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How to tighten your groups
Every archer strives to shoot with consistency and accuracy. Minor deviations in form or alignment can have disastrous effects on accuracy. A degree of inconsistency in form is magnified by the distance the arrow travels down range, moving further and further off its intended mark.
Having a solid and repeatable anchor point will afford you the accuracy you need to make a solid shot.
The Necessity of Anchor Points
The anchor points are reference marks for the archer to ensure that they are setting up with the same form and alignment for every shot. This consistency is crucial to improving and maintaining accuracy.
Consistency is king. An archer with a 100% consistent, yet imperfect form, can often be more effective than an archer that uses picture-perform form.
Identifying Anchor Points
Anchor points can vary from archer to archer, but there are three general criteria that archers should use when identifying and selecting their anchor points…
Anchor points must be
Once an archer as their anchors determined they must be ingrained in the mind. Mentally an archer should be able to visualise exactly where their anchor points are, not approximately, remember as little as a 3mm change in the location of your anchor will throw that shot out.
An archer should know them so well as to be able to tell another archer where the PRESCISE location of each anchor point.
Common Anchor Points
Hand-to-face contact is a great starting point but remember that the average archer (shooting a compound bow with a sight and using a release aid) should strive for multiple anchor points. (ideally 3) Let’s take a look at some of the common anchor points that are used.
Release hand face contact
This is arguably the most important anchor point for the archer. The goal with this anchor point is to be very specific and identify the exact part of the hand that contacts a specific spot on the face, jaw, ear or neck.
Identifying a location where your release hand contacts your face, neck or jaw can be one of the most important anchor points for a bow hunter.
Commonly Archers that use a release with an index-finger trigger
the last knuckle of the index-finger back near the bottom of their ear lobe.
Some stretch it further and anchor with a specific portion of their hand in contact with an exact spot on their neck.
Shooters that use a handheld release, such as a thumb-trigger or back tension release
will often look for a specific knuckle, on a specific spot on the jaw line
gap in-between knuckles, to rest at a specific place on their jaw line.
Think about the bow’s draw length setting, and the length of the release aid these are critical factors when determining the release hand contact position.
Nose to string Anchor
One anchor is not enough and a common good second anchor to complement release-hand contact is to have the bow’s string lightly touch the archer’s nose when at full draw.
Archers often touch the tip of their nose to the bow string as either a primary or secondary anchor point.
This anchor point isn’t for everyone. If an archer is struggling to make nose-to-string contact it can often lead to bad form if the archer does not fit the bow’s geometry in a way that makes this anchor point easily attainable.
String to mouth
This anchor point is commonly used in conjunction with a “kisser button”. String-to-mouth contact, is dependent upon the draw length and the angle of the bow’s string at full draw.
It is still a very effective way to ensure consistent alignment at full draw. When this anchor point is used properly the bow string should pass by the corner of the archer’s mouth, and by adding a kisser button or nock on the string, the archer can get have a physical point of contact.
Peep alignment – close your eyes.
The goal with peep alignment is to eliminate the need of “getting into position” at full draw. If the archer closes their eyes, comes to full draw, and ensures the rest of their anchor points are where they should be, then the peep should be properly aligned each and every time.
There should never be a need to twist, bend, or otherwise align the neck and head to see through the peep clearly.
Finding your anchor points is a process of experimentation strive for anchor points that are easy to identify, natural to repeat, and comfortable to shoot with.