ARCHERY TERMS and DEFINITIONS


These archery terms should help you understand the lingo used in the sport.


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Adapter
An arrow part that allows screw in points on wooden shafts or glue on points for aluminum shafts.

Anchor Point
The reference point that a person pulls the bow string to before releasing. This point should be the same for each shot and may be the side of the mouth, ear lobe, or other reference point.

Armguard
Material attached to the forearm of the arm that holds the bow to protect it from a string burn or keeps the sleeve from catching on the string.

Arrow shaft
The main body of the arrow before the nock, fletching, or point is installed. It can be made from several materials including wood, aluminum, carbon, and composites.

Arrow shelf
The area of the bow above the handle or grip where the arrow sits.

Arrow straighter
A tool used to straighten arrow shafts that are only slightly bent.

ASA
Archery Shooters Association

Back of Bow
The side farthest away from you when you hold bow in shooting position.

Banana
Large feather fletching also called the magnum shape.

Bare shaft
A arrow shaft without fletching, nocks, inserts, points, paint, or cresting.

Blind
A concealment for a hunter.

Blunts
Arrow points that have flat ends that are made from steel, aluminum, rubber, or brass. They are used for small game and practice.

Bow Belly
The side closest to you when you hold the bow in shooting position.

Bow square
Tool that is T-shaped used to determine where to place string nock, measure brace height, and tiller.Bow string
Several strands of material twisted together to form a strong string used to launch an arrow.

Bow stringer
An aid that helps to prevent limb twist and tip damage while installing the bow string.

Boyer
A person that makes bows.

Brace height
The distance from the string to the deepest part of the handle or grip. This distance can be changed by twistingthe string tighter to increase the height and untwisting it to decrease the height.

Brush blind
A concealment for the hunter made from native vegetation and constructed so that maximum concealment and minimum detection is achieved. See our page on this method.

Burner or feather burner
An electrical tool that uses a hot wire to shape a feather fletch to a custom shape.

Cable guard
The rod on compound bows which keeps the cables away from the center of the bow so the arrow can pass by without hitting the cables.

Cam
The wheel or pulley on the end of compound bow's limb used to provide let-off and power. They may be round or elliptical shape.

Center shot
A bow with a sight window that is inset to the centerline that runs along the bow from end to end inline with the string. This lessens the bending of the arrow when released.

Clicker
A gadget attached to the back of the bow which clicks when you are at your desired anchor point.

Cock feather
The odd colored or marked feather (vane).

Compound bow
A bow with one or two cams that provide let-off and power.

Crest
Bands of color used as decoration or for identification on an arrow near the fletched end.

Cresting brush
A brush used to apply cresting colors to arrow shaft.

Cresting machine
A device that spins the arrow shaft so that cresting colors can be applied.

Crossbow
A small, strong bow, held and shot like a rifle. The stronger one's have a lever to help cock it.

Crossbow Bolt
The shaft or arrow fired from a crossbow.

Crown dip
A color applied to the nock end of an arrow shaft for about 12 inches by dipping to which the cresting is applied.

Dacron
A type material used to make bowstrings.

Die cut feather
A feather that has been cut to a particular shape.

Draw length
The distance a person draws a bow, measured from the bottom of the arrow nock to the back of a bow when in shooting position.

Draw weight
Amount of pull weight measured in pounds that it takes to pull a bow string a certain distance.

Fast flight
A lightweight material that has little stretch and is used to make bowstrings for the newer bows. The bow MUST be rated for this material before using it.

Feather splice
Making one fletch out of 2 or more different colors by cutting sections and gluing them together.

Field points
Points that are round (no blades) with a sharp point, usually used for practice.

Finger pinch
Having your finger pinched against the nock by the bow string when pulling the string back.

Fistmele
The brace height.

Fixed blades
An arrow point (broadhead) with two or more wide blades, usually used for hunting.

Flemish string
A twisted string that consists of two separate bundles of string hand twisted together.

Fletching
The feathers or vanes used to stabilize an arrow in flight.

Fletching clamp
The clamp that the fletching is placed into before being attached to a fletching jig.

Fletching jig
A tool used to hold the fletching clamp(s) which apply fletching to arrow shaft.

Flipper rest
An elevated rest attached to the bow sight window. Looks like a tab or finger.

Flu flu
An arrow with large bushy feathers to limit the flight distance and used to shoot airborne targets or targets in trees.

Full length Feather
A long uncut feather that can be cut or burned to a particular shape.

Hen feathers
The feathers of the same color on an arrow.

IBO
International Bowhunting Organization

Insert
An arrow part that accepts the screw in point or the nock.

Judo point
A blunt point but with spring arms which grab and keep the arrow from skipping. When shooting in grass, the arrow usually tips up making them easier to find.

Kisser button
A button placed on a bow string to hold your anchor point consistently in the same position.

Laminations
Thin strips of material that run the length of a laminated bow. Can be found both the limb and riser section.

Let-Off
The percent that a bows holding weight is reduced from its pulling weight when the cams are in the valley.

Limb
The ends of the bow that bend when the string is pulled back.

Longbow
An archery bow with no cams and when strung, the string only touches at the ends of the limbs.

Loop
A string in a U shape tied on the bow string around the nock point that a release aid is attached to when shooting.

Mechanical blades
An arrow point (broadhead) with two or more blades usually used for hunting, that open on impact.

Nock on arrow
Arrow part glued or snapped into the back of an arrow shaft that the bow string fits into. On early or very traditional arrows, the nock is cut into the shaft itself.

Nock on bow string
A mark put on bow string to mark the nocking point of the arrow. Sometimes a simple knot in a string is used, sometimes the point is marked with a brass clip with a rubber insert to protect the string. A loop of string or a loop of metal may be used with a release aid for the string nock.

Nocking pliers
Special pliers used to install or remove brass string nocks.

Nocking point
The spot on bow string where the arrow nock is placed to be shot.

Parabolic fletch
A feather or vane that has a round back shape.

Peep sight
The rear sight of a bow. A piece of metal, plastic, or rubber with a hole in it placed in the string, that allows the shooter to look through the string.

Quiver
A piece of archery equipment that holds arrows. It may be attached to the bow, placed on a belt, or carried on your shoulder or back.

Recurve bow
A bow that has no cams or other method to lessen the amount of force to pull back the string. When strung, the string contacts the bow limbs a short distance from the limb tips.

Release
Letting go of the string to shoot an arrow.

Release aid
Some type of tool that is used to pull the bow string and provide a better release by a trigger of some type.

Riser
The middle part of a bow that has the grip, shelf, sight window and other parts. This part of the bow does not bend when pulling the string.

Safety harness
A belt or harness to keep the hunter from falling from and elevated stand or blind.

Self bow
A simple wooden bow in long bow or recurve style.

Serving
String material applied to the bow string to in the nock area to make the string last longer and used also to make a loop in the string ends. Serving is also used to keep the peep site from moving on the string.

Serving jig
A tool used to apply serving string to bowstrings and cables.

Shield cut fletch
A feather or vane having a concave shape in the rear.

Shooting glove
A 3 fingered leather glove used to protect the fingers while shooting bows.

Sight window
The area of the bow above the grip and arrow shelf where you would mount a site or as with a long bow, you see your target.

Spin tester
A tool that checks the straightness of an arrow or trueness of the broadhead.

Spine
A term that describes the stiffness of an arrow shaft and tells the shooter if the shaft is strong enough to be shot in a bow of known poundage. Too light of a spine can cause accidents when the shaft breaks.

Spine tester
A special tool used to determine the spine of a shaft. We recommend the one by archers-friend found on another page on this site.

Spine weight
A rating of an arrow shaft usually in pounds of pull weight of the bow so that the archer knows if the shaft is safe to shoot in a bow.

Stabilizer
A weight rod of various lengths and weights that is attached to a bow to reduce vibrations and supposedly give better control of grouping of shots.

Stand
A platform large or small, covered or not, usually above the ground from which to hunt.

String grove
The notches at the end of the bow limbs where the bow string is placed.

Tab
A small piece of material placed between fingers and string to protect the fingers while shooting a bow.

Take down bow
A long bow or recurve that can be taken apart for transportation usually in 2 or 3 pieces.

Taper Tool
A tool used to place a taper on wooden shafts for the nock and point.

Tiller
The distance from the string perpendicular to each limb. On a compound, loosing or tightening the adjusting bolts to will get the distance equal. On a long bow or recurve, material must be removed from the bow to give the needed distance.

We hope that this has helped in some way to advance your knowledge of archery and bow hunting. As time and resources permit, we will be adding more information for you.

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