By Shane Chuning
I figured this would be a good topic to start your shooting off on the right direction this spring. I see a lot of guys that purchase a new set up and do not have their peep sights in the proper location. This can be a combination of things. One being poor anchor points to begin with or their peep sight is in the wrong location. This could cause various issues, two of them being too much string pressure on your face and the other having trouble holding on target at longer ranges. So I wanted to spend some time discussing these issues.
When you’re at anchor point and you have too much string on your face, this sometimes will cause occasional left and right misses. This would be from inconsistent pressure applied to the string from your face. The more you can keep the string off your face, the better your consistency will be. Don’t take this the wrong way. There are a lot of good shooters that have the string on their face with good success. It is just harder to make that pressure on your face repeatable.
When at anchor point, you want the least amount of pressure possible along with the least amount of head movement to get to those points. A good example of this would be to draw your bow back and keep your head at a 90 degree angle from your target. This keeps your head in line and gives you proper posture while in the shooting position. Now rotate your head down range at the target and see if your nose touches the string. This should be what you are trying to achieve, since the string to the tip of your nose is a very solid anchor point. By sticking with this as a guide line, you will eliminate your head movement while getting to your anchor points and it will also give you better posture at full draw.
When these things don’t line up and you have to make too much movement to the string to get the tip of your nose to contact it, you might want to look at your draw length. It could be long or short, depending on where it lands on your face. For those that are too long in draw length, this is what usually will cause the excess of string contact on your face. The majority of the time I find people shoot too long of draw length just so they can gain the extra speed. Speed will not amount to anything if you don’t have the accuracy.
Another good anchor point to think about would be a kisser button located at the corner of your mouth. Sometimes this will not work due to different axle to axle length, giving you different string angles at full draw. When in this situation you can use it, in fact, I would recommend it. It just makes for more repeatable shooting with your anchor points. This year I have changed mine slightly to accommodate the different string angle. I used to anchor at a certain place on my jaw bone with my first knuckle and have changed that slightly this year also. I currently am using the web of my hand from my index finger to my thumb. This lowered my previous anchor slightly, but works for my current set up. For those that are interested, if you take your hand and make a “C” with your index finger and thumb this gives you a similar shape of your jaw contour. That webbing between the index finger knuckle and thumb fits that contour well. The point is, don’t think you always have to stay at the same spot. This might change from bow to bow. Making a few adjustments may take a little getting use to, but could benefit your shooting in the future and make it that much more consistent.
Now let’s switch gears to peep sight location, they actually go hand and hand. When in the improper location a peep sight will force you to move your head too much and might cause you to have a poor anchor point. It could also make you apply too much string pressure to your face. When following the steps with anchor points above, close your eyes at full draw, not paying attention to your peep, with your bow hand extended parallel from the ground at full draw and with your anchor points in place, open your eyes. This will give you a good starting point for your peep location. Remember while doing this, keep your posture upright and just rotate your head toward the target as mentioned above.
Having your bow hand parallel to the ground at full draw is very important and will help you hold on target better at longer distances. This position should stay constant and you will then just pivot at your hips at different distances. When doing this it will give you a very solid and consistent anchor point. Keep in mind you want very little pressure on the string at your anchor points. I have found this to have the best results for accuracy and consistency. I do see a lot of sights that do not have a gradual increase in their pins. Arrow trajectory is something that can be determined just like ballistics in a gun. So, if the sight pins do not have that gradual increase in their pin gaps, you will know that your anchor points need some attention. I know people that might disagree with this because they feel they have a firm anchor point. But trust me on this, I can print out a sight tape and adjust my pins to it and be very accurate out to 80 and 100 yards with very minimal adjustment, if any at all after that. These are some basic, but yet sometimes overlooked steps that can give you some huge benefits this year in your overall shooting ability.