How to aim and shoot a recurve bow

With archery becoming more and more popular, it makes perfect sense that more and more guides are coming out the surface.

One of the most popular bows at the moment, the recurve bow hit the market, also thanks to Katniss Everdeen, the female hero from Hunger Games.

You don’t just go ahead and aim and shoot your recurve bow, though. It takes a lot of effort to get there, and selecting the recurve bow is the first step to take.


  • 1 What aspects should you consider when selecting your bow?
    • 1.1 What do you want to use it for?
    • 1.2 Select the right draw weight
    • 1.3 Are you interested in using aa take-down bow?
    • 1.4 Take a look at various bows
  • 2 Do you have a system when choosing the arrows?
    • 2.1 Don’t forget to measure the draw length
    • 2.2 The material and weight also matter
    • 2.3 Do you want fletchings or vanes?
    • 2.4 Are the arrows made for the big game?
  • 3 Do you have all of your equipment?
    • 3.1 Pick up a target
    • 3.2 Purchase protective items
    • 3.3 Don’s kip buying a bow stringer
    • 3.4 Some additional training tools may help
  • 4 Look for the proper stance
    • 4.1 Place yourself perpendicularly to the target
    • 4.2 Mount the shooting line
    • 4.3 Twist your head toward the target
    • 4.4 Use a firm, yet comfortable grip for holding the bow
  • 5 How to draw and aim your recurve bow?
    • 5.1 Load an arrow onto the bow
    • 5.2 Lift the bow to shoulder height
    • 5.3 Withdraw the bowstring
    • 5.4 Take your aim
    • 5.5 Let your fingers off the string for loosing
    • 5.6 Stay in place until your arrow hits the target

What aspects should you consider when selecting your bow?

There are many problems to think about when selecting your bow, so scroll down for the details:

What do you want to use it for?

You use a recurve bow mainly for two things: for hunting and target archery. The bows are similar, but the draw weight is what makes the difference. It refers to the power you need for drawing the bow.

If you want to use it for hunting, you need a bow with a higher draw weight.

Select the right draw weight

Draw weight relates to how much you need to pull when drawing the string on your bow. 18 to 24lbs of draw weight is an appropriate option for a newbie, whereas children should go even lower than that.

A lighter bow with attention to the draw weight works for an entry-level archer. You don’t want to select a bow that it’s challenging to pull back. When it’s too easy, you just need to move up a weight.

If you select law draw weight, you will have lower speed and power, but you will be able to improve your skills and techniques.

The lower draw weight is also a better option for young people.

As for the length, the bow should have the top limb’s end between your forehead and nose when placed on the ground. 66 to 68in bow are suitable for average teenagers and adults.

Are you interested in using aa take-down bow?

The take-down bow is famous thanks to its portability. You may easily separate the two limbs from the rest of the bow, for straightforward service of the bow.

This type of bow allows flexible draw weight. It’s not necessary to buy another bow when you want to increase the draw weight, and purchase new limbs for the bow will work just fine.

Take a look at various bows

If it’s possible, you should play with several types of bows before buying. Look at multiple brands and styles and ask the experts at the goods store. They can tell you about the proper height, draw strength, and power that may work for you.

Do you have a system when choosing the arrows?

It’s still a long way until you aim and shoot your bow, and using the proper arrows can really make a difference in your performance.

Don’t forget to measure the draw length

The length that your arm has when drawing the bowstring back in place for shooting the arrow is known as the draw length. Stretch your arms out to any side of your body and place them parallel to the ground. Don’t be shy and get some help for finding out the inches from one middle fingertip to the middle finger of the other arm. Continue with dividing the number by 2.5, which is an approximate draw length.

On the side note, the arrow length has to be 1-2in bigger than the draw length.

The material and weight also matter

The majority of arrows are made of aluminum, wood, or carbon, which is why they’re relatively lightweight. Youth archers and bow fisher should get fiberglass arrows.

The weight can differ on many levels. If the arrow shaft is massive, it will sink into your target a lot deeper. When you’re practicing, the arrow shouldn’t fall in too much, but you need it to go through the skin and bone when hunting.

Keep in mind that wood and aluminum arrows do bend when hitting something hard, whereas carbon arrows may explode.

Do you want fletchings or vanes?

Fletchings are feathers and make a reliable option when shooting off the shelf for eliminating deflection of your arrow.

Vanes are rudders made of plastic, driving the arrow. Whisker biscuit rest or fur rest are used for shooting vanes. They’re rain-proof, so use them when shooting outdoors.

Are the arrows made for the big game?

If you’re hunting big game, you need arrows with broad heads made of durable materials. Judo, field, or blunt tips work for hunting small game since the broad heads will simply damage the game too much.

Do you have all of your equipment?

Being organized is one of the primary skills for becoming a better archer. Here’s what to do next:

Pick up a target

When you’re shooting a recurve bow, it’s not as easy as with other types of bows. You must buy the proper target that will not damage the arrows.

You can also make your target using two firm hay bales, wrapping them in some shade cloth for a tighter fit.

Purchase protective items

You will place the armguard on the forearm of the arm, sustaining the bow. It’s supposed to protect the arm when the string hits it.

Don’t skip buying a finger tab, which is a piece of leather that protects your fingers from the tension of the string as you’re withdrawing. You place it on the fingers that draw back the bowstring. Some like using a glove, but they’re expensive and not reliable for Olympic archery. It’s because they come in contact with the string too much, lowering the precision.

Don’s kip buying a bow stringer

You need to string the bow, and the bow stringer is the most reliable tool to do it.

Some additional training tools may help

A sight and a clicker may be useful for some archers. Entry-level archers should stay away from the clicker since they need to develop proper skills without it.

Look for the proper stance

Now that you have your equipment ready, you should find the appropriate position.

Place yourself perpendicularly to the target

Right-handed archers should place the left hip oriented toward the target; it’s the other way around for the left-handed. Always maintain your body vertical, making sure not to lean to one side. Imagine a vertical and place your body in line with it for standing up straight.

Mount the shooting line

The shooting line marks a specific distance from your target. The feet should be shoulder-width apart, and you need to center yourself over the shooting line. Your feet should stay in place, for better stability.

Twist your head toward the target

You have to watch the target directly, turning the head toward it. You don’t want to turn the whole body, though; the body has to stay perpendicular to the target the entire time. Your chest should be in and shoulders down so that you don’t cluster your shoulders.

Use a firm, yet comfortable grip for holding the bow

Right-handed archers should use the left hand for holding the bow. You will find handles on most recurve bows, so it’s not rocket science to know where to place your hand. The lifeline has to be perpendicular to the ground when holding the bow. The knuckles should be at a 45-degree angle, and you don’t want to have a death grip when holding the bow. Try to relax for smoothing out the movement.

How to draw and aim your recurve bow?

You’re finally there, so here are the proper steps to take:

Load an arrow onto the bow

Load the arrow while matching the notch of the arrow’s end onto the bowstring. Do it before you lift the bow, but don’t draw the string. Professionals name it “nocking” the arrow.

Lift the bow to shoulder height

As you’re lifting, try your best to have the arm keeping the bow straight and fastened at your elbow. When the elbow is bent, it’s not going to be easy to draw your bow.

You can place the odd color vane between the arm holding the bow and the riser. When the nock isn’t set right, the arrows aren’t made for recurve. However, you may still shoot it, but you take a chance on the accuracy.

Maintain the elbow of bow arm straight for keeping the arm away from the bowstring while you’re releasing.

Withdraw the bowstring

You need to withdraw so that your hand will rest under the jawbone. You want the bowstring to touch your face close to your mouth’s corner. It’s what experts call anchor points. Make sure that you’re not turning the torso for facing the target.

It’s not a problem when the string touches your face. It’s only going to hurt you if it wraps behind your ear.

You should practice by allowing the strong muscles of your back to work hard while you’re drawing the bow. Don’t strain your arm muscles too much. You can ask someone to push the elbow forward as you’re opposing resistance.

Try your best not to place your elbows lower than the arrow and have it aligned with the arrow.

Take your aim

You should use your dominant eye for aiming while closing the other one. The dominant eye is always more dependable for aiming at the target.

When the bow has a sight, you should get the best out of the notches in the sight, for lining up the target. But don’t forget to use your eyes too, so you don’t end up with tunnel vision.

Let your fingers off the string for loosing

You don’t want to twitch the string back as the arrow will not fly straight anymore. It’s essential for the release to be gentle and smooth. Never move your arm or hand when you’re shooting.

Stay in place until your arrow hits the target

After you’ve let get to the string, the arrow has to speed the bow. Any motion throughout the fraction of a second may impact the prepared flight path of your arrow. Practice not to twitch nor retreat your position until you don’t hear the arrow hitting the target.