What is Archery?

Three Archery targets shot full of arrows.

What is Archery?

According to Wiki, the words Arch, arc, and bow are all the same word in Latin. A natural progression of the practice of shooting arrows became known as archery and it is a worldwide phenomenon. We’re going to take a brief look at the history of archery and then explore a bit of what modern archery is and how it is growing in popularity in the United States. We’ll also take a look at what are some of the many ways to enjoy the sport.

An Arch is the shape of a strung bow.

Wikipedia says, “Archery is the sport or skill of shooting with a bow and arrows, especially at a target”

That sounds pretty simple doesn’t it. However, there have been thousands of books and articles written over the centuries about archery. It really is a pretty interesting sport and there are a lot of challenges in becoming a great archer.

Some of the earliest evidence of bows and arrows dates back as far as 10,000 years. The artifacts were possibly arrow tips or spear points and an arrow straightener. Some earlier spear points and possibly arrowheads date back as far as 64,000 years. There is evidence of ancient and prehistoric bows and arrows all over Europe depicted in cave paintings and drawings

Archery artifacts have been discovered In the middle east region called Mesopotamia dating back 15,000 to 20,000 years. Mesopotamia was also known as the cradle of civilization better known today, as Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Kuwait and Syria, A lot of cultural firsts for humanity occurred there and archery was among them.

The oldest actual known actual bows and arrows were dug out of a Swamp in Denmark in the 1940s but the artifacts themselves date back almost 11,000 years. As people and cultures spread around thee world, so did archery. Across Africa and the middle east, to Europe, Asia, China, Korea, Japan, and the Americas, archery, wherever it went, was recognized as a superior tool for hunting and also as a weapon.

During the bronze age there were horse mounted archers, in the middle east and India as well as archers in chariots storming battle fields and quickly turning the tide of a battle and reinforcing flagging troops. Later massed troops and archers battled it out.

Archery in ancient mythology.

The God Apollo was the Greek god of Archery, while win sister Artemis was the Goddess of Archery. The Romans called them Apollo and Diana,

Sagittarius is the archer in astrology and a sagitorium is a roman term for a regimen of archers in the roman army.

Archery in Greek Mythology reflects the weapons of war at the time. Artemis was the Greek goddess of their hunt

For the Romans there was Mars, god of war, he was considered a powerful entity that could secure peace, which was important to a people who had warred for years and years. Diana was the roman Goddess of the hunt and wild animals. She is often depicted wielding a bow for she is also the goddess of Archery and the wilderness.

A sculpture of the Greek Goddess Diana Plucking an arrow from her quiver.

Indian, Chinese, Greek Hindu, Iranian, Nordic vikings and Romans all have history and mythology that is loaded with tales of renowned archers and warriors both men and women. It all makes for exciting and interesting reading.,

The ancient Egyptians, the Nubians and almost all of the major civilizations of African had warriors who used archery in wars. Same for China and the mongols, Japan and feudal empires. There are historical accounts of battles across Europe, China, the middle East and the Americas where bows and arrows were a major force in winning many battles.

Enough with the ancient history.

Today, modern movies and television have loads of legendary tales of amazing archers facing overwhelming adversity and still being able to prevail over their foes. Katness Everdeen of their Hunger Games was able to defy an authoritarian state and eventually challenge the status quo. Probably the most famous archer in film and television is the legendary Robin Hood who is generally believed to be a simple legend like King Arthur and the knights of the round table.

A television series called “Vikings” featured battles between the kingdoms of Europe and the invading vikings with many battles where bows and arrows as well as swords and axes were used. Another T.V. show is Arrow, about a vigilante with a bow trying to bring justice to those who wronged his family.

Whether it is modern legend or ancient, the power of the bow and arrow is recognized by anyone who has seen what a skilled archer is capable of with a bow and arrow.

Let’s talk about modern archery.

Around the world archery is growing in popularity. Millions of new shooters take up a bow and arrows for the first time every year. If you are reading this article then you may be among those millions just getting into the sport of archery. Today, modern archery is considered a leisure sport for all kinds of people. There is target archery, field archery, tournament archery like World Archery and the Olympics, as well as 3-D Archery tournaments and thousands of less formal local, state and regional archery tournaments.

Schools are strengthening their archery programs and some lucky kids are learning a pastime that can be carried on well into old age. Some of those programs also help kids get scholarships to college through their archery skills. Anything that gets kids outside and exercising while giving them a chance to go to colleges is a fantastic endeavor for any school and the young people who are lucky enough to participate.

Tournament competition is a great way to improve your archery skills.


Hunting with a bow is rapidly growing in popularity and with modern equipment or traditional long bows and recurves, compound bows and crossbows, millions of hunters take to the wilderness every year in the pursuit of everything from nuisance pests, predators and small and big game. Not just popular in the United States, bow hunting is popular all around the world.

Hunting with a bow may not be for everybody and it doesn’t have to be the focus of shooting a bow. Many people only compete in target archery sports and they find the archery life richly rewarding. With just a little research, you can find nearby archery ranges, archery clubs and tournament events, sometimes pretty close to home. Find out from your school if they would be willing to sponsor an archery club. You might be surprised that one of the teachers is an old hand at archery.

World Archery is the leader in Archery events and programs.

The World Archery Association is a great organization with chapters worldwide. World Archery is the reason that Archery is an Olympic event. Archery was removed from the Olympics in 1920 and through the efforts of the world archery Federation, Archery was returned to the Olympics in 1972. What a great decision by the Olympic committee. Archery is one of the most popular events of the summer Olympics and these days with guidance from World Archery, there are equal numbers of slots open for female competitors as there are for men.


This video clip is from the World Archery page showing what precision competition archery is all about.  Please click the link to visit the World Archery Site.

This is a direct quote from the World Archery Federation’s “About Us” page.

“World Archery is the international governing body for the sport of archery. Its mission is to promote and regulate archery worldwide, developing the sport with over 160 member associations through international events, development initiatives and marketing and endorsed by the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee and International World Games Association, among others.”

Click here to check out the World Archery Home page.

One of the founding members of the International World Archery Federation and one of the greatest archery event organizers there is. They organize and support events like the U.S. Archery Team Trials, the U.S. Archery Field Championships, the Indoor Nationals, The Outdoor Nationals and United States Archery Team Qualifier Series events. click on the link below to find out more about all of the events that U.S.A. Archery help to organize as well as finding out how to participate in event, become a member and where to find events, competitor ranking and all the rules of competition.

I don’t make any money promoting U.S.A. archery. I just think that they are one of the greatest organizations for anybody who likes, loves or lives archery. Give them a look, get involved and enjoy the heck out of this wonderful sport of ours.

Click here to take a look at the U.S.A. Archery Home Page

Archery Hunting is a great outdoor pursuit for millions.

Archery hunting is another endeavor pursued by millions of hunters all over the world. Since man first invented the bow it has been used for hunting and still is even today.

In spite of the advent of firearms, archery hunting is still the preferred method of taking game animals for millions of people. The idea of connecting to history and our origins as a civilization is something many hunters experience when using the simple bow and arrow to hunt.

What archery and bow hunting are to me.


A beautiful Bull Elk ending the day with a bugle.

After years of hunting with bow and arrow as well as rifle and handgun, I still simply love being in the amazing wilderness and the challenges of pursuing any animal is one of the many reasons I hunt. I have often described my way of hunting as a long walk through nature with a gun or bow for my companion. I hunted solo more than I ever did with another person and that solitary enjoyment of hunting naturally leads to the silent pursuit of a deer with a silent shooting bow.

The satisfaction I get from getting close to a deer or rabbit and even the predators is for me one of the great pleasures of hunting. It is exciting and the suspense that comes with getting that extra yard closer and making a perfect, humane and ethical shot is as rewarding as processing the meat and sitting down to a meal from the deer that I killed.

I am a hunter first and foremost. So this page will be mostly about how to succeed in bow hunting with a lot of becoming a better archer and pursuing competition shooting with your bow. In order to become a better hunter.

Ethical hunting and perfecting your archery game go hand in hand.

Archery skills are critical to being not only a successful hunter but an ethical hunter. Knowing the limits of your equipment and you limit as a shooter will greatly improve your hunting experience.

Since you are in control of the arrows you let fly, it is up to you to practice and perfect your archery so that you have no excuse for losing the tournament or missing your deer just because you did not put in enough time practicing. Your bow set up may be able to shoot sixty, seventy, eighty, even a hundred yards, but are You capable of hitting an eight-inch target at that range? (The average size of a deer’s vital area is between eight and ten inches.)

A deer’s vital area is about eight to ten inches in diameter. If you can’t consistantly drill a target the size of a paper plate, every time you shoot then you have no business taking that shot. If you can hit the plate every time at twenty yards but not at thirty, then when you are trying to shoot your deer, you owe it to yourself and the deer to sneak into that twenty yard range and go home as a successful hunter.

When you put in the hours at the practice range shooting from longer and longer distances, then you will see more and more shot opportunities while you are hunting. In a tournament situation, every hour of practice will make you that much more confident. Your scores will improve dramatically as your quality of practice improves.


As a tournament archer or a bow hunter, you take on the duty of representing archery and bow hunting everywhere. We have all read stories of people who break the rules, cheat at everything and are generally lousy representatives of archery and bow hunting. Don’t become one of those slobs because you don’t feel like practicing or you don’t have time. Be a sterling example of doing your absolute best to become a great archer. You won’t perfect your skills overnight but you won’t be a newbie forever, either.

Archery is fun for all ages and the whole family.


Having a great time is the goal. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break. Review your practice routine and see where you can make improvements or small adjustments. If you don’t have a coach or a mentor, start reading all of the books and magazines you can find and don’t think you can;’t find a ton of good information online.

No matter what you do, have fun. Give yourself time to get better. Give yourself enough time practicing so you can get better. If you give Archery a solid chance and put in a bit of effort, you will see improvement.

Thank you for viewing my web page and please feel free to ask me questions or leave a comment below.

Let me ask all of you a question. What made you think to yourself that you would like to give Archery a tery>? Was it a favorite movie or television show? Maybe you saw the archery events during the Summer Olympic Games and that inspired you. Whatever it was that fired you up to get into archery, let me know in the comments below.






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