Determining Your Compound Bow Length

In order to realize your full potential as a bowhunter you must shoot a bow that is set to the appropriate draw length. Otherwise, accuracy will greatly suffer. Hunter shown wearing Lost Camo.

In order to reach your full potential as a shooter and a bowhunter it is important to be relaxed and comfortable when executing the shot. To achieve this, the bow must fit you properly; i.e. the draw length must be correct. There are a few methods for selecting your proper draw length, but perhaps the easiest way is to use the “wingspan” method.

The Wingspan Method suggests that you simply stand with your back against a wall, arms spread out, while a friend measures from your middle fingertip (on one hand) to the middle fingertip on the other. Next, take that measurement and divide it by 2.5. This will give you an excellent starting point for finding your proper draw length. However, variations in D-Loop length and axle to axle bow length may require some minute lengthening or shortening of your final draw length measurement.

For example, if your wingspan measurement is 75, divided by 2.5, then your draw length will be in the neighborhood of 30 inches. But, when you add a D-Loop to the string, you will essentially be altering (lengthening) this measurement by as much as ¼ of an inch. If the addition of a D-Loop causes your form to deteriorate, then the bows draw length may need to be shortened just a bit in order to bring you back to your initial measurement.

When dealing with today’s shorter axle to axle length bows, string angles have become more acute, making it a little more difficult for shooters to find their ideal draw length as well as anchor solidly with the string slightly touching the middle of the nose (a popular method used by veteran shooters). As a result, some shooters choose to tilt their face and nose closer to the string in order to achieve this “string to face” connection while maintaining their usual draw length. This can create problems and results in uncomfortable shooting.

bow draw length
The easiest way to find a good starting point for your draw length is by using the “Wingspan” method. Hunter shown wearing Lost Camo.

A better option is to increase your bows draw length in order to bring the string closer to the nose, which will result in a more natural, comfortable shooting posture. Not to mention, arrow speed and kinetic energy will increase as a result of the added power stroke.

You can also experiment with the length of your release-aids connection strap while at full-draw until a comfortable location is established.

Overall, you want to be relaxed while shooting and be consistent in your anchor point….both of which start with choosing the proper draw length.