How to Shoot a Compound Bow

Whether you're a wannabe archer or a veteran bow hunter, if you're going to be successful with a bow and arrow you need to know how to shoot it. One of the easiest but seemingly difficult weapons to shoot is the compound bow. There are basically six steps to follow to learn how to shoot a compound bow. Below we will go over each step in detail.


Put the Release On

compound bow release

The release has a simple but important job when it comes to shooting. The release should be worn on a shooter's dominant hand. It is attached with Velcro straps wrapped around the archer's wrist. The Velcro should always wrap tightly around the wrist to ensure it is firmly attached. When worn correctly, the mouth of the clamp is placed on a d-loop. All you have left to do at this point is pull the string back and hit the trigger on the release.

However, there are still a few steps we need to go over before you're ready to do this. You may have heard that some bow hunters shot without a release. It's true, you can, but why would you want to? Using a release reduces wear and tear on your bow string and keeps your fingers more comfortable as well.

Nock the Arrow

Once the release is ready, you need to nock the arrow. When you nock your arrow correctly, it should only touch the bow in two spots; the rest and the string. It's important to nock your arrow properly and to make sure it's only making contacts in two spots. If it's making contact in more than the spots mentioned above, the arrow is going to fly off course.

Many archers like to reduce the hassle associated with nocking by simply choosing a "whisker biscuit" release. With this type of rest, you slip the arrow through the "whiskers" (bristles) of the rest. The arrow will seat itself on top of the rest. Once the arrow is in place, you'll have to rotate it until the brightest colored or uniquely colored vain is facing towards the sky.

Next, press the nock onto the bowstring in the center of the string loop. Make sure to listen for a distinctive click when the arrow nocks into the string. If you don't hear a click, keep pushing. Once you do hear it and the most unique vain is facing upward, you're ready to move on to the next step.

Hold the Bow

hold the bow

Have you ever held a compound bow? It's rather intuitive, but still worth going over to prevent injury. Choose a shooting spot perpendicular to your target. Don't worry if your spots not exactly perpendicular, it doesn't matter that much. When choosing your shooting stance, you just need to make sure you don't have to twist the top of your body to do it.

Next reach for your bow with your non-dominant hand. Grab the grip on the front. Your hand should be right behind the grip. It's just like shooting a slingshot. Your non-dominant hand provides support for the weight of the bow and nothing else. Your dominant hand does all the real work.

Once you've got your hands figured out, you ready to get into a shooting stance. Straighten your arm. The bow will naturally go into position for a natural draw.

Draw the Bow

draw the bow

Drawing the bow is one of the most important steps of shooting. You aren't ready to draw the bow until you've followed all of the steps outlined above. Generally speaking, drawing a bow just entails pulling the string back, but if you don't do it properly and follow all the instructions above, you're going to regret it.

The bulk of your power when pulling the string back should come from the muscles in your back. The best way to do this is to pull the string back in one motion by squeezing your shoulder blades together. You should have a good grip on the bow and the force should run straight to your back through your arm. After you trigger the release, you'll immediately feel the pressure in your arm and back release.

Aim the Bow

Now comes the difficult part associated with shooting a compound bow; aiming. Aim gets better with practice. If you install a peep sight, it gets even easier. In addition to a peep sight, you'll want a forward sight. A forward sight includes pins and a level. Usually, it is attached at the very front of the bow.

The pins in a front sight let you know how far away a target is. To see through the peep sight and front sight, you'll have to pull the string back in a manner that lets you see through both. First, you look through the peep sight and then line the target up with the pins.

Use your dominant eye to look through the peep. Shut your other eye and concentrate on lining up your target with a pin. Once the level bubble is in the forward sight, you're ready to take a shot.

Fire the Bow

fire the bow

Now you're ready. Let go of the release and watch the arrow fly. Remember not to twist your body when shooting and you should be fine. Once you feel the adrenaline rush through your arm straight to your head after letting go of the release, you'll want to do it again and again and again. Eventually, shooting a compound bow will become a lifelong passion.

In Conclusion

There you have it! Six simple steps to fire a compound bow. It might seem like a tedious process at first, but once you learn why each step is important, you'll have no problem completing each step. After awhile, you'll be shooting the bow with no thought to the process. The more you shoot, the better results you'll see as well. Pretty soon, you can release the trigger and count on a bullseye every time.

About Author:

Brandon Cox is the founder of StayHunting, who is passionate about all things of hunting and fitness. Through his hunting website, he would like to share tips & tricks, finest tech that will excite all of the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

Brandon Cox
Joseph Gleason

With a dedicated respect to the environment, I understand the importance of being an informed hunter who learns as he goes. I truly recognize the value in how things were done before and how things are done today. Born and raised in upstate New York, I grew up exposed to skilled hunters who taught me the importance of what responsible hunting can provide both to myself, my family, and to the environment. I continue today to work towards refining my craft and finding new ways to practice the time honored traditions that were passed down to me from those who came before.

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