So you just got your bow and you are excited to get started but you look around and there are only concrete streets and small spaces throughout!
If you want to learn how to shoot a bow or sharpen your target shooting skills, you need to find a safe spot to practice. Don’t worry if you don’t have an archery range near your home; there are plenty of other spots that can be used for shooting a bow.
Below we cover some places where you can safely practice archery and master the sport.
A variety of different styles are offered for archers of all levels, from beginners to seasoned hunters.
1. Build a Home or Backyard Range
Believe it or not, many bow shooters prefer practicing at home by building a home range, but of course, only after putting safety measures in place. You would also have to research local laws of your county pertaining to backyard archery, as the laws of each state, city, and town are different. You would also need to get a permit to set up a shooting range. Once you’ve gained permission from your local authorities to build a backyard range, you can begin thinking about safety measures. After all, it’s still a residential area.
The best thing to do before you build a home range for backyard archery is to seek permission from your neighbors as well, and inform them of your plans, to prevent any bad blood between you and your neighbors. Consider keeping the range for backyard archery short so you don’t scare the neighbors. Once you’ve found a place in your yard to build a home range, think about what kind of a target you would want to place, a 3D style or a block style. (1)
Regardless of which target you choose, ensure that there is a wall or sturdy fence right behind the target, so you don’t end up hurting anyone if you miss. A Bow and arrow is a powerful weapon. Be mindful of your surroundings while making the target and the range from which you shoot the arrow. Before you begin building an Archery range in your home or your backyard, follow the below instructions to avoid any trouble.
- Make a rough layout of the range and see if the size of your backyard can accommodate the structure comfortably.
- Avoid cramming the range, as it could prove to be dangerous in the long run.
- Find an ideal and safe spot to make the target
Here’s more information for archery in backyard.
2. Shoot at Outdoor Shooting Ranges
If there is no way you can build a range in your home, or if you’re bored of shooting targets at relatively closer range, you might want to consider shooting at a pro Archery range. If it’s too far away from your home, you could make it a weekly thing. You can shoot in outdoor shooting ranges during the summers to sharpen your shot for the next hunting season.
One of the prime benefits of practicing at an outdoor shooting range is that you can work on your shots from a long distance. This could help you sharpen your accuracy and precision. Although, you might also want to keep a backup plan if the outdoor shooting ranges are closed for some reason. Many such establishments shut down during winters, which means you would have to find an alternative.
3. Indoor Range
During winters, many outdoor shooting ranges close up on account of the chilly weather. Indoor shooting range to the rescue! If the Archery club you practice in has an indoor shooting arrangement, too, you’re in luck.
You can check out the indoor range and see if the facility meets your needs. If yes, you can practice indoor archery till the outdoor Archery clubs are ready to reopen. Some Archery shops also have indoor archery facilities.
4. Archery Shops
Another option is a local archery shop. A lot of pro archery shops have arrangements for practicing archery within the premises. Certain establishments could allow shooting up to 40 yards, which is a pretty good distance if you’re a beginner or an intermediary. If you’re lucky, your local archery shop could also have some realistic hunting games, in which you could practice your shot by targeting projections of real animals on a screen.
Not only is it a fun way to practice archery, but it also gives you a glimpse into want real shooting would have been like. Some of these shops hold regular events to give both adults and children a chance to try shooting a bow. Apart from helping you work on your shooting techniques, such events can also promote a sense of camaraderie between you and other like-minded people.
Another benefit of shooting at a pro shop is that, if you’re a beginner, you can speak to an expert about different kinds of bows and ask for their advice on which one is best for you. This can make bow hunting simpler, and with expert opinion under your belt, you could save yourself from spending your money on something that you don’t need.
5. Archery Clubs
If you’re a seasoned shooter, then the best place for you to practice the art is at an Archery club. There are plenty of benefits of practicing shots at pro clubs. For one, you could meet like-minded shooters and discuss different kinds of shooting techniques, archery gear, and other tips and tricks which could help you work on your technique.
Moreover, you could also get expert guidance from the technicians at the Archery club. The technicians at these clubs are extremely qualified individuals who can advise on ideal draw length and weight, among other things, such as the best archery equipment for you according to your budget. Another advantage of an archery club is that some of these establishments use the latest Archery technology, equipment, and gadgets.
Facilities such as state-of-the-art targets and up-to-date equipment are one of the prime reasons why most of us choose to practice our shots at such pro clubs. You also won’t have to worry about the clubs closing off-season. Some of the pro clubs allow year-round shooting. You can research your local Archery clubs and become a member. If it’s too far away from your home, you could make it a weekly or a matter of fortnight visit, so you can stay connected to the Archery community at large and stay on top of all the new trends in the sport.
6. High Schools, Colleges, and Universities
A lot of high schools, colleges, and universities across the United States have Archery clubs within their premises. These clubs have a professional archery range, which is equipped with all the amenities you would need to get better at shooting. You might want to gather information on whether the school or colleges grant concessions to outsiders for practicing within the premises on off-hours.
If yes, see how you can exploit that concession to the fullest. You could keep it as a backup option to becoming a member of a private Archery club, or practicing at an outdoor shooting range.
7. A City or Town Park
A lot of towns across the country have begun to erect shooting targets in the local parks. The archery ranges at such places may not be as sophisticated as in a pro Archery shop, or a club, but they can help beginner shooters in getting the hang of a bow and arrow. Such parks have a series of small targets fixed at a safe location.
You can be an adult or a child, you can practice shooting at these spots without the fear of being judged, as a lot of other people there may be beginners too. It could be a good community experience, as you could share your passions with other amateur shooters.
If your local park doesn’t have such targets, you could suggest installing a range to the community to boost archery participation in the region, provided that the park is big enough to accommodate an average-sized amateur shooting range.
8. Public Hunting Spots
Another spot to practice shooting, and the best one if you ask me, is public hunting spots. You can call it the natural habitat of the hunters, as when you get down to hunting for real, you will be required to do your hunting in the wild. So this is indeed an ideal place to practice your shots.
But, one question arises, can you practice archery on public land? The answer is yes! A lot of states in the United States, such as Oregon, have thousands of acres of land open to the public that could be used for practicing archery. You could bring a portable target with you, and find a safe spot to set it. Be mindful of your surroundings, and avoid setting the target near the road, or residential areas. In addition to this, be mindful of the wild animals too. If you just want to practice shooting, ensure that you don’t end up hurting anyone. We hope this answers the question “where can I shoot my bow near me”.
Can I do archery in my backyard?
Yes, you can practice archery in your backyard, but only if you meet certain minimum conditions of your county. Chances are, the local authorities of your county would come over to your place to see if your backyard has the right size for a small archery range. However, certain counties do not allow backyard archery due to safety reasons. This is why it is best to familiarize yourself with the local laws of your region and see if archery is permitted in residential areas. You have to consider the rules and regulations of four legal authorities to know if you can build a range in your home; State, County, City, and then town. (2)
(1) 3D – https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/3-D-three-dimensions-or-three-dimensional
(2) laws – https://www.britannica.com/topic/law