Where To Practice Archery | Find Nearby Archery Ranges

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If you’re trying to learn archery on your own, or simply trying to improve your skills, you’ll need a good place to practice. It has to be a place you’ll feel comfortable practicing at, and not too far away from where you live.

Since not every city has good places to practice, I’ve decided to help you and create a list of ideas for the best place to practice archery at.

The first places you should check are your local archery clubs and shops. Even if they don’t have room for you to practice, they’ll have good local recommendations. Another good idea is to set up a small archery range in your backyard – but you should check your local regulations first.

Let’s explore the different places you can practice archery in, and detail what each of them will require you to do. After reading this post, you’ll be able to find a local place you’ll be able to practice at.

Excited? Let’s begin by exploring the option to practice in a local archery club.

1. Archery clubs

It might be an obvious thing to mention, but your first place to check should be a nearby archery club. Especially if you don’t have your own targets, going to a local range can be both cheap and comfortable.

It’s worth mentioning that many archery clubs don’t have outdoor ranges but indoor ones. It’s possible that there are clubs in your area that you don’t even know about. There are even 3D indoor ranges at some places, so you should run a quick search even if you haven’t seen any range around.

I really think outside ranges are more fun, because you get to be outside while practicing and enjoying some fresh air. But training should come first, so remember that indoor ranges are a valid option.

Smaller ranges tend to be a bit cheaper, so I wouldn’t rule them out. Even if some have older targets, I shouldn’t matter much, especially if you’re a beginner.

Going to a club is really great because you also have the chance of meeting new people who are into archery. Practicing with friends is much more fun. They can also give you tips on other local places you can practice at.

But it’s possible that all archery clubs in your area are far away, or that you don’t have any local club at all. In that case, let’s explore the next location idea.

2. Set up a backyard archery range

If you have enough room at your home, setting up a backyard archery range can be a great idea. It’s really comfortable because you don’t have to travel to practice, and you can set it up in a way that will fit your needs.

I mean, think about it. If you want to practice, all you have to do is get your bow, walk outside, and just start training. You’d be able to practice much more often.

It can take some time and planning, but setting up a range isn’t as hard as you might think. I’ve covered everything you need to consider when setting up an archery range in your backyard in a previous post you might want to check out. Some things are really easy to forget, so I’m sure reading this post will help.

The main things you should consider are safety and local regulations. First, check if shooting a bow in your yard is even legal in your area. Some states and countries limit archery to licensed ranges, so you should ensure you’re not breaking the law.

After covering the legal aspects, you should consider safety. If your yard doesn’t have fences, you’ll have to set them up, to ensure that missing arrows won’t fly around and that nobody accidentally walks into your yard. You’ll also have to set up backdrops for missing arrows. Only shoot your bow in places you’re 100% sure are safe.

You don’t need a lot of expensive gear for a small range in your backyard. The essentials are basically your shooting gear (bow, arrows, etc.), a target, and safety measures. You can get fancy with everything, set up distance markers, and get a bow stand, but only if you want to make your range more comfortable. The bare minimum is enough for most hobbyists.

If you don’t have a big backyard it’s still possible to set up your own range and practice there. Let’s cover that option.

3. Practicing on public lands

Even if you don’t have a large backyard you can set up an archery range in, there are some public places you can shoot at. You should check if you have these places in your area.

The first thing you should do is check if it’s legal to shoot a bow there. Usually, there are some places that are ok to shoot at and some that aren’t. Make sure you’re in the correct location. I’d even go as far as calling the local office to ensure you’re not breaking the law.

The places I’m suggesting are public places you can shoot your bow at, like city parks and public hunting lands. Besides doing your due diligence and checking the local laws regarding archery, you should make sure you’re considering the safety of yourself and others.

I’d suggest using a thick wall or dirt pile as a backstop, to catch any missing arrows. Only shoot your bow if you’re 100% sure it’s both legal and safe.

Of course, if you’re shooting on public land you’ll need to have your own archery target and shooting gear. If you need to get a target, I have some great recommendations for you on my recommended gear page, where I actually detail the most important things most people forget to consider when picking their target.

Now that you’ve checked the local laws, safety, and gear, let’s consider the possible public locations you can practice archery at.

3.1. Public shooting lands

Some places have specific areas dedicated to gun shooting, bow shooting, hunting and more, for public use. They’re often open for specific times of the year and closed for the public the rest of the time.

You should make sure specifically that it’s legal to shoot a bow in these lands. The areas are usually perfect for setting up a 3D archery range, but keeping everything safe and making sure it’s legal can take a lot of time and effort.

3.2. Town parks

Many cities have areas in some parks where you can practice archery. Making sure that you’re not putting anyone at risk, and that you’re following the rules is your responsibility. Just like any other public place you want to practice shooting at, make sure it’s legal before you even pack your bow.

I wouldn’t shoot a bow on anything but a solid wall or a massive dirt pile. You don’t want to put anyone at risk, so make sure you’re only shooting at unpopulated areas without the risk of missing arrows flying around.

4. Archery shops

It might come as surprise, but many archery shops actually have small indoor shooting areas. They need them to let people test equipment they’re interested in buying. Some shop workers practice there themselves occasionally.

Even if the shop isn’t a part of an archery club, they might have a range you can practice at. You can ask around and see if they have a free lane. Some shops will ask you for a small fee, but if the owner is nice and the shop isn’t busy, they might even let you practice for free.

Especially if you hang out a bit and get to know the workers and the owner, there’s a good chance they’ll let you practice weekly. Some of these shops aren’t busy and have more than enough lanes for you to shoot in, so if they like you, there’s a good chance they’ll be ok with you shooting there. Some will ask you to come after business hours when the lanes are free.

If that sounds good to you, just search for local shops and call the check if they have a range and if you can use it. You can ask friends around as well – I’d go for places that let other people practice at first. Asking around can never hurt.

5. Try the local high schools and colleges

In many schools, universities and colleges there are incredible facilities specifically for archery. Some of them include archery as a part of school lessons and teach the sport as a part of classes. If you’re enrolled, try to check if you can join a class, a team, or simply use the gear in your spare time.

Even if you’re not enrolled in the school or university, you might be able to practice at their range off-hours. Especially on the weekends when the place is pretty much empty, they might let you use the facilities.

Finding the person in charge and contacting them might not be easy. Try to ask around, you might find a friend of a friend that works in the university and can help you out. Be prepared to contact multiple people to get permission.

It might take some time to get permission to use the facilities, but I really think it’s a great option. Most schools have really good gear and a large outdoor area you can practice at.

6. Get Involved in the community

If you’re open to practicing with other people, getting involved in the archery community is a great idea. Shooting with buddies is way more fun – archery is a very social sport. People you meet now might become good friends later.

There are some great options for both beginners and experienced archers to practice with other people. There is a variety of options, and I only listed a few that came to my mind here. I’d even consider joining one if you have another place to practice.

6.1. Join archery tournaments

If you have some experience in archery, joining competitions is a great way to practice and improve your skills. Though you probably won’t have an archery tournament in your area every week, keep an eye out and see if there’s a competition in the near future.

Most tournaments have a variety of targets, lanes, and challenges. So if you have some confidence in your skills, it’s the best place to challenge yourself and see what your weak points are.

If you’re a beginner, most competitions have multiple classes and divisions, for compound, recurve, and traditional archers in all skill levels. You can enjoy the different ranges without participating in the competition itself, by joining a non-scored class.

If it’s your first time in a tournament, you should consider reading my guide that covers everything you need to know about archery competitions as a beginner. It details the rules, scoring systems, and more.

Most competitions have a small fee you have to pay, but also have a prize you can win if you get a really good score. They’re usually reasonably priced, and having some money on the line can be a great motivation.

The non-scored class is usually at a lower price than standard classes but doesn’t entitle you to win the prize. If you just want to practice at a lower price, it’s a good option.

What I really like about archery competitions is that they give you a chance to try out different styles of archery. If you haven’t tried 3D archery, for example, going for a 3D shoot is a really cool way to discover the field.

6.2. Go to group lessons

You can join archery lessons, where a professional will help you improve your form and sharpen your skills. Going to group lessons is often cheaper, and you can meet a lot of people in the process. Private lessons offer more one-on-one time with the teacher, but I only suggest them for more experienced archers. Groups lessons are an awesome value for money and a great place to practice to improve your skills.

I especially recommend going to group lessons if you’re just starting out in archery and don’t want to invest a lot of money in a new hobby. Equipment can be really pricy, so you can just rent some gear until you see that you like the sport and want to be more serious about it.

Many archery shops and clubs have group lessons, so if you want to join one, you can contact places in your area.

6.3. Practice with your friends

If you have friends who are into archery, some of them might have a large backyard or another place to practice. Even if they’re not involved in the sport, they just might have ideas of local places to have the occasional shoot at.

You might find great opportunities by asking around, so try taking with a few friends and see if they have ideas and recommendations.

A lot of people who are into archery really like practicing with friends, so they might invite you to shoot with them and practice together. Having archery buddies is great for motivation, enjoyable shoots, and for helping each other out. That’s a great benefit of being more involved in the archery community.

6.4. Archery programs

There are many archery programs that are dedicated to helping people get involved in archery. They’re usually for youth, but some programs are for all ages. Try the junior Olympic archery development program, Explore archery program, and NASP for more details.

What’s cool about these programs is that they give you guidance, no matter what your skill level is and what are your goals. They can help you enjoy archery and progress with the sport.


What’s cool about archery is that you can practice it almost anywhere. All you need is your shooting gear and a target. Having a nearby place you can practice every week will make things much easier and more enjoyable.

If instead, you want to practice archery from the comfort of your home, I have a detailed guide on a system for that. I highly recommend you give it a read.

Whether you decide to find a range in your area or set up a range in your backyard, I’m sure you’ll have a great time shooting there. I hope this post helped you and gave you some ideas of where to practice archery.