Hunting can be an exciting activity for the outdoor activity lovers. Even though archery is meant for hunting, many people do it as a hobby. It’s like a game which has many advantages. It makes one learn patience, persistence and paying attention to detail.
How to shoot a bow can be quite challenging since it needs special skills. If you are wondering how some people can do it correctly, it’s because they have mastered some basic skills. Nothing is complicated about it.
There are many ways of shooting a bow. You can use a crossbow, a drawstring bow, a longbow or a compound bow among others methods. We will have a look at some of these methods but before that, let’s have a look at what gears you need.
What gears do you need to shoot a bow?
If you want to achieve perfect results when shooting a bow, you need to find out your eye dominance. This is more crucial than hand dominance in archery. You need to find out which eye is dominant by pointing out your finger towards an object or a far away wall then shut one of your eyes. In case your finger looks like it’s jumping, then your closed eye is dominant.
Get a bow that matches your dominant eye
When you go to purchase archery equipment, they will either be named as left handed or right handed. This is done according to which hand pulls the drawstring back.
Your dominant eye should line up with your dominant hand. If it doesn’t line up with it, buy equipment for your weaker hand. You need to pick a gear depending on your eyes.
Buy a protective gear
Sometimes shooting can be a risky experience if you lack a protective gear. To enjoy it without worry, you need specific equipment to safeguard you.
This protects your bow arm from bowstring slaps by covering your bow
· Plastic chest protector
It protects you from string burn near your chest
· Gloves/Finger tab
They safeguard your hand from string injuries. These are the most critical gear to save you from permanent nerve damage.
· A quiver
It is used for holding your arrows.
Select arrows that fit your bow
The type of bow you choose will determine the types of arrows you need. For example, if you want to shoot targets, buy arrows that have field point heads.
If you are going to use drawstring bows, you need arrows that measure 2 inches longer than the draw length you have. As for the case of crossbows, you need bolts that stick to the density, length, and recommendations from the manufacturer.
Find your draw length
You need to find your draw length by pulling back your bow like you are going to shoot it. Let someone help you to measure the distance between the back string and the front.
Purchase targets and other practice equipment
In archery, you always need to practice to be perfect. Set your target. It can be in the form of bag targets, form targets and b3D targets and broad heads as well. As you plan to buy targets, also remember to buy a practice bow, release trainers and strength training bars.
How to shoot a drawstring bow
A drawstring bow is one of the most effective methods of shooting a bow. Below are the steps to follow if you choose this method.
· Stand to the target perpendicularly
After getting ready, you need to stand at an angle of 90 degrees to the target. You can draw an imaginary line from where you are standing to your target such that it goes across your feet.
In case you are dominant to the right eye, put the bow on your left hand, allowing your left shoulder to point the target and use your hand to handle the string and the arrow. In case you are dominant on the left eye, do the opposite.
· Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart
Stand upright pinching your buttocks together to make your pelvis move forward and the width of your shoulder and feet should be a part. Your back should be upright so that you form a T shape when you pull the string.
Make sure your posture is relaxed to let you hold longer and be firm and alert as well.
· Point your bow to face the ground and attach a bowstring at the back
Let your bow point down and put the shaft of your arrow to rest. Connect the back of your arrow with a bowstring through the small plastic piece that has a grove called the nock.
Adjust the arrow for the single vane to face away from the bow if you have an arrow with fletching feathers or a single vane. Put the arrow under the neck beard.
· Hold the arrow on the string lightly with three fingers
This is the Mediterranean draw whereby you put your middle and ring fingers below the arrow while your index finger is above the arrow in case you are shooting with a sight.
You can place three fingers under the arrow to bring the arrow near to your eye and support the back of the arrow using your thumb to make it straight.
· Point the target
Now its time to point your bow towards your target. Ensure that your bow is vertical while your inner elbow is corresponding to the ground.
Lift you bow as you point it to the target while your fingers are on the drawstring. Hold it properly to be able to face straight to the spine of the arrow.
· Pull the bowstring towards your face
You need to use your three fingers to do this. Get strength from your back muscles and allow your arm to be relaxed. Pull the bow until it is tight and use your ear, chin and other parts of the body to be your reference point to draw the string back to that spot every time.
Push the string far back to dampen effects of back end and gravity and increase accuracy. Lift your left elbow as you pull back the string so that your shoulders and muscles can work and not your arm muscles.
· Aim at your target
Now you can point your bow for the tip of the arrow to line up with the target. Shoot. When doing close your non-dominant eye or you let them stay open.
· Release the arrow
Relax your fingers to release the arrow on your steady hand to get a clean release to let your bow leave your hand slowly without any interference. Immediately after releasing it, be patient until it hits the target. Avoid moving your hand forward in the attempt of boosting the arrow while shooting.
Method 2: Shooting crossbows
It is believed that crossbows originated from China where they were used in Greco-Roman battle in the medieval ages. Most modern crossbows resemble firearms and have a short bow linked to the muzzle horizontally.
Most people use them for target archery, and different states have regulations regarding them. Let’s find out how we can use crossbows.
· Crank the string to cock the crow
If you are using crank crossbows, you need to connect your crank to the device and turn the crank till the bow tilts. In the case of a manual crossbow, place your foot to the stirrup in front of the bow and pull the string back until it tilts.
· Use an arrow to load the crossbow
Now that you have raised the crossbow put an arrow in the tub of the crossbow and line the cock vane up with the tub channel. As you do this, try to keep your hand away from the front of the bow and the main cavity
· Move the bow close to your shoulder
Move the bow near your shoulder and let it stay on top of it or move it into the pocket of your shoulder. Let your non-dominant hand stay below the crossbow to make it stable.
Avoid using your free hand on your crossbow to avoid inaccurate shots. This is where you use one hand to hold the crossbow and shoot it. As mentioned earlier, your fingers should be away from the main chamber.
Use your scope or bows sight pin to aim. If you are using a crossbow with a scope, gaze through it and ensure that the aiming reticles are in line with your target. Remind yourself of the meaning of reticules using your user manual.
Now its time to fire your crossbow. You should hold your crossbow and ensure it is stable. Check your scope or sight twice then pull the trigger just the way you would have done on a gun. You will hear a little pop sound when the arrow releases from the trigger.
Method 3: Shooting compound bows
Compound bows are creative systems of cables, eccentric cams, and pulleys that aid you to hold a heavy draw weight. They were first made in 1960 with the aim of enabling archers to aim a powerful bow with less muscle fatigue.
You still need to use some good energy to draw the bow. Compound bows are more accurate than other bows because they are not affected very much by changes in humidity and temperature.
You might need to seek professional help in setting up the bow after purchasing it to help you set the draw length.
· Placing your arrow
The front portion of the arrows of compound bows has a rest to offer a guide for your arrow. You need to secure an arrow in the midst of two markers in the string. Do this by pushing, the string in the indentation of the arrow. Ensure that the vain plastic remains on top.
· Gripping the bow
To shoot the bow accurately, stand and keep your shoulders at an angle of 90 degrees to your target while your fit is almost the width of your shoulders apart. You should now grip your bow correctly. Use your less dominant hand to hold the bow. Remember to control your grip so that it doesn’t have to be too tight.
· How to draw back the string
Set your hand straight and lift it to the shoulder level so that you can get ready for the process of pulling back. Find out the loop where your arrow stays to attach your release.
Keep your finger away as you pull the string back. Avoid using your arms to do this, and use the muscles in your back instead. Your arrow will meet your face at this phase.
· The aim
Aiming using the compound arrow involves two processes. You will use the sight and the peep. The sight is a part of the bow that holds the pins you use to aim your arrow. There is a piece of a hollowed out rubber called the peep that is connected to the drawstring of the bow.
Each stands for a different distance. You need to know which distance that your pins are set for. This helps you select the pins depending on your distance. Ensure that you can see through the peep in the drawstring clearly after choosing your stopping point.
· The release
After picking up your spot on the target, pull the trigger to free the arrow. Your holding arm should be steady while your grip tight. To be accurate, avoid any twisting movement.
Take a deep breath and release the arrow. Go and check whether your shooting has been accurate by comparing it to your target.
Archery is an exciting activity that you can do for fun. It improves your accuracy level and keenness as well. From the above steps, it is evident that shooting a bow depends on the type of bow that you use. How to shoot a bow can be a natural activity if you keep practicing the above steps. It is essential to have a protective gear before engaging this activity.