Bowhunting Tip: Draw Low to Minimize Shoulder Trouble

There’s no one right way to draw a compound bow, but the safest method for your shoulder might be the draw-low method.

Bowhunting Tip: Draw Low to Minimize Shoulder Trouble

I witnessed the draw-low method the first time I visited Schaffer Performance Archery in Burnsville, Minnesota. Owner John Schaffer was talking to a beginning archer on the shooting range, and as John spoke, he drew back the compound while keeping both hands well below his shoulders.

When I later asked John about this unusual drawing technique, he said, “I started doing it forever ago so I could keep eye contact with customers while talking to them. Only later did I find out from a physician buddy of mine that my technique is easier on my draw shoulder, too.” 

Schaffer has drawn 70 pounds or more on his personal hunting and target bows for decades, and perhaps it’s a coincidence that he’s never had a shoulder issue, but according to his physician friend (a bowhunter), the method makes sense. 

“My buddy specializes in shoulder injuries,” John said, “and he told me that any time a human lifts his or her arm above shoulder level, it stresses the shoulder. He says throwing a baseball, softball or football is the worst, and drawing a bow can also cause problems. My buddy draws his bow low, too, and he told me to never change my method.”

To see Schaffer’s unique draw-low method, fast-forward to the 35-second mark of this Facebook video

In addition to minimizing shoulder trouble, the draw-low method minimizes movement in the treestand, and it can be done while sitting in a ground blind, too. In the same way the draw-low method allowed John Schaffer to keep eye contact with his customers, it allows you an unobstructed view of approaching game.

Give it a try on the archery range to see if it works for you.


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