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Archery Terms

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Anchor Point

The reference point that a person pulls the bow string to before

This point should be the same for each shot and may be the side of the mouth, ear lobe, or other reference point.


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. (Picture)

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.

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Large feather fletching also called the magnum shape.

Bare shaft

A arrow shaft without fletching, nocks, inserts, points, paint, or


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. (Picture)

Bow stringer

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

Brace height

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

Burner or feather burner

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

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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.


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. (Picture)

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.

Cock feather

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


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

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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. See Chart

Draw weight

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

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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. (Picture)

Finger pinch

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


The brace height

Flemish string

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


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.

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Hen feathers

The feathers of the same color on an arrow.

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International Bowhunting Organization


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

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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.

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Kisser button

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

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

Pope & Young Let-Off for Compound Bows:

1. Definition of let-off: That characteristic of a bow that results in a
reduction of the force necessary to increase the draw length after the highest level of draw force has been reached. This is characteristic generally associated with, but not restricted to, compound bows.

2. The maximum let-off on a compound bow shall be measured at a point in the draw cycle after the peak draw weight has been attained. It shall be measured near the end of the draw cycle where the minimum holding force is reached. This point in the draw cycle on a compound bow is known as "the bottom
of the valley."

3. Determination of the percent of let-off: The values of the peak draw force and the let-off force shall be used to calculate the percent of let-off. The peak force is the maximum force obtained during the draw cycle. The let-off force is the lowest force reached following the peak force during a single uninterrupted raw cycle. In all cases, both the highest and lowest force shall be read from a scale during a single and continual pull condition, without relaxation. This technique eliminates the introduction of
hysteresis, which can distort the reading.

% Let-off = 100 X [(Peak Draw Force) - (Minimum Holding Force)] / (Peak Draw Force)

4. Effective January 1, 2004, animals taken with bows have nominal percent of let-off greater than 65 percent shall be listed with an asterisk (*) in the Records. It is recognized that variations in draw length and/or draw weight can affect the percent of let-off on compound bows. For these reasons minor variations in let-off are acceptable.


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


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


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

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Mechanical blades

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

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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 point

The spot on bow string where the arrow nock is placed to be shot. (Picture)

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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.

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Letting go of the string to shoot an arrow.


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. (Picture)

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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.

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


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.


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.

String grove

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

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


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.

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