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Compound bows use a system of pulleys, also called cams, to assist the archer with the draw and release of the bow string. The draw length is the distance the bow string is brought to the archer for comfortable shooting. There is no right or wrong draw length. It's whatever is most comfortable for your needs. If you need to adjust your compound bow's draw length, use a tested method. Calculate your draw length before adjusting the bow to get the best setting for your body.
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Hold your arms straight out with palms facing out, extending the arms to the sides of your body so they form a straight line. Have an assistant measure the distance from the tips of the fingers of one hand, across your body to the tips of the fingers of the other hand.
Subtract 15 inches from the measurement in Step 1, and divide the result by 2. For example, if the measurement is 65 inches, subtract 15 to get 50. Divide 50 by 2 for an answer of 25 inches. This is the correct draw length for the measurement.
Notch an arrow into the bow and pull the bow string back to the tip of your chin and cheek. Look to see that the knuckle of the first finger is just below your ear lobe. If the draw on the bow string does not match up to this, use your calculation from Step 2 for your adjusted draw length.
Loosen the cam set-screw with an Allen wrench and pull the string back once again with the arrow notched. Bring the string to the tip of the cheek and chin with the forefinger knuckle just below the ear. Have an assistant tighten the cam set-screw so the bow's draw length stays in this position. Bring the bow string back to the neutral position. The bow's draw length is now adjusted for your needs. Your calculation from Step 2 should equal the distance between the bow handle and the bow string when drawn back.
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.