Ever heard of bow slings? If you’ve seen that intriguing piece of cord attached on the fingers or around the wrist of a hunter or archer, then you’ve just seen one. If you haven’t, then it’s a tool worth getting acquainted with. But just exactly what is a bow sling used for?
Holding the bow too tight is a common mistake among bowhunters and archers. While the proper way of holding the bow is to let the bow lie loosely in your hand, the fear of instinctively dropping the weapon causes the hunter or archer to do otherwise.
With the bow’s tendency to jump out of hand after the arrow has been released, many archers and hunters grab their bow tightly instead with an open hand. Unfortunately, this results in less accurate and inconsistent shots. Now, with a bow sling, an archer or hunter lets the bow get into an ideal open hand position without fear of dropping it to the ground.
There are two kinds of bow slings. One is the wrist sling, and the other is the finger sling. Get to know each of them:
A bow wrist sling is a short strap that encircles the bow and extends at the back. The archer slips his hand underneath the strap as he grabs the bow. Adjusted to make a snug fit on the archer’s wrist at full draw, it makes sure the bow doesn’t fall to the ground upon the arrow’s release or what we call a bow jump.
Most store-bought slings attach behind a stabilizer. However, there are those that do not have the threaded hole such as a basic narrow, non-stretch braided paracord. In fact, they are perfectly DIY-able.
The bow wrist sling is often used with a compound bow, and it is not only for beginners. You’ll hardly find a top Olympic shooter without one.
However, not everyone needs a bow sling to go with their compound bow especially with recent models that have fewer jumps to them. As for others who choose to forego with the strap, dropping the bow is the least of their concern or unaware of how a simple tool can up their game.
Still, because a bow wrist sling somehow tightens the connection between your hand and the bow without having you tighten the grip, it helps correct accuracy issues. When the bow is seated correctly in the palm of your hand, it buys you a steady platform that’s perfect for the ideal open-hand grip.
With the bow wrist sling on, try this: Hold the bow with the grip of the riser going across the thick meaty section of your palm. At full draw, open your fingers. Do not grab the bow hard. Just relax your grip so as not to twist the bow. Then, fire your arrow. The bow wrist sling will take care of your bow, catching it upon the release of the arrow.
Another type of bow strap is the bow finger sling. It’s a piece of cord that connects the index finger to the thumb. The space in between is for the girth of your bow. In a way, it functions like the bow wrist sling, only this time the strap holds the bow in from the front.
Just the same, using a bow finger sling helps you use an open-hand grip without risking damage to your bow by a fall. All the while, the system betters your performance as it protects your gear. The finger sling actually does a better job in catching the bow than the wrist strap.
Simply pull one loop over the forefinger of the hand you’re going to use to hold the bow. Next, take the bow in your hand and position it in place. Then, secure the sling around the girth of the bow by pulling the other loop over your thumb. This way your bow can no longer fall.
The bow finger sling works great with recurve bows that have more forward motion and hand shock than compound bows. Olympic recurve archers who have their bow hand knuckles positioned at 45 degrees and who hold the bow with an open hand certainly benefit from the bow finger sling.
Because a bow wrist sling automatically catches the bow upon release, the archer doesn’t have to move a muscle to try and catch the bow. This eliminates bow torque and inconsistencies in his or her shot. It also works great when making an aim from a tree stand.
For a finger sling to work on your favor, the connection between the fingers and the bow should not be too tight. Otherwise, it’s as bad as doing a death grip on your bow, which is the culprit for bow torque. The connection should fetch your bow some forward motion. In fact, some archers who don’t use finger slings prefer to let their bow to drop freely.
While the bow sling is truly a useful tool, it does come with a disadvantage. It takes time to ready the shot. Not a problem if you just want to hit the bullseye. But if you have a real live target, then every second counts. Delays may cost you an opportunity to pin your target. However, you can always have the finger or wrist sling on the whole time to solve the problem. But that can cost you convenience, comfort, and mobility.
That is why bow hunters usually prefer an open, bow-mounted wrist sling which allows them to quickly pull the strap under their hand than the finger strap version. With the bow finger sling, bow hunters have to fumble to set it up. Additionally, just as easy it is to slip the bow wrist sling on, it is easy to slip off.
Well, we hope that explains what is a bow sling used for. Either the finger or wrist sling type is not a necessity. But if you are wary of dropping your bow or looking to improve your shots, then you can definitely use one and benefit from it.
Jen loves the outdoors and enjoys exploring a wide-range of activities. A mother of 3 whose seen far too many friends suffer from cancer, she believes Pink Crossbow reflects a sport for LIFE. It's a reminder that archery belongs to everyone regardless of age, size, or gender...and real enthusiasts aren't afraid to wear pink!