Target Archery Growing in Popularity!

So What is Target Archery, anyway?

Target archery is the most common form of archery today, from beginners to professionals, from young children to adults. Archery seems to span all ages and skill levels. Recreational archers who enjoy archery's solitude and social aspects, to Olympic competitors, who spend hours shooting at targets to master their sport. 

So what is target Archery?

Target archery is not about hunting but rather the sport of archery divided into three categories, Static, Field, and 3D. Generally, archers shoot a certain number of arrows over a specific distance into a target with 10 rings. For many years this was much an elite sport but has seen a rise in popularity over recent years. It is tremendous for releasing pent-up energy in a stress-free environment. Archery is an explosive sport that brings much satisfaction in hitting targets with precision. Archery is practiced indoors and outdoors across the world.

Recurve Olympic Range

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The Different Bow Types

The Different Target Types

Static Target Archery

Target archery ranges are set up with foam target bails and are set up at fixed distances varying from 10yds to 100yds. Paper targets are then pinned to these bails. A session will be on a single target at a predetermined distance. Traditionally, the recurve bow was used, but, in recent times, scoring has been added for compound bows. Targets have colored rings (gold, red, blue, black, and white), and each ring is worth a specific point value from 1 to 10 for recurves and 7 to 10 for compounds. The 10 ring also has a smaller inner circle with an X in the center. There is no point value for the X, but Xs are used to break a tie. Recurve targets have one set of rings, and Compound targets will have either three or five sets of rings. Because of the extra rings, recurve targets are larger than targets for compounds. A Recurve shooter will shoot all their arrows into one circle of rings, while a compound shooter will shoot one arrow in each separate circle of rings. Archers typically shoot simultaneously, and all collect their arrows from the targets together once the range is clear. 

Field Archery - Adding Terrain to the Target

Field archery is very similar to Static archery, except the target bails are spread over a course connected by a trail over undulating terrain. A typical course loop can contain anywhere between 10 and 30 targets. Course loops can be as short as 1/2 a mile or as long as 2-3 miles. Archers move around in groups of two or four, similar to Golf. The archer stands with their lead foot against a preset pin (ground marker) at each target. Depending on the type of competition, the pin will be sat at a predetermined distance, or the archer must judge the distance for themselves. Every target presents a different level of difficulty by utilizing natural obstacles such as trees, boulders, hills, etc., found in the environment. 

Archers are not restricted to specific bow types in field archery. Many use a compound bow, but recurves and bare bows are also used. Compounds are more common because of their uncompromising power, speed, agility, and performance at an affordable price.

3D Archery - Adding realism to the Game

3D archery is very similar to Field archery, except instead of target bails, life-like 3-dimensional animals are spread over a course connected by a trail over undulating terrain. Everything else is virtually the same.

Archers are not restricted to specific bow types in field archery; however, most use a compound bow, or traditional bare bows and recurves are rarely used.

Final words:

When considering archery, it's essential to choose the right bow because if you fail on this, you'll have difficulty sharpening your skills. Consult and buy from a local shop. Choosing between a left or right bow depends on which eye is more dominant, not which hand is. The bow that you purchase should not be difficult for you to pull. Your local shop will have archery specialists to help what's the right draw weight for you. Many modern compounds come with a range in draw weight ranging from 20# to 70# on a single bow. Another advantage with buying fr your local shop is they typically have an instructor/coach available to help you get started.

Spend a couple of hours on a shooting range, and all your worries become a distant memory. If it is the competition you want, there are many different types of archery to specialize in.

Typical Outdoor Range Layout

Chris Sgaraglino

Over the past 37 years of my adult life, I have gained a very diverse portfolio of adventures from which I have been blessed to be a participant. This wealth of experience and knowledge has defined my character, my morals and values, and my healthy respect for people and the great outdoors. It is a true definition of an Outdoorsman!