Hardest lessons to learn in archery – Why does my arrows comes off the rest

I’ve had this question come up a couple of times recently, so I thought I would put a quick reply up now in an attempt to help people out.
“Why does my arrow keep flipping off my rest or bow when I draw up?”
Okay there can be a few reason why this can happen, so I’m going to pick out the three most common ones.
  • Twisting of the bow string.
  • Throwing your bow arm.
  • Damaged rest.
Twisting of the bow string is probably the most common of all reasons the arrow flicks off your bow and occurs normally about mid draw. when you are drawing up.
When you are starting to draw up your hand is gripping the bow string, as you draw the string back you twist or rotate the string, this twisting results in the nock moving and arrow flicking off the rest. So if I explain this from a right handed archers perspective. A right handed archer with the bow held in your left hand, will draw back the string and in the process will twist the string effectively rotating it counter clockwise. This rotation is what causes the arrow to flick off the bow.
A solution to this is to ensure you are not gripping the string too tightly, try relaxing your fingers, before drawing up.
Throwing your Bow arm – Sometimes when people draw up, they end up “throwing” their bow arm, this can be due to you drawing up too quickly or enthusiastically. As you draw up you move the bow arm quickly and then abruptly stop when at full draw, however, the momentum flicks the arrow off the rest. I’ve seen this quite often with young children who are quite excited and energetic in their draw cycle.
The solution is to slow down your draw sequence, being more controlled in the draw, with less rapid movements.
I have also seen both of the above examples being as a result of the archer fighting the bow in some way, possibly because they are over bowed or not comfortable in their draw technique.
Hoyt rest

Hoyt rest on Sharons’ old bow

Damaged Rest – If you are using an arrow rest on your bow it is possible that the rest has become damaged and is no longer holding the arrow on bow. This problem isn’t that uncommon especially if you are using something like the Hoyt plastic super rests.
Close up of Hoyt rest

Close up of Hoyt rest

There is nothing wrong with these rests and I use them on my beginner bows and Sharon used to use these rests on her bows and would often replace them, sometimes in the middle of a competition if she saw it was wearing or damaged.
For this reason it is worth carrying a few spares in your quiver just in case  you need to replace them.
Okay, so these are some very quick tips and advice, I hope this helps and thanks for reading.

Shoot Report – Thornbury July 2013

Before we start

Before we start

This was our first visit to Thornbury which is just over an hours drive from home. Their ground is a mix of deciduous woodland and rhododendron with the course being made up of 34 mixed targets (3D, 2D and paper faces), yes 34 not 36 or 40, as the wood is quite small. Having said that they make very good use of the grounds, and have constructed a number of tree stands or shooting platforms.
Britain has been enjoying somewhat of a heatwave over recent weeks and we wondered if we’d suffer in the heat so had packed lots of water but we found the woodland very cool and not as humid as our home ground of svyf.
Sharon in summer shoot mode

Sharon in summer shoot mode. Look warm weather, with Sharon not in waterproofs

This was no doubt helped by the organisers deciding to drain their pond due to the number of  insects and mosquitoes. Good call in many ways as the pond is right next to administration and catering and think we would have been eaten alive.
This was the first time we had shot in nearly 3 weeks (Hanson being the last time) and it showed, we were both very rusty. In fact I had hardly touched my bow other than to run a couple of coaching sessions the week before. Add to this, that part way round we discovered that Sharons’ arrow rest had broken, we weren’t doing well.
Thornbury was a small shoot by NFAS standard with just over 60 people, which made for a very relaxed and enjoyable day. With only 3-4 on a peg and no forced lunch break time as it was a shoot through, it meant the day flowed well with no hold ups. Our shooting group was made up of Sharon, myself and Pug from Druids club.
We had a great day, with warm but not hot weather and really good company on a challenging and enjoyable course.

Unlike other shoots Thornbury use a public car park at a local leisure centre with a short walk to the wood. This is worth mentioning as the walk is down a main road so please be careful if you attend one of their shoots as drivers by might get a little worried seeing people carrying bows or large knives down the road.

Shot settings were well thought out and there were some truly amazing settings. They really had put in a lot of work.
3D deer

3D deer shot, with you in a hollow shooting along ground

The grizzly bear 3D target looked tiny from on top of shooting stand, but was a reasonable distance just set to challenge.

3D Grizzly bear in the distance

3D Grizzly bear in the distance

In the UK we have foxes in both rural and urban settings, one target was of a fox 3D set to look as though it was rummaging in an overturned dustbin.
3D fox

3D fox at the dustbin

Another was a 3d boar where they had mocked up a pig pen round it with straw on floor.  Top marks guys.
I can not think of any target that was stretched for the distance with some very good use of dead ground.

Though one target was a real challenge which was a toy rubber bat suspended on an elastic line dangling in front of a painted moon. You would shoot it from about 8-9 yards. The only problem was if the breeze caught it, it would spin.

Spinning bat

Spinning bat

Catering was good, basic by some clubs standards but not over priced and filling. Organisation was good too with a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  I think something that helped was they cap shooting numbers at 80ish so they can leave a few empty pegs between groups. This cuts down queuing and hold ups making for a free flowing days shooting.
The grounds are a short walk down a public road from a public car park, so consider this when leaving the car park.

So how did we do? Okay, but not great.  Sharons rest breaking cost her first place and at least  40 points but she still managed 2nd. As for me, well no blanks but too many 2nd and 3rd arrows so only came away with a second place.
As always thanks for reading.