Log in


Beginners Guide To Archery

Archery is a great sport that is rewarding on many different levels. However,to enjoy your entry to the sport, there are a few pitfalls to avoid for the beginner. This is particularly relevant when it comes to investing in the right equipment to get started. This beginners guide will introduce you to the basics of getting started. You are welcome to contact the club for further information.

1. Don’t buy cheap archery gear online or from generic sports stores or department stores

Archery is a sport of precision. This precision is a combination of developing the physical skills and possessing the right equipment. A novice can shoot surprisingly well with a decent entry level bow, however, even a skilled archer will not get much out of a cheap bow typically sold on e-bay or in department stores or generic sports stores.

Take it from us, it is always disappointing to see an eager young child turn up at the club with his or her well meaning parents who have bought them a cheap bow. Regardless of the natural talent a novice may possess, it won’t be reflected by using cheap equipment. The experience of shooting a rubbish bow is demoralising.

Your physical skills will develop very quickly in just a few practice sessions.The last thing you want to do is have to replace poor quality equipment within days as your skill level outgrows the ability of your gear.

2. Visit a professional archery store to get fitted to your bow

Your first bow in particular should be purchased from a professional archery supplier who can fit you to your bow. Your arm length (known as draw length),age and strength are all relevant factors to be measured.

In addition, you will be able to get good advice on the different styles of bows, and the different styles of archery.

There are two well known archery stores in Sydney and we recommend you contact either or both of them for advice in getting started. Both stores sell good quality entry level packages that include a good entry bow and arrows for the novice archer.

Abbey Archery

Bensons Archery

There are also some very reputable online dealers based in Australia. However, as it is important to get fitted for your first bow, we really do recommend you visit a store.

3. Never ‘dry fire’ a bow

A fully drawn bow contain an enormous amount of energy. This energy is transferred to the arrow when you release the string. If you release a bow string without an arrow,the consequences can be catastrophic and may even destroy the bow entirely. This is called a ‘dry fire.’Don’t do it.

4. Your arrows must be matched to your bow

An arrows weight is measured in grains ( not grams), and a bow’s draw weight is measured in pounds. As a basic guide, you need 5 grains of arrow weight for every pound of a bow’s draw weight. Therefore a 60lb bow requires a minimum 300 grain arrow. Shooting an arrow lighter than 5 grains per pound can result in a ‘ dry fire’ type of event that can destroy a bow. Likewise, shooting an arrow that is too heavy will affect accuracy.

To ensure you have the correct arrows for the bow you are shooting, only shoot the arrows that have come with your bow package. Never shoot a traditional timber arrow from a modern compound bow and don’t shoot arrows from any bow if you are unsure that they have been correctly matched to the bow you are shooting.

Don’t fall for the trap of buying cheap arrows online thinking you can shoot them from any bow you might purchase.

Traditional Archery

Traditional archery puts aside the modern compound bow in favor of a ‘traditional’ recurve or longbow – and typically without a sighting device (bare bow). Traditional archery is well represented at M.W.F.A. with a hard core group of traditional archers regularly seen on both the practice range and the field ranges on organised club shoot days. If traditional style archery is your ‘thing’ you wont feel neglected here at M.W.F.A

Bow Hunting

Bow Hunting is one of the most challenging and rewarding pursuits that can be undertaken by the skilled archer. The archery skills that are developed on the practice range and in ABA field archery competitions lay the foundation upon which the required hunting skills of tracking, stalking and concealment can be developed.

Bow Hunting is an ethical and humane method of hunting and it is considered as ‘fair chase’ – where the skills of the hunter are pitted against the natural instincts of the prey.

Hunting shots are typically taken from less than 30 yards, so a great degree of skill in approaching wild game needs to be developed.

Many members of M.W.F.A enjoy bow hunting throughout the year.  Deer season is a particular favourite with the club, and it is a topic of discussion at that time.  Outside of deer season, club hunters regularly pursue rabbits, feral goats, pigs, wild dogs and foxes.  All native animals are off limits to bow hunting and our club members adhere to strict legal, moral and ethical obligations.

If you want to hunt game and feral animals on public land in NSW, you need to apply for a Restricted license.  If you want to hunt deer or other game animals on private land, you need to apply for a game hunting license.  This can be either the Restricted license, which also gives you public land access, or a General license for private land only.  You don’t need a license if you are only hunting non-indigenous animals (listed in Part 2 of Schedule 3 to the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002) on private land.  You must have a license to hunt deer on private or public land in NSW.   In addition, some species of deer have specific times of the year when they breed, so hunting at these times is restricted due to an increased likelihood of animal welfare concerns.

The following seasons apply to deer hunting in NSW.

Deer hunting season for Fallow, Red and Wapiti is from 1 March to 31 October

Deer hunting season for Hog deer is from 1 April to 30 April only.

Chital, Sambar and Rusa deer can be hunted all year.

To learn more about the licensing requirements, we suggest you read the NSW Legislation Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 No 64 and visit the Game Licensing Division on the DPI website.

As a condition of membership, all members of Manly Warringah Field Archers must abide by the The NSW Hunter’s Code of Practice at all times.

Hunters’ Code of Practice

Licensed hunters in NSW must follow a mandatory Code of Practice to ensure ethical, safe and responsible hunting takes place.  The code is part of the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 and the Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation 2012, and is a legally binding condition of a game hunting license in NSW.  Breaches of the code result in heavy penalties.

Hunting organisations are encouraged to adopt the Code of Practice as their own.

The mandatory provisions of the Code of Practice are as follows:

Awareness of relevant legislation

It is your responsibility as a license holder to be aware of and comply with all relevant legislation relating to hunting, animal welfare and the use of firearms.

Safe handling of firearms

If you are using firearms, you must comply with the rules for safe handling, set out in the NSW Firearms Safety Awareness handbook, at all times.

Permission required to enter land

Your license does not automatically authorise you to hunt on any land. You must not hunt on any land unless you hold the express authority (permission) of the landowner.

Target identification and safety

You must not fire at a game or pest animal unless it can be clearly seen and identified.  

The shot taken must not pose any discernible risk of injury to any person or damage to any property.

Obligation to avoid suffering.

An animal being hunted must not be inflicted with unnecessary pain.  To achieve a humane death, you must:

Target the animal so that a humane kill is likely.

Shoot within the reasonably accepted killing range of the firearm, ammunition or bow.

Always use hunting equipment (firearm and ammunition, bow and arrow), that can be reasonably expected to humanely kill the animal you are targeting.

Lactating female with dependent young

If you harvest a lactating female, every reasonable effort must be made to locate and kill any dependent young.

Wounded animals

If an animal is wounded, you must take all reasonable steps to locate it so that it can be killed quickly and humanely.

Use of dogs

Dogs and other animals may be used by you while hunting, but only if:

their use is not in contravention to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 and

their use is with the permission of the occupier of the land concerned.

Manly Warringah Field Archers is proud of the fact that many of our members are active bow hunters.  Within our ranks are bow hunters who have successfully hunted prized trophy animals on several continents for decades, and many others who are regular hunters of feral and game animals throughout NSW and the other states of Australia.

If you are interested in knowing more about bow hunting, you can’t go past the skill and experience that exists within the membership of the Manly Warringah Field Archers.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software