Novelty shoots are a fun way for archers to practice their skills, commune with one another and break up the monotony of shooting at the same targets day in and day out. By shooting at different, sometimes three-dimensional, targets or in unique shooting situations, says Archery Equipment, both novices and old archery hands can improve their skills.
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5-Target Novelty Shoot
According to Archery Equipment, a fun novelty shoot can be run using five targets. Each participant gets three arrows to shoot and is awarded points based on how many shots they take to score a hit (e.g. a hit on the first arrow is awarded five points and the archer doesn't shoot any more arrows, a hit on the second arrow is awarded three points and the archer doesn't shoot a third arrow, etc.). The targets recommend by Archery Equipment include two balloons, blowing in the breeze, at 20 yards; replicas of crows at 30 yards; a running deer silhouette at 40 yards and a regular, round-faced archery target at 85 to 90 yards.
The Stitzer Sportsman's Club Shoot
The Stitzer Sportsman's Club from Wisconsin holds regular archery novelty shoots in which participants pay 60p for three arrows on a variety of different novelty shoots. Hits result in the shooter receiving different prizes or being entered into drawings for prizes. Novelty shoots they use include the cloud shoot, which is a shot on a life-size elk target at between 75 and 100 yards. Another shoot is chronograph shoot, which measures the speed of a shooter's arrow. An electronic, running deer decoy is the target for another shot and fishing bobbers at 30 and 50 yards are another novelty shoot idea the Stitzer Sportsman's Club utilises.
Organizations like the Society for Creative Anachronism often host novelty archery shoots that mimic military tactics and manoeuvres of the Middle Ages, when archery was a major military weapon. Berserker is one of these shoots. In the Berserker shoot, contestants must run a course and hit three targets, representing charging barbarians, at 20, 30 and 40 yards respectively. Archers are scored on the amount of time it takes them to run to the shooting station, grab their bow, hit all three targets and return to the starting line.
Friend or Foe
Another novelty shoot recommended by the Society for Creative Anachronism is the Friend or Foe Shoot. In this shoot archers take aim at a 60-centimeter target at 20 yards. Each archer shoots two ends of six arrows each and there is no time component. The trick, though, is that the target is divided in half. In the first end, arrows landing in one half of the target score positive points and in the other negative points. This situation is reversed during the second six-arrow end, and an archer's total score is counted when both ends are finished.
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