Can Bows Get Wet?

can bows get wet

As an avid archery enthusiast, one of the things that you should know is how to take care of your bow.

An essential factor to consider when handling your bow is exposure to water. Water can be detrimental to your bow, but the good news is that it can be prevented if you take the right precautions.

In this article, we will delve into the question, “Can bows get wet?” and discuss some of the ways you can protect your bow from water damage.

Can Bows Get Wet?

Bows are made of different materials such as wood, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. These materials react differently when exposed to water.

If you own a compound bow, you can rest easy when it comes to rainfall. Compound bows are constructed with waterproof materials, such as plastic and anodized aluminum, which provide excellent protection against water damage.

Wooden bows tend to absorb water, which can cause the wood to swell and warp, leading to an alteration in the bow’s shape and a decrease in its performance.

On the other hand, fiberglass and carbon fiber bows are less susceptible to water damage.

The strings on the bow are composed of polyethylene, a material that is also waterproof. As such, the bow remains functional even in the rain, allowing you to shoot it as you would under normal conditions.

Water exposure can also affect the bow’s longevity. If the bow is not adequately dried, the moisture can seep into the different parts of the bow, causing rust or rot, which can be difficult to fix.

When the bowstring gets wet, it can stretch or shrink, causing it to lose its elasticity, which ultimately affects the accuracy and speed of the arrow.

So, can bows get wet? The answer is yes, they can. However, most bows are designed to withstand exposure to rain without any significant issues.

For you as an archer, it’s important to be mindful of a few things when using your bow in wet conditions.

This includes understanding how to perform proper maintenance after bowhunting in the rain and identifying which parts of your bow are most vulnerable to damage.

By taking the right precautions, you can use your bow safely in the rain and ensure its longevity. This involves storing your bow in a dry place when not in use, and investing in a waterproof cover or case to protect it from water exposure.

Additionally, paying close attention to the non-water-resistant parts of your bow, such as the bowstring, and drying them thoroughly after use can prevent rust or rot from setting in.

Remember, while most bows can be used in the rain, it’s still important to be cautious and take steps to protect your equipment.

By doing so, you can enjoy your archery activities in any weather condition while minimizing the risk of damage to your bow.

Also Check: Can You Leave Archery Targets Outside: Do They Get Wet?

How to Protect Your Bow from Water

Case: To prevent water damage to your bow, you should invest in a protective case. A waterproof cover can go a long way in keeping your bow dry, especially if you’re caught in a sudden downpour.

Waxing: Waxing your bowstring regularly is essential, but you may also need to give your bow a fresh coating every few years. 

Don’t Store While Wet: If your bow gets wet, you should dry it immediately to prevent any further damage. The water can cause the bolts and screws in your bow to rust, which can ultimately render the entire bow unusable. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to thoroughly dry your bow before storing it.

Blow Dry Or Wipe: One effective way to dry your bow is to use a clean, dry cloth to wipe it down. Be sure to pay special attention to any non-water-resistant parts, such as the bowstring, and dry them thoroughly. You can also use a hairdryer on a low heat setting to help speed up the drying process.

What happens If arrows get Wet?

The most immediate issue is that the water can add extra weight to the arrow, which can affect its trajectory and accuracy. This is because the added weight can cause the arrow to drop faster and reduce its speed.

Also Check: How To Store Arrows At Home

Unlike other materials, such as feathers or traditional vanes, plastic fletchings are not as susceptible to soaking up water. This means that even if your arrows get wet, their performance will not be significantly affected.

Specific Considerations for Hunting With Bows

Hunting bows are subject to harsher weather conditions. You may need to cross streams or trek through the rainforest during a hunt, making it impossible to keep your bow dry all the time.

In such cases, you should invest in a bow that is water-resistant or designed for harsher weather conditions.

You can also add a waterproof cover to your existing bow to increase its resistance to water damage.

Check: Can You Dry Fire A Crossbow?

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Shooting a bow while Raining?

Shooting a bow in the rain can present some challenges, but with the right preparation and technique, it is possible to do so effectively.

Here are some tips for shooting a bow while it’s raining:

  1. Wear appropriate gear: Make sure you wear appropriate rain gear to keep yourself dry and comfortable. This includes a raincoat or waterproof jacket, pants, and shoes.
  2. Keep your bow dry: Try to keep your bow as dry as possible. Use a rain cover or umbrella to protect it from the rain, and wipe it down with a dry cloth if it gets wet.
  3. Adjust your aim: In rainy conditions, it may be more difficult to see the target, so adjust your aim accordingly. Consider aiming slightly higher to account for the drop in arrow trajectory caused by the rain.
  4. Use a consistent draw: In wet conditions, the string can slip, so make sure you have a consistent and firm draw. Consider using a glove or finger tab to help prevent slipping.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings: Wet conditions can make the ground slippery, so be aware of your footing and make sure you have a stable stance before taking a shot.
  6. Practice safety: Always practice proper safety precautions, especially when shooting in wet conditions. Watch your footing and make sure the area around you is safe and free from hazards.
  7. Keep your equipment dry: After shooting in the rain, dry your equipment thoroughly to prevent damage or rust. Store your bow and arrows in a dry place to prevent moisture buildup.

Remember, shooting a bow in the rain requires additional preparation and caution, so take your time and be mindful of the conditions.


In conclusion, yes you can use your bow while raining but with some precautions and considerations.

If your bow gets wet, dry it immediately, paying close attention to the non-water-resistant parts. With the right precautions, you can keep your bow in great condition and enjoy your archery sessions for years to come.

To prevent water damage, always store your bow in a dry place and invest in a waterproof cover or case.

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"Smith is an outdoor enthusiast and Just loves everything about binoculars. Since his childhood he has been a fan of optical gadgets & going into the Jungle with his uncle was his favorite pastime. Besides, He loves watching & studying birds & animals. He is a mechanical engineering graduate and New Jersey Resident. He loves to review binoculars and related optical Instruments and loves testing each one of them." When he is not fiddling with one of his binoculars, you can find him playing his favorite sport Pickleball."

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