I changed my entire bow set up from the first hunt to my second hunt. It was time for a new bow so I set up my new bow to handle the Alaska wilderness. My first trip, I had two site pins bent, six fiber optics on my pins broke, my release came apart and was lost, and my rubber string nocks slid two inches without me knowing it. But my second bow and set up was perfect for Alaska.
Bow – I bought the Helim from Mathews. It is lightweight and its incredible accuracy made it a perfect choice.
Single Pin Sight – I switched from a 5-pin sight to a single pin adjustable sight. Not only did this take out some “thinking”, it also was built to endure the Alaska environment. The pin itself is made out of steel and it would be almost impossible to bend the pin or break the fiber optics without something major happening to the entire bow. I left the pin on 25 yds. and felt very comfortable from 0-35 yds. without moving it. I had decided that 40 yds. or over was going to be the distance I would move the pin if needed. But I doubt I would take a shot further than 40 yds. so it wouldn’t have made a difference. But for those that want to be able to take longer shots, a fixed single pin sight (at 25 yds.) with an adjustable second pin set at 45 yds. would not be a bad set up. My single pin sight is from HHA Sports.
Shoot a Loop – The first year my bow was set up with rubber string nocks (where I knocked my release.) After having them slide on me without me knowing it, I switched over to a loop. You want to eliminate anything that could go wrong.
Whisker Basket Rest – I switched from a drop away rest to a whisker basket. To be honest I was very hesitant to make the switch. Something about anything touching my arrow made me nervous. But I can tell you now, it was one of the best changes I made. Not only was my bow very accurate, I could put an arrow on my rest and forget about it. In the thick brush of Alaska and when stalking moose, this eliminated the concern of my arrow falling off my rest. My rest is from Trophy Ridge.
Stabilizer – Again you have to think of every detail. I went with the shortest stabilizer I could find but that was still useful. This helped out a bunch when walking through the thick brush. My stabilizer is from Axion Archery.
Broadheads – This really became a mental game for me. I have hunted whitetails for 30+ years. Most of those years, I spent numbering my arrows, practicing with my broadheads, and re-sharpening them before hunting. They are so sharp you could shave with them if you wanted. My favorite arrow would be the first in my quiver, my next favorite my second, etc. This always gave me extreme confidence when drawing back on that animal. On my first moose hunt, I bought into the “go heavy or go home” mentality and used broadheads that I never used and couldn’t sharpen. So I didn’t practice with the ones I would be hunting with (besides one or two shots.) My confidence level was not 100%. So this time I went back to my favorite broadheads, Wac’em, and numbered my arrows. This is a personal choice and many like the heavier non-sharpening broadheads. Whatever you are comfortable with, stay with it. I recommend, though, a cut on contact broadhead (no expandables). If you have a sharp 100-grain broadhead, I have all the confidence in the world you can pass through a moose if you hit him right.
Arrows and Fletching – I always shot feathers until my first trip to Alaska. This is one change I didn’t regret. With the weather conditions being unpredictable, having veins was one less worry.
Sight Cover – Even with a durable site, I would still use a site cover. I added this on my second trip and it gave me the reassurance when traveling through the brush. I found mine at Cabela’s. Anything with a pull string that covers the site will work.
Bow Sling – I have used the Primos Bow Sling and love it. But I have noticed on my shorter cam bow it does come off more often than when I had a longer cam bow. The sling helps when carrying the bow and also protects your bow string.
Extra Archery Tools That May be Needed:
Extra fiber optics
Bow string wax
Extra rubber for peep site
If feasible take along either spare limbs (if recurve hunting) or a spare bow. If something breaks, you can’t run down to the store for another. Click Here…