How to Shoot a Compound Bow

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
A compound bows limbs are stiff, unlike a recurve or longbow. It uses pulleys (also known as Cams) as leverage. Compound bows are more accurate and compact, as well as allowing greater velocity and distance.


  1. Get a compound bow and a place to shoot it. A designated range is preferable, with all the safety and expertise such places offer. A field or the like will do. You should find out the maximum range of your bow from the seller.
  2. Obtain arrows, which should be modern carbon fiber or aluminium based. Do not use wooden arrows, particularly with more powerful compound bows, because the forces involved are much greater than with a normal bow. Other than that, compound bows do not necessitate any special kind of arrow.
  3. Never draw your bow without an arrow. Practice with a string or something a few times before firing the real bow, to get the feel for it. (Firing the bow without an arrow, or "dry-firing" it, will break the bowstring or cause the limbs to explode(not like a grenade)). Usually compound bows are hard to draw back, but once drawn to a certain extent, they "let off", and its easy to hold them in firing position. This makes it much easier to aim.
  4. Once you are used to the feel of the bow, draw it with an arrow, exactly the same as a normal bow. (If youve never shot a normal bow either, this means the nock at the end is put onto the string. The fletchings should be placed so the one thats a different colour is not going to touch the bow on the way forward. The arrow should be horizontal.)
  5. Draw the bow so the arrow is horizontal and your hand is under your chin. If the bow is the right size for you, the bow should have "let off" at this position.
  6. Aim and let go!


  • Try out the bows in the shop to find one that pulls back to just before your chin, and that is comfortable for you.
  • Aim low initially. Its much easier to find an arrow you know is somewhere along the line between you and the target than one that could be anywhere past the target! Work your way up if its too low.
  • If you are having trouble, find someone who shoots, or ask in a shop that sells archery equipment to give you some tips. It might be your posture or technique.
  • Do not grip the bow firmly, as this will induce a natural un steadiness as you shoot. Form a ring with your thumb and index finger, not letting the tips of your fingers touch. This will make the bow steadier.
  • Whisker biscuit arrow rests keep the arrow form falling away, or rising as you draw the bow. There is a disadvantage though, as it causes the fletching to ripple, and eventually tear off, but nobody ever said that archery was cheap!


  • When you are shooting, make absolutely sure no one could wander in the firing line, or even near the firing line, especially if you are not experienced. Arrows can veer off course.
  • When taking the shot, make sure all your companions are in line with you or behind you.
  • Wear an arm guard, or at LEAST long, thick sleeves. If the string hits your arm, it will hurt.
  • If you have long hair, tie it back, its just safer.
  • Make sure to bend the arrow slightly, before you shoot, if the arrows are carbon because when you shoot the bow, the arrow bends and then straightens out. If your arrow is cracked and you attempt to shoot it, The arrow splinter will jab you in the arm or hand, causing injury.

Things You Will Need

  • A compound bow.
  • A range or field.
  • A target, like a big sheet of thick cardboard, or anything that wont damage your arrows. You can paint it like a target too, if you like. Or you can buy a real target.
  • (in most cases) a release aid
  • Modern Arrows

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Shoot a Compound Bow. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Sponsored Links