How to protect your precious bow when you’re on the go
A buddy once sent me a picture of a baggage handler throwing his bow case toward a luggage cart, only to see it careen off the cart and across the tarmac. Understandably, he was furious about the mishandling, but his bow remained unharmed because it was in a well-protected case—a good example of why an airline-approved case is so necessary for air travel.
Some hard cases are built like vaults, but there are also lightweight, durable options. Look for pillar supports within the case, which provide extra protection and ensure the case doesn’t get crushed. If you expect to be travelling or hunting a lot by boat, also consider a waterproof hard case that floats.
Even with a hard case, add a layer of clothing in and around the bow for a snug fit and to ensure crucial accessories such as the sight are not compromised; some bowhunters even construct a small cage or box to fit around their sight. International travelers will also need to lock their bow cases; if you’re heading stateside, get a latch approved by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. And if you plan to be in airports and on the go a lot, get a case with wheels to help ease the burden.
Even with a locked hard case, thoroughly inspect your bow once you arrive at your destination. A hunting buddy of mine once flew to South Africa for a Cape buffalo hunt only to discover someone had dry-fired his bow while it was in transit. Fortunately, the bow didn’t require a bow press to restring, and the limbs were not cracked.