Shooting a Bow

Are you wanting to start shooting a bow? Are you already shooting one and want to learn tips on improving your draw strength? Or are you interested in getting into bow hunting? If you said yes to any of those, then this is for you.

Let’s Get Started…

First thing you need to do is find the right bow for you. Best way to do that is go to a bow shop or sportsman’s store to try out different ones. There’s many brands and styles to choose from. There’s compound bows, recurves, and crossbows. From there you move onto choosing your arrows or bolts (for crossbows). Also be sure to grab some target tips as well. Those tips go on the end of your arrows for shooting targets. However, if you decide to bow hunt you’ll need broadheads for your arrows to harvest the game you choose to hunt.

Choosing your target... There’s many sizes and brands to pick from. You can get one in bagged form, block form, or even in 3D form. There’s some made specifically for target tip use and others for broadheads.

Now once you got your equipment, it’s time to get your bow ready. Set your draw weight where your comfortable starting at. It’s going to be different for each individual. If you’re a beginner, you might want to start shooting within 10 to 20 yards from the target. A good range finder can help range your yardage but it’s not needed if you can count your walking strides in yards.

Setting your sight… The type of bow sight you have determines how you set it. What you set the pins to is up to you because some have 1 pin and others have 3 or more. Many start setting their pins at 20 yards and go up from there. If your shooting to the right of your mark, move your sight over to the right. If your shooting to the left, move it to the left. If your shooting above the mark, raise the pin. If your shooting below it, drop the pin?

Shooting While Pregnant… Yes you can shoot while your pregnant. No it don’t harm the baby. Many women from all over do it. However with a growing belly bump you might want to watch how you draw back. You can lean forward just enough to draw back safely away from the belly. If you feel the draw weight is a bit much, just lower the poundage for the time being.

When you get a good rhythm going, you can start challenging yourself to do more. Strive to be more accurate and dead on. Try extending the yard range that your shooting. Shooting in various lighting like sunny days, shade, or dim light shows you what to expect from your equipment. It could even help if you decide to hunt with your bow as well.

Practicing to bow hunt… Start shooting the target as if your aiming at the game your going to hunt. Imagine your in a stand or blind (your preference) and your adrenalin is pumping. Practice drawing back quickly yet quietly while calming your nerves down at the same time so that you can make a good shot. Be sure to also shoot from different positions too. You’ll either be sitting or standing so you want to shoot from both. It’s also good to shoot with your gear on to be prepared for unexpected shot moments. Try to be prepared for any possible circumstances.

Strength and endurance… To test your strength, you could shoot with a loaded pack or if you have a little one set them in a carrier on your back. As a mom with a toddler, I’ve shot many times with him on my back since he was big enough to be in his carrier. At nearly 3 years old he’s roughly 30 lbs. The unpredictable movements can test your endurance for any unexpected changes while hunting or shooting in general. A good way to build up your draw weight is upper body exercises like push ups, pull ups, and planks.


▪︎ Never dry fire your bow. That’s when you draw back and release with no arrow nocked. The bow string could pop off the cams and possibly hit you.

▪︎ Always draw back to the same anchor point. That’s where your hand comes to between your jaw and your ear. If that point is off then your shots won’t be as accurate.

▪︎ If your using a kisser button, that will come to the corner of your mouth.

▪︎ Be sure to keep your arm bend some because it can mess you up and even hurt your arm. We call it getting strawberried.

▪︎ Tight grips can sometimes torque your bow. I like to have a slightly loose grip but not enough to drop it.

▪︎ Also be sure to always follow through every shot. This means you don’t lower the bow until the arrow hits the target.

Mishaps and mistakes can happen so don’t get discouraged because practice makes perfect. Just stay focused on your goals or targets, aim for what’s true, and you’ll always hit your mark. Get out, shoot often, and just have fun.

-Written by: Holly Overman

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