The sun is shining long into the evening these days, with the smell of BBQ mingling with the sound of the neighbor’s lawn mower. Summertime means it’s time to get outside. Sure, you could go to the beach, take a hike or play backyard games. But if you really want to have fun, try one of these five archery activities this summer.
Stump shooting or “roving” is one of the oldest archery games. And it’s simple: Find an old tree stump, pick a spot on it, and shoot. You’ll feel like a little kid as you fling arrows. A regular walk in the woods becomes an adventure. You can stump shoot at home or on public lands. Check with your state game agency to determine legality.
For stump shooting, use a special type of arrow point called a judo. These points are blunt and have wire claws. The blunt point reduces penetration into stumps, and the claws prevent arrows from burying into the grass.
No stumps? No problem. Ball-shaped archery targets are available from your local archery store. Throw the round target and shoot where it lands. Pull your arrows and repeat.
Do you want to get into shape, but treadmills aren’t your thing? Try an archery biathlon to run, jump and shoot your way to fitness.
You can create a course in your backyard. Start by running, then jump over an obstacle such as an overturned garbage can, and shoot three arrows into your target. Turn this game into a friendly competition by seeing who can complete the course fastest while maintaining accurate shooting. Make sure you run and jump without your bow in hand; you don’t want to damage your bow if you trip.
Balloons and Archery Games
Shooting balloons and playing archery games is a great replacement for playing bocce ball or corn hole. Secure balloons to your target, take aim, and enjoy the satisfying “pop” when you hit your mark.
You can also fill the balloons with paint, cornstarch or glitter for even more fun. Avoid paint from the hardware store; you can make paint at home that will be easy to clean up and better for the environment.
Homemade Paint Recipe
½ cup flour
½ cup salt
½ cup water
Whisk together the flour, salt and water until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add the food coloring until the desired color is attained.
Bowfishing takes the relaxing sport of fishing and turns it up a notch. Bowfishing is hunting fish with a bow and arrow; instead of hooking fish, you shoot them with a barbed arrow and reel them in with a bow-mounted reel.
Bowfishing is not only fun, it helps the environment. Enthusiasts usually target invasive fish species such as carp and snakeheads. These fish can decimate aquatic ecosystems if left unchecked.
The activity doesn’t require a lot of expensive gear; with a few items from your local archery shop, you can ready your bow for bowfishing. You can bowfish in creeks, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and salt water. Visit your nearest archery store to learn about local bowfishing hot spots and getting started.
Field, 3-D and Target Archery
Field, 3-D and target archery are disciplines that many archers enjoy all summer. If you like hiking, give field or 3-D archery a try. If you like shooting in a grassy field, target archery is your game.
Check with your local archery club for shooting events close to home, or venture to a bigger event around the country. You can shoot these disciplines for fun or try competing.
If it’s rainy, you can always watch field, 3-D and target archery events online. Watch the best archers in the world compete, study their form, and learn about the different archery disciplines. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to the sport and become an archery fan.
“Sun’s out, bows out,” is this summer’s motto, and there’s no shortage of ways to unwind outdoors with a little archery. Enjoy shooting before summer is gone!