How To Properly Shoot and Sight In A Compound Bow

[Updated on 1 June 2020] This article will explain in depth how to’s of shooting a compound bow. It will explain techniques for accurate shooting and how to adjust your sight pins for aiming purposes.

In order to start, you will need:


  • a compound bow (  any brand will do)
  • a set of arrows, not cut and fletched according to your manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • a high-density foam block for shooting into
  • a release to save your fingertips


Your body should be perpendicular to the target you were shooting at. When holding a bow. A large key to success is to hold the bow vertical when shooting. Cocking the bow to either side could potentially impact of shots accuracy.

Perpendicular to Target

Also a relaxed, but the secure grip on the bow will eliminate a large amount of the shaking due to nerves. Pulling the compound bow string back can be a difficult task for someone who hasn’t practiced pulling back with the proper force needed to effectively drawback with little to no strain.


With the bow held in front of my body, I am able to draw the string straight back with ease. If you find yourself straining to pull your bow string back, you may have your bow weight set too high. Read your manufacturers manual for proper tuning.


When you feel that you’re ready to begin shooting, remember the basics:

  • Shooting BasicsBody alignment towards the target.
  • Keep the bow
  • Have a relaxed with a secure grip on the bow itself

After you’ve drawn back your bow to aim. Learn a technique that helps you relax and study the bow. For me, I like to take one deep breath in and release the string on the out-breath.


For those of you who are new to the sport, you may be asking yourself how do I aim my compound bow in order to shoot an arrow. It’s very simple in fact – even though there are many different variations of sight pins, the concept should stay the same.

In this instance, I have a green pin separate ten yards which I have shown pointing at the target.

Green Pin 10 yards

When you draw your bowstring back, you should find yourself looking through the peephole on the bowstring at which time your target and pins will come into view.


Once you have mastered this, it’s time to take your first shot.

Your first shot will often not hit the center of your target. Take a few additional shots and see if you notice a pattern forming.  For example, you may find that all your arrows consistently fired a bit high and to the right, around one to three o’clock outside of the target.

In order to dial in my sights, I first must know how to adjust them. Often you must unscrew two nuts in order for the pins to move in either a horizontal or vertical manner.

Before you begin manipulating the pins on your sight, you must determine two things:

  1. Where are my arrow is consistently landing
  2. How do I adjust my pins to achieve an accurate shot

Aiming the Target

When I was aiming at the target, I was aiming right here on the black dot, but my arrows were hitting up here on the red dot.

In order for an arrow to fly true to your sight, essentially, you have to have the black dot and the red dot be one and the same.

The best way I have found to achieve this is to focus on the black dot, which again is where I was aiming it. So if my arrows are hitting about two inches high and about three inches to the right, by slightly readjusting the pin vertically on my bow (for which I have designated at ten yards),  I have now taken care of the two-inch-high problem.


After tightening that nut down, proceed to fix the three inches to the right. In order to achieve that, slightly adjust the pin and bring it to the right. In doing so, the pin and arrow should now line up regardless of where you are aiming on the black.


NOTE: Save yourself time and money, and pull your arrows straight out (not bent to either side) by the shaft and not the fletchings. This will keep your arrows straight for a longer period of time.

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