People are often confused about the ins and outs of using a right-handed compound bow. How does it differ from a left-handed bow? Is it possible to be a left-handed person and still use a right-handed bow?
What if you’re ambidextrous? Are there any benefits to using a right-handed version over a left-handed version? The list of questions is often confusing for new archers and people looking to decide which type of bow is right for their hunting needs.
Below we are going to answer a few of the most common questions about the right use. We hope we’ve covered your questions too. If not, please let us know and we’ll add further questions & answers at a later date.
What is a right-handed compound bow?
A right-handed compound bow is one that is set up for a hunter to hold in their left hand and shoot arrows with their stronger right side. We each favor either our left eye or right eye and this affects which side one should focus on when hunting.
How do you hold a right-handed compound bow?
To hold such a bow, one should be right eye dominant. Your right hand will be used to draw the bow back ready to fire off an arrow. The bow is held with the left hand, not the right.
The reason for holding the bow this way is because it’s best to use your strongest, dominant hand (which usually matches your dominant eye) to aim and fire the arrow for greater accuracy.
Most compound bows weigh around 3 pounds which isn’t too much to hold in position for a reasonable period of time. It’s also possible to hold it in one hand at the waist level or to wear it over your shoulder in a harness or a special hunting pack when not in use.
How to shoot a right-handed compound bow?
Pull back on the bowstring using your left hand with the arrow slotted into position. Use the stabilizer to steady the bow for the most accurate shot.
Look through the peep sight using your right eye (but with your left eye still open) to check whether you’re firing on a target. When you’re ready, release the arrow to set it on its path.
There are different types of peep sights. Some twists on the string and need to be lined up properly to get used. Rubber donut-shaped ones are more basic, stretch as needed, and avoid twisting uncontrollably.
Once the arm has been fully extended to maximize the draw, the let-off is often around 80 percent for most bows. This means that far less tension is required to keep the full draw in position while finalizing your shooting position and targeting.
Right-handed bow setup?
A bow is setup based on the dominant eye, not the dominant hand
This is a common misunderstanding with bows. With a compound bow, the right-handed version changes where the visual alignment is setup. The side that the arrow is drawn on being the opposite depending on right or left-handed setup.
Any new sights that are attached to the compound bow will also reflect which eye is supposed to be the dominant one and be placed on that side reflecting that.
In the case of a right-handed bow, they’re held by the left hand and will draw from the right hand. Subsequently, both the arrow and the sights the hunter looks down at are situated on the left side of the bow.
The bow stabilizer will also be positioned on the left side where the arrow will be. The arrow rest will also be located on the left position ready for when the arrow is fully drawn.
Furthermore, sights that help judge distance can be noticed on the left side too.
Can a right-handed bow be shot left-handed?
Technically, it is possible to shoot a right-handed bow using your left hand. The reason this is not often done is that the entire configuration of the bow is set up for a right-handed hunter.
Everything from the sights to the arrow rest and stabilizer will all be on the incorrect side for you.
In terms of shooting using the correct form, it’s not possible to adopt the proper stance or shoot properly and consistently when having to work around the misconfiguration of a bow for your use.
When finally buying a bow package that’s appropriate for your dominant eye, it’ll be like having to relearn how to shoot accurately all over again which for a then experienced hunter will be pretty annoying and disheartening.
Therefore, it’s best to learn the right way from the beginning to avoid making life more difficult than it needs to be.
Last update on 2020-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API