GREAT FALLS — Get your bows at the ready because Saturday marks the start of archery season in Montana.
The season will continue through October 20th, but you must have a valid hunting license and be 12 years of age to participate.
Bruce Auchly, FWP Information & Education Manager for Great Falls, says archery season offers hunters additional time to practice their skills and embrace the milder temperatures of the early hunting months.
The popular pastime has been attracting an increasing number of archers over the past few decades.
“Archery is a very popular activity. It’s grown over the years. I mean, our data going back to the 1950’s are maybe a few hundred licenses and now we’re at 50,000. but even in just the last ten years it’s grown by a thousand a year,” Auchly said.
With general archery season for deer, elk, and antelope starting up this in Montana, hunters will be flocking to the woods and mountains.
Shaun Boese at Capital Sports & Western in Helena has been helping people prep for the season for a long time, and says that if your bow or arrows are not shooting properly, it’s not only irresponsible to take a shot at an animal, it could also be dangerous to the shooter.
Boese said, “Check and make sure there is not any possibility of cracks in their limbs. Check their strings and make sure their servings are still in good shape. The servings are not coming apart. Be sure if there is any damage to the string bring it in and have us take a look at it and make sure it is good to shoot.”
If any of these parts of the bow are falling apart, then it could be dangerous when pulled back.
But regular upkeep long before you head out hunting can help prevent that.
Boese said, “I see a lot of people ... they don’t take care of their strings on their bow. It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine. They don’t wax their strings enough so they come in and they are all frayed and dried out. If they take care of their equipment, sometimes their equipment is just filthy, dirty. You can tell they haven’t kept it clean. All that dirt and grime and dust gets in your axles on your bow and on your pieces and parts and just wears stuff out quicker and it doesn’t work.”
Archery hunting for big game in Montana is hard enough, so don’t make it even harder by heading into the field with faulty equipment.