How to Aim a Longbow

Updated July 20, 2017

Usually standing about 72 inches high from top to bottom, the wooden longbow has horn knocks to hold the string in place. Eschewing more modern aluminium and carbon arrows for traditional wooden arrows with feather fletchings, the longbow is favoured by many in archery for its simplicity and classic design. While aiming a longbow can be difficult at first, with the use of a simple mark on the upper limb, many archers will shoot more accurately and with greater consistency.

Attach a simple rubber band to the bow roughly 1-1/2 to 2 inches above the grip. This rubber band will act as your mark for aiming.

Align the rubber-band mark on the upper limb of the bow with the middle (dead centre) of the target.

Move your bow's edge close to the right-hand edge of the target with your rubber-band mark at about the height of the target's gold centre.

Draw back on the string in one smooth motion and then release.


When aiming, focus on where the string is aligned. As you draw back on the string, keep it in line with the left-hand edge of the upper limb on the bow. Keeping the string consistently in line as you draw back will ensure your arrows stay in the same area on the horizontal plane. If you find your arrows are going high, you will want to adjust your rubber-band mark slightly upward. If your arrows are gong low, you will want to move your rubber-band mark slightly downward. Aim your longbow so that the left side of the upper limb is to the right of where you want your arrows to land (if you are right-handed). If you are left-handed, do the opposite.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber band
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About the Author

Jeremiah Burt has been working in the field of English since 2001. He is a certified high school English teacher and adjunct university professor. Burt earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Walla Walla University, as well as a Master of Arts in English from the University of Idaho.