Regular archery practice is great for your body and mind, and it is one of the key ingredients involved in getting more proficient at the sport. However, not all places allow archery in your backyard, so check your local ordinances (and talk with your neighbors) before you let arrows fly at home.
However, every state in the USA and most countries around the world have archery ranges you can use. You just have to find the right range for you! It is the task of selecting the right range to pay for and practice on that is the most work for archers. But not to fear- we have a quick guide that can help you make informed choices about the range you are considering.
Here’s our foolproof guide to finding the best range for you:
Think about your goals and preferences. There are so many kinds of archery ranges in the world, it can be tough to find one that really feels like home. For example, if you have goals around hunting, you will need a good field course or at least an outdoor range to get ready. Or maybe you prefer indoors and need an indoor range. But that’s just the beginning! Here are some other questions you can ask yourself to see if a range is a good fit or you:
Do you like being social at the range, or do you want to be left alone? Some ranges are places where people just love to help!
Do I see women and children shooting here alongside men? Are there archers of all ages and backgrounds here? Some ranges are more family-friendly and welcoming than others.
Are there events on this range that I am interested in? Will these events mean that the range is crowded when I want to use it? If you are looking for a smaller, inactive range, it will likely have less to offer but be more open.
Set limits on cost and proximity. How much you are willing to pay and how far you are willing to travel will determine which ranges are accessible to you. Some ranges are inside pro-shops, others are clubs that lease land out in the backcountry. If you have the luxury, you can weigh these details against buying your own target and shooting at your house. But if not, these limits will help you to have a place to shoot that you can afford.
Sample the range more than once. No matter how good something looks on paper, you should always test it out a few times before making that commitment. Try the range at different times of day and different days of the week to get a sense of how it feels and how well it suits your needs before buying a membership/access pass.
Join that range and participate in the community! One of the great things about archery is that the sport is relatively safe and accessible to many kinds of people. But in order to get the most out of your range membership, you need to go participate in all the things that the community can offer you. Attend a board meeting, league night, ladies night, open shoot, tournament, or other event so that you can create a lasting bond with your new community!
And with that, you have now found a range that works for you! One of the best parts of NWTA is the community that has formed within the group, and we hope you can find a range that can give you that same feeling. If not, come out and shoot with us!