A variety of aiming techniques for a traditional bow have been tested by many civilizations. Gap shooting is one style has proven to be reliable.
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Gap shooting is one of several aiming techniques for a traditional bow.[/caption]
One piece of equipment fitted to most modern compound bows that increases accuracy is the sight. Using a pin system for reference archers can easily adjust for different yardages and stay accurate. Likewise, traditional archers can develop a reference point on their own traditional bow
to become more accurate. This aiming technique is called gap shooting.
Gap shooting is one of the most popular aiming techniques for a traditional bow because of its ease and accuracy. The basics of gap shooting are incredibly simple. Basically the archer uses the point of their arrow as the reference point like a compound archer would use a pin.
Imagine if you were standing right next to your target and drew back your bow. If you would stare down the shaft you would place your arrow's point in the exact place you wanted to strike the target. Bullseye. Additionally, if you move back to a farther distance, say 40 yards, you will have to once again hover the tip of your arrow over the place you want to hit to be accurate.
Gap shooters learn how far below the target to hover the tip of their arrow at every yardage. The "gap" between the arrow point and the target will become like the pins on a modern compound bow.
One important yardage for gap shooters is called maximum gap
. Maximum gap is the halfway point between your point-on yardage and the target. In the previous example, if your point on distance is 40 yards, your maximum gap would occur at 20 yards. At this distance the tip of your arrow will be farthest below the target.
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This diagram illustrates the gap shooting principle. The orange line is the flight of the arrow. The dashed line is the archer's "line of sight," and the blue line is the gap the shooter will shoot.[/caption]
Gap shooting is the preferred method of outstanding shooters like Rod Jenkins
. Like Jenkins says, if you practice gap shooting long enough it becomes instinctive. Jenkins' accuracy is often unmatched and he has 3 IBO World Championships to prove it. He preaches the advantages to new shooters and coaches young archers.
Howard Hill is another famous archer who used a gap-like system for aiming. Hill promoted using one of the many aiming techniques for a traditional bow other than instinctive shooting. Hill believed instinctive shooters couldn't adjust if they where having a bad day.
Check out this video to get an idea of what gap shooters see.
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