Proper archery shooting stance

Shooting accurately starts with the proper form, and that begins with a good stance. From your feet up through your hips and torso, a solid foundation in your lower body will improve your shooting.

Start with an open stance

The “open” stance is a good one for beginners. It’s easy to master and to practice consistently.

An open stance positions yours hips and shoulders in-line with the direction you’re shooting. This perpendicular setup to the target is simple to do.

First, place one foot on each side of the shooting line. Most ranges will have these lines. If not, create your own using tape, a low-profile rod, a section of rope, a broomstick, or even a practice arrow to align your shooting position with the target.

The foot on the side of your bow arm, the arm that holds the bow up while you're shooting, will be in front of the line (toward the target). We'll call this your front foot.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and parallel to the shooting line. Move your front foot backwards about 2 inches and turn it 45° towards the target.

Stand up straight, and rotate your chin so it’s over the shoulder of your bow arm.

Next, flatten your back by moving your hips forward so they are tucked under the upper body. This will optimize stability by relaxing the back, aligning the spine, and engaging your core.

Lower your ribs, chest and shoulders forward toward your stomach. Think of pushing your shoulders slightly down and forward. This will further engage your core.

These same principles, minus the foot placement, will apply if you’re seated in a ground blind for turkey hunting.

The goal is to shoot with a straight back and a fully engaged core in order to maximize stability and develop a consistent stance.

As you shoot more, you’ll find yourself making minor adjustments to your stance, such as widening or narrowing your feet. That’s fine. But once you find the stance that works for you, be as consistent with it as you can.