How To Shoot A Compound Bow?

Bow Shooting and archery are both challenging, fun and difficult task. Shooting a bow is not an easy task as it looks in a hunting video, movies, T.V. or images. It takes years of practice to master an accurate shot. When it comes to perfect shot a bow, a compound bow is easy as compared to shooting a traditional bow.

To accurately or properly shoot a bow, you need to understand all the mechanics or as to how an arrow behaves. It takes a lot of knowledge, practice, time and patience, consistent learning to perfect a bow shot.

For Newbies and beginners, you have to first learn the anatomy of the bow and arrow and how compound bow parts work together. Every hunter makes sure that they select the weapon of their choice. He/She must learn how to shoot the bow with accuracy before trying hands in the field.

If you are a beginner in the bow world and want to learn a few steps before start shooting process a compound bow, then you are at the right place.

In this complete guide, “How To Shoot A Compound Bow,” we will tell everything you need to know to shoot a compound bow.

How To Shoot A Compound Bow?

Compound Bow

Before learning how to shoot a bow with accuracy, one needs to keep a few things in mind. Your compound bow should be adequately maintained, better shaped and of high quality. Here are some steps that one needs to consider before shotting a compound crossbow.

Mechanical Release

The best Compound Bow comes with Mechanical Release Aid better known for releasing aid. It is an equipment that an archer use instead of stretching the string with fingers and is fitted with a trigger. An archer first needs to prepare and attach a mechanical release. It ensure the accuracy and keeps the arrow from going sideways. This aid reduces the pressure from the fingers and avoids them from getting damaged from excess stretching. It also ensures a speedier bowstring release. Not only this, Mechanical Release is more accurate while shooting arrows. Installing a peep sight to your bow also helps you get a better and accurate aim.

Beginners can start with a wrist wrap release aid, a piece of equipment that balances the tension produced by the pulled back bowstring between the arm muscles and fingers.

One must make sure that you wear the release on your dominant hand attached with Velcro straps. Ensure that the Velcro strap is tightly wrapped on your wrist. After wrapping it, pull the string back and hit the trigger on the release.

There are different types of mechanical release such as caliper release and other mechanical releases like thumb switch,  t-handle release. It keeps the bowstring perpendicular to the arrow or your selected target. When a trigger is pulled in caliper release, it opens a loop of two arms at the same time. Loop is positioned right at the D loop below the nocking point.

The Bow

An Archer ensures must ensure that the compound bow is adequately maintained, is in better conditions and of high quality. The strings are not heavily used or worn. One should also know what amount of pressure the bow can handle. In case you have previously used a bow, you can use that for better shooting experience.

Archery Shooting Form

A proper archery shooting form gives consistent and accurate results. The form is essential for learning to shoot a compound bow with more accuracy. It includes proper Grip, Stance, Bow Arm Position etc.


The stance explains the position of the archer as how he/she is standing concerning the target. The way archer holds the bow and the stance are important. While targeting your feet should be parallel to one another. There should be a separation of about 18-25 inches. You should face the target around 45-degree angle. The distance should be the same between the shoulders, and toes should be facing the target directly. The balanced stance makes drawing the bow more comfortable.

How To Hold A Compound Bow


Grip tells how you position or handle your bow as proper gripping and handling are utmost important. One must hold a bow with a firm and relaxed grip. The too tight grip may lose the accuracy on your shot. You can also use wrist sling in case of having difficulty in a firm grip. A relaxed or comfortable grip let you point towards the target and gives an accurate shot.

Hold Your Bow

To prevent the injury, the way you hold your bow and stand is utmost necessary while shooting a compound bow. One must always choose a spot that is perpendicular to the target. Your shoulder must aim to the target and while the feet shoulder-width apart.

While in the resting position, you can remove one arrow from the quiver, and position the nock against the bowstring, once a clicking sound is heard. After that place, the other end of the arrow on the arrow rest.

Nocking An Arrow

When you attach your arrow to your bowstring, it is called Nocking the arrow. To avoid the dry fire of your bow, knock the arrow when its string is in full draw position. You need to first nock an arrow and position it on the rest.

Some compound bows have a “biscuit” style in which the arrow slides bristles and positions itself. It has a more secured style as you don’t have to worry about the arrow falling off. A proper nocked arrow makes contact with the bow at the nocking point of the string and rest. Make sure the arrow is placed correctly, and it will not come in contact with any part of the bow when fired. Over-gripping the bow can lead to excess torque that results in potential misfiring.

A sound of click will be heard, when the arrow is ready to set to the firing position. Once the arrow is properly nocked, attach the release while holding the trigger in a position. A properly nocked prevents from accidental firing.

Two Points of Contact

When you correctly nock the arrow, it can contact the bow at two points that are rest and the string.
The tip of the arrow sits on the rest and the knock clips onto the string of your bow in the gap between the D loop or slightly knots.


Anchor Position is when you draw the string or lock your string hand against the side of your face. It is known as drawing hand. Place your hand while release on your cheek or jaw, that creates an anchor point. It is also known as kisser point. In case you are left-handed, your hands and strings will be on the right side of your face or vice-versa. You can achieve the highest accuracy by anchoring your hands against the chin and anchoring the string at the corner of your mouth.

Arrow Release

Release the Arrow

The important thing that you need to keep in mind that you need to relax your fingers completely before you release the string. Remember a slight amount of finger tension can obstruct your aim. To get a smoother shot, try to use your back muscles more than your arm. It can also reduce fatigue and muscular strain and gives smoother shots. Rest your bow hand lightly around the bow. When you have identified the center shot, once you get the shooting form. You can align the bow’s sight on the selected target.

A mechanical release shot is a lot easier as it allows you to draw, aim and pull the release trigger for the compound bow. Do not twist your body when shooting.


It takes a world of knowledge and practice to learn to shoot a compound bow. Once you have learned with the setup of a bow, it’s time to practice and shoot. Extreme and pinpoint accuracy is needed when hunting the game. By following all the steps and practice precision, it will be easier. With patience and consistent practice, you can become an expert and aim better. You can practice with 3D objects, bulls-eye target board. With regular practice, you can surely develop a precision.

You can start the target with 20 yards distance and once you become an expert. You can extend it to 0, 40, or 50 yards. Once started shooting at a longer distance, it helps to tighten your form. It will help you to develop a great stance naturally. Practice until you master the art.

Tips On How To Shoot A Compound Bow For Beginners

How to shoot a compound bow
  • Start with a lighter compound bow and practice with it if you are a beginner. Once you are comfortable with the lighter bow, you can move to a heavier bow.
  • Your feet must be forming a straight line towards the target. The feet should be length apart with your left one in front of the right foot.
  • Always ensure that you grab the bow from the middle with a relaxed grip to feel the equal balance.
  • Locate the arrow rest and then nock or place the arrow against the string, remember the pull must be slow and steady. Do not aim the bow on any person. Aim it to the target only when you are ready.
  • After knocking check if it’s safe to shoot before releasing.
  • Check your posture, if it’s correct or not and keep your eyes on the target. You can use the tip of an arrow as a bow sight to your target.
  • Aim and release the hand that is pulling the string.
  • Keep aiming until your arrow hits the target. Now, hold your position until the arrow has hit the target.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Can A Right Handed Hold A Bow?

If you are a right-handed person, then you can hold a bow with your left hand. In case of aim, shoot and stretch, you can do it with the right hand.

2. How Far Can A Compound Bow Shoot?

It solely depends on the comfort of the shooter. A compound bow usually ranges between 30 and 60 yards.

3. What is the accurate draw weight for a compound bow?

Draw weight is the value of force you put into stretching the string for the proper shooting position. Measuring it and fixing it is amazingly important for an accurate shot. 

Here are some decent measurements for compound bows that you need to know – 

  • Kids with ( 40 to 100 lbs.) body type can go with 10 to 20 lbs draw weight. 
  • Womens with (100 to 160 lbs.) body type can opt for 30 to 50 lbs draw weight. 
  • The majority of male (160 to 190 + lbs) body types can go with 55 to 70 lbs draw weight. 
Aksroop Kaur

About the author

Aksroop Kaur is a senior staff writer for Best Crossbow Guide, where she covers outdoor gears and hunting tools. Aks began her career in blogging as an outdoor writer at the AnG Eesti Technologies. She keeps a beady eye on all the latest comings and goings in the crossbow world. She believes in writing creative articles & blogs on travel, adventure, and health. She has a keen interest in learning new things and sharing her knowledge with others. Exploring various platforms for blog writing is one of her passion. She also loves to design indoor and outdoor spaces. In her free time when she’s not writing, she enjoys watching movies, exploring different places with her friends. Also, she is very into fitness activity. She believes in staying fit is the root of good health.