Is Archery Expensive And What Are The Costs Involved

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If you are considering taking the plunge into bowhunting, or the world of archery in general, you probably have many questions. One such question probably revolves around the quandary of whether or not archery is expensive. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. We have all been there at one point in time.

The simple answer to this question is that archery, like any new hobby, requires a certain level of expenditure. However, archery does not have to be any more expensive than you choose for it to be. A number of archery disciplines exist, all of which vary in the list of gear that is required.

The good news is that gear of this nature can be found at varying price points that will fit virtually any budget. Whether you are on a shoestring budget or have ample money to spend, archery is a sport that excludes no one.

Different Bow Types And Their Costs

In today’s archery world, the majority of individuals shoot one of two types of bows. These are recurve- and compound bows. The differences between these two types of bows can be quite extensive, and so can the costs associated with ownership.

Compound Bows

If you have spent any time around a compound bow, it quickly becomes clear that they are anything but simplistic in design. Years of design and development have brought compound bows a long way from the primitive counterparts from which they derived.

However, all of these technological improvements do not come without an influx in cost. Because of the element of precision that is involved in manufacturing a product that relies upon the synchronization of cams, cables, and strings, compound bows typically carry a price tag well above the standard recurve bow. Some manufacturers offer beginner-friendly packages.

Pricing within the compound bow market varies greatly. Fully outfitted economy models are available at a price range of under $500.

Although these bows typically do not feature all of the bells and whistles of pricier market offerings, they make a great choice for those who seek to begin their archery journey without breaking the bank.

On the other end of the spectrum, high-end compounds often fetch prices over $1000 for a bare bow, void of additional components such as arrow rests, sights, stabilizers, or slings.

  • Fully outfitted economy models are available under $500
  • High-End Compounds often cost more than $1000
  • Additional Components such as arrow rests etc. will cost extra

Compound bows of this nature tend to feature the latest and greatest in technological advancements and stand on the cutting edge in IBO speed ratings. These bows are an excellent choice for more advanced archers with a little extra money to spend, but can often be overkill for the beginning archer.

(You could also buy a used bow. In that case, make sure to check for the serial number.)

Recurve Bows

Traditional bows, such as those of the recurve variety, are far more simplistic than compound bows, and the prices they command often reflect this point. If you are seeking to get your feet wet in archery, while also working with a limited budget, a recurve bow will be a far more feasible option.

Like compound bows, the price of recurve bows can vary greatly. Much of the price difference in the recurve market stems from the characteristics of craftsmanship.

Bows that are fashioned from desirable stocks of wood with exquisite finishes fetch far heftier prices than those that seek only to provide functionality with a lesser emphasis on eye appeal.

Beginner model recurve bows can easily be located for under $200. These bows lack the brand recognition of some of the big-name players in the archery industry, but function and shoot quite well nonetheless.

These bows will not be of showpiece quality by any stretch of the imagination, but if learning and enjoying the craft is the sole purpose of your purchase, this will be of little issue.

Upper-tier recurve bows typically sell over $700, and not only shoot, as a bow in this price range would be expected to, but look the part as well. Many bows within this price range come from big-name companies that have had a long-standing presence in the industry.

  • Beginner model recurve bows can easily be located for under $200
  • Upper-tier recurve bows typically sell over $700

Would it be nice to own a recurve bow of this degree? Absolutely. Is it essential to spend this kind of money to get started in traditional archery? Absolutely not.

Target Archery & Field Archery

Any form of competition archery can quickly become quite expensive if you choose for it to be, and target and field archery competitions are no exception. Initial costs that you will incur include entry fees, club memberships, and travel costs. These prices can run up a significant tally in short order if an individual is not careful.

Additionally, competition leads to the natural desire to upgrade gear consistently to stay competitive. Micro-adjustable and magnified sights, precision balanced stabilizers, top-of-the-line arrows, and even eventual bow upgrades can come at a significant financial cost.

When striving to be the best in the particular league in which you compete, it is difficult to avoid seeking a mechanical edge wherever possible.

However, much of these excess expenditures can be minimized when choosing to shoot in local or regional amateur leagues. Many of these leagues feature competitions for those that seek to only shoot standard equipment, and entry fees are typically minimal. This allows an archer to enjoy the thrills of competition, without draining their savings.

3D Archery

When shooting 3D archery, the costs involved are highly dependent upon certain factors. These include decisions toward the purchase of practice targets, travel that is required to the nearest range (or maybe practice in your own backyard ), and the gear selection that you choose to utilize.

Although 3D archery is typically not as expensive of an endeavor as dedicated indoor target competition, there are still certain costs involved.

The biggest expense related to 3D archery is the purchase of targets themselves. These targets range in price from $200-$2000 apiece. However, outside of the purchase of 1-2 targets for at-home practice, many archers negate these prices by traveling to shoot at designated 3D ranges.

The fees for these ranges are typically nominal, leading to little overall expenditure. However, travel costs must also be factored as well.

One advantage of 3D archery is that the use of standard hunting bows and equipment is often encouraged. This can save an archer a vast amount of money over other forms of competition shooting.

Traditional Archery

arrows sticking in an archery target

Competition within the area of traditional archery is a relatively limited field in comparison to other forms of archery competition. Competitions of this nature are often confined to localized clubs and specific ranges. If you live close to such a club, your expenditures should be minimal.

However, due to the relative scarcity of such events, if no local events are available, travel costs can add up quickly.

One advantage of traditional archery competition is that basic gear is often all that is permitted. This serves as a limiting factor in incurred costs, as opposed to other forms of competition archery where highly modified bows and equipment are standard.

Additional Costs Of Archery

One of the greatest costs in any form of archery is the purchase of gear and bolt-on accessories for a bow. This is especially pertinent in the realm of compound archery. An individual can wrap up a small fortune in sights, arrow rests, stabilizers, quivers, and even bowstrings and arrows.

Again, these items are solely a matter of personal preference. You can spend more than $1000 outfitting a bow, or as little as $150. Likewise, you can buy a dozen arrows that cost over $200 or purchase a dozen economy arrows for as little as $80.

The Expenses Of Archery or How Much Is A Bow?

For those looking to join the ranks of traditional archery, I feel that the Samick Sage recurve bow is an ideal offering for both beginners and experienced archers alike. This bow’s affordable price point, combined with a high level of unrelenting quality, makes it a wonderful choice for all.

If compound archery is your pursuit of interest, the Diamond Archery’s Infinite Edge Pro should be high on your list of potential purchases. The Infinite Edge Pro is an upgraded version of Diamond’s best-selling bow of all time and has a level of adjustability that most bows can only dream of, all at a very conservative price point.

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Archery is a sport that is only as expensive as you allow for it to be. You must decide what type of archery appeals to your interests, and then set a budget from which to operate. I have found that that the budget-minded compound archer can purchase their bow, arrows, and all additional equipment for as little as $550-$600.

Alternatively, you can procure all that is needed to join the ranks of recurve archers for as little as $250-$300. No matter the route you choose, there is a place for individuals of all budgetary constraints in the world of archery.

FAQ (People Also Ask)

How Much Does It Cost To Do Archery?

The total cost to get started in archery is highly variable. The short answer is that it doesn’t have to be any more expensive than you choose for it to be. For compound archery, a bow, arrows, and other additional required equipment can be purchased new for as little as approximately $550. Those interested in recurve archery can typically purchase the same items of necessity for as little as approximately $250.

Is Archery A Good Hobby?

Archery is a wonderful hobby that is suitable for individuals of all ages and walks of life. Not only is it immensely enjoyable, but archery also gets you outside in the beauty of nature while sharpening both your mental and physical prowess. Archery is also an excellent way to meet new people, make friends, and network with others.

How Dangerous Is Archery?

Archery is generally very safe. However, you must always remember that a projectile is being fired at tremendous speeds, and all necessary safety precautions must be adhered to. It is imperative to remember that an arrow is never to be fired in the direction where another individual or dwelling is located. If you are around another archer that is displaying a lack of range safety, remove yourself from the situation immediately.

Is Archery Hard To Learn?

There is a learning curve involved for every new archer. However, the difficulty involved in learning to shoot a bow is closely related to that which is experienced by a child learning to ride a bike. In the beginning, success will likely not come as easily as you might have hoped. However, through persistence and ample practice, you will be well on your way to archery proficiency in short order.

I am the founder and chief editor here at BowAddicted. I love my kids, archery, and the outdoors! It's been an amazing journey so far with some ups and downs, but it's worth it to spend time outside with friends and family.

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