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Archery For Beginners: 7 Steps On How To Shoot A Bow And Arrow

Being new to archery means you’ve got no idea how to shoot a bow and arrow. I remember hitting a tree a couple yards away from the actual target for my first shot.



Being new to archery means you have no idea how to shoot a bow and arrow. I remember hitting a tree a couple of yards away from the actual target for my first shot. However, with practice, I was able to progress up to the point that I constantly hit the mark.  Until you have your taste of your first archery shot, you’ll find it hard believing what you actually see in the movies. So if you’re new to archery, scroll down and find out the efficient  way of using a bow and arrow.

Archery For Beginners: 7 Steps On How To Shoot A Bow And Arrow

I guess we all started from watching those old Robin Hood films seeing him hit a moving target or shooting a bow and arrow while riding a horse at full speed.  Whether you’re practicing archery for hunting, getting ready for competitive archery, or just starting a hobby, the most fundamental step is to know how to shoot. Knowing the basic shooting technique is the first step to having a great archery career. So to start, let’s take a look at the step-by-step process of shooting with a bow and arrow.

Step 1: Knowing your arrow

The first step is to learn what arrow to use on what type of bow, much like you need to know what bullet goes for which gun. Arrows with feather fletchings are best for traditional bows with no arrow rests. On the contrary, plastic fletchings are for compound bows that have arrow rests that have a little “give” when the fletchings pass through.

Step 2: Wear an arm guard

Almost all archers make use of arm guards to protect their hands from the string. As a beginner, you need to wear one to prevent the string from lashing out at your wrist due to improper shooting techniques.

Step 3: Protect your fingers

Some archers use shooting tabs while others wear an entire archery glove for protection. This decision relies entirely on your preference because eventually, you’ll feel what works for you. Some even ditch the whole finger protection thing because they feel that tabs and gloves impede on their shooting. Again, it’s all preferential. I prefer tab over gloves, by the way.

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Step 4: Hold the bow correctly

Depending on what bow you’re shooting, you’re gonna have to hold the bow vertically or at a slight angle. Long, compound bows with optic sights need to be held straight up. However, traditional composite bows need to be angled slightly to your cocking hand.

Step 5: Positioning the arrow

It’s important to notice that your arrow has two identical fletchings and a distinct third fletching. The one with the different color needs to face away from the bow as you let it rest. This prevents the bow from tearing it off, thus resulting in a poor arrow flight. Furthermore, there is nock point on the string where you need to clip the arrow below it. This prevents the arrow from sliding up while you nock the string.

Step 6: Drawing the bow

Finally, you’re on the final step of shooting a bow and arrow. Hold out your bow arm straight out and draw the string with your other hand to an anchor point on your face. Arms must be horizontally aligned. Think the hands of the clock on the same digit. Ideally, this is a few centimeters behind the edge of your lip. While others anchor it on the corner of their mouths like Sean here, Olympic archers will anchor the nock below their chin. The reason behind this is because they’re drawing longer bows.

Step 7: Release

Once you’re ready, release the arrow and you’ve made your first shot as an archer!


Tip: It’s important to let your nocking hand flow back naturally as you release the arrow. This promotes better arrow flight and prevents the unnecessary motion from the string.

Watch this video from seansoutdoor for the full tutorial on how to shoot bow and arrows for novice archers! 

You might find it awkward trying to shoot an arrow with so many thoughts in your mind. In time, you’ll be able to do all these unconsciously as muscle memory kicks in. If you’ve got some tips you’d want to add on how to shoot a bow and arrow, feel free to share them in the comments!

Click here for archery accessories buying guide.

Feature Image Via – imgrum


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