You have reached the Canadian website for Human Kinetics. Only orders shipping to a Canadian address can be completed on this website.

If you wish to continue click here, or contact the HK Canada office directly at 1-800-465-7301. If you wish to select the HK website for your region/location outside of Canada, click here

Feedback IconFeedback

Using the Side-of-Face Anchor

This is an excerpt from Archery-4th Edition by Kathleen Haywood & Catherine Lewis.

Although the under-chin anchors are very precise, they do take time to position properly. Some archers prefer to anchor on the side of the face (figure 6.3). The common way to do this is to draw back to the side of the face and position the tip of the index finger in the corner of the mouth. The draw hand is thus tight against the face, providing the consistent “touch” on the face. Sometimes the thumb is tucked under the jaw. This anchor position can be set very quickly, which is why this anchor is popular with some bowhunters. A kisser button is not used, but a peep sight can be used.

Traditional-style archers also like this anchor position because the tail end of the arrow is right below the aiming eye. Barebow archers believe they can shoot more instinctively by sighting right down the arrow shaft. Recall that barebow archers do not use kisser buttons or peep sights. Many learn how to raise or lower the anchor position to actually vary the distance of the shot. This is called face walking.

Figure 6.3 Side-of-Face Anchor

Setup and Draw

1. Set deep hook.

2. Keep back of hand flat and wrist relaxed.

3. Move draw elbow back.

4. Draw straight to face.


1. Feel teeth together.

2. Touch tip of index finger to corner of mouth.

3. Keep draw hand firmly in contact with face.

Misstep - You “pluck” the bowstring, flinging the fingers open and moving the string hand out from the face. Or you use a “dead” release, opening the fingers without increasing back tension, and allow the bowstring to move forward before it comes off the fingers."

Correction - Concentrate on aiming and increase back tension so that the release is a surprise rather than anticipated. Keep the string hand relaxed so that the follow-through is a natural recoil of the string arm up and back.

The reminders about the draw and string hand hook discussed for the under-chin anchor apply to the side-of-face anchor as well. The draw should be straight back to the erect head with a deep string hand hook and relaxed hand. Set the draw hand and draw to anchor the same way on every shot.

To release, aim and increase back tension. Move the elbow up and back about 1/2 inch (1.3 cm). Allow the explosion of the release, and maintain the follow-through.

Read more from Archery: Steps to Success, Fourth Edition Third Edition by Kathleen Haywood