Whether you are a fan of the Green Arrow or Robin Hood, archery is just too fun not to try out at least a few times in your lifetime. You’ve probably seen your favorite on-screen protagonists do it a million times, not to mention world-class athletes at the Olympics. So, why not give it a go? Some archers even use bows and arrows for hunting purposes. 

Regardless of the bowing activity that you’re planning to do, you need to learn proper sighting techniques, especially using a compound bow –– which is very common among hunters. Here’s what you need to know.

Work on Your Stance

The most important thing when it comes to shooting a compound bow is having proper stance. This starts before you even grab the bow and try to shoot. You first need to warm up for a little bit because, contrary to popular belief, shooting arrows isn’t exactly easy; it requires a lot of stamina and physical strength. This is why you need to properly stretch and get your muscles moving before you shoot. Stretching is also important so you can try to relax tense muscles, which makes a huge difference in the quality of your shots. 

Next, you need to prepare for aiming. Your feet need to be shoulder-width apart, with your body perpendicular to the target. Then, move your weight to your back muscles. This is important for maintaining your balance and making accurate shots, and it will also help you hold the bow steady since you are more anchored. You shouldn’t find yourself leaning into either side, so keep working on your stance until that happens. 

How to Hold the Bow

Now that your weight is transferred to your back, you need to align your elbow with the arrow so you can start aiming in preparation for taking the shot. Experts recommend shifting the pressure of holding to the bow to the lower part of your thumb. As explained on this bowhunting information site, this technique is very important for hunting as it gives you better control over the bow, allowing you to make accurate shots. Relax your fingers and never push against the bow. The more relaxed and in control your hand is, the better the shot will be. Then, you need to draw the bow after nocking the arrow, with your wrist and hands still relaxed. 

You need to have anchor points so you could start aiming. There isn’t exactly an obligatory one, and some people just come up with anchor points that work for them. In any case, you can start by drawing until your hand touches your face, which is a customary anchor point used by a lot of people –– it can be on your jaw, neck, ear, or anywhere on your face depending on how hard you pull.


The great thing about compound bows is the fact that they come with a sight-pin or a scope, which is why they are ideal for hunting. It is much easier to hunt using one of these because you have the help of a scope rather than relying just on your own aim. So, focus on the pin or the scope, and make sure it is leveled in the peep sight. Then, start sighting the target in preparation to make the shot. It helps if you close one eye to make the shot, but this is optional, no matter what anybody else tells you. Many of the more experienced archers leave both eyes open so they could have a better view of the target and its surroundings. It is recommended that beginners close one eye for more accuracy, though, at least at first. 


Compound bows often have bubbles in the forward sight, and you need to center it while aiming so it is not tilting left or right. Don’t try to force the pin to be steady because it probably will never appear to be steady. It will keep floating, and if you keep trying to force it to be steady, your arms will tense up and you won’t make the shot most likely. So, relax your arm and don’t wait for the pin to be fixed on the target. 

Proper sighting when using a compound bow won’t happen overnight, and it will take some getting used to. Try to practice as much as possible in ranges or even the backyard of your home. The more practiced you are, the less frustrating your hunting trips will be. Compound bows are great for beginners and the learning curve is much better than other types, so take advantage of that and practice as much as you can.


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