Put away your PS4 and those VR goggles. Though it’s an understandable conclusion, 3D archery shoots have nothing to do with the latest game tech. The sport requires that you get out of the armchair and get into the woods. The sport physically challenges you to improve hand/eye coordination and upper body strength. It does tremendous work on your focus and confidence.
Let’s take a look at this intriguing and dynamic sport. You won’t believe what those amazing 3D archery shoots are all about.
What is 3D Archery?
Traditional target archery entails shooting at a single, unobstructed target, a bullseye.
The target stands directly in front of you and essentially within eye level. But 3D archery takes the skill to a new level, introducing unique and creative ways for engaging a target.
The sport takes place outdoors on a hiking trail. The idea is to enhance your archery skill in an environment that comes close to actual hunting as it gets.
During the adventure, you may find yourself shooting downhill at a deer target. You might come across an elk, a skunk, or even an alligator.
These adventures are the perfect way to explore and learn archery. They’re also an excellent avenue for building expertise without participating in live game hunting. Most importantly, this is an opportunity to get outdoors with like-minded bow and arrow enthusiasts for great tactical fun!
The Best 3D Shoots If You Want to Have Fun
Total Archery Challenge
The Total Archery Challenge is a western-influenced venue on a mountainous landscape. They sponsor eight 3D shoots around the country.
Each has a practice range, a youth course and four main courses, giving hobbyists across the spectrum an opportunity to get in on the fun. You’ll transverse cliffs, lakes, and canyons.
Some of the more difficult courses are designed to mimic harsh western hunting scenarios with steeply angled shots. The locals’ course is engineered as an excellent warm up with close-range targets.
Eastern Traditional Archery Rendezvous
The Eastern Traditional Archery Rendezvous pulls in thousands of archers for its seven 3D courses. The event takes place at Denton Hill in Pennsylvania.
Most attendees camp at the state park’s grounds. Participants spend time not just shooting on the picturesque course in the mountains.
What makes the event fun is the comradery. It’s more of a football audience vibe than a sports competition. You build personal relationships with fellow bowers and professionals.
You can learn about the sport, about equipment setup, shooting and blow hunting. You connect with the finest bow makers on the market, including CD Archery, Black Widow, and Big Jim.
Bring the entire family out for Rinehart 100. It’s a site famous for unique and realistic targets not available at the average course. You could run into a hippo, giraffe, or T-rex.
Rinehart is one of the market’s most popular 3D target manufacturers, providing outstanding products for clubs, individuals, and world championship events.
And Rinehart takes what they create, what the industry and enthusiasts want most, and applies it to their events. Rinehart 100 turns up at 16 spots throughout the country and crowds turn out to participate.
You’ll find yourself competing with top archers but it’s all about enjoying yourself. There are door prizes, raffles, and novelty shoots.
3D archers love their hobby. The opportunities the sport offers — comradery, tournaments, travel, talent, and skill testing — are icing on the cake.
If you like the outdoors, appreciate the hunt, and want to explore the world of archery, the above information is a great start for going into your first shoot.
The Best 3D Shoots If You Want to Compete
The Western Classic Trail Shoot, or the Redding, is nestled in North California, home of top-tier vineyards. It’s 65 acres of breathtaking scenery, 3D courses, and 70 unique targets.
One of them is a 101 yard, long-distance shot at the legendary Bigfoot. You’ll even come across the chance to hit a butterfly.
This spectacular event is hosted by Straight Arrow Bowhunters INC. :
Our range is situated on 65 acres at 9317 Swasey Drive, 5 miles west of Redding, California. We host the annual Western Classic Trail Shoot and NFAA Marked 3-D National Championship. The Western Classic is the world’s largest 3-D competition and a wonderful opportunity to compete with some of the finest archers.https://straightarrowbowhunters.com/Home/About
World Archery 3D Championships
In 2019, they came from all over the globe to compete in Lac La Biche, Canada’s World Archery 3D Championship. This is one of the premier team competitions in the sport, bringing out the top archers in barebow, longbow, compound, and distinctive divisions.
It’s a two-tier challenge with top teams ranked by score before going into a head-to-head elimination match.
Organization of Professional Archers (OPA)
Levi Morgan, one of the world’s finest 3D archers, founded the OPA to create a shoot that meets all disciplines in the sport and offered excellent payouts. The organization developed its own scoring system to add complexity to competitions.
This is the only organization paying back 100% of entrants’ fees. And it draws talent looking to earn top prizes that can leap into tens of thousands of dollars.
It’s not just the purse that draws participants but the format. The organization engineered a level of strategy that enhances the reward both financially and technically.
The Swedish Open takes place on an island north of Gothenburg Sweden. At the Swedish Open, you’ll climb cliffs above the North Sea while sending arrows at 3D paper targets.
Ferrying out to a small island, living in cottages, hitting the trails of gothic mountains are all part of the event.
You face obstacles like tricky winds and steep cliffs. Its terrains go from easy and flat to rocky cliffs over the ocean. You move from stunning landscape views to familiar and comfortable forests.
The Open takes place during the day. Spend your evenings eating in fine restaurants, swimming in the sea, fishing or relaxing with your bow.
How Are 3D Tournaments Scored?
Every target on a course is marked by rings located around the creature’s vitals, a “kill zone.” For each ring hit you receive a score. An arrow merely has to make contact with a higher ring to get that higher score.
All About The Targets
What makes 3D archery stand out are the targets. You can have life-sized replicas of just about any animal imaginable. This means as you traverse the trails, you’ll come across creatures of all types, forcing you to adapt to using your bow in different ways.
These targets aren’t inexpensive, but you want a quality target. Sturdy engineering, durability, and being able to hold up in the worst weather conditions are only a few qualities you want in a 3D archery target.
We’d suggest you stick with notable name brands. Yes, there are cheaper models from smaller companies, but for the most part, they don’t hold up.
They’re made of cheaper materials. They fall apart in the rain or snow. They warp under the sun. Try talking with an experienced 3D shooter, and you’ll hear stories of targets crumbling after getting hit with a few hundred arrows or deteriorating over a few weeks after purchase.
Deer are the most commonly used 3D targets. The Delta McKenzie Deer has self-healing foam. Its construction makes it a quality target for any bow.
The manufacturer is a popular producer of 3D targets and also makes a solid buck. It features locking replacement inserts and a removable vital area.
While it doesn’t come with any replacement inserts, Cabela’s BlackOut Bear 3D Archery Target is a simulated 200+ pound creature.
It takes field points and broadheads, as well as compounds, crossbows, and recurves. It promises easy removal of arrows.
Delta McKenzie also has a walking bear target that’s dense, flexible, and is excellent for tournaments.
Other Target Options
Bears and deer make up the vast majority of 3D archery targets. But there are many types of targets ready to personalize your adventures.
They can be pretty darn pricey, but there’s no denying these products will provide an all-new perspective on hunting. A prime example is Sasquatch, a painstakingly detailed hand-painted model that stands seven feet.
You can go with something as exotic as an alligator or test your targeting with a skunk. You can get a cool coyote, woodchuck, or strutting turkey with locking inserts.
Manufacturer Field Logic has a three-pack with a prairie dog, muskrat, and rabbit. Your hunt can even include a dinosaur.
While you can certainly put any of these objects out on your own property, there’s a lot more versatility at an archery club or organization offering 3D target adventures.
Their hiking trails will put a range of models in your path and add joining others to learning and exploring the sport.
How Does a 3D Archery Shoot Work?
Start out with recreational challenges. They are sponsored by archery enthusiasts, archery clubs, and organizations like the National Field Archery Association USA. These outings are fun and test even the most experienced archer.
When you’re out in the woods on a 3D archery course, expect a setup akin to golf. You move from “hole” to “hole” — 3D animal targets. You may come across shooting points staked in the ground for setting distances between shooter and target.
There may be different stake colors to accommodate the shooter experience.
On the other hand, it’s not uncommon to have distances unmarked. This is an attempt to create a more realistic hunting environment for everyone.
Like a real hunt, targets appear in different settings and distances. (These are ideal conditions for archers who have no interest in participating in actual hunts.)
Your goal will be to find targets, engage with your bow, and generate the most points. Some hunts may base targets on seasonal animal behavior. So you may not see a bear in the middle of winter.
What Types of Bows Are Allowed?
Your bow has to be ASA or IBO sanctioned. These are, respectively, the Archery Shooters Association (ASA) and the International Bowhunters Organization (IBO). These two major players are links for connecting to other archers in your area.
They are a pathway to getting support, getting the training you want, and finding nearby tournaments.
Technically, you can grab the bow that does the best job for you. Crossbow, compound, longbow or recurve, the choice is yours to make. Just be sure it’s the fit for you and meets a standard approved by these organizations if you hope to participate in some of the better clubs and competitions.
The organizations themselves are an excellent place to learn about bows.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Bow
Draw Weight is the measurement of force used to draw a bow. You want to draw and shoot as quietly, and accurately as possible.
Selecting the right draw weight is very important when choosing a bow. The proper bow weight based on a bowhunter’s experience and physical ability will help them maximize the control of the draw cycle of that bow and more effectively execute consistent and accurate shots.According to the president of Hoyt Archery
Cams manage weight as you draw and release. The cam’s shape affects how the bow’s drawn and how much energy will store and release when an arrow’s shot.
Today, a lot of cams are egg-shaped as this improves speed. You’ll find devices with double cams. Look around, learn about cams, perhaps rent a few bows and get an understanding of what best suits your skillset.
Short bows are maneuverable and mostly lightweight, perfect in small tree stands and ground blinds. But smaller bows can require more training for accurate shooting. Longer bows can be difficult to balance but, with training, they’re easier to use. You should select a bow based on your weight, size, and strength – and personal reference.
The distance between the inside of the undrawn bow grip and the string is called the brace height. More than any other feature, brace height influences accuracy and speed.
Short braces with longer power strokes increase speed. But due to longer strings, there are longer stays and the potential for error is amplified.
Is There More I Need For a Shoot?
Being away from home and not having that one thing you need is a common occurrence. Going on a 3D shoot is no different. It’s not unusual to wish you had your cell or an umbrella. Here are a few things you should bring on a shoot.
Arrows break, they get lost, bullet points fall off and it’s not unusual to run out. It’s best to have no less than a dozen arrows in your quiver.
Looking for prey goes a lot easier when you spot targets before they spot you. (Yeah, yeah, 3D targets aren’t real but you want to immerse yourself in the experience.) A good set of binocs, plus a cleaning cloth and a good spray, are necessities.
Set of Allen Wrenches
For quick and easy adjustment. We highly recommend this all-in-one set.
Nocks are in the feathered end of the arrow, engineered for easy engagement with bowstrings. Having extras is never a bad idea.
Superglue and Extra Points
For on the fly repairs to reattach feathers or a vane, a good adhesive will be invaluable. This tool is especially useful if you find you need to screw in arrow points.
D Loop and Extra Release
D loops hook up your release. They’re more durable and accurate than nylon loops. All you need is a lighter and D loop material to redo the setup. And if you can afford it, it’s good to have an extra release.
Hunting Stool / Fold Up Chair
Hunts can be done at a pace that makes you comfortable. The macho among us assumes we’re standing around for hours or constantly moving in the shadows. The truth is many bowers know a shoot can last hours. You may want to sit down (read.. good hunting chairs).
Umbrella / Rain Poncho
Keeping a small, folding umbrella on hand will seem a blessing when that downpour catches everyone else off guard. There’s always room for one in your archery bag.
And unless you’re wearing an umbrella on your head, you might want a device that frees up a hand you might suddenly need. In this case, a poncho is the best way to take on any surprises.
Lubrication is your go-to for pulling arrows out of 3D targets. Apply it to your arrow at the beginning of the shoot and as the day progresses, check to see if you need more.
Some archers use bar soap. Arrow lube is made for this purpose and is the best solution.
Keeping your string waxed is critical. Always have bow wax on all your shoots.
First Aid Kit
Low priced first aid kits are readily available, but you want a quality kit. You also want painkillers or aspirin in your archery bag.
Pen and Paper
Pen and paper will be useful for everything from taking notes on your own scoring to writing down what you forgot to bring so you don’t repeat the mistake.
Last update on 2021-03-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API