Traditional Archery: Keeping Your Feathers Dry

News & Tips: Traditional Archery: Keeping Your Feathers Dry...

Back in the days of the Old West, we're told the settlers always admonished each other to keep their powder dry. Well, I've always wondered if the natives didn't have their own version of it, because we traditional bowhunters certainly do. We say, "Keep your feathers dry."

KeepingYourFeathersDry blog
To keep feathers dry in a pinch, consider using a baggie to place over feathers when rain starts coming down.

As anyone who has ever tried shooting an arrow with soaked feathers can attest, they simply don't fly well. They'll porpoise and do all sorts of other wild things and the longer the shot the worse it gets.

In fact, it can be so bad that when I find myself with soaked fletches (once I dropped my quiver in a creek, along with the rest of me) I simply head home and call it a day.

The solution is simple: keep those feathers dry.

There are two basic approaches to this. The first is to cover them so they can't get wet; the second is to coat them so that they repel moisture and keep their form. Both strategies work very well.

Some archers make or buy fletching covers for each individual arrow or hoods for their quivers that are easily affixed every arrow from the rain. Others rely on St.Charles-type quivers, which essentially cover the feathers altogether. I and plenty of others have even been known to place baggies or baby bottle covers kept in place by elastic bands over my fletching in times of particularly wet weather.

Fortunately Gateway Feather's Waterproofing Archery Feather Powder is an easier solution than fooling with baggies and elastics or hoods and covers.

You simply place some of that powder in a plastic bag along with the fletched end of the arrow and coat the feathers Shake-and-Bake-style. Done properly, this gives you a waterproof feather that stands up to any wet weather you're crazy enough to be out in.

Luckily, I still haven't had the opportunity to see how it would work in creeks.

Until next time, keep your feathers dry.