Are you fired up to try archery but aren’t sure where to shoot? Don’t worry – you have plenty of options even if you don’t have a backyard range.
Having an archery range at home is a luxury, not a necessity. If you live in an apartment or a neighborhood that isn’t archery-friendly, you can visit a number of other locations to shoot.
And as a bonus, practicing archery at these places is a great way to immerse yourself in the local archery community.
A great way to get involved in archery is through a private or group lesson. Group lessons are a low-cost way to try the sport without a big commitment. You can rent equipment during a group lesson until you buy a bow of your own. You can find the archery infrastructure you need along with professional instruction at an archery shop.
There are several archery programs that provide group instruction. Some programs to look for in your community are Explore Archery, Olympic Archery in Schools, National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), Adult Archery Achievement and Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD). These programs offer professional instruction in a safe environment and are an easy way to get involved in archery.
Explore Archery is an interactive, educational archery program that gives folks a chance to try archery and explore its benefits. There are five different Explore Archery events to match anyone’s needs. The events include Try Archery, a 1-day camp, a 1-week camp, a 6-week Camp and birthday parties. Talk to your local archery store to find out more about Explore Archery.
Olympic Archery in the Schools (OAS) is for middle and high-school students that are interested in pursuing archery. The program teaches the fundamentals of Olympic-style archery and provides students with competitive opportunities. Through OAS, they’ll compete against other participating schools in individual and team competitions. Find an OAS program near you here.
NASP is a great way for young archers to take their first step into the world of archery. The program takes place during school and teaches the basics of archery and safety. There are also competitive opportunities at the state and national level. To get information on NASP in your area contact your state coordinator here.
JOAD is a youth archery program that focuses on target archery. Archers of all skill levels receive instruction and guidance from certified instructors. JOAD programs meet after school or on weekends, and are a great way to try target archery, build camaraderie and enjoy the sport. Archers can enjoy the sport for leisure or compete in one of the many JOAD events. USA Archery also has an adult archery program that provides adults with all the same benefits. You can find a JOAD program near you here.
Once you’re involved in archery, you’ll need a place to practice such as indoor range, community archery park or archery club.
An indoor archery range provides year-round, all-weather practice opportunities. If it’s raining, freezing or dark, you still have a dry, warm and well-lit area to do archery. These ranges are typically found at archery shops and clubs. If you visit an indoor range within a retail store, expect to pay a fee based on the amount of time spent shooting. It’s a small price to pay to have a place to practice – especially in lousy weather – and there’s archery professionals on-hand to help you out.
Community Archery Parks
If you have a public archery range in your neighborhood, consider yourself lucky. These parks are a special treat for community members. Like at any public park, read the guidelines posted at the range before shooting. Respect the rules, and take care of the archery park as if it’s your own backyard. Contact your local parks department to find out if there’s an archery park near you, or check with your area archery shop professionals.
One of the most common places to practice is at an archery club. These member-run organizations typically have well-developed archery facilities and will often host events. If you find a nearby archery club, check their website or contact the club president for a list of upcoming events.
These clubs sometimes hold a 3-D or field archery shoot that is open to the public. Attending one of those events will allow you to check out the club and meet the members. Archery clubs usually have membership requirements. Some clubs charge an annual membership fee, while others charge a fee and require members to help maintain the club.
Archery isn’t only accessible to people who have large yards or farms. If you live in an urban area, the best way to discover how to start archery is to find an archery shop. They are plugged into the local archery scene and can steer you in the right direction. With their help, you can unwind from the hustle and bustle of city life with some much needed archery therapy.