Introduction: How to Shoot a Compound Bow

Before you learn how to shoot a bow, it is essential to know what appropriate equipment you will need to start shooting and how to use that equipment. Compound bows are by far, the most popular style for hunting and target practicing but, there are many different aspects that you should know to be a successful bow hunter. Once you own a bow, you first need to go to an archery shop and have your draw length and draw weight measured. This will ensure that your bow fits you properly. Secondly, you will need to make a habit of checking your equipment before each use. This could be ensuring the bow is in good operating condition (string is in good condition) to even checking arrows straightness. One last important aspect of shooting is, matching your arrows to your bow, this will help increase your skill of bowhunting.

Note: Always when shooting at targets and for practice, use field points. When hunting game, use broadheads.


Essential Accessories

Armguard, mechanical release, bow quiver

Optional Accessories

Kisser Button, Peep Sight, Bow Sight, Stabilizers, String Silencer

Step 1: Safety

Safety, in my opinion, is the first step in learning how to shot a compound bow or of any type of weapon.

Here are 5 rules that I believe will keep a safe environment.

1) NEVER aim the bow at anyone with or without an arrow. This can become a very bad habit and can make bystanders uncomfortable. To me, this is the most important safety rule.

2) ALWAYS be aware of who is around you, essentially make sure that there isn't anyone between you and your target

3) ALWAYS keep your arrow and bow aimed toward the ground, unless about to aim and shoot

4) NEVER dry fire a bow, which means drawing back the string and releasing it without an arrow

5) NEVER shoot an arrow straight up in the air- this can be very dangerous to you and anyone surrounding you

Step 2: Shooting Position

Your shooting position is a very important part of the shooting process.

Assuming the shooting position means, standing with your shoulders pointing perpendicular towards the target while having your feet, shoulder-width apart. Your shooting position should be sturdy but comfortable and relaxed. A tense stance will limit your movability when shooting at a moving target.

Step 3: Nocking the Arrow

When you start to nock the arrow, always remember to point your bow towards the ground. Once in that position, place the spine of the arrow in the arrow rest and then nock the arrow at the nocking point- this point will be marked out on the string or like mine, a d-loop. The most important part of this process is consistently nocking the arrow in the same position with the cock fletching ( the odd colored fletching) facing out towards you.

Note: my odd color fletching is white

Step 4: Draw and Anchor

While still facing downrange, grip the bow by the handle with your thumb facing the target comfortably, but do not squeeze too tight. Once you have a comfortable grip, attach your quick release to the d-loop. When you are ready, at the same time, raise the bow by extending your bow arm till you are parallel with the ground while drawing the string back to your anchor point. When raising your bow, remember not to lock your arm. Your arm should be about 3/4 of the way extended (this can prevent the string from hitting your foreman when you shot).

A consistent anchor point is important when you think about being accurate. Your anchor point can be guided by a kisser button which sits in the "corner of your mouth". The position of the anchor point will allow you then to line up your peep sight and your bow sight.

Note: everyone's anchor point could be different

Step 5: Aiming Downrange

Once you find your anchor point, you then have to align your eye with your peep sight, bow sight, and target. Most bow sights have multiple colored pins. These pins represent different yard amounts, typically starting out from 10 yards and up to 40 plus yards. While aiming, breathe calmly and let your body relax and be comfortable. If you are not able to be relaxed at full draw and while aiming, then your draw weight may be too much for you and needs to be adjusted.

Note: You can adjust the draw length and weight on our own but is recommended to have a professional at a local archery shop, such as bass pro and many others, adjust them for you. This could be a better option for some.

Step 6: Release the String

Once you are relaxed and the target is in sight, slowly and smoothly hit the trigger on your quick release in a confident manner

Step 7: Follow Through

Once you have hit the trigger, maintain your initial shooting position. Many will jerk the bow left or right and that will affect your shot. Let the bow fall forward just a slight (only due to your loose and comfortable grip), while still focusing on the arrow and the target prior to the shoot.

Step 8: Ending Result

Lastly, walk toward your target and see how you did. Before you remove your arrows, I recommend that you study your arrow grouping. If your arrows are in a tight, compact group, then you are being consistent with anchor point, aligning of sights and being relaxed. If your grouping is spread out, that is ok, just then focus on finding the correct anchor point and adjust your mechanics, one arrow at a time.

Step 9: Have Fun

I hope this helped you understand a little more about how to properly shoot a compound bow and the safety aspect of owning a bow. Please leave comments and any feedback you may have. Thank you