There is no shortage of firearms in varying types and sizes that you can practice shooting with, but there are other traditional weapons you may want to try out as well. The bow and arrow have been used for thousands of years to successfully hunt and fight, and proper use is truly an art form.
A Beginner’s Guide to Using a Bow and Arrow
Archery is a skill that can take years to master but is worth the effort to perfect. Modern bows come equipped with all kinds of features, including sights that practically guarantee accuracy.
But to effectively use a traditional bow, you have to learn instinctive shooting, which means learning to aim without sights.
Just like learning to throw a ball using force and aim, you must learn how to point and direct your arrow the correct distance and height.
Instinctive archery requires years of practice until your actions become effortless. Being able to consistently hit your target from various distances and on any terrain is a great source of pride.
So what is the correct way to use a bow and arrow?
1. Start with Your Stance
In archery, you will not stand with your body facing your target; your shoulders should be perpendicular to the target. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to the shooting line.
As you advance, you can experiment with your lead foot facing the target, but for beginners, you will want a square stance.
2. Nock Your Arrow
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An arrow’s nock is the grooved piece at the end that you attach to the string of the bow. After placing the arrow onto the arrow rest of the bow, nock your arrow based on the indicators on your bowstring. Be sure to always nock your arrow in the exact same place.
If there is one indicator on your bowstring, nock just below it. If there are two indicators, nock between them.
3. Grip the Bow
Hold the bow in your non-dominant hand, with the grip of the bow resting on the pad of your thumb. You don’t want to squeeze the bow too tightly. Your grip should be that of shaking someone’s hand.
When gripping the bowstring, use your index, middle, and ring fingers to pull the bowstring back. Use the top knuckle to hold the string, with the arrow’s nock between your index and middle fingers.
Repeatedly pulling the bowstring back can be uncomfortable; feel free to wear gloves or use a finger tab when you’re starting out.
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4. Draw Your Bowstring
Lift the bow to shoulder height. Use your back muscles to draw the bowstring back. Picture squeezing your shoulder blades together; this will keep you from under-drawing the string. Relying on your arm or shoulder muscles will tire you out.
Choose an anchor or reference point on your face, to which you consistently draw the bowstring to. Examples are a spot on your nose, or when your index finger touches your mouth.
Whatever spot you choose, draw the string exactly the same way every time.
5. Release the Arrow
Release the string and follow through by moving your draw hand back until it reaches your ear. You want all of the energy in the bow to transfer to the arrow.
It Takes Practice
Don’t give up on archery. It’s a valuable skill worth practicing. Being adept and comfortable with different weaponry is always a good idea.
As with any weapon you use, practice does make perfect. Using a bow and arrow will prove to be an invaluable skill to have especially when SHTF!
Have you tried using a bow and arrow? What are the problems you encountered? Share it with us in the comments section!