What is Archery?
Archery is the skill of using a bow to propel arrows, It can be defined as shooting at a target with bow and arrows. The bow and arrows can be used both as hunting and a sport.
Archery demands a range of skills from a steady hand, strong shoulders, flexible muscles, keen observation, and cool disposition. Archery has a number of health, fitness and mental benefits, as well as being an enjoyable sport.
Archery equipment has improved in its technology since its beginnings, but the sport remains unchanged. Modern bows are made of a combination of wood, coated with carbon Fiber, Fiberglass or ceramic. The arrows consist of a carbon or aluminum shaft with steelhead and can travel very fast in the air.
Before Starting archery, you need to decide what type of archery to choose and what type of bow will work for you. Bows may be described by various characteristics including the material used, the length of the draw that they permit, the shape of the bow in sideways view, and the shape of the limb in cross-section.
When I was new to the archery, my Uncle Patrick taught me some basics about archery. He told me, In the start, don’t go far from the target. 5 yards distance will be good as a beginner but as your accuracy improve, you can increase the distance. He was an expert in archery and had many years of experience of shooting.
He taught me to gently hold the bow with a soft grip. When drawing the bow back, don’t lock your elbow. You should make it slightly bend, not over exaggerated just a slight bend. When you aim to the target, you should focus on the target. Instead of shooting into the 4-inch circle, try to hit into the circle.
Similarly, in hunting, you don’t have to focus on the animal, just focus on one spot. His experience was really helpful for me.
What are the main types of a bow?
Following types of bow are very famous in archery industry:-
A traditional bow can be defined as a simple bow with simple traditional design, carved from a tree which was mainly used for hunting in the history. Traditional bows are beautiful, light in weight and without any gadgets so one can enjoy shooting without any interruption. Traditional bows include longbows and recurve bows.
The longbow is differentiated from the recurve bow mainly by its shape. Longbows are considered easier to shoot as the longer length disperses the bow weight over a larger area making it draw smooth back to most draw lengths. Longbow has a greater depth than the recurve bow but thinner in width which makes it harder to shoot a straight arrow.
The main difference between a longbow and recurve bow is its shape. Longbows are traditional D shape with straight grip while the recurve has that classic 3 shapes as the limbs that bend into the half-moon start to bend back out at the tips.
Recurve bow has the greater width than the longbow but thinner in depth which makes easy and faster to shoot a straight arrow. Most people choose to recurve bow over longbow because it’s more powerful, shorter and easy to use. That is why it is the only bow allowed in Olympics competition.
A Takedown bow is assembled out of a riser with two limbs to make a working bow. You can also call this bow a portable bow because it can be transported in a much shorter case when disassembled. Another advantage of takedown bow is you can change the configuration of this type of bow by changing its limbs.
The shape of the takedown bow is similar to recurve bow when assembled. The riser is the center where limbs attached to it and also the point where archer holds the bow. The string attaches at each end of the limbs and gives propelling force to the arrow.
The compound bow is the most recent evolution in the field of archery. In modern or 3D archery, a compound bow is a bow that uses a levering system, normally pulleys to bend the limbs. A compound bow is very famous in hunting and target practicing. You can identify the compound bow by the multiple strings and the system of pulleys at either end of the bow.
The pulley system provides a mechanical advantage to the archer because the limbs of compound bows are much stiffer than any other bow. The pulleys allow one to increase the force required to draw the bow until one approaches full draw, at this point the force is greatly reduced. The energy stored in the limbs is the force applied to the string as you draw the bow, times the distance that you pulled that force.
By requiring less effort to keep the bow fully drawn, the archer achieves the better aim and increased accuracy. The system also allows you to store more energy into the highly rigid bow which translates into higher velocity upon release. Compound bows represent distinct design improvements over traditional longbows and recurve bows.
Crossbow is a modern type of bow and arrow which was initially used in hunting or in war as a weapon. A crossbow is just like a horizontal bow which is assembly mounted on a frame and aimed like a gun.
This feature allows the bow to remain loaded even when it is not in use. It shoots arrow-like projectiles called bolts or quarrels and these projectiles are much shorter than a normal arrow. Crossbows can be modified to hold special bullets.
The firing mechanism of the crossbow entails pulling a lever back at which point the bow is fixed and ready to fire. When the lever is released the projectile is fired. These projectiles can travel very fast and far in the air than traditional arrows.
In the past times, crossbow played a significant role in warfare but in today’s world, a crossbow is used for hunting, target shooting, sports, and competitions.
As compared to the crossbow, a compound bow is more accurate due to the fact of a consistent anchor point. The arrow sits between the string loop knots and the release is held on the string loop in the same place every time to make it very accurate.
The crossbow has to be drawn and locked into a latch where the consistent string position can be compromised, allowing for the arrow to hit the left or to the right of the target. Crossbows don’t require the same physical strength, expertise or training that ordinary bows do. Check Comparison between Compound bow and Crossbow.
Is archery a Safe sport?
National Safety Council has proven the archery as a safe sport, archery is more than three times safer than golf, according to the statistics by National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) there is just one injury for every 2,000 participants. In fact, over 90 percent of those injuries occurred while bow hunting, not target shooting.
Archery injuries will be caused by hunters cutting themselves with their razor-sharp hunting arrowheads, which are not permitted at most recreational archery ranges. Other than those, the most common injury is slapping the wrist with the bowstring, which does hurt, but can be prevented through the use of proper equipment and instruction.
- If you have long hair, it is important to keep them tie and put them into a ponytail and keep them out of the way of the bow once pulled back.
- Scarf, Hoods, Loose fitting clothes or anything that can be stuck in the bow should be avoided.
- Armguard and gloves should be wear for proper grip and protection of fingers.
- Hard Surfaces such as walls, doors, and pillars should be avoided as a target that compromises the integrity and life cycle of an arrow.
- Before shooting arrow make sure that range is clear. If you have brought children, Make sure they are not in front or behind your target.
- Do not itch or rub your body from the arrow or bowstring.
- Never pull the string further than the actual length of your arrow. It can result in serious injury or can damage your equipment.
- Before Shooting, Check the equipment including bow and arrow. The bow should be strong enough, properly fitted and tuned.
- Never draw an arrow when someone between you and your target.
- Keep the arrow aimed towards the ground as you nock it.
How can I stay Safe in Archery Range?
- Archery ranges should be well marked and organized so all archers and observers know exactly where to stand when shooting.
- The range should also be as flat as possible and free from roots, trees, and rocks, etc.
- Signs and fencing should be used at the range to keep people away from the archery range.
- Archers should only shoot arrows when standing on the clearly visible shooting line.
- There is a definite time-slot for shooting and the archer may not raise the bow arm to shoot until the signal to start shooting is given.
- All equipment will be inspected by the field officials before shooting and at any time during the tournament.
- Shooting will only be in the direction of a designated target.
- Archers should aim toward their target when drawing their arrow. The arrow must not be drawn in such a way that if the string was accidentally released the arrow would fly out of the safety zone.
What are the Rules in Archery Range?
Here are some most important rules which should never be violated in the Range:-
- Read and know about all range commands and follow them in the range.
- Keep your bow aimed towards the ground until you hear appropriate whistle command.
- Arrows may be nocked only after the appropriate command.
- No practice shooting will be permitted on the day of shooting and in range of shoot.
- Shoot in the same direction at the same time as other shooters.
- Wait until everyone finishes before going to target.
- Make sure that no one is behind the target line that can hit by the arrow that misses the target.
Archery Range Whistle Commands:-
- One Whistle Blast – When you hear the first whistle you should nock your arrow and begin shooting.
- Two Whistle Blasts – You should proceed to the Shooting Line and take the correct stance
- Three Whistle Blasts – Walk forward and safely retrieve your arrows
- Five or More Whistle Blasts (series of whistle blasts) – You should STOP SHOOTING IMMEDIATELY and place your arrows in a quiver
Is Archery a Sport?
Archery is a fun and social sport, it encourages personal fulfillment and friendly competition. Today, Archery is the fastest growing sport in the USA, UK, and Australia. It is a sport for all, providing opportunities whatever age and ability.
Archery was previously used for hunting and combat. But in modern times, it’s mainly a competitive sport or recreational activity. A person practicing archery is called an archer and expert person in archery is called toxophilite. Archery is more about technique than brutal strength. You should start from low weight bow but as you progress, you can move to a heavier bow to propel the arrow faster. Archery is now a popular sport that even features in the Olympics.
Q: What is Modern Archery?
In past times, Archery was used for hunting and was used in war to eliminate the enemies or animals. It was considered an essential skill in the military as a protective weapon. Bows and arrows were certainly considered to be one of the oldest weapons that deal with projectile motions.
But today, as our world becomes more civilized and does not require any brutal wars or hunting like before.
In today’s world, archery has left its first purpose on why it is created. Now archery is a sport, recreational or social activity which is played in many competitions on the international level.
Some people learn archery just for their interest. Now people use bow and arrow in a safe way with complete protective equipment. They learn archery to participate in the Olympics and other competitions to represent their country in front of the world.
Now there are rules defined for the safety of archers so they can enjoy their sport without any danger.
Q: What is 3D Archery?
In 3D archery, Targets made from foam and situated in such a way as to simulate a true-to-life hunting experience. 3D archery mainly focused on hunting practice, as such most of the targets were shaped like game animals like deer, bears, leopards, antelope, etc. 3D archery takes the archery range into the woods, introduces unique angles, and creates new ways to have fun with a bow.
In this type of archery, an archer only takes one shot to hit each target. Points are earned by arrows hitting various scoring rings on the targets. And a typical 3D round is 40 targets, versus 18 holes.
Is Crossbow considered as a weapon?
A crossbow was certainly designed for hunting and killing. It can do as much damage as a firearm. The crossbow is often categorized as a firearm by various legal jurisdictions but in the United States, they are not considered a firearm.
Crossbows were not only designed to kill, but the more powerful ones were designed to pierce through plate armor and kill whatever was behind it. So yes they can easily kill someone today, you should treat them exactly as you would a firearm in that you shouldn’t point it at anything you don’t want to shoot.
The bolts used in crossbow are made from steel and several times heavier than normal arrows. Because of this, bolts are more likely to kill someone. As compared to a gun, shooting from crossbow produce no sound so it becomes more effective in hunting animals.
What is Target & Field Archery?
Target archery is the most recognizable type of modern archery and it can be practiced both indoor and outdoor. Target archery and field archery is might look the same but there are different rules for both of them. Target archery is mostly practiced for participation in the competitions such as Olympics games. In target archery, the archer shoots arrows from a specific distance while standing at a point.
All type of bow, Longbow, recurve bow and compound bow can be used in target archery but recurve bow and compound bow is most commonly used in target archery.
In field archery, archers shoot on a walking course. Target distances vary from less than 10 yards to 80 yards, and target faces differ based on the round being shot. Different targets are set to be shoot like paper targets having pictures of animals or bullseye.
Archers do enjoy playing field archery because moving from one target to another in the field. The National Field Archery Association (NFAA) annually organized one of the famous event in indoor field archery called “The Vegas Shoot” in which many archers came into Las Vegas from all over the world to participate in the event.
The equipment configuration of archery depends on which type of archery are you practicing. For Example, there will be a different configuration for the compound bow and recurve bow.
An arrow is the most important part of archery equipment which is followed by the bow.
Arrows are usually made of wood, carbon fiber, fiberglass or aluminum. It is important to choose a suitable arrow according to your need. If you choose heavier arrow, it will hit the target with more force but travel in the air slowly.
Similarly, if you choose an arrow with light in weight, the force might not be the same but it will go faster and far than the heavy arrow.
The nock of the arrow is the slit on the end which holds the arrow in place as you shoot.
An archery arrows nock should not be too tight on the string, it will not release properly when you shoot.
The riser is the central point where upper and lower limbs are attached. Risers are made from wood or plastic for beginners but expert archers can use a bow with risers made of carbon fiber with metal fittings or aluminum with carbon fiber.
Limbs are the main part of the bow. There are two limbs attached to the bow, Upper limb, and lower limb. Limbs can be made from wood, metal or fiberglass material. These limbs are not interchangeable and must be attached to the bow when shooting an arrow.
The string attached to each end of the limbs that launches the arrow. There are two parts of the string, the central serving, and the nocking point.
The nocking point indicated where the arrow should be nocked while serving point is a type of thread that is wrapped around the middle point of a bowstring. Strings are made from different materials and are rubbed with silicon wax for good working.
Quiver is the case to hold the arrows and bolts when are not in use. Traditionally, quivers were made from wood, leather or from any natural material but now often they came in metal, leather or sports fabric.
It does not only protect your arrows and bolts but also protects you from being injured from the sharp head of the arrows.
Tournaments and Competition:-
The World archery federation offers a series of World archery championships. The first competition under that title was held in 1931.
- The outdoor world championship.
- The indoor world championship.
- World championship in field archery.
The outdoor World Championships in target Archery is most commonly referred to as simply the ‘World Archery Championships‘, and the winners most commonly referred to as simply World Champions.
How can archery improve your mental and physical health?
Archery is often considered a social sport, however, competitive archers require a significant level of endurance, focus, and strength to perform well, which makes it an ideal activity to help keep you fit and healthy. Followings are the major health benefits of archery.
Strong Upper Body
Practicing archery requires the use of arms, chest, back and shoulder muscles when drawing the strength. Similar to weightlifting, the stress on these muscles requires maintaining a certain level of stress on the above-named muscles before releasing the string to fire the arrow.
The repetitive act of drawing and firing the arrow encourages muscles development in the upper body.
Archers learn to maintain focus on their shot routine, avoiding distractions like wind, distance, noise and their competitors to deliver the perfect arrow.
High level of focus when aiming your targets also improves your ability to clear your mind and become more precise during both practice and competition.
That focus is beneficial for other areas of life, too.
Balance & Control
Archery helps you build control over your body’s balance as you aim and try to hit the bull’s eye. The more you practice, the more your core muscles will become accustomed to balancing your body and keeping you steady as you aim and fire your arrow.
Even with great muscular strength, your brain must work hard to keep your entire body balanced for this sport. Releasing the bowstring in a consistent manner requires smooth control.
Coordination of Body Parts
Hand-Eye coordination is an essential skill for mastery in archery. This skill is developed through a lot of regular practice. While playing archery you train your hands how to work together when firing the arrow based on your eye’s input. The improvement in Hand-Eye coordination results in better aiming which can help you in other sports as well.
Patience in practicing archery is very essential for a bright and long future in this sport. The determination of repeating the precise shot repeatedly is what makes you a better archer.
Same like archery, patience can be very helpful in other areas of your life.
Archery is an excellent sport to build self-confidence. In archery, competition can be against others or against oneself, and since the outcome is measurable, improving your technique and form can result in improvement of self-confidence.
When is Archery Season?
Archery season may vary from state to state or zone to zone. At first, you should check the archery and hunting season in your area. Hunting season dates are different in all states of US, Click here to check the hunting dates in your state. Hunting can be tough in late winter season due to weather condition, though, bad weather like rain and snow offer the best hunting opportunity.
Windy conditions allow you to stay concealed, reducing a deer’s ability to smell you and disguising your steps in the woods. In addition, wet weather makes it easy to sneak around. Deer hunting in snowy weather muffles sticks breaking under your feet and in addition, gives you deer sign to follow while still hunting for deer.
In hunting season, Only bows may be used. However, it is prohibited to use bows equipped with sights or aiming devices with electronic computational capabilities or light/laser projection (like crossbows) during archery season.
But in order to hunt legally, you must get the license from the state and comply with the requirement associated with it. Hunting licenses can generally be purchased at any retail outlet that deals in hunting and fishing equipment, such as sporting goods stores.
Before going to shoot, You should know about the safety equipment and how to use them. Safety equipment designed for archers is mainly used to protect their body parts that could become injured by using a bow and arrow.
The arm guard is worn on the hand which holds the bow. The arm guard is very important protective gear that must not be ignored. An armed guard protects your forearm when shooting the arrow and when the string has been released.
On the time of releasing the bowstring its normally connect with your forearm. It cannot only injure your forearm but also can cause the arrow to miss its target. Another advantage of arm guard is, It stops clothes from getting stuck into the string while shooting an arrow.
Archery arm guards are now available in many different materials, such as stainless steel, plastic, and vinyl, as well as traditional leather. Arm guards are generally made from light materials that can provide comfort and protection.
It is advisable for beginner archers to wear extra padded arm guards while they become accustomed to the positioning and the feel of the bow and arrow.
Finger tabs are worn on the hand which pulls the string. It protects the fingers from the pressure that is applied when pulling the string back. There are two ways to protect the fingers in archery, First is using the gloves or second is to use the finger tabs.
But in the season of summer, it is not easy to use the gloves because it can make the whole hand too hot so finger tabs can be a feasible gear, especially in the summer season. It is a piece of leather or cloth that only covers the fingertips that have contact with the string.
It’s a small and cheap gear that can be carried easily.
Chest guards look similar to half of a vest or waistcoat. They are worn over the same side of the chest as the archer holds the bow. It is a simple chest protector which allow you to pull the string close to your chest and release without rubbing or damage the chest.
A chest protector also stops clothes from interfering with the string when it is drawn back. The chest guards are usually made from leather, plastic, nylon, or other materials, and are fitted to the body of the archers with the help of buttons, studs, or cords.
The gloves perform almost a similar function to that of finger tabs but they may cause your hand to become too hot or perspire during the summer season. In the cold season, the archer needs warm hands for a smooth release to shoot well in cold. All archery gloves fit both left handed as well as right-handed archers.
While hunting, shooting from ground level is not the only option. You may need to climb and shoot from a tree to hunt your prey. But hunting from a tree can be dangerous as you might lose your balance and fall on the ground. Thus a safety harness will save you from serious injury but it won’t stop you from falling or slipping.
A safety harness is a protective equipment which is designed for protecting humans, animals and even objects from damage or injury. The attachment between a stationary and moving object is the harness or in simpler words, a harness is nylon webbing or a length of rope tied around the waist.
The best safety harness is lightweight and they should be able to wear and remove off easily and quickly.
You can often purchase a safety harness with an attached tether allowing free movement in the tree. A short tether can limit the range of a hunter can affect the lining up of a shot and the ability to follow the movement of the game.
Some of these safety harnesses are available with an attached vest having pockets for carrying additional equipment with the hunter like binoculars etc. while some hunters find these vests bulky and assume that they interfere their shot by restricting their movement.
Do you need a license to use Bow and Arrows?
Bow and arrows were used for hunting and as a protective weapon in the past times but nowadays it is completely a sport or recreational activity. But before buying the bow and arrow you should check the law and rules of your country or a place you are living in.
In United States, there is no license required if you are going to use a bow as a sport, like using in a club or in the range. But if you are getting a bow for hunting purpose then you’ll need a permit to hunt with it.
The head of arrows are usually made from carbon fiber and aluminum which can injure someone so if you are an archery lover and use it in a club or in range, It is important for you to not use bow and arrow in public places like parks and shopping centers.
You might get arrested if you nock your arrow or taking your bow in hands in public places because the arrow can be released from you by mistake or unintentionally. If you are carrying your bow and arrow in a quiver on your back, it indicates you are not hunting or threatening to anyone.
There is a number of clubs in the US, find at www.usarchery.org you can search a range near you or join a club that will assist in providing a safe environment to use your bow and arrow.
In many states of the US, Crossbow is legal in deer hunting season or in archery season but the law and rules must be check before buying crossbow because rules may vary from states to states.
In many countries, Use of a crossbow is illegal because the crossbow is considered as a weapon there so you will need a license in order to keep the crossbow. But there is no restriction of using a longbow, recurve bow and compound bow as a sport.
A person with a physical disability which prevents him/her from being able to draw and hold a bow in a firing position can also obtain the crossbow with a permit in archery season. It is strictly prohibited to take the crossbow in the car or any other vehicle when the crossbow is in the cocked position.
How can I set up my own Archery Range?
An archery range can be set up indoor or outdoor. If you are living in an area of susceptible to inclement weather, an indoor range may be better in that area. You can also set up an outdoor range but it must be large enough that your released arrows remain on your range.
An acre of a property would be better to have an outdoor range but make sure it is free from the trees. Before setting an archery range, you should ask your local zoning laws, building permits, sound restrictions, safety regulations and required operating hours. Mark the boundaries of the range with flags.
You will need to buy archery targets, safety signs, ropes and nets for an outdoor range and chalk marks to draw lines. Targets may be made from paper, cloth or any suitable material. You can also use 3D Targets.
How to get the license for deer hunting?
- License type – Determine what type of license you need according to the wildlife you are going to hunt. Check the restrictions and qualifications from the wildlife or natural resources department of your state.
- Authorized vendor – An authorized vendor can be an outdoor supplier or a firearm supplier which provides the license.
- Department of Natural Resources or wildlife department office – The rules and restrictions for hunting may vary by country or state, so you must have to check it before goin
g to hunt. Most countries allow to obtain a license under age 17 with an ID card or driving license but it varies by country.
- An ID card or Driving license – Your state Identity card or driving license for your identification.
- Old Permit – Keep your old permit to get the license fast and even without an Identification card. Some states also offer lifetime permits. You can purchase a hunting license online from the state’s department if you can’t go there in person. Some states email the license so you can get the print of it but it.
- License Fee – License fee can be $100 to $150 that vary by country or states.
What type of license do i need for Deer hunting?
Deer license has only one kill tag that can be used in any open season as long as you are following the rules of that particular season. You must plan your hunt before buying the license because if you buy a deer license, you cannot get another later.
Deer Combination License
If you buy a combination license, you will get two kill tags, one regular and one restricted. You can use the combination license in both archery and firearm season. It can even use in archery season to hunt the antlerless deer.
The regular kill tag or APR’s (Antler point restrictions) vary by states or regions so make sure to look the APR’s of your respective area.
The restricted kill tag has some regulations that vary by states. You must check it from your state’s department.
Antlerless Deer License
Antlerless deer license is only for hunting antlerless deer hunting. A deer with less than 3-inch spike. You can hunt in public or private land Pacific.
How can I win an Archery Competition?
There is only one way to improve your shooting accuracy and that is PRACTICE. There is no substitute except for practice. In archery, accuracy doesn’t apply to the bow it applies to the person holding the bow. A person shooting the bow becomes accurate, a bow is always accurate.
You should nock your arrow, draw, and then aim with the center of the sight pointed at the center of the target. Release, follow through and see where the arrow hit. Repeat this a few times, and if you get a decent grouping of arrows in the same area, you can move your sight.
If the arrows went higher than the center, move the sight up. This forces you to aim lower, and thus the arrow’s path would be altered in the same direction. If the arrow went lower than the center, move the sight down, if the arrow went to the right, move it to the right, etc.
The secret of archery is to be consistent. With Practice, you also need to prepare yourself for the event or tournament you are going to participate. By knowing the tournament’s rules, format, location, schedule and dress code will make you relax and gives you confidence. That’s why try to get as much knowledge as you can get about the tournament.
The main thing to remember is to choose the right bow for you. If you already have yours, chances are good you have already selected one that fits you personally. Make sure to research your specific needs in regard to size, weight, shooting style, and other key points.
Make sure to have the protective gears with you at the day of the event. However once you found what works for you the key is always remembering to keep it consistent until you no longer have to even think about it, it just comes naturally. Then focus on keeping every other movement the same between shots and between sessions.