As the peep sight is always the same distance above the nocking point the angle of the archers head will vary to enable the archer to see clearly through the peep sight at different distances, this means the position of the hand (holding the release device) against the side of the archers face will move either up or down at different distances.

Unlike a recurve anchor, which must have a solid position under the jaw making string contact with the chin and nose, the compound anchor must float allowing it to vary up and down on the face as the archer moves from distance to distance.

Some top level archers have 2 bows one with the peep sight set for long distances and one with the peep sight set for short distances. 


For the average archer it is best to set the peep sight up at an intermediate distance such as 50 meters. Although some archers like to set the peep sight at longest distance as this is the critical distance for score.

As you shoot longer distances the anchor moves lower and as you shoot shorter distances the anchor will move higher up the face. 

Never use a kisser button and peep sight kisser combination, the kisser will force your head and anchor to remain in a stationary position and not move as you move distances. This will mean you will be forced to move your head into uncomfortable positions.

Although it should be noted some top compound archers use kisser buttons as well as peep sights. Why? With indoor and current target events for compound everything is shot at one distance hence there is no need to move your sight, in this case there will be no need to move the anchor as the sight will not be changing.

But for shooting multiple distance target events or field archery the use of a kisser button will be detrimental to good performance.

As your anchor moves from distance to distance it is not critical using a compound bow to have an anchor with face contact points such as with a recurve bow. Importantly having the string touch the nose should be avoided as this will mean you will need to move your head to look through the peep sight. Ideally the anchor position should be such that the string is positioned directly in front of your eye which will remove the need to move the head to look through the peep.

Ideally there should be no face contact with the string when at anchor; face contact with the string can interfere with the string upon release causing clearance problems and effecting the flight of the arrow. 

Ideally the anchor position against the side of the face should be a relaxed and natural position without excessive twisting or rotation of the hand although there may be a small amount of natural rotation of the hand but this must not be forced or excessive.

Excessive rotation of the drawing hand requires the use of shoulder muscles in particular the rotor cuff muscles which are easily fatigued and injured. Long term this can lead to rotor cuff injury, which require a long and painful rehabilitation period.


Clint Freeman (above left) shooting a hand Held (Rotating action) Release Device - note the relaxed natural position, deep grip on release device with no face contact with the string. Dave Cousins (above right) shooting a hand Held (Thumb action) Release Device – again note the relaxed natural position, deep grip on the release device and with little face contact with the string, not the deep thumb location on the trigger which will give a surprise release.


Archer using a wrist Type release Device, this archer (above left) is displaying a poor technique, the draw length is too long resulting in poor anchor position and excess face contact with string. There is also excessive amounts of tension in drawing hand and forearm. The archer is using the finger tip to activate release; the release device is set-up too long and should be shortened so the trigger sits in or around the second joint of the finger.

Finger tips are very sensitive as we use them to feel and touch, if you use your finger or thumb tip to activate the release you will feel any movement associated with the release this will lead to you anticipating the release and physically activating the release.

As the release will be forced (called “Banging the Trigger’) it will not a total surprise but anticipated.


Hand Held (Thumb action) Release Device (above right) – this archers draw length is again too long, he has a shallow grip on the release device and excessive rotation of hand resulting in increased tension in wrist, forearm and shoulder, also note the low drawing elbow. The drawing elbow is now out of alignment with the nock and the bow hand resulting in poor line of force.


Wrist Type Release Device (above) – draw length is too long and excessive tension, in the hand and fingers, drawing elbow is low and out of alignment with arrow and bow and, the archer is using the finger tip to activate release so the release will not be a surprise.

Not only is the draw length too long but the release aid is set up too long, which is very common with wrist type release devices, ideally the release should be shortened so the trigger sits in or around the second joint of the finger.

It must be remember, the peep sight is the reference point for the anchor; the back of your drawing hand should make only light contact with the side of your face or jaw and the anchor position will vary between distances.


Example above shows excessive face contact, the string is distorted of excessive face, the string will react to this face contact upon release resulting is poor arrow grouping.


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