Top 8 Tips for Beginners to Attain Mastery in Compound Bow Archery
Have just started archery and want to become a pro? Good news for you is that bow technology is so advanced today that you can even shoot more than 40 yards with extreme accuracy. You just need to know how to choose the right equipment and do a great practice. Here are a few useful tips that will help you in shooting with your compound bow and bring utmost accuracy in your long-distance shots.
1. Choose the Right Compound Bow
Archery (& for that matter, any sport) is a serious business and being careless while choosing the equipment can never help you achieve the desired expertness. While choosing your compound bow too, you have to be careful instead of choosing the bow randomly right off the shelf.
Firstly read the best compound bow reviews, gain knowledge about their various types and brands, their parts and what to look for exactly. Being well-informed will help you choose the right bow.
Next, take the time to try various bows. You need a bow that’s fast, accurate and quiet, and make you feel good while handling it. Its weight should be maximum you want to shoot. Bows are manufactured to shoot most efficiently at the peak weight they are made for. Thus a bow designed for 50-60 pounds will not shoot as effectively at 50 pounds as it would at 60 pounds. At closer ranges this benefit is not noticed; it becomes obvious when you stretch the differences.
Also once you buy your compound bow, you should know it thoroughly as you need to master using it. You should be able to work on it so that you won’t have to depend on anyone, neither you have to keep guessing if your ‘bow technician’ really knows anything and if s/he is doing the job correctly.
2. Develop a Good Stance
It’s very essential that you should develop a posture that is comfortable yet solid. Your feet should be apart but not so much to make you unbalanced backward or forward, neither should they be so close to make you unbalanced left or right.
As a rule of thumb, your feet should be shoulder width apart to achieve maximum stability.
A firm grip is another essential factor you should achieve for maximum accuracy. Here a bow having a thin grip is recommendable. The thinner the bow’s grip, the less torque is put on the bow. The less the torque, the more will be your accuracy. There is another alternative and it is to remove grip panels from the bow. Ideally, the grip should sit firmly against the line on your hand that begins above the thumb and runs along the palm area (lifeline in the palm reading terminology).
After achieving full draw, you should feel that the bow is pushing into your palm. Next, relax the grip. Most archers need to put more grip on the handle, particularly when they begin increasing short distance. Keep in mind that everything is enlarged at longer distances; hence it’s needed to keep a very open grip, applying as less torque on the riser as you can.
4. Anchor Point
For optimum accuracy, an anchor point is important. Nevertheless, there is more to a constant anchor point than meets the eye. It’s usually assumed that a kisser button added to the bowstring at the correct point will meet their anchor requirements, whereas to some, a kisser button is uncomfortable and takes focus away from execution of shot. The fact is that, a consistent anchor point can only be found through the shooting process. Actually it’s essential to find a couple of comfortable anchor points in compound bow archery that can be repeated shot after shot.
It may be intimidating to look at a target 100 yards away through a peep sight, particularly if you are doing it for the first time. When the distance makes you nervous, your breath automatically gets held. Pay attention to this and don’t do it.
Stoppage of breath will reduce the flow of oxygen towards the brain, making you tremble and lose mental focus. Your visual acuity starts reducing too after holding the breath for just 8 seconds. So, keep breathing consistently without stopping.
6. Face Contact with String
Your face contact with the string should be very light. When you anchor to the face, keep in mind to move the string towards the face and not the face towards the string. The arrow’s point of impact will be affected by inconsistent face pressure on the string.
7. Bow Sling
It’s commonly seen with several archers that they set their bow sling too tight. Because of this, holding hand torque can be increased while shooting a bow. The bow sling should set loose enough so as not to apply any pressure on your holding wrist.
8. Learn to Aim
After all, the most important thing in archery is aiming!
When it comes to aiming, there are two ways you can do that – one is without a sight which is a traditional way and the other is with a sight.
These days using a sight has become common among professional archers to increase accuracy. However, still there are quite a few archers who prefer not to use it and to rely on their experience and instinct.
However, one thing you should do no matter you use a sight or not – keep your both eyes open! This is because you are not able to estimate the distance to your target if you shut one of your eyes.
Aiming Without a Sight
This is known as instinctive archery, i.e. you rely on your senses while hitting the target. Actually you don’t aim, but know where your arrow will fly from experience. Thus, you’ll need plenty of practice to aim right. You have to begin with short distances to your target. Once you notice that you hit the bull’s eye most of the times, you can move the target back and practice with an increased distance. The main benefit of this technique is that you don’t need to depend on any technical equipment.
Aiming With a Sight
Sights are of different types, including adjustable and less adjustable. To start with, just to get a feeling of it, you can have a simple pin sight. Later you can invest in a sight that can be set for the desired distance.
You just have to set your sight to a distance i.e. to ‘sight in’. E.g. you sight in your bow for 50 meters (shorter distances for beginners) and when your target is 50 meters away, you only hold the pin straight over the target and let the arrow fly. If the target is closer, you should aim lower, while when it is further away, you should aim higher.
And the most important thing to master archery is practice, practice and practice! That’s what all pro archers advise and have done and regularly do to attain the mastery; so, you should do the same.