For aspiring archers who didn’t grow up around the sport or don’t have a mentor to teach them the ropes, just getting started can be intimidating.

If you’re entering the archery world solo, follow these tips.

Head to Your Local Pro Shop

The experts at your local pro shop can get you outfitted with all the gear you need to begin shooting and tune your bow properly so you can get dialed in pretty quickly.

Depending on the type of bow you choose to shoot, you might need quite a few accessories. Dealing with a pro who can walk you through the whole process in person can make things much easier.

If you get a hand-me-down rig or plan to purchase a used bow from somewhere else, be sure it will fit you before you buy. You’ll need to consider draw length and weight — otherwise you might just be stuck with a pricey piece of equipment you can’t shoot.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Just like with any sport or hobby, the best way to become proficient in archery is by consistently practicing over time. Aim for daily practice if possible — even if it’s just a dozen rounds each day.

Consider taking lessons from a qualified instructor to ensure you’re using correct form. Unlearning bad habits is hard, so it’s best to start off the right way!

If you plan to bowhunt but struggle to pull back enough weight, you can also add some exercises to your gym routine that will build up your back and core strength.  

When you’re comfortable enough to complete a course around other people, head to a 3D course to get practice shooting in a variety of scenarios you could encounter when bowhunting or just enjoy some more challenging shots. 

Get Connected

3D shoots aren’t just a great way to get reps in — they’re also a perfect place to connect with other archers. Finding community can make archery even more fun, and you could learn a lot from more experienced shooters.

Beyond events, you can find other archers near you by joining a local archery club or even regional social media groups. Find a mentor or a few shooting buddies, and you’ll enjoy your new-found hobby all the more!