How to Shoot a Bow Correctly for Recurve and Compound Bows

How to Shoot a Bow Correctly for Recurve and Compound Bows

The action of archery shooting has a common basis of style and technique, whether you choose target archery, field archery or one of the other available variations. I will discuss target archery here Especially, in this article, I will describe a complete guide on how to shoot a bow correctly.

Any small differences between this and other forms of archery will become apparent as you try them. If you want to learn shooting a traditional, long, recurve or compound bows, the basic techniques are quite the same. So, I will discuss the basic guides on shooting a bow and arrow properly.

How to Shoot a Bow and Arrow Correctly

Here are some of the tips and guide on a shoot a bow and arrow correctly.

How to Tell if a Bow is Safe to Shoot

On every archery range, there is a shooting area and a set distance to the target area. The shooting area will have a line called the shooting line marked on it. Also, Behind this is the waiting area where everyone who is not shooting must stand to keep clear of those who are. This is an obvious safety factor.

But you must know how to safely shoot a recurve bow or a normal bow in terms of distance and other factors.

Each archer has a bow of a draw weight to suit him, arrows of a length which is safe for him, and an armed guard and finger tab. If you are normally right-handed, you hold the bow in your left hand.

Moreover, the arm guard is fitted to the left forearm, and the finger tab fitted on to the first fingers of the right or drawing hand. If you are normally left-handed, then ‘reverse’ all these accordingly.

How to Tell if a Bow is Safe to Shoot

On the starting signal, stand astride the shooting line with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your toes in line with the target at which you are shooting.

Nocking the Arrow for Shooting a Recurve Bow Accurately

Normally, shooting a recurve bow accurately or with other bows, isn’t such a complex if you understand its mechanism. And Nocking is one of the most important parts for shooting a recurve bow accurately.

With the bow in your left hand and an arrow in your right hand, raise the bow to hip height, turning it so that the string is parallel with the shooting line and nearest to you, and the bow is pointing towards the target.

Determine which is the cock feather on the arrow, i.e. the one which is of a different color from the other two. Lay the arrow down on to the bow with the cock feather uppermost, so that when the arrow is shot the other feathers do not interfere with its flight as they pass the bow. The cock feather will be at right angles to the string and outside the bow.

Push the arrow nock on to the string at the nocking point, and make sure that the string is fully bedded into the slot.

Position the arrow on the arrow rest on the bow handle and leave it. Do not put a finger on the arrow to hold it in position.

Hooking the String Correctly

With the finger tab in position, bring up the right hand until parallel with the string. Place the index finger under the string to the right of the arrow, and the second and third fingers to the left of the arrow.

Doesn’t matter if you use a recurve bow, longbow or normal bow, hooking a string correctly is a very important part of how to shoot recurve bow perfectly.

Positioning the string as you should do it

In learning the proper bow shooting technique, you should know to position your string and fingers. Position the string in the first joints of the fingers and bend the tips of the fingers slightly. So, you can pull the string with just the tips.

Finger tab and palm placement should be accurate

The finger tab should be between the fingers and the string, and neither fingers nor tab should be touching the arrow. The arrow nock is designed to ensure that the arrow does not fall off the string.

Hooking the String Correctly

The palm of the hand should be parallel with the string. The fingers should be straight except for the tips, which are bent around the string.

How to hold the bow perfectly is necessary

The bow is held lightly in the fork of the thumb and index finger of the left hand. Also, the index finger is curled loosely around the bow to stop it from jumping forward on the release.

Body position is important technique shooting a recurve accurately

Make sure that your hips are in line with your feet, and your shoulders in line with your hips. Head erect, close your left eye and place your teeth together – but not clamped tight.

Turn your head slowly towards the target until you can just see the center of the target over the bridge of your nose; when this comes into view, stop.

The Bow Draw: Traditional and Recurve Bow Shooting Tips

Push you’re left-hand forwards and, at the same time, draw your right hand backward. Bring your right hand under your chin and allow the string lightly to touch the center of your chin.

Your bow arm should be relaxed but not bent, with the elbow turned slightly outwards. The shoulder of the bow arm should also be relaxed, and not hunched.

How to Aim a Bow Perfectly

Aiming is the most important part if you want to know how to shoot a bow accurately. The bow sight will already have been set to the distance over which you are shooting. So, these should be laid on the target. Sometimes, using the proper bows and arrows isn’t enough. Also, you need to learn some techniques in learning to shoot a bow.

Bow and arm movement

In doing this, move only your bow arm and not your head. Gently press forwards as if trying to press the sight into the center of the target, but do not stretch your arm or hunch your shoulder Losing the string

Sight on shooting a bow

When you are satisfied that the sight is on the mark and steady. Lose the string. Do this by slowly and gently relaxing your fingers around the string. The string will go forwards and the arrow will leave it.

Positioning the arms

If you have positioned your arm properly, the string will pass by your forearm and come to rest near the bracer.

If you did not turn your elbow out slightly, the string may have struck your arm or the arm guard and knocked the arrow from its true flight. And also possibly bruised your arm. This is why you need a coach with you to guide your first movements.

Pushing the bow for proper shooting

If you have balanced the gentle push into the bow and the pull of the string hand to go forward towards the target as the arrow goes into the flight, and the string hand to come back as the weight is released.

Retain that position until the arrow has struck the target.


The shooting sequence as described may be summarized in the following way.

  • Stand
  • Nock
  • Hook
  • Look

Pushing the bow for proper shooting

  • Draw
  • fingers
  • Aim
  • Loose

Around the string towards the target, do not tilt your head string back to the chin, bow forward sight on target (relax fingers off the string) maintain position until the arrow strikes)

Follow through on the Bow Shooting Methods

You will perform this same shooting sequence throughout the whole of your archery life. With practice, it will become a skilled sequence of actions.Bow Shooting Methods

Shooting a longbow for beginners isn’t much a complex of a knowledge. So, you just need the proper equipment like bow, arrow, sight and perfect rest for the arrow for the start.

Then you need to follow these tips. There are no shortcuts. If you try to change this sequence in any way. you will find yourself paying the penalty.

About the Author Joaquin Phoenix

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1 comment
Ellian says March 15, 2019

I cleared here of my some question about How to Shoot a Bow Correctly for Recurve and Compound Bows. you have shared here some essential tips. thanks

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