Have you heard of 3D archery?
It's very different from your typical type of archery, 3D archery is when an archer shoots a 3-dimensional target (usually a foam) that looks like an animal.
These targets vary in size and can mimic different animals, and the archer shoots the targets to mimic a real hunting experience.
While there is indoor 3D archery shooting, the vast majority of 3D shooting is done outdoors. Instead of standing still and shooting straight ahead - you'll be walking up and down wooded areas, hills and valleys. You will photograph life-size, realistic targets of many different animals:
Caribou, deer, moose, coyotes, bears, sheep, wolverines, wolves, elk, wild boars and turkeys - just to name a few. Today, almost every animal you can think of has a 3D archery target - even dinosaurs!
You'll aim at 3D targets uphill and downhill, with brushes and trees partially obscuring your view and dealing with these elements at the same time. Wind, rain and fog all became another part of the challenge.
Each target has a scoring ring based on the location of the animal's vital organs. Depending on the size of the animal, the size of the scoring ring will vary and scoring will be based on IBO or ASA criteria.
In the IBO scoring, if you do not meet the target, you will receive zero points. If you hit the target but are outside the scoring area (vital area) you will get 5 points. The outermost ring is 8 points, the next inner ring is 10 points, and the bullseye is 11 points.
In the ASA scoring, it is basically the same scoring model as the IBO, except that the ASA removes the 11-point ring and adds a 12-point ring and a 14-point ring. The image below shows these differences perfectly.
In 3D archery, you must be able to constantly judge your distance to the target.
The distance range is usually between 25-50 yards, depending on the type of shot and the target. This is most similar to your real-life hunting experience.
What type of bow to use?
Most bows can be used in tournaments, whether they are administered by the ASA or by the IBO. You'll probably see most people out there using recurve and compound bows.
However, the crossbow is an exception. Crossbows are hardly allowed in competition, crossbows deal a lot of damage to different types of targets, and 3D targets are not cheap!
What else do you need to shoot?
Your bow and some arrows (no more than 6) - depending on the game or shooting you're in, you won't get more than one or two on any target.
Your quiver and shooting gear: Bracers and/or shooting gloves (if you use them). The same thing applies if you use arrow release. Don't forget to bring your binoculars and a hard case or handbag (in case of bad weather).
If shooting outdoors, be sure to keep some sunscreen and bug spray in your archery bag, and bring your sunglasses. You'll want to pick one of these for the 3D tournament, it'll make your life easier - trust me.
It's usually a good idea to bring an extra bag with random items like snacks, bottled water or juice, multi-tools, a towel, and make sure you have some cash on hand to pay for any registration and entry you need to register. Field fee.
I really hope this helps everyone understand how archery shooting and championships work, you really shouldn't be intimidated when you shoot for the first time. Most 3D archers simply love our hobby and are friendly people, don't be shy or hesitate to ask us for help.
Also, you should feel more confident about your first shot - because you know more now than most new archers do when they first compete!