Redwood Bowmen is home to three National Field Archery Association (NFAA) 14-target rounds: Upper Course, Lower Course, and The Hill. These roaming field archery courses offer an amazing experience for both beginning and advanced archers.
In practice, the courses can be shot however an archer wishes, they just have to stay in the shooting lanes, limit themselves to four shots per target, and follow typical archery safety rules.
Read further if you'd like to know how the courses are intended - and how to shoot and score in the game of Field Archery.
The 3 rounds
The course of 42 total targets is divided into three 14-target rounds: The Field round, the Hunter round, and the Animal round. Each round is strictly defined by the NFAA to have a fixed set of shooting distances and target faces. Our full course is set up according to NFAA standards for the 3 rounds. The rounds rotate through the thirds of the course periodically - to keep it interesting. The exact list of all the targets and the distance markers is shown in our Course Stakes table.
Throughout the course, at every target, there are a variety of marked shooting positions. The shooting positions have a base color (white, red, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, black) and a number. The color identifies the type of round the marker is used for, and the number is the distance - usually in yards - to the target.
- The Field Round (White Stakes)
The Field target face has a black spot, a white "4"-ring, and a black "3"-ring. There is also an "X"-ring inside of the spot that can be counted and used for tie-breakers. When shooting a Field round, shoot from white markers. In most cases you shoot 4 arrows from one marker, but in a few cases there are 4 markers in a fan (the same distance but different positions) or in a walk-up arrangement. In these cases, shoot one arrow from each marker.
You may notice that in the Field round, all the distances are in multiples of 5 yards (except the "birdie", which is multiples of 5 feet) and that makes preparing for a Field round a little simpler. A Field round is about testing consistency. A perfect Field round is 280 points.
A note on alternate "expert" scoring: There are two alternative scoring methods, that we do not generally use. Method #1 uses the "X"-ring as 6 points. So the possible scores are 6-5-4-3, and a perfect round is 336 points. Method #2 uses the pro rings that are scribed in the field target face. The "X" and "5"-rings are scored a 5, then the inner half of the white ring is 4, the outer half of the white is 3, then 2, then 1 points. That's what those extra rings on a field face are for, although typically for Redwood Bowmen club shoots we do not use those methods.
- The Hunter Round (Red Stakes)
The Hunter round target face has a white spot, a black "4"-ring, and a black "3"-ring. Again, there is also an "X"-ring inside the spot that can be counted and used for tie-breakers. When shooting a Hunter round, you shoot from red markers. As with a Field round, each Hunter target gets 4 arrows, but many more of the Hunter round targets are walk-ups or fans. The challenge here is that all the distances are "odd" (not multiples of 5) and in most cases you have to shoot from a different position (fan) or distance (walk-up) so a Hunter round is about being able to note a distance to a target, and use that information to know how to aim. A perfect Hunter round is 280 points.
- The Animal Round (Yellow Stakes)
And here is where scoring gets interesting. The Animal target face is a picture (or outline) of an animal of some sort, with scoring lines. There is a dot, a "vitals" line, and "wound" line. With the Field and Hunter rounds, you shoot 4 arrows at every target, but Animal rounds are more interesting. You shoot no more than 3 numbered arrows. Shoot your first arrow from the farthest shooting position. If you hit the animal ("wound" or better) then you've completed that target. If you miss, step to the next shooting position and shoot a second arrow. Again, if you hit the target, you are done, or you step up and shoot your third - your last - arrow. Your arrows were numbered so that if you shot multiple arrows, you can tell the order that they were shot.
Animal rounds are shot from yellow markers. The larger targets are shot from farther away, and are 3 position walk-ups. The smaller targets are shoot from closer, and there is only a single position where all 3 arrows are shot from.
Scoring an animal round is interesting. You only score one arrow, the first arrow to hit.
Animal Round Scoring:
- 1st Arrow = 21 (Dot), 20 (Vital), 18 (Wound)
- 2nd Arrow = 17 (Dot), 16 (Vital), 14 (Wound)
- 3rd Arrow = 13 (Dot), 12 (Vital), 10 (Wound)
The more shots it takes to hit the animal, the lower the score you get for that hit. A "hit" on the first arrow scores better then a dot on the second shot. This round really tests your ability to take the information you have (the distance and the shape of the target) and use it to get that first shot right.
- World Archery Field Round (Purple Stakes)
There is actually a fourth configuration that can be set up on the course. The World Archery Field Round uses a black (or dark blue) target with a yellow spot. The yellow spot includes a 6 and 5 ring, then the black rings are 4, 3, 2, and 1 points.
The World Archery course is designed for WA equipment rules, and the shooting styles are called compound (NFAA freestyle), recurve (NFAA Freestyle Limited recurve) and barebow (NFAA barebow recurve) and the stakes are marked in meters with purple stakes. The stakes for compound and recurve have red stripe marks on them, and the barebow stakes have blue stripe marks. Compound and Recurve youth shoot the barebow stakes. In a few cases, compound, recurve, and barebow share a stake, so that stake will have a red and blue stripe. In World Archery Field rounds, there are no walk-ups or fans. Three arrows are shot per target, for a perfect end of 18. There are 12 targets, so a perfect round is 216 points.
Since the WA Field Round has only 12 targets per round, two targets of the 14-target round on our course are not used if the round is configured for WA Field. The stakes listing for the WA Field Rounds are in a separate Course Stakes Table.
- Annual Club Events (Orange and Green Stakes)
You may also notice there are other stakes not accounted for by the field/hunter/animal round stakes. These are shooting positions for our annual 3D shoot (The Western Roundup) and holiday novelty shoot (The Turkey Shoot). The orange stakes are for the Western Roundup, and you will find that they do not represent distances to target bales. The green stakes are for the Turkey Shoot. Since the turkey shoot uses paper targets on the bales, the distances to the green stakes are accurate.