What is 3D Archery?

What comes to mind when you hear the words 3D Archery?  Some of you may think about computer generated imagery or a virtual reality with bows and arrows.

Actually, 3D Archery is a term used for archery in real life.  It is a form of field archery where you are target practicing with life-size 3D archery targets.

what is 3d archery

The models are usually made of foam and accurately represent the height and width of, for example, a deer or boar.  You may even find 3D archery fields replicating the exact environment the target normally travels.

Benefits of 3D Archery

3D Archery may be the absolute best way to improve your accuracy when shooting with a bow and arrow.  Traveling through natural areas and practicing at different distances makes you feel like a true archer connecting and growing with your bow.

3d archery accuracy

Most 3D archery targets have O-rings to guide you in aiming at a crucial parts as well as helping you keep track of your precision at varying distances.

Your ability to judge distances will improve dramatically as you familiarize with the field.

Some people may even take a range finder with them to be absolutely accurate, allowing them to fine-tune their bows perfectly.  Always go over the archery range rules in case they prohibit certain items.

3D Archery to Improve your Hunting

Hunters should use the same equipment on the 3d archery range as they do when out hunting.  Same bow, sights, bow release and everything else you are using as you become more and more familiarized with your archery gear working together.

Most 3D ranges require you to use field point arrow tips as to not damage the targets and for easier arrow removal.  So make sure you remember to use field tips with the same grain weight as the broad heads you use for hunting.

3d archery bowhunting

Certain 3D ranges take pride in replicating the hunting environment and will obscure the targets with trees and limbs to duplicate what it’s like when out hunting.

This is why 3D archery is incredibly recommended for beginner bow hunters!

Where Can I Participate in 3D Archery?

3D Archery can be found all around the world wherever bowhunting is popular. Look for local 3d archery ranges near your area to start!

We are going to quickly look over two very popular 3D archery groups in America— ASA & IBO.

The Archery Shooters Association (ASA) is located in Georgia and holds tournaments around the Southeast.

The International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) is located in Ohio and focuses their tournaments around the Midwest of the United States.

Both leagues hold tournaments consisting of two 20-target courses over the timespan of two days.

asa ibo 3d archery

As you can see, the scoring system for each target has a few minor differences between the two groups.  Always go over the rules and limitations if you decide to participate in a tournament.

Rules can be very specific, ranging from the length of your front stabilizer to the draw-weight limit for children of a certain age.

The maximum distance for targets in the tournament for both groups is 50 yards.

Of course, if you have the proper space and a few 3D archery targets, you can always make your own archery range at home with your own set of rules!

Types of 3D Archery Targets

Traditionally, 3D archery was a way to train beginner archers how to hunt.  So targets would typically look like local animals around their area.  These are the type of targets you will find when participating in a 3D archery tournament.

Now, as 3D archery becomes more popular with each passing year, you can find all sorts of different 3D targets!  You may come across a zombie or a dinosaur when out in the field!

3d archery targets type

Making your own 3D archery target is a very popular DIY project for many archers.  Just remember to have a proper backstop if you are using thin material.

3D Archery Tips & Safety

Always be aware of the other people taking part in the 3D archery range and make sure to follow all safety rules.

This is the best time to show off your cool archery gear!  Like a hip quiver belt that holds all of your bow & arrow necessities.

Dress for the occasion!  You may be traveling through heavy wilderness so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and the proper outfit suitable for the terrain.

3d archery arrow

Always inspect each arrow for damage when removing them from the target.

It is also important to note that it could be difficult to pull out an arrow.  Arrow lube and an arrow puller can assist you tremendously, saving you time if you are in a competition.

Bring binoculars! It can be a bit difficult to see the O-rings on the target from over 50 yards and using binoculars will improve how you judge distances.

3d archery binos

An outside 3D archery target can look different from an indoor one due to the shadows being cast upon it.  Using  binoculars will assist you in pin-pointing the exact spot you want to aim for with the environment being a good reference point around the target.

Remember to respect the rules of the archery range and only bring what is allowed on the field.

Bring bug spray!  You want to have 100% focus when aiming at the target so bugs will be one less thing to worry about.

Conclusion To: What is 3D Archery?

Now you know the basics of 3D Archery!  It can get more complex as you visit different archery ranges following different rules, but fundamentally they are all there to challenge your Archery skill.

Archers from around the world can take 3D archery tournaments very seriously so make sure you give them a good game if you plan to join one.

Read our Guide To Archery For Beginners if you are new to Archery and take a look at the selection of 3D archery targets at our Archery Shop!

Always remember to have fun, bring your friends with you to the range!  Hopefully we have inspired you to try out another unique way of practicing with your bow & arrow!