Cardboard boxes and tubes may not provide optimum protection for the bow. A length of 3″ plastic drainpipe is a more sturdy alternative. It is also more economical than PVC pipes which can be quite heavy and can add up to postage fees.
Cut to size a length of 3″ drainpipe into 72″. Adding its circumference of 11″, you get a total package dimension of 83″ which is under the USPS’ limit of 84″ before they declare a package oversize and charge you a higher rate.
Since there are no commercially available end caps that will fit your drainpipe, simply make a pair of round discs that will fit on the pipe’s two ends. You can use 1/4″ plywood or three thicknesses of cardboard for the discs.
Insert one of the discs into one end of the drainpipe and hold in place with duct tape. Cris-cross several layers more of duct tape over the disc to secure it in place.
Prepare the longbow to be shipped. Unfasten the bowstring to release the tension and make the bow straighter. Wrap both ends of the bow with pieces of cardboard secured with packing tape. Then, wrap the riser and the entire length of the bow with layers of bubble wrap but make sure that it will not be too thick to prevent it from fitting into the tube.
Crumple some newspaper and insert into the open end of the drainpipe. Push the crumpled paper with one end of the bow until it is rammed all the way to the other end and the entire length of the bow is inside the tube. Insert more crumpled news paper in the open end before placing the other disc to completely seal the tube. Use more duct tape to secure the disc in place and ensure that it will not pop open during transit.
Attach address and label in the middle of the tube and cover with the clear packing tape to protect from moisture. Take the package to your local post office and choose Priority Mail. The USPS accepts long packages such as these while some private shippers will not, or will charge more.