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Archery Guides

A beginner’s guide to archery

He has clearly been bitten by the archery bug and is enormously informative, adding that sometimes he likes to go off and shoot foam velociraptors in a wood. Marcus is one of a small, dedicated archery group called The Plumpton Bowmen , who meet at least once a week throughout the year. Unless you have a death wish of course: one of my wayward arrows penetrated 7. We spend a large part of every session being shown how to stand and how to hold the bow itself.

First, to handle a bow with any kind of power in it, I need to be able to draw the string back quite some way. We are starting with learner-level recurve bows of pounds about kg — archery is still strictly imperial , but muscle-bound archers can pull up to 70 pounds — about the same weight as an average year-old girl. The sport itself, while not being the most athletic, has a charm and an exquisite ritual all of itself.

Some new signups for the course may have been inspired by Game of Thrones , but archery appears to have a longer-term appeal than that. There are 20,year-old cave paintings in Spain depicting hunters with bows and arrows, Marcus tells me. Perhaps it speaks to the caveman in all of us, but it certainly twangs the strings of childhood nostalgia, whether knights or cowboys and Indians.


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After a few rounds, I begin to settle into a calm, almost meditative process of self-awareness to check that my body is in position for the shot. I stand sideways to the target, relax my shoulders, fit the arrow on to the bow and then raise it. What I feel, in those moments of lining up a shot, is an absolute focus on the here and now. And if you want to keep with the traditional and historical feel, there are a lot of nice leather quivers available at reasonable prices like this one.

If you treat these with care they should last you a lifetime of shooting. An arm guard stops the bow string from slapping into the inside of your bow arm.

These are super cheap and make it both safe and easy to string and unstring your bow. This helps to prevent accidentally breaking the bow while stringing, which can be dangerous. As I mentioned before, there are many benefits to shooting a recurve bow. While a longbow may make it easier for beginner archers to get started shooting, recurve bows have many advantages over longbows. Recurve bows tend to not only have more speed, but are more powerful — while longbows can be more comfortable for some people and are quieter and more stealthy. Start by shooting a bow with a draw weight around twenty to twenty five pounds.

Being able to practice for longer periods of time will help you to develop proper shooting form — which is everything when it comes to shooting accurately. Tip: You can use whatever bowstring comes with the bow if there is one , or you could try using a Flemish twist string.

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Many traditional archers find that Flemish strings are more smooth and will make your bow shoot quieter. The most common of these styles of aiming are instinctive shooting and gap shooting.

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Gear Up: 6 Essentials for Beginner Archers

Instinctive shooting is more of a straight ahead, look and shoot style of shooting. While gap shooting is a way of judging the distances of targets with the tip of your arrow.

Another technique that some archers use is called string walking. In gap shooting you adjust the tip of the arrow to be either above or below the target, while in string walking you adjust the position of your shooting hand instead. By switching up how far below the arrow your shooting hand is, the angle of the arrow will change. You will first need to determine your point on distance.

Then you would move in ten yard increments, both closer to and farther away from the target. Eventually you will have several markings on the bow string, each one used for shooting from different distances to your target.

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These are normally then marked with a little string, tab or even a nocking point. This way you simply guess your distance from a target, aim directly at it and then find the point on the bowstring that is meant for shooting that particular distance. There are even a few archers that will count the individual wrappings on their bowstrings, having memorized the given numbers for different distances.

String walking has been proven to be quite accurate when used by archers who are well practiced with it.

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This is so much the case that it is not allowed in many competitive types of archery. There are some forms of competitive archery that will allow you to use string walking, but these normally make you compete in a separate division called a class. If you are interested in shooting target, field or 3D archery, you will want to check out their rules and regulations — before you spend all the time it takes to learn string walking. Bows are made to be consistently shot from the same area of the bowstring.

String walking can throw your bow out of whack over time.