With archery deer season underway in South Dakota, hunters are eager to once again put their skill, accuracy and patience to the test in the field.
As is the case with most things in life, preparation is the key to success. Delvin (Del) McHugh, owner of Del’s Taxidermy and Archery in Huron, reminds hunters that routine bow maintenance can mean the difference between harvesting that trophy buck or watching it bound off into the distance.
Del says bow tuning is especially critical.
“You need to make sure your bow is tuned. the cams and rest have to be in time to work properly, If the cams or rest are out of timing the bow will not shoot accurate. If the bow is all in tune your down range shooting will be more accurate. That is the main goal with archery is accuracy. It only takes a few minutes for me to identify a problem. No matter the brand of bow I have the knowledge and equipment to work on them.”
It’s also a good idea to re-string your bow every few years.
“At the very least, you should have your bow re-strung every three years, you should probably have it done every year if you shoot a lot. The string is the backbone of the bow. If the string is no good it’s going to be out of timing or twisting all the time.”
Del says if you add accessories to a bow, such as a new rest, it can throw the bow out of tuning.
“You might not ever figure out what is causing the change in your bows performance just by looking at it. A bow is a high-tech piece of equipment and it takes a trained person to really go through a bow properly.”
Del’s Archery is a full-service archery shop offering accessories, repair and maintenance of bows, and a full line of new bows. Del carries the Parker and Diamond brands but his main line is PSE, which has introduced a new bow this year that hunters are particularly excited about.
“They have come out with a new carbon bow. It’s lighter and that means a lot in archery. Also, it’s designed to reduce and absorb vibrations, which makes it a lot quieter. PSE just keeps raising the bar with its technology.”
In recent years, Del has also added crossbows to his inventory, in order to keep pace with the demand created by the lifting of restrictions on crossbows in South Dakota.
In addition to operating Huron’s only full service archery shop, Del is also a highly regarded taxidermist with 24 years of experience. He has done work for hunters throughout the U.S and Canada on animals ranging from big game that is native to Africa to more familiar fare such as elk and bear.