is that non-compound bows should be unstrung when not in use. This is because the string puts tremendous pressure on the bow (thus creating the tension required to shoot) and being strung for prolonged periods can cause the material from which the bow is made to fatigue or even crack. This is less true with fiberglass bows, and if you do shoot your bow regularly (daily or a few times a week) it’s probably okay to leave it strung.

Importantly, when storing your bow, be careful not to rest it on its tips—e.g., propping it up in a corner. Keep it in a case or on a horizontal bow rack, which you can build yourself or from a kit, such as those sold by 3 Rivers Archery. Ideally, on a rack, you should hang the bow upside-down with the weight of the bow equally distributed across the rack. As with a compound bow, you should never store your recurve or straight bow in heat or humidity and should wax your string regularly.


When storing a crossbow for a prolonged period, start by cleaning any dust or dirt from the surfaces and flight rail of the bow using distilled water and a soft, cotton cloth. Then check all the fasteners—screws, nuts, bolts, etc.—on the bow to ensure that they are tight and properly seated. Apply a rust-protective lubricant to all exposed fasteners and metal parts, as well as to the axles, cam bearings, cocking mechanism, and trigger assembly. Finally, clean the lenses of your scope, and wax and condition your bow’s cables and string. Then place your bow in its case and store it in a cool, dry area.


Before storing your arrows, the first step is to make sure they are dry and free from dirt or grime. Remove and clean any broadheads or field points. Arrows should be stored in a dry place away from direct sunlight. An arrow tube, like that from Black Eagle Arrows, is an ideal way to protect your arrows in storage, preventing warping and damage to the fletching. Otherwise, a rack or rigid quiver designed to keep arrows straight and separated will work really well. If you don’t have a rack or a tube, store your arrows vertically and separate enough from one another to protect the fletching from damage.