Shooting in the woodsField archery offers the most varied shooting conditions, from sedate courses set in woodland to hilly and
mountainous courses with steep gradients, slopes and valleys. There are many different codes and associations, each with their own rounds such as FITA, IFAA and NFAS. Field archery is popular in the UK, but more so abroad, but it is a growing sport.


Generally, field rounds are unmarked distances, so the archer has to work out the distance to the target from the shooting peg. This can be done using pure instinct, or on some rounds (e.g. FITA Field), a "system" can be used to gauge the distance, which can be very accurate if practiced and done correctly. Some rounds are marked as well, and as with target, a mixture of metric and imperial rounds (metres and yards).


Field courses consist of many targets laid out at varying distances and face sizes or 3D animals. During a round, groups of archers work there way around the course (normally groups of 3 or 4), shooting from different pegs. Once a target has been shot, the group will walk to the next peg in the sequence, where they could be faced with totally different terrain, target distance etc.


Some field shoots can be held in some extreme locations. The 2012 SCAS Field Championships where held at Fort Purbrook in Hampshire. This targets where placed on top of the fort, within the "moat" and inside the fort, with archers shooting down long dark corridors, with the targets lit by flood lights. A very challenging course in terms of light and wind! You can see some photos of the shoot here.


Below is a breakdown of some of the different rounds and disciplines shot in field archery.


3D Archery


Shooting at a 3D target3D archery consists of a course of life-like, and often life-size animal made from high density rubber. Each animal has different scoring zones inscribed on them to indicate the kill and wound zones. These are often in the correct place anatomically for the animal. 3D archery is very popular in the USA, where it serves as practice for real hunting.


This form of archery is the most difficult for several reasons. If its an unmarked course, then its almost impossible to gauge the distance using a system, so the archer has to become an expert of judging distance using other methods by ground walking, or if possible, shooting 3D targets constantly to get a feel for how far the animal is away by how big it looks. Another challenge with 3D is that there is no definite aiming spot like on a paper face, so the aiming area can be a bit vague.


3D archery can be shot across many different codes and associations. Its not very popular in FITA or GNAS Field, but is widely shot under NFAS, and also IFAA in the UK. Below are a few examples of some 3D animal targets.

3D animal target3D animal target3D animal target

Please note that its illegal to hunt any animal in the UK with a bow! 


2D Archery


2D archery is the same as 3D, but shot on paper targets of animals. Generally they will have kill and wound zones, but in some cases, they are not the in the correct place anatomically. Below is an example of a paper animal target.

2D animal target


"Spot" targets


Another form of field archery is shooting on target style faces, and is a very popular discipline particularly in FITA Field and IFAA. In fact in the UK, its probably the most popular field discipline. Whilst the targets are not shot more than 60m/80 yards in most cases, the target faces are often much smaller than those used target archery, and still require a high degree of accuracy.


For FITA Field, black targets with yellow spots are used, with 6 to 1 scoring zones, and is shot in metres. Some examples of the faces can be seen below.

FITA Field target faceFITA Field target face

These come in different sizes; 80cm, 60cm, 40cm and 20cm (3 spot). All of the faces are shot at different distance ranges, depending on the bow style and archers age category. Because of the set face sizes, its possible to have an accurate "system" to gauge the distance (in most cases!) for unmarked rounds. For marked rounds, the distances are longer to compensate.


IFAA shoot on similar targets to FITA Field in terms of size and distance ranges, but these are generally a combination of black and white target faces, but the distances are shot in yards. IFAA rounds are shot on the European Archery Pro Series.