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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