Getting your first bow and arrows is super exciting, but you might wonder how to take care of your arrows. How do you store them? How do you carry them while shooting? And how do you get them from home to practice and back without bending them or damaging their fletchings (feathers or vanes that steer the arrow)?
Fortunately, caring for arrows is easy. You just need a few simple accessories to keep your arrows flying straight.
Why Protect Your Arrows?
Remember a few key points about caring for your arrows: First, protect the fletchings and nock (the arrow’s plastic end-piece that snaps onto your bowstring). Damaged fletchings can cause erratic arrow flight. And cracked nocks must be replaced for safety reasons before shooting that arrow again. The arrow point (the “tip” that drives into the target) is usually its sturdiest component.
Can arrows be bent or broken? Yes. For this reason alone, arrows must be carried safely. Wooden arrows and fiberglass arrows can splinter and break if stressed enough, and aluminum arrows can bend if not stored and transported correctly. Carbon and composite arrows are very strong, but they can break and they’re expensive, so why take chances?
Express Yourself With a Quiver
A quiver holds your arrows while you shoot, and carries them safely as you walk back and forth to the target or range. Bonus: Quivers can help archers express themselves. They can be made of cloth, leather, vinyl or other materials; and they come in various styles. Field quivers are compact; side quivers are generally longer and larger; and back quivers are favored by traditional archers, including Katniss Everdeen. And don’t forget that the most popular quivers for bowhunting mount onto the bow.
Quivers can be as simple as a plastic tube clipped to your belt or belt loop with a metal clip, or they can feature customized leather and a personalized belt. Whatever your choice, quiver prices start at just a few dollars and are worth the investment. As you become a more experienced and advanced archer, you can decide when to upgrade to something different.
Arrow Tube: A Must-Have
Most archers spend little money on an arrow tube – or they make their own – so they can safely transport arrows. Arrow tubes generally have three important parts: the tube itself, a lid and a shoulder strap. Arrow tubes should be solid on the bottom because arrows are dropped point first down the tube, with the nock and fletchings at the top. The tube should be watertight and made from heavy-duty plastic.
Arrow tubes also need a lid that secures the arrows where they belong. Most archers prefer a screw-on lid because there’s little chance it will snap out of place. Finally, a shoulder strap makes it easy to carry your arrows if you can’t fit your arrow tube into your bow case – or if you don’t have a bow case.
With that simple advice in mind, it’s time to shop for your quiver and arrow tube! Check out archery stores near you.