Illinois Hunter Safety Course


Selecting a Bow and Arrows

A bow must fit the individual who shoots it. Likewise, arrows must be sized for the bow. Before attempting to shoot a bow and arrow, get familiar with the bow's draw weight and draw length.

Draw Weight

Draw weight describes the maximum amount of weight needed to pull a bow string completely back. The draw weight is measured in pounds. When purchasing a bow, be sure you can pull it back comfortably. The bow string should be pulled back in a smooth motion to full draw. If you have to struggle, the draw weight is too high and will result in poor shot placement.

Safety First! Drawing back a bow that has too much draw weight may result in pulled muscles in your chest and shoulder areas or other damage to your shoulder.

Draw Length

Draw length describes the distance between the bow string and the grip at full draw. Bows come in different draw lengths, the most common being 26 inches, 27 inches, 28 inches and 29 inches. When purchasing a bow, it is very important to have it properly fitted by a reputable dealer. Every bow has a label describing how the bow is set up, with the string and cable length. It is usually located on the inside of the lower limb.

Important! Drawing a bow back that does not fit your draw length may result in damage to your bow.


Proper Technique

Anchor Point

An anchor point is a spot that is touched by the draw hand or string when the bow is fully drawn and ready to shoot, usually a point on the archer's mouth, chin, jaw or nose.

By continuously using the same anchor point or points, the archer has a better chance of reproducing the same shot each and every time.