Recently I shot in the NM State Outdoor Championships here in Albuquerque NM. The event was held at the famed Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park. The event took place down on the grass field where the balloons take off from and is well maintained. Normally the humidity in Albuquerque has a small range of 0-15% and any real humidity is called "Rain". So what I am about to share with you is what happened to me and my bow during this shoot, how humidity affects your strings and cables, what might someone do to compensate for this effect and finally, how I did at the tournament.
Now I have been back and forth across this country shooting various places without thought of the effect of humidity on my strings, until the NM State Championships. So, picture this: 89degs on a grass field that was heavily watered before we got onto the field at 0800 with barley a hint of a breeze on the field. When I started shooting I realized that my nocks were snapping hard onto the string but didn't think to much about it. Normally when I serve my center, it's final measurement for pin nocks is .100 and when the bow is held, arrow toward the ground, you barley have to pluck the string for the nock to release. By 0930 the temp was over 90deg and would climb to 102deg by 1100 for the rest of the day. Because I was wrapped up in the moment and excitement of shooting in the tournament it never occurred to me that I was making drastic changes to my scope to account for the swelling of the string. I planned ahead and brought lots of water and hydrated often and found that I was sweating so much, I didn't have to pee the whole day from 0800-1500 when I left. How easily I could have been in far worse shape if I hadn't brought tons of water and a canopy.
Living here in the Great Southwest it's dry so I rarely shoot in a humid environment. It's when I travel back east that it really has an impact. I can only imagine what my strings went threw shooting warm-ups at home and dry to shooting a tournament an hour later and wet. So let's make some assumptions; the string and cables probably stretched and added draw length, they became thicker in the string tracks on the cams and mods, and the bow came out of tune at least as far as timing is concerned.
So, what can someone do to compensate for this effect? Nothing really! Awareness is really the key and knowing how your string and cable material will react to the different environments. Reserving your center serving and/or changing out your nocks can be done to anticipate what might happen to your threads. But reserving or changing to different threads for different shoots just seems like a lot of work. I am just going to accept that something is going to happen to them and just figure out how to compensate and push on threw. After all, that's what the practice range is for.
I took 1st place in the Masters 50+ division and got knocked out in the Open brackets in the semi's to none other than US Team shooter Cassidy Cox who I tied and she got me in a one arrow shoot off.
In closing, if you are like me and love to shoot so much that you travel all over the country to shoot than you need to know your equipment so much better than the guy who shoots all over his own state. Rain and humidity will make your bow shoot different. No matter what string and cable material types you use, there will be different affect in the different environments. And yes, it is still possible to win when your bow does funny stuff to you! It's just a little harder.