Archery: 3 Ways to Draw Your Bow


The High Draw

Description:  As you begin to draw back on the string, you lift your bow arm up leaving the arrow aiming to the clouds.  After you reach full draw, you bring the bow down into aiming position.

This style of draw is both unsafe and illegal in competitions.  It can cause serious injury or death to both the archer or someone else.  By raising the bow upward, the archer is getting more leverage making it easier to draw the string to anchor.  It is used by many who are over-bowed which makes this style of draw to be very unsafe.  Mistakes happen and I have seen it a thousand times over.  The arrow is loosed before the archer reaches full draw.  If your arrow is pointed to the sky when it is released you have no control over what it hits.  I still have to say it, “This style of draw should never be practiced or used.”

The Low Draw/The Instinctive Draw

Description:  The archer starts by pointing the arrow at the ground.  As he/she begins to draw, they lift their bow hand and draw back on the string in one slow smooth motion until the string reaches his/her anchor point.

This style of draw is used primarily by traditional and instinctive archers.  For instinctive archers, this style of draw is imperative to their instinctive style.  While they draw, they are not looking down their arrow or through their bow at all.  They look directly at their target and allow instinct to tell them when to stop raising their bow arm.

The Strait Draw/Pre-Aiming

Description: The archer points his/her arrow directly at their target and begins to aim.  After getting their point of aim, they draw their string straight back to their anchor point.  They continue aiming through the whole motion of the draw.

This style of draw is common practice for the competition shooter.  Olympic Shooters, Compound Shooters, and Gap Shooters may all use this style of Draw.  Many Hunters also use this style of draw because it shows less movement to their prey.


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4 Responses to Archery: 3 Ways to Draw Your Bow

  1. fslack says:

    I am happy to see an explanation of the problems associated with the High Draw. When I shot in high school, that’s how I was taught — having just recently picked up a recurve again, I will most definitely retrain myself to straight drawing. Thanks!

  2. Rob Jones says:

    Good posting and description of High Draws. This is a dangerous issue that I have seen a number of people act out. Sometimes due to poor initial instruction but also because of them being “over bowed” and they feel it is easier to draw back. Thanks for posting

    • So many archers are unaware of the dangers of the high draw. Even when you give them all of the information, they don’t believe you. That is, until they have been disqualified from a competition for doing so.

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