If dreary winter days have you dreaming of warmer weather, start gearing up for 3-D archery season. Archery Shooters Association events and most archery shops start 3-D leagues in February. Leagues are a great way to have fun while sharpening your shooting skills and meeting new people.
At 3-D events, archers shoot lifelike plastic-foam targets at unmarked distances. Shots earn 14, 12, 10, 8, 5 or 0 points, depending on where they hit. Whether you shoot at a local or high-profile event, like the ASA Pro Am, 3-D shoots are excellent for networking with others who share archery passions. You’ll likely make new friends and learn more tips along the way.
To get started, visit your local archery shop. Besides ensuring your bow is tuned and fitted, the shop’s staff can help match you with the best leagues or events for you. Most offer several categories of leagues, including those for youths, women and bowhunters. Some events, such as the Rinehart R100 and ASA Pro Am, are traveling 3-D competitions. These road shows travel across the country, and attract huge crowds of shooters of all skill levels.
To compete at a high level, you need precise equipment. Your archery shop should have everything you need to enjoy 3-D archery. The most important accessories are an adjustable sight and lightweight, flat-shooting arrows. Shots can come at any distance, so you must be able to adjust your sight to the exact yardage. Most adjustable sights have only one pin, which decreases clutter in your sight picture and lets you hold dead-on without compensating for trajectory.
The best arrows for 3-D shoots have lightweight shafts that fly fast. The lighter and faster your arrow, the less it drops. Flatter trajectories give archers more margin for error. For example, if an archer estimates a shot at 36 yards but it’s only 32 yards, a lightweight arrow will land closer to the aiming point than a heavy shaft would hit.
However, 3-D archery isn’t all about outshooting the competition. Participants set personal goals that let them grow in the sport while meeting more people. Don’t let your bow sit in its case any longer. Find a 3-D shoot nearby and shoot your way to fun.