Maybe you have shot your arrow a few times, hit your mark and wondered to yourself how many times can you reuse the arrow. Does archery have a set limit where you can only reuse the arrow a certain number of times? The truth is that this varies from one person to the next.
How many times can you reuse an arrow? You can shoot an arrow as many times as you’d like until it becomes too damaged to continue using it. You could, for example, shoot 50 carp with a single arrow, and as long as the arrow remains undamaged, it is okay to keep using it.
How to Avoid Damaging Your Arrow
You can only shoot your arrows as long as they remain undamaged. When I’m bowfishing for carp and I have a rocky bed underneath me, I’m more likely to damage the arrow tip, so I try not to make a habit of shooting at a rocky river bed unless I want to replace the arrows soon after.
The other thing is that you should be less concerned about how many times you can shoot to reuse an arrow, and you should be more concerned about watching for signs of damage.
Take the shaft of the arrow and spin it in your fingers to inspect it for signs of damage. If it displays damage to the shaft, discard the arrow. You can wind up with a piece of the shaft in your arm or hand or even injure a buddy. For that reason, you should inspect the arrow after every shot that you have taken to ensure that you don’t have a broken arrow.
It is not so much about how many times you can shoot and reuse the arrow, it has more to do with keeping a constant eye on the arrow for signs of damage. Never shoot a broken arrow!
The Best Way to Store Your Arrows
Often times, the arrows will get damaged in storage or in the transport of them, which will lead to you needing a replacement. First, especially like with bowfishing where you deal with water, make sure that you have had your arrows dried before you store them. Storing wet arrows can rust the arrow heads, and wooden arrow shafts will rot or warp.
If you’re doing bowfishing, rather than regular archery, you won’t have goose or turkey feathers to worry about. However, with regular archery, this can damage the feathers so that the arrows don’t fly as well or as accurately. Also, don’t store your arrows in sunlight or extreme heat because it can damage the shaft.
Can You Reuse an Arrow after Shooting a Deer?
I’ve shot two deer with the same arrow, and I could most likely continue to use the arrow. Here’s what matters the most: It doesn’t matter how many times you shoot the arrow–what matters is the damage done after the shot. In fact, I’ve heard of some whitetail bowhunters who have taken five deer with the same arrow. They even called it their lucky hunting arrow and swore by its magical powers.
It isn’t how many times you shoot an arrow that you have to worry about with reusing it. Instead, it matters more that you take active measures not to damage the arrow as much as possible. Store it properly, transport it properly and replace it as the need arises.
After you have shot the deer, check for splintering, wash the arrow (because it will most likely be bloody) and refletch it if you have damaged feathers. That said, you can definitely reuse an arrow after you have shot a deer.
Can You Reuse Broadheads?
You have some bowhunters who won’t reuse a broadhead after it has shot a target. Taken even farther, you have some people who won’t even reuse their broadheads after a season of no shooting. With that said, can you reuse your broadheads?
Part of this comes down to opinion and preference, but again, you should never reuse a broadhead that has noticeable damage because that’s the deciding factor. It can be dangerous to you. Don’t do it! As long as the ferrule spins, you can put on some new blade to your broadhead and continue to make use out of it. You don’t even have to replace the blades, and you can simply resharpen them.
The Proactive Approach to Reusing an Arrow
When it comes to reusing an arrow, you shouldn’t ask yourself how many times you can reuse an arrow because you can’t approach the problem correctly from that angle. Instead, you should adopt a more proactive approach with it where you inspect your arrows for damage after each shot. At the end of the day, that is what will make the biggest difference to how many times you can reuse an arrow.
In addition, where you’re shooting and how you shoot at them will also play a role in this. Watch for signs of arrow damage because that will reveal more than having a set number of shots where you can reuse an arrow.
Some of the signs of arrow damage include:
- Nock sits fully and fits tightly on the shaft.
- Dents, splits or cracks in the shaft.
- If you can hear the carbon cracking.
- Twisting the arrow, if it twists easily, the carbon is damaged.
What Causes Damage to an Arrow?
Shooting a hard surface like a rocky river bottom can cause damage to the arrow. In addition, if you don’t clean the shaft or the arrow correctly, this can also cause damage. Normal wear and tear also happens to an arrow, but that can still be hard to discern with how many times you can reuse an arrow after shooting it. You have too many factors to give an exact range.
Arrow Materials Where You Can Reuse Them Again
I would say that the best arrow material that you will find out there is carbon arrows. They’re the most durable, and I’ve especially made use out of them during my bowfishing adventures. Not only does carbon allow for reuse, but you can get better accuracy from arrows like this.
Aluminum-carbon arrows might cost a little more, but they have better accuracy, and in fact, the top competing archers in tournaments will use them for shooting because it guarantees better accuracy. However, these arrows don’t last as long, so I tend to avoid them for bowfishing and other archery. You might try out the Musen 30 Inch Carbon Archery Arrows.
In short, yes, you can reuse arrows after you have shot them. The rule isn’t how many times you have shot the arrow, but the rule looks at whether the arrow has damage on it. As long as you haven’t damaged your arrow, you can continue to use it for as long as it remains in tact.
However, please don’t shoot an arrow that has dents, splits or cracks in it because you could hurt yourself or someone else. You have to take a proactive approach when it comes to identifying the splits, cracks and dents in the arrows to know when you should discard an arrow and not depend on a specific number of times that you have shot the arrow. Inspect it for yourself.
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