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
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.
+ 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
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
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
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
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
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
Put your index finger in front of the trigger on your release and pull the trigger when ready.
Step 8: 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!!!!