I was nervous walking into the indoor archery range the first time after being fitted for my compound bow. And I will admit that it wasn’t what I expected — not that I knew exactly what to expect. The walls were plastered with targets of prior shooters who hit the bulls-eye so many times that the paper target was worn through in the center and half of the room was set up for a 3-D computer-based archery target game — a game that I’m not quite ready to try YET.
I stood in the target area, fresh target hanging, awaiting my first shot. To go from never shooting an arrow to suddenly standing on a range is quite the adrenaline rush – and one that everyone should experience, whether you want to hunt or just learn how to shoot a bow and arrow.
I learned a lot from a single lesson at the indoor archery range. It was definitely worth my time and a great way to start and practice before spring has sprung.
5 Archery Tips for the Archery Novice:
- Nocking the arrow. Listen for that audible click as you snap the arrow onto the bowstring as it means the arrow is now locked onto the string before dropping the arrow into the bow rest. I’m using the whisker biscuit rest, which is a full capture rest.
- Setting your bow hand. Keep your hand in a forward position and let the bow rest gently in your hand – there’s no need to grip it hard. The bow should be resting in the web of the hand between your index finger and your thumb. Relax the rest of the hand.
- Anchoring the bowstring. The bowstring should always rest in the same spot so you can shoot accurately again and again. To do this, pull the bowstring back and line it up against the middle of your nose, angling down across your lips. It feels funny at first being so close to the bowstring, but it’s important to create consistent alignment with your target.
- Aiming the arrow. Line up the green pin with the yellow target. That sounds simple until you do it for the first time and realize how hard it is to keep your arm steady while pulling the bowstring inline with your lips and chin and keeping your finger on the release without actually squeezing the trigger too early.
- Adjusting the site. The bow sight will not always be perfect and some adjustment is necessary to ensure accurate aim each time. During my time at the indoor range, we adjusted my bow sight based on where my arrow first impacted the target by using the adjustment screw for elevation located on the actual sight. Later, I found that the sight was still in need of some tweaking and after a few additional adjustments, shot a bulls-eye using a target in my backyard.