shooter in rain and compound bow gets wet

Find Out What Happens If the Compound Bow Gets Wet

What if it is raining, You can still enjoy archery with your bow. You ask me how? Wouldn’t it get my bow wet? So what, a compound bow can get wet and deal with water without getting damaged.

There are some minor concerns that I will guide you with, but for every beginner who asks “What if my compound bow gets wet” I’ll first assure you that compound bows don’t get harmed by rain and can deal with a variety of weathers. But not on its own, there is a catch. You will need to be prepared for that weather.

I know its a good news, but you still have to care for your bow and the accessories after it gets wet. Like the bowstring wax, cleaning of the arrow, and proper maintenance of the bow when it is wet. Do not just stash or store the bow when it is wet. I will help you with the shooting and maintenance tips before and after shooting in rain.

Don’t worry, in this guide, you will get all the answers to your questions that will sequentially arise.

Can Rain Damage My Compound Bow?

It’s a common concern among archers, especially those who are new to the sport. So, let’s clear things up: Can rain harm your compound bow?

The short answer is that, in general, your compound bow won’t be severely damaged by rain. First, let’s talk about the construction of compound bows. These bows are typically made from materials like plastic or aluminum. The critical components, such as the limbs and riser, are designed to withstand water

Now, when it comes to the cables and bowstrings, they can indeed get wet if exposed to rain. However, here’s the good news: Most bowstrings are waxed to protect them from moisture. So, if your bowstring is well-maintained with regular waxing, it should be quite resistant to getting wet. That said, if the strings do get soaked, it can make them heavier and affect their performance and bowstring life.

Another thing to watch out for is the components of your bow, like arrow rests. Water can get the whisker biscuit’s bristles wet, which might become heavy and be a hindrance for the arrow to pass. If you use a drop-away rest, then water can also cause some problems with its timing as it is a working part.

Furthermore, the screws and bolts on your compound bow can rust over time if exposed to moisture regularly. This can lead to issues with the overall stability and functionality of your bow.

Can Rain Damage Arrows?

Arrows do not get damaged when exposed to water but water can certainly affect the flight of an arrow which is a direct threat to your accuracy.

One of the most common issues with arrows and rain is water absorption. Wooden arrows, for example, can soak up water if exposed to rain for an extended period. When this happens, the arrows become heavier. This extra weight can significantly impact their flight trajectory, making them less accurate and reliable.

Even arrows made from materials like carbon or aluminum are not entirely immune to the effects of rain. While they may not absorb water like wooden arrows, rain can still have an adverse impact. The added weight, though minimal compared to wooden arrows, can still throw off your accuracy, and more energy would be required to send the arrow to the target.

Now, let’s talk about fletching. When the fletchings made of features get wet, they can lose their intended shape and rigidity. They soak up water which can lead to poor arrow stability. By using plastic fletching, you can minimize the effect of water.

Water dropping on compound bow

How Does Water Impact Your Performance?

When it comes to archery, your performance depends on a delicate balance of factors, and one often overlooked element is water—specifically, how it can impact your performance. 

Grip and Bow Handling: Moisture from rain or sweat can make your grip on the bow and arrow less secure. This can lead to instability and affect your accuracy. To counter this, consider using grip enhancers or gloves that provide a better hold in wet conditions.

String and Nock Point: A wet bowstring can become heavier and less responsive. This can result in slower arrow speeds and less accurate shots. Keep your bowstring dry and well-maintained by waxing it regularly. Also, ensure that your nock point remains consistent, as water can cause it to slip. You will need to spend more energy to shoot the arrow which will get you tired.

Arrow Flight: Rain can alter the aerodynamics of your arrows. Waterlogged feathers or fletching may cause your arrows to fly erratically or lose speed. Check your arrows for damage or moisture and make any necessary adjustments to ensure stable flight.

Sight and Aiming: Due to rain your visibility might get a bit affected. Raindrops on your sight or scope can distort your view and make it challenging to aim accurately. Consider using a rain cover or umbrella to protect your sight, allowing for a clearer view of your target.

Clothing and Comfort: Your comfort matters in archery, as discomfort can lead to distraction and reduced focus. Wet clothing can be both uncomfortable and distracting, affecting your concentration and ultimately your performance. Invest in waterproof clothing or bring spare dry clothing when shooting in the rain.

All these reasons don’t mean that the fun is over in the rain and there is a break from shooting your arrows. You can still enjoy in the rain and hit those targets but only after a bit of preparation. Speaking of which let’s discuss what measures we should take.

How to Prepare For Shooting in Rain?

Shooting your compound bow in the rain can be a rewarding experience, but it requires some extra preparation to ensure a successful outing. Here are some tips on how to get ready for wet-weather archery:

1. Waterproof Your Gear

Invest in high-quality rain covers or cases for your compound bow and accessories. These will help keep your equipment dry and functioning optimally. Additionally, consider using waterproof bags for your arrows and other gear.

Clothing Matters: Wear waterproof or water-resistant clothing to keep yourself dry and comfortable. This includes a good-quality rain jacket, waterproof pants, and waterproof boots. Staying dry will help you maintain focus and enjoy your shooting experience.

2. protect your equipment with Plastic Bags

Bring a few plastic bags with you. These can serve multiple purposes, such as protecting your gear and providing a dry surface to place your equipment on while setting up.

Use the plastic bag to cover the quiver and the arrow. You can just uncover it when you are about to shoot the arrow. Just take out the dry arrow from the bag and shoot.

You can also use plastic bags to cover the sight and arrow rest when not in use. Use a sight cover or a simple plastic bag to shield your sight from raindrops. A wet sight can obstruct your view and affect your aim, so keeping it dry is crucial for accuracy.

3. Prepare for Wet Ground

The wet ground can be slippery and unstable. Lay down a non-slip mat or a tarp where you plan to stand while shooting. This will help you maintain your footing and stability.

4. Bowstring Maintenance

If you haven’t waxed your bowstring in a while, do it now. Don’t let the rain wet your bowstring or else everything might be done. A wet bowstring will become heavy and hard to shoot.

Ensure that your bowstring is properly waxed before shooting in the rain. A well-waxed string is more resistant to moisture absorption, which can slow down arrow speed.

Pluck the bowstring a few times before shooting so most of the water falls off before the shot.

5. Dry the Arrows occasionally

Examine your arrows for any signs of damage or moisture. Take a towel or some cloth with you to dry and clean your arrows occasionally after a few shots. Dry them off if necessary and check that the fletching is in good condition for stable flight.

6. Adjust Your Equipment

Shooting in the rain may require some adjustments to your shooting technique and expectations. Wind and rain can affect arrow flight, so be prepared for some variations in your accuracy.

7. Practice Safety

Finally, always prioritize safety. Rain can reduce visibility, so ensure you have a clear line of sight to your target and a safe shooting environment.

bow hunter shooting compound bow in rain with proper setup

How To Shoot A Compound Bow Through Rain

Shooting a compound bow in the rain can be a unique and enjoyable challenge. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your rainy-day archery experience:

1. Maintain a Consistent Form: Despite the rain, strive to maintain a consistent shooting form. Keep your stance, grip, and anchor points as close to your normal setup as possible.

2. Maintain your grip: Rain makes your hands and the grip wet and slippery. This can cause stability issues with your aiming and shooting. Use a towel to dry your hands and grip after every few shots

3. Focus on Your Target: Raindrops on your sight or scope can distort your view. Concentrate on your target rather than getting distracted by the rain-soaked equipment.

4. Shoot quickly: Try to take your shots quickly so that the arrow doesn’t get wet and soak up water while it’s still in your bow and in the process of aiming. 

5. Shorten Your Sessions: Shooting in the rain can be more physically demanding, as I have told you that a wet bowstring becomes heavy and requires more energy. Consider shortening your shooting sessions to prevent fatigue, as a tired archer is less likely to shoot accurately.

6. Be Patient: Rain can come and go. If it’s just a passing shower, wait it out rather than attempting to shoot during heavy rain. Patience can lead to better shooting conditions.

7. Regularly Inspect Your Gear: Periodically check your equipment for moisture and wipe it dry as needed. Pay special attention to the bowstring, arrows, and sight to ensure they remain in good condition.

These suggestions might help you make your shooting experience in the rain more enjoyable.

What To Do If The Compound Bow Gets Wet?

So, your compound bow has been exposed to rain, and now you’re wondering what to do to ensure it stays in top-notch condition. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do after your bow gets wet:

1. Dry Your Bow

The first and most crucial step is to dry your bow. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe down all the surfaces of your bow, including the riser, limbs, cams, and strings. Pay special attention to the areas where water tends to accumulate. A more better way would be to leave it in front of a heater vent and let it dry. Do not just store the bow when it is wet.

2. Inspect the Strings and Cables

Check your bowstring and cables for any signs of moisture absorption. If they feel damp, use another dry cloth to gently dry them. Ensure they are in good condition and not showing signs of fraying or damage.

3. Wax the Bowstring

If your bowstring and cables have been exposed to rain, consider applying bowstring wax to protect them from moisture. This will help maintain their longevity and performance. But before applying the wax make sure it is clean and dry.

4. Examine the Accessories

Inspect all accessories attached to your bow, such as sights, stabilizers, and arrow rests. Make sure they are dry and functioning correctly. If you notice any moisture inside these accessories, disassemble them if possible and allow them to air dry.

When dried check to see if the parts are working and moving smoothly. Apply some lubricant like oil on the moving parts to make sure properly working.

5. Check for Rust

Examine screws, bolts, and other metal components for signs of rust or corrosion. If you find any, carefully remove the rust using a rust remover or a fine steel wool pad. Lubricate the metal parts to prevent further rusting. Use oil or any other lubricant.

6. Inspect the Arrows

Examine your arrows for moisture, especially on the shafts and fletching. Dry them off thoroughly and check for any damage or warping that may have occurred due to exposure to moisture.

7. Store in a Dry Place

After you’ve completed these steps, store your compound bow in a dry and cool location. Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight or extreme heat, as these conditions can cause damage over time. Keep it in its case or where you would normally stash it on the table or cupboard.

Can Extreme Weather Damage Your Compound Bow?

Extreme weather conditions, whether it’s scorching heat or bone-chilling cold, can pose potential challenges for your compound bow. However, the extent of damage largely depends on various factors, including the materials your bow is made of and how well you prepare and care for it. Let’s explore how extreme weather can impact your compound bow.

shooting compound bow in extreme conditions

1. Heat and Compound Bows

Material Matters: Compound bows are typically constructed from materials like aluminum and synthetic composites. These materials are generally resilient to high temperatures. However, prolonged exposure to extreme heat can cause the bow’s components, such as limbs and strings, to weaken over time.

String Stretch: High temperatures can lead to string and cable stretch, affecting your bow’s draw length and accuracy. It’s essential to regularly check and adjust your bowstring tension if you’re shooting in extreme heat.

Precautions: To protect your bow in hot weather, avoid leaving it in direct sunlight for extended periods. Store it in a cool, shaded area when not in use, and consider using a bow case or cover to shield it from the sun’s rays.

2. Cold and Compound Bows

Material Response: Cold weather can make materials, especially plastics and rubbers, more brittle and prone to breakage. Arrows, arrow nocks, and other components can be affected.

String Contraction: Cold temperatures can cause your bowstring to contract, altering your draw length and potentially affecting arrow flight. It’s crucial to monitor your string’s tension in cold weather conditions.

Lubrication and Maintenance: Cold weather can also cause lubricants to thicken, potentially affecting the performance of moving parts. Ensure that all components are adequately lubricated and consider using cold-weather lubricants when necessary.

3. Other Potential Issues

Condensation: Rapid temperature changes, such as moving from a warm indoor environment to frigid outdoor conditions, can lead to condensation forming on your bow. Wipe down your bow to remove moisture and prevent potential damage.

Arrow Flight: Extreme temperatures can affect the way your arrows fly. Cold air is denser, which can slow down arrow speed and alter your point of impact. Adjust your shooting technique accordingly.


Now that you know rain won’t be holding you back from your archery endeavor, pick up your bow and get ready for the amazing experience. Take care of yourself and your bow, and follow the maintenance tips and safety precautions. Make sure to enjoy your first experience in the rain.

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