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Better Bowhunting: The Case for Upgrading to an Aftermarket Bowstring

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Better Bowhunting: The Case for Upgrading to an Aftermarket Bowstring

Jerry Carter’s bowstrings grace bowhunting and 3D archery bows throughout the Southeast, and colorful threads appeal to 3D shooters in particular.

You have to really want to be at Jerry Carter’s place to get there. There’s no passing by; it’s at the end of a long, winding county road that turns into a long, winding driveway through the wooded hills of western Kentucky. Getting there is well worth the trouble if you’re a bowhunter or 3D target archer, though.

Carter and his wife, Margie, own Threadzand and make bowstrings in their well-equipped workshop outside Princeton, Ky. They’ve been at it for a few years, and what started out as sort of a word-of-mouth cottage industry has grown to the point that, via Internet contacts, they now supply bowstrings for archers throughout the country on a fairly regular basis. Jerry reckons he and Margie have produced more than 2,000 strings in the six years they’ve been open. It’s cut into their time as competitors in the Archery Shooters Association target matches around the Southeast, but it’s also become a lucrative sideline.

Having ordered a new bowstring from them for my Mathews Drenalin, I drove up to their shop the other day to have it installed and have the bow tuned. Dan Morehead of Paducah recommended Carter to me in the first place. Though Morehead makes his living as a professional bass fisherman in the FLW circuit these days, he spends much of his time bowhunting for whitetails and wild turkeys in the Ohio and Wabash river bottoms. He also used to compete in 3D target matches, and knows as much about archery equipment as he does about fishing tackle, which is considerable.

When he checked out my bow a while back, the first thing Morehead said was “you need a new string.” No surprise, as I obtained the Drenalin in 2009 and hadn’t replaced anything on it except the rest (I went from a shoot-through to a dropaway). Its cable and string servings had become somewhat frazzled and frayed, the bow had lost a few feet per second in speed, and the peep sight had loosened to the point that its alignment was becoming sort of potluck with each draw. Considering that almost all performance aspects of a bow ultimately depend on the bowstring, a change was past due.

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