Fin & Feather

Archery

We have a full-service archery department with specialists ready to assist you with initial set-ups, tune-ups, trade-ins, bow customization, arrow-cutting and re-fletching. Our experts will make sure your equipment is in its best possible shooting condition by the time you leave the store, whether you're buying a new bow or maintaining one you already have. They'll also assist you with any warranty issues that may arise. 

Major archery brands we carry:

  • Matthews
  • Mission
  • Hoyt
  • Genesis
  • Easton Arrows
  • Black & Gold

Recurves & Longbows

These are the traditional, Robin Hood style bows and are shot much more instinctively than the compound bows. You aim while drawing back, holding 100% of the weight of the taut string, then let 'er loose. We carry bows, strings & stringers for the recurves and longbows, which can generally be maintained by the user (that's you).

Choosing & Setting up Your First Compound Bow

Welcome to archery! Our archery staff are really into shooting bows, and they'd love to fit you to your first bow. They'll talk you through each step of the process, which starts with measuring your wingspan to find your draw length. Unlike recurves and longbows, compound bows have a set draw length (you can only pull the string back so far), so it's important that your draw length matches that of the bow. 

Your draw length determines which bows will be a good fit for you, and will start to narrow down your selection of possible bows. Taking prices into consideration, you'll be directed to a few different bows, which you can then try out in our archery lane. Archery staff will give you a demonstration on how to shoot then assist you in releasing your first arrow. 

When setting up the bow, staff will help you determine an appropriate draw weight for the bow. There is a bit of finesse involved in picking this number, because you don't want to set the weight at your maximum capability. While you may be able to demonstrate great strength with a high draw weight, you probably won't be able to draw the string back too many times, which makes archery less fun overall (and makes you tired!). A general rule of thumb is to set the draw weight at about 75% of your max in order to strike a balance between comfort and performance. 

Generally more popular than the traditional bows, compound bows are highly customizable. The draw length of a compound bow is generally set (based on your draw length) and its construction allows you to pull back the string and pause a moment to aim before releasing the arrow. The bow is designed to hold about 20% of the total weight - a modern convenience to make bow-shooting a bit easier on you, as well as let you know when you've pulled the string back to the proper length.

Accessorize & Customize

Once you've chosen a bow, you can choose to customize the color of many aspects, including the bow itself, the string, dampeners, or cams. Available colors include different styles of camo, zebra stripes and other bright options like hot pink and orange. 

  • Cases are optional and preserve the life and quality of your bow by protecting it and keeping it in its tuned condition. While bows are constructed in a sturdy fashion, and are certainly meant to be used, you may not want to throw yours into the bed of your pickup without any protection, or leave it out for your yellow lab to gnaw on. 
  • Rests are available in different styles to hold your arrow while you shoot.Some hold the arrow and let it glide away from the bow, while others drop away as soon as you release the arrow. 
  • Sites help you aim at your target using fiber optic pins. Adjustable, single pin sites require you to know your yardage from your target and physically change the position of the slider (site bar) if your target distance changes. Fixed multi-pin units come in 3, 4, 5 and 7 pin options. They give you more aiming options for varying distances, but some users find that the increased number of pins clouds their vision, so this decision comes down to personal preference. 
  • Quivers can hold 3-7 of your arrows for easy access. They are available in fixed and quick-attach styles, and are specific to the type of bow you have. 
  • Releases allow for consistency in shooting come in a few styles. Hand releases are the typical choice for an experienced user with a compound bow as they let you release in a consistent fashion. Wrist releases are the general choice of a beginner, due to their simple nature & ease of use.  Arm guards, shooting gloves and finger tabs are useful when shooting recurves. 
  • Arrows come in a standard length and are custom-cut to fit your bow and draw length. Arrows are available in three different shaft stiffnesses, different weights and diameters. Our three big arrow brands are Arrow Express, Gold Tip and Easton. The majority are made of carbon composites and are far superior to the wooden arrows of the old days. 
  • Field tips influence the trajectory of the arrow, and come in a few different weights to suit your preferences. Bows should never be dry-fired or shot with an arrow without a field tip. 
  • Broadheads are used for hunting, and come in fixed-blade and expanding styles. Fixed blades provide better penetration, but aren't always as consistent for less-experienced users. Broadhead Expanders come in front deploy and rear deploy styles, and were created to help arrows fly more like field tips - to be more accurate, and group easier. They open on impact, provide a bigger cutting diameter, and tend to fly better. 
  • Peeps are installed in the string by archery staff at the same time as your string. Optional styles differ in their ease of use and weight. 
  • Fletching supplies: We carry both the traditional 4" fletching as well as the more modern 2" fletching and have products in both feather and synthetic styles.  
  • Silencers can be installed on strings to keep you from prematurely alerting your prey. 

Bow Maintenance

After the initial set-up of your bow, it shouldn't require much maintenance unless you decide to swap out or upgrade components. Strings in particular do get beat up over time, and need to be replaced by qualified technicians with proper equipment. Waxing your string at home on a regular basis will preserve its life and keep it from getting fuzzy. 

Arrow Safety: Flex it First!

Arrows are not indestructible. If an arrow becomes crushed, dented or creased, the integrity of the arrow is compromised, causing the arrow to fail. A damaged arrow cannot handle the compressive force of being fired, and in the worst case scenario can end up piercing the shooter's hand.

  • An important safety check before firing ANY arrow, is to inspect and flex it. To do so, hold your arrow on both ends and flex it away from yourself (and others) while visibly and audibly checking for splinters, cracks, nicks, or dents. Rotate the arrow slightly and repeat the flex a few times to be certain the arrow shaft is not damaged in any way. 
  • Always shoot arrows of appropriate length. Using an arrow that is too short can cause it to get lodged in the arrow rest or behind the riser of the bow, which can cause arrow failure, bow damage, or personal injury. If your arrow's too long, the added weight will affect its flight and speed upon hitting your target.
  •  Before firing, make sure the nock on the back of the arrow is properly seated on the string. If it's not, you risk it falling from the string during your drawstroke, which could result in a dryfire, damage to your bow, or even yourself. 

Never, ever dry-fire your bow!

Without an arrow in place to absorb the energy from the string being drawn back, the energy from your release is instead transferred out through the vibration of the limbs, string and everything else. Because of tension and moving parts combined, dry-firing can result in serious bow damage (we're talking cracked limbs, bent axles, string derailment and cam warping), a voided factory warranty, and even a possible explosion. Any bow that has been dry-fired should be inspected and tested by a professional before you take it back into the field.