Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   



Fish & Game

Target Transformation  

Art imitates life in student 3D archery challenge.

Line up an arrow, squint your eye just right at the bull’s-eye on the target and release. Repeat.

Everything melts away while you focus on that motionless red dot; your target in the field, however, is three-dimensional and moves without warning. Keeping calm on the hunt requires more realistic preparation.

That’s the beauty of three-dimensional archery — it offers the experience of shooting at a realistic animal target rather than a flat bull’s-eye or animal photo.

Many Texas archery clubs and organizations now practice shooting at 3D animal targets.

A collaboration between the National Archery in the Schools Program and the International Bowhunting Organization in 2014 led to the creation of a new activity for participants in the annual NASP tournament.

Each spring, around 150 schools and 3,000 student archers (fourth through 12th grades) meet up in Central Texas for the state bull’s-eye tournament. The 2022 tournament was held in March in Belton.

In the accompanying 3D Challenge, students shoot at targets simulating wild turkey, coyote, bear, antelope, white-tailed deer and bighorn sheep. The targets are placed on a line diagonal to the shooter. The turkey is placed at 10 meters and the sheep at 15 meters. The other four animals are placed at unknown distances between the turkey and sheep, giving this part of the challenge a sense of the variable nature of actual bowhunting.

For more information on NASP and 3D archery, click here.

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