wikiHow to Take Up Archery

Four Methods:Target ShootingBow HuntingTraditional ArcheryJapanese Archery (Kyudo)

Archery is a great sport. Although bows and arrows have been used for thousands of years, it is increasingly popular all over the world in the 21st century. Since the Hunger Games movies were released, membership in USA archery has increased by 48%.[1] Just don't try to shoot things off of people's heads, and everyone will have a good time. Here is how you get started!

Method 1
Target Shooting

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    Know that target shooting is good for all ages. It is a great way to bond with kids in particular.
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    Know that target shooting uses compound and recurve bows. These however, are purpose built for target shooting of arrows.
    • The recurve has one string that causes the bow to form a "w" shape. A longbow is simple bow that forms a "u" shape.
    • If you are a fan of the Hunger Games, note that Katniss uses a recurve bow.
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    Find a place to shoot. Most people will look for an archery organization or shooting range.
    • Target shooting clubs can be seen by looking at where competitions are held. Look for a range that holds a target meet in your area.
    • You can also find clubs on the FITA website.[2]
    • If you want to shoot outside of a range, get expert advice on how to set up a target that does not endanger others.
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    Learn to shoot. Like anything, archery has some tricks and habits that it is best to learn when you start.
    • Ask for lessons. It is best to get a recommendation from a friend. If you don't know anyone to ask, you can talk to the archery range supervisor about lessons and instructors.
    • Instructors normally provide equipment, thus saving you the risk of buying your own before you know what you want.
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    Buy your own equipment. After a number of lessons, your instructor will aid you in buying your own gear.
    • There are many reasons not to buy equipment right away. In addition to styles of bow, you want to get the right weight and right draw length. You can take a guess what you want but many people change their mind once they get used to things.

Method 2
Bow Hunting

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    Know that bow hunting uses some special equipment. In fact, some will take up bow hunting without ever doing actual hunting.
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    Know that many hunters believe that bow hunting is much more sporting than using a gun to hunt. Bow hunting takes concentration and just being good at hunting.
    • It is not a surprise that bow-hunters are more likely to subscribe to the rules of fair chase[3] and more likely to hunt for food.
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    Know that hunting generally involves compound bows. Compound bows have a string that wraps around with the aid of cams.
    • Compound bows are best for hunting because the arrow flies faster/farther and is more accurate. Compound bows often have sights that are used to visually assist the archer aiming the arrow at the target.
    • Compound bow hunters use arm and chest protectors, since a compound bow string has a lot of torque and can cause injury if you don't have protection. Larger breasted women often will use a shotgun instead for this reason.
    • Hunting can also use a re-curve bow or a longbow, but that is less common for reasons mentioned above.
    • Some enjoy using a crossbow.
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    Join a bow hunting club. Hunting groups are pretty common in the USA. You can simply go to a hunting store near you and ask if they have a club.
    • Bow hunters will show you where they shoot. Shooting in the woods is different from being on a range, and takes getting used to.
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    Know that bringing down game with a bow and arrow is a challenge. It doesn't matter if you are shooting deer, elk, pigs/javelina or more exotic game.

Method 3
Traditional Archery

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    Know that Traditional Archery is for purists. Traditional shooting uses longbows and recurve bows, but these bows use little modern technology.
    • Most would learn to shoot a modern bow on a range before moving onto a more traditional bow.
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    The selection of what traditional bow to buy is very much a personal decision. Many will try to buy the most natural bow they can find. Others, will look to buy a bow similar to what their ancestors used to shoot.
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    You can shoot a traditional bow on a range just like target shooting.

Method 4
Japanese Archery (Kyudo)

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    Know that Japan has a different method of traditional, longbow archery, called Kyudo.
    • Kyudo features extremely long longbows and very different grip compared to western archery. Instruction is essential.
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    Kyudo has not become popular outside Japan as Karate, Judo and other martial arts have. However, is increasing in popularity recently.
    • You can find clubs on the International Kyudo[4] and American Kyudo [5] websites.
    • Kyudo equipment will be more expensive than regular archery, especially if you want to import authentic equipment from Japan.


  • Hunting doesn't necessarily mean actual hunting. It is more of an equipment category. (Also called "3D")
  • Traditional and target instructors are very difficult to find. Try contacting your regional archery organization (through the FITA website) to find coaches and other archers in your area.
  • If you cannot find lessons for a discipline of archery you wish to go into, consider choosing another discipline.


  • Do not go into archery to shoot at people, even in jest.
  • Do not buy archery gear without an instructor's aid.
  • Be prepared to spend between $400 and $1000+ on target gear.

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Categories: Archery