How to Aim a Recurve Bow Without Sights? Detailed Guideline 2022

Learning how to aim a recurve bow without sights is an essential skill that you must possess if you want to be a master archer. For an average archer, this feat might seem impossible or only achievable in the movies.

But to an archer that wants to improve on his shooting skills and become center, it’s quite possible.

Techniques to aim a recurve bow without sights

This article will walk you down the different techniques required to help you aim your recurve bow without sight.

How to aim a recurve bow without sights

They include:

  • Instinctive shooting
  • Gap shooting

For better elucidation, we’ll consider each of these techniques singularly.

1. Instinctive Shooting

As the name implies, instinctive shooting relies solely on your instincts. This technique has been used for a long time. It’s quite simple but with some technicalities.

Instinctive Shooting

To achieve a perfect shot with this technique requires a lot of practice. The process of trying many times is a way of training your instincts to align with your muscles and shots.

There’s no sure way to go about this technique as what it requires is just a lot of practice, dedication, and a bit of talent.

But here’s a trick when trying out this technique; all you need to do is focus on your target only, avoid distractions and make sure that all you can see in front of you is your target, blank out everything else.

Once that is done, let your instincts take over. You may not hit your target on the first try except if you’re a natural, but you will hit it if you continue practicing.

Also, the best place to practice instinctive shooting is not on a shooting range. It’s better to go out in the wild where you have varieties of targets and no distractions.

Who said it’s impossible to hit a moving target without sights? When you’re on the field, remember the trick stated earlier, focus on your target, maintain a good stance and let your instincts do the rest.

2. Gap shooting

This method will have you pointing the arrow at the target. That is, after aiming, you’ll make sure that the point of the arrow is directly facing the target, professional archers call this point on.

Gap shooting

Although this method can be mistaken for the instinctive shooting technique, it cannot work on the field. This method is majorly used in a shooting range during target practice.

When employing this method, most archers prefer to keep a distance of 30 yards between them and the target. Others opt to keep about 60 yards.

There’s no compulsory distance to keep, however, keep a distance that’ll make your shooting session successful so all your efforts will not end in futility.

Here’s one thing to note, if you shoot at a distance of 5 yards, the arrow might not hit the bull’s eye but just slightly above it(the Gap above the bull’s eye is what makes it Gap shooting).

So you’ll have to compensate for the Gap in your next shot.  When next you’re aiming, keep a distance of about 4 yards to hit the centre.

Having considered the major techniques required to aim a recurve bow without sights, I’ll also treat the steps to be able to employ these techniques in your shooting style.

1. Ensure your bow is in the right shape

Ensuring that your bow is in the right shape is one important criterion that shouldn’t be overlooked. This constitutes a major part of the success of your shot. Also, a bad bow can cause you to misfire or cause harm to you.

2. Use the best arrows

Obtaining the best arrows facilitates your shooting practice. Pay attention to the materials used in making it and also pay attention to know when the arrow is damaged. Remember safety first.

3. Hold the bow gently

Your knuckles don’t have to be white before you know you’re maintaining a proper grip. Gently place the bow on the palm of your hand and clutch it gently with your thumb and the rest of your fingers.

4. Face the target

Of course! This is non-negotiable. You have to face the target to hit it right? For starters, you have to be within 10 yards of the target to be able to hit it. Then as you improve, you can put more distance between you and the target.

5. Watch your stance

Your stance is an essential factor. You can choose the square stance; this is when you stand facing the target with both of your feet. Or you can try the open stance which is when one foot is facing the target with the other behind it.

6. Nock your arrow

When nocking, take cognizance of the cock vane. Ensure that it’s facing towards you otherwise, the vane will hit the bow thus changing the trajectory of your arrow which might cause you to miss your target.

7. Raise the bow and grip the string.

While raising the bow, do not pull the string yet. Wait till you raise the bow to your shoulder height and while doing this, ensure that it doesn’t affect your stance and your grip on the bow. You can choose to grip the string using the Mediterranean draw or three fingers under.

8. Draw the string to the corner of your mouth and aim.

This process ensures accuracy, It is called the anchor point. What this does is that it creates an avenue where the arrow can be close enough to your eye for a better aim and not too close to cause injury.

You’ll want to align your eye with the arrow and the target. But then, it depends on the shooting technique you’re employing. Nevertheless, closing one eye while opening the other (dominant eye) helps you hit the target with accuracy.

9. Release the arrow and wait till it hits the target.

Release the string softly and carefully to avoid what is called string slap. Watch your arrow fly as it hits your target before you change your position.


If you read through this article, you’ll find that you require no superpowers to aim a recurve bow without sights. All you have to do is understand the different techniques, trust and train your instincts and you’re good to go.

The instinctive and the Gap shooting technique can be used interchangeably depending on the situation you find yourself in. This can only happen if you’re a master of both.