Walking the String

One of the best things about barebow shooting is its diversity. There is no one “correct” way to do it. Spend a day at most traditional shoots and you’ll see people differing in how they hold the string, hold their bows, draw, anchor, and aim. Over the past 26 years I’ve tried countless different barebow shooting and aiming methods. String-walking is just one.

String-walking is simply the act of sliding (or “walking”) your fingers down the bowstring a predetermined distance below the arrow nock depending on the yardage of the shot. The amount of distance between the arrow nock and your fingers is sometimes referred to as the “crawl.” The closer the shot, the more the crawl distance. Essentially what you are doing is raising and lowering the rear of the arrow so that you are always aiming “point-on,” no matter the shot distance.

Tabs such as those made by Black Widow are popular among string-walkers, who use the stitches as a reference for different crawls. Although string-walking can create tuning issues and prove too cumbersome for many people in bowhunting situations, there is a simple way to utilize this shooting method for the hunting woods.

Back when I used to walk the string for bowhunting, I tuned my bow for my 20-yard crawl. I then secured a second nock point at that location so that I could get my hand on the string properly without taking my eyes off the animal. For minor distances variations closer or further than 20 yards, I simply aimed slightly lower or higher.

This is somewhat of a hybrid system between string-walking and gap shooting, but it eliminates some of the potential pitfalls of pure string-walking in bowhunting situations. Your tuning and finger placement never changes, and you simply draw, point, and shoot. If you’re looking to change your shooting method, you may want to give this system a try.


About the Author:

Regular TBM contributor Jason Wesbrock makes his home in Illinois where he lives with his wife Christine and daughter Rachel. In addition to taking several dozen North American big game animals, he has used his skills with a traditional bow to win numerous state, national, and world archery championships.


  1. Robin Conrads
    Robin Conrads May 16, 2018 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Joe sent me the following comment:

    I don’t see where to put the comments so I will just reply. On the string walking article. I would suggest using 2 nock points, one at top and one at bottom bottom of the arrow to prevent it from sliding down upon release. The string is at a sharp angle and the nock will slide down differently on every shot , which will really mess up your groups and it isn’t obvious what is happening.

    Great magazine and also great tips!

  2. Oz Measure May 23, 2018 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Saw the video on The Push last year and converted to shooting a fixed crawl. Improvement was dramatic. Good tip.

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