A Complete Breakdown Of What Archers Do And How They Do It

If you ever wanted to know what archers do and how they do it then stick around. By the end of this article, you will have the answer to your question and much much more.

Here is a concise description of what archers do:

Archers use a bow to propel an arrow at high speeds toward the desired target. The target can be a traditional circle, with a smaller circle in the middle which all archers aim to hit or it can also be a forest animal if we are talking about bowhunters.

What Do Archers Do?

The main job of an archer is to use the bow at his disposal to propel the arrow toward the target as accurately as possible in order to achieve the desired result.

There are different types of archers that can be divided based on which sub-division of archery the archer operates in.

Archery, in general, has a few subcategories:

  • Target archery
  • Bowhunting
  • 3d archery
  • Field archery

Target Archery

An Example of Indoor Target Archery

This is the most popular and well-known of the categories. It’s the one you have most likely seen.

In Target archery, the archer stands in front of the target that is between 20 and 70 yards away and fires arrows at the target.

The target is a big circle with a smaller circle in it and a smaller circle in that one. It looks like this.

(show picture).

Each circle brings you a certain amount of points.

The main job of an archer is to hit the smallest circle since it brings you the most points.

So, archers shoot a set of 6 to 12 arrows and they add up the score. Based on the score they know how well they are doing.


Bowhunter in the wild

The purpose of bowhunting is to use the bow to propel the arrow toward an animal in order to kill the animal quickly and as painlessly as possible.

That is the job of a bowhunter.

Bowhunters tend not to compete. They might hunt in a team but there are no official competitions similar to the ones you find in target archery.

3D Archery

3d Archery

3d archery is similar to target archery but instead of stationary circular targets, you target 3D replicas of animals made from foam and plastic. The targets are stationed in an outdoor environment, most often a forest.

It’s the closest thing to bowhunting, without actually harming animals.

Field Archery

Field Archery Target in the Wild

Field archery is the discipline where an archer moves through an outdoor archery course and shoots circular targets from varying distances and at varying elevations.

It’s loads of fun. Once you get halfway decent at archery, by shooting at your local archery range I strongly advise you to try it out.

You will love it.

In every category the purpose is similar. An archer uses the equipment he has to propel the arrow toward the target.

So, now let us take a look at the archer’s technique. How they shoot a bow and how you can do that safely as well. Here are the step-by-step instructions.

How To Shoot An Arrow With Your Bow?

Here is the step-by-step guide on how archers shoot an arrow.

  1. Stand on the shooting line, with the left side of your left pinky toe on your left leg directed towards the target

Like this.

Standing on the Shooting Line

2. Get into the correct posture. This means a straight-back, relaxed posture with your head turned towards the target. Your left hand is holding the bow on the ground while your right arm is free and loose.

3. Take the arrow out of your quiver with your right hand and nock it on the bowstring.

Example of Nocking the Arrow

This means you take the arrow and place the tip of the arrow on the arrow rest on the left side of your bow, while the back of the arrow is attached to the bowstring.

4. Place your right index finger above the nocked arrow and your right middle and ring fingers below the arrow. Grip the bowstring with these three fingers.

Like this.

The Mediterranian Draw

5. While the three fingers of your right hand are gripping the bowstring, you raise the bow with your left hand and extend your left arm fully.

Raising the Bow Off the Ground

6. With your left arm fully extended and holding the bow, you pull the bowstring back with the three fingers from your right hand.

Like this …

Drawing the Bow

7. You aim the bow and release the bowstring with your three fingers.

This is a basic seven-step process for right-handed archers. For left-handed archers simply reverse change right to left in the process and vice versa.

Now, lets move to the benefits archery brings you if you decide to do it.

What are the Benefits of Archery?

The benefits of archery are how it helps you develop your upper body strength and your ability to focus and tune out distractions.

For a more in-depth breakdown check, this article where I list out every benefit archery brings you.

Now let us proceed to the equipment the archers use.

So What Kind of Equipment Do Archers Use?

Archers use the following pieces of equipment:

  • A bow
  • Arrows
  • A target (a place where you can shoot safely)
  • A forearm protector (guard)

A Bow

The Bow is the main piece of equipment for an archer. Beginners tend to start with a recurve bow, they tend to be cheap and if you feel the need you can upgrade to a composite bow.

The main thing to pay attention to the bow is to pick one that suits you. As a beginner, you start a bow that has a bowstring that you can easily pull back.

That’s called having a low draw weight.

You are training and your form is more important. After a while, you upgrade to bows with bigger draw weight.

Your arrows will fly a lot faster as a result.

There are some other forms of bows but I will make a detailed breakdown of bows a little later on.

You can get basic archery set for beginners by clicking here, it will take you to Amazon where you can find cheap bows for beginners you can buy to get started in archery.


Arrows are the projectiles archers use to hit their targets. There are countless variations of arrows.

The modern-day arrows are made from fiberglass, aluminum, carbon fiber, and carbon aluminum mix.

Any archer would do fine to start with fiberglass arrows and proceed from there to aluminum ones.

For a more detailed breakdown of which arrows you can choose and why click here.

A Target or a Safe Place to Shoot

This one is pretty straightforward. You are not allowed to shoot anywhere. Contact your local archery range and practice there.

Some people advocate shooting in your own backyard. I highly advise AGAINST doing that.

Not worth the trouble it can cause you.

Forearm Protector

How a Forearm Protector Looks Like

This one is a must.

If you get tired or simply if you have a sloppy form it can cause a string slap. It’s an archery “thing” where the bowstring repeatedly slaps the forearm of the arm which is gripping the bow.

It can cause nasty bruises. Trust me.

So the forearm guard is a cheap way to avoid the discomfort string slaps can cause you.

The Rest Of The Equipment

That’s it. Now the issue is, most archers add a few things to it.

Most notably archery gloves or a finger tab.

The main purpose of a glove and a finger tab is to protect the fingers on the bow-drawing hand.

While the draw weight of bows can range from 30lbs to 70lbs it is still quite taxing on your fingers repeatedly draw the bowstring with your hand dozens of times every practice.

So definitely find a way to protect your fingers.

In Conclusion

Archers use a bow to propel the arrow toward the desired target. That is their job.

If you are wondering if archery is fun then check this article out. The short answer is yes. Yes, it is.

Obviously, since I’m running an archery website I’m a little biased (just a little).

And if you ever wondered how much it costs to start practicing archery then go here. You will see a breakdown of the costs down to the exact price tag.

Thank you for reading, it’s always a pleasure having you here with me, and thank you for staying until the end, and feel free to browse around the site for more articles.

Take care

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