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Field Archery

Updated on January 25, 2010

Field archers generally shoot at different-sized targets that are set at varying distances around a course. The Field Round and Animal Round are outdoor events; the Flint Round is an indoor event. Other activities for field archers include archery golf, roving, and bowhunting.

Photo by Paolo Ferla
Photo by Paolo Ferla


A Field Round unit consists of 14 targets at distances of from 20 to 80 yards; two units, or 28 targets, comprise a round. The series of targets, placed in woods or countryside to simulate game-hunting situations, are arranged in cloverleaf fashion, so that the last target is stationed near the first. Four sizes of target faces are used, each containing a white inner ring with a small black center spot and a black outer ring. A hit in the white ring counts 5 points; in the outer circle, 3 points. The maximum possible score at each target is 20 points. A total of 112 arrows is shot.

In the Animal Round, archers shoot field arrows at animal-like faces on 28 targets at unknown distances. A maximum of 3 arrows is allowed, but shooting stops with the first hit. Scoring is designed to indicate the hunting archer's shooting skill. The Flint Round uses 7 targets at distances from 20 feet to 30 yards and with 6- and 12-inch faces. Fifty-six arrows are shot.

Archery Golf and Roving

Archery golf combines certain characteristics of golf with those of flight and field archery. To start, the archer shoots a flight arrow from behind the first tee marker on the golf course. He continues from where the arrow lands. For an approach shot to the target he uses a roving or field arrow, and he completes each "hole" by hitting the bull's-eye at the green. This bull's-eye is a soft, white ball raised 18 inches above the ground. The archer who uses the fewest shots to hit all the balls on the course wins the game.

In roving, archers shoot at random marks, such as a stump, bush, or leaf. The one who hits the chosen target, or comes closest to it, wins points and selects the next target. This activity offers excellent practice for bowhunting.


Bowhunting makes use of the bow and arrow for shooting big and small game as well as fish. Deer is the most widely hunted big game. Other big game shot regularly are elk, moose, bear, and wild pigs. The most popular small game are rabbits and squirrels. Common fish taken by bowfishermen are carp and garfish. Shooting is done either while wading or from small boats.

In the United States, bowhunting is legal in season in any place where hunting with a gun is permitted. A knowledge of legal restrictions, in addition to an archer's personal requirements, is essential in choosing the proper hunting equipment. For example, some communities specify a minimum weight or distance of cast for hunting bows; others regulate the size of broadheads (arrowheads) that can be used for deer.

Bowhunters must study the habits of game and execute the hunt with care. Hunting tactics can be influenced by many conditions, such as the terrain, direction of the wind, dampness or dryness of ground cover, and time of day.


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