How to Shoot a Recurve Bow | 7 Key Factors

Whenever an archer buys a recurve bow, the main focus of the archer is to make the best use of it and shoot with accuracy and precision. To achieve this goal, the archer must know how to shoot a recurve bow. If you learn it right, you have a brighter chance to shoot at severe angles and go hunting.

It is not a one-day process, nor is learning itself. You learn new things every day in your life. So here is another golden opportunity to learn this new skill and master it with passion. Once you master it, nobody can stop you, and you can shoot with precision. 

how to shoot a recurve bow

How to Shoot a Recurve Bow

Archery has started to make landmarks nowadays. Kids, teens, and adults are buying recurves for themselves and practicing shooting at their desired targets. If you are one of them, we will share some fundamental shooting techniques, which will help you learn and understand the basics of how to shoot a recurve bow

This article will share several ways to shoot an arrow from a bow using recurve bows. Just follow every step we share here, and believe us, you will surely find it helpful. Without wasting your precious time, start digging into it. 

Dominant Eye

Before discussing the steps of shooting a bow, you have to determine which of your eyes will be your dominant eye. Most of the time, the dominant eye is the same as the dominant hand. But it does not apply to all, as there is a concept of cross-dominant, which states that some people may have a dominant eye opposite their dominant hand. 

Just perform a wink test to determine which of your eyes is dominant. The steps involved in this test are:

  1. Bring your hands in front of you with the back of your hand facing towards you and your palms facing outwards, as if you are giving a single to someone to stop.
  2. Bring your thumbs as close as possible so that the tips of your thumbs are touching.
  3. Turn your hands towards each other so that the tips of both hands’ index fingers touch, and ultimately, a triangle is formed between your hands.
  4. Bring your hand closer until the triangle formed gets smaller but large enough to look through(it will determine which of your eyes is dominant).
  5. Now use this triangle and aim at an object placed a few meters away; the object should fit in this triangle.
  6. The last step is to wink your left and right eye and notice which eye will let you see the object through the triangle. Whichever eye allows you to see through will be your dominant eye.
  7. Stand upright and perpendicular to your target with your feets shoulder-width apart. Make sure that your dominant hand is right behind the target.

Nock the Arrow

Nock the arrow by placing it on the arrow shaft on the rest of your bow or the arrow shelf of your bow. Next, attach the notch on the back of the arrow to the bowstring. Some bows may have a nock locator or a couple on the string to help you understand where the nock goes.

If it’s two, then place it in between the locators. On the contrary, if it’s only one locator, then nock your arrow below it. Moreover, if no locators are available, nock the arrow at the center of the bowstring, parallel to the arrow shelf.

Before moving forward, let me tell you about a few common parts of the bow for your understanding.

  • Nock: It is a notch on the back of the arrow that you hook to the bowstring to shoot an arrow. They are notches on either end of the recurve bow where you loop the bowstring. 
  • Arrow Rest/Shelf: It is the area where your arrow rests before shooting. Few may have a tuft of animal fur on the rest to reduce friction and help prevent slowing down the arrow.
  • Nock Locator: Known as a nock indicator and nocking point indicator. It is 1 or 2 beads that act as a guide for where to nock the arrow. They are usually located at the center of the bowstring.
  • Riser: A riser is a middle part of the bow containing a handle or grip.
  • Grip or Handle: This is the area from where you hold the bow with your non-dominant hand, located under the center of the bow.
  • Limbs: There are multiple limbs, upper and lower. It helps a bow flex and spring back to shoot an arrow.

Grip of Bow

You can grip a bow in your non-dominant hand. Try to grip the bow with the arrow rest or below to the point at which you will knock the arrow. It’s good to rest it on the pad of your thumb.

Verify whether you are gripping the bow right and resting correctly on the pad of your thumb; counter-check your knuckles to ensure they are making a 45-degree angle with the grip area of the bow. Don’t grip the bow too tightly or too loosely. 

For a perfect experience, grip the bowstring with your index, middle, and ring finger. The bowstring is expected to rest in the crook made by your top knuckle, with a nock between your index and middle finger. Wear protective gear like gloves or a finger tab if you feel uncomfortable.

Role of your Arms:

Your bow handling arm is expected to be steady and about your shoulder height. With a good solid grip, draw back the bowstring with your fingers. Most beginners need help using their arm, bicep, and shoulder to pull the bowstring back.

Undoubtedly, you quickly get tired and need help pulling the bowstring back far enough to generate power. The trick here is to rely on something other than your shoulder arms to draw a bowstring.

Anchor Point

Choose your anchor point, usually the point at which you draw the bowstring closest to you. This spot could be on your nose or the corner of your mouth. Whichever part you select as your anchor point, use it consistently during your practice session and while shooting a target too.

Hold the bow steady and align the tip of your arrow with the target. Stay focused on your target instead of worrying about other factors like wind direction. You are in the learning phase, so focus on your technique and keep practicing.

Releasing Arrow

While aiming at your target with the bow at a steady position, release the arrow by pushing your fingers on the bowstring out of the string’s way. 

Once you are done with it, let your hand move backward until it reaches a point below your ears. This process will allow the bow to move forward more and give an extra boost to the arrow. 

Selection of Arrowheads

We recommend using bullet or target arrowheads initially for practice. We will share a few types of other arrows and guide you on where to choose them.

Bowfishing Arrowhead: Use them for fishing

Broadhead Arrowhead: Perfect for hunting

Blunt or Judo Arrowheads: Best for hunting small creatures.

Only use those arrowheads which are best for a specific target; never use the arrow for fishing or hunting, as this practice may cause damage to your arrowhead and become ineffective when you need them.

Lastly, if you just bought broadheads from a store and noticed they need to be sharper, there is no need to worry. Just sharpen them before using them.

Practice Makes One Perfect

You have learned about all the ways and techniques to shoot a recurve bow. Now, it’s the right time to go out in the field and start practicing what you have learned. Always remember one thing, only practice can make you perfect. 

Keep repeatedly practicing until you start shooting your target with accuracy and precision. If you get stuck at any point, read this article again, and you will surely get another going after it. 

We always love to hear from you and share your experience after practicing, and if you are facing any problems afterward, then no worries. We are here for you. Just write your query in the comment box and see the magic.

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