How to Determine Your Arrow Length

Anthony Cote
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Arrow Length and Safety

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), bows should never be used on publicly-owned or leased property without the owner’s permission. The archer should, in all cases, practice safe shooting by keeping a safe shooting distance of at least 100 yards (91 m) when hunting on public land. By advocating only one-quarter of the arrow be above the target and the use of broadheads, archery can help decrease the possibility of injury or death to other hunters and humans by ricochet. Never shoot at animals with speed and power. A professional archer has the knowledge and training to consistently execute a shot that fits its environment.

It is a one-second arc to shoot a three-blade broadhead killing an animal. It is a one and a half-second arc to shoot two three-blade broadheads killing two animals. By choosing the right draw weight and length of the bow you shoot with, you can maximize the amount of kinetic energy you can put into the arrow. This can translate to a successful kill, and even a double kill.

Arrow Length Measurement

When you purchase arrows for a bow you ask the salesperson for arrows that are a certain length. How do they determine what you need? They use a measurement called draw length to determine the length of your arrows. If you don’t know your draw length, you can have it measured by your bow professional.

They will probably ask you to maintain a consistent posture and grip so they can get an accurate measurement. As you draw back do not pause at the top of your draw, but continue an even draw until you have pulled the arrow full way to your ear.

When you release the arrow, it’s natural to drop the bow arm. Have someone gently place his or her hand on the bow toward the front of the bow, to help you maintain the proper draw length as you release the arrow. Measuring your draw length isn’t difficult. But your posture and grip must be consistent.

This will allow you to order the correct size arrows. Arrows that are too long will prevent you from reaching your optimum draw length. They will probably also push your holding point forward, which can lead to physical problems and you won’t get a straight shot. Arrows that are too short will reduce the draw weight of your arrow, which will affect your accuracy.

Quick Calculation

Choosing a bow for hunting is not always as simple as it may seem. The bow is going to be an extension of your own body, and in order to be a successful archer, you need to feel comfortable with the weapon.

That is why it is very important to try before you buy. You need to think about all the aspects of the bow before you purchase it. The first of all you need to decide on which size is right for you. That means shoulder width, physique and height need to be considered. That is not to say that you should never use a bow one inch shorter or one inch longer than your body measurements, but those extra inches can make a difference.

Most hunters need draw-lengths within the range of twenty to thirty-five inches. So you need to decide what you need first and look for a bow which will work best for you.

There are numerous factors which play into the decision of what bow to purchase. It is important to decide on a few things before making a purchase to provide you with the information you need.

What is your draw length?

What is your body size?

What are your bow hunting requirements? (Are you planning on hunting turkey, deer, or both?)

Method 1 – Arm Measurement

Measure your arm by placing a cloth tape measure on the outside of your bicep. Measure from the point where the tape measure would rest on your bicep if you had your arm hanging down straight to the tip of your middle finger.

Measure the distance in inches with a ruler or tape measure and then find the arrow length which corresponds to your size by the chart above.

A. Arm lengths from 23 inches to 26 inches will commonly use arrows of 22 inch length.

B. Arm lengths from 27 inches to 30 inches will commonly use arrows of 23 inch length.

C. Arm lengths from 31 inches to 32 inches will commonly use arrows of 24 inch length.

D. Arm lengths from 33 inches to 36 inches will commonly use arrows of 25 inch length.

Method 2 – Ask a Friend to Measure Your Draw

The second method of determining your draw length is to ask a friend to measure your draw length. This is a relatively easy method that doesn’t require any tools.

Step 1:

Stand upright, hold the bow in the shooting hand.

Step 2:

Your friend should put a string in your bow and then pull out the draw length.

Step 3:

Then your friend should take out a tape measure or a yardstick to measure the distance from the string to the end of the bow.

Step 4:

Your friend should measure that distance from the string to the end of the bow again to confirm.

Step 5:

For your shooting hand only, place the thumb against the inside of the bow’s grip. Place the index finger on the bow’s shelf.

Step 6:

Measure from the top joint of the index finger to the bottom of the bow’s grip. This width should be the same distance as the string to the lower limb of your bow.

Step 7:

Use the top of the GAP of your grip hand as the proper starting point for the bow string when shooting.

With this method of determining your draw length, it is possible to get a minimum starting point measurement.

Method 3 – Draw Arrow

Step 1: Set the distance between the nock point and the throat of bow …. You can use the string to help you position your measuring tape at the right point. Make sure that the distance between the nock point and the measurement tape is exactly the same as between the measurement tape and the throat.

Step 2: Now, mark your measuring tape with a pen to see the correct length. You’ve now got a length you can use to order your arrows online. If you’re lucky enough to have a local archery shop in your vicinity, drop in and ask if they have a set of arrows that do not have weights on them that you can use to get the length.