Many of those that are new to archery or those that watch from the side believe it’s just a case of picking up a bow and shooting. Anyone that has had just 1 Archery lesson will know that this is not the case. There are so many different techniques that you need to do, in order to let of the perfect shot.
One of these things is the Anchor point and without understanding what it is could cause you to completely miss you shot. Having the right anchor point is required whether you are planning on doing target archery or if you are planning on hunting.
The aim of this guide is to teach you more about Anchor points, as well as how to find the best anchor point when you draw your bow.
What Is An Anchor Point?
If you are looking for the best anchor point, it’s important to first know what it actually is. When drawing the bow, you pull the bow string back to a spot on your face – this is the anchor point. You are basically “anchoring” the bow string to a specific point. The actual point used might vary depending on the type of bow, as well as the actual archer.
A mistake many beginners make is that they don’t use an anchor point, the problem with this is that the shots will not be consistent and you will be relying a lot of luck on hitting the target. By using an anchor point it will help you aim better, making it crucial.
What is The Best Anchor Point For Drawing A Bow:?
There are two very common anchor points that people use, these will help give you the accuracy and the aim that you are looking for;
Anchor Point – Corner Of The Mouth
This anchor point is probably one of the most commonly used, it is the best one to go for if you are a beginner. It is often the one beginners use because it is very easy to remember but is also easier to achieve. When you pull the bow string back, you should pull it so that your index finger on your draw hand should touch the corner of your mouth. At first it might seem a bit strange but with practice you will get used to it very quickly. When you do, you will find your shots are dramatically improved.
Anchor Point – Under The Jaw
The other method is when you pull the bowstring back and position it under the jaw, this method is more challenging. You will often see professional archers using this method, this is because it helps them with increased accuracy. The other advantage of this method is that it allows the archer to have more reference points, such as their hand under the chin and the string against their lips and nose.
Anchor Points and Compound Bows
When using a compound bow you could still use the corner of the mouth as your anchor point, however if you do use a mechanical release then you wouldn’t. You do however need to still draw the string back to the same position to ensure accuracy. This is when you would use other points as a reference such as the string being against her lips and nose.
Many people that do use a compound bow will also use what is known as a “kisser button”. This is attached to the bowstring and is known as a kisser button as when the bow is drawn will touch the side of the mouth, as though being kissed. When it touches your mouth, you know you have the bow at the correct anchor.
Tips For Finding The Best Anchor Point For Drawing A Bow:
Now you understand what anchor points are, below are some tips to help with improving anchor points as well as your overall form.
1 – Practice, Practice and More Practice
Learning how to anchor the bowstring can be hard to grasp and does take time and practice. At first you might find it frustrating but with continued practice you will soon get your head around it and find it easier over time.
2 – Do NOT Dry Fire
Dry firing is when you shoot the bow without there being an arrow nocked, this will ruin the bow and often voids the warranty. Many beginners will practice getting the anchor point by dry firing, DO NOT do this!
3 – Keep Your Head In The Same Place
It is very easy when shooting a bow to move your neck, this will impact on your anchor. By moving your head just a mm to one side, will cause your anchor point to be off by a mm – resulting in you finding it harder to hit your intended target.
4 – Bowstring To The Anchor – Not The Other Way Round
One thing that I have seen many people do is getting into the bad habit of when bring the bowstring to their anchor point, is moving their head to the bowstring. Even if this is done by a small amount, it will result in the anchor point not being consistent and could impact on your shot.
5 – Keep Your Mouth Closed
It might sounds strange but when aiming make sure to keep your mouth closed. When you set your anchor point if your mouth has changed position, IE is now open – your anchor will be different.
Experimenting With Different Anchor Points
As mentioned before there is no wrong anchor point, the only thing that matters is what is best for you. One might feel better for one archer but not for you, it is therefore worthwhile testing different anchor points.
You might go for lessons and they advise you to focus on the corner of the mouth anchor, but as you progress you may find under the chin method easier to remember. By testing different ways, you might find something else even better IE the bowstring near the nose.
The way to find out which is the best anchor point for you is to test different ways. One thing to note is that you should NOT try different methods on the same archery session. Try one method and record your successful shots and how easy you found the anchor.
On your next session you would then try a different anchor and record your progress. Continue doing this until you have tried different anchors. You can then review your notes to see which one works better for you.
I hope this article has helped clear some of the confusion around anchor points. It is important to remember that you won’t find the best anchor point for drawing a bow right away. It takes time and more importantly practice.
Once you have started to feel more comfortable with your anchor, you will soon start to see the difference in your accuracy. If you have any questions, please comment below and ill be more than happy to answer.
Adam has been enjoying the sport of archery since 2010, intially getting the bug for it whilst on holiday and trying it out in an activity center. Since his very first eperiance of holding a bow and arrow, he fell in love with it and can now be found at the range or in the great outdoors as often as possible.
His main go to bow type is a recurve but he loves shooting from compounds as well. Adam created The Archery Guide as a way to help others get into this great activity and to share his knowledge/experiences.