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Types of Archery: Which One Is the Best For a Beginner to Use?

Even if we extended the list below, we would still say there are five (5) major ways that you can enjoy archery as a sport. So, here are the main types of archery;

  • Target Archery
  • Field Archery
  • 3D Archery
  • Traditional Archery
  • Bowhunting

It is possible to say; there are also some sub-categories within these types of archery.

For instance, bow-fishing is one of the most common among people who love archery and fishing and can be counted as a sub-category of bowhunting.

Another example is clout archery, which is becoming more popular in the last few years. At the same time, clout archery can be counted as a separate category or as a sub-category of target archery.

According to your interest and the purpose of enjoying archery would determine whether you prefer to shoot indoor or outdoor; you may start in one category and find yourself in another category or sub-category as your interest and skill in archery increases.

◊ In this article, we’ll give you some basic information about types of archery. Besides, according to your interest, we aim to be your guide for helping you to answer this question;

  ‘’With which type of archery should I start?”

Target Archery

archery targets

Target Archery

This type of archery is the most popular one worldwide and also the best way to start archery. Besides, it is known as the type of archery at the Olympics.

Mainly, archers shoot at targets from a certain distance. You can do target archery either indoors or outdoors. Therewithal, it is possible to say there are over 60 official rounds in target archery.

In Olympic archery, the modern recurve bow is allowed to be used. But compound bows are also a very popular option for this type of archery.

Targets contain five colors and dimensions are 31,5 inch/80 centimeters to 48 inch/122 centimeters depending on age, bow types, distance from the target, and target divisions.

Clout Archery can be count also another type of target archery whereby archers shoot arrows towards the flag – called clout – from a long distance (180yards/165m for men and 140 yards/128m for women) than the other types of archery. So, the archer’s scores are defined according to the gap between where their arrows land and the flag.

Field Archery

Field Archer shots an arrow

This one is my favorite like everybody is crazy about nature and archery. In my opinion, this is the best way to enjoy the outdoors and keeping fit. 

You can shoot from uphill or downhill and be able to use different sized targets from different distances. Mostly, it involves being in woodland or rough terrain.

Besides, it is possible to say that like 3D Archery; it can be preferable by bowhunters – to improve their hunting techniques and abilities.- and by the people that have the passion for archery and nature as well.

Imagine you’re going hiking for a day trip with your friends. Wouldn’t it be perfect if you take your bow with you on your journey to the heart of nature? So, you could practice and satisfy your ancient instincts. Besides, it gives you the courage to protect yourself against any unexpected danger.

What are the differences between target and field archery?

They both might look the same. Mainly, archers just draw a bow, aim at a round targets. Differences are that they have different rules and different scorings. If you’re a new learner, both of these disciplines are a great way to start and will offer you challenges.

3D Archery

3D Archery target

It’s a good way to practice for bowhunters. It can be used with life-size animal models. Because the main purpose of this type of archery is for them to recreate the hunting environment.

But there are also some international events regulated by some organizations as well.

You can think of it as the golf matches. When you finish your shots with one target, you move from there to another station. So, you could shoot another animal target at different distances.


Archers have only one shot to hit the target in this discipline. Scoring is defined with the arrows on scoring rings on the targets. Targets locations change according to the animals. Scoring rings are in the area where the vital organs of those animals would be.

Official tournaments regulated with two styles; ‘’Known distance” with the marked distance from the target and ‘’unknown distance” without the marked distances from the target. For the “unknown distance” events, archers are not allowed to use rangefinders. The intuition about the measurement distance is critical for archers. 

3d archery competition

3d archery tournaments

This type of Archery is for experienced archers because arrows can hit low or high from your aiming spot. High-speed bows can cover mistakes. But note that, every organization has a different arrow speed limit.

Traditional Archery

traditional archer holds the bow

You might love Middle-age and the fantasy worlds like Middle-earth. It’s not a bad thing to feel yourself old-school and a connection to traditional archery.

Most people who have started this sport started with these feelings. It’s all about having fun. Getting back to medieval times and challenging your archery skills.

Traditional archers do not use any modern accessories. No sights, gadgets, stabilizer, etc. That gives you more of a connection with your bow and arrows. Even without a sight, you still can become a great shooter and feel like Robin Hood. With a lot of practice, hard work and choosing the right equipment, you can achieve fantastic accuracy as well.

Mainly, traditional archers are choosing one of among longbow and recurve bows. It’s easier to achieve fast shots with recurve bows. On the other hand, longbows have great bending properties and also make you feel like living in history with its classic design. Both can be used in target archery and bowhunting -if you trust your draw power- as well.

You can think about it like that! For a good way to start something, I should start with the most basic way.


Bow hunter in sunset

Bowhunting is a type of hunting with the bow. But, we have to say, that it is the most challenging one among hunting weapons.

Our ancestors hunted animals with a bow for a thousand years. Even the tools and equipment are so different today than the ancient ages; same archery skills need to be successful on your shot.

Though, today’s arrows go faster and penetrate deeper with modern technology. It gives you an advantage over firing weapons.

We can say that modern bowhunting doesn’t change at all. Maybe just the equipment has changed. Today’s archers have a chance to choose from lots of different bow types, arro​​​​ws, arrowheads, and all the assisting equipment. Traditional longbows, recurve bows are used for bowhunting. But, mainly powerful compound bows and crossbows are used among experienced archers for this type of archery.


In conclusion, you can ask this question; ‘’Which Type of Archery is the Best Way to Start?’’. In my opinion, Target Archery is the best type of archery to begin learning.

As a beginner archer, you will have to learn lots of new tips. Other types of Archery might not be a good way to start your journey. Because they require different techniques and sometimes, some instincts that experienced archers have developed. Besides, you can choose an indoor or outdoor activity for target archery. The second option could be Field Archery if you just want to start this as a hobby while you enjoy nature as well.

Which One is the Right Bow for Your Archery Type?​​​​

Firstly, before you start archery, you have to decide which type of archery you’re interested in. According to your decision, you can start looking at which type of bow you should take and which one is best for you.


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