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Chapter X
Shooting
Part 3 of 5

Now let us pay attention to stringing the bow. To the writer, it has always seemed peculiar that most archers place the lower end of the bow in the hollow of the right foot and notch the string with the left hand. As the majority are right handed, this has always seemed to me to be awkward. However, perhaps I am wrong, as there must be some rather weighty reason why so many do it that way. My own method is as follows: I place the lower end of the bow in the hollow of the left foot, taking care that I place no strain on the horn. I grasp the handle lightly with my left hand, place the flat of my right hand on the back of the bow just under the eye of the string, and exert my weight on the top limb. When this bends sufficiently to allow slipping the string into its place in the top nock of the bow, it is done with the thumb and forefinger. By the way, the fingers never should be allowed to get under the string just at this point, especially if the bow be a strong one. If the string does not cut the fingers, at least the archer will receive a rather painful lesson in stringing the bow.

Some archers recommend the reverse method. While holding the bow in the same manner, this is to grasp the handle firmly and draw it toward you, simply holding the upper limb until the string can be inserted in the nock. There really seems to be very little difference, except I believe less exertion is required as I do it.

A bad habit to be avoided which I have noticed in connection with the stringing of strong bows, is that of placing the knee behind the bow and assisting the hands with it acting as a lever. This will eventually end in destroying the lower limb of the bow, as the bending is not equal.

With the bow strung, or braced, as it is called, we again take up the subject of drawing. Taking his stand before the target and placing the arrow in its proper position, the shaft to the left of the bow and resting on the knuckles of the left hand, and the nock in its proper position on the string, the archer is ready to draw.

Before doing so, it is advisable to take a look at the proposed point of aim. This in order to prevent a search for that valuable aid while holding the bow fully drawn. The point of aim, it must be remembered, very likely will not be the target itself. The beginner will find it a help to have some marker, such as a golf ball, to put on the ground between him and the target, for his point of aim. The placing of this guide will govern the length of the arrow's flight, all other things being perfect.

Raising the bow arm, not with a rush nor yet too slowly, and adjusting the string hand to its proper anchor, and simultaneously turning the bow vertical, the archer sights the point of the arrow until it rests on the point of aim. Then the arrow is released, and if the shot has been well made, presumably goes to the mark. Here are the requisites for a well made shot:

First, the bow arm must not waver at the moment of delivery.

Second, the loose must be a perfect one.

Third, the point of aim must be in the correct place.

Fourth, the arrow must be properly drawn.

With these the archer will have attended to the principal points that go to make good shooting; but he will not by any means have approached any of the refinements requiring attention if he has championship ambitions.

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