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Point your bow toward the ground and attach the back of an arrow to the bowstring via the nock. Place 3 fingers on the string around the arrow, then pull the bow up and hold it out toward the target.
Shooting a Drawstring Bow
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When you’re ready to shoot, line yourself up so that, if you drew an imaginary line from yourself to the target, the line would go across your feet. If you are right eye dominant, hold the bow with your left hand, point your left shoulder to the target, and handle the arrow and string with your right hand.
Keep your back erect so that, when you pull the string, your shoulders and arms form a “T” shape. Your stance should be comfortable enough to hold for long periods, but also firm and alert.
Point your bow toward the ground and place the shaft of an arrow on the arrow rest. If the arrow has 3 vanes, or fletching feathers, orient the arrow so that a single vane points away from the bow.
If you’re shooting with a sight, place your index finger above the arrow and your middle and ring fingers below. If you’re shooting without a sight, place all 3 fingers below the arrow, which will bring the arrow closer to your eye.
Point your bow toward the target. With your fingers on the drawstring, raise your bow and hold it out toward the target.
Use 3 fingers to pull the bow’s drawstring back toward your face. Keep pulling until the bow feels tight, then use your chin, ear, or another body part as a reference point, that way you can draw the string back to the same spot each time.
Try to draw the string as far back as possible. This increases accuracy and dampens the effect of wind and gravity.
Lift your elbow when you pull back the string. This makes your shoulder muscles work instead of your arm muscles.
In this method, simply point your bow so that the tip of the arrow lines up with your target. If you want to fine-tune your aim, try purchasing an adjustable sight that attaches to the front of your bow.
The goal is to get a clean release, meaning the bow leaves your fingers with as little slowdown and interference as possible. After releasing the arrow, wait until it hits the target to lower the bow.
Do not move your hand forward to “boost” the arrow while you shoot. Remain still for the best shot possible.
Pay attention to the bow’s recoil or follow-through, as it may indicate problems with your form.
Firing a Crossbow
If you’re using a manual crossbow, place your foot into the stirrup located at the front of the bow, then pull the string toward the back of the device until it cocks. For crank crossbows, attach your crank to the device if necessary, then simply turn the crank until the bow cocks.
Load the crossbow with an arrow. After cocking the bow, place a crossbow bolt or arrow into the barrel of the device and line the cock vane up with the barrel channel. For safety, load the arrow from the top of the device, keeping your hand away from the main chamber and the front of the bow at all times.
Bring the bow to your shoulder. Place your non-dominant hand below the crossbow to steady it, making sure to keep your fingers away from the main chamber.
When someone holds their crossbow in 1 hand and attempts to shoot it, freehanding is.
Aim your shot using the bow’s sight pin or scope. If your crossbow has a scope, peer through it and line the aiming reticles up with your target.
When you’re ready to shoot, hold your crossbow double and steady check your scope or sight. When the arrow releases, you’ll hear a slight pop from the trigger.
To figure out which of your eyes is dominant, point your finger toward a distant wall or object and close 1 of your eyes. If your finger appears to jump, you closed your dominant eye.
Buy a bow that matches your dominant eye. If your dominant eye does not line up with your dominant hand, purchase equipment for your weaker hand.
Typically, you can use crossbows in either hand.
Choose arrows to go with your bow. When dealing with drawstring bows, purchase arrows that are about 2 in (5.1 cm) longer than your draw length.
If you’re planning to shoot targets, get arrows with field point heads. They have small clasps that grip onto the prey after you shoot it.
To find your draw length, pull back your bow as if you were going to shoot it. Have a friend measure the distance between the front of the bow and the back of the string.
Purchase protective gear. Certain pieces of equipment are essential for ensuring both an enjoyable and safe shooting experience. Some items to consider buying include an arm-guard to cover your bow arm and protect it from bowstring slaps, a plastic chest protector to prevent string burn along your chest, gloves or a finger tab to protect your hands from string injuries, and a quiver to hold your arrows.
The finger tab/glove is the most important. Trying to tough it out is not a good option even if you have developed callouses by playing guitar or something else.
Buy targets and other practice equipment. These come in a variety of forms including bag targets, which work well for simple point heads, foam targets, which can handle notch and broadheads, and 3D targets, which look like wild animals, zombies, and other creatures.
Strength training bars
Point your bow toward the ground and attach the back of an arrow to the bowstring via the nock. Place 3 fingers on the string around the arrow, then pull the bow up and hold it out toward the target. Point your bow toward the ground and place the shaft of an arrow on the arrow rest. If the arrow has 3 vanes, or fletching feathers, orient the arrow so that a single vane points away from the bow. Some items to consider buying include an arm-guard to cover your bow arm and protect it from bowstring slaps, a plastic chest protector to prevent string burn along your chest, gloves or a finger tab to protect your hands from string injuries, and a quiver to hold your arrows.