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How to carry a bow on your back

Updated March 28, 2017

Bow hunting requires long walks through heavy brush and stealth when on the stalk. The bow itself is a cumbersome piece of gear and is easily snagged on limbs, branches and obstacles, all of which make the hunt more difficult. One solution is to shoulder the bow. This helps prevent many snags because it keeps the bow close to your body. There are two methods of shouldering the bow over your back.

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  1. Measure your bow length. Most bows already have the length listed on the serial number stamp found either at the grip or on a small sticker at the tip of the bow. Select a bow sling for your bow's length.

  2. Slide the top and bottom fixtures over the very tips of the bow itself. Bring the Velcro, hook-and-loop or quick-clips together so the two straps make one continuous strap. Slide the shoulder pad up so your shoulder is protected via the strap, then sling the bow up and over and across your back. The bow rests at an angle across your back.

  3. Tighten the strap by pulling on the adjustment ends, usually at either end of the bow sling. Practice hiking and walking with the bow on your back before heading out for the hunt.

  4. Wrap the bow string up and behind your back and over one shoulder. Use the bow string as the back sling so the bow rests across your back at an angle. Make sure to position the string so it does not rest directly across your neck and throat.

  5. Keep the bow shaft against your shoulder and back. Practice hiking through brush or obstacles with the bow string method.

  6. Push the bottom end of the bow up and then slide the string over your head to bring the bow off your body and ready it for use.

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Things You'll Need

  • Bow shoulder sling

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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