How Will Shooting Paper Targets Make Me a Better Hunter?


"Prior to joining Las Vegas Archers Club and later NBHA, I had a negative attitude about attending shoots and getting involved. My attitude was, “How will shooting at paper targets make me a better hunter?” After several years of being stubborn, I attended a class round shoot outdoors. I shot with experienced archers who kindly, and with great patience, showed me why I missed several trophy deer. I had the wrong equipment with incorrect draw length, under spined arrows, and I had horrible form. I lost several arrows that day, but I began a journey towards becoming a more accurate archery shooter and a better archery hunter. Now, every tournament or club shoot I attend, I learn new information about improvements in form and advancements in equipment. Randy Elmer (Arizona resident) shot the largest elk bull in Nevada in 2003. He has also won about every major national tournament in archery – indoor, outdoor, and 3-D unmarked. He is an example of how proficiency at target archery can improve hunting success with a bow. My advice to both beginning archers and archers who are struggling to shoot accurately is to get proper equipment from an archery store and learn to shoot with proper form from top shooters. Nevada has some top archers who win tournaments at the national level. These are people you can learn from by participating in local club and NBHA shoots. Also, you’ll meet some great people who enjoy archery. If you are an experienced hunter and still think paper shoots aren’t practice for hunting, I have one question. Do you use a range finder? If so, and most of us who shoot at game over 40 to 50 yards use a range finder, then you’ve made shooting at big game into a marked yardage shoot. Except for stalking skills, hunting, there is little difference between shooting a 4 point buck at 58 yards or hitting the 5 spot at 58 yards. You still have to have good form to make a good shot. The only difference is that 4 point buck doesn’t have a bull’s eye on his side," explains former NBHA President Jim Algerio.

Shooting Styles


Freestyle - movable sight/pins or scope, full length stabilizer, release
Freestyle Limited -movable sight/pins or scope,full length stabilizer, no release  (fingers)
Freestyle Bowhunter - fixed pins (maximum of 5),  stabilizer 12" or less, release
Freestyle Limited Bowhunter -  fixed pins , stabilizer 12" or less,  no release, (fingers)
Barebow - no sight, no release, stabilizer, can move anchor
Competitive Bowhunter - no sights, no release, stabilizer 12" or less, cannot move anchor
Traditional - Longbow or Recurve, no sights, no release, no stabilizer, no level
Freestyle Limited Longbow/Recurve - movable sight with no magnification, no release, stabilizer, no peep sight (FITA)