Sharp Shooting Techniques for Traditional Archers

Take a blue-collar approach to improving your archery aim with one of these techniques, and see more bull’s-eye shots.

| July/August 2019

Photo by Adobe/Tyler Olson Simplefoto

If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably watched arrows arc silently through thin air in amazement. You’ve waited in anticipation to see if they hit the mark. When a shot flies true, the thrill of the bull’s-eye is tangible even to the observer. Something ancient trails in an arrow’s wake as it glides through space. You may have pondered all the generations of people who’ve used bows, beginning with Stone Age hunters — a scene that’s played out millions of times over the ages with few changes of clothing. The romance of traditional archery grows out of this combination of thrill and history.

Unfortunately, all this romantic imagery can lead archers, young and old, to believe they have to be mystics to shoot a traditional bow. The reality is that success in shooting is generally born out of hard work and perseverance, not raw talent. History backs up this idea. There were even English laws that made archery practice mandatory. In his book, The History of Archery, Theodore R. Whitman explains, “It was the difficulty in using the longbow that led various monarchs of England to issue instructions encouraging their ownership and practice.”

Many kingdoms depended on archery, and none could afford poor archers. Unlike what Hollywood would have you believe, medieval England wasn’t chock-full of master archers, like Robin Hood, who could instinctively hit a flea off a dog’s back. It was full of people who needed to practice.

Some things never change. Today, a few natural archers can accomplish incredible feats with a bow. But if the rest of us want to be effective archers, we need lots and lots of practice. Try the following three methods of aiming a traditional bow; each offers unique advantages that might suit your shooting style.

Photo by Getty Images/ponsulak

Pedr ap Ioan
7/12/2019 7:45:30 AM

The best Archers in medieval Britain were usually from Wales

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