Introduction: How to Become Robin Hood!!

Picture of How to Become Robin Hood!!

Whether you are target shooting in a competition, hunting, or just practicing your shot the steps to a great shot are all the same. You can purchase a bow at almost any sporting goods store and you will need to find a bow that fits you. An employee at the store will help to make sure that the bow has the proper draw weight and draw length for you. After purchasing a bow and the necessary components, the next step in the process is to practice your shot. As an avid bow hunter and target shooter, I have learned the keys to making a great shot. The steps and insight in this instructable will guide a first-time bow shooter through the process of shooting a compound bow. In addition, I will also describe the necessary components for a compound bow.

Step 1: Bow Components

Picture of Bow Components

Prior to taking your first shot you should be familiar with the key components of the compound bow and the components of the arrow. As you can see the bow has many different components but for this instructable we will be concerned with just five of the components. 

+ Release Loop - The small string attached to the main bow string where the release will be 
+ Peep Sight - A small plastic piece, with a hole in the middle, which allows you to see your sights
                          and the target without outside distractions.
+ Hand Grip - The hand grip (wooden on this bow) is strategically placed to improve stabilization 
                          when shooting the bow.
+ Arrow rest - Plastic prongs that holds the arrow ensuring a proper arrow flight.
+ Sights - Neon and holographic, these sights enable the shooter to shoot at different distances.

Arrow Components:

+ Nock - Plastic piece that attaches the arrow to the bow string.
+ Vanes - They stabilize the arrow when it is in flight. There are many different sizes of vanes
                   and the size is all dependent on the shooters preferences.
+Field Tip - A type of tip used when target shooting or practicing.

Step 2: Release

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If using a wrist release secure it to your wrist making sure the trigger is facing your palm. Make sure the wrist strap is tight and won't fall off when force is applied.

Step 3: Grip the Bow

Picture of Grip the Bow

Slide your hand through the loop on the bow sling and grip the hand grip firmly. Make sure that the bow strings are facing towards you and that the arrow rest and sights are positioned above your hand. These steps ensure that the bow is not upside down and that the tip of the arrow will be facing away from you.

Step 4: Attach the Arrow

Picture of Attach the Arrow

Insert the nock, located on the back of the arrow, onto the bow string between the release loop. Slide the nock onto the bow string until you feel/hear the nock snap on. On the front of the bow, position the arrow on the arrow rest so that the arrow sits steady.

Step 5: Attach the Release

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Hook the release onto the release loop by pulling the trigger back (opens release) then pushing the trigger forward (closes release). Be sure to keep your index finger behind the trigger to ensure the release does not open when unexpected.

Step 6: Draw Bow Back

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If you are shooting a right handed bow, place your left foot towards the target and gently pull the bow back until the bow is at maximum draw length. When pulling the bow back you will notice that it gets much easier to pull back about 2/3 of the way back. The reason for this is to enable the shooter to hold the bow at maximum draw for a longer period. This is one major difference between a compound bow and a traditional recurve or long bow.

Position your release hand so that the bow string is in contact or close to contacting your face. Some people like the bow string to touch the tip of their nose or the side of their mouth but it's just a matter of preference. Look through the hole in your peep sight and locate your sights and the target. When looking through your peep hole, center the outside ring (orange) of your sights on the target. If the outside ring on your sights is centered on the target, the bow should be level.

There are four pins on this particular sight, each set for a different yardage. *Note: The pins may need to be adjusted so an allen wrench is required. Instructions on adjusting sights can be found in Step 8.* When you determine the distance of the target, match it with your designated pin. Put the correct pin on the target, making sure you can still see the entire outside ring of your sights. To improve your chances of making a better shot, try to control your breathing and loosen your grip slightly. 

Step 7: Pull the Trigger

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Put your index finger in front of the trigger on your release and pull the trigger when ready. 

Step 8: Bullseye or Adjustments

Picture of Bullseye or Adjustments

For beginners, start out shooting at a still target about ten yards away. Shoot a group of arrows at the target and if you feel comfortable try a longer range shot.

After shooting a group of arrows, three or four, and you are not consistently hitting the target as intended, sight adjustment may be needed. To make the arrow hit closer to the bullseye you can either adjust the whole sight unit or each individual pin. As a beginner, it might be easiest to adjust the whole sight unit. For the sake of preventing confusion I will explain how to move the entire sight unit to improve accuracy. If the arrow is consistently going above the target, loosen the screws and move the sight unit up slightly. If the arrow is going to the right you will want to move your sight unit to the right slightly. Shoot another group of arrows and see where your arrows are going now. Adjust sights accordingly until the desired outcome is achieved. With a little practice and dedication you will eventually get the hang of it. You have done everything correctly if your arrow(s) hit the intended location. Bullseye!!!!


Deepblu505 (author)2013-12-11

First thing to do to become Robin Hood is to loose the training wheels.

Fin the human (author)Deepblu5052015-10-29

I use a recurve.

broken board (author)2012-02-21

G'Day mate

good to see another enthusiastic archer out there.
Looks like you are in need of a few pointers I was given years ago.

1. Stand up straight. Pull ya hips back under your body or move your body over your hips. If you can’t that is a warning sign your bow's poundage is too high.

2. Release your death grip on your bow with your left hand, relax your fingers. The bow is held in your hand by balance not strength. The bow handle sits in the webbing of your hand around the meaty part of your thumb and first finger.

3. I know it’s hard but u need to drop your right elbow down. strangely its not done by moving the elbow down. The best way I can explain it is to drop your right shoulder and your elbow will come down making it a more natural position. The more nature the longer and steadier you will be able to hold your draw.

4. When you release the arrow you must let the bow pivot forward, it carries some kinetic energy with it. You are wearing a bow strap try and use it. You will not drop the bow although it does feel like it.

All these things will increase your accuracy a guarantee it.
I have 3 robin hoods. I had to reduce the size of my arrows and increase my distance. They are getting too expensive to keep getting robin hoods.
I’m using top end eastern’s atm. last time I replaced them cost me 550 for 12 bare shafts.
There is no more that 3 grains of sand difference in weight between any one of them.

Good luck and happy hunting.

JeffK3 (author)broken board2014-10-27

Broken Board, thank you for those tips. I've forgotten that stuff over the last 14 or so years of not being involved in archery. My best shots as of right now are placing my three arrows in a paper plate at 20-30 meters. There is a good chance that my shots were not consistent due to using a cheap stick on type arrow rest (I have replaced with a whisker-biscuit type today). I simply wanted to not spend much while determining my current level of enthusiasm for the sport. I use an older blackbear compound bow, so I had it checked out at my local archery store before using in the field. I would suggest to anyone who buys a bow second-hand to do the same. The shop did not charge a fee, and did not try to sell me on a new string or anything else that wasn't needed. That was the outdoor depot in Gainesville, GA.

Again, I appreciate the tips.

rimar2000 (author)2010-03-02

I think the bow of Robin Hood was not like that!!

k5cqb (author)rimar20002013-08-05

If compound bows existed during the time Robin Hood supposedly existed then i am sure he would use one.

DJ Radio (author)rimar20002010-03-24

I also think Robin hood was capable of shooting an arrow onto another arrow without dumb luck.

PotatoCoffee (author)DJ Radio2011-12-22
RANDOMUS3R (author)DJ Radio2010-03-29

ROFL^^^ I don't believe Robin Hood had a compound bow...

zglynn (author)RANDOMUS3R2011-11-03

same here lol

MR.builderguy (author)DJ Radio2011-01-26

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr Qui (author)2012-10-27

If you are interested in taking up archery JOIN A CLUB I was a member of Ballyvalley Archery club Banbridge Northern Ireland who have produced a couple of Olympic and commonwealth champions. The club strongly advises that you should not buy a bow until you have been shooting for at least 6 months and your arms and shoulders have strengthened, If you buy a bow before that by the time you can shoot accurately you will be fit to pull a much stronger bow. Most clubs have bow that you can use until you are ready to buy your own. I shot for 6-7 months before I bought my compound bow.

Brayden1122 (author)2012-04-02

When I'm aiming I prefer just looking down the arrow. I just find it easier.

broken board (author)2012-03-23


way to go on your first instructable.
Don’t let all the chest puffing put you off making another, we all thing we are great at shooting and all like to tell everyone how good we think we are.

Fantastic job
If you have read all your comments like I just did and if you have a sense of humor perhaps make a instructable on the vast array of advice. RALFAO .
Well done champ keep it up

Ambermile (author)2012-01-13

I've looked, but I don't see any ibles from those that have left negative comments. Cbracy spent the time to do something and should be congratulated for that rather than pilloried for his equipment choice. I shoot compound and I am an archer... I don't shot barebow for the same reason I don't ride a horse - it's outdated. Now some people *do* ride horses and that's fine... and their choice.

I'd best not let on I have a laser sight on my bow eh? Or that I use a rangefinder either. To me it's a sport and as a sport I shoot against those with similar kit - that makes it fair as far as I can see.

Arthur :D

gary.j (author)2011-06-02

Judging by the foto you are gripping the bow to tight which will cause you to torque the bow when the arrow is released. (bow will pull to one side).
Also the draw length is to long as previously mentioned, and you seem to be leaning backwards which could mean the the draw weight could be too much as well as the incorrect draw length.
I corrected my shooting form by setting up a video camera and recording myself shooting a number of times, you can then playback and see where you are going wrong. (i also saw that i needed to lose weight) Then get advice or compare it to pics of pro's while they are shooting.

PotatoCoffee (author)gary.j2011-12-22


PotatoCoffee (author)2011-12-22

You have bad shooting form, when you shoot any type of bow you shouldent grip the bow as this may cause the arrow to shoot wonky, also keep you're draw arm down and relax man! One final question when did Robin Hood ever shoot compound?

nonickname (author)2011-05-02

-Your shooting form is terrible
-You're cowering away from your bow and your draw length is way too long
-You're extremely over bowed

You don't pull the rigger. It's fired by back tension. You don't hammer fist your grip like that. Don't lean back from your bow like that. Don't have a draw 2" longer than it should be. Don't shoot a bow that's obviously way too heavy for you.

Aaronius (author)2010-07-13

Any support of Archery is appreciated. Credit where credit is due, modern archers who use a well-tuned compound bow and release can minimize human error and make some very precise shots. Also for hunting, it can give a greater likelihood of a more humane kill. Compound bow shooting has its merits. However, it is not Robin Hood. As a traditional archer myself, [non-hunter], I prefer the feel of the string on my fingers and have the callouses to prove it. Where the modern compound bow may have some advantages, speed doesn't seem to be one of them. I found that both my friend, using a compound, and I will hit the bullseye, but he one time, where I have emptied my back quiver in the same amount of time. Just a thought.

Ole bally (author)Aaronius2010-12-28

What exactly is yr point? Lots of arrows shot at what and to what purpose? Like comparing a shotgun to a scoped rifle! Don't both things have their merits? If you're talking about hunting, then one well placed shot is worth a hundred badly placed ones. Just different horses for different courses!
I own all three types of bow and enjoy each one equally! They all have different purposes and are all fun to shoot!

MR.builderguy (author)Ole bally2011-02-05

Who said you cant be accurate with a longbow?????????????

Ole bally (author)MR.builderguy2011-02-06

Depends on what you call accurate! Obviously it is relative. Visit a Field Archery club and compare bow types on an accuracy basis. Find 5 guys that can shoot a half inch group at 30m with a long bow! - probably not?!! The issue with becoming accurate with a Long bow shot 'instinctively' ( is there any other way?) is the extraordinary amount of time that goes into the learning and practicing to get it right. Certainly, some people just 'have it' whilst others never 'get it'! You have to just accept that not everyone wants to be Robin Hood but still want to enjoy archery in whatever form they choose!

MR.builderguy (author)Aaronius2011-01-26

in my opinion, all that modern jumk is a disgrace to archery you may as well shoot a crosbow. I think archery should include building, and becomming accurat with your own bow. its all part of the experience.

Hedger462 (author)2010-03-29

Although any way of holding a bow will shoot an arrow the best way to be consistant is by taking the inconsistancy of the human body out of the equation. The best way to grip the bow is to barly touch the bow, let it sit in your hand with the force of the bow holding it in, the reason for your wrist sling is so that after you shoot the bow it will fall but wont hit the ground.

MR.builderguy (author)Hedger4622011-02-05


tincanz (author)2010-06-24

Robin Hood would not be using a cheaters' compound bow with unnecessary technology to fire it for him.

MR.builderguy (author)tincanz2011-01-26

I AGREEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

purplewg (author)2010-10-26

Give the man a break. He is only trying to help the archery challenged and beginners. Equipment is a personal choice. This is not a Ford, Chevy, Dodge argument. If it has a string and shoots and an arrow it is a bow. Which type we decide on depends on much on our plans for shooting.

Cbracy, work on standing more upright. Look at your picture and you can see the reverse C in your back. Get maybe just a little more weight on the front foot. It may help you stand more upright. If you are anchored in that picture, you can take an inch off that arrow also.

MR.builderguy (author)purplewg2011-01-26

a crosbow has a string and shoots an arrow. it is not a bow. I still think compounds are cheating.

Ole bally (author)purplewg2010-12-28

I agree about his stance! I would hazard a guess that he's 'over bowed' and should wind the poundage down! If he were to tournament shoot with his back like that he'd be very sore come the end of the shoot! Also tuck the middle, ring and pinkie fingers in against yr palm holding the bow bow with only the thumb and index finger (use a bow sling to stop you dropping the bow!), this'll rotate yr forearm outta the way and stop you from hitting it with the string as you get more and more tired!

leon0862 (author)2011-01-13

wouldnt this be cheating in a contest like its like a rifle only u use ur arm and a pull of a finger

saehn (author)2010-08-12

...and also Robin Hood was just pretend. o_O

Rhd55 (author)2010-06-29

I myself am an avid bowhunter, and I don't know how you can stand to use that type of rest. I sit in a treestand with an arrow nocked, and when I go to shoot downward, the arrow always pops out of the rest. I use a fallaway, and if you can't afford that, whisker biscuits are a cheaper alternative. Nice Matthews :)

That Inventor Dude (author)2010-06-09

Robin hood would have used a great British longbow not a compound bow .which should be illegal except to people with sufficient skill to shoot bare bow, like robin hood. also he wouldn't hold the string like that he would use one finger above two bellow or three bellow as was normal at the time. good guid e for basic archery... but with overpowered equipment...

torned00 (author)2010-03-25

cool bow!

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