3D Archery – what it is, and how to participate

What is it?

3D archery builds on the skills every archer develops initially by adding dynamic shooting into the sport. Archers walk a pre-determined course in small groups. Each archer gets a single shot at a three-dimensional target shaped like an animal. The targets on the animals cover the vital areas where a hunter would normally aim. These courses challenge archers to adapt their shooting to account for variable conditions, distances, and angles.

These large outdoor courses take full advantage of the natural terrain to increase the difficulty of the competition. The archers may be asked to shoot a target that has partial cover or is at a different elevation. The archers must battle variable wind and weather conditions to hit their target.

Shooting positions are determined by the category for which each shooter has registered. The distance of your target will fall within a range, but the actual distance to each target is never revealed to the shooter. These courses have up to 40 different targets for each participant to shoot.

Table showing distances fired for each category.

Why Participate in 3D Archery?

As a hunter ,you may find 3D shoots are great for helping you build your skills. Unlike target archery, 3D shoots take place in the same locations where the real-life equivalents of animal-shaped targets may be found. 3D shoots teach you to account for all the variables that come along with the real hunt!

As an archer, you may find 3D shoots are a great way to make friends in the archery community, test your skills, win prizes, and have fun with the sport you love! The dynamic aspect of the shooting provides a challenging change to target shooting.

3D archery courses are organized with small groups moving through the course together. To keep scoring fair, you will be placed with people you may not know. After groups pass through the event, they will meet at the end of the course and relax together until scoring is complete.

3D target in the shape of a dinosaur with arrows protruding.

Rules in Ontario:

In Ontario, the OAA (Ontario Association of Archers) sets the rules for 3D shoots. Various archery clubs around the province will hold 3D competitions and practice shoots in conjunction with the association.

To calculate your score, you will assess where your arrow lands in relation to the vital area highlighted on the 3D target. Hitting outside the vital area will gain you some points, unless your arrow hits the hoof or horn of a 3D creature. Together the archers in each group assess the shots. The group then determines the point value for each arrow before removing it from the target. After removing your arrow from the target, you can no longer alter your score.

Groups are ‘busted’ to promote fairness. Organizers make sure that groups are not comprised completely of friends or family members. This helps ensure impartiality on the scorecards. All group members must have identical scorecards at the end of the event and initial corrections to the scorecard.

The rulebook covers penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct, rules for spectating at the event, scoring and judging, equipment standards, etc. To learn more about OAA rules, you can download their rulebook here.

Scoring diagram for 3d shooting

Where should you start?

Visit the OAA website to determine what events you want to attend. For most events, you can simply show up and participate! If you have any questions about their event contact the hosting ranges or clubs.

To win any prizes at championship events, you need to be pre-registered through the OAA.  However, if you forget to register, you can still participate! Walk-ons wanting to shoot are accepted, but your scores are not posted and you cannot win prizes.

When attending a 3D, shoot it is important to bring along a few items. Your bow and 4-6 identical field tipped arrows, water, sunscreen, and a snack are all important items. Likewise, we also suggest you bring along a good multi-tool and cash for entry fees or food.

If you’re looking to practice on 3D targets before your next event, we have 3D targets on our range, or for purchase in our store!

2019-07-05T22:33:35+00:00July 5th, 2019|