What Are Archery Aiming Techniques

Aiming bow and arrow requires more than accuracy. This game of precision needs the archer to master the aiming techniques.

In this article, we have presented you with some archery aiming strategies that are effective in strengthening the goal of the archer. Have a look!

But before that, let’s understand what is aiming and how to aim successfully. 

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1. What Is Aiming And How To Aim?

Aiming is creating a strategy to hit the target accurately. Certain factors impact the game of archery like archery gear, height adjustment of an arrow, the kind of bow that you are carrying along, protection accessories, etc.

1.1 Steps That You Need To Practice Before Aiming

1.1.1 How To Position Your Hand?

  • The simplest way to position your arrow is to keep your index finger overhead the arrow, and two other fingers, ring finger, and middle finger, below the arrow for the successful aim.
  • Create tension on the string so that it creates a strong grip on the bow.
  • The palm should be on the side of the edge of the arrow to create a firmer grip.
  • Push with the hand or use the arm guard. Keep the elbows at bay so that it doesn’t become obstruction while firing an arrow.
  • The shoulders should be at the lowest point.
  • Raise the bow and pull the string hand near to the face, but it should be tilted towards the target for safety purposes.
  • The string hand should be under the chin, and the string should be in alignment with the nose and chin.
  • You can use the bow hand to target the aim.
  • Don’t let the game of archery overwhelm you, be relaxed and aim the target with the help of scope.
  • The body should be in T-shape while hitting the target.
  • Once the hand and face are in the right position, and the scope is aimed at your zone, you now need to lose the string and hit the target.
  • Losing the arrow from a string requires precision. The string should be at a distance of few centimeters horizontally so that the string escapes effortlessly from the fingers.
  • The more relaxed you are during the aiming competition, the more easily you will be able to hit the target.
  • The best way to master this game is through constant practice and training.

Read: Archery For Beginners In 3 Easy Steps

1.1.2 How To Use The Sights Accurately?

  • The flexible part of the sight is known as the sight block. Through this, the sight remains connected. 
  • As you distance yourself from the target, you must lower down the ruler block.
  • Now you need to adjust the sights to reduce the target errors.

1.1.3 How To Aim Successfully?

  • Adjust the height of the arrow depending upon the distance of the target.
  • Adjust it according to the scope and zone where you wish to hit.

Tighten or loosen the scope depending upon the bow that you are using. For example, if you are using the right-handed bow, you should tighten the scope and let it towards the right, and if you are using the left-handed bow, you must loosen the scope and let it tilt towards the right. 

Read: How To Shoot A Compound Bow And Arrow Within 1 Hour

Aiming a Recurve Bow

2. Types Of Aiming Techniques

Archery aiming methods are of two types using mechanical sights or barebow.

Barebow aiming methods include Gap, Split vision, Point of aim, String walking, Face walking, and Instinctive aiming.

Now, let’s dive into details about these techniques.

2.1 Instinctive Aim

Instinctive archery is a way of aiming the target by not aiming it.

Sounds confusing! Well, in simple words, it is the way to shoot the arrows without consciously aiming at the target or without using any aiming gear or accessories.

This method was used in ancient times to hit the target. In this method, the archer has to follow his sub-conscious mind, mental instincts, gut feeling to hit the target. The method is to trust your mind and body to achieve the ultimate goal. 

Once you learn how to focus and concentrate on the target, you will be able to master the game, and your subconscious mind will be able to execute the shot in the right direction.

This method is best if the distance is unknown to the archer, the game is fast, and you want to hit the target traditionally.

Instinctive Archery vs Aiming a Recurve or Longbow

2.2 Split Vision Aiming

There is a difference between instinctive aiming and split vision.

In this technique, the archer mostly depends on his subconscious mind and diverts his attention to the local sight to ensure that he hits the target accurately. After taking the feel of sight picture, he aims the shot. 

Archery 101 – Split Vision Shooting

2.3 Gap Shooting

In this method, the archer has to learn and master how to shoot an arrow by focusing on the distance between the arrow tip and target.

The gap shooter needs to map out the distance where he needs to place an arrow tip to hit the target accurately. The mapping is easy; the archer has to measure the distance and create an anchor and place the tip of the arrow at the center.

The success of the game depends upon how well he can map and on his arrow’s trajectory. 

Read: Best way to sight in a bow: A Sight master-guide

Gap Shooting with Traditional Archery – How-to find your Gap.

2.4 String Walking

This technique is akin to gap shooting with the difference that is mapping is done on the back of the arrow. What we mean is, in this method, the sight picture is similar irrespective of the distance from the target.

The tip of the arrow has a direct impact on how the archer hits the target. The movement of the string (also called crawling) and arrow trajectory defines the hitting success.

All you need to do is to place the string at a distance of an inch away from the arrow nock. Create a bow, anchor, and place the tip on the target and shoot it.

For example, if the archer is standing at a distance of 20 cm from the target and he hits high impact target, the archer will move his string hand down and a little beyond that to hit the next target.

The archer has to repeat this process to find 20 yards crawl and reverse the arrow to see if the impact is low. The archer can experiment with different distances.

The thumb rule to gain success is for distant shots- the string hands should be close to the arrow, and for short shots, string hands should be at a distance to the arrow.

The major advantage of using this method is, it is logical and simple to implement, and let’s archer understand the true picture of sight with every shoot. It requires practice and training, but it precise and accurate.

Barebow String Walking Tutorial

2.5 Bow Sights

The bow sight is a device that utilizes a pin or pins, circle, lens, or markers that helps the archer to identify and hit the target. These can be adjusted at different types of bows and distances to be shot.

Bow sights are required by bow hunters to increase their accuracy and effectiveness of the shot.

Traditional Archery Aiming Techniques

3. Types of Bowsights

3.1 Fixed Pin Sight

 In a fixed pin sight, the stacks of pins are fixed at different distances ranging from 20-60 yards. Archers prefer this sight as it needs no adjustment to be done manually. This method is highly accurate if used correctly.

You can add pins as per guidelines adjust the shots to fall between the pins. 

3.2 Single Pin Movable Slider

This is sliding and movable. The movable sight has just one pin to be adjusted as per target distance, not the shot. You have to change your sight regularly.

This can be adjusted according to an estimated distance of the target.

This is used by hunters and is preferred during shooting competitions.

3.3 Target Sights

These target sights are designed for various aiming devices that are allowed for obtaining excellent precision. These come with the setting of wind and heat.

Read: 11 Best Bow Sights For Hunting

The Best Way to Sight in Your Bow


Archery is a game that involves a lot of strategies, and mastering these strategies is not everyone’s cup of tea. The archer has to wear heart-on-its-sleeves to hit the target accurately.

The above-mentioned aiming techniques improve the skill-set of the archer and make him more proficient in the game. Whether it is an intuition-based method or bow sight method practice, and thinking right makes you successful in the game.

The above-mentioned article also mentions the aiming strategies along with the techniques that the archers can follow to get success in the game. 

This game of precision needs alignment of your hand and mind. Keep practicing, and you will win it.


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