How to Shoot
A Compound Bow
From Archery Fundamentals by Human Kinetics, Douglas Engh
Nine Steps to Learning
Shoot a Compound Bow!
Use these great instructions to teach your little boy how to use his toy bow and arrow set.
Because it isn’t possible to illustrate every conceivable compound-bow configuration, for this demonstration, we’ll use
a single-cam compound bow with a mechanical release that connects directly to the string serving. We’ll also use a rear
peep sight. Stances, grips, anchors, and releases.
1. Stance. Place one foot on either side of the shooting line. Find a balanced stance with your feet shoulder-width
apart. Open your stance slightly if it helps in clearance and provides better balance while holding the bow.
2. Nock the arrow. Place the arrow onto the arrow rest, and nock the arrow onto the bowstring under the nocking point.
Depending on the style of arrow rest, keep the index vane positioned to the outside of the bowstring so it clears the arrow
rest upon release. Some compound-bow arrow rests have the arrow resting on top with the rest composed of split fingers
below--in that case the index vane points downward through the split fingers so as to clear the arrow rest upon release.
Open the mechanical release and clip it onto the string underneath the arrow nock.
3. Set your grip. Set your bow hand onto the grip using only the web and meaty part of your thumb. Relax your bow-hand
fingers. Grip the release in your hand.
4. Predraw your bow. Align your shoulders with the drawing motion of the bow, and tighten your arm and back muscles to
take the weight of the draw. Avoid using only your wrist to pull the bowstring because this action might cause injury.
5. Draw your bow. Draw the bowstring back firmly and smoothly through to the draw stop by rotating your drawing-arm
shoulder and using your back muscles. Maintain backward pressure on the bow. Also maintain forward pressure on the bow arm.
6. Anchor. Settle the bow into shooting position, and anchor your rear hand under your jaw and the bowstring in front of you.
Your bone-on-bone body alignment (further discussed in chapter 5) should take the bulk of the let-off draw weight.
7. Aim. Peer through the rear peep sight and align with the front sight and target. Be sure to keep the bow upright.
Allow the front sight to float over the target--your eye will want to center the sight on the target naturally. Keep the
string aligned with the center of the bow.
8. Release. Allow a little back pressure in your rear hand to activate the finger release. Your trigger finger should
have little deliberate movement. Continue extending your bow arm toward the target during the release.
9. Follow-through. As the arrow leaves the bow, continue to extend the bow arm to the target until the arrow hits.
Maintain your focus on the target. Also, allow the rear arm to follow through in a natural motion. Keep your bow hand
relaxed. Your rear hand remains relaxed until it comes to rest on or near the rear shoulder. The wrist strap catches
the release aid.
Toy compound bows are GREAT! Compare our toy compound bow (above) with the real thing!