Merlin archery adventures – instinctive archery

One of the blogs I follow is Archery Adventures which recently became Merlin Archery Adventures. (
Written by Grizzly Jim, it covers articles on equipment and other things of interest to the archery community. One such post that caught my eye recently concerned instinctive archery.I believe I shoot Instinctively, I don’t gap shoot and don’t have sights on my bows. My head tells me where to aim and I draw up. I sometimes get asked how far do you think a shot is and my normal reply is don’t know and I lift my bow arm and say about there.
The fact I don’t gap shoot or consciously know what my point on is surprises many of my archery friends.

I remember talking to one of my fellow club members Stephen a few months back. He was  saying how his point on was I think 43 yards with his new bow. Stephen then asked what mine was. My reply I think surprised him when I said I didn’t know. We went to the range and he had me shoot a few arrows and I explained that when I draw up I’m not looking at the arrow point and barely conscious of the arrow shaft. Instead I’m focused on the target and the spot I want to hit.
This may sound strange especially coming from a coach but it is the way I feel comfortable to shoot.
I just know when I get to a shooting peg and view the target I need to either “aim” below if it’s close,  at it if medium distance or above if further away.
Or as someone once said to me.
“Aim for below the belly, the belly or the rider on top.”
By the way,  some of you may not be familiar with what point on is so here is my definition of point on.
It is the distance at which if you have your arrow tip on the centre of the target when at full draw and released your arrow, the arrow would land in the centre of the target.  Exactly where the arrow tip had been at the point of aiming.

Point-On — The measurement of distance a given bow and arrow will shoot when an archer sights the tip of his arrow upon the point of aim and hits that target. (
Gap shooting is another process that some use. The archer judges the distance and knows through practice that at say 24 yards thet have to aim 4 inches below where they need to hit. That’s the gap above or below the target the archers aiming for
In reality I think most people are somewhere between instinctive and gap shooters. Next time you are out shooting give it some thought and ask your fellow archers.

As always thanks for reading and if you get the chance check out his blog.