Archery Basics


The last thing you want to do is just grab a bow off the shelf and try to go shoot it. It’s fairly easy to shoot well with a bow, even for first time archers; but the bow has to fit you properly. If it doesn’t you’ll probably have a really bad experience. There are a few easy things that we can help you with to determine what bow is right for you.

If you write with your right hand, you’ll probably need a right handed bow. If you throw a baseball left-handed, you’ll probably need a left handed bow. Some people are ambidexterous, that means they can use both right and left hands equally. That’s why there is one other factor that comes into play; eye dominance. Below is an example of how to check for eye dominance. If you are left eye dominant, you need a left handed bow. If you are right eye dominant, you need a right handed bow.
Pick a small object at least ten feet away and make a small triangle with your hands. Extend your arms all the way out and look through the triangle at that object. Be sure to keep both eyes open. Now pull your hands back slowly to your face. Your hands will come back to your dominant eye.
Draw length is probably the most important factor in determining which bow to choose. To measure draw length, take a wingspan measurement with your arms extended out to the sides. Measure the widest point and divide by 2.5. This is your draw length.
Not all bows have adjustable draw lengths but some have a huge range of draw lengths. Make sure the bow your draw length is within the range of the bow you are shopping for. Keep in mind that draw lengths will change for kids as they start to grow. So make sure those bows have enough room to extend the draw lengths incrementally as they grow up.
There are lots of factors that will determine what draw weight is right for you. Consider your physical strength, age,  what type of game you are hunting?, are you just shooting targets?, is this your first bow?, do you have any shoulder or neck injuries?. All of these questions will help you decide which draw weight to choose. As a general rule, don’t buy the heaviest weight that you think you could possibly stand. Modern bows have become so effecient that most of our staff has backed our hunting setups off to the mid to upper 50# range. Choose a bow that your will be comfortable and accurate with. Typically, most bows will adjust down at least 10 pounds from what is marked on the tag. For instance a bow marked 70# will normally adjust down to at least 60#.  Here is a chart that tells about what weight range you could expect for most people.
Under 5   5-10 lbs
6-10 years           15-30 lbs
11-16 Girls                25-35 lbs
11-16 Boys               25-50 lbs
Adult Men                 50-70 lbs
Adult Women            30-50 lbs
Once you have determined which bow is right for you, we will set it to your specific draw length and draw weight. We will also install all of your accessories, cut your arrows, tune, and test fire your bow. Our goal is to have you as close to the bullseye on the first shot as we possibly can.