Archery Drawing – How To Draw The Bowstring Back

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In this fifth lesson, it starts getting more exciting as we are now going to be focusing on drawing the bowstring back. There are a few things you need to think about such as;

  • How to draw the bow
  • Correct alignment of the arm that is drawing the bow
  • Where you should position your elbow and shoulder

Many people that are new to archery, find this step a little harder. It’s so easy to find your elbow sticking out where it shouldn’t, or actually drawing the bowstring with the wrong muscles (which makes you get tired sooner)

Lets Recap On Previous Steps

Like before, you want to just check a couple things before you get started on this next step..

At the moment you should have the bow in on hand, with your fingers positioned around the grip but relaxed. (Your thumb should be facing the target). You will have also slightly drawn the bowstring back with your drawing arm.

If you have found your grip has changed, reduce the draw of the bowstring and correct you grip and then restart. You should do this as well if you have found your stance has moved a little bit.

Before pulling the bowstring back completely, have a look at your arm that is holding the bow and raised up. The shoulder should not be pushed to far down and at the same time it should not be raised up to much. Check and make sure that from your arm is a straight line from your hand down to your shoulder.

In order to get a full draw of the bowstring, you need to also make sure your chest is positioned correctly. The chest should not be facing the target, instead it should be rotated so that it is perpendicular to the target. (Basically parallel to the arrow shaft)

Step By Step on drawing the bowstring

  • Now that your bow has been raised, you want to draw the bowstring back to the side of your face. It should have started just above your nose, you should pull it back in a straight line and the end position would be the side of your face.
  • It is very common for people to pull the bowstring back with their arm muscles, by doing this you will find you not only get tired quicker but you will also find your muscles hurt more.
  • As you draw the bowstring back you want to also move your shoulder back and down. This will result in your back muscles and the muscles in your shoulder blade to takeover, since these muscles are bigger you will find your able to fully draw the bowstring back.
  • Finally you should pull your elbow that has drawn the bowstring back, it should be placed behind you as though it is in line with the arrow. To visualise it, you should be able to draw a straight line from the tip of your elbow to the end of the arrow.

The Anchor Points

I did mention that you will be drawing the bowstring back to your mouth, you need to place the bowstring in the same place each time for a consistent shot and we do this by finding the anchor point.

What Is an Anchor Point

One of the most important things when it comes to archery is consistency, if you get the perfect shot and replicate then you should in theory repeat the shot. Making very small changes such as not drawing enough, or not placing the bowstring in the same place each shot will change the accuracy and the power of the shot.

An anchor point is basically a point in which you place your index finger when you draw back the bowstring. Having an anchor point will ensure that you position the bowstring at the same position each time.

Below are two of the most common anchor points, the first is more for beginners as it is easier to do. The second is a little more advanced but I personally find this one much easier and find I get more of a full draw when doing it.

The Basic Anchor Point – Ideal For Beginners

  • As you draw the bowstring back it should pass the side of your face, keep drawing it back until the tip of your index finger is positioned at the corner of your mouth
  • Ensure that your thumb is tucked into the palm but still relaxed.
  • Keeping your little finger relaxed, fold it into the palm of your hand so that it is out of the way.
  • Bring the hand with the bowstring so that it is pressed against the side of your face. Make sure to keep your index finger against the corner of your mouth.
  • The actual bowstring will be positioned to the side of your nose

An Alternative Anchor Point

  • As mentioned the one above is more for beginners, this method is a little more advanced. I personally feel that with this method the elbow of my drawing hand is able to be pulled back a little more and forms a straighter line towards the target.
  • Draw the bowstring back and as you do bring the bowstring down slightly so your index finger is positioned under your chin and below your mouth. (Imagine a line going from the previous anchor point down to under your chin)
  • Your thumb should be tucked into your palm and your little finger relaxed and not in contact with the bowstring.
  • Making sure that you can feel the index finger pressed against your chin and is completely flat.
    The bowstring should naturally fall to the centre of your nose and in the middle of your chin.

Give them both a try and see which you feel most comfortable with, there is no right way or wrong way between the two.

The bow is now fully drawn, the next lesson will focus on aiming at your target.

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