Archery is an ancient art form, that has been practiced for millennia for sport, hunting and war. In this instuctable I am going to show you some basics. I am in no way a master of the sport, but I have picked up some things that might be useful.
When you shoot a bow, remember that it is a weapon and can potentially be very dangerous. please practice proper safety precautions. If possible visit a shooting range, if not, practice in an open field devoid of people and wildlife. Never point your bow at anyone. Point the arrow at the ground as you nock your bow. Also, it is wise to invest in safety gear such as an arm guard.
Step 1: String Your Bow
I use a historical bow that requires stringing before use. If you use a modern bow or a composite bow, this step doesn't apply. Also shooting will be much easier because modern bows have many cool gadgets to help aim an shoot.
Place your bow string on one end of your bow. Run the bow between your legs so that your leg is between the bow and the bowstring. Bend the bow with your other led as a fulcrum. Attach the other end of the bowstring to the bow.
Step 2: Nocking Your Bow
When you nock your bow, you want to make sure that the fletching is in the proper position. The fletching, when viewed from the back forms a triangle. You want the base of the triangle to be facing the bow, and the point to be facing away from the bow. The arrow should be on the opposite side of the bow from your dominant hand (if you are right-handed, the arrow should be on the left side of the bow).
The fletching of an arrow is usually color coded for ease of use. Two are of one color and one is another color. This is to allow you to quickly nock your bow. You want the the single color to face away from your bow.
Step 3: Hand Placement
You want to draw the bow with your dominant hand, and to hold the bow with your off hand. Place your dominant hand on the bowstring so that your three fingers are holding the bowstring. The index finger should be on top of the arrow, while your middle and ring fingers are below.
Step 4: Drawing the Bowstring, Aiming, Loosing
To draw the bowstring back, using the muscles of your back, pull the bowstring back until your hand is at your ear. Remember to keep your off hand straight. While shooting a bow, posture is important. Keep your back as straight as possible. You want to have your feet in position as well. Your legs should be shoulder-width apart, with the foot opposite your dominant hand forward, pointed at the target, while your other foot is back and at a 45 degree angle.
To aim, align the tip of the arrow with the target. Then (for right-handed archers) move the point so that it is a little above and to the right of the target, how much depends on the distance to the target and draw weight of the bow.
To loose the arrow, let the bowstring gently slide off of your fingers.
Obviously, aiming and loosing require practice. You have to get a feel for it.
Step 5: Conclusion
Those were some basics of archery. I am in no way an expert, but, as an amateur, I have a great love for the sport, and highly recommend, that anyone with an interest try it if possible. Not only is it great for developing the muscles of your arms and back, but it gives you a zen-like feeling of peace.
Once again, please remember to observe all safety regulations while shooting a bow.