S3DA: Helping Young Archers Prepare to Bowhunt
Scholastic 3D Archery promotes the sport, offers scholarships, and teaches conservation to youths. S3DA also hosts tournaments that use 3D lifelike animal targets, which offer a great way for youths to practice bowhunting shots.
Some archers prefer to limit their shots to those plastic-foam animal targets, but others learn skills from S3DA and take them to the woods. Shooting in the S3DA circuit helps young archers build confidence before they try hunting. In the process, they polish their techniques and learn the value of conservation.
Seth “Bo” Pipes, 16, has won several S3DA championships and was named Shooter of the Year by the Archery Shooters Association three straight years. Pipes transitioned from target archery to bowhunting after his uncle and father started visiting the woods. He and his father practice archery together almost daily.
Pipes suggests aspiring bowhunters learn how to adjust their shots at any angle. “Practice different scenarios: up, down, out of a blind,” Pipes said. His favorite hunt involved shooting a pig after deer hunting all day. He stayed behind, and watched a large group of pigs pass beneath him just as his father drove out to pick him up. He’s proud he made a killing shot.
Pipes said bowhunting keeps his skills sharp for competition. “Even when I’m not at the range, I still have that competitive mindset,” he said.
Noah Hughs, 11, said S3DA taught him how to use multi-sight pins, compensate for wind, shoot in muddy conditions, adjust for longer shots, and aim when shooting from uncomfortable positions. He broke the Texas state record in the Cub Bowhunter Freestyle division last year at the Texas Field Archery Association championship.
Programs like Texas Brigades introduce young archers to bowhunting. The program offers seven summer camps that helps archers experience the woods. Each program runs five days and provides information equivalent to a college-level course.
Shelby Green, 17, represented the program at the Texas S3DA championship, and shared information about the program with other archers. “It promotes getting youths involved in the outdoors and conserving our natural resources,” Green said. “It gets them involved with animals and the land, and can also provide college scholarships.”
The course “North Texas Buckskin Brigade” focuses on deer hunting. It teaches students archery basics, hunting safety, deer anatomy and habitats, and how to rattle and score antlers.
Even if you don’t have any experience, you can learn from S3DA and build your bowhunting skills. S3DA is a great way for parents and their kids to learn about bowhunting from experts and professionals.
To get your kids involved in archery, visit an archery shop.