How to Shoot Outdoor Target: The Ultimate Guide


Take a break from the monotony of indoor shooting and explore the fun, exhilarating world of outdoor archery! To ensure success with an outdoor setup, practice at your equipment category’s proper distance. Before you aim outside, here is a helpful list detailing what to know when making the switch from 18 meters indoors to shooting outdoors plus some recommended gear tweaks for optimum performance.

Know Your Distance

No matter the age group, archers will find plenty of distances to compete in. Most notable are the “full” events for adult competitors:

  • Senior Compound at 50 meters with an 80 cm target face
  • Senior Barebow at 50 meters on a 122 cm target face
  • Senior Recurve at 70 meters on a 122 cm target face

Whether you are a recurve or barebow archer, it is essential to practice on the correct target face at your proper distance in order to get used to aiming properly. Barebow archers must be familiar with this concept since they need extra assistance finding their mark.

Full targets include score rings from 1-10 for both styles of the shooter; however, compound shooters will only use 5-10 due to the reduced target size that allows four individual targets per butt. With enough practice and precision focus, all types of bowmen can perfect their accuracy!

Tweak Your Equipment

When transitioning to outdoor shooting, make sure to adjust the equipment slightly for maximum efficiency. Every bow type requires a different set of adjustments but one common point is that you should switch from wide-diameter indoor arrows to slim and long-range outdoor arrows. This essential change will aid in your endeavor of capturing perfect shots outdoors!


Barebow archers, like recurve archers, must modify their arrow rests and plunger to accommodate for the newer, thinner arrows. Ensuring that your arrow is correctly placed on the rest and plunger will allow for more precise center shots which are key in making sure the arrow leaves your bow straight.


Whether you’re a barebow or recurve (Olympic-style) archer, outdoor arrows are typically thinner than indoor ones. You may need to adjust your arrow rest and plunger accordingly. Furthermore, changing up the weight distribution on your stabilizers could prove beneficial for aiming in windy conditions — it’s really just personal preference that each archer must discover themselves!

Archers who use a recurve bow can also customize their sight pin to make it more pronounced or less visible when shooting in direct sunlight. It’s all about personal preference and what works best for each individual archer. This minor adjustment can bring great satisfaction while shooting in the sun!


Dr. Andrew Fagan, one of Canada’s most renowned compound archers, revealed some of the adjustments he makes when transitioning from indoor to outdoor shooting. According to him, he swaps his blade from 0.12-inch standard width indoors to a narrower 0.10-inch freakshow for x10s outdoors – although lighter arrows may require even thinner blades at 0.08 inches; however, 400 grains is what works best for Fagan himself!

“As I’m shooting longer distances, I’ll need to slightly adjust my peep. When I set it up for 50 meters, it was already at the ideal height for both field and target archery. To further fine-tune my bow setup, I will next modify my nocking point before finally focusing on blade placement.”

To ensure he doesn’t have to worry about a clearance issue for his indoor arrows with larger fletchings, Fagan adjusts his cable guard inward. As you move from inside to outdoors, understanding your equipment is key in helping you decide what needs to be done so that you can shoot well. Also, familiarizing yourself with the distance and target of your outdoor range will help bolster your confidence. Try not to make radical changes during this transition as it could only complicate matters; keep experimentation minimized!

If you want to dominate in competition, practice shooting while enduring all types of weather conditions – even if there’s thunder and lightning. This will help bolster your resilience against the elements, an essential trait for success outdoors!

4 Tips For Hitting Outdoor Distances

As spring draws near, archers can finally take their proficiency outdoors. Not only does outdoor target archery provide a unique landscape to hone your skills, but it also allows you to practice longer distances than indoor ranges permit.

However, those shooting lighter draw weights and shorter draw lengths might find difficulty reaching 70 meters with accuracy; even after adjusting sights to its lowest setting many arrows still fall short of the mark. To best ensure success at this distance we’ve compiled some proven techniques that will help you hit your target every time!

Outdoor Arrows

For close-range shooting indoors, arrows with bigger diameter and larger vanes are optimal. However, when you’re aiming at targets farther away outdoors, lighter arrows with small vanes will be pivotal to success. To make sure that you get the right equipment for your skill level and goals, consult an archery shop’s crew of experts. They’ll help pick out the perfect arrows and components suitable for your bow setup – then tune it up so that it is ready to go!

Increase Draw Weight

By increasing your draw weight, you can maximize the speed of your arrow and create a more defined trajectory. Yet, make sure to gradually raise it as you build strength to avoid any potential injury. You may have heard of “specific physical training” (SPT) developed by KiSik Lee, USA Archery’s head coach—which is an excellent way for improving draw weights. SPT exercises typically require a bow but there are also resistance bands or other devices that simulate drawing with one if need be!

This exercise requires minimal effort yet yields great results. Draw your bow, hold it at full draw for no longer than 30 seconds, then rest and repeat this cycle for half an hour to a solid hour – the equivalent of sending off 200-250 arrows!

To guarantee a secure SPT with a bow, position yourself in front of a target while the arrow is loaded. As you won’t be liable for any damages if an accidental discharge happens this way. Resistance bands let you perform SPT exercises at your home’s comfortability whether that entails watching television or going out to enjoy some beautiful weather. Don’t forget, as the draw weight increases it will have an impact on your equipment tuning and may require corrections upon reaching your desired level of strength.

Move Your Sight Bracket Down

Sometimes the most straightforward solution is the best. If you can’t adjust your scope or sight pin, try adjusting the entire sight bracket instead! The brackets on most archery sights are removable and easy to lower before reinstalling them. This allows for a greater range when shooting targets at longer distances – but beware of clearance issues if it’s moved into an arrow’s path!

To ensure there won’t be any problems, place your arrow on its rest with the fletching forward and hold it level as though about to shoot; this will make sure that no part of its fletching touches either the sights or scope.

Bring Your Sight In

Improve your shots by making a small adjustment to your target sight! The adjustable extension piece allows you to move the sight in and out, which will help raise the trajectory of your arrows. If even after bringing it in still results in an inadequate distance, try flipping the bracket around for more progress toward success. 

Watching the video above is sure to give you further guidance on this topic and could be just what’s needed for hitting those targets at farther distances – so go ahead and check it out now! With these helpful tips from an archery professional plus fine-tuning adjustments made here, soon enough you’ll be shooting like a pro!

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