Learn Archery in 6 Simple Steps

Phil True
October 16, 2015

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Learn Archery In 6 Simple Steps

Archery, a centuries-old method of hunting and sport, is an extremely popular activity for both children and adults. That is one of the reasons we offer archery at our target shooting course as a group outdoor activity at Refreshing Mountain.

Whether done competitively or for recreation, archery uses strength, aim, and concentration to shoot an arrow into a target with a bow. While it may seem a tiny bit intimidating to a beginner… archery is fairly simple to learn, allowing you the ability to improve aim and skill over time. If you are a newcomer, or it has been a few years since your last outing, we have boiled the archery basics into 6, easy steps to help you get started.

1. Utilize Proper Equipment And Terminology

Bows Used For Refreshing Mountain's Archery Range

To get started with archery, it’s helpful to understand the basic terminology and have properly fitted equipment. The most common type of bow used by beginners is called a recurve bow, which is a curved piece of wood, metal, or other material, with a string threaded through the ends. On the string is a “nock point” where the arrow will line up, and the bow has an arrow rest. Having the bow properly fitted to your body is essential to success, and an expert should help fit you with your first bow.

In addition to the bow and arrows, you will need some basic safety equipment, such as a wrist guard. You should read, understand, and follow all safety rules as required at the shooting range. View this informative archery guide to learn more about safety guidelines, types of bows, and more.

2. Take A Stance

How you stand is important to your success in archery. You want to stand with your legs on either side of an imaginary line that is horizontal to the target. This line is called the shooting line. Your feet should be about shoulder’s width apart, and the foot of your non-dominant side in front.

You want to stand up straight and watch your posture. It’s helpful to keep your feet parallel to the shooting line, in a “square” stance.

3. Position The Arrow (Nock) And Your Hands

A Boy At Refreshing Mountain Nocking An Arrow While At The Archery Range

The arrow should be nocked (attached) under the nock point on the bowstring. As you place it, you should hear a small snap as it becomes attached.

Place your hand around the arrow such that your index finger is on top and your middle and ring fingers are below. Your fingers should hook around the string. Your other hand should be comfortably positioned on the grip of the bow, in a relaxed position.

4. Set-Up… And Drawing The Bow

Men On A Refreshing Mountain Men's Retreat Taking A Stance And Drawing The Bow At The Archery Range

Keeping your shoulders down, bring the bow up to shoulder height, with your arm fully extended and your elbow turned out away from the bow. Then draw the bow back in a straight line so your hand touches the side of your face. You want the string to touch your nose and chin.

Curl your index finger under your chin, and keep your thumb out of the way. You want both of your hands and your rear elbow to form a straight line. This requires a different kind of finesse unlike these crossbows.

5. Aiming And Firing

Take careful aim, using the sights on your bow for guidance. Developing a good sense of aim takes skill, so don’t be discouraged if your first several shots don’t hit the target. Some people find it helpful to close one eye.

Once you are satisfied with your aim, take a deep breath and relax the fingers holding the string, allowing the arrow to fly. With luck, it will hit the target!

6. Using Proper Follow Through

A Kid Following Through While Firing A Bow At Refreshing Mountains Archery Range

Allow the bow to drop naturally. Try to maintain your position until you hear or see the arrow strike the target. It is probably wise to remind you that before firing another arrow, make sure no one is on the target field. First-timers can get pretty excited if they hit a bullseye! Just remember to never go retrieve your arrows until given the signal that it’s all clear and shooting is on hold.

With these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to success with archery. Test your marksmanship at our archery target shooting course today! Additionally, visit Refreshing Mountain and sign up for one of our Large Group Outdoor Adventures, including: