Fun and Interesting Archery Practice
Target Archery Improves Your Skills - Why Not Have Some Fun With It?
Practicing archery at a target range is important even if you primarily just hunt with your bow and not generally participate in target archery as a sport. Like every other sport archery requires practice to improve, without it you won't ever obtain the necessary skill to have a rewarding experience with a bow and arrow. That being said targets like the one shown in this image (used with permission provided by sxc.hu). There are all sorts of options when it comes to targets to shoot at. Some interesting targets could make practice more interesting, and thus make it so you are more willing to practice.
I find shooting at fun and unique targets way more satisfying then your standard bulls-eye targets, I'm willing to bet you will to.
Having fun is what target archery should be about. Making the practice more fun there are a variety of archery games you can play while shooting at targets. You can purchase a number of fancy archery targets with built in games on them, such as a golf game where you target various spots on the target as different holes, or you can simply make your own target with a variety of special areas that score differently.
Practice for the Zombie Apocalypse
What could be more fun than shooting Zombies on a nice day. Practice your zombie survival skills, everyone knows that a bow is one of the best weapons for zombie survival because they are quiet and deadly. Hone your zombie killing skills with these targets. There are a variety of Zombie themed targets available on Amazon.com, and other sites. They are fun and challenging.
Funnily enough a politician in Alberta got in some hot water at a shooting range for having zombie targets in the background of a publicity photo, the zombie in question was a "terrorist zombie" and had a turban. It was deemed as "racist", and while I don't agree with the politics of the politician in question I thought the whole thing was overblown.
3D Game Targets
For hunters these targets may hold more appeal than any other as they are more like actually hunting. Shooting at paper targets can be fun and really improve your skills, but if you are in it for the hunting 3d targets are the way to go. With 3d targets you can practice making that perfect kill shot.
In Canada the two dollar coin has a center made of a different metal than the outer ring, this makes it possible to actually shoot the center out of the toonie if you are a good enough shot. Generally this is done as a gambling game, for every shot you have to put a dollar in the kitty, first person to shoot out the center wins the kitty.
Fire At Will
This is a favourite of my local SCA group at our archery practices. We have a foam head that is attached to a pole that someone lovingly nicknamed "William". The head swivels freely and is an extremely difficult target to hit. When aiming for it the running joke is that we are following are archery marshall's directions and "firing at will".
Simply by taping standard playing cards to your target you can vastly change the objective of target shooting. Various cards taped to various targets can then be used to see who has the best poker hand after five arrows, and many other games. You are only limited by your imagination.
Target Archery Games
Beyond altering your targets, there are several games you can set up for target archery to make practice more fun, challenging, and rewarding. Competing with fellow archers in these games can make you focus more and for hunters introduce the element of adrenaline similar to hunting.
Night shooting has an increased chance of loss of arrows, but it can be mitigated. Taping a glow stick on the arrows (using the cock feather to make sure it doesn't interfere with the bow) both looks cool and ensures you'll find stray arrows. You can also tape glow sticks to the targets to have things really cool.
While this doesn't have to be a night shoot event, I think it works best as one. Use targets that look like monsters and set out on a "Monster Hunt".
A royal round tests all your skills as an archer by varying the range and speed required to fire arrows in order to score. The Royal Round consists of the following shots:
- 6 arrows at 20 yards no time limit
- 6 arrows at 30 yards no time limit
- 6 arrows at 40 yards no time limit
- As many arrows as you can shoot at 20 yards (or alternately any target) in 30 seconds
Scores are added using normal scoring methods.
© 2012 Jeff Johnston