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November 15, 2013

Archery Addicts Anonymous – 010 Archery 101: the basics - Shooting Form

MERIDIAN — By Terry Rivers

Guest columnist

    Archery 101–the basics–SHOOTING FORM: phase 2: part 2–checking draw arm FORM behind the nose.

    If the draw length of the bow is too long, the string will come back past the end of the nose, the anchor point will be behind the ear somewhere in empty space, and the elbow will fall below the plane of the arrow–the three fatal FORM flaws.

    However, one or more of the three fatal FORM flaws may also occur even when the draw lengths of the bow and the shooter are absolutely perfect. How? (1) The shooter bends the bow arm elbow and creates the false impression that the draw lengths do not match. Bending the draw arm elbow will move the string back past the end of the nose, move the anchor point somewhere behind the ear, and lower the draw arm elbow below the plane of the arrow. (2) Too long of a D-loop, release body and jaw length (trigger to opening of jaw), and/or release aid strap affects the anchor point and the elbow. (3) A lazy elbow affects the anchor point and causes the elbow to fall below the plane of the arrow. A lazy elbow may also pull the string away from the end to the side of the nose.

    Think of a three legged stool; end of the nose, jawbone (anchor point), and draw arm elbow– in that order. The nose and jawbone are basically fixed furnishings of the face with few exceptions viz. shoot with mouth closed (no chewing or talking).

    Of the three, the draw arm elbow is perhaps the wild card (variable) in the geometric FORM equation and it may be the most challenging to master. The neglected and lazy elbow may be our worst nightmare, so much so that the next lesson will be about mastering the unruly elbow. Archery is more about mastering our body than it is about mastering the bow.

    Address questions to: ttrivers@hughes.net Cell # 601-604-0913

    Question from a reader: What do I do if I cannot close one eye when I shoot? Answer: Learn to shoot with both eyes open. Shooting with both eyes open should be our goal. The complete answer will follow in a lesson about aiming without aiming.

    Question from a reader: What if I cannot tell which is my dominant eye? Some days it seems to be my left and other days it will be my right. Answer: The problem is the dominant eye may not be the strongest eye. Sometimes the strongest eye will overpower the dominant eye. A blinder may be worn on the bib of a cap to prevent the strongest eye from taking over for the dominant eye. It is always best to shoot with both eyes open because the brain needs the extra light, especially while hunting at dusk and dawn.

    (Editor's Note: Mr. Rivers' archery column series ends for the winter with this number 10 column. Space for deer photos will be needed on the Outdoors page. His archery series will resume in February, 2014.)

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