Archery is a wonderful and tranquil sport that can be taken on the road to a professional range, or with little effort, be enjoyed in the pleasure of your own backyard. Of course if you are obsessed with how your lawn looks, you can create a space to shoot that fits right in, and does not deter from your bright green blades of grass.
Just a word to the wise, before you set up anything in your yard where you are using the number one rated recurve bow to shoot pointed arrows, check with your towns local ordinances. Worst case scenario is that they are going to tell you no-go stick to the public range, or they will have nothing at all on the books. Even if that is the case, you will still need to exercise caution when choosing a spot to shoot your arrows at.
What makes an archery range so appealing to me is that you really only need one small area where the grass will be trampled. The target will be raised, so will not have anything to do with the terrain at all. What you should consider however is setting it up in front of your shed, gazebo, or other large structure that will block the path of the arrow if it decides to meander past the target. You don’t want an upset neighbor with one of your arrows sticking out from their behind.
You can choose the classic colored round target for your range, but I like the newer 3-D animal targets that are coming out. This add a natural feel to your yard and a realistic feel to your shooting efforts.
Once you have your target in place, create a pathway using stone from the target area to where you will be standing with your recurve bow. Here you should create a platform, using flat stones that match your landscaping. With the platform and pathway in place, there is never any reason to walk on your lawn while shooting your recurve bow and arrows. You can even make your shooting platform big enough to be a hangout spot, placing chairs and tables for you and your friends.
Flat stones work best because you are able to mow over them without fear of hurting the blades of your lawnmower. This ensures that your archery range will not mean more for you and your lawn in terms of maintenance.
I love a good sport, and envy the guy that puts a golf hole in his yard, but there is too much at stake for the lawn for me. An archery range is a happy outdoor medium, where I can enjoy the tranquil sport at home, but not risk ruining the hard work I have put into my lawn.