How to optimize your hunting bow for indoor target shooting

One of the sad facts about the fall bowhunting seasons is that they will come to an end. But when they do, you don’t have to hang up your bow. Winter and spring are prime time for indoor target leagues and tournaments.

In this video, Lancaster Archery Supply TechXPert P.J. Reilly walks through steps you can take to increase your ability to be successful on the target line while using your bowhunting setup.

Most organizations that run indoor competitions have bowhunter divisions, which account for the unique equipment bowhunters tend to use.

Our own Lancaster Archery Classic, held each year in January, has a bowhunter division. The rules that govern our tournament are similar – if not identical – to the rules employed by many leagues and competitions.

(Click here for a full list of rules, as well as registration information.)

Basically, the bowhunter divisions place limitations on equipment. For instance, stabilizers in the Lancaster Archery Classic bowhunter division can be no longer than 12 inches, when measured from the riser. That means any coupling devices and end weights have to be factored into the overall length to stay within the maximum 12 inches.


You can also use one or two side rods of any length, extending backward from the riser.


You must use a fixed pin for a sight. It can have a scope housing around it, but lenses are not allowed.

There’s no reason you can’t shoot your exact hunting setup – you’ll have to trade your broadheads for target points on your arrows, of course – in leagues and tournaments. But there are some simple modifications you can make to optimize your rig for target shooting.

Target archery can be just as much fun as bowhunting.┬áBesides the enjoyment and camaraderie you’re likely to experience with indoor leagues and tournaments, the precision required of target archery will make you a much better shot when hunting season rolls around next year.