If you’ve read any of my previous columns, you know how important I believe a solid anchor to be. I have always taught a three-way anchor system: release-to-hand, hand-to-face and face-to-string. If I had to say which one of these is most important, I would say face-to-string contact. How consistently you anchor the string to your face determines how consistently you center the peep with the sight, as well as the left and right position of the string when at full draw. These will greatly affect your arrow’s downrange impact point. So, I like to “micro-anchor” my string to my face.
Some people touch the string to their cheek or the side of their nose, but for me, there’s never been an adequate way to make sure I had the string in exactly the same spot, shot after shot, by doing either of those things. Since the beginning of my archery career, I have found that touching the tip of my nose to the string was the most consistent method, but still, I found it hard to be exact from shot to shot. This became even more problematic when my footing was off, such as on extreme uphill or downhill shots. I tried kisser buttons, tied soft knots for my nose, just about anything to make sure my face-to-string contact was exactly the same, but nothing seemed to give me the precision I was looking for.
About a year ago, I started testing a product created by an archery friend of mine, Josh Bowmar. He was developing a button for your nose, but it was different than anything else available. This button, called the Bowmar Button, has several pointed edges you can touch in the same spot on your nose every time. After shooting it for a while, I realized this was the answer. The problem with using just the string or a smooth button was I couldn’t feel it well enough to be exact. The points on the Bowmar Button allow me to feel the slightest inconsistency in my anchor.
To use the button, simply snap it on your string, go to a mid-range yardage, draw back and slide the button up or down until you can anchor and perfectly center your peep while barely touching one of the points to your nose. Then, you just tie it in.
I’m always searching for little things to give me an edge on the range or in the field. If I can find something that will give me just one or two extra points over the course of a weekend tournament or make me a quarter of an inch more accurate at 50 yards, I want it. That can be, and has been, the difference in winning world championships and successfully killing big animals. Archery is a game of little things, and of being able to repeat those little things. I always knew that if I could figure out how to micro-anchor the string to my face, I would be a better archer. Now I am.