How Many Arrows Do You Shoot In Archery?

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Fact checked by Steven Lines, lifelong Hunter and Outdoorsman.

When you get involved in archery, you will need to make sure that you get the right equipment, like arrows. But how many arrows will you shoot in archery?  

The number of arrows required will often vary, depending on the type of archery that you want to do. In most cases, though, you’ll need between 6 to 12 arrows. This will allow you to have a few extras in case you break or lose some.  

The exact number of arrows you’ll need can often vary depending on the way that you intend to use them. Let’s take a closer look at this area, so you can get a better understanding of the amount that you’ll require.  

Number Of Arrows Needed For Competition 

Let’s start by looking at the different types of competition, and the number of arrows that you shoot in each one. This will tell you the minimum number of arrows that you should have. Generally, there are four kinds of competitions. These are; 

  • Indoor Target 
  • Outdoor Target 
  • Field Archery 
  • 3D Archery 

Indoor Target 

In this type of game, you will typically stand around 20 yards (18 meters) away from the target. There are ten ends per round, with 300 points up for grabs. Whoever gets the most points wins the game.  

In this type of competition, archers will fire three arrows per end.  

Outdoor Target 

In this case, there are a few different options, though the two most popular are the 900 and 1400. These work in a similar way to indoor target competitions. Archers stand away from the target and fire their arrows.  

However, in some outdoor competitions, the distance might change between each end. For example, in some 900 games, there will be three different distances.  

Because of the format changes, the number of arrows fired per end can vary slightly. In most cases, though, you’ll need six arrows per end.  

Field Archery 

This is a more challenging type of archery and is a great way to test your skills. For each target, the conditions will be changed. For example, some marks will be uphill; others will be downhill. Some will be closer, while others will be further away. In some cases, as far as 52 yards (47.5 meters). This forces archers to be adaptable. 

The number of arrows per target can vary. However, for most competitions, you will have four arrows per target.   

3D Archery 

The fourth type of archery involves 3D targets. These are foam targets, which often resemble animals. During the competition, you’ll go to each target and take your shot.  

The number of targets available will vary. Generally, though, there will be between 28 to 42 marks. It’s common to fire three arrows per target.  

How Many Arrows Do You Need For Hunting? 

In some cases, you might be interested in using your archery skills to help you when hunting. For hunters, the number of arrows you’ll need will often vary.  

One of the most important considerations is the type of species that you want to hunt. This will determine the number of shots that you will be able to take. For example, if you are hunting for deer, you might have time for one or two shots.  

For smaller species, like squirrels, you might only have time to make one shot.  

You should also consider the length of your hunting trip. Longer trips will require more supplies and more preparedness. This often means bringing more arrows. You should also make sure that you are physically prepared, building up the strength and endurance required.  

As you can imagine, the number of arrows that hunters will require will vary significantly from person to person. In general, though, you should plan to take at least 6 to 10 arrows per trip.   

How Many Arrows Should You Have? 

As you can see, multiple things can affect the number of arrows that you will need, such as the type of archery you intend to do.  

However, the number of arrows you need is different from the number of arrows you should have.   

You should always try to have more arrows that you will need. This will ensure that you have a back-up in case one gets broken or damaged. For example, hunters can quickly lose arrows in unfamiliar terrain. Competition shooters might snap an arrow as they try to remove an arrow that has become embedded in the target.  

It’s also likely that you might damage or lose some arrows as you practice. You should factor this in when deciding the number of arrows you purchase. The more often you practice, the more spare arrows you should have.   

Because of this, you should always have around 3 to 4 spare arrows. For this reason, it’s generally recommended that you purchase about 6 to 12 arrows.  

Common Arrow Mistakes To Avoid 

Once you’ve purchased your arrows, you’ll need to make sure that you are caring for them properly. This will help extend their lifespan. Let’s look at some of the best ways you can do this.  

Avoid Tight Clusters 

When training, many people try to shoot in tight clusters on the target. This can be a great way to test your accuracy. But you can also risk damaging the arrows.  

When one arrow hits another, it has the potential to cause scratching. In some cases, you might even warp it out of shape.  

There’s also the potential that you could “robin hood” your arrows. This is where the arrow pierces the back of the other. While this is a testament to your accuracy, it will result in damage to both arrows.  

Remove Arrows Carefully 

Another common mistake that beginner archers make is removing the arrows from the target incorrectly. When in a tight group, it can be challenging to get a solid grip on the shaft of the arrow. This can result in bending the arrow as you try to get them out.  

For this reason, you might want to consider using a professional tool to help you remove them.  

How Long Do Arrows Last? 

When using your arrows, you’ll need to monitor their condition. This will allow you to spot when to replace your arrows.  

Some of the most common issues to look out for include the arrow getting bent out of shape or the vane getting torn. When you spot these problems, you can try to get the arrow repaired. If this fails, you might need to purchase a new one.  

You should never shoot a broken arrow. This has the potential to cause serious injuries.  

How long an arrow will last will depend on how you maintain it and the type of arrow that you purchased. If cared for properly, it might be able to last for around 20 to 30 years.  

In Conclusion 

One of the essential tools for any archer is their arrows. So, you want to make sure that you have enough.  

By looking at some of the most common archery activities, and the number of arrows they require, you should have a better idea of how many you will need. In most cases, this will be around 6 to 12 arrows. Hopefully, you’ll now be able to get plenty of arrows to practice archery.  

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How Many Arrows Do You Shoot In Archery?

Steven Lines is a hunter and outdoorsman from Safford, Arizona, USA. He has been hunting and fishing since a child, and has over 20 years of experience in the outdoors. Steven works as a hunting guide in Arizona during his spare time and runs a Youtube channel dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures with others.


Hi, I'm Sam, and I love archery! I used to work as a caregiver, and I'm in medical school now. I started this blog to help people like my parents get healthier in fun and exciting ways, more than just going to the gym. If you like one of my articles, I'd appreciate it if you share it with your folks and help them get healthier too!

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