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3D Archery is great practice for hunting

3D targets can be life-size deer, moose, caribou, alligator and many other types of game animals.
3D targets can be life-size deer, moose, caribou, alligator and many other types of game animals.

3D Archery is a tournament style event; where archers would shoot at life-size animal targets made of dense foam to simulate hunting situations.  3D Archery has been around for decades, and is making a come-back.  A typical 3D shoot would consist of 30 targets positioned at different distances unknown to archers, who would be shooting them from colored coded stakes.  Each colored shooting stake represents the 'class' (or equipment) of the shooter.  On the side of each 3D target are scoring rings, similar to an archery target, with the bullseye which would represent the highest score. 

The archer will use their best judgment to guess the distances of the targets and use their bow and its equipment to shoot the bullseye.  (Electronic range finders are not allowed, although if you want to use one to practice yardage estimation, it would be unsportsmanlike to turn in your scorecard.)  Scores are turned in and compared with other archers using similar archery equipment.  For instance, a traditional bow shooter, using a recurve bow would not compete against a person shooting a compound bow.  

3D season has already begun at Chicago Bow Hunters with the archery clubs' first of the year winter 3D shoot, called the Slush Shoot taking place in January.  The Frozen Foot 3D Shoot this weekend on February 27-28; both Saturday and Sunday, is open for registration from 7am-12pm.  This event is open to the public and the cost is $12.00 for non-members to shoot.    

Going to 3D shoots throughout the summer will improve your hunting shots, as the 3D targets are placed in a natural setting. The shooter has an opportunity to shoot at these foam animals at varying terrain, from platforms to simulate tree-stand shots, and from many different distances usually 45 yards and under.

Many other local archery clubs hosts 3D shoots that are open to the public. has a list of current and upcoming 3D events, with a database that is searchable by state, zip, code, and name of club.

For more information on 3D Archery, please email our Hunting and Fishing Examiner at 


  • Earle 5 years ago

    Loved reading your article. I am so happy to have found you. Keep up the great work and if you ever need a hunting partner just drop me a email sometime. :) Take Care :)

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