By Taylor Walston
You made the first decision: You want to try archery. Now you need to find an archery shop or range near you. Archery shops have experienced, knowledgeable staff members who can help you choose the right bow, find the right instructor, and service your bow when it needs repairs or maintenance. Once you find your favorite shop, you can test bows, practice on the range, and learn from qualified instructors.
Archery360’s store locator will help you find a nearby range. Type in your city or zip code, and you’ll see a list of shops within the search distance you designated. Each listing includes the shop’s name, address, business hours, and phone number, at the minimum. Some shops also include their website and email address. Icons next to the shop’s name tell you the services they offer. Start your search and choose the right shop for you.
You can also search for nearby ranges with your preferred search engine. Most ranges are listed in the search results, and provide a link to their website or social media. Some ranges include reviews you can browse on the search engine, review sites, or the shop’s Facebook page.
If the shop or range doesn’t have any social-media accounts, you can still check them out on Instagram. If the shop has a profile, its page can be tagged in customers’ posts. And even if the shop doesn’t have a profile, Instagram users can still manually tag the shop’s address and location. Review the shops people in your area are tagging. Search the phrase “archery shop” or “archery range,” and browse nearby choices. You can preview what the range looks like by viewing other users’ photos.
Archery-shop employees know buying a bow is a big investment, so the range might rent bows. Renting a bow lets you try each discipline to learn which one you like best. An expert at the shop can help you find the right bow for your skill level. Let them know if you’re a beginner, and they’ll fit you with a bow with the right draw weight and draw length. If you don’t want to commit, consider buying a used bow. You might be able to sell it back when you’re ready to upgrade your equipment.
Businesses with a shop and range might offer discounts on lessons or range time if you buy from them. Archery Connection in Columbus, Georgia, for example, offers free lifetime bow service, lifetime lessons, and a week of range time with each bow purchase. Your shop might also provide discounts if you buy arrows or accessories with your bow purchase. Talk to the sales representative about possible deals and bundles before buying.
When you’re ready to start honing your skills, ask whether the shop offers lessons. If they do, choose an instructor who knows your discipline well and has taught archers of your skill level. Communication is vital in coaching, so choose an instructor you think you’ll work well with.
Once you’ve bought your bow and taken lessons, you’ll be ready to hit the range on your own. Archery ranges vary in shooting distances and the number of lanes/targets. Some ranges have a seating or viewing area behind the lanes for families and friends to watch. Always follow safety guidelines when at the range. Wear closed-toe shoes, don’t walk onto the range while others are shooting, and don’t point arrows at others. Before going, check to see if the range requires lane reservations or if it has open times.
Events are a great way to meet other archers. Check the range’s calendar for special shoots. Some ranges offer date nights, weekly leagues, and themed holiday shoots. Participating in events is a great way to connect with others who can offer advice.
Whether your archery range is down the street or 30 miles away, make sure its services and benefits fit your needs. Evaluate what’s important to you in a shop, and focus on businesses that meet your criteria.
When you’re ready to start, visit our store locator to find a nearby archery shop or range.