WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Getting fitted for a compound bow

Kristen Schmitt’s “Locavore Blog” is originally published at “Deer and Deer Hunting


As a new archer, I made a point of asking some of the women leaders within the sport what their advice was for newer women archers interested in getting started.

Tiffany Lakosky of the Outdoor Channel’s Crush With Lee & Tiffany made a point of telling me that “the most important thing is to go get set up the right way. Do not take your husband’s or boyfriend’s old bows. You want to be successful right at the start.” Upon her advice, I located an archery dealer who not only fit the bill with experience, but put me at ease at this new (and somewhat foreign) sport right away.

Jim Despart of Flying Arrow Sports in East Greenbush, N.Y., is the real deal. An experienced archer, Jim’s won countless tournaments over the past thirty years and has even brought youth classes into his shop to help spread the skill and excitement of archery.


Kristen DDH March 2014_3p

Photo courtesy of Kristen Schmitt


Figuring Out Your Dominant Eye

“Are you right or left eye dominant?” asked Jim as we started the process of getting fitted for my new 2014 Hoyt Ignite Compound Bow.

Unprepared for the question, I hesitantly answered, “Right. I think.” While peculiar to the non-archer, this question is an important one before setting up a bow as eye dominance ensures consistent shooting.

After determining that I was, in fact, right eye dominant, he then measured fingertip to fingertip to figure out the general draw length needed for my size. Once the general length was determined and I tried a few practice draws, Jim corrected the length by shortening the draw length a touch.

Draw weight is also an important component in compound bow fitting as the weight needs to be comfortable for a beginner without being overpowering. Vicki Cianciarulo of the Outdoor Channel’s Archer’s Choice offered me a few tips, stressing that having fun was one of the main things to remember.

“Don’t over-bow yourself,” she said. “Start off light enough to practice. Practice more and more and more. Draw your bow five to six times a day; it will build the muscles.”


Read more at Deer and Deer Hunting.

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.