What is an Open Shoot?

Open Shoots

To book in for our open shoots please contact:

 email the booking secretary or telephone: 07951515583

If no-one is available to answer, please leave a message with your number, names, styles and contact details and someone will confirm your booking.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you soon.


(The club competitions where other clubs are invited) are usually an all day affair, starting with booking in or registration, usually around 9am but some can be as early as 8am or as late as 10am. More often than not, the archers will tend to arrive quite early for registration to indulge in the traditional field archers breakfast of tea/coffee and a bacon butty, usually supplied by the host clubs catering team. (And yes, vegetarians are usually catered for too!) 

Apparently, the grease from a bacon butty allows for a smoother “loose” from the tab.

I’ll let you be the judge of that!

The course is laid out by the host club, usually the day before. It could be pictures of animals on cardboard faces with the scoring zones marked, it could be “2D” targets which are basically, a 2” or 3” thick slab of foam, covered in hessian or muslin and then decorated with a face, usually an animal again with the scoring zones marked. It could be a course of 3D targets of animals, (they are just foam models – honestly!) which many archers prefer although this is the more expensive target type. The course could be 20 targets shot once (1×20), 20 targets shot twice (2×20) 36 shot once (1×36) or occasionally, if the woods or land is large enough, 40 targets. (Believe me, you know when you’ve shot 40 targets in the middle of January!)

The shoot organisers will place the archers in groups, usually of no more than five archers. The shoot starts around an hour later. Each group of archers will start at their designated target and take turns shooting up to three arrows until a score is achieved. The first arrow is shot from the red peg, the second from the white peg and the third from the blue peg. Different colours and distances apply for younger archers. (Under 12 and 12 to 16) Once all archers have shot and hopefully scored, they then step up to the target where one person will call the scores while another writes them down. (Usually two archers will mark the scores for everybody so that there is less chance of errors being made) Only when the scores are written down and tallied does an archer then remove the arrows from the boss. The group will then proceed to the next target which could be next to the one just shot or could be hidden in the trees a short walk away. Once the group has shot all targets, counting up to the last number (then starting at number one again if the group started at say, target 16 Should the course be a 2×20 or 2×18 etc.) that is usually where the lunch break would be slotted in.

The second half of the shoot is the same as the first. As no two targets are ever the same in distance, angle or ease of view, it becomes more of a challenge than target archery where each target is at a known distance and angle. Field archers could be shooting at an image of a weasel at 7 yards or a life-size model of a deer at 55yards, uphill through an avenue of trees.

The shoot tends to finish in the late afternoon or early evening, depending on the size of the course and number of archers. This is then followed by the raffle draw and the presentation of medals for those fortunate enough to score highly enough.

I hope that this basic description has encouraged you to consider taking up this challenging but enjoyable and relaxing sport. Should you be interested, the NFAS, the sports’ governing body will be able to point you towards a club in your area or close to it. You can also contact our club and we will do our best to point you in the right direction!

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