how to shoot a bow and arrow

Archery for Beginners: How to Shoot a Bow and Arrow

Seeing how Oliver Queen shoots an arrow, you were awestruck by his skills and have been inspired to get into archery. But, you don’t have any idea where to start. If this is you, then don’t worry. This guide will help you get started. 

Like any other sports, you have played so far or have seen, archery is fun to practice and play. Taking a bow and shooting arrows. Sounds simple, right. However, you need skills and techniques to master the game. Moreover, you need the proper posture and stance to get started. 

Before using a bow and arrow, you need the right equipment to get into archery. 

Archery equipment

Bow: You obviously need a bow to shoot the arrows. 

Bracer: It is also known as arm guards. It prevents your clothes from obstructing you while shooting an arrow. Moreover, it keeps you safe from cuts, bruises, and other injuries. 

Quiver: It is a type of container used to put the arrows while shooting. It is usually placed around your waist or back. 

Bow stand: To hold the bow when you are not shooting.  

Finger tab: It is also known as the archer tap. It is a small leather patch worn on the fingers while shooting to prevent cuts and other injuries. 

Bow Stringer: It is a device to string and unstring a bow. 

Arrows: It can be of any type. Usually, wood, aluminum, carbon fiber, and fiberglass. 

Chestguard: It is used to prevent your clothes from obstructing you while shooting. Moreover, it protects you from injuries. 

Target: A focal point to shoot your arrows. 

Sight: It is a device that helps players to aim and hit the target. 

If it is just for fun, then you just need a bow, arrows, and a target. 

Now, let’s see the guide to shooting a bow and arrow. 

How to shoot a bow and arrow?

Take a proper stance.

Your stance and posture helps you to be stable. Also, it increases the accuracy while shooting. The more firm you are, the more you can hit the target successfully. 

First, take the bow in your non-dominant hand. Now, stand perfectly straight near the line. Your body should face towards the target and should be perpendicular to the goal. When you draw the bow, your body should be like a “T” shape. 

Generally, there are two types of stances: square and open.

In a square stance, you should keep your feet parallel to the shooting line. 

In an open stance, your left foot should face towards the target and the other one should be parallel to the shooting line if you are right-handed. Reverse the feet if you are left-handed. 

It depends on you which stance to adopt. Besides, distribute your body weight evenly on your feet. Also, keep your whole body relaxed and calm. 

Moreover, don’t lean forward or backward while shooting. Keep your hips, legs, head, knees, everything straight and face towards the target. 

Also, remember one thing, make the stance your habit. It should come to you naturally. So, keep practicing and master your position and posture. 

Nock the arrow

Once you are in the position, now nock the arrow onto the bow. 

You will have a nock or hollow on the other endpoint of the arrow. 

Also, you will find a nocking point or marks on the bow and string where you will be placing the arrow. 

Once you correctly put the arrow on the string and bow, you will hear a click sound. It means that you have successfully nocked it.  

Grip the bow

For holding the bow, you will have a handle near the center of it. 

And when holding the bow, place your thumb to one side and your remaining fingers on the other.  

You need to grip the arrow between your middle and ring fingers. You use your index finger along with the middle and ring to hold the string. And you need to use the finger tab to prevent injuries. 

Draw the bow

Keeping your left arm straight holding the bow, draw the bowstring towards you with your right hand. Ensure that your arm is at shoulder height.

Also, remember that while drawing the bowstring, ensure that the bow is stable, aiming right at the target. Relax your shoulders and body no matter what. 

Find the anchor point. 

Now, find your anchor point. It is the place where you put your bowstring and fingers. Most people bring the bowstring to their faces and put their fingers around their mouths. And for some people, it can be their nose and lips while their index and middle fingers are touching the chin. However, it varies from player to player. They put it where they are comfortable. 

So, find one anchor point that suits your best and help you aim the target and release the arrow. 


You are on the drawing line, with the proper stance and posture, and drawing the bow. Now, it is time to aim at the target. Actually, you should be doing it when pulling the bowstring. For this, many people use aim sight while shooting for accuracy.  

Always keep your eyes on the target. Never let the situation pressure and distract you. 

You need precise control and accuracy because you don’t want the arrows to be off the target.

Release the arrow

Now, release the arrow once you have the target in your sight. 

Release your fingers, and the arrow will automatically travel to the target. 

When releasing the arrow, keep your arms and body straight. Do not move the bow forward when releasing. Otherwise, it will mess up your aim. 


Don’t think that after releasing the arrow, your work is done. You need to keep in mind that follow-through after shooting is very crucial. 

Don’t put your bow down immediately after the shot because even a minor error can affect your aim and accuracy. So, wait until the arrow hits the target. After that, slowly put down your bow and relax your body. 

These are the basic ways to shoot a bow and arrow.

Some basic rules

Here are some rules and ethics you need to keep in your mind in archery. 

  • Stand near the line. Never go beyond it. So, focus on your feet before and while shooting. 
  • Once you are ready, only shoot when you are given a signal. Otherwise, you will not get the point for the shot. 
  • Respect everyone.
  • The maximum point you get is 10. 
  • In an official match, you get to shoot 72 arrows in 12 phases. 
  • Each point is accumulated after hitting the target. The player or team to get the highest total is the winner. 
  • Even if the arrow hits the target and falls, the point is counted. 
  • Violation of rules can result in disqualification or deduction of points or be banned for a time. 

Are you excited to shoot a bow and arrow now?

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In Conclusion

There you have it. This is how you shoot arrows using a bow. It is fun and easy, right? 

Remember that you might not hit the target immediately. For that, you need practice. Give it enough time, and only then will it be easier to shoot a bow and arrow. 

Moreover, it will help you when you are stuck in the middle of the forest, unfortunately. It is a pretty handy survival skill. So, there is nothing wrong with learning it. 

Nonetheless, have fun shooting the bow and arrow. Enjoy!

Image Credits: suju-foto from Pixabay

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