Where can I Practice Archery?
You may have just acquired your bow and arrow and cannot wait to start shooting. The challenge, however, might be in areas or facilities where you can practice your new hobby. Not to worry. Get your practice gear and let’s furnish you with details of where to practice archery in this article.
Where to Practice Archery
1. At Home
You can set up an archery range indoors for personal use. You will require a target and a good backstop in the background to catch the arrows that might miss the target; which may be many for a beginner.
Clear out enough space to allow for some distance between you and the target. Observe safety precautions to avoid hurting your family and friends during your activity. A garage or a barn may be useful for this purpose.
If you have a considerable space in your backyard, then you are in luck! You can set up a simple outdoor archery range with a target and a safety backstop as its background. Do not shoot too high.
Aim at the target to avoid endangering the safety of others, including your neighbors.
Read More: How to Setup a Backyard Archery Range
2. Your Local Archery Shop
Most archery shops will have an archery range because they might offer archery tips or lessons to their clients as after-sale service. With this, more people are encouraged to buy from them.
You should consider getting your archery accessories from such a local shop because then, they will allow you to use their range for practice and even much later when you get better at archery.
The advantage of such a space is that you will get to interact with a bigger group of archers from whom you can learn and organize archery-related activities long after your practice run is over.
Some shops may be free of charge while others may charge a small fee just to maintain the range. Others may have a dedicated commercial range where they charge regular fees for the users. You should enquire about their terms before using their facilities.
3. Local Archery Clubs
Archery clubs are professionally managed and have their code. You might have to pay a registration fee and other range fees. Enquire about membership because some offer member discounts and other benefits.
Some of these clubs do not have much outdoor space so they may have an indoor range which would make it difficult for you to spot them. However, this is the information age and a quick internet search will lead you to their premises.
To gain the most as a beginner archer, it is advisable to pick hours when there are trainers available and when they are fewer people in the club. This way, you will have the undivided attention of the trainers and access to facilities without much of a hustle.
4. High Schools, Colleges, and Universities
Most learning institutions have archery ranges for leisure as a co-curricular activity or competitive archery. However, they may be busy during school hours and therefore may only be available to non-students during the evening or on weekends.
Be sure to seek permission to access the institution’s premises from the administrators. They will also be helpful with scheduling and you may be lucky to find other people who frequent their archery range.
If the institution does not have a range, a big open field will do although safety precautions must be taken to avoid injury to others. You could also utilize alumni privileges by asking to use the facilities of your former school if you stay around there.
5. A City or Town Park
Some towns have impressively large parks with facilities dedicated to archery or open fields where one can practice. Before shooting in a park though, you must contact the relevant authorities in charge of the park to find out whether it is allowed.
Some cities allow shooting only in private premises or in designated areas in a public park, while others do not allow it at all. Others may require a special permit. To avoid being in conflict with the law, thoroughly do your due diligence.
When shooting in a park, the biggest concern is the safety of other park users and even their pets, if any. Therefore, all precautions must be taken to avoid harming them and yourself in the process.
Find an area with a solid wall or a cliff face to act as the backstop of your target. This will reduce the probability of accidents. Do not shoot into bushes or trees or where you can’t get a clear vision of the background. Shooting in the air is also prohibited.
6. Public Hunting or Shooting Land
Some areas have dedicated recreational hunting or shooting land that is meant for public use. Make inquiries to ensure you are within their regulations when you decide to practice your archery skills there.
There might be other hunters or target shooters in the area and you must therefore be mindful of their safety and yours. Set up your target and always be on the look out for other people or their property.
Most of these areas do not have charges for users but even with those that require payment, the fees are affordable and it is mostly channelled towards the maintenance of the space.
7. 3D Archery Tournaments
Most 3D archery clubs are big and are located indoors. They usually charge a fee for tournaments and for classes, which are not scored. You will benefit from crash courses therein and will have a lot more experience coming out because they feature a variety of targets.
The advantage of these is that you can shoot throughout the year because the weather is not a factor in indoor archery. You are also likely to network with archers at different levels of expertise and are bound to learn a lot during your time there.
Safety Tips When Practicing Archery
As you practice to become a pro archer or hunter, you need to adhere to safety precautions for your sake and that of others. That said, you will need to always check your surroundings before firing an arrow .
Do not shoot in the air or into bushes or in an area where your vision is obscured. It is better to have a target and a sturdy backstop to catch any arrows that might stray from the intended target.
When shooting in public hunting fields, wear bright clothing to let others identify you easily. In addition, use a practice arrowhead (field point arrowhead) during practice instead of the broadhead one because the former is not likely to cause much harm in case of an accident.
Read More: Part of Hunting Arrow
In conclusion, there are a variety of places where you can practice archery, including the local archery shop, at home either indoors or outdoors, in an archery club, local learning institutions, or even in a public park where authorities allow.
Most importantly, you must observe all safety procedures to avoid accidents. May the odds be in your favor!