Archery is an excellent hobby, whether you’re shooting at targets or game hunting. But, one of the trickiest parts about archery is knowing how to aim properly. It may seem like a simple thing to do, but after you’ve fired a few shots you may realize you don’t know how to aim a recurve bow at all.
Instead of allowing yourself to get too frustrated, I want to help you learn to work a recurve bow and get the best shots you can. In this article, I’m going to explain why recurve bows are different than compound bows, what kind of equipment may help you aim better, and finally how to aim a recurve bow.
Why Aiming a Recurve Bow is Different from a Compound Bow?
The two main types of bows are compound bows and recurve bows. Your bow is a recurve bow, which is vastly different from a compound bow mainly in how the weight is handled when you draw the string. Compound bows have a pulley system that relieves most of the weight from the string once you draw it to a certain point, helping you to hold the string for longer. Recurve bows do not have this system, and will feel heavier the farther back you pull them.
This means that when you’re aiming your recurve bow, you will be holding the full weight of the draw. Because this is often quite heavy, you will want to learn to aim quickly and not have to hold the draw for so long.
Equipment to Help You Aim
There are a few items that can help you to aim more quickly and efficiently:
Adding a site to your bow won’t always give you exact accuracy, but it’s great for quick shots and for beginners who want to get a general idea of where the arrow will go.
This is a handy device that lets you know when you’ve drawn your recurve bow back to the ideal length for a great shot. It will make a small clicking sound once you’ve reached the optimal draw.
3. Arm Guard
When the string of your bow is released, an arm guard will protect your arm from the string as it flies forward with the arrow. While this may not help you to aim exactly, it will relax your mind as you won’t have to worry about getting hurt that way.
4. String Release
A string release hooks onto your finger and makes it easier for you to control when you let go of the string to fire your arrow. You are going to get a better aim this way because you will have more control over yourself and the bow.
5. Properly Fitted Bow
It might seem silly, but one of the most important pieces of equipment for your aim is a bow that fits you well. Ideally, your recurve bow should have the right draw length and draw weight to accommodate your height and strength. It should be comfortable to use and shouldn’t feel too large or small, or too heavy or light.
How to Aim a Recurve Bow?
Now that you have the equipment you may want, here are the steps to aiming your recurve bow:
1. Get into the proper stance
Your stance should support your body well with the side of your hips pointing towards the target you are shooting. The ideal aiming stance will allow your upper body to twist a bit without your lower body following it.
2. Lift up the bow to shoulder height
Hold the bow up so that your arm is straight and it rests at shoulder height. At this point, you can grab the string with your opposite hand and prepare to draw the arrow. Your bow should be pointed in the direction of the target.
3. Draw the string back
Pull back on the string and tilt your head to look down the top of the arrow shaft. If you have a sight, this is a great time to align it with the target, as you will start to feel the weight of the arrow when you’re holding it at full draw weight.
Let go of the string and let the arrow fly. At this point, you can evaluate your aim and see how well your sights work or how well your instinctive aiming worked.
Pro Tip: Shooting Instinctively
Instinctive shooting is popular with many archers, although it takes more practice to learn this method. This is a method where you will not use any sights or equipment and will simply learn to judge the distance between you and your target, draw your bow, and fire at the target.
Here’s a great video talking about instinctive aiming for archery:
How to aim a recurve bow can be tricky to learn, but once you get the hang of it you will be able to advance quickly in your pursuit of archery as a hobby or a sport. Recurve bows have a certain elegance that compound bows don’t have, and learning to use one properly will give you a lot of joy.
What do you think of this tutorial? Did I cover everything well? If you have any questions, you have feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible!