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My friend and I want to go out for roving. However, this is our first time and we wonder if there's a list what we should consider before moving out?

Roving can be described in the most casual form as wandering across the countryside shooting at targets picked from random at various ranges and attitudes.

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Yes, there are a few facts to hold in mind. Roving is much fun but you really have to take care about a few points.


  • Don't shoot where other people enjoy their free-time
  • Never shoot towards trails, lanes, paths, tracks and so on
  • Never shoot without a proper backstop
  • Always use field tips
  • Always bring your on roving target
  • Never shoot without a spacious sight around the target

Take this list just as an overview. I'll go on and describe every point a little further.

Don't shoot where other people enjoy their free-time

Avoid places where people frequently do free-time activities. This includes barbecue areas, swimming spots, popular stroll trails, crowded hiking trails and so on.

Of course it's because of the safety. Even when you shoot from the crowd away, there is a chance that your arrow might hit something and goes uncontrollable crazy.

The second thing to consider is the reputation of the sport itself. There might be people who think it's a little bit weird to stroll around with a bow and arrows. They might be worried about their children and so on. You can do two things: give them a long explanation what archery is all about or you avoid encountering them. :)

Never shoot towards trails

There might be people on these trails. They maybe out for a walk etc. Okay, a walking person might be slow an therefore you've time to recognize them and interrupt your shot but think about mountain-bikers. They don't see you hidden in the bushes and race straight through your "line".

Never shoot without a proper backstop

Don't shoot if nothing is behind your target. Your arrow might just fly into other people in the forest/area. You don't have enough sight to check the whole area behind the target if it's completely open.

Guy shoots right

The above pictures shows a good spot. The arrows fly straight into the ground. It's extremely unlikely that they are going to be ricochets.

Always use field tips

Of course don't use any broadheads. You might injure wildlife if a arrow gets off.

Also you damage them and your target for absolutely no reason. Spend this money on something useful like a field target :).

Always bring your own roving target

This is a something I see way too often (even from experienced archers). Somebody goes out in the wood and shoots on dead stumps. Nothing to worry about, right? I mean they're dead?!

Yes, they are dead, but you still should be worried. Such stumps provide habitat for an enormous amount of animals, mushrooms and plants. You are decreasing this living space just because you didn't want to spend 30 bucks.

A field target looks more or less like this:

Field target

It's made from the same material as "3D targets" but can be carried around. You can hang in on a tree or place it on the floor. It's heavier and straightened on the bottom so that it doesn't roll away.

You can also create your own DIY field target. Just wrap a lot of packaging tape around an old sleeping back or a crumpled bubble wrap.

DIY fiel target

Never shoot without a spacious sight around the target

A person collecting mushrooms, the biker, a hiker all of them can be in the forest and surprisingly well camouflaged.

It's important to have a proper sight around the target so that you can't be surprised by a wild person.

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