Being one of the most challenging outdoor sports, bowhunting has grown quite a popularity these days. With the introduction of a lot of sports, its quite surprising to see a lot of fan-base of bowhunting in the United States now. To be an accurate shooter is part of the pride for many archery enthusiasts. But, to be a good archer, you need to acquire bowhunting skills to learn proper archery for beginners.
Skills come with practice, learning and not to mention using the right gears like perfect arrows, proper arrow rests and bows. It comes with experiences you gather from different archery trips. But guidance is the thing that keeps it perfectly in shape on how you learn things in the most effective ways.
Archery Skills and Guides to Follow for the Beginners
In this article, I am going to write down the basic skills of bow hunting a hunter need to acquire to be accurate and to be precise.
You will learn how to:
- Brace a bow and assume a proper stance
- Grip the bow, nock the arrow, draw, and anchor
- Adjust your bow sight
- Get a good release and follow-through on your shots
- Correct common faults
1. Bracing the Bow First: Skills Come Second
You have your equipment-now you are ready for the first step toward becoming a competent archer: bracing the bow.
In general, I would strongly suggest that archery classes use bow stringers. Learn the Methods of bowhunting from the right below part. They are inexpensive and will reduce limb twisting that results from improper stringing. They may also avoid an injury.
2. Learn Different Methods of Archery
Here are the methods of bow hunting.
Push-Pull Archery Method of the Bow
Carefully examine your bowstring. You will notice that one loop is larger than the other. Place the smaller loop in the groove of the lower limb. Brace the lower limb against the instep of your right shoe (but do not let the tip touch the ground).
Slide the larger loop over the upper limb, holding the handle with your right hand. Pull the handle toward your body while you push the upper limb down with the heel of your left hand.
Guide the string into the upper groove. Do not release the pressure until both loops are properly secured in the bow nocks.
Step-Through Archery Method
Put your right leg between the string and the belly of the bow so that the handle is behind you. Then set the bow’s lower limb over the instep of your left foot and have the riser rest against the back of your upper right leg.
Now place the heel of your right hand against the back of the bow and raise your elbow to shoulder height. As your right hand pushes the upper limb forward, your left hand guides the loop into the groove. Be sure to secure both loops before releasing pressure.
If not done correctly, the step-through method has a tendency to permanently deform the limbs of more delicate bows and will bruise your left instep.
3. Archery Stance to Take
Stance and position in archery is governed by the laws of balance. Since the center of gravity for a standing person is approximately the middle of the pelvis.
Any change in position will also trigger a change in the center of gravity and therefore in balance.
Thus, when you raise a bow the combined weight of the bow and the extended arm shifts the center of gravity over the front leg. Some archers compensate for this state of imbalance by widening the stance.
Others simply shift all their weight forward to the center of gravity, reasoning that such a position locks the hip into place and prevents inconsistencies instance.
In the parallel stance, both feet are placed at 90° from the line of flight and parallel to each other The feet are about shoulder width, but this varies with each archer.
It is very important that your stance be comfortable.
The oblique stance is particularly good for a beginning archer because it allows more extensive use of the back muscles and helps you avoid string contact with your bow arm.
Keeping your feet parallel to the shooting line, move your lead foot backward until the toes are in line with the instep of your rear foot.
How to Complete the Archery Stance
To complete the stance, swivel on your toes slightly toward the target so that your feet assume the position.
Many indoor shooters use this stance or a variation of it because shooting at short distances does not require the full draw necessary for the longer distances.
Combination Stance for the Bowhunter
The open stance is a combination of the parallel and oblique stances. The rear foot remains parallel to the shooting line, but the lead foot rotates slightly toward the target.
This movement also has the tendency to open the upper trunk, which is beneficial in short distance shooting because it exposes the chest, enabling greater use of the back muscles during the draw.
The fourth major stance is the closed stance in which both feet remain parallel to the shooting line, but the lead foot is moved forward 1/2 step. You should align the other parts of your body in such a way as to minimize muscular effort.
The ankles and legs are straight and relaxed. The pelvis is centered over the feet, which provide firm support for the upper trunk. The chest is lifted and the head is straight. The total stance exhibits good body alignment and a lack of strain.
4. Gripping the Bow Perfectly
The human fingers and thumb are uniquely capable of exerting opposing action while gripping an object. If both fingers and thumb were of similar makeup, the forces would be equal.
Since the thumb is shorter, more muscular, and contains more padding, it exerts greater pressure. This occurs when gripping a bow, and it affects the true vertical position of the bow. For aiming the bow, it is important to hold it properly.
Shake hands with the archer next to you. They simulate the same grip around the bow handle. It should have an extended high wrist with a V formed by the junction of the thumb and index finger. The remaining three fingers are pointed toward the target.
The following exercise may help you get the feeling of the grip. Gently encircle the bow with first and second fingers. Point the third and fourth fingers toward the target.
Extend the thumb as far from the handle as possible. Release several arrows into the target. To obtain the proper tension, relax the thumb and slightly extend the second finger toward the target.
5. Nocking the Arrow Properly
It is necessary to establish a nocking point (a point on which to place the nock of the arrow) on the string before shooting. A carpenter’s square or a calibrated string gauge may be used. Place the gauge against the string and mark a point directly across from the arrow rest.
Establish another point 3/16″ above the true perpendicular. When nocking the arrow, the arrow nock encircles the serving at that point.
Many shooters build up the nocking point with adhesive tape or nylon serving thread (polished cotton or linen thread does not offer sufficient resistance to abrasion).
A few companies manufacture a floss that may be woven around the serving. A solvent is then applied which melts the wrapping of the floss to form a durable nocking point.
Skills to Learn On Knocking
To nock, the arrow, stand on the shooting line holding the bow in a horizontal position.
- Raise the bow waist high and rest the string against your hip. Take an arrow between the thumb and index finger and rotate it until the cock feather is pointing upwards.
- Place the arrow across the bow and move it forward until the nock is between the string and the bow.
- Slide the arrow toward the string, positioning it at the nocking point. The arrow is secured momentarily by your index finger of the bow hand.
Slight tension upon the string will allow you to remove your index finger. You are now ready to draw the arrow.
6. Drawing the Bow: Most Important Skills for Archery for Beginners
Drawing the bow is one of the important skills of archery for beginners. You need to understand a few things before acquiring this knowledge.
Proper Alignment of the Bow
Proper alignment of the bow is important for several reasons. First, it will keep the string from striking the forearm. Second, the slightest amount of elbow bend will produce inconsistency in the shooting.
And, third, the bow alignment and ultimately the sight alignment are the end products of arm positioning. Find when the bow sight works perfectly, and adjust the position as required.
Striking it Properly
Striking the arm with the string is a major concern in beginning classes. If you are having this difficulty, try the following procedure. At full extension, rotate the entire bow arm and shoulder slightly forward placing the bow in a horizontal position.
Then rotate the bow, wrist, and forearm to their original position. Do not move the shoulder or upper portion of the arm. This should remove the elbow from the path of the string.
“A multitude of string-holding grips have been used at one time or another-everything from the Sioux style (all four fingers and thumb pinch the string) to the Mongolian draw (the thumb pulls from inside the partly clenched fist)”
Today we use three fingers, one above and two below the arrow nock. The string is held in the first joint of the fingers.
Pressure on the Strings
As pressure is applied the string revolves and comes to rest between the first knuckle and fingertip. The exact position depends upon the type of finger protection you are using.
The draw is a coordinated effort between raising the bow into position, pulling the string back to the anchor point, and controlling breathing.
The archer inhales during the draw, holds his breath while aiming at the target, and exhales after releasing the arrow. All three are done simultaneously.
Practice on the Archery Skills
Practice the complete process several times. Hold at full draw for at least 6 seconds. “Let down” each time without releasing the string.
At this point have your instructor observe your shooting form. He will suggest modifications and assist you in the next step, learning the anchor point.
7. Anchor Point for Beginners: Tips on Archery for Beginners
There are different opinions on holding the right anchor points amongst the professional archery and bowhunting teachers. Some of them taught to hold the high anchor point, some of them said otherwise. It comes down to the personal preference and the types of lessons you are learning for bowhunting.
It seems to be somewhat easier for many beginners, and for some reason, there’s much argument on this most of the high-scoring target champions use this method.”
Quite frankly, the time of the year, facilities, equipment, geographical location, and your instructor will determine the first anchor point you learn.
Controlling the Strings for Lower Anchor
Controlling the bow string at full draw is the most difficult aspect of archery. So, it is one of the important task to learn in archery for beginners. Also, it is important that the proper technique is established and practiced with very few changes.
The low anchor is more difficult to learn, but it allows for greater consistency. It has four pressure points:
- hand under the chin,
- tip of the chin,
- lips, and
- tip of the nose.
The thumb is placed in the palm of the hand and relaxed. The crest of the mandible (bottom of the lower jawbone) fits into the pocket formed by the thumb and index finger.
The string will bisect the chin, pass over the lips, and touch the tip of the nose. Press the string against the chin and nose until a crease appears. Slightly tilt the head toward the bow arm. You should be sighting through the string and bow sight to the target.
Experiment slightly until you obtain a comfortable anchor position. It may help to ask another archer to assist you. Polaroid photographs, motion pictures, and videotape are extremely useful when analyzed with your instructor.
High Anchor Archery Skills
For instinctive shooting, a higher anchor point is recommended. Your index finger is pressed against your cheek just below the cheekbone. The second finger touches the corner of your mouth. You will also find that the second knuckle of your thumb will touch your ear lobe.
Some archers will adjust their fingertips to feel a tooth or bony protuberance through the cheek. Once you have the “feel” of the anchor, consistently draw to exactly the same spot. Do not vary in the slightest even though the draw may be difficult toward the end of a fatiguing session.
Next, tilt your head slightly away from your bow hand. This places the arrow directly beneath your dominant eye. It also aids in clearing the view and assists in aligning the arrow with the target.
Caution: In changing from one system of anchoring to the other, check your arrow length. Overdraw may occur if you go from the low anchor to the high anchor farther back.
8. Aiming the Bow Properly
Before attempting to shoot with a bow peep sight, you must master the basic fundamentals, for small imperfections, such as poor release or an unsteady bow arm, are magnified as the arrow flies toward the target.
There is little doubt that, if used correctly, the sight will enhance your shooting accuracy. The sight pin extends to the side of the bow and is easily visible. You place the pin on center target, hold, and then release. Try to hold at full draw for 8 to 12 seconds.
This is long enough to make minor adjustments and to concentrate on the target and aim a bow properly.
The sight must be adjusted and marked for each distance. Some sight bars are calibrated in inches or millimeters. In this case, a cardholder is mounted on the side of the bow and the settings are noted.
The majority of sights have a type of adhesive tape affixed to the bar. The settings are marked with a pen or a sharp pencil. The tape may be replaced.