This should be so simple, right? You pull the string back, aim, and shoot. Well, the good news is that if you do everything right and you put your time in, learning how to shoot a compound bow like a pro can be that simple—eventually. But first you need to sort out a few nagging complications.

First and foremost is the fact that there is more than one way to shoot a modern bow. The vast majority of everyday bowhunters, for example, simply punch the trigger when the sight picture looks good. Most high-level 3D shooters, on the other hand, do not. Now here’s the key: Now matter what you’ve been told, you can learn how to shoot a bow really well either way. You just have to decide which way is right for you. And you have to nail down some fundamentals. So let’s begin there.