Archery takes many forms. From a method of survival in the great outdoors, to a competitive sport. to a hobby you dabble in within the fences of your own backyard, vast is the world of the bow and the arrow.
With such great versatility, the associated costs that come with learning archery will really depend on your budget and how much you want to invest. Either way, the process of getting started with archery is easy. And with enough practice, getting really good is only a matter of time.
Whether you’re interested in rising to the level of a highly competitive archer, or you’re just interested in picking up a bow and arrow for the first time to see how you like it, cost will be an important factor to consider as you go forth. To get a better idea of how much money it will cost to start and to continue learning archery, keep reading.
No matter how good you get, there will always room for learning more and improving your archery skills. But for the beginner who has never picked up a bow and arrow before in their life, let’s go over the basic costs associated with learning.
How Much Does it Cost to Learn Archery?
If you’re a beginner, learning archery could cost as little as $100-$300 to start out, when taking into account basic equipment, archery lessons, and shooting range costs. Although there will always be opportunities to spend more, a few hundred dollars should be enough to get you started.
Budget friendly tip: If your budget is on the low end of the aforementioned price range, you can aim to spend less by investing only in basic archery equipment. If you have a place to shoot, a bow, an arrow, and a target, you will have everything you need to start learning archery.
Now, archery has grown massively as a sport in recent years, and, as a result, there are a great number of purchasing options for basic archery equipment on the market today. Let’s go over the basic equipment you will need to start your practice and how you should go about choosing that equipment.
What Equipment Do I Need to Start Learning Archery?
There are lots of different kinds of gadgets and equipment that can be a nice addition to the basic bow and arrow. But when you’re first starting out, we recommend making the most out of the bare minimum. This way, you won’t become reliant on extra, helpful additions. Then, once you can shoot really well with just the basics, your shot with additional gear will be that much more accurate, which may be helpful if you choose to pursue competitions or to start hunting.
So, what exactly is the bare minimum when it comes to archery? The answer is the same as it’s been since people first started shooting with a bow and arrow: a bow, an arrow, and a target.
We’ve broken down the price ranges of these three items here:
- Bow: $100-$1000+
- Arrows: $30-$100+
- Target: $0-$3500+
As you can see, prices vary widely when it comes to archery. . . And, if you were wondering, the last number for the upper range of a target isn’t a typo. That’s how much it costs to buy the Rinehart Sasquatch target from Lancaster archery supply. . . (Not necessary for beginners, but fun if you’ve got the cash).
As we’ve mentioned, archery doesn’t have to be expensive, but it certainly CAN be.
For an alternative option to the very expensive Sasquatch target, you can learn how to make your own target instead for free here.
How to Choose the Best of the Basics: Bows, Arrows, and Targets
As you may have guessed, there are a huge range of buying options on the market for archery equipment. In the following sections, we’ll point you in the right direction to help you choose between the many options on the market.
For best results when choosing archery equipment, be sure to take both quality and safety into account. This will ensure that you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck (no pun intended) and that you’ll be safe during all of your future bow and arrow related endeavors.
In general, it’s important to keep in mind that the best equipment is not necessarily the most expensive when it comes to archery. There are a lot of people who will use equipment once or twice, then let it set on the shelf for years. Be on the lookout for gently used, but greatly discounted, second-hand archery equipment on second-hand markets. Additionally, there are always options for Do-It-Yourself Archery equipment:
See the following link to learn more about DIY Archery options.
How to Choose the Best Bow for Beginning Archers
We recommend starting out with what’s called a Recurve bow. Recurve bows tend to be less expensive, you can use them in all competitions (including the Olympics), and they can be easily taken apart and stored. For more information on the Recurve Bow, check out the following article from Target Crazy.com, which also lists top Archery experts’ opinions on the best Recurve Bow Manufacturers:
For the least expensive option, second-hand recurve bows can be found on second-hand markets like Ebay. Prices of bows also tend to vary a lot by state, so if you travel a lot or can access markets in other States, it’s best to compare prices before making a local purchase if cost is a concern.
How to Choose the Best Arrows for Beginning Archers
According to Ranger Expert, important things to look for when choosing arrows include size and weight, material and design, the arrow spine, the diameter and length of the shaft of the arrows, your shooting needs, and the price, to name a few. Sounds like a lot to think about, right?
To help you out, they’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best archery arrows using this criteria and more. See their complete guide and list here.
Additional Accessories for Continuing Archery Practice
Here, we’ve listed a few accessories that you can start to think about after you’ve mastered the basics of the bow and arrow. While these aren’t necessary for starting out, as you begin to practice more, you might find them helpful for comfort and accuracy purposes.
- Bow Stabilizer – Bow Stabilizers stabilize the bow string every time you shoot an arrow.
- Quiver – A quiver is what holds your bows. They can cost you anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars. However, if you’re not ready to invest in one, you can always opt for a homemade version.
- Arrow Rest – Arrow rests can help with consistency by providing a place for the arrow to go each time you shoot. While not totally necessary, arrow rests can be helpful for competition once you’ve learned to shoot with just the basics.
Where Can I Practice Shooting Archery?
You can start learning archery anywhere where it’s legal to shoot! This may even be in your own backyard, depending your local and state laws. Alternatively, you can try out local indoor or outdoor shooting ranges or a local archery club. As an added benefit, practicing at a local range or club can be a great way to connect with other archers.
Where Can I Find an Archery Coach?
For your own safety and for the safety of the people around you, especially if you’ve never picked up a bow and arrow in your life, you should seek out the guidance of a trusted friend or mentor to show you the ropes before you begin your practice.
If you don’t have a friend or mentor to help you out, you should think about purchasing at least a few private or group lessons to learn about safety and the fundamentals of shooting a bow and arrow. To find an archery coach, ask around at local archery stores or Hunting and Sporting Good stores.
Additionally, you can use USA Archery’s “Find a Coach” search.
How Can I Improve Quickly as a Beginning Archer?
After you’ve learned about the basics of archery, the number one thing you can do to improve your skill level is to practice. Archery is one of those sports where the more time you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. The more time you spend practicing, the more accurate your shot will be. Shooting with other archers, challenging yourself through competition, and joining an archery club are all also great ways to improve.
In conclusion, the biggest cost for learning archery most likely will not be your money, but your time. If you every feel unsure about where to start or if a piece of equipment is worth the money, it’s in your best interest to reach out to a trusted professional.
We suggest stopping by your local Hunting and Sporting Goods store or local Archery club and getting the opinion of the people who work there. Thanks for reading.