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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is your set up and how do you aim with a longbow? As I understand it, you aren't allowed to face walk and am struggling to come up with an accurate aiming style.

Thanks.

Alan
 

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I have Hill Longbows and shoot them the very same as a recurve with the exception of the grip. I hold it loosely but different with the bottom two fingers instead of the top index and thumb on a recurve. Any other LB I hold like a recurve.
 

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I shoot a gaping system. Where I use the tip of the arrow to aim.

My best tip is lock down your form at blank bale before you start trying to learn to aim. Masters of the barebow DVDs and Jimmy Blackmons YouTube channel have been huge in helping me learn to shoot. Give them a look. Jimmy has a couple videos where he explains gaping a lot better than I can.
 

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Alan,

I am probably a little bit ahead of you. I have my form settled in pretty good and have finally started working on an aiming system (I have been shooting tournaments with essentially no aiming system other than approximate knowledge of my point on). My coach is teaching me to gap at the bow. I am just starting to work through my first gaps. Unfortunately, I now have to shift from IBO distances, 25 and in, and NFAA, 80 and in. So now it is back to the lower anchor and trying to figure out how to shoot the short shots that worked so well with the high anchor. Unless the formats stabilize across organizations, I will be stuck having to learn multiple aiming systems, at least multiple anchors. I am interested in sharing notes while we both work through this.
 

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Alan,

I am probably a little bit ahead of you. I have my form settled in pretty good and have finally started working on an aiming system (I have been shooting tournaments with essentially no aiming system other than approximate knowledge of my point on). My coach is teaching me to gap at the bow. I am just starting to work through my first gaps. Unfortunately, I now have to shift from IBO distances, 25 and in, and NFAA, 80 and in. So now it is back to the lower anchor and trying to figure out how to shoot the short shots that worked so well with the high anchor. Unless the formats stabilize across organizations, I will be stuck having to learn multiple aiming systems, at least multiple anchors. I am interested in sharing notes while we both work through this.
NFAA is 80yds with a longbow?
 

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I have tried gaping at the arrow with some success but about 2 months ago switched to gapping off my riser. I started out with some colored duct tape and cut 5 thin stripes and placed them on my riser. Find my 10, 15, 20,25 and 30 yard and use specific color for the marked distances. Once I had them pretty much ingrained I take the tape off. If I need a little refresher just tape up again.
 

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I gap off the arrow tip. Others may gap off the riser.

If you are shooting short distances, around 35 yds and less, a high anchor and 3 under will give you an excellent site picture.
 

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I gap at the bow too and some time back I found a forum post attributed to the Warf, Bob Gordon, from back in the day. Very interesting read and that post has helped me a ton. He suggested putting a temporary sight on your bow, sight it in at a specific distance to ingrain that gap, and then work that gap high or low depending on distance. I modified his system slightly to suit my needs but the premise is the same. I duct-taped a toothpick to the front of my riser and set it for 20 yards, pretty much the middle of my normal 3D and hunting ranges. After I got comfortable and confident with it I measured the gap from the top of the shaft to the tip of the pin....exactly 1". I could also instantly see from using the toothpick the small adjustments up or down for distance and how I had to slightly modify that 1" gap to stay in the 10 ring.

I shot it for about a week or two that way and then pulled the toothpick off. It's strange but I found it really easy to visualize that gap, almost like the toothpick was still there, and then make those small adjustments up or down to allow for shorter/longer shots more confidently. Now I use that system for a little while just about every time I make any major adjustments to my rig....

http://tradtalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=75952&postcount=12
 

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For 3D I use a high anchor and 31" arrows to get a 27 yard point on. I basically use 2 gaps: 10 to around 20 is 7/8 inches and over 20 to around 25 is 4 inches.

For Field I drop my anchor about 2 fingers on my face and use full length arrows and get a 40 yard point on. For me it takes a serious system to reach all the targets with one anchor.
 

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Sorry I misunderstood,,I shoot a high anchor and gap off the arrow but from 0-25 I have little change in the gap. I aim about 2 or so inches low at 10 yards.

I think if I were to be shooting seriously past 30 yards or so I might try facewalking if it were legal?

Just changing your anchor is good for about 10 yards of elevation.

Three under middle on eye tooth 0-25
Three under index on tooth 35 or so.
Change to split and index on tooth 45 or 50.
 

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I use and teach what seems to me to be a simpler, more natural approach. Stand erect, cant the longbow and head a bit and make a long draw. Anchor with the side of the index finger under the cheekbone and the thumb below the curve of the jaw. Hold the string as you wish. Start up close and just point the arrow at target center and make a good strong shot. Set the firm goal to hit target center and give the subconscious time to figure out how to do it. Then step back a ways and repeat.

Keep that up until you are accurate to 20 yards. Pay little attention to the arrow in your peripheral vision. Stay at 20 yards or less and refine your form and the tune of your tackle to shoot good groups. Get help with those issues if you can.

Then move back to 25 yards. Beyond that natural 'instinctive' aiming begins to break down so I advise stepping back to 40 or 45 yards and learn to gap aim off the arrow. To reach that far you will have to raise the tip of your arrow up to near your line of sight. Focus on target center but note the elevation or your arrow at each distance. Maybe a foot under at one distance, point right on at another and a foot over at a third. Write that down. Then two under and two over.

At longer distances still use the front of the shelf of your longbow as an elevation reference, over, under and on. Then the rear of the shelf, over, under and on. Write it down.

Now move back to 30 yards, which can be hard to learn. I decided one year to get good at it. I would warm up at 30 each session and cool down at 30 at the end. In time I got good at it, with but little awareness of the arrow.

Now, in a 28 target field round of 112 shots there is only one at 80 yards and two at 70, and most of us often miss them so you can just guess at them for a couple of years. But there are a lot of shots at 55 to 65 yards so you need to get good at them. One distance at a time, keeping notes. Eventually you can learn them all. Then you can practice walk backs, like Steve Morley. One target, one arrow every 5 yards from 10 to 65 yards. In time the aiming becomes largely subconscious at all of them. Then you just focus on target center and make a good strong shot, no matter where you are.

I use these methods and the same sort of tackle for all archery purposes. I have won championships at indoor and outdoor gold center targets, field archery, and 3D. I don't change anything for short range matches or long, or for hunting. I want to be an all round good archer with one method. I have heavier, medium and light setups but they are all tuned to fly to the same trajectories and same sight pictures with just a little variation.

My main longbow setup is 42# @ 29" shooting 500 grain cedar arrows with 100 grain points, three fingers under. Point on at 50 yards. - lbg
 

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LBG,

I certainly agree with the timeframe you say it will take to really learn to shoot all the distances. Too bad I only have about a month, and can only get to the field range on weekends. Well, that is why you will be at the top of the scoreboard, and I will be....having a good time pulling my arrows out of the dirt. Hopefully, there will not be a lot of rocks where we will be shooting. I have to keep reminding myself that shooting longbow this year will make me a better archer. I believe that. I shot my FITA barebow today and it was so easy after shooting the longbow. I had not shot it in quite awhile.
 

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The years you have already put in count. You know how to shoot. You just need to learn your anchor and the sight pictures. Warm up at 30, shoot the close ones by feel. For the midranges tape your notes to your upper limb and refine them as you go. Peel them off on match day.

Do walk backs, and some of your practice at your point-on range. You'll learn a lot in several weeks.

I won't be competing due to age and injury. Hope to shoot with you one day. - lbg
 

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LBG,

With my current setup I am getting about 35 yards PO with my normal low anchor. I got some lighter 3/8 inch arrows from Wapiti that are going a bit further. I am still working on them as they tend to shoot to the weak side. I either have to work on alignment or cut them back a bit. I put one in the wood yesterday and broke it. With either option, 30 does not sound like a problem. My troublesome 30 will be shorter. I would like to get my PO up another 5 yards. The only equipment change I still have planned is some faster strings that Rick Barbee is making me now. I have never been good at short shots. I adopted a high anchor for the IBO shoot and it worked out fine. There is no way I can get away with the high anchor for a field round.

By the way, will you be in Fresno in June?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the responses - it sounds like no one is doing anything really different other than the gap shooting. I was wondering whether people were using much longer arrows than they would for their barebow set up but it sounds like that is not the case.

Anchor with the side of the index finger under the cheekbone and the thumb below the curve of the jaw.
LBG, thanks for your suggestions and I will try this anchor although that is going to add some serious draw length and weight!

Hank, thanks for the details on your experience as well as you are correct we are going along the same experience path with you a bit in front of me - very helpful.

I was starting to get frustrated but I think I was simply expecting too much too quickly. Patience is a virtue!

Thanks all.

Alan
 
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