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BOWHUNTING’s Guide to Archery Range Etiquette

by Patrick Meitin   |  July 2nd, 2013 3

I look forward to summer for many reasons—fly fishing for trout and kayaking are paramount among them, as are bowfishing and frog shooting—but 3-D tournaments and tons of time on the range are perhaps the biggest parts of this anticipation.

Summertime tournaments allow me to test my skills against other shooters, spend quality time with the wife, swap bowhunting tales with friends and live in an all-archery bubble for a weekend. And of course it’s the off-season, so the range becomes like a second home.

Another benefit is that summer 3-D tournaments offer exceptional practice for coming bowhunts, shooting realistic targets in real-world settings and dealing with the stress of competition—even if it’s just to beat your buddy’s score. But first and foremost, 3-D shooting is about having fun, which means everybody at the range has to play by the same set of rules.

Good old-fashioned manners sometimes seem to be a thing of the past in today’s world, but I’d like to think bowhunters are a better cross-section of civilization. When it comes to range etiquette, a little common sense goes a long way. Here are a few tips to make sure everyone has a good day at the range.

  • RLJ

    It’s quite annoying, and dangerous when someone decides to start shooting when another person is downrange, just because he’s several lanes over.

  • Andi DeAnn Schwartz

    Thanks for the tips! I hunt in Washington and compete all year in Washington and Oregon, so 3D shoots are great practice!

  • James

    Good article. One question though. You said, “One of my all time biggest pet peeves is seeing children walking around courses unattended with arrows in their hands.” I understand the unattended part, but what is wrong with walking around with an arrow in your hand? Everyone walks all through the course with a bow in their hands.

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