If your arrow doesn’t fly straight, what’s the point in bow hunting? Many archers try to improve their shooting by buying the “best gear and equipment” but they miss some of the finer details that will actually help them shoot better. One of those finer details is understanding bow grip. Bow hunters across America continue to ruin their accuracy by having a death grip on their bow. This is especially a problem for beginning archers, yet I know that there are several “experienced” archers who need to correct this as well. Luckily, this is an easy fix that will help you shoot so much better next time your out in the mountains or on the range.
First off, the placement of your bow in your hand is crucial. You don’t want your fingers being the main support nor do you want it sitting too far out on your thumb. The sweet spot is in between your thumb and pointer finger. Between these two fingers is the “cradle” for your bow. If you hold your arm out and extend just your thumb and pointer finger, you can see that your hand makes somewhat of a “Y”. Your bow needs to sit right in the crux of that “Y”. This is where the most padded part of your hand is which creates a backstop for your bow. When you draw back and get ready to shoot, all of the tension will be felt on that padded part of your hand. If the tension is sitting more on your thumb or other fingers, then you need to adjust your grip so the tension is on the pad.
Now that you understand your bow placement we can dive into gripping the bow. Usually whenever you grab or hold onto something, you do so with your entire hand. This isn’t the case with gripping your bow. If you grip the bow with your whole hand, your bow will torque which will mess up your shot. You want to grip the bow enough that it won’t fall out of your hand but no more than that. To do this you should close your pointer finger and thumb around the bow grip as to not let the bow fall out of your hand. The rest of your fingers should stay relaxed. That’s right. You should be holding your bow with just those two fingers and that’s it. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but by not having so much contact with your bow you have much less negative effect on it. This allows the arrow to fly straight once when you shoot.
Well there you go! Now you should be shooting like a champ. Like I said, it’s an easy fix. Continue to practice shooting and focus on your grip. After shooting several arrows you may tend to fall back into the death grip because you will start getting more tired and the details will begin to slip. Remember, bow in the pad… light grip… shoot straight.