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The Art of Archery
Part 3 of 5

Now you are ready for the draw. A beautiful style of drawing, much in favor in this country, is to extend the bow arm, arrow undrawn, get a point of aim (to be described later); draw fully; steady on aim, and loose. This is illustrated in the photograph of Mr. Gray used in connection with this article. It is a more difficult style of learning than the orthodox English method, and had better be deferred till the rudiments have been mastered. Then the archer can adopt that style if it pleases.

The usual way is to straighten the left arm downward, and with arrow in place and drawn about six inches to start with, elevate the left arm straight up, gradually and steadily, at the same time pulling the arrow (Fig. 3). When the arrow is fully drawn to the pile, or steel point, the endeavor should be to have the point of the arrow on the point of aim. Then steady on the point of aim for a second and loose (Figs. 4 and 5). The entire operation of drawing and loosing should be accomplished in a very few seconds. Avoid haste and all jerking, but don't make the other mistake of sluggish work, and especially of holding too long on the draw.

Many old pictures show the arrow drawn opposite the right eye. It is doubtful if any real archer ever shot that way. To do so would necessitate an allowance in the aiming, as will be seen later. North American Indians seem to have drawn in a helter-skelter way, generally as low as the waist, and caught an instinctive aim, as in revolver shooting. Their style of shooting, as well as their crude implements, made it necessary for them to steal up very close to their game, all marvelous tales of their marksmanship to the contrary notwithstanding.

Ancient archers apparently drew to the chest, and it was for this reason that the Amazons, according to legend, found their left breasts in the way and had them cut off; whence the origin of their name. Horace A. Ford, the great English archer of sixty years ago, who made incomparable scores, started the practice of drawing to the chin, immediately under the right eye, and that method is now universally followed here and in England, except in a very few cases where archers choose to draw lower, a very difficult style.