A Beginners Guide To Archery Anchor Points

Sep 1, 2023Archery Basics

Archery is where focus, technique, and precision converge. Among many techniques, the concept of anchor points stands out as a crucial element. This article is an exploration of archery anchor points, delving into their significance, the array of techniques to master them, and advanced strategies that propel archers to a new level of accuracy and skill.

What Are Anchor Points?

An archery anchor point refers to a specific place on an archer’s face or body where they draw the bowstring to before releasing the arrow. This consistent point serves as a reference to maintain a uniform shooting form and accurate aiming. The main purpose of anchor points is to provide a reliable guide for aligning the bowstring, the archer’s eye, and the target, leading to more precise and consistent shots. Each archer chooses their anchor point based on factors like comfort, body structure, and personal shooting technique. In essence, the anchor point contributes significantly to the archer’s ability to shoot accurately and consistently.

Common Archery Anchor Points

Various anchor points are commonly used by archers to ensure their shots are consistent and accurate. These anchor points act as crucial references for drawing the bowstring and play a vital role in the aiming and shooting process. Let’s explore some of the anchor points that archers frequently use:

1. Corner of the Mouth

This classic anchor point involves positioning the archer’s index finger or knuckle at the corner of the mouth. It’s a straightforward and traditional choice, providing a clear reference for maintaining shot consistency.

2. Under the Chin

Adopting this anchor point, the archer places their index finger under the chin or along the jawline. This particular anchor point is favored by many Olympic archers for its stability and potential to achieve a longer draw length, resulting in increased power.

3. Nose Touch

The nose touch anchor point requires the archer’s index finger to gently touch the tip of their nose. This anchor point emphasizes consistency, ensuring that the archer maintains uniform draw length and shooting form across each shot.

4. Nose On String

Nose on string is where the archer’s nose makes contact with the bowstring during the hold and release process. This anchor point plays a significant role in achieving consistent accuracy and shot placement.

5. Cheekbone Support:

Archers who opt for the cheekbone support anchor point rest their index finger on their cheekbone. This choice provides a stable vertical reference and is often preferred by those who favor a higher draw when shooting.

6. String To Mouth

Many archers make contact with the string at the corner of their mouth for an additional anchor point. However, this depends on the style and design of your bow and your anchor choice.

7. Peep Alignment

A peep sight is a small, circular device inserted into the bowstring, which provides the archer with a consistent reference point to align their eye, sight pins, and target, ensuring accurate aiming and shot placement.

8. Release Hand Contact

Commonly used by mechanical release shooters, this anchor point involves establishing a consistent point of contact between the archer’s hand and their face, usually near the back of the jawbone. It plays a crucial role in achieving accuracy, shot consistency, and a controlled release.

These anchor points offer archers a range of options that cater to their comfort, shooting style, and individual physical attributes. The selection of an anchor point can significantly influence an archer’s ability to shoot with consistency and accuracy. Consequently, discovering the most suitable anchor point is a vital part of shooting with accuracy.

Recurve Anchor Points

Recurve bows, characterized by their traditional design and lack of mechanical elements found in compound bows, rely heavily on anchor points to enhance shooting precision. Here’s a closer look at the anchor points commonly employed in recurve archery:

1. Corner of the Mouth

An enduring and widely utilized anchor point involves positioning the index/middle/ring finger, or knuckle at the corner of the archer’s mouth. This straightforward approach is favored by many recurve archers.

2. Under the Chin

Similar to techniques seen in compound bow shooting, some recurve archers opt for the under-the-chin anchor point. The index finger finds a place under the chin or along the jawline. This choice enhances stability and aids in maintaining a consistent draw length.

3. Nose Touch

Among the anchor points, the “nose touch” method requires the index finger to lightly touch the tip of the nose. The primary goal is to ensure a uniform draw length, which appeals to archers seeking consistent shooting form.

4. String to Nose

Archers using this anchor point align the string with the side of the nose. This tactile reference contributes to alignment and precision during shooting.

5. String to Chin

Similar to the previous technique, this anchor point involves the string making contact with the archer’s chin or jaw. This contact point assists in maintaining a consistent draw length for accurate shooting.

6. String to Corner of the Eye

A more specialized anchor point involves the string touching the outer corner of the archer’s dominant eye. This technique aids in aligning the eye with the sight, facilitating improved aiming accuracy.

Selecting the appropriate anchor point is a deeply personal decision, influenced by comfort, aiming effectiveness, and consistent shooting form. Archers often experiment with various anchor points to identify the one that suits them best. Once established, the chosen anchor point becomes an integral part of the archer’s shooting routine, significantly contributing to shot accuracy and overall consistency. Devoting time to mastering the selected anchor point and honing proper shooting form through practice are pivotal in excelling in the art of recurve archery.

Compound Bow Anchor Points

Compound bows stand apart from traditional recurve bows due to their mechanical components, and this distinction affects how anchor points are established and utilized. Here’s an in-depth exploration of compound bow anchor points:

1. Back Wall

A foundational anchor point in compound bow shooting is what’s known as the “back wall.” This occurs when the archer reaches full draw, and the bow’s cams or wheels create noticeable resistance. This serves as a clear signal to stop drawing and start anchoring. The back wall provides a consistent point for drawing and anchoring, which aids in accuracy.

2. Release Aid Anchor

Many compound bow users employ a mechanical release aid to execute their shots. The “release aid anchor point” involves positioning the release aid against a specific spot on the archer’s face, usually along their jawline. This consistent contact point greatly enhances shot consistency and accuracy.

3. Nose To String

An additional option is the “nose to string” anchor point, where the string touches the tip of the nose. This technique encourages consistency.

4. Peep sight

Along with nose to string, a peep sight encourages consistency by aligning the sight pins with the target. Some compound bows come with a peep sight and others do not. Visit your local bow shop to have one installed or adjusted to you.

5. String To Face

Another choice available to compound bow archers is having the string cross the corner of your mouth. The location on the string depends on your other anchor points, but adds another queue for consistency.

The selection of the appropriate compound bow anchor point hinges on personal comfort, shooting style, and the desire for consistent results. The mechanical advantages offered by compound bows, including the utilization of release aids, empower archers to achieve heightened accuracy by minimizing variables in their shooting form. Ultimately, identifying and refining the chosen anchor point through dedicated practice and repetition are essential steps toward achieving accuracy and consistency in compound bow shooting.

How To Find Your Anchor Points

Discovering your archery anchor points is a pivotal step towards achieving accuracy and consistency in your shooting. Anchor points serve as crucial reference positions that aid in aligning your body, bow, and target, culminating in more accurate and successful shots. Here’s a step-by-step guide to assist you in finding your archery anchor points:

1. Grasp the Fundamentals

Before delving into the process, familiarize yourself with the various anchor points commonly employed in archery. These include options like the corner of the mouth, under the chin, nose touch, and more as we’ve covered.

2. Master Bow Grip and Stance:

Commence by adopting the appropriate stance and gripping the bow correctly. The positioning of your hand on the bow handle and your overall stance will influence your subsequent anchor points.

3. Draw Down:

Draw the bowstring back while maintaining a controlled and consistent motion. This foundational action sets the stage for finding your anchor points.

4. Explore Different Points:

Depending on whether you’re a compound or traditional style archer, your anchor point decisions will vary. Experiment with many of the different anchor points we’ve covered to see what feels most natural and comfortable to you. Take note of how each anchor point feels and the impact it has on your accuracy.

5. Aim and Alignment

As you experiment, concentrate on aiming and alignment. Your selected anchor point should enable you to align the bowstring, your eye, and the target precisely and consistently.

6. Seek Knowledgeable Input:

If possible, seek guidance from experienced archers or instructors. Their insights can be invaluable in identifying any adjustments needed for your form and anchor points.

7. Cultivate Muscle Memory Through Practice:

Once you identify an anchor point that resonates with you, commit to consistent practice. Repetition aids in building muscle memory, enabling you to anchor consistently and intuitively.

8. Embrace Flexibility in Adjustment:

Over time, you might find it necessary to make minor tweaks to your anchor points. As you gain experience, you’ll develop a more profound understanding of your shooting style and preferences.

9. Capture and Analyze:

Consider recording your practice sessions on video. This visual feedback enables you to evaluate your form and anchor points, pinpointing any irregularities or avenues for improvement.

10. Practice and Patience:

Navigating the realm of anchor points requires time and dedication. Cultivate patience as you navigate the journey of honing your shooting technique.

Bear in mind that the effectiveness of anchor points can vary based on individual factors such as facial structure, dominant eye, and personal shooting approach. This journey is uniquely personal, so invest the time and effort to explore, experiment, and ultimately identify the anchor points that empower you to shoot with accuracy and ease.


Archery anchor points are essential for hitting the target consistently and accurately. They combine the art and science of shooting, turning an archer’s skills into a well-orchestrated performance. Different archers have their own anchor point preferences, which make their journeys unique. By trying out different approaches, sticking to what works best, and constantly improving their technique, archers can fully benefit from utilizing anchor points for improved accuracy.

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