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Garage Hobbies: All About Archery

Archery is beloved by people of all ages. The history of archery dates back to the earliest humans, who learned to use a bow and arrow to more efficiently hunt their food. Today, people still bowhunt, but many other people interested in archery only shoot at nonliving targets. There are many different kinds of bows, meaning people of various shapes, sizes, and strengths can find a bow that fits them well.

Bows and Equipment

One of the nice things about archery is how accessible it is. Anyone who spends time practicing can develop impressive archery skills. Archers choose between recurve or compound bows. It depends on their shooting style as well as their budget and experience level. Recurve bows are cheaper, safer, and much easier to shoot. Compound bows offer more power and are usually used by bowhunters.

Archery Competitions

Tournaments are open to archers of all skill levels and ages. Local tournaments are a great place for beginners to get started in competitive archery. Typically, tournaments include target shooting, 3D archery, and field archery events. They can be held indoors or outdoors, depending on the types of targets being used. Archers shoot from specific distances from the target based on their skill level and age group. Field archery tournaments require participants to walk through a course and aim at each target along the way. Outdoor events may also be 3D tournaments, which involve life-size replicas of wild animals such as deer and moose.


Many archers are also interested in hunting. Bowhunting requires participants to follow safety measures and be responsible. That starts with getting the right equipment. The bow must match the archer’s strength and draw length. The draw weight should increase along with the archer’s skill set and strength. Bowhunters will also need a quiver, arrows, and accessories such as sights and a wrist guard. Archers will want to spend lots of time in target practice before they hunt. Ethical hunting requires excellent technique because the goal is to take down the animal as quickly and humanely as possible. That requires sound technique.

Safety and Technique

Safety is a crucial part of archery. A lot of states consider bows and arrows firearms. It’s important that archers know and follow all of the local rules and laws regarding firearms and archery. Standard safety guidelines always apply. These include only loading an arrow when it’s safe to shoot and only ever aiming in safe directions. Always maintain control of the arrows. Archers should also always wear recommended safety gear, including arm guards.

Glossary of Archery Terms

  • Aim: When an archer directs the bow toward the target
  • Archer: The person who is shooting with the bow and arrow
  • Arrow: A thin rod with a pointed end that is fired toward a target
  • Bow: A cord connects two ends of this weapon, and the tension when the cord is released forces the arrow toward the target.
  • Bow Nock: A groove designed to hold the bowstring in place
  • Bow Weight: The archer must use this much draw force to pull the bowstring back before releasing the arrow.
  • Composite Bow: These bows are made of a variety of materials (including fiberglass or wood) that are laminated together.
  • Draw Length: The distance an archer pulls back the bowstring
  • Dry Fire: When an archer practices the motion of pulling the bowstring back and releasing it without using an arrow
  • Fletching: The official name of the feathers on the back of an arrow
  • Grip: Where the archer’s hand rests in the center of the bow handle
  • Limbs: Parts of the bow that extend out from the main structure
  • Nock: Located behind the fletching, it’s where the arrow and bowstring connect.
  • Quiver: Archers keep their arrows here.
  • Recurve Bow: A bow that curves away from the archer at the ends
  • Release: When the archer lets go of the bowstring and the arrow is propelled forward
  • Riser: The riser separates the limbs of a bow

Additional Information on Archery

By Alan Bernau Jr

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