Accurate Reference Points

Accurate Reference Points

Setting up consistent reference points is the foundation for every accurate shot. Remember, great shooting is simply repeating the same thing over and over again. The more and better your reference points, the easier it is to repeat.

If you can't eliminate string contact on your face completely when settling into your anchor point, it's acceptable to have minimal contact. Keep up with the practice and be very cognizent of your references to achieve consistent accuracy and tight arrow groups.

The Peep Sight
Most writers and coaches teach that the most important reference point is your anchor. I do not believe this is true any longer. When we were all shooting without peeps, our anchor point was our rear sight, pure and simple. The advent of the peep made a solid anchor point much less important.


I can vary my anchor point dramatically and still hit what I am aiming at as long as I don't interfere with the string and as long as I'm aiming through the center of the peep.



Obviously, I believe the most important reference point is the peep sight. You would not shoot a rifle without a rear sight and the same holds true with the peep sight on your bow, it is your bow's rear sight. The peep locks in a consistent relationship between your line of sight and the arrow's path.

Peep sights are not without their drawbacks. They reduce visibility in low light conditions and they have a way of creating a mechanical disconnect between you and the target. If you grew up shooting instinctively, you will most likely hate peep sights. However, you can eliminate most of these issues by using a peep with a very large hole. There are models on the market with diameters as large as 5⁄16-inch.


Anchor Point, Hand Position
The exact position of your release hand against your face is a personal thing. I have friends who place their thumbs behind their necks (a bad idea in my opinion) and others who press a certain knuckle against their ear. Others key off the corner of the jawbone. The anchor point should be repeatable under all conditions including shooting uphill and downhill and it must allow you to shoot your top pin and your bottom pin equally as comfortably.


If you are undecided about the exact place to anchor, I have a suggestion. If you shoot an index-trigger release aid, you will find a very solid, stable and repeatable anchor point by pressing the gap between your thumb and index finger against your jawbone.

This anchor point is very repeatable because you have specific points of contact that you can actually feel even when wearing thin gloves or a facemask. As mentioned, reference points are the key to consistency and if you can't sense them, they don't count. An added bonus to this anchor point is that you can actually open your jaw slightly to shoot your lower pins.

If you are using a thumb-trigger release, invert your hand slightly more than you would with an index-triggered release so your thumb points almost straight down. Press your knuckles into the back of your jawbone.

I would be remiss not to offer a word of caution. When establishing your anchor point, you can develop inconsistencies if you press the string against the side of your face. Rather than try to manage another variable, eliminate it by not allowing the string to contact your face other than at the tip of your nose.

The Tip Of Your Nose
I always touch the tip of my nose to the bowstring. I sometimes even serve a small knot under this contact point to serve as a reference so I know I have my nose in the right place. The tip of my nose is a better reference point than the side of my nose. When contacting just the tip, I am more sensitive to changes in bow angle--giving me necessary feedback to adjust my body to fit the shot.

Suppose you are shooting uphill. If all you do to establish upward angle is lift your bow arm and turn your eyeballs up, you will notice an increase in pressure between the string and the tip of your nose. You can use this feedback to remind you to bend at the waist to align upper body, neck and head in the proper 90-degree angle with your bow arm.

Likewise, when shooting downhill, the string will pull away from your nose if you don't bend at the waist to create the proper downward shot angle.

Kisser Button
Some archery hunters try to eliminate their peep sight by using a kisser button. It is definitely another useful reference, but not consistent enough, in my opinion, to permit serious archers to eliminate their peep. If you are touching the tip of your nose to your bowstring, the kisser is nice but unnecessary. However, if you aren't touching the tip of your nose to the string in this way, a kisser is a very good secondary reference point.

Make every effort to consciously monitor and manage your reference points when anchoring and soon they will become automatic and you will shoot more consistently.

Recommended for You

Sit, stand or lean - this is what you'll need! Treestands & Blinds

Where Do I Put My Feet When Tree Saddle Hunting?

Greg Staggs

Sit, stand or lean - this is what you'll need!




Related Stories> Ted Nugent Talks About His New Book> Mule Deep In The Backcountry> Podcasts

Still Going Strong

October 28, 2010

Related Stories> Ted Nugent Talks About His New Book> Mule Deep In The Backcountry>

Timing and presentation are key to a successful decoy strategy. Whitetail

How To Use Deer Decoys In The Rut

John Dudley

Timing and presentation are key to a successful decoy strategy.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Designed exclusively for their crossbows, Ravin has announced three new mechanical broadheads to maximize penetration and overall performance.

CenterPoint CP400 Crossbow – First Look

CenterPoint CP400 Crossbow – First Look

CenterPoint Archery evolves in design and performance with the introduction of the new CP400 Crossbow.

Ravin R29X Crossbow – New for 2020

Ravin R29X Crossbow – New for 2020

The new Ravin R29X Crossbow includes everything you need for blistering speed (450 FPS!) and deadly downrange accuracy (3-inch group at 100 yards).

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm SS performed in our technical tests! Bows

2019 Bowtech Launch: Realm SR6 & SS Review

Jon E. Silks - November 07, 2018

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm...

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.

Check out our top picks for the best new mechanical broadheads to debut at the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

New Mechanical Broadheads for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 10, 2019

Check out our top picks for the best new mechanical broadheads to debut at the 2019 ATA Show!

See More Stories

More How-To

Are you up for the Appalachian whitetail challenge? How-To

Scouting Public-Land Mountain Bucks

Beau Martonik

Are you up for the Appalachian whitetail challenge?

A misaligned peep can lead to missed opportunities in the field. How-To

How to Fix & Prevent Peep Sight Rotation

Randy Ulmer

A misaligned peep can lead to missed opportunities in the field.

Whether you've never killed a deer from the ground or had little success, there are several ways to increase your chances for an in-your-face encounter. How-To

How to Bow-Kill a Buck at Ground Zero

Darron McDougal

Whether you've never killed a deer from the ground or had little success, there are several...

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.