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Fact checked by Steven Lines, lifelong Hunter and Outdoorsman.
Archery is a great sport that appeals to young children and adults alike. But there is still one group who aren’t sure whether or not they can participate. Those with beards might be nervous about the consequences of getting their facial hair stuck in the strings. So, can you do archery with a beard?
You can still shoot if you have a beard. There are a few tricks that you can use to stop your hair from getting stuck in the strings. For example, you can try braiding the beard or using a mask. However, the most common solution is to use a kisser button.
Those with beards will be thrilled to learn that they don’t have to endure the pain of ripping out hair or lose accuracy. Let’s take a closer look at some of these solutions and how you can put them into place.
Archery With A Beard
Perhaps the most natural solution is to reduce the length of the hair. This will ensure that there is no chance that it will get stuck in the strings during your aiming.
This can often mean trimming the beard frequently. By keeping it short, it shouldn’t interfere with your shooting at all.
If you don’t want to trim your beard, consider using a braid. This can help you control the hair, lowering the odds that it will get stuck in the string. It can also be used to provide a solid anchor point, helping you aim.
Another possible option is to use beard oil. By lubricating the hair follicles, you might be able to help the string slide across your face, rather than getting caught in the beard.
Another possible solution is using a mask. Though it might look a little odd, it will allow you to keep your hair from interfering with your aiming and shooting. You can choose a camouflage mask. This can be an excellent option for hunters, as it can help disguise.
Regardless of which method you choose, you will have to consider adjusting your shooting style. Let’s look at some of the best ways you can do this.
Using A Kisser Button
For people with beards, getting the string close to their face can be very uncomfortable, increasing the chances that they will pull their hair out. For this reason, many bearded archers prefer to use a kisser button to help them line up their shots.
This is a small attachment, which is freely available from archery stores. When placed onto the bow, this can act as another anchor point. This can make it easier for you to improve your accuracy as you have more control over the string.
When using the kisser button, make sure that it’s around 1-2 inches above the nock locator. Once in place, draw the string back until the kisser button is resting against your lips. Then, aim and fire.
It can take a few tries until you find the right location for the kisser button. With each shot, take note of how close to the target you were and how it felt to aim the bow. Then, return and adjust the location of the kisser button until you find the best placement.
You should also be aware that a potential downside is a reduction in the speed of the arrow. For most people, this won’t be an issue. But for hunters and more experienced archers, this can be a problem. In this case, you might want to consider one of the other solutions, like trimming your beard or wearing a mask. Other possible solutions include getting a more powerful bow and improving your draw strength. This will let you put more force behind each shot.
Change Your Anchor Point
You might also want to consider changing your anchor point, to avoid having to put the string against your face.
In archery, an anchor point can be defined as the point that the string is touching on your face when you’ve reached a full draw. By having a consistent anchor point, you will be able to improve your accuracy, as you have a regular location to aim from.
For more clean-shaven archers, this point will be somewhere on their cheek. But for bearded archers, this might not be an option. Those with facial hair might want to consider using a different anchor point. In most cases, this will be their nose.
To do this, place your kisser button in the corner of the mouth. To add a little extra stability, you can use your knuckle to feel for a comfortable spot on your chin. This should have the string touching the top of your nose, rather than the side of your face.
At first, this new technique can take a lot of time to get used to. For this reason, you might need to put in several hours on the range, as you experiment with this new technique. But, once you’ve adjusted, it should be just as accurate as of the traditional anchor points.
Maintaining Your Bow Strings
When practicing archery with a beard, you could be placing more strain onto your string, as it runs across your follicles. For this reason, you should make sure that you are taking care of your strings. There are a few ways that you can maintain your bowstrings.
First, you should make sure to regularly oil your strings. You should do this whenever the string begins to dry out. You might also notice that some hairs are starting to stick up on the string.
To apply the wax, you need first to apply it to the string. Then, rub it in using your fingers. You should try to do this quickly, causing the string to heat up between your hands. This extra heat on the string will cause the hairs to melt together, making it more durable.
When doing this, you should scrutinize the string. In some cases, you might find that your beard hair has become interwoven into the string. If you see this, make sure to remove your hair, then apply wax carefully. As long as you catch this hair early, you can prevent any lasting damage to the string.
Though strings should be able to last for three years when properly maintained, you will eventually need to replace them. There a few signs that this might be the case. First, you might have noticed fraying on the string. You might also have a broken strand. When you spot these signs, make sure to replace the string as quickly as possible to prevent any damage.
Archery is a highly inclusive sport, suitable for people from all age groups and abilities. Just because you have a beard doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to participate.
Though some people are nervous about ripping out this facial hair, there are a few techniques you can use to protect yourself. Things, like wearing a mask, using a kisser button, and changing your anchor point, can all make it easier for those with a beard to enjoy the sport. So, now you will be able to become an archer without having to shave.
Steven Lines is a hunter and outdoorsman from Safford, Arizona, USA. He has been hunting and fishing since a child, and has over 20 years of experience in the outdoors. Steven works as a hunting guide in Arizona during his spare time and runs a Youtube channel dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures with others.