Skip to main content

Better Aiming for Tighter Groups

Better Aiming for Tighter Groups

We all realize that to shoot a bow, some form of pushing and pulling has to take place — but probably not as much as you've been told. My entire life, I was preached to on how I needed to push my bow arm at the target and pull on my release arm firing the shot using my back muscles. I quickly realized that doing that the same way each time was next to impossible.

Archery, like I've always said, is a game of repetition, and trying to rip the bow in half just wasn't something I could repeat. One day I'd do great, the next I'd be pulling harder and hit to the right or push shots out to the left. The inconsistency was really frustrating.

Because modern compound bows feature such high letoff and very solid back walls, Levi Morgan says it is no longer necessary to apply so much push/pull tension at full draw. Instead, Morgan recommends that archers relax a bit and apply just enough tension to keep the bowstring firmly against the draw stop(s).

Now, a lot of my struggles were from the equipment I was using combined with this push/pull method. But mainly, it was because this entire method is flawed, in my opinion. Back when this "back tension" method was introduced, bows had hardly any letoff and spongy back walls. Pushing and pulling really hard probably was the most consistent way to shoot that setup.


These days, however, bows are built with solid back walls and high letoff, and when you start pushing and pulling on something that doesn't give, it just doesn't work. Think about it — you're shooting a bow with a solid wall, and when you pull, something has to give. In this case, that would be your bow arm. And when you push and the bow can't give, then the movement is transferred to your release arm. I truly believe this is the reason so many people struggle with this technique. It's not that they're doing it wrong. It's that the entire process is no longer necessary.


I understand that to keep the bow at full draw, some form of "back tension," or pushing and pulling, has to take place. I also believe that's about all you need, just enough to keep the bow at full draw. You have to look at your cam system, holding weight, bow weight and type of draw stop to come up with a consistent push/pull method that suits you. However, if you're shooting a bow made in the last decade, more pushing and pulling probably isn't the answer to making you a better shot.

If you are struggling with aiming or consistent groups and have been taught to push and pull on the bow, let's try a different approach. Try to relax a little more in your shot. Pull just hard enough to keep the string against the stop and let the bow do the rest. After a while, you should find a comfortable, less stressful way to fire the shot. This will be way more repeatable for you, and you will be engaging fewer muscles than before.

Yes, the fewer muscles during the shot the better. When you're nervous, that's what causes tension and shaking, and that's what gets us tired. So, the fewer muscles used the better. The days of ripping the bow apart are over. It's time to relax and let these bows shoot themselves.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Bear Redemption EKO, Legit RTH Compound Bows

New for 2021: Bear Redemption EKO, Legit RTH Compound Bows

Bear Archery's newest bows - Redemption EKO and Legit RTH - are light, adjustable and fast.

Mathews V3 - Flagship Bow for 2021

Mathews V3 - Flagship Bow for 2021

Mathews has announced two versions of their 2021 flagship bow, the V3.

Crossbow Review: TenPoint Havoc RS440 XERO

Crossbow Review: TenPoint Havoc RS440 XERO

The all-new 2021 offering will certainly be one of the most accurate long-range crossbows ever built.

New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows

New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows

New for 2021, here's a look at the new Rage Trypan NC, Nockturnal Shift Nock, Carbon Express Maxima RED Contour and D-Stroyer PileDRIVER arrows.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Follow this step-by-step process to quickly field dress your deer for the best possible venison.How to Field Dress & Quarter a Deer How-To

How to Field Dress & Quarter a Deer

Mike Stroff

Follow this step-by-step process to quickly field dress your deer for the best possible...

From portability and comfort to stealth and shooting opportunities, today's tree saddles are hard to beat.Why You Should Try Tree Saddle Hunting Treestands & Blinds

Why You Should Try Tree Saddle Hunting

Andy May

From portability and comfort to stealth and shooting opportunities, today's tree saddles are...

With a pull of the trigger, the R18's limbs will expand vertically thanks to the VertiCoil Cam System.New Ravin R18 Turns the Crossbow World Inside Out ATA Show

New Ravin R18 Turns the Crossbow World Inside Out

Mark Demko - January 20, 2021

With a pull of the trigger, the R18's limbs will expand vertically thanks to the VertiCoil Cam...

Crunching the numbers on North America's most important game species2020 State of the Whitetail Report Whitetail

2020 State of the Whitetail Report

Jason Snavely - June 29, 2020

Crunching the numbers on North America's most important game species

See More Trending Articles

More How-To

Don't just hunt food plot — get out and plant some with this strategy!Winning with Fall Food Plots How-To

Winning with Fall Food Plots

Jason Snavely

Don't just hunt food plot — get out and plant some with this strategy!

Learning to feel your shots before you take them leads to success.Bowhunting Shot Execution Under Pressure How-To

Bowhunting Shot Execution Under Pressure

Randy Ulmer

Learning to feel your shots before you take them leads to success.

You're going to perform better if you can complete the entire shot sequence in fewer than 8 seconds. How Long Should a Shot Take? How-To

How Long Should a Shot Take?

Christian Berg

You're going to perform better if you can complete the entire shot sequence in fewer than 8...

See More How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Bowhunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Bowhunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now