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How to Shoot a Recurve Bow: The Ultimate Guide

How to Shoot a Recurve Bow: The Ultimate Guide

Do you want to hit the target successfully with a recurve bow? Well! Shooting a recurve bow is a skill that takes practice along with time to perfect. From improved concentration and focus to increased hand-eye coordination, there are many other reasons to learn how to shoot a recurve bow accurately. 

The recurve bow has been used for centuries as the purest and most exciting form of hunting. They are scientifically designed and biomechanically efficient, so you must learn proper techniques to adopt a target archery shot for hunting. In this article, you will find a complete guide on how to shoot a recurve bow. 

How to Shoot a Recurve Bow

Do you feel complexity while properly executing a shoot? In reality, it is far more complex than it seems. Each component lays a foundation for the next step, so you need a bow, an arrow for your bow, and other equipment to hit the target accurately. 

Let’s see each component individually.

1. Selecting a Bow

If you use a traditional bow, you also know it produces repeatable shots with incredible accuracy and consistency for two primary purposes: hunting and target archery. Both bows are the same, with one fundamental difference that draws weight. 

Draw Weight is the amount of power needed to draw a bow. If you want hunting, then you need a bow with a higher draw weight. However, if you want to level up target archery, then a bow with a lower draw weight t all you need. Do you know how to choose a suitable draw weight? 

Choosing a Draw Weight

Draw weight is the power to draw the string back on the bow. The ideal draw weight is 18 to 24 lbs. The lower the draw weight, the lesser the speed and power. However, lower draw weight enables you to get proper form and technique. 

Take-down your Bow

Do you want to make the draw-weight flexible? For this purpose, take down your bow. Most archery takes down their bow for easy portability and servicing. This separates the bow’s limb from the rest of the bow while adding weight. So you don’t need to buy a whole new bow. 

Bow Length:

Selecting the bow length also plays a fundamental role while hitting the target to the center. There are several options for bow length; however, 66 and 68 inches bow length is ideal. It is recommended to choose such a bow when placed on the ground; its top limb comes between your nose and forehead. 

2. Selecting Right Arrow for your Bow

After choosing a recurve bow, it’s time to select the right size arrow. There are several options available in the market. Most arrows are made of lightweight materials like aluminum, wood, or carbon. However, if you want bow fishing, then choose a fiberglass arrow

Just like draw-weight, the draw length of the arrow also plays a significant role. Draw length is the length that your arms can draw the bowstring back. For this purpose, hold your arm parallel to the ground on either side of the body. Always ensure your arrow length is 1-2 inches more than the draw length.

3. Having other equipment

Besides bow and arrow, other equipment is necessary to level up your game. Like

  • Target: Having a good target helps to make your practice fruitful and not ruin your arrows.
  • Armguard: While practicing, an armed guard protects your arm from string hitting. 
  • Finger Tab: When you pull a string back, there are chances of injury to your fingers. In this regard, the finger tab protects your fingers. 
  • Bow Stringer: If you want to practice archery, a bow stringer helps to put a string on the bow. 
  • Sight and Clicker: You can also buy sight and clicker to make your practice smooth. 

4. Finding the Right Stance

To start practicing, you must develop the basic shooting form and stance. Keep the following points in mind while finding the proper stance. 

  • Always stand perpendicular to your target.
  • You are centering yourself over the shooting line and sand shoulder-width apart.
  • Stand with your right hip pointing towards the target if you are left-handed. 
  • Don’t lean to one side; try to keep your body vertical. 
  • Turn your head, not your body, towards the target.
  • Keep your chest and shoulder down.
  • Hold your bow perpendicularly to the ground with knuckles at 45 degrees. 
  • Ensure you have a good grip on the bow handle so that your arrow is knocked correctly.

5. Shooting the Recurve Bow 

Once you’ve chosen the right to recurve bow, it’s time to start shooting. Here are a few essential points that help you know how to shoot a recurve bow accurately. 

Load an Arrow

The first step while hitting the target is “knocking” the arrow. It means to load an arrow into the bow in the right way. For this purpose, set the end notch of the arrow in the bowstring. Always remember to never draw a string before loading an arrow. 

Lift the Bow at Shoulder Height

Now it’s time to lift the arrow; keep your bow elbow locked while keeping your arms straight, as keeping the elbow straight helps to keep your arm away from the bowstring. You can also add one odd color vane between the riser and the bow arm. 

Try to Pull the Bowstring Back

Pull the bowstring back as far as possible, so your hand rests under your mandible. Make the bowstring to the anchor point where the bow touches around the corner of your mouth. Once that’s done, use your back muscles to draw your bowstring back to the full draw length and keep it there momentarily before releasing the arrow. 

Set the Aim

Use your dominant eye to aim while closing the other eye. You can also use a notch that helps to line up the target. While aiming, to avoid tunnel vision, always check your aim with your eyes. It’s essential to keep your aim consistent throughout the whole draw, so practice this before taking your shot.

Shoot the Recurve Bow

Keep your release gentle and smooth while relaxing your fingers off the string. The recurve bow never likes tight fingers, so don’t jerk the string back. Loose fingers also prevent the arrow from flying off. 

Stay in Position

Once you release the arrow, stay in position while the arrow hits the target because a single movement can disrupt your target. 


Shooting a recurve bow requires techniques and practice to do it right. By following the guideline outlined above, you can shoot a recurve bow accurately and safely. You can level up your hunting game by mastering techniques and proper form. So don’t hesitate to try to recurve bow shooting – it’s a skill you’re sure to enjoy.

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