How To Aim a Bow Better

How To Aim a Bow Better

There are many things you can do to improve the quality of your aim. Here is a quick rundown of the most obvious: strength, a relaxed bow arm with a very slight bend, a relaxed grip, a focus on the spot and not the pin, breathing  out very slowly while aiming and making a surprise release.

Those are the obvious improvements.  Now we need to get into the suggestions that aren't as obvious on how to aim a bow better.


First, let's forget about shooting and see what it looks like. If you aren't holding steady under these conditions, you have some simple work to do first. Relaxation and proper positioning is the key to steady aiming. Make sure that your draw length is correct and that your bow fits. With a very slight bend in your bow arm (just enough to unlock your elbow), make sure your other elbow (string side) points straight behind you at full draw. That forearm should be parallel with the arrow. If it points even a tiny bit behind you, your draw length is too long. If it points in front of you, your draw length is too short.



Relaxation is next.  You want every part of your body to remain relaxed.  You might be surprised to find that tension starts from the ground up.  It is very hard to relax your bow arm if your legs are tense.  Seems odd, but it's true.  Make sure everything is relaxed: feet, legs, stomach, chest, bow arm, bow hand and shoulders.  Keep your shoulder down (not pushed up by the draw force) so you can oppose the draw force with your skeleton rather than entirely with your muscles.

The only muscles that should feel the tension of the shot are your upper back muscles that lock your release arm back into a steady position. Using this very stable muscle group will permit you to hold steady.


The only thing still required with how to aim a bow better is the strength to relax fully. Strength comes with practice, a prime reason why you should shoot regularly for at least two months leading up to the bow season and then at least three times per week during the season. You have to keep those muscles strong so they can support the shot without tension.


Easy On The Trigger

If, however, you find that you can hold the bow very still at full draw when you have no intent to shoot, the problem is more difficult to fix. Not harder to explain, just harder to make yourself do. The solution requires that you learn to make a surprise release so you can take advantage of that steady aim with good accuracy.

You must keep your mind off the shot timing. This is very important toward calming your nerves. Don't worry about when the bow will fire, but rather focus all your mental energy on relaxing and just pulling the trigger slowly.  Don't worry about where the pin is, focus on the spot and the pin will take care of itself.

Move your entire upper body (not just your bow arm) to keep the pin on the spot. The shot will take care of itself.  If you will take this medicine and give it an honest chance to do its work, you will be amazed by how well you can shoot a bow.

Remember, it starts with proper form, advances to the need for muscle strength and finally ends with the ability to make a surprise release. You have time between now and the season to learn how to aim a bow better.

Recommended for You

Create your own fluffy, Chinese-style bao buns at home with this recipe! Fill them with tender, braised venison shoulder or any other wild game meat you'd like. Recipes

Venison Bao Buns Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Create your own fluffy, Chinese-style bao buns at home with this recipe! Fill them with...

Is your bow setup a bit noisy? Try these tips to silence it. Bow Accessories

6 Ways to Make Your Bow Quieter

Darron McDougal

Is your bow setup a bit noisy? Try these tips to silence it.

A new generation of highly mobile bowhunters is embracing the lightweight comfort and versatility of tree saddles. Here's everything you need to know to get started in tree saddle hunting. How-To

BOWHUNTING's Guide to Tree Saddle Hunting

Greg Staggs - May 15, 2019

A new generation of highly mobile bowhunters is embracing the lightweight comfort and...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

South African Warthog

South African Warthog

Mike Schoby and his wife Dory go on an action-packed South African hunt for plains game including the warthog.

Bill Winke

Bill Winke's Bowhunting Treestand Set-Up Tips

Field Editor Bill Winke provides bowhunting treestand set-up tips that'll help make life easier when it's go time in the fall.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Check out our picks for the best new bow sights from the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

Best New Bow Sights for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

Check out our picks for the best new bow sights from the 2019 ATA Show!

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques. How-To

Shooting Your Bow With One Eye Versus Two

Bill Winke

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques.

We Rank 16 Top Models on Sharpness, Accuracy, Penetration & More


It's that time of year when Arrows & Broadheads

2017 Fixed-Blade Broadhead Test

Jon E. Silks - December 12, 2017

We Rank 16 Top Models on Sharpness, Accuracy, Penetration & More It's that time of year...

See More Stories

More How-To

For serious bowhunters, there is no downtime. Check out John Dudley's tips for improving your craft! How-To

Becoming a Better Bowhunter in the Off-Season

John Dudley

For serious bowhunters, there is no downtime. Check out John Dudley's tips for improving your...

Sharpen your shooting skills on these challenging moving targets.
 Grouse are a big-game hunter's How-To

4 Small Targets that Boost Big-Game Accuracy

Darron McDougal - August 31, 2018

Sharpen your shooting skills on these challenging moving targets. Grouse are a big-game...

Maximize accuracy and prevent gear failures in the field. How-To

Bowhunting Gear & Tuning Tips from the Pros

Jace Bauserman

Maximize accuracy and prevent gear failures in the field.

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×