If you’ve ever shot on a gun range, you will find these guidelines for etiquette on archery ranges in Central Point, OR obvious. However, experienced archers are often surprised by the poor judgment of others who do not always take their equipment seriously as missile weapons. While there is room for forgiveness (as long as no one gets hurt), it is best to visit a range prepared and knowing the rules. The following suggestions include the most essential archery range protocol.
Shoot from the same line
You will commonly find two different types of public archery ranges. On one, the targets are set at different distances and there is one shooting line. This makes things a little easier as everyone can shoot at their preferred distance without worrying about being a safety hazard.
The other type requires more communication between shooters. On these ranges, it is the shooting lines that are staggered, rather than the targets. This is where this rule comes into play. If you need to practice at 30 yards on an outdoor range but others wish to go to 50, talk to them. Do not just walk to 30 and start shooting. The normal protocol is to shoot from the shortest distances first as that reduces the chance of people going down range when those at longer distances are still shooting. No matter how you arrange it, the point is to keep everyone coordinated and informed to ensure safety.
Retrieve arrows at the same time
Normal protocol also suggests that arrows are retrieved when all shooters are finished. The only exception is when there are so many shooters that arrows obscure the target for those that follow. In these instances, a hold is called, people retrieve and then the range is declared live again.
If you are not certain if all people have shot, do not move forward to retrieve. In archery, the attitude of “when in doubt, don’t” will save you from injury.
Listen for range commands
A few practice ranges and formal competitions arrange for a marshal to indicate when the range is live. Listen carefully for these commands and follow them. This is especially essential when there are many archers on the range and marshals feel like they are herding cats. Make this job easier by staying aware.
Inform others before retrieving an overshoot
If you are shooting a new distance at an outdoor range, you may overshoot as you adjust your sights. The problem with overshooting (besides finding your arrow) is that other archers will not always see you behind the targets. Rather than assuming that they will notice you’re missing, let someone know that you are going behind the target so they can await your return. If possible, stick an arrow in the top of the target as that is frequently a universal signal that someone is still on the range.
Archery ranges in Central Point, OR and elsewhere have low accident rates because people are willing to learn and follow common sense rules. Help continue this record by fine-tuning your own awareness. Southern Oregon Archery, LLC has a 30-yard indoor range where you can shoot and practice etiquette in a more controlled environment. We look forward to your visit.