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Types of Archery

Archery may seem like nothing more than bows and arrows, but there’s more to this sport than meets the eye. There are several different types of archery out there, some better suited for beginners than others. If you’re considering taking up archery but aren’t sure what kind to try, read on.


Bowhunting is just like regular hunting, but with a bow instead of a rifle. Bowhunters often find a spot in the woods and set up a camp, waiting for prey to walk into sight. This type of archery takes a great deal of patience, persistence, and the ability to remain silent so you don’t scare off your prey. Typical prey includes deer and rabbit. Bowhunting can also be used in the water to hunt for fish– in this instance, it’s actually called Bow Fishing.

Typically bowhunters will use either a compound or a recurve bow.

Target Archery

Target archery is a fun and beginner-friendly style of archery. It involves setting up stagnant targets a short distance away and practicing shooting them. Most beginners start with target archery because it’s an accessible form of the sport. Target archery is not just for beginners, however– this is the style of archery performed in the Olympics.

Target archery can involve just about any bow. Some of the more popular styles used are the compound, recurve, and barebow. Read on for more types of archery.

Field Archery

Field archery is like an advanced form of target archery. Instead of setting up targets in an empty field, targets are set up along a course in the woods. Participants walk along the course, shooting targets along the way. This style of archery is more challenging than target archery, because the targets may be up or down a hill, behind obstacles, or at an angle.

This fun and challenging style usually calls for a compound, recurve, or barebow.

3D Archery Types of Archery

3D Archery takes field archery one step further. Instead of setting up boring old bullseyes along the course, 3D targets, usually animal-shaped, are placed along the course. As participants walk the course, they see the fake animals and are able to practice shooting on them. This is an ideal style for anyone interested in bowhunting.

Typically the compound or recurve bow is used in 3D archery. Some do prefer the feel of a longbow in this style, as well.

Clout Archery

Clout archery involves the same circumstances as target archery– a target is set up on a field, and participants shoot the target. The main difference is the target’s placement– in clout archery, the bullseye is laid flat against the ground. The goal of this style is to practice arcing your arrow as you shoot in order to still hit the target.

The recurve bow is most commonly used in clout archery.

Flight Archery

In flight archery, distance is the name of the game. The goal in flight archery is to set your target as far away as you can and still try to hit it. This is a great form of archery for improving your overall accuracy.

A specialized flight bow is typically used in flight archery. If you don’t have that, your typical recurve bow may do the job.

Traditional Archery

Performed with a traditional bow and without the aid of any modern technology, traditional archery is all about getting to the basics. It’s just you, your bow, and your target. Traditional archery encompasses forms of archery such as bowhunting and target archery. The primary difference is the use of the traditional bow and the lack of any stabilizers or other assistance.

Wrap Up

If you’re considering taking up archery, pick up a bow and give it a try.

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Types of Archery

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