How to Aim a Recurve Bow: Draw, Aim and Shoot

Are you a fan of archery? Do you own a bow yourself? Do you engage competitively in sports or you are looking for the thrills of hunting? Well, whatever it is, know that there are 4 types of bows available and made for you.

These bows are a compound bow, crossbow, longbow and the recurve bow. Among these types of bows, the most competitive would be the recurve bow. It is mainly used for bow-hunting, field archery and 3D archery. It is because of the shape of the bow when unstrung.

The limbs of the bow are in the opposite direction of the user if no strings are attached. It is bent the other way. Now, people would usually question themselves on how to aim a recurve bow because of its weird shape.

It is pretty much the same with the two other bows, the compound and the longbow, with a few slight differences. The crossbow, on the other hand, differs on so many factors.

The unique design of the bow indicates how strong is the power of the limbs when firing the bow without costing the user too much energy and effort. The bow has been used by different horsemen over a long period throughout history. Today, the recurve bow has been modified and improved and is now the bow used in the Olympic sport.

Recurve bow excels greatly in terms of power, release and velocity but only has a moderate accuracy. On those aspects, you would want to focus more on how you try to aim using this bow rather than trying to worry and stress so much effort with how you pull the string and release. Here are some tips on how to improve your accuracy by learning how to properly aim using a recurve bow.

Drawing and Aiming a Recurve Bow


  • Before you start to draw your arrow and placing it on the bow, you should first try to find the proper and comfortable stance for you. The dominant hand is the one that usually pulls the string and the other holds the bow.
  • The foot placement on a proper stance is that your legs and hips are usually on the opposite side of your dominant hand or the hand that pulls the string. If you are pulling the string using your right hand, then your foot placement will go left foot/hips forward and vice versa. The purpose of this is to gain more resistance and on the lower part of your body to balance with the pull made by your upper body. This position also provides great comfort.
  • Hold the bow with a strong grip, just enough that it will not cause you any discomfort. Holding the bow and the arrow on the string too tight is called a death grip and it will make your accuracy tip off when you fire.
  • Now load the arrow onto the bow. Find the notch located at the end of the arrow and slide it fit onto the string. Loading the arrow is required to be done before lifting your bow. It means that you must do it when the bow is still faced to the ground. That process is known as nocking.


  • Aiming is done even before you try to draw the arrows. When you are already gripping your bow and have the intention of shooting a target, then keep your eyes on the target even if the bow is still in its lowered position.
  • If you have your eyes set on the target, you can now proceed onto nocking the arrow. From there, slowly lift the bow up and level it with your shoulders. As we see with beginners and amateurs, during this phase they are pulling the strings simultaneously as they lift the bow up which is wrong. Pulling the string in the process of lifting the bow up cause accidents, your fingers might trip and shoot the arrow.
  • Once the bow is in place, leveled with your shoulders, you can now pull the string. The proper length from where you pull your string is indicated by the position of your hand. The hand that pulls the string must be leveled under or parallel with your jawbone.
  • You are now in the final stage of aiming. Use your dominant eye to have a clear view of your target while keeping your other eye closed. The dominant eye is reliable compared with your non-dominant. Also, opening two eyes will scramble your vision and will affect your accuracy.


  • If you now have your aim, the next thing you’re going to do is to shoot. But not just yet. You need to make sure that your fingers and hand is relaxed while keeping the string pulled. A jerking or shaking hands won’t make the arrow fly straight. During the release the string from your hands must be gentle and smooth at all times possible. When you feel that your hand and fingers are as steady as they are, you are now okay to release.
  • After releasing the string, make sure you still have your body in a steady position. A split second of movement after the release can affect the trajectory of the bow. Train your body not to flinch to be able to hold a steady position for a long time. Hunters usually stay still and relaxed in one place, having one body position until they hit their target.


Being able to follow these simple steps in drawing, aiming and shooting will allow you to hunt or compete in archery more efficiently. Your accuracy will be maintained above normal level and your skills will greatly improve over a short period of time. These procedures also assure a safe and fun hunting time discreetly.

There are so many ways you can try on how to aim a recurve bow, drawing and loading arrows efficiently and shooting accurately. In some occasion, being efficient depends on how comfortable you are with your technique, how familiar you are with your bow and how efficient is your bow.

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