Finding the best anchor point for a bow doesn’t seem like something that would bother a lot of people, but if you’re relatively new to archery it’s a vital part of the process. By finding the correct anchor point, you can increase both the consistency and accuracy of your shooting by a huge amount. Follow our short guide, and we’ll help you find the right way to get on track with your shooting.
The Best Anchor Point For Drawing A Bow
Step 1: Defining the Anchor Point
An anchor point isn’t going to ensure that you have proper form with your bow, that can only come with practice and maybe a little bit of instruction from professionals. Instead, a solid anchor point makes sure that you’re consistent with your shooting.
An anchor point is simply a consistent place to which you draw back the string on your bow. This will vary between shooters, and sometimes between bows being used, and whether or not you’re using a peep sight.
Think of it as an element of consistency, which added to proper form will allow you to make sure that each time you fire you’ll be on target and know the trajectory of the arrow. Of course, the rest of your form will need to be proper as well in order to reap the maximum benefit from this part of your technique.
For the most part, your anchor point will be determined by a point on your face or under the chin, and it’s an extremely important part of making sure you’re consistent. This is important enough when you’re shooting targets, but it’s absolutely vital if you’re bow hunting since a near miss can result in a non-fatally wounded animal which may escape.
Step 2: The Myth of the “Best” Anchor Point
There really is no actual best anchor point, it all depends on the archer’s own personal style. Many professional athletes draw to under their chin, but many hunters and amateurs draw to along the corner of their mouth.
The best way to find a proper anchor point is undoubtedly to find an experienced friend to help you
out. A close second would be to set up a video camera, shoot a dozen or so shots, then review where you’re drawing to. The key here is consistency.
You want to draw to the exact same spot every time. A friend is particularly useful in this instance because they can correct you in real time. Even a quarter inch of straying from the correct spot can actually throw your shot off.
Eventually it will become second nature to draw to the exact spot you use. We’ll discuss a proven experimental method in a moment, but there’s one more key thing to cover before we get there.
Step 3: Your Peep Sight’s Placement
One other goal here: you do not want to have to move your head in order to use a peep sight if you opt to use one.
If you’re having to move your neck in order to view the sight you’re using the wrong anchor point or your peep sight is in the wrong place. You should be able to use the peep sight accurately from your anchor point.
This will require some adjustment on your part in many cases if your form wasn’t already spot on in the first place, but it’s a vital part of making sure you’re able to consistently use it once you’re in the field.
If you practice with a different bow than your field bow, then you’ll also have to make sure that the peep sight is in the same place on your practice bow. Adjusting these sights can sometimes be a pain, but it’s a vital part of the entire process if you rely on one while you’re shooting.
Remember, we’re aiming for consistency here. The drawing motion on your bow should be the same each and every time you fire and you should be able to use the sight without having to adjust your head position or stance.
Step 4: Determining Your Anchor Point
It can take some time to determine your own anchor point. You’ll probably want to set aside at least four or five sessions just to determine what works best for you.
On the first day, bring along a friend or your camera and select an anchoring point. Let’s say the corner of your mouth for the sake of argument. You want to nock the arrow consistently in this point and fire at a comfortable distance. For most amateurs 25 to 30 yards should be a good way to do it. Try to keep the bow fully erect, you can worry about cant later.
Keep tally of your successful shots versus your missed ones. For bow hunting a successful target should probably be considered a bullseye, since in the field the kill point on an animal can be quite small. Record your results, and remember that any shot not using your anchor point should not count.
On the second session choose a different anchoring point, say along the jawline. Repeat the process from the first day and keep tally of your successful versus missed shots once again. It’s imperative that you have some way of making sure that you’re drawing to the same anchoring point.
Do the same on the third session with a different anchoring point, again keeping tally and making sure you’re in the right spot and not counting shots outside of it.
You can do this for a few more sessions, each time picking a different anchoring point and keeping tally. Remember not to count deviations in your total.
Try to make at least one hundred shots on each outing, this will make the tallies easy to convert into percentages later and give you enough data to determine the ideal anchoring point. Obviously some simple math can help you to determine things if you’ve made less than or more than one hundred shots.
Whichever of these is the most successful is what you should be using as your anchor point from here on out.
Step 5: Practice
Now that you’ve found the best anchoring point for your shooting style, the only thing left to do is make sure that you practice until it becomes second nature. For the first few times you go out afterwards keep recording to make sure you don’t deviate.
Sooner or later this will become second nature, and you’ll see the consistency of your shots soar. Remember not to neglect the rest of your form with the bow. Once you’re comfortable you can begin to practice with canting the bow while using the same anchor point and other more advanced features.
Remember to congratulate yourself as well, you’ve just made a very important step in ensuring your mastery of the bow.
Find the best anchor point for a bow is one of the essential skills you’ll have to master in order to further your hunting skills. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll see a consistent rise in the accuracy of your shot placement and you’ll be surprised at how big of a difference this will make in your practice and hunting. So get out there, and start shooting!
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