Tips for Drawing a Bow: Adjusting Draw Weight & Shooting Your Bow Properly

Young female archer shooting with a bow in a field at sunset

Archery is a one-of-a-kind activity in which you shoot an arrow from a bow. It has been around for thousands of years and is both a sport and a hunting technique. 

Thanks to developments in archery technology, archers can now shoot greater distances with incredible accuracy. However, a bow will only fire the intended distance if it is properly set up; the bow must be adjusted to fit the archer using it.

Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced archer, these tips will help you learn how to draw a bow and arrow more successfully. 

How to Draw a Bow and Arrow 

Before we get into how to pull back a compound bow, there are a few terminologies you should be familiar with. When you pull back on the bowstring, this is referred to as "the draw." You're "drawing" as you pull back on the bowstring.

Follow these simple steps to learn how to pull a bow back: 

Step 1: Choose your dominant eye 

Just as you have a dominant hand (some people are left-handed, while others are right-handed), you have a dominant eye. Determining your dominant eye will help you have better aim. 

Step 2: Find your stance 

Many beginners disregard an archer's stance, which is the way you place your feet and torso before beginning the shot. Your stance is a crucial component of your shot. Some archers succeed with their feet facing forward, while others feel that extending their lower body slightly to the target adds stability.

Step 3: Hold the bow string

When drawing a bow, you need to know how to grip the bowstring. Place your pointer finger above the arrow and your middle and ring finger before the arrow, forming a hook. Make sure to keep your thumb and pinky out of the way. Remember that a relaxed, calm grasp will suffice.

Step 4: Ready your bow arm 

Relax your shoulders, then gently raise your bow to align it with the target.

Step 5: Draw the bow 

This step is particularly important when trying to learn how to pull a bow back. The draw is fairly easy – draw the bow string back towards the side of your face. Here are a few tips to follow: 

  • Keep your head up 
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Use your back
  • Keep your wrist flat 
  • Keep the strings centered 
  • Keep your pulling elbow up
  • Keep your bracing shoulder down
  • Keep it smooth

Find your nocking point

When you're at full draw, your nocking point is the location on your face where your bowstring should touch. If you're just starting out, your index finger on your draw hand should be touching the corner of your mouth and the tip of your nose on the bowstring.

Aim and release 

You can either aim by utilizing your dominant eye to find the target through your peep sight, while holding your bow sight pin steady and slowly squeezing through your release. Or, if you are shooting with a long bow or recurve bow, you can learn to shoot instinctively through repetition. When you're ready to shoot, simply release the string smoothly and watch the arrow fly,  while maintaining a relaxed follow through.

How to Adjust Draw Weight on a Compound Bow

Archer holds his bow aiming at a target

Draw weight is the level of force needed to draw a bow. For example, if someone shoots a 50-pound bow, their bow’s draw weight is 50 pounds. While some compound bows have a 50-pound adjustment range, such as 20 to 70 pounds, others have a narrower adjustment range.

You must determine your draw weight before choosing the right bow for you. This will allow you to improve your accuracy, control, and efficiency. When drawing a bow, you should be able to point the bow at the target and pull back the bowstring with ease. If you need to lean forward or backward, you need to adjust your draw weight. 

The best approach to altering draw weight is to tighten or loosen the limb bolts uniformly. Tighten the limb bolts (clockwise) to increase the draw weight, and loosen the limb fasteners on each limb evenly (counterclockwise) to reduce the draw weight.

How to Adjust Draw Length on a Compound Bow

The right draw length will influence shot accuracy. Once you begin drawing a bow, you should be able to detect whether your draw length needs to be longer or shorter. 

Adjusting the draw length of your compound bow should be simple if it has a configurable mod. To make adjustments, loosen the screw and spin the mod. After twisting the mod, insert the screw into the hole that corresponds to the correct draw length. Lastly, make sure the screw is tightly screwed in.

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