Home Forums Campfire Forum Holding at full draw

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    • Daniel
      Post count: 247

      I don’t know if I’m any different than other traditional shooters but I find that I must hold at least a second or two at my anchor point before releasing a well placed arrow. If I shoot too fast, I usually miss my mark by quite a bit.

      What do you do when you get to full draw?

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      SB…For me, it all depends on the shooting situation. Some shots, I hold at anchor for a second or two, but most of them, when I’m shooting, I touch my anchor point just long enough for my brain to register that I reached my anchor point. As soon as the touch is registered, I release, or at least that’s when my release is intended to take place.


    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      Actually I think that you will find that alot of traditional archers are starting to do the couple second pause, even the IBO world champion Rick Welch teaches the pause at his school. Note that all archers are different. With that said, I do not pause because I believe that it kindof causes the archer to torque the bow more that if they would do just a fluent release, of course I think ever archer should practice it because it can be very helpful but then on the flip side so can a quicker release. All in all I have practiced it and it just seems like my muscles get tired(this was when I was practicing for spring turkey, But I was holding for at least 3 seconds and then I would practice for 1 second holds) And I would torque the bow causeing the arrow to go off its mark. So basically if I had the choice I would just release the arrow as soon as my finger touched the corner of my mouth!

    • SteveMcD
      Post count: 870

      I know I hold for a couple of seconds because I make a conscious decision to acknowledge the sight picture. Similiar to what Rick Welch advocates.

    • Daniel
      Post count: 247

      First of all, thank you for providing me your input. I shot quite a bit yesterday, and I shot using the techniques I use and then releasing when I felt my finger touching my anchor point.

      With the help of a fellow bowhunter, he told me I wans’t reaching full draw on the times where I was just touching my anchor point. He noticed a lot mor arrow sticking out in front of the shelf when I shot that way.

      So with that being said, that’s why i need to hold it a second or two, to make sure I get to my full draw all the time. He just told me I needed to practice drawing my longbow without any arrow on it a few times a day to build a muscle memory and I could then shoot as well just touvching my anchor point and then letting go.

      Now, perhaps in some hunting situations you won’t have time to get to full draw all the time but for now, I’ll work on drawing the bow a number of times to get comfortable reaching my anchor point at full draw.

    • donw
      Post count: 38

      i was taught, by rube powell, to draw, anchor, AIM, release and follow thru.

      he also taught me that in order to HIT your intended target, you had to AIM…to aim takes time. whether you shoot with, or without, sighting devices.

      i hold as long as it takes me to aim my shot. (ideally speaking, of course)

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      For DECADES, I’ve been a “concentrate on a spot before drawing” shooter, attempting, and mostly succeeding in holding that concentration through the anchor, release and follow through.

      I never had a tutor. I was the first bowhunter in our family and I just picked up a bow at a young age and started whanging away.

      While it “worked” when I did everything right, I never felt I had the CONTROL of the shot as I should.

      I ran into our old nemesis T TT TTTTAR GGGET PPPPPPANIC and froze short of draw.

      At short draw, I was knotted up UNbelievably! Most my thoughts were “get it back further!” rather than concentrating on the “spot”.

      To this day I find I have to follow a ritual when I find my shooting “freezing up”. It’s HARD, I wont tell you it is not. We all LOVE to SHOOT, but what works for me??? DONT shoot….FOR DAYS.

      I go out in the back and pick a spot, draw, anchor, concentrate 5 seconds or so……and let up. I often even go from a solid anchor dead on……..to taking it OFF target and back again. “Proving to my brain” or whatever, that IT IS I who decides. LOL!

      IT’S HARDER THAN YOU THINK if you are a used to subconciously releasing when your brain flips the “go” trigger when “ON”.

      I use several distances, near and far. It’s harder on my fingers than shooting to tell the truth but within about 50, and often even less, completed cycles of NOT shooting, I am totally relaxed in my shoulder area and can hit my anchor, take it back further at will.

      I’m NOT saying that shooting as soon as you hit your achore is BAD, indeed I have seen some GREAT shooters do so and at one time I was the best traditional shooter I know of locally doing so. It is just a suggestion for those whom wish to take control of their shot a bit more.

      Come season, I never ever hit the woods without going out and repeating this process until I feel the process become possible without a clenched jaw and clenched muscles that are not actively doing some work. Done daily it’s only about a 10 cycle process before Im “back in control”.

      It’s a small thing to some, but the CONFIDENCE it gives me to be able to change or stop my draw at will and not shoot after a correctly aimed draw has been a huge plus for me.

      While I CAN shoot quickly and accurately at close items, the more controlled shot is just my preference. A personal challange I’ve met and beaten, if you will.

      Thankfully, none of us have the same system nor have “all the answers” and part of the thrill of shooting is finding your own niche, but for those searching for something to try, I offer the process above that has worked for me.

      For those who just go shoot and do well. I am humbled. It has been a hard road for me till I found this method!

      God Bless

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      donw, what do you mean by AIM, that is a touchy subject that normal doesnt apply to traditional archers?

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      “Aiming” at least to the dozen or so local traditional shooters and hunters is just a word more easily used than “concentrating on the smallest spot possible” while at full draw.

      While it may NOT be refered to in traditional shooting in your area, it is here.

      Regardless, it refers to the “process” you or your mind utilitzes “pointing the arrow”.

      I cannot shoot accurately blindfolded therefore I somehow AM “aiming” the shaft, just IMHO.

      Too many, no offense, get too involved in the wording,even while fully understanding the message hopefully delivered.

      “Instictively” could be easily picked apart if you think on it. If truly “instinctive”, going by the full meaning of the word then:


      “Instinct… is the inborn behavior of a living organism that is not learned.”

      “Instinctively” is OUR word for not using sights.

      Taken literally it is inaccurate because it IS a “learned” process achieved by shooting. No one’s brain can instinctively know the arrow trajectory out of any set up without actually doing so, therefore it is a learned skill.

      I meant no disrespect for our sport/shooting processes nor will I debate such. Each of us utitilize whatever works for each of us, regardless of how worded when put into phrasing.


    • Buckhorn73
      Post count: 77

      You’re “bang-on” with your advice and explaining the process exactly as suggested in the “Target Panic” section of a little book by Dr. Jay Kidwell entitled ” Instinctive Archery Insights”. I have fought “target panic” for years and while I don’t consider myself cured, I can, at least get the sight picture and hold it, and shoot, with proper follow-through. It surely does rely on total concentration as a set up to the form and subsequent shot. I am finding that all my practice these days is very close range, however every now and then I step outside and fire a shot at a very small leaf or blade of grass, 20-30 yards away, just to make sure the instinctive part still ” kicks in”. At that distance and with my setup, the sight picture remains the same and I can usually make the shot. As you say, I think the battle with “target panic” is always there and must be rehearsed over and over.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      donw sounded like he was shooting a bow with sights or shooting using a technique known as “space gap shooting” or even string walking. These are techniques that I know are prevalant where the archer uses the tip of the arrow as the sight. It is that technique that I used to use before I found that when the moment came, in the feild that is, where the green light came on I was shooting off pure instincts anyway so that is when I adopted some of Fred G Ashbels techniques mixed in with some of my own. Alot of guys use the tip of there arrow to aim because I belive that the great Byron Fergeson uses that technique. String walking also involves aiming and several different string nocking locations. They are all using some form of aimimg but when I think of instinctive shooting I dont think of aiming, it is purely concentrating!

    • strait-aero
      Post count: 350

      I hold as long as I need to while at my anchor for my sight picture to get the “go ahead” from my brain that this is how I envision the shot. Then I concentrate on my release and follow-through.:lol: I really don’t have a set time at full draw, but it still takes a few seconds to achieve the proper sight picture…..

    • Daniel
      Post count: 247

      Alright, time to call a Spade a Spade….. Did you guys know you were totally awesome folks !!!!!

      I am blown away by the simple fact everyone is pitching in here, my hat is off to you great people !!!!

      And by the way, my shooting has gotten way better, the only problem is how do I get my wife not to shoot better than me 🙂 LOL

    • donw
      Post count: 38


      i do indeed use a “gap” method. i “gap” the target in the sight window using the arrow and the sight window for elevation and windage and yes, i hold as long as it takes for me to think i’m where i want to be in order to hit the target.

      i was taught that the bow must be held ON TARGET (follow up) until the arrow strikes the target and that if you are in movement or not solidly anchored, the arrow will go exactly where you are aiming at release. therefore; anchor solidly, AIM, release and follow thru. the arrow shelf/rest is what determines where the arrow goes once released.

      time at anchor is what you determine is best in YOUR application for YOUR shooting accuracy.

      my recurves are set up for shooting: off the shelf, no sights, no stabilizers.

      i use a mechancical release aid and i cant the bow at a slight angle.

    • 3blades
      Post count: 58

      StandingBear wrote:
      What do you do when you get to full draw?

      I hold and relax for a second or two and zone in on my target. The only thing in focus is my target spot and all else is peripheral vision and feeling right. Easy! 😆

    • Carl
      Post count: 29

      i have heard the term “stingwalking” alot on this site and others – what exactly does this mean?

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