Want to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow? There are various types of bows you can shoot, and each has different shooting technique. It is perhaps best to choose one type of bow to discuss. Once set up, compound bows are relatively easy to shoot with their sight systems and left offs, so this article will discuss recurves and longbows which are very similar in shooting technique.
To shoot a bow and arrow you will need:
- Tab or glove
- Arm guard
- Buy proper gear. A great part of shooting the bow is buying the proper gear. The bow must be the right length and draw weight for you, arrows must be correctly spined to the bow to fly right, and the bow must be set up correctly. Spend the time and go to a good archery shop and get outfitted correctly and you will be much more successful.
- Learn proper stance. There are several ways to stand and hold the bow. In both of the popular methods the archer stands at a right angle to the target with feet placed comfortably. In the first the archer stands upright and holds the bow out straight up and down, and many do shoot just this way. Another method is to stand slightly crouched over, bent slightly at the waist and with knees bent. The bow is held out and canted at an angle to the target.
- Learn proper grip. The bow is cradled in the hand, not gripped. Let the draw weight of the bow push the bow into the junction of thumb and forefinger, a finger or two can be curled around the bow to hold it in place but do not grip it tightly. If you do so you can torque the bow inward or outward, effecting the arrow flight, or hitting the arm with the string.
- Learn proper aim. There are several ways to aim the arrow. In the first the archer uses the tip of the arrow and places it on target. You will move it up or down for different yardages. In the second the archer shoots instinctively not using any aiming point. In this method you concentrate very hard on the exact spot you want the arrow to hit and shoot the bow. After much practice, the arrow will end up in that spot. This method uses your hand and eye coordination much in the same manner that throwing a baseball works. It takes a lot of consistent practice to accomplish, but is very effective at all ranges once mastered.
- Learn proper draw. The archer reaches forward with the shooting hand and grasps the string. Most archers use the three finger method, using one finger over the arrow nock and two under it. The string is then pulled straight back using the back and shoulder muscles until reaching the anchor point.
- Use a consistent anchor point. The bow string is drawn back to exactly the same spot every single time, that is important. Choose a spot, the corner of the mouth, a specific tooth, but where ever it is, use it consistently.
- Smooth release. The string must be released smoothly from all fingers at one instant. Consistency is again important.
That is the basic method to shoot the bow and arrow. The key is consistency shot after shot. Everything must be exactly the same, until the shot becomes ingrained in eyes and muscle memory. You will be best served to start out shooting at close distances and work your way back to longer distances. Do not become frustrated. Becoming a true archer takes dedication, practice, and concentration, but, it is a very satisfactory and enjoyable pursuit. Enjoy the time at the range, it is almost Zen like, and very relaxing.