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Is It OK to Hang Your Compound Bow? Tips to Avoid Damage

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You’ve put in your practice shots for the day, or maybe you just returned from a hunt or archery tournament with bow in hand.  You’re done for today but you don’t want to put your compound bow into storage as you plan to shoot again soon.  So what the heck can you do with it to keep it accessible but safe?

In general hanging your compound bow is perfectly acceptable and in some cases preferred over other methods such as simply laying it on a surface.  When done properly it provides a safe and stable location to keep your bow secure and accessible.  Be sure to learn the proper methods so as to avoid any damage.

There are plenty of ways to store your bow when not using it.  Put it in a case, hang it up, lay it on a countertop, throw it in a pile of dirty clothes in the corner. 

Some of these things are good and some, not so much.  Hanging a bow is a great way to store it, especially short term. However, there are some things to know.

Hanging a Compound Bow

As with so many things in life there are right and wrong ways to accomplish the same task.  Knowing the difference can save you headaches down the road, as wrong ways often cause issues or damage.

Such is the case with hanging a compound bow.  It’s perfectly fine to hang your bow temporarily or even for storage if done properly.  If done improperly it could lead to a multitude of issues leaving you frustrated and wondering what went wrong.

How NOT to Hang a Compound Bow

Let’s start out with what not to do.  I’m sure if you’re creative you can come up with more bad ways than I have here but these are some of the most common mistakes.

By the String

Hanging your bow by its string might seem like a reasonable thing to do.  After all, you pull on the string over and over to fire the bow so surely hanging it by the string is fine.  Don’t Do it!

People will sometimes store their bow this way and not have an issue but it’s just bad practice and I don’t recommend it.  It puts unnecessary pressure on the bow string and over time could lead to stretching depending on the string material.

In addition to stretching issues, the contact points where the string is supporting the weight of the bow can cause weak spots in the string possibly leading to failure.  Especially the more times the bow is hung up and taken down.  Is it likely? Maybe not, but it’s not a chance I’m willing to take.

By the Cam

This one is probably arguable as people do sometimes hang their compound bows by the cams, but I just don’t like this.  Especially considering the cost of replacing a cam or wheel.

Compound bow cams aren’t really designed to be structural in that sense.  I’m sure it can hold the weight of the bow just fine but putting a nail, post, or hook through the holes of a cam to hang your bow is just not a great idea in my opinion.

By the Accessories

Honestly, this almost goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyway.  Don’t hang your bow by its accessories.

Just because your sight looks like a nice spot to hang on a hook doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  You’re asking for trouble from multiple angles.  Bad idea, don’t do it. Not only is it bad for the accessories, it’s way to easy for them to come loose letting your bow crash to the floor.

Proper Ways to Hang a Compound Bow

There are, in my opinion, only two ways to properly hang a compound bow.  A vertical option and a horizontal option, the 1st of which you see commonly used in many places such as pro shops.

Hanging Your Bow Vertically

This method is best for short term storage of your bow such as during shooting season, or even while shooting if you have a good spot for it.

Essentially you want to use a hanger or post of some sort which will allow the bow to hang from the top limb.  The post or hanger will contact both the upper cam and the limb.  For this reason I like to have something that’s at least an inch in diameter but almost anything will work.

Look in any pro shop and this is exactly how most bows are hung.  It’s nice if your post has a little give to it, meaning a rubber coating or foam or something of that sort.  I made a portable stand out of PVC that I can use outdoors and I wrapped the point of contact with paracord.

Hanging Your Bow Horizontally (The Best Method)

We’ve finally reached what I would consider to be the best and safest method for hanging your bow.  Horizontally with the strings facing down. This allows the bow to rest on its riser, the strongest part of the bow.

Using this method has the added benefit of looking nice on your wall as well.  There’s a number of ways you can accomplish this and there are bow racks available already made for this purpose.  Some hold multiple bows and have a nice spot for arrows as well.

Really any kind of sturdy hanger will work.  You could use wall hangers meant for rifles, guitars, bikes, or even just some nice pegs.  There are tons of options here.  A specially made product of course looks and functions well and is ready to hang without much thought.

Just make sure whatever you use is securely attached to the wall, there’s nothing worse than walking into a room and seeing your bow on the floor writhing in pain.

Jason Brooks

I've been involved with archery for over 25 years off and on and am always interested in learning as much as I can. I've taken part in local tournaments and even 3D course setup.