As technology advances across our lives and bowhunting world, it provides hunters with better tools. Which, in turn, allows us to be more efficient and hopefully more successful. Sounds great, right? But, what good are all the advancements if our foundational principals are not concrete? You can have the newest, latest, greatest bow but if it's not properly setup and tuned, it doesn't mean squat! The principals and foundation of archery will always remain unmoved....have a well tuned setup and consistent shot sequence. 

In this article we are going to cover my favorite way to easily get a perfect center shot. I use this method after paper, or bare shaft tuning to get things as centered as possible. It is fast and fun, giving you the confidence that your bow is spot on.


French tuning or modified French tuning as it is often called is a very easy way to determine the center shot of your bow. This method of tuning is sometimes referred to as “walk back tuning”, but they are two different methods for sure. Walk back tuning covers distances of up to 60 yards to achieve its purpose, and only requires adjustments of your arrow rest. The French Tuning method allows for adjustments to both your site and your rest to achieve center shot. Both methods are considered a type of bow tuning and not arrow tuning. At this stage of tuning, you should have arrows that are the correct length and spine for whatever activity you have planned. You should also try and match your arrows as best you can, making sure they are all as identical as possible. Your cams should be timed, and you should already be sited in as best as possible. 


When we talk about French Tuning, we are talking about “micro tuning”. Very small adjustments to your rest and site to confirm you are shooting dead center. This method is easy, fun, and does not require any fancy equipment. All you need is your bow, the necessary tools to adjust your site and rest, a target, and a string and plumb bob. French Tuning utilizes a string hanging in front of your target that is perfectly straight up and down. You can tie this string to anything above the target or stick an arrow in the top center of the target and tie off that. At the bottom of the string, you have a plumb bob, rock, bucket of water, or anything that will hang and keep the string perfectly perpendicular to the Earth. This ensures that you have a “perfect” target with no variances since you are making micro adjustments. Plus, lets face it, it is always fun to try and shoot a string! 


So now that your target is ready, you are going to be shooting from 9 feet, and then 9 yards. The best way for me to describe this step to you is that at 9 feet, you will be adjusting your site only. From the 9-yard position, you will adjust your rest only. I have always remembered this by saying, “at 9 feet, I am in “site” of my target. At 9 yards, I can take a “rest”. That may be silly, but I am old at it works for me. 

Take your position at 9 feet and shoot one arrow. Take your time, go through all your normal steps in your head for proper posture, anchor point, and release. Then, shoot another arrow aiming just above or below your first shot as to not accidentally ruin an arrow. Note the position of your shots in relation to the string and then adjust your site to get closer to the string. Remember, this is a tiny adjustment and with your site, you want to “chase your arrow” meaning move your site in the direction you want your arrow to go. Repeat the process until you are hitting the string.

Now, move to 9 yards and again shoot 2 arrows. This time, you will be moving your rest. Keep in mind that your adjustments should be in very small increments, and that when you do move your rest you are moving it in the opposite direction that you want to go.  Repeat this process at 9 yards until you have hit the string. Once you have done this, it is a good idea to start over again at the 9-foot distance and repeat the process to make sure you have achieved center shot.


As you can see, French tuning is relatively simple and fun. Before season, my friends and I get together for fine tuning and then have a few little “contests” for bragging rights. Remember, this type of tuning is just another method to help you achieve a near perfect center shot, and many shooters like to do this step after they have paper tuned. No matter what methods you use to help perfect your accuracy, remember to have fun, and try to get someone new involved in the sport. Thanks for reading and good luck in the field!


Author: Chris Creed, Afflictor Broadheads