NATCHEZ – Bow season opening day is months away, but right now is the best time for hunters to take out their bows, said Homer Hewitt, owner of Hewitt Archery.

He said hunters should inspect their recurve bow, compound bow or crossbow for safety. Faulty equipment can lead to arm or face injuries, he said.

“Every two years on a vertical bow or crossbow, hunters have to change their strings,” Hewitt said. “If you don’t change them, it can hurt you. You need to inspect the limbs of your (bow) and make sure they have no cracks.

He said another safety measure a person can take is to take their arrows and roll them around to see if they are cracked. To do this, bend the arrow a little and roll the arrow. He said the manufacturers recommend that you roll your arrow every time you shoot and check the tail units for cracks.

Hair fractures can develop in arrows, Hewitt said. An arrow hitting another arrow already in the target causes this. If an arrow has a crack, it can break on release and injure the shooter’s arm.

He said if you’ve never owned a bow, but want to try bow hunting, now is the time to start hunting for a bow.

Bowie Outfitters, Sports Center, and Hewitt Archery sell everything a novice or experienced bow hunter would need. They each offer a variety of mounts, sights, stabilizers, arrowheads, arrows, and targets.

Sports center director Tim Mize said people should have their arches installed. A bow is a very personal item because everyone is different, he said. People have different draw lengths and weights.

He said one way to determine your draw length is to place the palm of your hand flat against a wall. You measure the length of the hand to the nose for the draw length. Sports center arc technician Eric Perry said the average draw length for the men is 28 inches.

“If you have a 28 inch draw length, that allows you to shoot most arrows without cutting them,” Perry said. “Everyone has different strengths, and it takes trial and error to determine the draw weight on which to place a bow. When you draw the bow to the slip point, almost 80 percent of the weight is relieved.