New to Archery

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!

13 thoughts on “New to Archery”

  1. TBB,

    I would advise the beginner to start with a light poundage bow so that they can concentrate on their form and fundamentals before graduating to a heavier poundage bow. Cheap fiberglass bows exist for this purpose. Once they have the proper form and confidence in hitting a target that is when they should shift to a higher poundage. And start off close to the target before increasing the distance.


    • Bill,

      So true!
      I wonder if that blond hair and the bowstring so close are a hazard?
      At the shooting range i always remind folks that open collars and V Necks are great at catching HOT brass; I have seen some very creative dances! Unfortunately muzzle discipline goes out the window along with the dancing too!


      • Shootski
        Thanks for the first lough of the day.
        The picture of careless people dancing trying to get rid of the hot brass… Indeed, though, a little scary the ,non existing, muzzle discipline.
        By the way after watching the morning news its a very dark day for your country.

  2. A lot of truth here.
    My two sons are into archery as well as guns (both air and firearms).
    They took different routes…the youngest (now 18) shoots a traditional longbow. The bow itself was pretty price but other than arrows, a quiver and shooting glove his expenses have been minimal.
    The older (21) shoots competitive Olympic recurve. He could buy a not bad used car for what he has spent on gear 🙂
    But as was mentioned…practice is key. The older boys coach (who was the Canadian Olympic archery coach in the early 2000’s) told him it takes at least 5000 draw and releases for something to be ‘memorized’. So correcting bad habits can take months.

  3. The Bow Bully,
    Right across the street from the Air Force base where I worked there is a gun store with a pretty large archery section. A few years ago, they could measure you and hook you up with a recurve bow or compound bow. This past year, I noticed that recurves are totally OUT! To be fair, that could just be do to lack of demand. But compounds are still way in, and the number of crossbows is staggering. The guy that crafts arrows is pretty good; and even though they have no long bows or recurve bows for sale, he was able to make some good arrows for my long bow…once I told him exactly what I wanted. LOL! 🙂
    Keep up the good work,

    • Could be a regional thing.
      The archery shop I deal with has about 15 shooting lanes…on any given days at least a third of them are taken up with people shooting recurves.
      Recurves do require different mindset/techniques than compounds…if the staff is not really familiar with them people pretty quickly find a place that is more knowledgeable in traditional archery.

      • cowboystar dad,
        You’ve got me thinking now; a few years ago, there was a guy about my age who worked in the archery department; he was adept with longbows and recurves, as well as compound bows. But now, the archery department is all younger, twenty-something, people; and I think they just don’t have the background; hence, as you said, “…people pretty quickly find a place that is more knowledgeable in traditional archery.” I believe that’s the case here. 🙂
        Happy shooting to you,

  4. The advice on exercise is spot on; being fit and functional is essential for enjoying all sports and hobbies and to enable one to perform essential activities of daily living right to the very end.

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