First, how to stand. The generally accepted position is facing nearly at a right angle to the target; that is, with the left shoulder pointing at the target. Thus when the bow arm is extended it points nearly straight sideways, and right out level with the shoulder. Actually, the bow hand is held about a foot forward of a direct line across the shoulders of the shooter. Otherwise the position would be strained, especially the neck muscles. We are told that the great advantage of this position is, it minimizes the natural tendency to move the bow arm toward the left immediately upon releasing the string; this being quite a common fault not only in beginners but as well in experienced archers. The result of it is, more arrows pass along the left side of the target than get over on the target or to the right of it.
However, my observation has led me to believe that while this may be the best form it is not absolutely demanded, as sometimes the best archers take the poorest position in shooting, far from the spectacular position which this style of shooting tends to cultivate. Nevertheless, the beginner will do well to adopt this po-sition. Certainly there is none better to recommend.
The beginner will have to practice a great deal to become proficient in making the release, or loose, as nearly the same as the last one as possible. He will do well to use three fingers for drawing the bow, even though most archers feel that the third is somewhat in the way at times, as it seems to take the greater part of the load in drawing the bow up.
Now once more let me mention the anchor. The shooter should early find his own particular anchor, and use it regularly. I reiterate this purposely. Nothing is of greater importance to making progress than to get a fixed anchor and use it regularly. This simply means finding a place as near to directly under the eye as pos-sible where the nock is to be drawn regularly. This in order to give a direct line between the nock of the arrow and the point of aim. This anchor should always be below rather than even with the chin. Practice will soon educate the shooter as to just where it should be.
Most pictures of archers of long ago show the arrow being drawn to the ear or thereabout, but it may be some artist took the liberty to set this style in pictures. It is bad form in archery to-day, for it tends to throw the arrow off the direction desired. Nevertheless, if accurate al-lowance can be made for the arrow being thrown to one side, there of course is no reason why good results should not be obtained by this method. Again, archers have been known to draw the arrow to the chest, in order to get elevation at the longer ranges. The only ob-jection to this method is the draw is liable not to be always to the same precise point. There would be no harm, however, in having a mark of some sort there for the thumb to find.
Some beginners in archery who are familiar with firearms have the desire to look along the shaft in shooting. This is impracticable of course, except at very close ranges. Something is to be said too against closing one eye in order to sight, in holding the point of the arrow on the point of aim. However there is no harm in it if the shooter insists and sees as well with one eye as with two. If he shoots better that way, who can object to it? We must take into consideration that the eyes of no two individuals are apt to be just alike, and we must remember that each archer will surely do best by what best suits his particular case. In shooting at a moving target, as in hunting, then both eyes open should be the better way as the shooter will have a wider range of vision, and perhaps a little clearer. But there seems to be very little sound objection to one-eyed shooting on the target range, except that closing one eye is needless.