Primitive Archer

Main Discussion Area => Shooting and Hunting => Topic started by: Kenneth on November 23, 2021, 10:13:57 pm

Title: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Kenneth on November 23, 2021, 10:13:57 pm
I am suspending my hunting until I get this ironed out and perfected. Does anyone anchor on the side of the face rather than directly under the eye? I'm a right handed shooter. Up till now I have pre-aimed the arrow with a set bow arm, then drawn to the corner of mouth with a totally vertical bow. Everything was in line with the arrow under my eye. The vertical alignment took care of windage for the most part. I then focused on target center, held full draw for a couple seconds, and released. I used mostly instinct to get the elevation right. So the shot was somewhat instinctive. I decided to make some changes, since I wanted to use the gap to aim after achieving full draw. I learned that the corner of mouth anchor point was not ideal for this since it puts the arrow point a little too low, making aiming difficult, since the gaps are large. So I tried a higher anchor point, but still under my eye. I use split finger. The new anchor point was with index finger just under eye. It didn't seem comfortable or consistent. I don't want to give up split finger. It seems like everyone is doing the three under method, from all the internet resources I was looking into.

So I decided to try anchoring on my cheekbone, just outside of the line of sight. The shot method involves me pre-aiming just as I did before, with the bow arm set out and pointing the arrow at what looks like the right gap. I then draw and anchor middle and index fingers to the cheekbone, with the drawing hand tucked against the face. I make sure the draw is locked in with good back tension holding it. Now the sight picture is different though. The arrow comes across from right to left, with the tip of the arrow oriented to the left. It looks odd compared to the old sight picture. I still hold the bow vertical. I place the arrow tip under the target at the right gap, then I release. The draw length was the same as my old style so that worked out. I noticed my windage was affected though. My arrows were hitting right a lot of the time. I was able to correct this by tilting my face to the left instead of leaning it into the string and over the arrow, as I used to do. I think my whole alignment had to be different to accommodate this style.

Apparently Joel Turner of Shot IQ shoots with a thumb ring and he anchors on the side of his face as well. He described this sight picture in a Youtube video he did with Clay Hayes. This is the only resource I have found describing someone shooting this way. I know that normally, English longbow/warbow shooters draw to the side of their face, but normally they don't hold long and I've heard their shots are made instinctively. Is it reasonable to gap shoot while anchoring on the side of my face? Things I know work for me so far: vertical bow. pre-aim with set bow arm. split finger. A consistent pause and hold at the end of draw to allow aiming. The anchor point is up in the air.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Morgan on November 23, 2021, 11:56:41 pm
I believe that it is a linear thing,  if you are using the point of the arrow to aim with, the nock has to be in line with eye and point in order to not have to make Windage adjustments. The most accurately I can shoot is three under with middle finger on eye tooth and fletching just touching my nose. When this happens, everything is lined up for me. Split or three under, if youíre eye isnít over the nock sighting down the shaft, I think youíll have to figure out your windage hold as well as elevation gap for your chosen anchor in order to have repeatable accuracy.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Pappy on November 24, 2021, 07:55:33 am
I anchor middle finger in the corner of my mouth, I am not a tube shooter or point of aim shooter so no need to anchor right under my eye. :)
 Pappy
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Pat B on November 24, 2021, 10:30:29 am
Like Pappy I also draw to the corner of my mouth but I don't even consider the arrow but concentrate of where it will go. With a lot of practice that muscle memory and hand/eye coordination gets it there. I consider my style as instinctive.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Kenneth on November 24, 2021, 02:26:11 pm
I've tried to make instinctive work for me, I read the G. Fred Asbell books and worked on technique. Once my form was down my shooting got a lot better. I've had those moments where I directed my eyes right in the center and hit a quarter sized spot, but I just can't make that happen with consistency. On a nice day I might go outside and hit the target over and over, but on a cold day or if I'm tired or its a little dark or any other number of setbacks, its always a question if I'm going to hit the mark. It seemed like i do better if I use the exact same bow and arrow together. Problem is I do like to shoot with several different of my bows which vary up to ten pounds difference and the arrows, while they are all the same length, they vary in weight. I also noticed on the longer shots like out to twenty five to forty yards, I was using the arrow to aim and line up the shot. I would like to use the arrow to aim all the time since it takes away the question of am I doing the right thing. Im not saying I think instinctive is bad but I'm just not one of those people who can do that. I need something solid to lean on like a reference point. Today I tried a couple things. I brought the anchor point in just a little bit so my middle finger is just under my eye, on the cheekbone. The arrow is still not aligned under my eye, but I've found that as soon as I start anchoring up my face away from the corner of the mouth, the angle changes and the arrow is no longer aligned under my eye. Maybe this is my facial shape. So to deal with this I tried to open up my posture so I am more perpendicular to the target and instead of closing my left eye, i left it open. This seemed to make the difference and I stopped having problems with windage. I was able to make this high anchor point feel very comfortable and natural and for the first time today, I was shooting between ten and thirty five yards and I was able to control the shot and correct by moving the arrow tip up or down in the sight picture. Hitting the mark didn't come as a pleasant surprise or thrill like with instinctive but instead felt like a result of changing where I was aiming the point. I do like this control.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Kenneth on November 24, 2021, 02:29:42 pm
I believe that it is a linear thing,  if you are using the point of the arrow to aim with, the nock has to be in line with eye and point in order to not have to make Windage adjustments. The most accurately I can shoot is three under with middle finger on eye tooth and fletching just touching my nose. When this happens, everything is lined up for me. Split or three under, if youíre eye isnít over the nock sighting down the shaft, I think youíll have to figure out your windage hold as well as elevation gap for your chosen anchor in order to have repeatable accuracy.

I think you're right I had to visibly make sure the arrow point was lined up under or on the target today. I don't think it was a bad thing though.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Kenneth on December 03, 2021, 04:21:30 pm
Just logging some thoughts here. Overall I found strictly using the gap to be awkward and stilted. I found myself using instinct to find the gap anyway. I was not literally going to try to measure in inches or something. Staring at my arrow tip and trying to visually line it up perfectly at the end of the draw is not seeming to be something I want to keep doing. But I do like the higher anchor point, just under my eye socket. So today I reverted back to my former method of pre-aiming by visually lining up the tip, then keeping bow arm stiff and fully pointed at the target, I drew back to anchor, and settled into good back tension while I fully focused on the target. I took a breath in and released. The only thing I did differently was the high anchor point. I was making good hits out to twenty yards. I think instinctive is going to be it for me. I've been working on it for awhile so might as well stay on that path
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: StickMark on December 03, 2021, 11:14:05 pm
like some have mentioned, I do best when I focus on the spot. Tried the aiming and vertical bow, low anchor, and well, those deer are still alive, lol. no one told me stickbow hunting could be so dynamic.  :D

Wearing glasses, there are issues with edge of lens vs center of lens and the arrow tip. I do best with a quicker tempo. Sorta of "shoulder blades together (just enough, not fake), admire target," and then arrow is dead center....always...of course.

I tried three under, but shot split when the deer came in...missed. Two mixed messages. Instinctive is about one.
Larry Hatfield on other trad sights said something like he had to quit reading anything about shooting for two years, as it messed him up...I am like that now.
Like you, I am getting back tension, and so there you go.

The instructor in Zen and the art of Archery, what did he say? "One man, one arrow, facing a blizzard"   that is when I shoot best.



Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: PaSteve on December 04, 2021, 06:19:15 pm
 I think you'll get dialed in better with the higher anchor point. About 15 years ago I had a pretty bad degloving injury to my drawing hand. Long story short.... After microscopic tendon repair and 6 months of rehab therapy I finally had the strength to pull a bow back again. Problem was I didn't have good control of my fingers so I shot 3 under until I got good control of my fingers back. I noticed my accuracy had actually improved but didn't like shooting 3 under. Loud & it just felt unnatural. I realizd (I'm not the quickest learner) 3 under brought the arrow closer to my eye...hence the accuracy improvement. I decided to raise my split finger anchor point to mimic 3 under placement and viola..... My accuracy improved and I could go back to split finger. So, a higher anchor point helped my split finger accuracy and I've been shooting instinctively that way since. Hope you find what "works best for you"
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Kenneth on December 04, 2021, 10:09:51 pm
like some have mentioned, I do best when I focus on the spot. Tried the aiming and vertical bow, low anchor, and well, those deer are still alive, lol. no one told me stickbow hunting could be so dynamic.  :D

Wearing glasses, there are issues with edge of lens vs center of lens and the arrow tip. I do best with a quicker tempo. Sorta of "shoulder blades together (just enough, not fake), admire target," and then arrow is dead center....always...of course.

I tried three under, but shot split when the deer came in...missed. Two mixed messages. Instinctive is about one.
Larry Hatfield on other trad sights said something like he had to quit reading anything about shooting for two years, as it messed him up...I am like that now.
Like you, I am getting back tension, and so there you go.

The instructor in Zen and the art of Archery, what did he say? "One man, one arrow, facing a blizzard"   that is when I shoot best.

I found out I only hit the target when I really focused on it today. I canít do the quick shots though, I have to hold for a couple seconds or the shot is poor. I think i need time for my subconscious to get dialed in.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Kenneth on December 04, 2021, 10:12:13 pm
I think you'll get dialed in better with the higher anchor point. About 15 years ago I had a pretty bad degloving injury to my drawing hand. Long story short.... After microscopic tendon repair and 6 months of rehab therapy I finally had the strength to pull a bow back again. Problem was I didn't have good control of my fingers so I shot 3 under until I got good control of my fingers back. I noticed my accuracy had actually improved but didn't like shooting 3 under. Loud & it just felt unnatural. I realizd (I'm not the quickest learner) 3 under brought the arrow closer to my eye...hence the accuracy improvement. I decided to raise my split finger anchor point to mimic 3 under placement and viola..... My accuracy improved and I could go back to split finger. So, a higher anchor point helped my split finger accuracy and I've been shooting instinctively that way since. Hope you find what "works best for you"

Thanks I do like the sight picture with the higher anchor. Iíve never tried three under and since I sometimes shoot strings I havenít tied a nock point onto yet, I never will, I want the freedom to stay more simple
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Kenneth on January 14, 2022, 05:01:07 pm
Just logging some more of my work on this. I have gone back to using the arrow tip as a reference in the sight picture. I found I was unable to ignore it making longer shots like thirty yards. At thirty yards I just put the point right on the target. At closer than thirty yards I am not physically aiming the point but instead I'm just watching it in my sight picture and letting my instincts hold it in the right spot. So my sight picture consists of watching the target and the point of the arrow together.

I have also added a secondary anchor point which is my thumb knuckle touching just under my ear. So my middle finger is anchored just under my cheekbone and my hand lays along my face, and the thumb knuckle goes under the ear. This required me to tilt my head down just slightly which seems to be fine. I can get to this anchor as quick as I need, as long as i tilt my head into it.

I have also added a mental shot trigger which is something wrapped around the arrow shaft which touches my bow hand finger (using paper tape right now, since I was adjusting it). So I played around with this and found that my actual draw length was not 27", which is what i've been building all my bows to, but instead its 26". And i tried this with two different weight bows. So I made a raised tape spot just a hair in front of 26". I point the bow at the target, pull it to the anchor point and lock it into back tension, then check the sight picture, then I increase back tension until I feel the tape touch my finger, which triggers my release. From anchor to release I'm probably taking two to 2.5  seconds. The thirty yard shot might have been around four seconds with trying to put the arrow tip right in target center. Plus I am not good with longer shots (long for me).
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: BowEd on January 15, 2022, 07:42:31 am
All I can say is you'll have to settle in on a certain way of shooting for yourself and stick to it.To the point that it becomes subconscious memory.
Thinking about too many things while shooting is'nt good.It takes away from the focus.The target.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Kenneth on January 15, 2022, 09:24:40 am
All I can say is you'll have to settle in on a certain way of shooting for yourself and stick to it.To the point that it becomes subconscious memory.
Thinking about too many things while shooting is'nt good.It takes away from the focus.The target.
Yea I know what youíre saying. I was hearing some info that the aim and release can be subconscious so the shooter can focus on shooting a perfect shot with good form and good back tension. Apparently the eye and brain can adjust the aim for the shooter so you donít have to consciously think about it. So Iím working on shooting a controlled shot cycle from draw to release while not thinking of  the aim and the release
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Mesophilic on January 16, 2022, 12:03:03 pm
I've tried all kinds of things and have come to the conclusion that I'm an instinct shooter.  Mostly it's  my eye sight.   If I wear my glasses I can't really see the arrow point.  If I don't wear my glasses I still cant really see the arrow point.  And if I focus real hard on the arrow point then I can't see the target.

So my draw cycle goes like this.  Concentrate on the target.   Shift my focus from the target to looking down the shaft as I draw.  About midway through the draw, I shift back to focusing on the target.  Pause at anchor for just a fraction of a second and release.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Pat B on January 16, 2022, 12:23:14 pm
Meso, try just concentrating on the target and not at all at the arrow. Let your brain take care of everything else besides concentrating on where the arrow will go.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Mesophilic on January 16, 2022, 05:59:43 pm
Thanks, Pat, I have done that a lot in the past but somewhere along the line I discovered that a brief focus on the shaft during the initial part of the draw gets my elevation and distance more correct.

I think I'm going to put on some pants and shoot in the yard for a bit,  not worry about accuracy, just technique and focusing on the target only.   See how it goes.

ETA: groups opened up a bit.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Kenneth on January 22, 2022, 05:48:14 pm

I made another small change and this was the tilt of the bow. Formerly when I shot instinctive I was shooting with the bow perfectly vertical, with the string bisecting the arrow. With my corner of the mouth anchor, everything was perfectly in line left and right, so I never had to worry about windage. All my shots were perfectly in line left and right, although I had issues with elevation, especially out past 15 yards. I just focused on the target center and executed a good shot. Now, with the higher anchor, which I implemented to gap shoot and aim the arrow, I have lost that in line arrow. Since I now draw to my cheekbone/thumb in ear, the nock end of the arrow is off to the right, instead of being lined up straight. So Iíve noticed my shots going left more. Also, I felt cramped up trying to shoot a vertical bow with this anchor. So today, I tried tilting the bow to around 45 degrees. For one, it really let me get the anchor more comfortably. Then I noticed with the canted bow I was able to line up the arrow so it appeared straight. Iím still playing around with it. Come to think of it, I donít think thereís many shooters who anchor off the side of their face who donít tilt the bow to some degree. Anyway, today I feel that I solved some issues. If anyone has thoughts on the tilted bow I would love to hear.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: SDBurntStick on January 25, 2022, 07:30:27 pm
I will say, I never thought that I would be able to accurately shoot instinctively but through shooting enough and consistently, it all just comes together eventually.  I have never been able to accurately gap shoot or line up the arrow because I'm left eye dominant but right handed.  I never tried shooting left handed and just seemed to awkward so I just stare at what I want to hit and shoot.  Sounds like you are getting it all figured out.  What works for you is most important but that's the fun is figuring it out.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Pat B on January 25, 2022, 11:27:32 pm
The nice thing about instinctive shooting is eye dominance doesn't matter. Your brain figures it out.
When I started shooting Trad I bought and thoroughly read G. Fred Asbell's, INSTINCTIVE SHOOTING. From there I shot lots of arrows and tried to make each arrow count. I shot 50 to 100 arrows a day for a year. That got my muscle memory and hand/eye coordination in sink so after that a dozen or 2 arrows a day was enough to keep me in shape, physically and mentally.
 When I'm shooting I don't think about the bow or arrow but concentrate completely where the arrow WILL go.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: BJung on February 06, 2022, 12:33:38 pm
I think archers all have their own way of shooting a bow and for most learning, it changes over time as we discover something that works best for us. For me, I think of instinctive shooting as being like baseball. The ball does not fly straight at the target unless it's at close range. After that you have to arc the ball and lean back. The bow is a machine that was invented to throw miniature spears.

To find my anchor point, I hold my arms at full draw without the bow. The crease in the web between my thumb and fore finger fits snugly under my right jaw while my drawing elbow is directly behind me and if there were a rod, it would run straight through my bow arm. Then, I practice form with my eyes not looking at the target to develop a habit of my form so I don't have to think about it. I don't like thinking about the string tension on my fingers so I reverse the pressure onto the bow and direct it to the path of the arrow. This might be towards the target or above it depending on the distance. As I've learned from a pistol shooter, the right sight picture tells your fingers to (in the case of archery) relax your grip on the string so it pulls free. You don't tell your fingers to relax, you're in the release mode and when you see "right sight picture" you release.
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: bradsmith2010 on February 27, 2022, 02:35:55 pm
what BowEd said,,and you will never get it ironed out, its always a work in progress
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Kenneth on February 28, 2022, 01:20:53 pm
Iíve gone through some different methods and ways and I have learned that there are some things my body wonít even allow. Since beginning the high anchor in late November and developing shoulder pain in my draw shoulder it became clear that was a very stupid thing to continue doing when it felt uncomfortable even shadow drawing feels uncomfortable!!! When I anchor like that. No, I have a long neck and my back cannot get fully in and take the strain when my shoulder is lifted so far up out of a straight lineÖ so I am back to the old and very comfortable lower jaw anchor, which in turn once again allows a vertical, totally upright and in line bow and head position, arrow aligned directly under the eye, with string picture included. The gaps are going to be larger but Iím shooting a 700 something grain arrow which is about four inches longer than my draw out of a fifty pound bow so thatís gonna help. Once my shoulder feels better Iím going to get out and see how these gaps play outÖ meanwhile Iím playing with shooting left handed a little bit just because itís hard to go without flinging some arrows
Title: Re: Sight picture and anchor point
Post by: Gimlis Ghost on February 28, 2022, 03:45:14 pm
I found that my neck won't allow me to turn my head far enough to hold my bow hand and arm far enough back to get a comfortable sight picture using right eye only. This also caused my draw to be short at times.
Not something that can't be over come but it requires conscious effort.
Keeping both eyes open helps, otherwise I'd have to hold my head down to see past my nose, which is odd since I have a rather small nose.