3D Archery Competition: A Newbie’s Perspective

I’m fairly new to hunting, so when someone that has more experience than me offers advice I’m all ears. I have a friend that has been a competitive archer for over 20 years. In the 5 years that I’ve known him, he has been persistent in inviting me to multiple 3D target shoots, but I have consistently declined his invite.

I was interested in going, but I felt that I needed to change my complete setup to shoot in a competition. I hunt using the hunting bow that I’ve had for a few years. Fortunately and maybe due to some luck, I’ve had the great experience at harvesting multiple animals with that bow. However, shooting competitively was one of those “things” that intimidated me more than anything.

Well, this past weekend I couldn’t say no any longer because the 3D shoot that I was invited to was in my own backyard. As I’ve heard others say, “Sometimes it’s nice to get out of your comfort zone.” Well, I did. The result was…I LOVED IT!

Yes, there were those shooters who had the bows with all the bells and whistles and probably cost more than my car. However, after a few targets and letting the nerves settle, I could see that they were there just shooting a bow like me. I didn’t take home any grand trophy, but that wasn’t the point. I had a great time meeting a lot of great people with the same level of passion that I have for bow hunting and, best of all, I was able to continue to improve my bow skills. I encourage anyone, regardless of what label is on your bow, to try a 3D archery shoot if you can. It was a blast.


  • Enda Deerdoff Posted March 16, 2020 10:22 PM

    If it’s not too much trouble, I have a question I was hoping you might help me with. Would you recommend a new hunter invest in a crossbow or a long bow? It seems like a longbow is more accurate. My friend however was telling me I shouldn’t even consider anything but a crossbow. I appreciate the help!

    • admin Posted March 17, 2020 10:36 AM

      Thank you for your question. In my state of Oregon, we are allowed to own a crossbow but not use them for hunting. I’m not sure my advice would be the best, but I will give you my opinion in hopes of helping you make a decision. Having shot a longbow, crossbow and my current setup of a compound bow I will have to agree with your friend that accuracy with a crossbow was better. The longbow and compound bow rely on me to steady my bow hand, then when I pull back, keep it steady long enough to breathe, then release. I wish I could say that accuracy was an exact science but it isn’t and poundage of your draw has a lot to do with keeping your form when shooting. Based on my experience, the way that I held the crossbow allowed me to be more steady. I have never hunted with a crossbow so this is solely based on target shooting. I would recommend going to a local archery shop and asking them if you could try out some of their inventory. I know when I’m shopping for a bow, I get a lot of great information from the local archery shops. I hope this helps.

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