How to Nock an Arrow for a Compound Bow

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Nocking is the process of connecting an arrow to the bow string before firing it. The arrow must be properly secured to the string or it will not fire properly. An arrow has a nock -- usually made of wood or plastic -- glued to the end of the shaft or carved into it.

Place the shaft of the arrow on the arrow rest. Hold the shaft while you slide the arrow nock towards the bow string.

Align the arrow nock with the nocking point on the bow string. The nocking point is the spot on the bow string that is level with the arrow rest. The point on a compound bow is designated by the release loop on the bow string. The nock fits between the two release loop contact points.

Push the gap in the nock against the bow string. Use a moderate amount of pressure to ensure the arrow will support itself on the bow string.

Draw the bowstring and release the string to fire the arrow.


  • Do not dry fire the bow if the arrow falls of the string. Slowly return the string to the original position and replace the arrow nock on the string.


  • Test the arrow nock with your bow at the store. Do not purchase bulk arrows until you are sure they have a snug fit on the bow string.

About the Author

Zach Lazzari is a freelance outdoor writer specializing in hunting, fly fishing and the general outdoors. He guided fly fishing trips for 10 years in Colorado, Alaska, Montana and Patagonia-Chile. Zach lives in Montana and splits time between the river and keyboard.

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