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All About Shoots

By Dave & Riley Lewis

You've decided to take part in one of the monthly shoots at BHU and questions abound.
  • What do I do?

  • How long will it take?

  • Who do I contact?

  • How much does it cost?

Shoot Rules


Shooting classes are as follows:


Adult and youth, male and female all have these classes. If there are less than three shooters in a class you may be combined with another class.

  • Compound release, fixed pins

  • Compound release, adjustable pins

  • Recurve no sight

  • Compound fingers

  • Recurve with sight
    For the weekly League Shoots, there is no "Recurve with sight" class. You can shoot a recurve with sights during a League Shoot but you'll be grouped with the Compound fingers class.

  • Longbow

  • Primitive

All cubs shoot in one class. Primitive must shoot wooden arrows.

Awards are given through third place. In case of a tie, a shoot-off will occur. Only one award is given per place.


League shoots (weekly) usually have 14 targets and day shoots usually have 28 targets.


Once targets are placed on the course, no archer can shoot on the course before the start of the shoot and still compete in the shoot.


You may not start the shoot before the posted shoot start time without permission from the shoot coordinator. 


You must turn in your score card by the posted end time to be counted.


For the weekly league shoot, the season is split into two legs, 7 to 10 weeks long each. To qualify for an award, you must shoot half or more of the available weeks (rounded down for a leg with an odd number of weeks). For each leg two of your scores are not counted. E.g., if a leg is 9 weeks, your best 7 scores are counted. Any weeks you miss count as zero.


Groups should be 2 to 6 archers to help keep everyone moving; shooting on your own isn't allowed. There is a maximum of 2 minutes to shoot per arrow. No rangefinders can be used during a shoot, but binoculars are allowed. Be polite and try not to slow things down. If people are piling up behind you, consider letting some people "shoot through". You don't have to shoot the targets in order, either, so consider skipping around a slow group and come back to shoot the target later.


Be truthful in scoring. Targets have one, two or three rings. An arrow on the animal outside the outer ring counts as five. If a target has only one ring, the inner ring scores 10. If two rings, the innermost scores 10 and between the two rings scores 8. If three rings, the innermost two rings count the same—10—there is no extra score for the innermost of 3 rings. 

This is called 10-8-5 scoring. 


If an arrow passes through a target, score it where it entered the target. If an arrow bounces back, you can score it as a 5 or reshoot that arrow. If the arrow glances off, however, that's a zero.


If an arrow clearly touches a ring, score the points as if it were inside the ring. If there is any daylight between an arrow and the ring, it doesn't get the inner ring score—don't move the arrow to make it touch a ring. If a target has support structure that is not part of the animal, such as around bird legs, or a tree stump, etc., those areas count as zero. Skips, ricochets, etc. all count as long as the arrow ultimately sticks in the target.


One set of scoring rings on a target is to be scored. It should be the one closest to a direct line between you and the target. Sometimes, a set of rings will be outlined—if so, that's the set of scoring rings. Sometimes a notice will be given about alternate available rings, like rings on a stump. Sometimes special rules apply to a target. Listen for announcements before you enter the field.


There are stakes which indicate where you must shoot from. A part of your body must touch the appropriate stake when you shoot. If the stake is touching a tree stand, you can stand on the ground and touch the tree stand or shoot from the tree stand. If the stake touches a platform, shoot from anywhere on the platform.


SHOOT SAFELY. If the shooting stake is on the side of a hill where you might slip, choose a safe, fair spot to shoot from. Never take a shot where your arrow could glance off something and endanger someone. Shout "CLEAR" if you are unsure if the area between you and the target is clear.

For other questions, especially what equipment comprises a class or which stakes to shoot from, just ask the shoot coordinator of a club officer. Common sense, safety and courtesy is the rule.


First Shoot

It’s the monthly (or thereabouts) 3D Shoot at BHU in the Cupertino Hills. It’s a breakfast party, test of skill, social gathering, way to hone hunting skills, learning experience, test of endurance, swap meet, a BBQ lunch and a great hike in the woods. 

One of the best experiences at BHU can be participating in the Open 3D shoots that the Club sponsors on a regular basis. These "themed" shoots are a great way to move beyond the practice range and start shooting some more challenging targets that mimic some real world shots. 

How Does a "Shoot" Work?

Each shoot covers 28 (or more) targets placed around the canyon course. Each archer gets two arrows per target. Scoring is announced at the beginning of the shoot by the organizer and there may be "special targets" included that have special conditions. You are also often allowed to purchase "mulligans" that give you a "do over" for a target. 

Archers shoot from different "stakes" depending on the type of bow they are using and their age. The stakes are color coded and the distances are unmarked. 

Rangefinders are not allowed and if we catch any compound shooter using one in competition we will break all your arrows and give you a group paddling.


Scoring is: 

  • On targets with three scoring rings, you score 10 points for a bullseye (innermost two rings), 8 points for the third ring and 5 points for anywhere else on the target.

  • Smaller targets with only two rings score 10 for a bullseye (innermost ring), 8 points for the second ring and 5 points for anywhere else on the target. An arrow that "bounces back" towards the shooter (i.e., not skipping off the target away from the shooter) gets to be reshot. The scores are kept on a scorecard and tallied at the end of the course.

  • Arrows that are on the line, touching a scoring ring, score the higher value for the inner ring it touches. For example, if the arrow is in the "8" ring, but the shaft is touching the "10" ring, the shot scores 10.


Archers are encouraged to go out in groups of 3–4 people and you are required to shoot with a group at all tournaments. This helps to keep the groups moving and allows for a scorekeeper and a "caller" who work together to score for the group. It is helpful to have at least one experienced member in each group.

How do I Participate in a Shoot?

  • Check the BHU website for upcoming shoots.

  • Arrive at the range before the start time (usually 9:00 a.m.).

  • A lot of folks like to show up early to shoot on the practice butts, have breakfast, and shoot the breeze.

  • Register for the shoot & purchase a lunch ticket (if you plan on staying to eat).

  • Fees vary by shoot and are posted by the organizer.

  • Lunch is usually $6 for a plate lunch.

  • Buy a "mulligan" or two, if available, for $1 each. A mulligan is a "do-over" on any given target You are usually limited to two (2) for any given shoot.

  • "Special" targets may also be offered with an additional scoring opportunity and fees. Be sure to ask about these!

  • Find a group to shoot with. If you don’t know anyone at the shoot, feel free to look for one of the BHU Board Members, ask the Range Master, or ask the registrar.

  • Don’t be too shy—we really want you to have a good time.

  • Give your scorecard to your group’s scorer and you are ready to go at 9:30 a.m.

  • Please note that once the shoot begins, the practice range is closed.

  • Shoot two arrows at each target and feel free to check your scorer’s addition.

  • Be sure to stay hydrated—this is especially important during late Spring and Summer shoots when the temperature can get above 100 degrees.

  • Make your way back to the main site, have lunch and watch the scores come in.

What Should I Bring?

  • Your Bow.

  • Six (6) or more arrows. Even though you can only shoot two (2) arrows into any single target you may have bounce backs, or a lost/broken shaft.

  • Shooting Glove.

  • Wrist Guard.

  • Quiver.

  • Bug Spray. There are a lot of small flies in the late Spring and Summer.

  • Sunscreen since much of the trail is in the sun most of the day.

  • Hydration system (a CamelBak is a great tool in the summer) or water bottles.

  • Snacks.

  • Knife.

  • Cash to pay for registration & lunch.

What should I leave home?

  • Pets.

  • Whiny, easily bored children.

  • Whiny, easily bored adults.

  • Alcohol.

  • Broadheads.

  • Crossbows.

What Should I Watch Out For?

  • Poison Oak.

  • Bees.

  • Wasps.

  • Rattlesnakes.

  • Blackberry brambles.

  • Predators—we have seen cougars, coyotes, bobcats all of which will leave groups alone.

  • Deer—the deer here are very unfriendly so do not approach them.

  • Sunstroke and Heat Exhaustion.

How Long will the Course Take?

For a group of four (4) people, plan on at least 2.5 hours for the 28 targets


So, bring your gear and come shoot with us!


Got additional questions, email us at​

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