While the season has already kicked off in portions of the southwestern part of the state, the majority of Louisiana’s bowhunters are eagerly anticipating opening day on Oct. 1.

Food plots have been prepped and ready, stands are in position, feeders are cranking and trail cameras have documented the comings and goings of that big buck you finally hope to take down this season.

Amidst all those other distractions, don’t forget to make sure the most-vital piece of equipment is ready to go Tuesday morning: your bow.

Sammy Romano, manager of Chag’s Sporting Goods in Metairie, said business has been non-stop as hunters prep for opening day, and suggested a few basic pointers to make sure your bow is ready for next week.

1. Inspect your bow — “Look at the string and cables and make sure there are no nicks or frays or other obvious signs of damage,” Romano said. 

2. Look at the limbs — “Just make sure they don’t have any damage to them. That shouldn’t occur in the case, but sometimes people store the bow incorrectly in the heat, which could lead to problems,” he said. “So be sure to give it a visual once-over.”

3. Wax the string and cables — Since last season, depending upon where your bow was stored, they’ve probably dried out a bit. “It’s just like running oil in an engine. It prevents friction between the strands and enhances your string life,” Romano said. 

4. Hold the bow and bump the riser with the palm of your offhand — “This will quickly identify anything that’s loose on the bow for you,” he said. “Listen for any vibration or rattling. And check all your screws to make sure they’re tight and haven’t vibrated loose since last season.”

5. Start practicing from close-range — “Look to see if you have an erratic arrow flight or anything that doesn’t check out,” Romano said. “If you have a problem, go to a pro shop and get it straightened out right away.”

Accessory-wise, Romano said the new Pulse arrow rest from Axion Archery is a “game-changer” that has greatly improved his customers’ accuracy.

“This rest drops way faster than anything we’ve ever had. It allows you to achieve total clearance of the vanes without anything hitting, but at the same time it supports the arrow longer than anything else out there,” he said. “And it automatically resets itself. That’s totally new.” Chag’s sells the Pulse for $159.

If you’re in the market for arrows, Romano suggests the Maxima Red from Carbon Express. They feature three spines and a high-tech carbon design that minimizes flex and makes broadheads shoot tighter groups. Twelve Maxima Red arrows also cost $159 at Chag’s.

An item that Romano said continues to gain in popularity is the Ozonics ozone generator, which attacks and masks human odor so deer can’t smell you.

“It’s one of the few things that can actually, if not defeat a deer’s nose, give it a run for it’s money,” Romano said. “A deer can see you and he might not run, but if he smells you, he’s outta there. He’s not going to hang around and wait to find out what he smells.”

The portable Ozonics ozone generators sell for $400 at Chag’s.

For more information, call 504-455-8636.