If you’re prepping for a target archery competition, or even a practice session, you have to bring enough arrows in your quiver. You wouldn’t be very effective if you showed up without enough arrows to score successfully.
But how many arrows should you keep in your quiver for a competition? And what about for practice? Let’s dig in and find out.
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How Many Arrows Should You Keep in Your Quiver?
How many arrows you keep in your quiver will have a lot to do with the activity at hand. Practicing and competing require a different approach. Let’s look at how many arrows you should keep in your quiver for both of these scenarios.
If you’re practicing, it doesn’t matter how many arrows you bring with you in your quiver. There are no competition rules telling you how many arrows to shoot, so you can practice with as many or as few arrows as you’d like.
However, it can help to keep a full quiver of arrows so that you can shoot more and spend less time walking to the target to pull arrows. Depending on the quiver, this can add up to between six and eight arrows.
You can get in some good practice with only a few arrows, though. Don’t stress if you only have one or two arrows in your quiver.
Things get more complicated when you go to an archery competition. Every competition will have a certain number of arrows you shoot per end. After you shoot your arrows, you’ll go score them, pull them out of the target, and then repeat until you’ve shot all the arrows for that tournament.
The number of arrows you’ll shoot per end will vary by tournament. At most 3D tournaments, you’ll shoot one arrow before scoring and pulling. Indoor/outdoor target or field competitions range from three to six arrows per end.
So, if you only shoot three arrows per end, you should only have three arrows in your quiver, right? Technically, you could get away with that, but you may run into trouble without spare arrows ready to go. If one of your three arrows breaks, you’ll only be able to count scores from two arrows at every end. Talk about a disadvantage.
To avoid these unexpected setbacks, almost all target archers will bring spare arrows. They’ll ensure that the spares match the competition arrows in their quiver. They usually bring spare arrow parts like nocks and fletchings as well.
Besides spare arrows in their quiver, many target archers will leave even more arrows in their bow case, in their car, or any other easily accessible space during a tournament.
The “Twice as Many” Rule
How many spare arrows should you have in your quiver at a tournament? A rule of thumb used by many target archers is to bring at least twice as many as you will shoot in one end. So, if you’re shooting three arrows in an end, you should have six arrows in your quiver. Likewise, if you’re shooting six arrows an end, you should bring twelve arrows in your quiver.
It’s important to note that, if at all possible, your spare arrows should match your competition arrows. You won’t do yourself much good by bringing completely different arrows that will fly sideways out of your bow.
If you don’t have enough arrows in your quiver to meet the “twice as many” rule, that’s okay. If you’re shooting at a small local tournament for fun, take as many arrows as you have. There’s not much at stake. It’ll be fine if you ding up a couple of your arrows, and chances are someone will be willing to help you out with arrow repair. You might even enlist help if your arrow lands in the weeds.
If you’re traveling to important and expensive tournaments, you should consider meeting or exceeding the “twice as many” rule. You never want to show up to an important tournament unprepared, especially without something as simple as spare arrows.
Nothing will ruin a tournament experience quicker than losing out on a ton of points because you broke an arrow and didn’t bring spares.
What About Quivers?
One important topic related to bringing your arrows to a tournament that we need to cover is your quiver. How you carry your arrows is just as important as bringing the correct amount.
A quiver is an archery accessory that holds your arrows for you, and there are hundreds of different kinds.
There are a few types of quivers specifically designed with target/competition archers in mind that will make your days on the archery range much easier.
Target archers will almost always use quivers that they can wear around their waists. These targets are known as target quivers, hip quivers, or field quivers. Hip quivers, like this Legend Hip Quiver..., will hold your arrows pointing forwards. Field quivers, like the Kratarc Quiver..., will do the opposite and point your arrows behind you. They’re also a little less bulky than a hip quiver.
There are also simple target quivers called tube quivers, like this Easton Tube Quiver.... They are especially good for youth archers because they’re very lightweight, and one model will work for both left and right-handed archers.
There are a few advantages to using a wearable quiver while you’re shooting. They almost always have enough space for a least a dozen arrows (depending on the size of your arrows). These quivers also feature a ton of extra pockets, so you can carry anything you need during a tournament like tools, spare arrow parts, or binoculars.
This is very important because tournaments usually run on strict timing. You may not have time to run to your bow case or car to grab something you need.
If you’re shooting a 3D or field archery tournament on a course in the woods, you may want a shooting stool to use as a quiver instead of a hip quiver. This Shrewd Sidekick Stool... is a good example of a quality stool that will hold arrows, tools, snacks, drinks, an umbrella, and anything else you need to survive a long day on an archery course.
Carrying a seat around with you to an archery shoot may seem like overkill, but a round of 3D archery can often last several hours. You might spend a decent amount of time waiting for others to shoot or score arrows.
Finally, if you just shoot in your backyard for fun, a quiver that sticks in the ground like this HME Products Archer's Ground Stake... will be very useful. Instead of having your arrows in a wearable quiver, the stake has a ring to hold them.
You just pull your arrows out as you shoot them. It will also hold your bow for you when you aren’t shooting so it won’t get dirty or damaged on the ground. Lastly, you can use it to mark the distance you’re shooting from, so you know you’re practicing from the same distance every time.
This quiver style is excellent for shooting at home, but you won’t be able to use it for competitions because most of them have rules against using a quiver that sits on the ground.
The Wrap Up
That covers everything you need to know about how many arrows you should bring to practices and tournaments, and the best quiver to hold them for you. With these tips in mind, you can show up to any archery tournament prepared to shoot your best.