Which Pro Archer are You?

Many excellent archers inspire and dazzle us by brilliantly displaying their skills on the sport’s world stage. These top-shelf archers include Sara Lopez, Steve Anderson, Casey Kaufhold, Jack Williams, Brady Ellison and Paige Gore.

Even though these elite archers compete internationally, you might have more in common with them than your shared passion for archery. Take the quiz below to see which archer you’re most like, and then read more about them by clicking the link found in your results.

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Video: How to Adjust Your Sight

What’s the difference between accuracy and precision? Accuracy is hitting where you aim. Precision is hitting the same spot every time. Archery requires both.

To achieve precision, you need good form and equipment. Accuracy is easier. You simply move your sight until the arrows hit where you aim.

To get started, you’ll need Allen wrenches. Most sights require an Allen wrench to loosen the screws and make adjustments. Pick up a set the next time you visit the archery store, and ask the experts for tips on how to use and adjust your sight.

Watch this video for instructions on how to make the best sight adjustments for your bow. You can also check out the detailed instructions below. to help you get started.

Sight Adjustment 101

To start adjusting your sight, stand close to the target so you can easily shoot three arrows into a “group.” A group is a cluster of arrows that strike close to each other in the target. Why three arrows? By adjusting your sight for the three-arrow average, you reduce human error. If you can shoot three arrows into a tight group, you’ve mastered the hardest part of precision.

Next, adjust your sight to achieve accuracy. First, adjust your horizontal plane. If your arrows group to the left, move your sight to the left. If your arrows hit to the right, move your sight to the right.

To help remember which way to move your sight, imagine adjusting it until it covers your group. Make small adjustments until you get a feel for how far to move the sight. Here’s a tip: Close distances require greater adjustments to see results. Farther distances need smaller adjustments.

Next, make your vertical adjustments. If you use a sight with multiple pins, set the top pin as the closest distance, and the bottom pin as the farthest. If you use a single-pin sight, keep track of your settings by marking the sight tape.

As with your horizontal adjustments, chase the arrows with your sight. If your arrows hit high, move your sight up. If your arrows hit low, move your sight down. It’s that easy! To shoot farther distances, keep moving away from the target until you run out of pins or your groups become inconsistent.

Sighting-in takes some “guess and check.” Don’t get discouraged if you make the wrong adjustment, or struggle to perfectly align the sight. Just keep making small adjustments and focus on making good shots.

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Tips and Plans: Preparing for Outdoor Archery

Spring’s arrival and its warm weather mean it’s time to transition from indoor to outdoor archery. Why shoot outdoors?

Indoor archery is a luxury because its controlled environment lets you practice without wind, cold and rain. But let’s face it: Shooting indoors gets boring. Outdoor archery is anything but controlled, and so it’s never boring.

Shooting outside challenges archers with longer distances and every possible weather element, especially wind. It also lets you explore more disciplines, which means more ways to enjoy your bow and arrows. After slightly modifying your equipment and quickly adjusting your sights, you’ll be ready to enjoy archery outdoors.

Types of Outdoor Archery

Field archery is similar to 3-D shooting because the targets are set along woodland trails, but the targets at each position are paper, not life-size animals. Photo Credit: World Archery

Archery’s natural fit with the outdoors offers many exciting disciplines. The most common is target archery, which is shooting at targets in fields at known distances. The distances vary by equipment and the archer’s age. USA Archery is target archery’s governing body, and you can review its rules on this website.

If you want more variety, you’ll love 3-D archery, which gets its name from three-dimensional foam-plastic animal targets ranging from little skunks to massive elk. The targets are set along courses that resemble hiking trails. Each target helps create different shooting scenarios. You might shoot downhill at a “deer” in a woodlot, and then walk a few steps to shoot at an “alligator” in a swamp.

Field archery is similar to 3-D shooting because the targets are set along woodland trails, but the targets at each position are paper, not life-size animals. Learn more about field archery here.

Equipment

consider switching to small-diameter arrows with low-profile fletching to slice through the wind. You can also increase your draw weight to flatten your arrows’ trajectory. These upgrades help keep your arrows in the bull’s-eye. Photo Credit: USA Archery.

Although you can shoot outdoors with your current setup, you’ll benefit by making some changes. For example, consider switching to small-diameter arrows with low-profile fletching to slice through the wind. You can also increase your draw weight to flatten your arrows’ trajectory. These upgrades help keep your arrows in the bull’s-eye.

Your arrows aren’t the only thing the elements affect. To keep comfortable while practicing, bring water, sunscreen and bug spray.

Sighting In

Sighting in takes some “guess and check.” Don’t get discouraged if you make the wrong adjustments, or struggle to precisely align the sight. Photo Credit: USA Archery.

Most indoor ranges are 20 yards long. To accurately shoot farther outdoors you must adjust your sights, which means moving your pin(s) in the direction your arrows hit. If you’re hitting high, move your sight up. If you’re hitting low, move your sight down. It’s that easy!

Sighting in takes some “guess and check.” Don’t get discouraged if you make the wrong adjustments, or struggle to precisely align the sight. Just make small, incremental adjustments, and focus on making good shots.

Need a place to shoot? Use our range finder to find your archery oasis. And then take on the challenge and start shooting outdoors.

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Does Your Equipment Need Expert Help?

Most bows need little maintenance, which mostly means waxing the bowstring as needed.

Even so, you occasionally must call on the archery shop’s experts to handle bigger projects like bow-tuning, bowstring repairs and damage caused by dry-fires.

Bow-Tuning

Bow techs check your bow and retune everything. The downside? You can no longer blame the bow for bad shots. Photo Credit: advancecompoundbow.com

Bows must be tuned for peak accuracy. When you buy a bow, the shop’s technician will tune it before you leave the store. Bows endure much wear and tear in the field and on the range, and so you should visit your bow tech annually. Bowstrings stretch, parts vibrate loose, and other parts get knocked out of alignment. Bow techs check your bow and retune everything. The downside? You can no longer blame the bow for bad shots.

Bowstring Repairs

Bowstrings wear out over time. When should you replace them? That depends on how often you shoot, how well you maintain your bow, and what conditions it regularly endures. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo

No other part of your bow requires as much maintenance as the bowstring. If it shows signs of wear, take your bow to the shop. If your peep sight doesn’t align at full draw, have your bow tech check it out. The likely problem is a stretched bowstring. The bow tech will remove the string, twist it back to the proper length, and realign your peep.

Bowstrings wear out over time. When should you replace them? That depends on how often you shoot, how well you maintain your bow, and what conditions it regularly endures. Well-maintained bowstrings last about three years, and should then be replaced. Also replace bowstrings with frayed or broken strands. If you’re unsure whether to replace your bowstring, visit an archery store for advice. The best part about replacing a factory-installed bowstring is that you can replace it with a custom-colored string that makes your bow unique.

Dry-Fires

The result is loud and scary. If you dry-fire a bow, immediately check yourself for injuries. Photo Credit: S3DA

One of archery’s worst scenarios is when someone shoots a bow without a nocked arrow. Dry-fires can damage or ruin a bow, which aren’t designed to shoot air. When you draw a bow and release the bowstring without a nocked arrow, all that stored energy meant for the arrow blasts straight into the bow.

The result is loud and scary. If you dry-fire a bow, immediately check yourself for injuries. If you’re unharmed, place the bow inside a case. If the bow starts coming apart, the case will contain its parts. Then drive to the archery shop so a technician can evaluate your bow and make repairs.

Well-maintained bows provide years of enjoyment. If you’ve neglected your bow and it needs a tune-up, head to an archery shop. A good bow technician will get it shooting like new.

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Video: Anatomy Of A Target Compound Bow

When overhearing target archers discussing equipment, you might think they’re speaking another language.

In fact, they are. Archery has its own language. Learning to speak it helps you communicate with other archers and learn the sport faster. And if you enjoy watching competitive archery on TV, knowing its lingo and terminology helps you understand the commentators’ insights and analysis.

If you’re tired of calling bow parts “that thing,” or asking other archers for translations, we have the information you need. In this video, we’ll cover the anatomy of a target compound bow, and explain the purpose of each of its parts.

To buy any target-bow accessory in the video, visit an archery store to inspect the options in person.

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