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Getting past target panic: Does your bow fit?

Getting a new bow was not in the plans after the 2019 season. How that changed and why taking the time to find a comfortable, consistent anchor point and proper posture and form with the shot ahead of time helped to really find a bow that fit.

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This Bowtech Revolt X ended up fitting the author best heading into the 2020 season when it came to executing proper form and shooting with the exact anchor point that felt comfortable. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)
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My to-do list last offseason in trying to fully kick target panic never included getting a new bow in the beginning stages.

I had a Hoyt Carbon Defiant for the previous few seasons. There are archers who shoot that bow comfortably and love it, and I was convinced I was going to get past my issues without making another big purchase of a new bow.

If you love your bow, stick with it. Every modern bow out there today can effectively be used to hunt. It’s not realistic for everyone to switch a major piece of equipment like this at the first sign of something going wrong with the shot, but I will explain why I decided to make the switch and how I decided on the Bowtech Revolt X.

My shift in thinking started when I purchased a new resistance release right after the 2019 season . That release -- which activates the shot by pulling through and building pressure rather than punching a trigger -- emphasizes proper form. Part of that meant examining how my anchor point was positioned.

I was shooting a 28.5-inch draw length. That felt fine with my thumb release, but it was too long after switching to the resistance. My anchor hand settled just off the corner of my chin bone.


I went into the bow shop and made some adjustments to the draw length. A 28-inch draw felt good in terms of where my anchor point was positioned, but even that little adjustment in length made the bow feel different as I settled in at full draw.

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String angle -- where that bow string is positioned on your face -- can be impacted by the axle-to-axle length on a bow and adjustments in draw length. When at that comfortable anchor position, my string sat out in front of the tip of my nose just enough to frustrate me.

I brought the bow home and tried to shoot through it by leaning into the string. A month passed and I had major inconsistencies in form and accuracy.

It was at the point where I wanted to at least shoot different bows, but I had to really understand this time what it meant to find a bow that fit me. We hear that all the time when shooting new bows -- buy the one that fits you. But what does that really mean?

Maybe that’s obvious for experienced archers, but it was not for me years ago as someone who was entirely self taught after starting bow hunting after college.

I went in to shoot bows this time without indulging myself in much online information about the different brands. I had owned Bear, Mathews and Hoyt bows in the past and already had my mind made up on those specific models due to marketing before ever shooting them.


This time, my first focus was on really understanding where I wanted my anchor point. Once that was established, it was what bow fit me to shoot with proper straight up and down form where that string perfectly aligned on the tip of my nose and the corner of my lips.

I adjusted to the bow on previous purchases I made instead of understanding that proper form and finding the bow that best allowed me to shoot with it.

This was the first time I ever knew exactly what I was looking for in terms of finding the right fit, and the Revolt X with the 33-inch axle-to-axle hit all the marks.

There is no leaning into the string to find the peep sight. I draw back, anchor, and everything aligns quickly and perfectly. It led to better accuracy and less time maneuvering at full draw. In turn, that meant less anxiety building up in pressure moments during hunting.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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