Archery requires a great degree of skill and practice if you want consistent shots. However, one of the things that come as a surprise to many people that are just starting with the sport is that accuracy can be thrown off if there is even the smallest interference.
One such interference is the anchor point. If you do not anchor the bow correctly, this can make your draw much more complicated and will cause your arrow to veer off track.
Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that your anchor point is always spot on and your shots are consistent and accurate.
In this article, we will be exploring the best anchor point for drawing a bow and how you will benefit from finding this.
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What Is An Anchor Point And Why Is it Important?
One of the first things you will hear about when taking archery lessons is your anchor point, and this can sound confusing if you have never heard of this before.
Before we get started on learning about where your anchor point should be, we must understand what an anchor point is.
In archery, an anchor point is a spot on the face where you draw the bow. This allows you to anchor the bowstring to a specific place, and this will help to keep each shot consistent and accurate. Without anchoring, you would have far less control over the bow and would notice that the arrows did not go where you intended.
The location of the anchor point may vary from person to person, and this may be down to their level of experience or how they prefer to do it. Furthermore, the type of bow that you are using will have an impact on the best location for your anchor point.
How To Find Your Anchor Point
There are common anchor points which are used by archers all over the world, but it is vital to keep certain things in mind when locating your anchor point.
When finding your anchor point, you must be easily able to identify every time you take a shot. If you are hunting animals, then this needs to be done quickly to avoid missing your target. You should aim to find an anchor point that you can commit to memory.
Many skilled archers will tell you that after some time, the movements and intricacies of archery begin to come naturally and where at the beginning, you would have to think about everything when getting ready to draw the bow, after some practice, it would become second nature. Having an anchor point that allows for this is essential.
Furthermore, you should make sure that your anchor point is comfortable to reach. There have been many people who have had to contort themselves just to attain their anchor point, and this will not allow for an accurate shot, nor would it appear as if you were using the bow correctly.
Finally, you must be able to repeat the action over and over. As we have already discussed, doing this will come as second nature after a while, but when you are learning, you should be able to repeat the action easily.
Developing A Consistent Anchor Point
It is no use merely putting the bow up to your face and hoping for the best; one of the most important things about finding your anchor point is to follow a commonly used three-step process. This includes release to hand, hand to face and string to face. Let’s take a look at what each of these means.
Release To Hand
Before you do anything else, you must concentrate on the location of the release in the hand. It is also essential that you always have the release in the same place on the hand as not doing so can vastly affect your accuracy and your consistency. Many archers complain that one moment their aim is excellent and the arrow goes precisely where they had planned, and the next moment, arrows are flying off in all directions. This is usually because they have not remained consistent in their stance, and this includes the anchor point.
When finding the right place for the release in the hand, you must think about two things; being comfortable and being able to repeat the action.
You must be comfortable when shooting your bow; if you are not, likely, you won’t be able to remain still and calm when taking your aim. For this reason, be sure to find a place to hold the release that feels good.
Secondly, you will need to be able to remember this location every time you shoot; consistency is everything where archery is concerned and even minor details like where you hold the release must remain consistent. If you are struggling to remember where you should have the release in your hand, it is entirely acceptable to mark it with some tape or a marker.
Hand To Face
Now that you are holding the release comfortably, you are ready to bring the bow up to the face, and it is necessary, once again to remain consistent with this. It pays to spend some time practising this movement. It might feel like a minor detail, but it certainly is a crucial one if you want to avoid being inaccurate.
Different people will find that they prefer different anchor points, and we will look at these in a little more detail later on, but right now, it is essential to focus on making contact with the face.
Your hand should lightly touch the face, but it should not press too hard. If it does, this can massively interfere with the shot and can contribute to a lack of precision. Conversely, you should be mindful of not making enough contact as this can make you much more unsteady. Finding the right balance is key, and again, this may take a little practice.
String To Face
The final motion that you will need to think about when finding your anchor point is bringing the bowstring to your face. In most cases, the string will make contact with the nose, but where on the nose is another consideration entirely.
This very much depends on your personal preference, and usually, archers will go for either the side of the nose or the tip of the nose.
You will need to focus on consistency again, and this means finding a point where you can bring the string to the nose time after time. To remain consistent, most people find that using the tip of the nose makes things easier. However, if you are going for comfort, you might prefer to use the side – just be sure that you can locate the same spot every time you draw the bow.
Common Anchor Points
Now that you are aware of how to find the perfect anchor point, you may like to decide which is most comfortable for you. Whilst anchoring the string on the nose is considered an anchor point, your actual anchor point will be where the index or middle finger that is holding the release, touches the face.
In the main, there are two common anchor points and which you use will depend on several factors; the type of bow you are using, your level of experience and what you find most comfortable.
The Corner Of The Mouth
When you are first starting on your archery journey, you will probably find that anchoring the bow feels most comfortable when done at the corner of the mouth. This is one of the main reasons that it is the most common anchor point.
Furthermore, unlike other areas, the corner of the mouth is very easy to commit to memory, and you can’t go wrong with it. Moreover, it will likely feel more natural and less forced.
To achieve this, you simply need to draw the bow and rest the index finger of the hand that is drawing at the corner of the mouth. A lot of people say that it feels a little odd, to begin with, but over time it will start to feel much more comfortable.
If you use a compound bow, you can use this method, but when using a mechanical release, you may not find it suitable and may be better relying on other reference points. Those using a recurve bow would benefit from using this method.
Underneath Your Jaw
Those who are very experienced archers or who compete at a professional level may prefer to anchor the bow underneath the jaw. However, it is not advisable for beginners since this can be a little more tricky to achieve, and if you do not get it right, this will affect your accuracy.
This method involves drawing the bow and placing your bowstring underneath the jaw. One of the most notable benefits of using this anchor point is that you will have many more points of reference. This includes the bowstring on the mouth as well as the hand at the chin. You do not get this when using the corner of the mouth. What’s more, it is widely accepted that this method will improve your accuracy far better. But it will require a lot more practice, and as ever, consistency is critical, so spending some time getting it right will pay off in the end.
Finding the right anchor point when drawing your bow is one of the most essential aspects of archery. The accuracy of your aim relies on several factors, and this includes how you anchor the bow. Not doing it correctly can cause your aim to be off.
There are two common anchor points, these are below the jaw and at the corner of the mouth and which you use will largely depend on your level of experience, the type of bow you are using and which you like best.
There is also a necessary process to follow to find your anchor point, and this should be practised so that it becomes automatic.