How to Shoot a Compound Bow (Step-by-step)

This article will show you how to shoot a compound bow, after reading this I am sure you will be one step closer to success, enjoy!

Andy Ryan
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The first time I went hunting with a compound bow, I couldn’t make a proper shot. The struggle was unbelievable. I always thought shooting a compound bow would be easy, but on that day it dawned on me that I had to teach myself how to shoot a compound bow.

It is devastating when you head out and can’t crack the process of shooting a compound bow. It happened to me and I definitely don’t want you to have an experience like mine. 

Shoot a Compound Bow

How to shoot a compound bow

This write-up is meant to teach you how to go about shooting a compound bow. By the end, you will find it easier to properly shoot your compound bow. Let’s get started.

1. Prepare the Compound Bow

This is the first step to shooting a compound bow. If you get it right, you are more likely to achieve accurate shots. 

So, what exactly do you do in this step? First, check your strings. Ensure that they are high quality and not worn out. Since the strings affect every shot that you make, be sure they are in good shape.

Inspect the other parts of the compound bow and ensure that they are in good condition. The bow should be well taken care of, and every part must be in place.

Also, get an idea of the draw pressure that your compound bow can withstand. You can confirm this from someone who has used the same bow or find out from your supplier. 

Some companies have beginner guides that show you how to prepare the compound bow. Now that you know the necessary preparations,  let’s dive into the next step.

2. Get Into the Perfect Stance

I know this can be a tough step, especially for beginners. How exactly do you position yourself for a precise shot? 

When making your shot, always aim at the target at an angle of or close to 45 degrees. Many experienced bow users have confirmed that this is the best angle for accurate shots. 

Keep your feet in check. Ensure that they are well-grounded and parallel to each other. Also, your feet should be at least 17 inches but not more than 25 inches apart.

This should give you an idea of the posture you should have while shooting a compound bow. If you keep this in check, you will hit your target without too much effort. 

3. Grip the Bow Firmly


This comes as another challenge. Some people are not sure of what a firm grip means and end up holding the bow too tight. Unfortunately, this leads to the most inaccurate shots. Disappointing, right? 

I know mastering the art of a perfect grip is not as easy as it appears to be. But with a little more practice, you will learn how to hold onto that compound bow and your shots will get better.

If you still find it difficult to grip the compound bow firmly, you can invest in a wrist sling. They greatly improve your grip and eventually make your shots more accurate. 

4. Anchor for Stability

This step is an interesting one. When you see compound bow shooters placing their string hands on the side of their faces, it’s safe to say they are about to make a precise shot. 

As described, this position is what we refer to as the anchor. It gives the shooter stability and confidence to hit the target.

Pro shooters also anchor the string close to the corner of the mouth. If you are a beginner, start with the standard anchor position and advance as you gain experience.

5. Draw Your Bow

We are almost getting to actually shooting, so I hope you have grasped the steps explained above. Let’s now learn how to draw the compound bow. 

After getting yourself into the perfect position, extend your bow hand in the direction of your target. At this moment, the string should be firmly held in between your fingers without compromising your comfort. 

While still aiming at your target, pull the string without exerting too much force. Don’t make your grip loose, though, because it will ruin your precision. 

Do not give in to the force you feel to move your bow forward. Many people don’t know that the draw force will determine how accurate your shot will be.  

6. Aim at Your Target


Aiming gets easier with practice. However, some compound bows come with a sight that allows you to aim comfortably. However, you are not promised perfection even with the sight. You will need to keep shooting your bow regularly so that you can improve your aim. 

Don’t get discouraged if your first shots are not accurate. With time, you will get the drill and make better shots.

7. Time to Release!

This step is the determinant of where your shot will hit. Have followed the above steps and unfortunately failed to hit the target? This must have been the fault of your finger tension.

When releasing the compound bow, ensure that all your fingers are properly relaxed. If you feel like one of your fingers is not cooperating, just adjust it instead of letting yourself make a disappointing shot.

If you cannot naturally release the string without tension, you can use a mechanical release aid. This equipment is great, especially for beginners who are learning the tricks of shooting a compound bow.

Don’t Miss Out on the Arrow Landing

Why wouldn’t you want to see your arrow hitting the target? If you are hunting, you want to get a clear picture of your prey going down, and an archer would be delighted to get a good view of the arrow hitting the right spot.

You might think it is not important for you to experience this, but it helps greatly. You will know what to improve in your shots and eventually, your game will get to a higher level.

Keep on Practicing

You have to practice as much as you can if you want to get better. However, ensure that you are doing it the right way. Practicing the wrong steps will only make it difficult for you to learn how to shoot a compound bow properly. 

If you are busy and can’t find time to head to the shooting ground, you can make your own targets at home. Those who have spacious backyards can install targets to practice as frequently as they can.

compound bow

After using your compound bow, it is important that you keep it in perfect condition. This is because the more you take care of it, the better it will perform.

Here are some of the most basic yet crucial things you need to do to maintain your compound bow. 

To begin, always wax the string along with the cables. String wax is a must-have if you want your compound bow to perform well and last longer. Use your fingers to rub the wax into the string and cables. This process ensures that these parts will stay in good shape for optimal performance.

Always keep the lens clean to ensure that your view remains clear and prevents your shots from going astray. However, you don’t have to do this every time you use your compound bow. It is better if you clean the lens every time you notice your view being obstructed. 

Another thing you need to do is lubricate the rail. Some compound bows come with a rail lube in the package and if not, you should buy some. Spread the lube well along the rail using your fingers. The trigger box and any part that is metallic should also be lubricated.

To add to that, remove any dirt that is on other parts of the bow. Check the rail as well as the trigger box. Inspect the joints also to ensure there is no dirt stuck there that will alter your shots.

Finally, check that the bolts are as tight as they need to be. If not, you need to retighten them so you don’t have a loose compound bow the next time you head out to use it. Loose bolts are hazardous, so ensure that you keep them in check.

With these maintenance tips, your compound bow should last you for years. 


Do you feel like an expert in shooting with a compound bow? This write-up has discussed the most important steps to shooting a compound bow and keeping it clean and safe.

If you pick a great bow and follow the guidelines above, you will definitely hit your target effortlessly.

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