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Novelty Ideas

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In or Out
Paint rings of different diameters on a piece of cardboard. Each archer shoots 4-6 arrows and points are scored as follows. Positive points for hitting inside the rings (the smaller the ring, the higher the point value). No points for hitting the ring itself, and negative points for hitting outside the rings.

Reverse Scoring
Use any concentric ringed target and reverse the point values, making the bull the least amount of points and the outer ring the most. You'd be surprised at how hard it is to hit that outer ring.

Paint up a half dozen dartboards. They can be legal size with all 20 numbers, or you can play around with the size and number of scoring areas. Any normal dart game can be played using arrows instead. A couple of games you can play are:

- Cricket
This is where the shooters need to hit five numbers in numerical order at least once, then hit a bull to get 'out'. Example: The numbers needed to get 'out' are 20,19,18,17,16,15 and a bull. Shooter one steps to the line and shoots three arrows, hoping to hit 20,19, and 18, in that order. However, he must 'clear' the 20 before he can go for the 19. He must then clear the 19 before going for the 18, and so on. If the shooter hits the 19 before clearing the 20, the 19 will not count.
The scoring area on a regulation size dartboard would be difficult to hit at 20 yards, even for advanced archers so you can play around with board sizes. Maybe have two or three different sized boards to accommodate different skill levels.

- 301
In this game, each shooter plays three arrows. Any arrow that hits the scoring area will be awarded that number of points. The first shooter to reach 301, or whatever the target number, wins.

- 301 Variations:
a) Winner must arrive exactly at target number with last arrow. Ex: shooter has 298 points, he must hit a three to win.
b) If you are shooting at an oversized board which allows you to duplicate legal double/triple scoring areas, you can mandate first and last(winning)arrows to be double or triple.
c) Try shooting at regulation size board from 2 yards.

Secret Spot
Uses 20 yd, paper animal targets (rabbit, skunk, beaver, crow, etc.). Have someone who is not shooting draw a 2 inch diameter circle in a random area of the inner kill zone of each target with a fine tipped pen. Shooters will not be able to see where this 'inner' inner kill zone is from 20 yds. Award double points for the 'secret spot'.

Hit the Spot
Stick a bunch of 1 inch dots on a piece of cardboard. Have shooters pay 1$ per arrow, or whatever amount you decide, half of which goes into a jackpot(other half can go into the treasury). Shoot from 1 yard. Most guys will need more than a couple of arrows before they figure out how to aim. You can split up the money in a few ways: first to hit, most hits, closest to the center of a spot. Make it interesting by having winners of each category move back to 20 yards and aim for a specific dot in a shoot off.

Lights Out
Set up a lit candle in front of a bail at 20 yards. Shooters pay 1$ per arrow to try and blow out the candle. Hitting the candle itself does not count. It must remain standing. The whole idea is to 'blow' out the candle.

Speed Round
Set up 10-15 balloons of different sizes on two separate bails. Assign point values for the different sizes, normally, smaller balloons get a higher value. Have two teams of two shooters each try and pop as many balloons as possible in a given amount of time.

First you need to buy a good sized piece of leather. Cut out 2-3 inch teardrop shaped 'skins'. Give each a small hole so shooters can hang them on a split ring or chain to be able to display them on their hip quivers. Charge each archer a small amount for each 'skin' and write their name on one side.

This is an impromptu type of shoot where one shooter 'calls out' another and does the old "I bet I can hit closer to the spot than you can!". Instead of shooting for fun, one or more 'skins' are put on the table to add a little pressure to the shot. This is also a good tune-up for the competitive demand of organized shoots.

Rules of fair play apply and archers should compete within their skill level. One idea to make things fair is to offer different 'skin levels'. Have the 'skins' marked, or cut a different shape. Shooters would then have the option of choosing the level of competition they would want to deal with, i.e. freestyle, traditional etc. You wouldn't want the more advanced shooters piling up skins from less experienced archers. If skill divisions are used, 'call outs' between skill levels can only occur if a lower level shooter feels lucky and 'calls out' someone in a higher level. The 'call out' can take place anytime, anywhere; at the practice range, in the backyard, or even during a 3D tournament. It's a good way to prepare for actual competition.

Monies collected at the beginning of the year could pay for some type of award at the end of the year for the archer having collected the most 'skins'. Start fresh each year by having participating archers buy back the skins they've lost over the course of the year.

Picture Perfect
This novelty is designed for teams of two shooters each. First, cut out a few 12 inch square 'picture frames'. Next, fasten a balloon on a bail and hang the frame from the balloon. Position a concentrically ringed target approximately one foot below the bottom of the frame. The object of the novelty is to have one shooter hit the balloon allowing the frame to fall. The second shooter now needs to hit the scoring area of the target inside of the falling frame. Points can only be scored if the second arrow catches the falling frame and hits any of the scoring areas.
Helpful Hint: Make the balloon supporting the frame big enough so that the thread holding up the frame will not get caught by the first arrow. Archers will have to aim for the upper part of the balloon to allow the frame to drop.

3D Novelty
This novelty can be used indoors or out, even during a 3D shoot. Play around with the scoring area of the animal. Make the outer kill area -5 points (the '8' if you are scoring '10,8,5') . This is also good training to hit the inner kill.

Put up cardboard 'tic-tac-toe' targets and have two shooters on each bail play regular games of tic-tac-toe. Another idea is to set up three rows of three balloons each and play the same game.

This novelty would be similar to the tic-tac-toe game but shooters would need to be more accurate. Set up a target with five rows of five scoring areas, like a bingo card. Make the scoring areas 2-3 inches square. The first shooter or team of shooters to hit all five squares in any direction wins.

Swinging Ball
Suspend a small rubber ball by a string a few inches in front of a bail. Have someone start the ball swinging back and forth and then get out of the way. Shooters score points if they can pin the ball to the bail.

William Tell
Set up a cardboard cutout of a boy with an apple on his head (if shooting indoors, make the apple small, 20 yards is pretty close for a full sized apple). Have archers shoot one arrow each until someone hits the apple. Shooters are eliminated if they hit "William".

5 Card Poker
submitted by 'MOUNTING MAN' from Johnstown, Pennsylania.

Take a piece of cardboard and staple on a deck of playing cards, face out. Staple them edge to edge.Then 4 or 5 guys shoot at the cards, from 30 yards. You get 5 shoots,high hand wins the round.

Running Deer
submitted by Robert Guyer from West Winfield, New York and the West Winfield Rod and Gun Club.

At our club, we have a set up that has a cable going between two trees about 35 yards apart with a slight downhill angle to cable. We have a small McKenzie feeding deer target attached to the cable with two pulleys and let gravity feed it from one tree to the other. We put a tack in the center of kill zone and charge $1.00 per arrow to shoot. Whoever comes closest to tack wins half the novelty shoot money.

The Bionic Buck
submitted by 'Overdraw' from Saginaw, Mi and the Pine River Recreation Club.

The Bionic Buck is simply a 1/4" thick steel plate cut out in a deer silhouette. In the 10 ring area, there is a 3" diameter hole. At our club we like to set the "arrow eater" target at a fairly close range, say 15yrds., and charge shooters a buck a shot or $3/5 arrows. Its always been a good novelty for us.

Arrow Shredder
submitted by Rick Carter from Muldrow, Oklahoma.

Cut out a deer target out of 3/8" steel plate, in the kill zone cut out a lung shaped hole. Weld 2 stakes onto the bottom so you can push it into the ground to hold it upright. Place it in front of a hay bale or bag target and take turns trying to shoot through the kill zone. Now you no why I call it the arrow shredder. We have alot of fun with this at our backyard shoots, only problem is if you're having an off day it gets expensive!! If you build it, they will come!! And believe me they won't be able to resist SSSHHHRRedding some shafts.

Smoker Round
submitted by Dale Hagstrom from New Mexico and the Four Corners Bowhunters.

The smoker round is a regular 3-D, except the shots are all extremely difficult for various reasons like: the kills cannot be seen from the shooting position arrows must arch over obstuction), shots must be taken from uncomfortable positions like laying or sitting on a barrel suspended by ropes, shots where the arrow must pass thru a very small opening, shots where the is no hope of recovering an arrow(where misses will encounter rocks or the arrow will be lost for sure). The only rules are that all shots must be makeable with a perfect arrow/shot, and that the archers are only allowed one arrow for the whole round. When an arrow is unshootable for any reason, the archer is out, arrows can be straightened but not repaired. Bent, pointless, fletchless, should be the norm 10 targets into the round. Every target should only be makeable with the perfect shot(I can't stress this enough), but the shots have to be makeable. We commonly shoot this with teams of two/combined scores, $10-15 entry fee with a nice prize for the winners. I never pass an opportunity to shoot a good smoker.

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