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How To Take Aim Like Robin Hood With a Bow and Arrow

Before you shoot a bow and arrow, first learn the safety rules and wear the proper equipment, including an arm guard and shooting glove or tab. Inspect your bow to see that it is properly strung and in good condition.

If all is good and you’re in an established, safe range under trained adult supervision, then you can go through the nine-step process of shooting: stance, nock, set, pre-draw, draw, anchor, aim, release and follow-through.

STANCE: For target shooting, position your body parallel to the flight of the arrow. Stand comfortably, keeping your feet about shoulders’ width apart. Stand up straight, balance your weight on both feet and look at your target.

NOCK: Nocking the arrow means placing the arrow on the string and the bow.

SET: Setting involves holding the bow with one hand and placing three fingers of your other hand on the bowstring with your index finger above the arrow and middle two fingers below it. For example, if you’re right-handed, hold the bow with your left hand and place three fingers of your right hand on the string.

PRE-DRAW: A pre-draw is when you raise the bow until the arrow is pointed at your target. If the arrow keeps falling off the rest, try putting all three fingers below the arrow.

DRAW: To draw, pull back the drawstring, keeping your arm and elbow at shoulder level.

ANCHOR: The anchor point is where your hand and bowstring touch your face at full-draw. This can be under your chin or at the side of your face.

AIM: Aim where you want to shoot and relax your fingers, releasing the bowstring.

RELEASE: As you release, maintain your stance and keep your eyes on your target.

FOLLOW-THROUGH: Try to move as little as possible to complete your follow-through.


RECURVE BOW AND LONGBOW: A longbow is about as tall as the person who’s using it. A recurve bow has tips that curve out and away from the archer. It’s more efficient than a longbow.

COMPOUND BOW: Representing a significant advance in technology from the recurve bow and longbow, a compound bow uses a system of cables and pulleys to give an archer more power without requiring more energy.

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