Instinctive Aiming Method

Instinctive Aiming Method: Simple and Easy Guide

Have you ever wondered how you could take your archery to a new level? Well! Instinctive archery might be your gateway to becoming a more experienced archer. 

Undoubtedly, instinctive aiming might sound like a huge rock in front of you. Like how can you make shots without any sights?

In this article, I will take you through this simple yet effective process of transforming you from a modern archer to a traditional one. So, let’s dive deep into it.

What Is Instinctive Archery?

It is the oldest form of archery that traces back thousands of years old history of archery. Instinctive archery means aiming at your target while using your instinct alone and making the shot. You do not need pin sights, peer sights or scopes to hit your target. Impressive, right?

So, if you want to master traditional archery with an archer and a bow, then, we will provide you step by step guide. There are usually two types of archery of this type.

  1. Instinctive aiming
  2. Gap shooting

Instinctive Aiming vs Gap Aiming

In both types of archery, the archer makes shots without a sight. The only difference is that in gap shooting, you could judge the distance and adjust their stance to make their shoot.

Mentally Prepare For Archery

If you are a new or experienced archer, instinctive archery is one of the best forms of reaching a higher level of archery. This type of archery is purely based on your muscle memory which you can only master if you practice it with consistency. 

There are some tips and tricks that you need to follow to become experienced with traditional archery. It may sound complicated. But, just sticking to a routine with these techniques will result in great success for this form of archery.


One of the most important elements in any form of archery is the way you stand when taking the shoot. It is very crucial that you have a correct stance so that you can make successful shots, even if you are practicing traditional or modern archery.

Tips For The Correct Stance

  • You have to stand at 90 degrees to your target while your opposite foot should directly be in line with your target.
  • Your body stance should be sideway facing the target.
  • Your feet should be at least shoulder-width separated, or your shooting line should be parallel to your feet.
  • Other techniques include standing at the straight right angle of your target and shooting from there.

However, the more effective techniques are the ones that you feel comfortable performing. And, you can only learn about these techniques by practicing.

Proper Nocking And Gripping The Bow

In archery, every small step is crucial for making the best instinctive aims. Learning, how to properly nook your arrow is important for your aim. Accurate shots also depend on your grip on your bow. 

Your bow should rest on the pad of the non-dominant hand’s thumb. And, try not to squeeze your bow too hard, as it could twist inward or injure you.

Some of the archers also use Mediterranean drawings where you use an index, middle, and ring finger. This Mediterranean draw is mainly of two types.

  1. Shoot the split-finger where the archer uses the index finger above the arrow but the middle and ring finger below the arrow.
  2. Three under fingers where the archer uses three fingers all under the arrow.

In gap shooting, it is a common practice to use the three-under technique as the arrow is much closer to your eyes, allowing you to practice more accurate shots. In instinctive aiming, you can use any of the above techniques that work satisfactorily for you.

Taking The Shots

After adjusting the arrow and bracing the stance, the next thing you want is your arrow to hit your target. It sounds simple. But, instinctive aiming requires a lot of practice to allow your muscle memory to work for you. You need to concentrate intensely on the aim, blurring everything around. Then, make a shot.

It can be possible that you may miss your shots. But, a key to succeeding is never giving up. You need to train your brain to work instinctively with rhythm, according to your need. This is not easy. 

Becoming an instinctive archer takes a lot of work on concentration and your shot sequence. Yet, with time, these drills will improve your accuracy.

Your Shot Sequence

If you want to become an expert in instinctive archery, then you need to focus on your shot sequence. These are steps that lead to an accurate shot. Thus, a number of actions, such as setting your stance, holding your bow, aiming for your target, releasing your arrow and hitting your target, affect your aim.

Religiously following your routine would allow you to develop strong muscle memory. That is the key to instinctive shooting. To master it, you need to do tons of practice every single day. Only this could allow you to make shots without sight.

Get Started With Instinctive Aiming

This type of archery can be challenging in the beginning because you are subconsciously used to modern hunting. Or, if you are a complete beginner in the world of archery, then it may seem impossible. Therefore, it is advisable to start with classic shooting, which includes all gears and sights.

After getting used to archery and developing a proper shot sequence, start practicing instinctive shooting. How can you do that? Try removing sights from your bow from time to time. This will develop some familiarity in your mind about hunting without a sight. 

With time, you will become comfortable with this new form of traditional hunting. Eventually, you could start instinctive aiming only. And, you can take archery to the next level.

Exercises For Instinctive Aiming

It can be possible that you might feel excited and wants to start instinctive aiming with long-range shots. But, wait! 

It is necessary for you to understand that this activity might discourage you from this type of shooting if you can not hit on target. Therefore, it is more suitable to initiate with a close range, like five yards.

Once you hone the instinctive aiming on that range, try to move backwards and increase your range distance. By doing this drill, you will feel more capable of performing instinctive aiming and have sounder chances of making accurate shots.

You might want to get into its more technical side. By judging the distance, understanding the path of your arrow and your stance angle, then you could give gap shooting a try. But at the end of the day, both types will deliver the same results.

Subconsciously you will develop this instinct of aiming perfectly, without sights. And, with time, you will have complete command over this artistic archery, just like modern archery with a sight.


Learning any skill is a slow process. But, it is important to remain consistent. Taking your archery to next level could take some time. And eventually, you will see tremendous improvement in your aiming accuracy. With or without sights.

So, give this type of archery a shot with consistency, and you will see immense growth. Whether you are a beginner or an expert archer, you should absolutely lay a plan for learning instinctive archery.

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