We’ve all been there. You’re slinging arrows at a target, and the pattern of holes would make someone think you used a shotgun. The grouping is totally inconsistent. Here are five of the most common reasons why.

1. Hand Torque

An improper grip will lead to hand torque. Take time to learn and practice proper hand position. The bow should sit inside your lifeline on the meaty part of your thumb with your knuckles extending away from the grip at a 45-degree angle. Keep your hand totally relaxed through the shot, and you shouldn’t have problems with torque.

2. Cam Timing

If your cams aren’t in sync, they’ll affect arrow flight. Any time arrow flight is affected, accuracy can suffer. Even if you have a single-cam bow, there should be timing marks that indicate the one cam is rotating properly. If you’re shooting a dual-cam bow, put the bow on a draw board or have a buddy watch you draw and see when the draw stops hit the cables or limbs. They should hit at roughly the same time. In most cases, you’ll need a bow press to fix timing issues by twisting one cable or the other. A trip to the pro shop might be in order.

Related: Single-Arrow broadhead tuning with G5’s Ballistic Match Point

3. Arrow-Rest Contact

Fletchings are often the culprit when it comes to arrow contact. If you notice unusual wear on one of your fletchings, it’s likely hitting the rest. Clean your rest thoroughly and then spray your fletchings with foot powder. After a shot, check your rest to see if any powder is on it. If one or more fletches has powder on them, you know you’ve got a contact problem. You may need to adjust the timing of your launcher arm, but you can also try turning your nock to orient the vanes in a different positon.

4. Improper Arrow Spine

Arrow manufacturers have charts recommending the correct spine to match specific bow setups. If your arrows are outside the parameters set for your specific bow, then the spine is going to be too weak or too stiff. In either case accuracy will suffer, especially with fixed-blade broadheads.

5. Poor Release

In a perfect world, you activate your release smoothly so it moves directly away from the string. Punch the trigger and you’re going to make the string do funny things. That’s not good. Remember to pull through the release until the arrow is gone. Practice until your release becomes perfect and automatic.

Featured image: John Hafner