The first time you release an arrow and watch it soar through the air is magical. Even if your arrow only finds dirt, the experience is thrilling.
If you’ve tried archery or want to try archery, you’ll be happy to learn that it’s very easy to get started. Finding the time, equipment and place to shoot are easier than you may realize. Don’t believe us? Keep reading.
How much does it cost?
When starting archery, you’ll need to invest in archery gear, a place to practice and, potentially, archery lessons. All of this sounds expensive, but archery doesn’t have to be pricey. You can custom-tailor your experience to match your budget.
If you’re on a budget, traditional archery is a cost-effective and enjoyable way to practice archery. You need minimal gear, some of which you can DIY, and it’s a good way to fling arrows without breaking the bank.
Compound bows are slightly more expensive than traditional equipment because they have more accessories. But thanks to improvements in technology and engineering, today’s budget-friendly compound bows are very accurate. An archery store can get you outfitted with a compound bow that is surprisingly inexpensive.
A beginner archer’s budget should also include archery lessons and shooting-range fees. To minimize costs take group lessons rather than private ones, and take advantage of free places to shoot, such as public archery ranges or your own backyard. Let’s take a closer look at these options.
How do I find places to shoot?
If you don’t have a suitable backyard for shooting, you can still practice archery. Public archery ranges, indoor ranges and archery clubs are all great options for places to shoot. Archery 360 features a directory of ranges and shops to make your search easy.
Stump shooting is another great way to unwind with your bow and arrow without using a formal archery range. Stump shooting is venturing into the woods and using the targets nature gives you – tree stumps. You shoot stumps and logs with blunt points. It’s an incredibly fun and relaxing way to shoot.
When winter hits, an indoor archery range is your climate-controlled oasis. Ranges provide sanctuary and practice space for weather-weary archers. Indoor leagues are a great winter activity.
Where can I take lessons?
Finding an archery instructor is easier than ever thanks to the internet. USA Archery and Archery 360 maintain a list of instructors. In addition, visit your local archery shop; if they don’t provide lessons, they will know someone who does.
When you’re getting started, you’ll want regular lessons. Private lessons are excellent because you’ll receive the instructor’s complete attention and personalized training. Group lessons, meanwhile, are a cost-effective way to get quality instruction and meet other archers. Lessons offer a casual atmosphere that’s perfect for adult and youth archers.
What gear do I need?
When it comes to archery equipment, you have endless options that fit every budget, skill level, purpose and person. Start with a visit to your local archery store. The staff will help you pick a bow that fits your needs. Archery is a highly individualized sport, and your equipment is tailored to fit you perfectly.
When you’re just getting started, it’s more important to focus on your form and practice than the equipment. There is no need to own every archery gadget in the shop; you can stick with basic equipment while you work on technique. Once your shooting improves, you can upgrade your equipment at your own pace.
How do I find the time?
You have many obligations vying for your time, but you can create room in your schedule for archery. Like any new pursuit, it’s all about setting priorities; with archery, this is easily justified by the many health benefits associated with the sport. Reduced stress, increased exercise and improved focus are just some of the great benefits of practicing archery.
If your weekends are spent shuttling kids to different activities, make one of those activities archery. It’s one of the few sports the entire family can do together. Try a youth program like Junior Olympic Archery Development or Scholastic 3-D Archery; adults can take a group lesson or shoot on their own.
Also, be sure to make practice time convenient. If you are able, set up a target at home so you can shoot a few arrows before or after work. Even a close-distance target will keep you in prime shooting shape.
If there’s a range near work, practice on your lunch break or on the way home. It’s not necessary to shoot for hours – 30 minutes of shooting is plenty to keep you in form.
If you’re short on time, money, practice space or equipment, but have plenty of archery passion, you can make your archery dreams come true. To get out of archery limbo, give these suggestions a try. If you’ve overcome similar obstacles while getting into archery, post your suggestions and experiences on the Archery 360 Facebook community.