How To Aim In Archery | The Complete Guide to Archery

How to aim to improve overall accuracy tends to be one of the most common questions when it comes to learning proper technique. Reasonably so, the final goal of using a bow is to actually hit the target or prey, isn’t it?

If you’ve ever tried to shoot a bow, you know there’s much more to it than just aiming and releasing. To be able to aim properly and make your every shot as effective as possible, there are many details to take care of first – stance, anchor, nocking the arrow, etc. This creates the base to make you’re aiming as natural-feeling, easy and comfortable as it can possibly be.

There are 2 basic techniques to aim your bow, and the decision on which one you prefer usually depends on the archer’s preference and the bow he or she uses.

  1. Instinctive

The first technique is the most traditional one. It’s not assisted in any way, and it can be very complicated to master (not to mention it requires a lot of practice and time). In essence, and as the word implies, it means the archer draws, looks towards the target, and once he or she feels comfortable with the decision and is fairly certain it will end up where it’s supposed to, the arrow is released.

This might sound simple, but it’s actually not. Because, inevitably, most shots like this, especially with beginners, don’t hit the target where the archer meant them to. So, a long process of trial and error begins, and, eventually, the archer’s instinct is perfected to the point when the arrow actually hits the bull’s eye.

  1. Assisted aiming – using a sight

Using a Bow sight is most common with more modern bows, such as a recurve or a compound. Using it makes your aim much more accurate, as you fix your sight on the bow, then target through the sight and release. The chances of having your arrow hit the target where the archer/bowhunter wants it to are much higher than if following their instinct.

When using a sight it’s very important that the position of the string when the bow is drawn is exactly the same. To assure this when using a recurve bow, the archer should always look down the string, while the compound has an additional accessory, called peep-sight, which is installed on the string itself and aligning it with the sight assures being in the same position as always.


 This is a concept that’s becoming more and more popular and it should definitely be mentioned when it comes to discussing how to improve the aim and focus. The basic idea is that the smallest the target, the biggest the chance to hit it more consistently, as there’s a smaller area to focus on. While, if there’s a huge target, despite there being a bigger possibility of hitting it, if you shoot several arrows, they gap between them will be much bigger than on a smaller target.


Aiming is without a doubt one of the most interesting steps an archer takes in the shooting process. Whether you decide to aim instinctively or using a sight, it takes a lot of time and effort to develop proper aiming technique and making sure that most of the arrows end up where they’re supposed to, but once you reap the benefits of your hard work and see the overall improvement as a result of your practice and focus, you’ll see that it was time well invested.