Archery is a fun sport of skill, finesse, and precision. Practicing archery is a great way to spend time with friends and family, but it can also be expensive to go to a range to practice. If you have all the equipment on hand, you might be wondering if it would be okay for you to set up an archery experience in a public park.
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In most public spaces, including parks, it is often legal to practice archer. But this depends on the city and neighborhood that you live in. This is because cities and HOA’s all have different restrictions when it comes to what you can do with public park space.
So before you start setting up the targets and pulling out your gear, be sure to read to the end of this article to find out if it is possible for you to practice archery in a public park without any negative repercussions.
Can You Practice Archery in a Public Park?
Believe it or not, it is actually fully legal to practice archery in most public spaces. But before you set up, be sure to contact the city to be sure that it is allowed to practice archery in the specific park you have in mind.
Not only are all cities different, but some parks that you may think are public are actually owned by an HOA, and they govern the rules of what happens within this park. You may find that you can’t practice archery at the park across the street from your house, but one a couple of blocks away is approved.
Is it Safe to Practice Archery in a Public Park?
Now that you’ve gotten the go-ahead from the local authorities, you are probably ready to go out and start firing some arrows. But before you do, you should know that there are many safety concerns to practicing archery in a public park.
Although it may be legal, know that you are responsible for every aspect of practicing archery in a public place. This means that you must keep people from wandering in the firing lanes and develop a procedure to ensure that no one gets hurt by an arrow. This can be not easy in a public park.
But if you can find a way to label that you are practicing archery and be warry of kids running into the crossfire, it is generally safe to practice archery in a public park.
Where can I practice shooting my bow?
- Your own backyward (important info in the next couple of sections)
- Archery club and ranges
- Archery shop (not all shop has half or full ranges though)
- High schools, colleges and universities
- “Abandoned places” (get permission from owner)
But remember that you have to get permits from the city. Even if you want to practice in your own backyard.
You can read more about that in the upcoming sections.
Can You Practice Archery in Your Backyard?
Maybe all of this calling the city and being careful about your set-up stuff sounds like a little too much work for you to have a little fun with archery with your friends. You might be thinking instead that you’ll just set up to practice archery in your backyard.
Unfortunately, your backyard is often subject to the same regulations as a public park. You will still have to do your research to be sure that it is legal for you to practice archery in your backyard. And even if the city says yes, you will also need to call your HOA (if there is one) to double-check with them, as they have different rules.
Additionally, there are still safety concerns when it comes to playing archery in your backyard, as you must have a way to prevent arrows from going through fences or hitting neighbors.
More important info on that in the next section.
In all honesty, your backyard may not be an easier place to practice than a public park.
However, you could set up an indoor archery range. Go to the step-by-step guide on how to set up an indoor archery range.
Make a DIY archery target in your backyard
Instead of practicing in a public park, it would be safer to practice in your own backyard. It can be a bit expensive to buy an archery target, so you could make your own DIY archery target, and make an archery backstop as well to keep track of the stray arrows.
What is the best material for backstops? Also, read here if you want to find out if you can use a rather cheap and accessible material such as a tarp.
Other Things to Think About When Practicing Archery in Your Backyard
Even if you get the go-ahead to practice archery in your backyard, there are some regulations you will need to look into before you set up. For example, all shooters practicing on your property must be 18 or have adult supervision.
It is also prohibited in most states to practice archery within a certain yardage of a public road. And as mentioned, you will also be needing a large backstop to stop any stray arrows and arrows going all the way through the target. And before you put this up on your 6ft wooden fence, if that fence is shared with a neighbor, there are regulations against this too.
In conclusion, it is likely legal for you to set up archery practice in your local public park. But just because it is legal doesn’t mean that you can do so whenever you want. Give your local authorities a call to be sure you can shoot archery in your local park before you set up.
And although it may seem easier to just set up in your backyard, there are regulations against this too. So if you want to practice your archery, it might just be a good idea to pay for the cost to practice at your local range.