What’s one of the best things about archery? You can enjoy it so many ways.
You can shoot indoors or outdoors, in winter or summer, at bull’s-eye targets or animal-shaped foam targets, and at different distances for extra challenges.
In fact, if that final challenge appeals to you, try 3-D archery. It lets you enjoy the bow and arrow sport by following a roving woodland course that offers shots at foam-animal targets at varying distances.
As with target or field archery, 3-D archery can be enjoyed by everyone from beginners to experienced archers. You can practice 3-D archery at home, range or archery store; and you can compete on the local, state and national level.
Shooting a 3-D course is easy. Simply walk along the archery course, which is laid out in the woods. Depending on the type of 3-D round you’re shooting, targets will be placed at marked or unmarked yardages. Distances to marked targets are provided so you’ll know how to move your sight for aiming. Distances to unmarked targets are not given, so you must judge the distance yourself and move your sight accordingly.
Once you’ve decided the target’s distance and moved your sight (or adjusted your aim), you shoot one arrow at the target. Each archer in your group will do likewise. This makes for lots of fun among the group. Expect your shooting partners to be supportive and helpful with their advice, should you want it.
Scoring a 3-D round is also simple. After everyone shoots at the target, your group will walk to the target, and each person will receive a score for their arrow. You’ll then move to the next target on the course, which is marked with flags or signs to direct you.
The fun factor in 3-D archery is huge! You often shoot with people you haven’t met before, which creates many great friendships. “I love the whole environment of 3-D archery,” says Paige Pearce, who at age 19 is an accomplished target, field and 3-D archer. “The people are amazing, and all of the shoots are a blast. Judging yardage is a challenge, but it makes the tournament style that much more enjoyable. I’d recommend 3-D to anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors with friends and your bow.”
Two major organizations offer 3-D archery opportunities in the United States: the Archery Shooters Association (ASA) and the International Bowhunting Organization (IBO). The ASA has chapters in 30 states with over 7,000 members, and it offers tournaments to help people of all ages and experience levels connect with 3-D archery. Several online resources can help you find local 3-D tournaments and leagues. To get started, connect with your local archery retailer today.