Few archers, whether boys or men, own a target at the beginning. While waiting to acquire a target, considerable practice may be gained by indulging in roving shoots. Equipped with bow, bracer, finger guards, and a quiver full of arrows, get out in the country where there is plenty of room. A closely cropped pasture is ideal for roving, provided the cows or sheep are no longer in the pasture, or at least are out of bow shot. Every weed or small bush may be looked upon as a target. Even the tall mullein stalks make excellent wands to shoot at. It adds interest to roving if the smaller weeds are looked upon as representing rabbits, while the larger bushes may represent deer and bears. The archer should remember that the bow should be pulled to the cheek for every shot.
A real roving course may be laid out, and definite rules set up for it. Rabbits, squirrels, woodchucks, partridges, pheasants, and the like, may be cut from some material like beaverboard or celotex, and before the shoot, someone may be commissioned to locate these at different places over the pasture. The cut-outs may be anywhere from 20 to SO yds. or more apart. When the first one is sighted, each archer takes as many shots as have been decided upon, after which the scores are marked. When the next cut-out is sighted, each one shoots at this, and so on. The course may be laid out so that the game can be sighted only from certain points and so that only one cut-out can be seen at a time. A lot of fun and good archery practice may be had on a course of this kind.
Wand shooting is simply shooting at a straight stick of soft wood 1 or 2 in. wide and 6 ft. high. These sticks are pointed at one end so they may be driven into the ground. The strength of the bow should determine the distance at which the archer is to shoot.
Just as it is considered bad form in golfing if a bystander does anything to distract a golfer about to make a drive, so it is bad form to distract an archer about to shoot at an archery meet. Archery, therefore, is an orderly and peaceful pastime offering plenty of exercise, shooting, walking, and stooping.
An end in archery means six arrows. After each contestant shoots an end, or six arrows, whether the arrows are shot in two's, three's, or all six, one after another, the archers lay or hang their bows away and all walk to the target together. Then, while one man pulls all the arrows belonging to one archer from the target, he calls the score, so that the score keeper can mark it down. The puller then takes the next person's arrows and calls them, and so on, until all contestants have been scored. Meanwhile there are always a few arrows that did not hit the target. These must be found. Everyone helps look for lost arrows in order that the game is held up as little as possible. Then all walk back and begin shooting another end. No one should under any conditions shoot until every archer is on the line. The rules for tournaments and shoots are as given here.